January 9, 2012 4 Comments
The video game industry is on the verge of yet another console generation, with Nintendo scheduled to release the followup to the commercially successful yet critically maligned Wii and Microsoft rumored to be announcing the third console in their Xbox brand both this year. It’s also quite interesting that this could be happening while Sony and Microsoft’s consoles both still have legs, with not only their motion control options, but their consoles haven’t seemingly hit their limits as far as graphics horsepower, and what developers can still do with said horsepower.
I could go on at length about how this could leave a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of gamers who just purchased consoles, but it boils down to the fact that there may not be room for new consoles in the homes of the millions of gamers who have made extensive investments in the current generation of consoles. Let’s be honest, the worldwide economy is struggling, and while the gaming industry has proven to be less vulnerable to the painful hit taken by other forms of entertainment, it isn’t immune. The slow start by Nintendo’s latest handheld, the 3DS, and its subsequent price drop pretty much proves that point. The console’s original price point, coupled with a lackluster crop of launch titles pretty much cemented that families hit by the economic downtown would not pay such a large sum for a handheld.
I have been saying that the gaming industry is on precarious ground, and any step in the wrong direction can lead to a repeat of what happened in 1983. The best advice I could give to the console makers is that they probably need to clamp down on their software approval process. Put better games on the market, and gamers will buy them. Don’t rush to put out a new console every five years simply because the console has been out for 5 years. Sony was able to ride the Playstation 2 for about a decade, which hadn’t been done since the days of the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision. The immense amount of potential still left in the current generation of consoles is only held back by the potential of the developers working on the content being released for them. In short: we don’t need new consoles just yet, but seeing what they can pump out will be pretty fun.