We all know that Nintendo have decided to call their next machine the ‘Wii U’ – which sounds a bit like a bad smell. That will be out this summer and has caused about as much of a stir as hearing Lindsay Lohan is back in prison for licking coke off a foot path.The bigger concern and interest goes to what Microsoft and Sony are planning. According to the rumours, and it is all rumours at this stage -
The next Xbox, codenamed for now as ‘Durango’ (which is a place in Mexico, bizarrely) or to many of us, the ‘Xbox 720′, is said to be six times more powerful than the current 360, built in Kinect with extra features to the existing one, carry a Blu-Ray player for one model type and possibly a hard drive only model with no disc capability and an AMD GPU. The controllers are said to be smaller and it is unlikely that it will be backward compatible. What of previously bought DLC such as arcade titles, surely they could be ported across? Maybe?
The next PlayStation is rumoured to be called ‘Orbis’ and is said to carry a hefty AMD CPU and GPU setup but will not feature backward compatibility either but will keep its Blu-Ray. There is also speculation that it will tie in with the ‘Vita’ in a significant way, perhaps similarly to the Wii U system.This news is pretty fresh so more details are sure to bleed out over the next few weeks. I wonder will they have something to match Kinect – built in ‘Move’ perhaps? Will Sony allow previously bought DLC to port over either?
What both machines have in common is that they seem to be releasing head to head with a late 2013 launch, and they will both be targeting a new system that will delight developers and really piss off gamers. This is based around a way to stop used/borrowed/pre-owned games being played on a machine. One game per profile or console – DRM for consoles in short. Both will play in 1080p and should support 3D gaming in that res also. I imagine both consoles will also share a hefty price tag.
The gaming industry is being financially battered by the second hand games market and it is claimed that this is what pushes up the price for new titles. Call me a skeptic but I doubt the prices will drop even it this new DRM type tactic works, regardless this is definitely in the future of gaming. Methods to put this in place include digital download, unlock codes and various other ideas that are still being brewed but all seem to involve having an Internet connection, which is not cool for the minority of gamers who don’t necessarily have access to this.Game Stop are not too happy and there are rumblings that they (and probably other retailers) will not stock such machines or related media because they see it as an uncompetitive product. Seeing as most of their profit is made on the pre-owend titles it is hardly surprising. It is a difficult area and one that is blowing like a hurricane across the industry at the moment with gamers getting caught in the vortex.
Perhaps a new console will come along, like the one rumoured to be in development by Valve. It is said to run ‘Steam’ and basically be a PC in a box capable of running PC games. – That would really throw the cat among the pigeons eh! For now though the console war will begin again between the PS Black corner and XBox Green corner – Ding-Ding – Round one Commence… again.