Console Gaming In Today's World
Console Companies, Are They Getting It All Wrong?
For years now, consoles have always been seen as entertainment systems pertaining to gaming. But recently, as far back as the introductory of the PS2, original XBOX, and to a lesser extent, SEGA's Dreamcast, In 2000-2001, these systems would redefine the way that they could and would be used, and it had something to do with one little feature that would've otherwise in previous years been unheard of, and possibly thought to be impossible to implement. This feature while it is good in one since, actually it should make the only since really... personally I think that it has somewhat warped the minds of those who created these systems, making them attempt some of the most absurd moves that could potentially ruin everyone's perspective of what the industry is supposed to be about. When internet features were introduced to the already existing markets, being Sony's PlayStation 2, and SEGA's Dreamcast, and to further fuel rivalries, the introduction of the highly popularized original XBOX by Microsoft, captivated many the world over.
Then SEGA got themselves in a whole heap of trouble, and that was the end of their console reign, they've ever since been sold off, and bounce around from company to company as sort of a freelance type of developer. Nintendo, another longtime rival of Sony's introduced their new console successor to the Nintendo 64 (N64), being the Nintendo GameCube (NGC). Evidently, Nintendo also took the route featuring the web as an additional source feature, much like its rivals. And this... this was I believe to be what is now in our day and age at least the start of the downfall of the console era. They are plain and simple, just tying to do too much with machines that can, and will only hold so much. So, the internet is great... it's functional, adds some spark to the gaming side, and really and truly, doen't steal the show. This is all good until 2005, when the next generation batches of consoles start emerging on the world market. So, they start to enhance and by extension broaden what the online part of these gaming consoles could do to keep, and attract new gamers, and also do the same with customers who weren't necessarily gamers, but were buying for gamers. Once again this was fine too, the only problem that could be seen with these latest features was the fact that you could now watch tv on them, which really and truly takes away from the purpose of the platform.
You see, these consoles started out being just a way to have fun, kill time, and for the most part build competitiveness, now it seems more and more, that these consoles are being used to build something totally and horrifyingly different on every level. But enough about this ranting. 2013 saw the introduction of the current PS4 and XBOX One consoles which both promised much, even before their official launches... or so many thought. While they both had rocky starts at their launches, one quickly managed to recover and seemingly is doing extremely well considering a few minor humps n' grumps along the way. The other seems to be getting itself in types of hot water these days, and there are many rumors going around about it and its developer almost every single day. Now whether these rumors are true or false, something is definitely up with them. The console line, and by extension its developer I'm referring to are none other than the XBOX One lineup, and Microsoft its developer. Sony's PS4 lineup has some issues as well, but not in comparison to an almost wanting to, or appearing to defunct line. Their biggest issue right now seems to be the fact that they didn't officially announced the bigger brother to the PS4 at E3, the PS4 NEO. They did talk a bit about it at their conference, but not to extent of giving anything away as far as what it looked like, or even what was underneath the hood.
Which brings me to this... don't believe everything you see and hear. Now there's a chart online being circulated showing the stats of both what the PS4 NEO and XBOX Scopio, permance wise on paper looks like. Now what was very odd about this chart was the fact that it had been circulating a little before E3 had even came around, and before both Microsoft and Sony had officially said that yes there are ugraded versions of the PS4 and XBOX One. Meaning that the numbers performance wise, are potentially false on the part of who originally posted the chart. And even to this day Sony hasn't officially shown the specs of the new console, neither have they shown it to the world, as far as I can gather. So, the PS4 and XBOX One continue in the footsteps of their predecessors being the XBOX 360 and PS3 respectively. The internet is still their, players still play online with friends from around the world on larger scale, and yes, the added extra features of television have expanded greatly since the previous generation consoles... which is only half of why the console industry in my opinion is losing out to such devices as smartphones and tablets. And the reason behind them losing ground heavily to ever dominant PC.
The PC gaming world is steadily forging a path of no return for both of these tech gaming giants, and this is the other 50% percent of the trouble that seems to be plaguing them while they're trying to cram so much into devices that can only hold so much. And now with VR (Virtual Reality) headsets making their heavy debuts and presence, some doubts are that this type of technology could potentially end the console world forever. And yet another rumored demon plagues the console industry that very well may end it for good, if it really is true, and is really implemented. This is thought to be started by XBOX's division head Phil Spencer, and shortly afterwards resonated by Sony's head Andrew House. They are quoted as saying "The next faze into developing the console, we're actually thinking of introducing upgradable/interchangable parts. Much like a PC." they both said something to this effect over the last couple of months, before, during, and after E3. But Spencer is continuing to push this notion, while House has pretty much kept it tight lipped for the most part. And many have expressed total dislike, and anger towards even thinking about making a move like this, because in all fairness, they'd be essentially creating mini PCs, which by the way they already are.
This concept would basically drive the masses away from the industry, forcing them to purchase a gaming PC instead, because lets face it... if it goes through, there is going to be no way that the average gamer is going to want to spend almost the same amount of money that you typically do when upgrading a gaming PC... what would be the point? This is a bad idea, a really bad idea, but if they want to destroy an industry that so many of us are still dependent on, well be my guest.
And lastly, this has been going on for the last couple of weeks now, ever since E3 ended actually. It has to do with Mr. Spencer and the way he and his colleagues at Microsoft have been relaying news pertaining to the current XBOX lineup. First off, at their conference they initially told everyone that all games would essentially resonate across the XBOX One, One S (Slim), and the newly introduced XBOX Scorpio which isn't due for another year. Then immediately after E3, they said that their was some clearing up to do, and that gamers simply misunderstood. They said in more than one interview that the XBOX Scorpio could be looking at getting its own set of exclusive games, and this essentially is going to throw out, if it hasn't already the XBOX One, and One S. These statements basically say to the average consumer immediately that they shouldn't be buying either of the two consoles, and just wait, if they have the patience for the big brother. Many critics and experts are saying that the potential for the One and One S to be squashed is very high. But wait! That's not all, the second argument also went on and continues to show every now and again, and it continually raises the question of the XBOX Scorpio having a gaming library before the time of its official release. And now brings everyone involved to ask the main question of Microsoft's role in the console gaming industry. Are they staying? or are they looking for a way out, so that they can focus on strictly PC gaming? No one really knows for sure, but they themselves obviously know what they're doing, and where they want to go with it. But remember whether the rumors are true or false... something is definitely up with Microsoft.