It has been seven years since Microsoft released the Xbox 360, back in 2005. Seven years! This makes the current seventh generation the longest the gaming world has ever known. Over the years each console has seen its fair share of success, with every one of them showing their good and bad qualities, whether that’s through groundbreaking graphics or not so groundbreaking breakdowns. Despite the success and innovation of the current gen consoles, gamers have been left wondering when Sony and Microsoft will finally unveil their next-genration consoles, following Nintendo’s reveal of the Wii U. That was over a year ago, and with the recent lack of announcements following this year’s E3, it has left the gaming community wondering if both Sony and Microsoft will be nerfing the next-gen.
The idea that the two companies will opt to nerf the next-gen altogether is so far from the truth; Rest assured that both companies are preparing the launch of their new consoles, and you can bet that they will be flexing their muscles to compete in the business. Even from the smallest of previews from Epic Games with their testing of the Unreal Engine 4 and the graphically stunning Star Wars 1313, these show hints that both Sony and Microsoft will soon need to launch bigger and better machines to cater for graphically superior titles. Future games for the supposedly named Xbox 720 (or the Xbox Infinity as rumoured) will undoubtedly feature the second and third instalments of the new Halo trilogy, while Sony will of course see future projects from their first party developers, like those geniuses at Naughty Dog.
If any of the three companies needed to step into the eighth generation, it was Nintendo. The once successful console has been dwindling in the sales department for quite some time. While the Wii is still capable of delivering spellbinding and innovative titles like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the technology has become dated. Although graphics were never a priority for the Wii, even the most die-hard Nintendo fans must admit that the graphics have aged considerably. The Wii U will be powerful enough to surpass both the 360 and the PS3 graphically, as well as finally allowing Nintendo fans to play such titles like Batman: Arkham City and Mass Effect 3, games that the Wii has unfortunately missed out on from this generation.
So why has it been taking so long for both Microsoft and Sony to even consider jumping into the next-generation? It is quite simple… money. It is in the companies best interests to keep selling their current consoles for as long as they can, especially with them investing so much money into the motion sensor market with the Kinect and Move. Let’s be honest, aside from the Wii, the current generation consoles have aged gracefully. With the recent releases from both consoles, such as the visually stunning Uncharted 3 and Gears of War 3 proving that the current consoles still have life in them yet. Why would both companies want to start announcing a brand new console when they have the likes of The Last of Us and Halo 4 slated for release?
Even so, recent leaks of a fifty-six-page road map, detailing the plans for a new console from Microsoft, shows that the company has not forgotten about the next generation. As far as these rumoured details are concerned, the new console will be harbouring some pretty impressive technology. Plans for the machine to have built-in Kinect, a new disk system and powerful components like an AMD 7000 series graphics card, should indicate that the company is striving to make it’s mark in the eighth generation. But neither companies should rush, especially when the next few months will see the release of some of the most intriguing titles of this generation.