I've been a fan of gaming since its conception and followed closely the development of games and their platforms as much as i can ever since, I'm 38 now, a middle age kid. I believe it came to a crossroads around the time sony entered the fray and an obvious division was beginning to show in the way that developers wanted to see games progress. I knew which way I wanted it to go but that's my opinion, though the general consensus has seemed to favour the better graphics, immersing and challenging approach over the family friendly, fun and pick up and play one. The later approach has been the stalwart for Nintendo and to great success and will remain so as they have that market cornered and there will always be room for family entertainment out of the box.
(sure, sony and microsoft attempt to incorporate family games, but by their very console design and marketing strategy to appeal to a more core gamer, these titles get lost for the most part in the sea of releases they accommodate and lack the bigger backing of their main publishers who know what sells on their systems)
My Real debate begins with the question, what is next gen?
Next Gen to me, beyond its literal interpretation of the newest release (we dont call every COD game release a next gen game?), should be an advancement in technology and features that resets the standards and raises the bar for those that follow.
Now, with nintendo their next gen iterations have historically relied on more on whats outside the box than what is inside, and little in the way of graphical improvements.
nintendo n64 - the analogue stick - rumble pack - 4 player splitscreen out of the box
gamecube - smaller form factor, a change over to disc from cartridge
wii - the motion controller
wii u - the controller tablet hybrid - a new GPU opening the console to more current gen games.
Sony and microsoft are their own rivals in a two horse console race because their aims are the same, more grunt for more graphical quality titles and more happy core gamer, like me. I love immersion and graphical improvements to the extreme are what i like to see in a next gen console.
on a side note, I have a sneaking suspicion that the xbox's roots were in the sega domain, when the dreamcast was around it lacked the publisher backing but was a really great console. but it contained microsoft CE. Then suddenly Sega decided to quit the console race and concentrate on software, microsoft came out with the xbox which had huge similarities to the dreamcast. then xbox 360 came out looking even still like a descdendant of dreamcast as well.does anyone else see this?
but i digress, where do you see the console battle is, are there 3 horses in the same race or are there two main runners and one who is included because they have been i the run for so long. is there a devide in what is viewed as next gen or is it all as literal as the reiterations that Nintendo, Microsoft and sony produce?
I'm not slamming nintendo here as they are very good at what they do and i do like their main titles but they are falling behind the longer they sit on the fence with their graphical improvements, it's saddening as i believe they could really nail it across the board if they just upped this area. The Wii U is a step in the right direction but the graphics engine is still generation behind at best from what is evident in their demonstrations, as much as it is masked by the glam of their new interface.
I'd love to hear your opinions on this, will you get one?
ps. this is not a fanboy blog, just an objective observation across the board at all the current consoles and how they are being developed.
Thanks for reading!