May 082011

How many dollars have you spent in the past seven years on gaming platforms alone? $200 for a Nintendo DS here, $250 on a PlayStation Portable there. Add a whopping $400 to your Xbox 360 bill, $250 on the Wii, and to top it off $600 for the PlayStation 3. You’ve just spent about the same amount you could have gotten for a college education.

Do we as gamers need to go through this procedure all over again? Aren’t you tired of upgrading to the next console just because it’s available for sale? Counting it all up, the average gamer spends about $1,000-$2,000 per year on video games. This statistic reflects the current generation itself. What will it be for the next one? The possibility to hook us all into another crazy gimmick for developers so that they may snag hold onto more of our money seems possible, if things go their way.

What would it be that could result in higher expenses? Software, for one, could increase ever larger given the nature of the $60 inflation in the current climate, not to mention boosting downloadable content. First off, the asking price for downloadable games was in the sweet spot of about $5-$10. Then more and more $15 and $20 titles started popping up over the last couple of years. Imagine finding $30 price tags on downloadable Wii games on your Project Cafe or the likelihood Nintendo would even setup their system with a premium online service. The high-end platform they’ve got in the oven is the most powerful gaming console on the planet, so it’s said. What makes you think they wouldn’t pull an Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus on us all?

Last time around every gaming company raised the roof with their price points. Nintendo’s Wii was $50 more by comparison to hardware from the company prior. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 started at the option of $300 for bare bones material while $400 went to the full arsenal, hard drive and all. Sony’s PlayStation 3 especially was out of the hands of everyone who wasn’t a high roller, with their hardware, as impressive as it is, being $500 or $600 from the starting line. Who’s to say we won’t see dollar rocket into space over these next couple of years? We’re already looking at a $250 Nintendo 3DS, $50 more than the Nintendo DS asked customers for. This only brings to mind that the next Nintendo system could cost $300 or $500 or greater from the other two. Expense isn’t always an attractive color, even for those with money to burn.

Besides, is everyone sick of the current generation already? We’ve only had what… a few “major” offerings from Nintendo, a handful of epic entries from Sony’s and Microsoft’s ends. Don’t these platforms deserve an even greater extension? You could technically say that the starting point of this generation occurred in 2004 with the Nintendo DS. If we’re talking consoles, moreover it would be with 2005′s Xbox 360 launch. Going by that, we’re sort of only six years in. If 2012 truthfully is the beginning of the end and the start of the beginning, is seven or eight years enough time to be one of this generation’s gamers? On Wii in particular, what is 2011 doing for you? Aside from a new Zelda, a number of major announcements still have not seen the light of day, from Dragon Quest X to Xenoblade. Gears of War 3 is one of the last known projects coming out of Microsoft’s studio while third parties seem to be building up the remaining portfolio. Rumor has it Microsoft’s preparing to jump ship. Should they? The PlayStation 3 end still hasn’t seen release of The Last Guardian, when beforehand the PlayStation 2 saw two classic from the ICO team. Wouldn’t you want them birthing another?

This might not be the time to argue that there should not be another generation of consoles, as it’s already underway. And yet, you could look over the reasons as to why maybe it’s not so bad holding off another few years, if that. Truthfully, we could use more time to get our game on with what we have now instead of what’s next. With the new consoles coming out you can bet that at least some gamers will hold off on the current generation’s coming games as they all go crazy-eyed for the coming attractions of their preferred platform. Thinking about that, it would be time to get an early jump on the next big thing from Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft and prepare for a world beyond that of the ordinary, of what we know now, and of what we would want experience next. But first, let’s not say we did and stick with what we have now, for it’s just too soon to say good-bye.

  One Response to “Do You Really Want a New Generation of Consoles?”

  1. I agree with this article. I don’t think I want to see another generation of consoles till about 2013/2014. I like all the points mentioned by the author of this article, but he left off a very important point. Just looking at the Playstation 3 (which happens to be my console of choice), devs are just now starting to harness the full power of next generation systems. Games like Infamous 2 and Uncharted 3 are looking amazing, and they have just begun to push the limits of what the PS3 can do. Hopefully Sony will hold fast to the 10 year plan like what they had with the PS2, because really with the Playstation 3 being released so late in 2006, the platform is only 5 years old. If you look at it that way, we are only half way through the PS3′s lifespan.

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