The Next Generation of Next Generation Game Consoles


The current generation of game console, now more than four since introduction is now at about the half way point it their life cycles.  While there are years of life ahead for the Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360, there is many who are looking a head of what the next generation of game systems will have to offer.  Despite what Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft say officially, the next game systems are being developed now.


    The big N has been criticized for since the days of the Nintendo 64 that their console technology has lagged behind the competition.  Since the launch of the Wii in 2006 many have and still slag Nintendo for not having high definition graphics on the Wii.   Needless to say, Nintendo's next system will have high definition.  
    A Wii with high definition is just going to be a Wii with high definition.  While Nintendo's version of multiplayer game play usually requires players sharing the same couch.  While there is online capability built into the Wii, it's used for downloading classic games and add on content for current games.  Since the games that Nintendo develops and publishes in house are the leading games for the Wii building better online multiplayer game play is something that Nintendo can do now but it will be something that Nintendo must do with their next console.
    The Wii current has 512 Megabytes of storage onboard with an SD card slot to add an additional 2 gigabytes, with downloadable content becoming popular on the other systems, adding greater storage capability is something that Nintendo will need to do to make downloadable game content popular on their next system.


    The Xbox 720 (the development code name if the rumors are to be believed) will need to address the big shortfall of the design of the system, no I am not talking about the overheating leading to the red ring of death.  Microsoft released the 360 using DVD as the distribution media for game software which the same DVD's that games came on for the original Xbox and the Playstation 2.  Originally Microsoft choose DVD because it was cheaper and let Microsoft get the 360 into the market first.  This decision half a decade ago means that some games now come two or three discs.  
    One thing that Microsoft will need to do with the Xbox 720 if indeed if that's what it's going to be called is to add built in WiFi because Microsoft's two competitors already put in WiFi on this generation's consoles.  Forcing people to pay a hundred dollars to add WiFi makes look stripped down and to get the functionality that other consoles have out of the box will require extra money that could have been saved by buying a Playstation.
    The use of proprietary upgrade hardware has been a great revenue generator for Microsoft but it will need to be sacrificed if the next Xbox will keep it reputation as the best value in gaming.  Sony has had the reputation for years as being closed and proprietary but with the Playstation 3, players can use standard off the shelf bluetooth headset that's half the price of the proprietary wireless headset that Microsoft sells for the Xbox 360.  Upgrading the storage on the Playstation 3 only requires a standard laptop SATA hard drive allowing people to upgrade to 500 gigabytes or more for about the same cost as the 250 gigabyte proprietary hard drive Microsoft sells for the Xbox 360.


    Currently the Playstation 3 is the system that is the least in need of an upgrade, HD, WiFi and Bluetooth built right into the system. BluRay gives game developers plenty of space on a disc for content.  The space move forward with a potential Playstation 4 is in the third dimension.  More advanced 3D technology had become a mainstay of most big city movie theatres and is now starting to come into television as well.  It will be a race with Microsoft to deliver 3D console gaming.  This is where Sony will need to develop and deliver the Playstation 4 sooner rather than later.  

It may seem like the current generation of game consoles offer a lot more than any previous generation before it, any attempt to replace current consoles may seem to be a hard sell at first.  Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft know the strengths and weaknesses of their current systems and will need to address those weaknesses to give players a lot that their current consoles don't in order to get them to upgrade.  


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