I normally don’t run around feeling sorry for giant corporations, but I have to say, with this next generation of consoles coming out, I kind of feel sorry for the big three—Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo. Why? Never in the history of making consoles has it been harder to succeed. And here’s why…
It’s really expensive to make new consoles.
Back in the day we were pretty happy with a video game system that, well…played video games! Those days are long gone, and game systems now have to play music, stream movies, have social media options and more. And my guess is the next generation will probably have motion control and voice recognition built in as well. Add on to that, super high-end graphic processors and hard drives with lots of space, and you’ve got yourself an expensive system! An expensive system you have to sell at a huge loss so people will buy it! And with Sony and Nintendo in the red right now, that’s going to be a tough pill to swallow.
It’s going to be hard to differentiate from each other.
Everybody’s going to want all of the things listed above in their console, so how can the big three make theirs stand out? Nintendo seems to have figured out a way, with their Wii U, but it hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm so far. They’re going to show it off at E3, and if they don't make an impression, it’s not looking good. As for the PS3 and Xbox 360, operating systems and controllers aside, they offer a very similar experience. It’ll be the toughest for these two to stand out from each other in the next generation. (Xbox and Sony fanboys, feel free to set me on fire in the comment’s field below!)
The return of the PC.
Long thought to be dying due to rampant piracy, the PC is making a big comeback thanks largely to MMOs and Steam. Although World of Warcraft is waning, and the Star Wars MMO didn’t quite get the numbers EA wanted, there’s no denying the pull MMOs have on gamers. Oh, and there’s also a little game called Diablo III that everybody and their mothers are playing (well, trying to play!). Plus, with services like Steam making it super easy and cheap to get games for the PC, the whole industry is looking a lot healthier.
Pocket computers/talking devices.
Also known as smartphones, are absorbing more and more of people’s time. That’s not to say smartphone games are directly competing with console games, because the gaming experience is radically different. But there’s no denying the hours you spent playing Angry Birds, could have been hours spent playing any console game.
Tablets, mainly the iPad.
This is serious competition for consoles. Aside from eating time and entertainment dollars that could be going to consoles, it’s being taken more and more serious as a gaming device. Obviously, you’re not going to get games with the same depth and complexity a console can offer, but you can get a lot of fun, cheap and decent offerings on a tablet. And because these games are often simple, they have a much easier access point than complex console games, making them perfect for casual gamers. Oh, and did you know you could read the world’s greatest manga magazine on an iPad? Really! Here are the deets!
What’s the solution?
I have no idea! I’m not in the console manufacturing business! I will say this, though—this generation is a make-or-break generation more than any before. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the big three’s last console. Which is kind of sad, because I’ve always liked the idea of a three-console industry. It breeds competition and variety. Oh, and I never get sick of rabid console fanboys beating each other up in the comments field!
PS3 Fanboy: Teh PS3 is better
Xbox Guy: WUT? lol, Xbox FTW
PS3: Yer an idiot
Xbox: Yer an idiot
PS3: U R
Xbox: U R
Wii Lad: Hey guyz, wut about me?
by Urian Brown
PS: Hey! I'm going to E3! Expect some wicked hard-hitting game journalizm from the show floor on this site! Trust!