12 Next Gen Gaming Console Predictions
After 8 years of old hardware, another race to lead worldwide gaming in the next generation is on. With the official announcement of the PS4, the impending announcement of the next Xbox codenamed “Durango,” and the already available Wii U, speculation is abound. Many things will obviously stay the same, but other things are less constant such as the crown in gaming –like when Nintendo took it from Atari, when Sony took it from Nintendo, and when Microsoft took it from Sony. For one, even with 8 years to develop and plan, there will still be bugs –possibly as great as the Xbox 360’s “red ring of death” disaster. Here are some more predictions for the next generation:
2. Nintendo Wii U will be the Loser
This one is easy to call because it has already happened. Sure to be inferior hardware with gimmicky “innovation”, consumers and developers alike are abstaining from buying into the Wii U. With computers and phones geometrically exploding in power year by year, gamers are discouraged by the continued use of weak current generation hardware, and the Wii U hardly takes a step forward from the PS3 or Xbox 360. Upon release, the Wii U did not even sell out –losing to current generation consoles at the same time.
3. Lack of Backwards Compatibility will hurt Everyone
Why buy current games for a dying and obsolete console when you can’t even use them on the new consoles in November? If you do plan to get as much life out of games like Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider as you can, then you can hold off buying the next generation of systems when the launch games will likely be available on your current system anyway. Anything that gives players legitimate reasons to hold out on buying your product is a fool’s errand. Earnings from players downloading passed generation games will not bring back lost potential gains. Lose-Lose.
4. The PS4 and Durango will be held back by US internet speeds
The proclaimed power of the PS4 to be able to play games while downloading them and bring waiting time to zero will not come to fruition in the United States –but not of Sony’s fault. Simply, the US severely lags behind in internet speeds due to monopolies, corporate greed, and the low population density of non-coastal states. Expect similar or more internet dependency in the Durango to be held back by poor internet speeds.
5. The Rise of the Indie Game
Once the holdouts get accustomed to buying and downloading even the most popular titles online, they will browse the library for other gems or may be recommended to buy smaller games. Especially with the ability to distribute content without the development costs of physical copies, independent developers will excel in the new environment. Indie developers will be nimble and address the wants and needs of the consumers. Their era will come.
6. PC Gaming will Remain the Same
Personal computers are not bound by the limitations of dedicated gaming consoles and their gaming experience is not driven by them. At most, games designed for consoles will again be adapted into games for Windows.
7. Developers will Adapt Faster than Players
Players like the simplicity of put-the-disc-in-and-play, and they will be slow to adapt to the PS4’s several new complex features. Developers, on the other hand, have been waiting and are kept informed on the new dimensions of the consoles. Eventually, players will push the new features to their limits.
8. Real Life Friends and Gaming Friends will Continue to be Separate
Sure you can game with a coworker or a bro, but for the most part, your friends are not as into gaming as you. Either your friends aren’t willing to spend the money or they exist outside gaming culture. Most of your gaming friends are found online, and no matter how much Facebook or other social media integration there is in the new systems, this will not change. It will be helpful for industry buffs who have other industry buffs as friends on Facebook, but it will be largely unused by the average gamer.
9. Assumptions will be made and Toppled
Players already assume that the Durango will best the PS4 simply because the Xbox 360 bests the PS3. Microsoft makes it easy to develop for the Xbox 360, so 3rd parties do and then adapt to the PS3, making the Xbox 360 experience superior. However, this may not be true for the next generation –as Microsoft boasts a “living room experience” while the PS4 press event reveals an emphasis on games. Because of this and pending Durango revelations concerning DRM and anti-used-game technology, players who did not by a PS3 may buy the PS4.
10. Halo 5 & 6 will make the Durango a must-buy
The list of Microsoft exclusives continue to shrink in quantity or quality, but one constant remains: Halo. Only Halo 4 was able to challenge the largest gaming franchise, Call of Duty. With so much work into each Halo game and with such longevity, both the main story and multiplayer experience must be followed. As far as exclusives between Microsoft and Sony go, Halo is the utmost superior.
11. Players will flee Call of Duty (CoD) now more than ever
Call of Duty’s dedicated fan base drives it, and with a combination of Infinity Ward’s alienation of its fans and the new console’s expense, the next experience will be the least of them all. Call of Duty’s continued selling point is playing online when other players are, and will the smallest population of gamers playing CoD, its popularity will continue to dwindle. In turn, a new franchise may fill the void –or CoD will return in 2014/2015 to reclaim its mantle.
12. Vita Sales will Skyrocket after PS4 Launch
The PS4 press event revealed a high degree of integration with the PlayStation Vita handheld –including the ability to play PS4 games on the go. While Vita sales currently remain somewhat mediocre, the PS4 gives huge reasons to invest in the handheld.
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