Next Gen. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Another generation of console is just around the corner, and yet again, there's a lot of discussions about the relevance of a new generation right now, the step this generation will make, and if future consoles are actually next gen or not. Let's get something clear right off the bat, this topic is mostly about how people compares the Wii-U and what might be the Next-Box or the PS4. A lot of people seems to be cautious regarding the Wii U because it's going to be barely on par with the PS3 and X360, while Sony and Microsoft's next console is obviously going to be the next step of their ancestor. While it's totally relevant to ask how each platform is going to perform, compared to the others, one thing is always bugging me when people talk about a "next gen system". What do they mean by "Next Gen" and what's this term's actual meaning? Obviously, a lot of people refer to a better system than what's on the market right now. Is this right? If you compare a 3DS with a PS3, does it means that a PS3 is from a later generation because it's more powerful? Even if the 3DS came out later? I know the 3DS is a handeld, while the PS3 is a home system, but this example leads to my point. Can we really determine a product's generation by its horse power? Obviously not. According to Wikipedia (source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_generation#Eighth_generation_consoles_.282011.E2.80.93present.29 ), a game system's generation is determined by the era it came out. But if we look closely at the schedule from different companies, does this make sense? Actually, a generation refers to a serie of products. Which means a company could have it's, let's say tenth generation of products years before a rival decide to release its own. So, no matter how you think the Wii U is going to be weak, it's still Nintendo's next home console. On the same way of thinking, no matter if Sony ends up releasing the PS4 in another 5 years, it's not going to skip a generation just because it's way more powerful than its rivals. As this is only my opinion, I'm pretty sure the "next gen" argument is going to keep going over and over, and somehow, this is a good thing. As long as people are going to argue about this kind of things, the video game industry is going to keep doing just fine and we are all going to enjoy playing our favorite games.