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A New Generation Of Consoles – What To Expect

Now more then ever console gaming is attempting to break the stereotype and set the bar to new levels. All of which the public has welcomed, while others have not succeeded as initially expected. Here we will discuss what we can expect as we move into the final months of what was said to be one of the most highly anticipated announcement years in this generation’s console market. With companies like Microsoft and Sony once again dueling to make it to the top of it’s consumer wish list and Nintendo illusively repositioning itself back into the industry with its new portable system this has definitely been a year to remember.

The question now is, which company and console will sit at the top this holiday season and what system will dominate the market’s interest as we once again move into a new year of gaming.

 

It’s no new news that Microsoft and Sony are constantly competing to prove that their console is the one to beat. Yet like usual we see that the consumer base is eagerly awaiting both companies to make their final adjustments to push it’s product into the market. But the question still remains, will the new PS4 PRO overshadow the Xbox One X or will the Switch continue to sit in comfort due to the consumers pure interest in Nintendo’s new entry product.

 

 

Sony’s PlayStation console being a staple in every gamer’s household since it’s release in Japan back on December 3rd (1994) and North America on September 9th 1995 making it hard to ignore the pure steady force that Sony has had in the gaming industry. Though Sony being a general tech company, it truly hits it’s financial mark by continuing to produce “A-List” titles and products to pair with its stable gaming console. In fact Sony closed its retail production of the original PlayStation back in 2005 ending it’s 1st GEN era selling nearly 102.49 million units.

 

 

Pushing forward into 2017 Sony has paved the way for what most people of this generation consider home gaming. Yet with the announcement of the PS4 PRO version back in winter of 2016 it still catches the nostalgia of most 90’s gamers. Even with Sony practically just releasing its PS4 PRO a mid-gen console. Its had significant upgrades to the prior versions hardware functionality making it clear that Sony’s forth generation gaming system still has a lot of marketable life to it. With everyone still waiting to see what Sony will do with their rumored plans for a PS5, media outlets caught onto an article from German website Golem.de interviewing Sony President and CEO of Sony Interactive America Shawn Layden.
Layden confirmed in the interview that the PS5 would be coming eventually, just not anytime soon which pretty much leaves us with no current expectations or a solid source of information. For now it looks like fans of the company’s gaming system will have to wait to see what they deliver in the coming years. In saying that, it’s clear that Sony believes that the recently released PS4 PRO will hold its position against the newly announced Xbox One X from Microsoft code named “Scorpion”. Looking back on this decision Sony just might regret not putting out a new-gen console to compete with Microsoft’s upcoming heavy weight console. Especially with the Holiday season coming up, this may have been a bad choice on their behalf.

 

 

Microsoft has been a strong competitor in the gaming industry since it’s Xbox brand launched back on November 15th 2001. Not only did the brand’s introductory release present a solid gaming console but it was also accompanied by application services, live streaming capabilities and the notorious Xbox Live program. The original Xbox was the first video game console offered by an American company after the “Atari Jaguar” stopped sales in 1996. Making it a highly sought out console by many gamers worldwide.
Xbox has sold well over 24 million units since it retail release. Though to top that Microsoft’s second console, the Xbox 360 which was released back on May 12th (2005) sold over a whopping 77.2 million consoles worldwide as of April 18th (2013)..

 

 

Now with Microsoft’s announcement of the Xbox One X coded “Scorpion” set to release this November its expected to break through the standards that Sony has so comfortably set in the gaming industry. To top it off according to Microsoft the new console will be the most power gaming console ever created.

•True 4K Capabilities

•VR support
•8 CPU Cores and 6 Teraflop GPU

• Liquid Cooled Vapor Chamber

• Supports Xbox One X Enhanced Games

Microsoft has wasted no time in announcing more then 30 current titles that will be enhanced and optimized to run in 4K Ultra HD. Which leaves a plethora of unique opportunities to explore the full capabilities of what this new generation console has to offer. Not only will this console create a new platform for gamers to experience more realistic interactive gameplay, but Microsoft soon plans to establish it’s first entry into VR technology making the Xbox One X once again a highly anticipated release.

 

 

Now it’s common practice to save the best for last, and we all know what the industry has been talking about since it’s announcement last October and that’s Nintendo’s release of it’s new hybrid gaming system the Switch. With Nintendo being in the dark since it’s big flop on the Wii U this was the company’s big opportunity to grab the attention of gamers across the world. Now in saying that we can’t discredit the fact that Nintendo has had huge success with systems like the Nintendo DS and 3DS handheld portable devices. Selling more then 18+ million units worldwide, and a staggering 154+ million combined units worldwide. Though just like any other system they do eventually hit a plateau and begin to decline in sales, making it difficult to hold the interest of it’s consumer base. It was only just 13yrs ago when the first DS system hit the market in North America on November 21st (2004) creating the first true dual tandem gaming model with touchscreen capabilities. If that wasn’t enough Nintendo wanted to push the markets interest by being the first company to introduce a portable gaming system with stereoscopic 3D capabilities, making it once again the first of its kind.

 

 

Announced by Nintendo at E3 back on June 15th (2010) it took almost 9mnths to hit the retail market in Japan and shortly after North America got it’s hand on the device on March 27th (2011) so it’s safe to say Nintendo prefers to make it’s fans wait but with great reward. It’s been noted that the 3DS has sold over 67+ million units worldwide and still continues to be a top handheld seller thanks to games like the mega series Pokémon and Nintendo’s iconic brand The Mario Bros. franchise.

 

 


With that being said people still wondered what Nintendo’s next move would be, if any at all. In fact in comparison to the PS4 and Xbox One becoming the main staple in household gaming. Nintendo was still trying to find it’s niche in a market that was evidently holding strong without it regardless. But Nintendo seemed to find something that others either gave up on or had already unsuccessfully attempted. See consumers were still silently looking and waiting for someone to break away from typical and create something that could not only revamp the household gaming experience, but also bring  forth a concept that would bridge both home gaming and portable gaming into one solid device.
Nintendo hit a financial decline in 2014 one in which was considered the worst in the company’s modern day business record. For Nintendo this would be a clear moment to either make it, or loose it all. It was then that Nintendo decided to give it a shot, and without a doubt they managed to bring forth a hybrid product that would throw the industry into a frenzy and once again begin to push Nintendo to the top of the market. Back in October of 2017 Nintendo decided it was time to share it’s concept with the world so in one fail swoop Nintendo put out a promo for what they called the Switch a revolution in portable gaming.

 

 

Image Credit: Nintendo (JP)

The Switch was not only sleek, but also current and intuitive, and that alone plus the Nintendo brand name made it a must have system for consumers worldwide. In saying that, people were still not completely satisfied with Nintendo’s approach. The system was a new concept, and perfect for the everyday gamer but they once again put a product out with an awkward mix of modern technological priorities, surprising limited optical upsides and a severe lack of launch game titles. The Switch houses a 6.2in screen with a mere 720 resolution, and no Bluetooth capabilities unlike Nintendo’s prior successor the New 3DS XL. On the plus side, when using the dock which is included in the retail package, you can bump up the resolution to 1080p with the help of an HDMI cord. This though was no where near enough to turn off consumers, in fact the overall concept still kept the internet a buzz about what this thing could still do when it hits the retail market nearly 5mnths after its big reveal.

 

 

NES Classic Edition: Available Now  +  SNES Classic Edition: September 29th (2017)

Now that Nintendo had put its concept out to the public, the big question everyone had was how to get one. Though curiosity and lack of specific information people still wondered how easy this would actually be. With Nintendo’s notorious issues when it comes to supply and demand, the company had flopped with consoles like the revamped NES Classic which debuted just last fall. Let’s not forget that Nintendo once again plans to release another redesigned version of the SNES Classic which is scheduled to hit stores September 29th. Though to make note, Nintendo did just like before promise to do their best to keep up with supply and demand saying that they plan to increase production on the SNES Classic so we don’t run into the same issues we have with both the NES Classic and the Switch. Everyone remembers earlier this year when Reggie Fils-Aime Nintendo’s American Branch CEO and President made a public statement saying that there will be 2 million units shipped worldwide for the launch, essentially through month one hopefully avoiding the issue of stock shortages. Yet that was still not enough to convince its fans that this will actually work to their benefit. Nintendo does encourage its users to be patient and try to avoid paying for over priced listings of the console online as they mention there should be more in the months to follow. Aime also went on to state that the chaos everyone saw during pre-orders was “outside of our control” clearly attempting to blame retailers for overdoing the pre-order process making it difficult for consumers to actually pick up on what major retailers were actually allocated and if they would actually get what they were ordering.

 

 

Now that the Switch has been out for a solid 7mnths its clear that they still underestimated the demand for the console and have hit a wall in production. According to a new interview with “Financial Times” Reggie Fils-Aime says Nintendo is preparing to increase its production of the Switch to 18 million units by the start of their 2019 fiscal tenure, meaning they plan to move up to 15 million additional units by March of 2018. Keep in mind this is up almost 10 million units from what they had initially planned to move in the fiscal year. So why is Nintendo making a move of this proportion..? According to reports, consumers are beginning to loose interest due to retailers like Gamestop, Wal-Mart and Best Buy bundling make shift packages set at $499.99 in attempt to capitalize on the demand shortage. Unfortunately for those still looking to grab a Switch before the end of the year, this may prove to be quite difficult as some retailrs are stating that due to the still very high demand it may not be possible to walk in casually and pick on up untill sometime in May of 2018.

 

 

But don’t let this deter you from attempting to snag one, with retailers still getting stock every so often it’s still possible to walk in and get one it may just take time. In saying that, Nintendo has setup a roster of high profile titles to be released on the Switch come 2018. Considering upon the March release earlier this year there were just a handful of games available, making this one of Nintendo’s most limited game and console releases to date.
So which one of these consoles are worth it..?

Is one more of a marketable product..? and should we wait and jump on a purchase when these consoles become available. The answer believe it or not is all of them, yes and yes.. Surprised..? See when it comes to gaming everyone has a preference, when it comes to PS (Playstation) users they are a clearly committed fan base. So for those who want to dive into the realm of a PS4 or possibly a PS5 I’d say either go with the PS4 or if you’re a hard gamer treat yourself to a PS4 PRO for enhanced gaming options. Unfortunately on the rumors of a PS5 in the works we won’t likely see any type of significant information or official statement released by Sony until a projected late 2018 or possibly 2019. Leaving any sort of a product release date at a projected 2020-2021.

 

 

With Microsoft, its never to hard to tell what they are thinking because like Sony they don’t usually keep their gamer base in the dark. With the new Xbox One X on the horizon, and practically sold out of pre-orders this will be hands down one of the most anticipated releases in modern gaming history. One in which Nintendo clearly wanted to reach for, but missed due to poor public communications, empty promises and usual product shortages. If they had kept their word would Nintendo have passed Microsoft in the release of the Xbox One X compared to the Switch, probably not. But the current numbers are hard to miss, according to reports the Switch outsold both PS4 and Xbox One in August placing it at the top for the forth time in the past six months. Unlike back when the PS4 beat out the Switch by a longshot in both May and June, two top selling summer months for gamers in the United States. It’s hard to deny that the Xbox One X will be the birth of something spectacular, and many gamers are lining up to get their hands on one. Will it be hard to come across like the current Nintendo Switch, indeed it just might. But looking back on prior launch history, Microsoft and Sony have never really experienced supply and demand issues like Nintendo has in most recent years. Leaving its gamer base more confident in both company’s promise on availability. With Xbox On X soon on the way, we would suggest to wait and snag one upon release. Because like we mentioned before its specs are on another planet compared to almost any console on the current market to date.

 

 

Is the Switch still worth the wait in comparison to the Xbox On X, yes hands down.. Its still a brilliant product with tons of potential and some serious titles to boot. But I wouldn’t get to excited, because we still have a roster of games that we truly won’t see till we enter into 2018. So which one do we believe to be more marketable, that would be the Xbox One X. With it’s strong consumer base to back it up, and a pretty much open dialouge from the company to its users, we foresee this being a massive reach into a realm of gaming that Microsoft only seems to be tapping into.

Lets face it folks, 2017 was slated to be a revolutionary year for gaming. But it seems that with the Switch and PS4 PRO being the only things we saw much of. It seems that the year we thought we’d have might just be arriving a little later then expected. So we will leave you with this, there is no wrong way to go. It’s purely based on what you as a gamer want, how you feel the console works for you, how long you are willing to wait and what you are willing to dish out. In the end, neither three systems are the wrong choice. It’s just a matter of time before the Switch’s become walk in ready, the PS5 gets a release date and the Xbox One X hits the stores like a technological storm on gamer crack.

So stock up the holiday cash, grab yourself an endless supply of Red Bull and get yourself prepared, because 2018 just might be the year we’ve all have been waiting for.

 

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Kyle Barboni

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