How long can current gen last people?

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#1 Posted by TheMisterManGuy (225 posts) -

The seventh generation of consoles had an unusually long life span. Not only did the PS3 and Xbox 360 last 7-8 years without a successor, but these consoles continued to receive many AAA and indie games well into the current generation, until 2016 when nearly everybody fully transitioned to the new consoles. Eighth generation is already 5 years old at this point, and with next gen looking to arrive within the next 3-4 years, will the PS4/XB1/Switch gen last even longer than seventh gen? And how long can current consoles last developers and consumers?

Game graphics can always get better, and this gen has given us some pretty impressive visuals. But I think we're reaching a point where graphics are taking longer to age poorly. There comes a point where graphical leaps are going to become increasingly less noticeable, and the rising development costs of AAA games will limit what developers can feasibly produce for a commercial product.

In past generations, developers and publishers were rather quick to adopt next gen consoles, swiftly leaving old ones behind in favor of 16 bit, 3D, and 128-bit systems. But starting with the PS3 and 360 gen, we've started seeing a big shift. HD development caused a huge whiplash to game developers, and a lot of smaller teams were fine with making games on low powered SD hardware such as the PS2, Wii, and Handhelds like the DS and PSP. To a lot of smaller teams, those consoles were good enough for what they wanted to make. But times have changed, engines like Unreal Engine 4 and Unity have helped simplify the process, and allowed small teams to create high quality visuals for less money and resources.

That brings us to today. The current gen consoles, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch are all running off-the-shelf PC based (tablet based in the Switch's case) hardware that is 3-5 years old, easy to program for, and supports highly popular and very scale-able engines like Unity and Unreal Engine 4, allowing for easy porting between all platforms. I'd say currently, 8th gen is the easiest consoles have been to develop for in a long time. But what about the future? While the AAA establishment will continue to chase the quest for realistic characters, and seemingly endless and complex open-worlds, the indie guys, and smaller mid-range developers might be fine with supporting current gen consoles for quite a long time. Many consumers are becoming less swayed by high terraflop counts and super detailed textures, as evidenced by the modest sales of PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. A lot of people just want something that plays good looking games and lots of them. And in that sense, current gen may co-exist with next gen for a lot longer than some people think. AAA guys will fully transition quicker, but I can see the PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch continuing to get plenty of indie, and mid-tier games for at least another 5-6 years. These games really don't need next gen specs, and for indies, even potato PCs can be more than enough to create what they want to make.

The console market is beginning to look more and more like the Telvision market. You have all sorts of 4k TVs come out every year, and while they have their market, most people are for now, fine with their 1080p screens, and will be for quite a while. Bottom line is that I believe current generation is going last many developers for a long time, even longer than last generation.

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#2 Posted by Archangel3371 (28508 posts) -

I expect next gen consoles to come out in 2020.

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#3 Posted by Blaze787 (534 posts) -

By my estimates, next-gen consoles will be announced during E3 2019, and follow a year later.

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#4 Posted by deactivated-5d1e44cf96229 (2814 posts) -

We already know that there are some next gen games in development already, so it's getting close. I'd be very surprised if Microsoft doesn't launch their next console in 2020. Sony will probably do the same or at least not be more than a year later.

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#5 Posted by TheMisterManGuy (225 posts) -

@Archangel3371: @Blaze787:

I'm not talking about how long do we have to wait until next gen. I'm talking about how long can current gen consoles co-exist with next gen systems for developers. Last generation lasted a pretty long time, even well into this gen, and I can see current gen co-existing even longer.

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#6 Posted by Blaze787 (534 posts) -

@TheMisterManGuy:

Current gen consoles will probably be supported in one form or another for a period of about three to five years after the release of next gen. I'm gonna be more conservative and say three years, so till 2023.

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#7 Posted by Ant_17 (12856 posts) -

@TheMisterManGuy said:

@Archangel3371: @Blaze787:

I'm not talking about how long do we have to wait until next gen. I'm talking about how long can current gen consoles co-exist with next gen systems for developers. Last generation lasted a pretty long time, even well into this gen, and I can see current gen co-existing even longer.

1 or 2 years.

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#8 Edited by TheMisterManGuy (225 posts) -

@Ant_17: I think it'll last a lot longer than that. Seventh gen consoles already lingered for quite a while in terms of developer support from indies and more mid-range teams. With the PS4 and Xbox One being so easy to develop for, it's hard to see this gen not lasting at least 5 years into next generation.

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#9 Posted by Ant_17 (12856 posts) -

@TheMisterManGuy: Then it could last 5 or 8 years, if we are counting indies.

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#10 Posted by Needhealing (2042 posts) -

Damn. The grammar in this thread title is bad as hell.

Anyhow, it will last until 2020-2021. PS4, Switch and Xbone 1 are doing excellent, but more importantly are growing year to year.

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#11 Posted by pdogg93 (1668 posts) -

There are no more gens according to MS.

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#12 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (19246 posts) -

@pdogg93 said:

There are no more gens according to MS.

Exactly... which is why the term "generation" is a bit outdated now. I guess Sony & Nintendo still seem keen to continue with the status quo. It will be interesting to see if & how the PS5 will be BC.

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#13 Edited by jeezers (3266 posts) -

Current gen will go for about 3 years after next gen released, then just arcade and Indies after that. I don't see a big developer making a full blown tripple a title on the PS4 4-5 years after next gen has been out. Most people will be playing on thier new hardware.

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#14 Posted by pdogg93 (1668 posts) -

@hrt_rulz01: I said that facetiously bro. MS is the last company to set standards on defining gens LOL

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#15 Posted by TheMisterManGuy (225 posts) -

@jeezers: Of course, it's natural to assume that AAA developers will fully transition over to next gen the soonest. But I can see the PlayStation 4 continuing to get a ton of Remasters, indie games, and AA titles for at least another 5 years. It'd be more and longer support than past PlayStation systems as it and the rest of current gen are the easiest consoles have ever been to develop for, and to a lot of developers, it's more than enough to work with.

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#16 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (19246 posts) -

@pdogg93 said:

@hrt_rulz01: I said that facetiously bro. MS is the last company to set standards on defining gens LOL

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#17 Posted by RyviusARC (5709 posts) -

The biggest differences I notice from PC and Consoles is draw distance and LOD.

That will remain the biggest change in next gen.

Pop in is still one of the most annoying things that I notice.

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#19 Posted by stuff238 (3284 posts) -

PlayStation Consoles have 10+ year lifespans. PS4 will get games well after 2023.

Xbox Consoles have 4-10 year lifespans. Xbone won’t last as long as PlayStation for new releases. Get the occasional multiplayer/sports games. Less releases. Basically dead by 2023 or earlier.

Nintendo Consoles cut all support at the 4 year mark or earier. They suffer massive game droughts and have little to none 3rd party in the first place. Expect the switch to be dead around 2020 when they announce switch 2.

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#21 Edited by R4gn4r0k (31580 posts) -
@RyviusARC said:

The biggest differences I notice from PC and Consoles is draw distance and LOD.

That will remain the biggest change in next gen.

Pop in is still one of the most annoying things that I notice.

Nah, pop in isn't as bad as in the PS2 days anymore.

There are still LODs going on, but that happens in every game and will never go away. The closer you are to an object, the more detailed it becomes. Even a NASA PC from the year 2029 won't do away with LOD pop-ins.

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#22 Posted by scatteh316 (10253 posts) -
@RyviusARC said:

The biggest differences I notice from PC and Consoles is draw distance and LOD.

That will remain the biggest change in next gen.

Pop in is still one of the most annoying things that I notice.

Now for me the biggest difference between console and PC is image quality.

It was the single biggest thing that took me the longest to adjust too when I stopped gaming on PC and moved to console.

Going from 2560x1440 with down sampling and 16x AF to 1080p, basic post AA and next to no texture filtering was quite a change.

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#23 Posted by TheMisterManGuy (225 posts) -

@stuff238: I expect the Switch to last longer than that. It's selling very well, and is on track to have Nintendo's best third party support in years. It'll be at least a good seven years before Nintendo replaces it.

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#24 Posted by mojito1988 (3702 posts) -

2020. I would not care if it came later to be honest. I am very happy with all of the current consoles.

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#25 Posted by APiranhaAteMyVa (4131 posts) -

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#26 Posted by ni6htmare01 (3794 posts) -

Longer the better for me!

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#27 Posted by Blaze787 (534 posts) -
@Blaze787 said:

@TheMisterManGuy:

Current gen consoles will probably be supported in one form or another for a period of about three to five years after the release of next gen. I'm gonna be more conservative and say three years, so till 2023.

I should note that I don't include the Switch in these estimates. As a successful handheld with no real competitor, I'd say it's good to go till approx. 2025.

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#28 Posted by Fairmonkey (1473 posts) -

2020 for the new consoles

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#29 Posted by mrbojangles25 (44351 posts) -

Hopefully into 2021, I mean they just released that half-gen nonsense and Nintendo Switch isn't all that old.

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#30 Edited by ArchoNils2 (10412 posts) -

How do you even define a lifespan? There are Dreamcast games still being made. There are people creating SNES games as Roms which others print on cartridges so you can play them. Are we talking about 1st party support only?

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#31 Posted by andyng211 (68 posts) -

I think this "gen" will be very very long. To define a "next gen" it is usually a huge leap in technical achievements that are successfully delivered to systems.

For example when Xbox One/PS4 comes out it delivered a significant change from X360 and PS3, the likes of new OpenGL, DirectX support comes with a whole lot of graphic improvements.

Current "gen", however has becomes more and more like a budget PC, and the technologies it support is enough to deliver decent graphics that would still satisfy gamers in coming years.

On the other hand, we might just see more powerful consoles being released which are fully backward-compatible to this gen.

I dont think we'll see a truly "next-gen" soon.

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#32 Posted by TheMisterManGuy (225 posts) -

@ArchoNils2: The length of time in which a console is still being sold in stores, and supported with new releases officially licensed by the Platform holder. The Dreamcast officially "died" in 2001 and 2002 as Sega ceased all first party manufacturing of the console and developer support at that time. People are making unlicensed games for it because it's very easy to develop for and exploit.

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#33 Posted by JoshRMeyer (10475 posts) -

"next gen looking to arrive within the next 3-4 years"... Make that 1-2 years.

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#34 Posted by Shewgenja (21456 posts) -

After beating God of War a second time and seeing that footage of TLoU2, they can take their time. The games are still great, and I am hoping that there is a meaningful technological leap in terms of graphics and especially processing when new game machines go on store counters.

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#35 Posted by Valgaav_219 (2512 posts) -

Until about late 2020. The Last of Us 2 & Ghosts of Tsushima are still on the horizon and I'm pretty sure they're both part of this gen. As long as there are still new AAA's being released this gen is still alive and well imo

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#36 Posted by Nonstop-Madness (10063 posts) -

I'm still waiting to see more, and more games shift focus to X1X, and PS4P so probably 2020.

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#37 Posted by drummerdave9099 (4149 posts) -

No rush here, still lots of catching up to do. In fact I'm guessing I won't be ready for next gen until 2025

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#38 Posted by RyviusARC (5709 posts) -

@R4gn4r0k said:
@RyviusARC said:

The biggest differences I notice from PC and Consoles is draw distance and LOD.

That will remain the biggest change in next gen.

Pop in is still one of the most annoying things that I notice.

Nah, pop in isn't as bad as in the PS2 days anymore.

There are still LODs going on, but that happens in every game and will never go away. The closer you are to an object, the more detailed it becomes. Even a NASA PC from the year 2029 won't do away with LOD pop-ins.

The PS4 and Xbox One still have very noticeable pop in, especially in open world games.

It is quite annoying in The Witcher 3. I have the PC version and forced settings beyond ultra so the pop in is hardly noticeable anymore.

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#39 Edited by warmblur (2971 posts) -

2020 the latest I'm ready for it there has been alot of great games this gen but I still liked last gen more so far. Also I'm really interested to see what the next VR headsets will be like.

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#40 Posted by lundy86_4 (53794 posts) -

This gen is odd due to the refresh. Still, a few years until we see the next gen.