Last week Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One.
A few months ago Playstation gave us a glimpse at what we can expect from the Playstation 4.
The Wii U is already available.
What’s it all mean for the future of video game consoles?
- The Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U lack the clarity of purpose enjoyed by the previous generations of game consoles.
- Consoles are now more than just a way to play games. They are a way for us to watch Netflix, play CDs/DVDs/Blu Ray discs, chat with friends, and even exercise.
- When the Xbox 360, Wii, and Playstation 3 debuted all video game makers were aiming for the same prize: video game fans. Today each console is attacking a different type of person.
- Nintendo went after a new market: people who were not interested in—or were too intimidated by—traditional game consoles. Expect Sony and Microsoft to now aim at this demographic too.
- The Wii U is dramatically less powerful than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but this means that there’s a good chance the Wii U will end up being the least expensive console in this generation.
- Game consoles are being attacked and marginalized by cheaper, simpler smartphone and tablet games, and many people are reallocating former game-playing time to social networking.
- Consoles are being pushed harder than ever into being media players and offering easy social gameplay, and they’ll likely remain far more popular as TV-connected computing devices than media-only boxes such as the Apple TV and Roku.
- The Wii U has changed almost nothing, and is selling very poorly.
- The PlayStation 4 is pushing slightly toward a media-centre role, but is mostly still a hardcore gaming system.
- The Xbox One is pushing heavily into a media-centre role, but is compromising slightly on raw gaming power.
- As things stand now, Nintendo is losing, but there is still hope for the Wii. It is the only system that offers a new, fun gaming experience that’s not available on other platforms.
- We still don’t know how much Sony’s Playstation 4 will cost, when it will be released and what it will look like.
- The Xbox One doesn’t have a price or release date and that could be a determining factor for the success of the system.
We’ll only have to wait a few months to see how things shape up.
Which next-generation console are you most interested in?