Published on April 8th, 2013 | by John I.0
Will the next generation consoles be enough to keep the console gaming industry alive?
There has been a lot of talk lately about gaming consoles being on their last leg. And on the surface of those arguments, it may be easy to believe. But when you dig a little bit deeper you start to find that the future may be just a little bit brighter than we thought. If you are concerned about where gaming is headed, then here we will break down what to expect from the various next gen consoles and what their potential role will play in the next generation based on info that is already available.
Ouya – The Ouya is a very odd addition to the console market. It has a console that had its critics long before it actually came out. First of all, it was funded on Kickstarter, which had many critics saying it “panhandled” its way into existence.
Then critics were wary of the fact that it was Android based. This led to many gamers believing it was nothing more than a fancy cell phone app in terms of quality. But it offers something no other console does: it is open source. This could end up being the console to be on if you want to develop your own game but know you aren’t ready to try and be with one of the big three developers. The appeal of the Ouya to indie gamers and indie developers is undeniable, but we will simply have to wait and see if that appeal pays off.
Xbox 720 – There is no denying that the Xbox 360 owned the current console generation. It was easily the most popular system and it took almost the entire console generation for the Playstation 3 to catch up.
The next Xbox is likely to generate strong sales to start with, but the rumor mill has many former Xbox fans rethinking their commitment to Microsoft’s giant. This is because of three core ideas that have ruffled many feathers. First of all, a very high number of reports are coming in that if you want to use the next Xbox, you had better have an internet connection at all times because that is the only way you can play your games.
And you can forget about playing used games, as well, because each game you buy will have to be installed onto the hard drive. If these rumors turn out to be true (which many industry insiders are already saying they are) then it could take a sizable chunk out of Microsoft’s profits because the changes would not appeal to those who do not have constant internet connections, and most importantly it could seriously hurt the used game market, something that is extremely popular in an industry where each product is $60. It has especially hurt their reputation among developers, with one anonymous developer stating that working with Microsoft was “Draconian.”
Playstation 4 – This console generation was very rough on Playstation, with the Playstation 3 always lagging a step behind Xbox in terms of sales. But over that past year Sony showed that their investment in full HD, Bluray, and developing strong relationships with developers paid off. Thus far Sony has been the most forthcoming with info about their next console.
The PS4 is already confirmed to allow for used games (though likely with a small fee for a registration code), a constant internet connection is not needed, and perhaps most importantly in terms of tech they have stated that they still see the next generation of consoles as being disc based. They have also gone out of their way to obtain development deals and exclusivity deals with some of the top developers in the industry. Even more intriguing, Sony is trying to poise the PS4 to be the go-to console for high quality media, offering Ultra HD video output (for the four people on the planet who happen to have Ultra HD displays).
As if this was not good enough, numerous developers, including Crytek, have stated that Sony is offering the best console experience in terms of performance (performance that is being reported as being extremely close to that of top quality gaming PCs). Sony appears, thus far, to be the console to beat this coming generation. Having said that, nobody ever really knows which way the pendulum can swing with certainty.
On the whole there is still a lot in the console world to get excited for. While there will almost undoubtedly be a misstep here or there, the rumors of the death of consoles has been greatly exaggerated. This console generation shows a high amount of promise in terms of gameplay as well as tech and if the rumors are any indication it should be a very good time to be a gamer.