Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Saturday, 21 April 2012 05:00
What will the next generation of consoles bring? Will gamers see more cross platform play? Better social media integration within consoles? More of project $10? Will Nintendo finally make online play easy? Are $60 games done? GoozerNation takes a look at some of these rumors and asks which are plausible, and which ones will never happen?
Some people think by the next generation there will be more cross platform play. PC to console, Xbox 720 to PS4 and to Wii U, I can see this growing and expanding. Something like this will benefit everyone. This generation gamers saw cross platform play in games such as Portal 2, Team Fortress 2, and Shadowrun. No doubt people were pumped to play a game like Portal 2 over PS3 with PC gamers.
What about the rumors concerning consoles locking out used games in the next generation? The used market isn’t going away and neither is Gamestop. There is too much money tied up in it. Project $10 sort of tips the scales in the publishers’ favor for now. A good example of project $10 is when someone picks up a used game and wants to play online or get some of the pre-order DLC, they often have to pay a little extra. I have a feeling gamers are going to see more of project $10 in the next generation of consoles. Who knows, project $10 may be transformed into “day-one-dlc-for-$15.” As long as there is a way for the publishers to make a little more money from gamers they’ll continue to do this. Speaking of hardware, forget the rumors about consoles going completely digital for now. The next generation of consoles will have optical media drives. But who knows, maybe 10 years from now everything will be digitally distributed.
Here is another rumor to dispel, Nintendo is not going anywhere. Nintendo is making money and they are going to release the Wii U this year. Sounds like gamers will get the robust online experience from Nintendo they have wanted for years. The President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata has mentioned that the Wii U will support an online network known as the Nintendo Network that will feature online accounts, and provide the framework for add on content, and multiplayer interactions.
The one plausible rumor I could see happening is that the $60 game might be on its way out. Games for Android and iOS are dirt cheap. Most of them are a few bucks at a time and they are selling like hotcakes. A good example is Angry Birds, which has been downloaded 700 million times. In comparison, Modern Warfare 3 has sold at least 10 million copies. MW3 costs millions to develop and Angry Birds cost far less than that. Which is more successful and profitable?
At least MW3 made money, this generation indicated it is harder and harder to make a $60 game financially successful. New IPs are struggling, as gamers stick with what they know like Madden and Mario. The money they aren’t spending on great games such as Binary Domain, Shadows of the Damned, and Enslaved they are spending on small $1-$2 games on their phones and tablets. As the Yahoo article mentions, “people are having more fun playing affordable games.” Gamers are also buying more games via PSN and XBL, spending $15 or less on great games. For example, XBL Castle Crashers sold 2.6 million copies, and recently on the PS3, Journey became the fastest selling PSN game. I would think with the next generation gamers are going to see games come out at a cheaper price. I would think $40 is a good starting point to try to compete with other gaming options. I also have a feeling with the next generation, developers may not want to take as many risks due to the chances of financial failure.
So gamers, what do you think will happen next generation? Will Sony come back and reign king? Will we get more cross platform play? Will gamers finally see an Apple or a Steam console? Will Valve finally release Half-Life 3?