With recent job opportunities at Microsoft suggesting that the company is, at the very least, at the concept stage of development for the next generation Xbox One console, it’ll be interesting to see if we hear anything from the big 3 in the coming months regarding any kind of solid details on their plans for the inevitable next generation console battle.
While I’m sure that I, like pretty much every other game out there will be giddy with excitement come the first glimpses of what Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft will have to offer, I for one am in absolutely no rush whatsoever to see next generation consoles sitting on shop shelves.
Beyond the admittedly personal reason of not having any more space below either of my TVs, the current generation still look like they have a hell of a lot to offer. Despite developers such as Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games’ continuous and increasingly outrageous claims that they have yet again maxed out the PS3’s capabilities, it’s good to hear the recent remarks from Frank Gibeau, Label Boss at EA, that both the PS3 and 360 still have “a lot of horsepower that hasn’t been tapped”.
Ok, I concede that the Wii is starting to look a little long in the tooth but both the 360 and PS3 seem to be going from strength to strength and with Kinect and Move only recently released, it would be a shame to see them relegated to the shadow of their technologically superior successor.
Just take a look at the last generation of consoles for instance – The original Xbox’s life was cut criminally short just as it was hitting its stride and with the PS2 seeing some of its very finest games released some eight years after launch, the signs are there that the current consoles can still deliver the goods well past their traditional 5 year life cycle.
And anyway, who’s got the money? With the recession still biting down and development prices for 360 and PS3 getting lower by the day, surely it makes sense to rinse each consoles sales potential for every penny they’re worth. I’m sure some would argue the case for two consoles living side by side but other than in the case of the outrageously popular PS2, that just doesn’t happen. If you have any doubts, just take a moment to remember the humble GBA. Despite Nintendo’s claims to the contrary, the DS was released at the very height of the GBA’s popularity and still managed to grind its sales to a halt almost overnight.
I really hope the same doesn’t happen for the current crop of consoles. The fact is, as developers become more and more acquainted with a console’s architecture and abilities, the more they can put an emphasis on gameplay mechanics and storytelling techniques. As exciting as a new console is, the inevitable return to trial and error development and a primary emphasis towards graphical prowess will once again take hold. Let’s make the most of what we have before we all but consign these fine consoles to a place in the past.
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