Unless you have been living under a rock the past few months, you have undoubtedly heard rumors about the upcoming next generation consoles. Whether the rumors included the card based games of the “PS4” or the ability to play “Xbox 720” games on the PC through windows 8, people are starting to dream big about the next generation. However there are a number of factors that we have to keep in mind that may make you think differently about pushing the next generation along.
5. A new console could kill Nintendo for good – We just learned about Nintendo’s brand new console, the WiiU. Unfortunately people just aren’t excited about it and we also know that the hardware only catches Nintendo up to where Sony and Microsoft are now. If Sony and Microsoft make the jump now it will push Nintendo back into the last gen making the system instantly obsolete. This will ensure that no one will buy a Nintendo console to play the latest AAA titles and put a lot of pressure on Nintendo to innovate which they already have problems doing under the current circumstances. This could lead to greater debt loads and even the bankruptcy for the corporation. If Nintendo has a chance to get the WiiU on level ground for a year or two, its chances are far better to ensure the viability of Nintendo in the future.
4. Consoles are cheap and just got cheaper – Why would anyone give up more money than they should? The Playstation 3 just dropped to $250 and you can find an Xbox 360 for $200 so why is everyone in a rush to go out and spend a ton of cash on a system that won’t have even half the library of the current gen systems? Take your time and enjoy the golden age of the current gen consoles. Every week you enjoy new triple A titles and people are still having meaningful online experiences. To me this seems like everything is great so why ruin a good thing?
3. Technology has advanced but it’s not advanced enough – No matter what you dream about the next gen consoles the fact remains that the current gen systems have been stretched to meet the times quite nicely. Both Sony and Microsoft have kept their consoles fresh despite being on the market for longer than average hardware development cycles. No matter what they change about the systems, the games and the hardware wouldn’t work that dramatically differently to justify a new console. Graphics are super advanced and you even have the option to play in 3D so I don’t think there is much out there now that would compel someone to drop more money on a marginally better machine.
2. The software library is only starting to hit its stride – The single most important factor to a console is the games that are available for it. Consoles have dominated and died on that very concept and when you look at it the current consoles are hitting their stride right now. I would say that the developers have only mastered the consoles potential in 2010 with titles like God of War 3 and Red Dead Redemption. These titles pushed the consoles to the limit and that is where you see the best software for the console. If we were to move forward now we would miss several years of potentially awesome games. To me I’d rather wait and see what people can do with the expertise now available.
1. The Development Cycle is still very costly – So you think games are expensive now? Just wait till we push a brand new generation. Developers are status quo right now but if a new console comes out they have to buy the dev kit and start re-training or realigning the staff they have. This is going to come with new costs and slower development times to start with. We now enjoy regular increments of games but with a new gen game cycle it will be slower and more costly thereby increasing the price of games and that isn’t good for anyone.