Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Next Intergalatic Console War. Part I.

In about 15 days, the next Playstation is going to be unveiled.

It's hogwash to think Sony is not going to show anything. They've already sent a lot of cryptic tweets and posted a lot of telling blog posts. This is it people.

Based on everything I heard, on paper, PS4 is going to be an awesome console:

- Better online functionality
- Some kind of video recording will be built in
- Better graphics (as expected)

I don't know what their launch games will be, though. Their first parties have been pretty quiet. A lot say it's going to be GT6, some Uncharted game....we'll see. In terms of games, I don't know what to be excited about. In terms of system specs, sounds good.

The next Xbox---practically no real info. Of course they will say the usual improvement will be on the graphics side. The rumors point to built in Kinect functionality. It's a cute feature that I haven't tried....didnt bother buying the Kinect for the 360. Well, at least I can try it now. The rumors also say it will have the same video recording thing as Sony.

Most of the online wars about Sony vs MS focus on the memory bandwidth. The rumored DDR5 memory of PS4 will have a higher bandwidth than the next Xbox. The rumors also say that the next Xbox's overall RAM count will be higher, with 8GB for Xbox and 4GB for PS4. Right now both those figures could change....but i think if that happens, the cost of the machine could be affected drastically.

Neither of them should launch at 599. They should go for at least 350-399 like Wii U did.

Now, Wii U's specs don't hold a candle to either of the two's theoretical specs. But what it lacks in graphical fidelity, it makes up for in game diversity and creativity. Nintendo's 3DS lineup boasts some of the most creative gaming designs I've ever encountered. There won't be many shooters but there will be a lot of colorful puzzle games and adventure games, which are sorely lacking on 360 and PS3 (at least in this current gen). That gives us an idea of what will happen in the next gen.

- Racers/shooters/action games will make up a bulk of PS4/next Xbox's lineup
- Wii U will rely on Mario/Zelda/Metroid and other more creatively designed games that don't just focus on photorealism.

The big problem of the Wii U right now is bad press. Everyone is comparing it to tablets and smartphones...what? Yes, you heard me right. For some reason Nintendo's games are associated to be like what's out already for IOS and Android. Which...if you actually play some Nintendo games, turns out to be untrue. Maybe Nintendo can offset the bad news when E3 rolls around. That said, Nintendo has to work the hardest because momentum will be against them when Sony / MS start unveiling their systems. I used to not root for Nintendo at all, but my biases have changed after playing some 3DS games. These guys are really creative. They deserve more success, and I hope Android/IOS doesn't erase Nintendo from the gaming world....The good news for Nintendo is, the 3DS seems to be keeping them afloat for now. That console of theirs has so. many. games! And their games are completely unique from other platforms....actually the worst games they have seem to be the multiplatform ones. The games that are only on their console seem to really shine.

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So, who am I rooting for right now? None really. I want to see what the games look like for Sony / MS first. Specs don't matter as much as actual games do. If MS shows a good version of Halo I may gravitate to that. For Sony...maybe a good version of Uncharted, or a multiplayer game (because their online is always free). For Nintendo...I would gravitate to Wii U if they outgun the other two in terms of number of game titles. They have the launch advantage (they launched earlier) so that means they can end up with more games this year than the other two, making investing in Sony/MS a better decision for next year (after they build up a good library). Right now Wii U's library is pretty small. And all the bad press doesn't help. They have to get unique games that only work for their system, and they have to get a lot of those, if they want to succeed in this next "intergalatic console war..."