February 14, 2013
Why Next-Gen Consoles Don’t matter
I’m not a fanboy. I think that because of this, I might be the only person in the room that can lend an unbiased opinion on the direction of the gaming industry. To understand what next innovation that Microsoft and Sony are planning in coming years you only need to pay attention to the last ten years of what they’ve attempted.
Firstly, Microsoft and Sony have never had good ties with each other. Even when the first Playstation was released in 1994 (Jesus, has it been that long?), Microsoft had contemplated how they could combat the entertainment empire.
The real conflict for Microsoft was to understand what they could offer to consumers that would seem better than Playstation. They ultimately missed seven years of its console life, and didn’t release Xbox until a year after the second generation of Playstation released in 2000. By this time Microsoft had already built a relationship with Bungie and various other game developers to push a good console generation out of the door.
Ironically, neither of these two has pulled in decent profits to ensure the survival of their company, so they must rely on game licensing fees and third party software to keep loyal customers. It’s been over ten years now that this console war has raged on, and neither side is any closer to theoretically ‘defeating’ the other. From here, the only verdict that one can make is that there is no point in instigating a console war.
After all, that’s the only thing they’ve cared about this entire time. If you think social apps are going to cease in the coming generation of these consoles then you’re dead wrong. In fact, I believe that the direction they’ve moved in was pretty smart on the business side. Does that mean that we should accept the constant reminders that we should pay for these services?
If you’re a certain kind of gamer, I don’t think so.
My biggest gripe with both Microsoft and Sony is that they’ve spent so long combating each other that they haven’t even discovered their own niche in the gaming industry. What reason should you have for purchasing a PS4 besides free online and exclusives when you already have a current generation PS3 that pushes a very high graphical tier?
Motion based gaming comes into the picture, but that’s not what the core crowd of either console enjoys.
Ten years ago it was about the games. Sadly, first and third person shooters have flooded the Xbox market, and Sony has stayed so clear of exclusives with multiplayer that I wonder how you can socialize on a console that doesn’t even support party chat.
These two aren’t offering anything special next generation short of new hardware. I’m being very generous by using the term ‘new’ since their power has been rumored as comparable to last gen PC hardware.
Should you bother with next-gen gaming? I won’t, but it’s blasphemy to make a decision based on what I feel about both companies. I speak from the position of a gamer that was ultimately let down this console generation by Xbox live fees and numerous PSN failures.
My list of disappointments will go on, but the punch line is that I’m done with these two. Where will you be next console generation? I’d love to know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Photos.com