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This console generation has been a great
one. From Nintendo's innovative Wii, to Sony's Powerhouse, PS3. All
three consoles have had incredible games. From Halo, to Mario, to
Uncharted, and everything in between, this generation had something for
everyone. But this generation is finally coming to a close. Nintendo has
announced a new console, and the rumors for new consoles are constantly
flooding game sites. When will the new consoles release? What trends
will die, which will live on, what new trends will we see born? What
games will be popular Next Gen? Me and Stranger are here to address all
of these topics below:
Timeframe Of Next Generation:
The Wii U is already scheduled for this
year. The rumor is that it is coming out in December, but I really think
it will be early November. I think it will release around the time of
Assassin's Creed III, so that the biggest 3rd party title doesn't get
overshadowed by the other console versions. It will also give Nintendo
enough time to put out a few quality games before the Christmas season.
Both Sony and Microsoft will most
probably release their consoles late next year. They don't want to give
Nintendo to much of a head start on the new generation of consoles. The
longer they choose to wait, the more people that buy a Wii U. I think
both companies will push their next gen system at E3 next year, and then
release around November or December of 2013.
already obvious, the Wii U will be releasing this year. As for PS4 and
NeXtBox, I would guess late 2013 or early 2014. I don't think either
Sony or Microsoft will get an early head start before the other, they'll
be neck and neck for the next generation since both companies saw how
the PS3 was never able to get a leg up on Xbox's second place dominance
of sales. People are excited for next generation, neither of the
companies are stupid enough to let the other sate the demand for The
Next Big Thing and reap the benefit an install base that snowballs due
to there being no current competition. I expect the next generation to
be usurped around 2020 if traditional types of consoles continue to be
Of course the big three will remain
constant. It seems very unlikely that any of those will drop. As far as
developers I don't see any major dropouts there either. the big names
are going to be around this next time around. Square, Epic, and some
others have already even shown us what Next Gen can do.
I think the idea of Apple becoming a
major console developer is quite possible. They have a huge install base
in phones and tablets. It is quite likely they may carry that over to
console one day. They have Epic Games that has already developed some of
the best games on the devices they produce. It isn't much of a stretch
to bring that to a big budget console. The iConsole? Definitely not a
definitive name, but certainly an interesting possibility.
For new contenders, between the heavy
rumors of a Valve console and Apple's almost monolithic presence amongst
the electronics business, I think these two are going to partner up to
create a new console. Apple would benefit from Valve's stellar IPs and
fond presence amongst gamers hearts whilst Valve would benefit from the
almost limitless funding Apple has at its disposal. Another telltale
sign is that even with the iOS devices at Apple's disposal they've never
really commanded gaming dollars and I would hazard a guess that they'd
be looking at Microsoft's niche hungrily.
As for dropouts, I'm going to throw
myself to the wolves here and say I don't see Nintendo's home consoles
surviving this generation. Although I'm not a big fan of the Wii, I do
get that it carved a viable market amongst casual gamers. But...in that
vein of thinking, I don't think the casual market will support the Wii U
the same way that it did the Wii. The whole allure to everyone and
their mother was the simplicity with which you could pick up something
such as Wii Sports. Now...you have the Wii U with a tablet controller
containing a hyperbolic amount of fifty buttons as well as a touch
screen. That right there will turn off the casual market. And games such
as Pikmin aren't going to be the draw to hardcore gamers that Nintendo
thinks. AND, on top of that, after the promises of strong third parties
no one other than Ubisoft really seems to have any vested interest in
the Wii U. Plus, with all the Wii attachments and add-ons they're
focusing on on top of the Wii U it's looking a lot like Saturn era Sega
right before their console division went down the toilet. I think
they'll keep the portable systems they're so ubiquitous for and become a
third party developer for home consoles.
As much as I hate to say it, I fear that
Motion Controls will live on. I'm not totally opposed to them, but as
of yet, nothing has really impressed me. Even games like Skyward Sword,
that is so good, still bug me. Motion Controls are not the perfect way
of playing. They are fun, and I enjoy some games, but it feels to tacked
I feel that Nintendo will actually get
away from Motion Controls, and the new Motion Control powerhouse will be
Microsoft. Microsoft will not abandon their Kinect. It is not possible.
They spent too much money and time building this thing up, marketing
it, and releasing games. Even if it isn't my favorite way to play games,
it is Microsoft's baby. They are going to keep it going.
I also see bigger handhelds being a
continuing thing. With the release of the Vita, which is large by
standard handhelds, and now the 3DS XL, which appears even bigger,
people seem to want that more. They want a console experience on the go,
so they get bigger screens.
As much as I hate to say it, episodic
formats and downloadable content are here to stay. People can gripe all
they want, but the cash companies can earn from these practices are just
too lucrative to ignore. And, in that vein, the internet in general
will continue playing a large role in gaming as a whole, stuff like Halo
multiplayer and downloadable games are great innovations that people
love to have at least the choice to do. Consoles will forevermore be
intertwined with connectivity even at the behest of people who either
can't afford or are unable to obtain internet.
Touch Screen. The DS did it, the 3DS
does it, and now the Wii U is doing it. Microsoft is pushing it with the
smart glass. I know that technically its not a new thing, but for
consoles, it is. Touch-screen on consoles started with the Wii-U, a next
gen console. I believe Sony and Microsoft will adopt it in some way for
their next gen systems. Microsoft already has.
I think with next generation we'll see
independent developers replace many of the triple A creators. Not that
triple A development will die out per se, more the fact that their role
will be diminished as more and more people turn to experiences like
Bastion, Limbo, Sworcery, and Braid over the next iterations of popular
gaming series. These are easier on the wallet and leave a more marked
impression on the people who play through them. Who knows, maybe triple A
developers will break up their programmers and visionaries into a large
amount of small teams each working on their own projects since there's
lower risk on each individual project and if they get a hit on the level
of Minecraft they'll have made large reward for little investment. I
also think that game streaming and Netflix Instant type services will
rise to dominance as these options become more viable to consumers.
People like choice, and I doubt companies will pass over this
possibility to at the very least offer some games that aren't big
sellers anymore to squeeze more money out of people.
3D seems like it is reaching the end
point. Recently Nintendo hasn't even been shoving 3D down our throats.
The PS3 never seemed to gain much traction in the land of 3D. Movies are
still being made in 3D, but are not nearly as hyped up as they once
were. It seems like the great 3D phase may be coming to a close. Next
gen may do some 3D things, but it seems like it will be an afterthought.
Indie Games, in the Xbox 360 sense. How
many of those games do you buy? How many are actually good? Not many. No
other company has really done anything like it, and for good reason.
The games just aren't that great. Indie Games themselves won't die, but
the ones created on Xbox, I see no real future for.
I would say 3D, but that appears to have
mostly died off even with THIS generation. I'm going with motion
controls, at least as we know them. I think motion will be integrated
into controllers subtly to enhance experiences instead of making them
the main focus like so many failed attempts in the past. Move, Kinect,
the Wii Remote, these don't really seem to strike a chord with people
and start gathering dust in dark corners after the initial interest
wanes and people realize that they aren't really bringing that much to
the table. I think things such as gyroscopes and accelerometers will
become commonplace and make gaming a smoother experience instead of
being forced upon gamers.
RPG's. Let's face it, some of the best
games of this gen are RPG's. Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Xenoblade, and
others that are often brought up this generation. People are looking for
new experiences, deeper experiences, with stories and great characters.
Companies like Bioware, Square Enix, Bethesda, and more will shine in
the next gen. They are going to deliver it. How many times can a person
play the same shooter. They are getting stale, and so are many other
games. The RPG is the future.
I also think Licensed games will be a
big deal next generation. Batman: Arkham City is already being ported to
the Wii U, and it looks better than ever. Spiderman is also getting a
new game, that looks very good indeed. Developers seem to care more
about these franchises, and publishers are getting better at getting
The biggest games of the next gen are
going to be Arcade Titles. Look at one of Stranger's favorite games.
Bastion. This game is exactly what an arcade title should be. Unique,
fun, and a great experience. The arcade lets developers get more
creative. Games like Bastion, From Dust, Trails, Splosion Man, and
Shadow Complex are often considered to be better than console titles.
This will continue into the next generation for sure.
the staples of any gamer's diet. RPGs, action adventure games,
platformers, things of that nature. The next generation of games might
not even be firmly divided between genre lines as gamings borrow from
the tropes of several different genres for widespead appeal amongst a
large audience, we'll be seeing shooter/rpg/platformer/adventure/stealth
hybrids and it'll feel like a natural extension of what gaming IS. I
DO think shooters are going to be in decline though, the market is
glutted by them right now and interest seems to be waning. COD, Halo,
Gears, and Battlefield can only last for so long before new IPs replace
these series, and the new IPs might not carry on the shooter tradition.
Overview Of Next Generation:
This gen had a lot of good things. Mass
Effect, new Zeldas, Marios, great Batman Titles, awesome Elder Scrolls
entries, and so much more. It will be hard to beat this great
generation, but so far, the quality of the hardware seems to surpass all
known qualities. Just look at the tech demo Square showed. All in real
time, and looks like a movie.
The big shots are going to bring their A
game next generation, and I'm honestly really excited to see what
everyone can bring to the table.
don't see the gaming market going anywhere but up, as more and more
people get drawn into the hobby. Consoles will be released, new
innovations will wow gamers, fads will come and pass, and inevitably
another generation will come to replace the one we're looking forward
to. The constant will remain though, games that continue to captivate
people and push the bounds of what is possible. People will live, love,
laugh, and play all in the digital spaces, and bring just that extra
spark of joy into their lives as they lose themselves in the virtual
No matter what happens
next generation it is sure to be a great generation for gaming, just as
the last one. People continue to be enthralled with gaming, and the
hobby seems like it will only grow from here. Game companies will
continue to deliver as they always have. Big AAA titles, small indie
titles, and everything in between. The game industry certainly is not
slowing down anytime soon.