First there was Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation 4, due in November. Then Nintendo promised that we’d be seeing the arrival Wii Mini in the UK. Microsoft has ‘let slip’ precarious details about the ridiculously named XBox 720, which they’ll be discussing come April.
I have to ask myself if I really care.
Each company is scrambling to cannibalize its previous/current customer base and shove us grinning and bleating into the future. Let’s understand that. Whether we want the new systems is not the point. Whether we can afford it will determine the success of Generation Next.
I’ve certainly talked about this before: Marketing addiction to sales. Fundamentally, marketing doesn’t exist without sales, but as we’re facing lower amounts of ‘disposable income’ all the time, what with events like the UK’s credit rating being lowered… Yes, I am saying it’s a mess.
We’re facing the reality of necessity. Bummer.
Lest we forget, video gaming is an entertainment industry, which we’ve less of all the time. Nintendo and Microsoft are the only companies without an appreciable foothold in the mobile market. Windows 7 Mobile? You must be kidding. Microsoft is shutting every low-traffic service in a desperate effort to save its paid business.
Microsoft is taking a tyrannical attitude toward it’s customers by trying to cut out the secondary market. Was there any doubt?
Nintendo is trying to micromanage it’s customers by pushing e-Sales and downloadables far behind the market curve whilst hard locking DRM and selling an older system that will compel you to consider the latest. Under serving your customers is a sure-fire method of pushing them to other platforms.
Sony’s PS4 is a wonderland of miracles and dreams-come-true for players and developers alike. Instant sharing, seamless social networking and more transistors than you can fit in your pocket. Naturally the trade off is as much information as you’re going to share with them. It should be obvious that the x86 platform is a logical move from complicated custom hardware, and a good deal less expensive to manufacture.
What surprise is it that programmers already accustomed to x86 architecture should feel so comfortable with what is essentially a custom built console-optimized gaming PC?
Helps that it’s good PR for AMD’s APU, though if you were to ask the non-computer-geek user they wouldn’t be able to tell you what that was. There are geeks these days who don’t care what it is. Why they should is AMD’s biggest challenge.
All this boils down to one essential problem: When most games are available across all of these platforms, why should they exist?
Exclusivity was Nintendo’s brainchild back in the mid-80s, and it’s come full circle.
All I want to know is who’s going down next?