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:

blaze6106= Green

Stranger= Red


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.


Nintendo is 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 used.




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. 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. 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.



Continuing Trends:

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 on now-a-days.

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.



New Trends:

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.



Dying Trends:

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 good developers.

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.


Basically 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.


Overall, I 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 world.


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.

blaze6106, Stranger