All eyes are on Microsoft as with every passing day, as the revelation of the new Xbox draws closer. Nintendo has already released their next gen Wii U to the public, while the Playstation 4 has only had videos and specs released. But there“s something weird going on this generation. There“s no new overhaul ofâ€¦anything really. Unless Microsoft can manage to introduce something new and substantial, everything we“ve seen is a natural evolution, but nothing substantial and groundbreaking.
Nintendo and Sony have both pushed social media as a new tool to utilize. Nintendo introduced their hub world, where people can see what others are playing and interact with each other via messages that are typed, written, even drawn. The Playstation 4 announcement was heavily playing toward sharing gameplay videos with one“s friends.
There's a "share" button...
While this function is a foreseeable evolution in gaming, there“s nothing groundbreaking that is making people go crazy. When the Nintendo 64 was released in 1996, the big breakthrough was graphics. Games could be played in 3D now! When the Playstation 2 was revealed, the big breakthrough was graphics yet again. Polygons were there, yes, but the models were such a far cry from the blocky look that the Playstation 1 had. The game characters, despite certain outfits, were starting to have some kind of realistic features. I still remember looking at certain games and thinking that it looked real! And the Playstation 2 was released in 2000!
Still looks impressive to this day
While the PS2 had some kind of online capabilities, it was well implemented in a console by Microsoft when they burst into the scene with Xbox. With games becoming more grandiose, and online interactivity becoming the big thing, someone decided to take the helm and make game consoles go online. That was a big breakthrough for Microsoft, and when the next gen systems came out (360, PS3, Wii), all of them had online capabilities.
But where do we go now?
The Wii U made a nice move with the tablet style controller. Now people are less reliant on playing on a TV, but it“s still a console, and those are made to work with TVs. It just won“t be the same playing without a TV. Video sharing seems like a rather small update, and graphics can only get so powerful and realistic. Before we know it, we will hit the uncanny valley.
On the flip side of this discussion comes the bright side. Maybe with all of this stagnation and less upgrading the technology, people won“t actually focus on the technology and focus on making the games great. It“s not that we haven“t been getting great games, but developers and game makers might be able to get used to the new technology in a shorter period of time. With the new launch, there“s probably a higher chance of big studios trying new IPs. The market will hopefully get less people whining as well.
We're depending on you
This is all just speculation, but it still makes me wonder what is going to happen to the console market in the future. Only the Wii U is out, so we don“t know the full capabilities of the other 2 systems will be. Will the console market make a big splash, or will it barely make a ripple in the water?
Feel free to contribute your own thoughts on the upcoming console generation!