Rumors are starting to heat up as the current-generation consoles are getting due for replacement. It looks like Sony and Microsoft are once again looking at outdoing each other in the sheer power of their consoles.
Talks of up to 24 processor cores are lighting up rumor mills and Internet message boards. With processing power reaching – and sometimes surpassing – desktops, the arms race continues.
Along with the evolution of processors and hardware, Sony and Microsoft are poised to improve on the all-in-one nature of their consoles. Blu-ray, online connections, and HD are just some of the expected features.
Online play and downloadable content are the innovations touted by Sony’s Playstation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live. On the surface, being able to play with users halfway around the world can be seen as cool.
But when you really think about it, these are just meant to cover up inadequacies and gaping holes in the games themselves.
There are sensible upgrades and DLCs out there, but they are few and far between. Most are senseless power-ups that should have been included right from the start.
Now, compare that with the countless hours you can spend in your living room bashing each other with Super Smash Bros.
Nintendo knows gaming and there’s no going around that fact. From a strictly gaming standpoint, Nintendo’s offering is still king despite its technological shortcomings.
With simple, pick-up-and-play gaming mechanics, the Wii offers an experience that is truly unique.
Going by the way things have played out so far, I’d put my money on Nintendo to produce the next round’s winner. The company has been in the gaming business the longest and with good reason.
Time and again, they managed to surprise gamers with systems that offer new and actually exciting ways to play.
The Wii is grossly underpowered compared to its rivals. But for the first few years of their introduction, it consistently outsold them.
Sony and Microsoft banked on superior processing power, but never got around to producing games that really needed it. Also, Nintendo showed that it can think out of the box. It offers real advancements in gaming and not just some rehash.
The electronics giant and software powerhouse dismissed motion control as a novelty – only to copy it years later. By playing catch-up, the two admits to the potential of motion control.
This move also hinted to their short-sightedness as far as innovation goes.
At the end of the day, gaming boils down to having fun. Whether it’s a quick game on your phone while waiting in line, or on your home theater with family and friends.
The Wii managed to make progress while simplifying the concept of a console.
It’s a safe bet that Nintendo is brewing another revolutionary console for the next round. And we’re in again for a pleasant surprise when the new consoles and accessories get released.