The console cycle model is dead and never coming back


The current model of the console cycle, that for which a model appears and in a handful of years (eight in the last jump) can expect that this configuration will remain constant, has died. What Microsoft has certified with the Project Scorpio, he anticipated days before when Sony confirmed the Neo project. In addition, for other reasons, the first to be consummating Nintendo with NX.

The whys of rotation of the industry’s can search the phenomenal storm hovering over the video game market – or even better, on the market of entertainment that video games are one more element – the convergence time explosion of virtual reality, 4K, e-sports and mobile platforms approach to quality console games.

Moreover, not least, by the interest in capturing one of the technology user profiles fondest by brands today: the gamer able to spend more than 2000 dollars in its video games.

How “we will not leave any player behind”

The stability of each generation consoles tranquility offered two critical communities for manufacturers: firstly to customers who could buy with the assurance that they would model for a long time; other developers who obtained a mass audience with a predictable and simple configuration.

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Convince both that each generation will begin to have variations are a different challenge in each case, but equally critical and complicated for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. For users with the key will be what Microsoft has ruled in this E3:”we will not leave behind any user”.

Compatibility between the two Xbox One and leave the Scorpio project is compulsory subject to prevent complete rebellion base consolers users: impossible to admit that in a few years (between the first, One and the future of 4K have been four) new games will no longer be worth.

Microsoft had an interest in ensuring this point, largely to mitigate cool demand: enough is known that in year and a half will be a model of superior characteristics. Each new game for Scorpio or Neo also is valid for the current One and PS4, albeit at a lower resolution, it was a requirement not to exploit a rebellion in the user base (which Microsoft already experienced when he raised a connection system forced the One month before launching).

In the case of Sony’s proposal, it is expected to be very similar, although at the E3 conference have not given visibility to their plans. At this point the Japanese have some room to maneuver once the letters from Microsoft are on the table, especially if their plans were more similar to the current console price but whose 4K were “interpolated” or somehow , simulated and calculated not entirely in real time.

Seen in the pre-show presentations they fit like a glove with market reality. A strategic Microsoft facing distant future, with a much more executive in the near future Sony: the Japanese, who are far ahead in sales this generation, more focused on games coming months to PS4 and its VR ; one behind Microsoft in units sold, more aggressive talking about projects to more than one year ahead.

And Redmond also put on the table what their differential value, “Play Anywhere” : in many games for the same price we play in Windows 10 and Xbox One , with “crossplay” in the online. That is the movement that points to a major change in the console model: Sony can make an equal or better 4K console, but break boundaries with the game PC so that they start drawing their convergence is something within reach of a long way most obvious for Microsoft.

When two console models for each manufacturer cohabit?

Remarking with a couple of studies about the paradigm shift in the world of consoles, twisting gesture. New hardware explore and master, more complexity to the development of each title and doubts about how they receive the public and how many will jump.

What seems clear is that the new models will be much more expensive than current consoles. Microsoft said that it would move games 4K, something that after our discussion a few weeks ago, it is impossible now do without a hardware whose market price is not less than $ 500 (but rather twice).

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Something is at stake with this intergenerational jump is the virtual reality. In 2016, you bet by Sony and Playstation as better-adjusted bet on market, price, quality of experience, the ability to produce and attract third – party games and installed base PS4 among the most willing public to enter VR in the first stage.

However, in the medium and long term, with HTC Vive and Oculus offering a spectacular experience and the ability to further improve the duration of this generation of consoles, that privileged position is threatened. Playstation and Xbox the new environment will see in the end of 2017 and early 2018 will aim to cover this flank.

Break of all or evolution not break confidence gamer, here is the question

The big question is how soon manufacturers, once launched new models with games 4K, in explaining that created new experiences “they need everything new models can offer and therefore will not go to the One and Ps4 current” . My bet is that we will get such a long cycle as eight or nine years.

For Sony, the challenge is double because Microsoft does not support the virtual reality One (and write down the new insurance will support a virtual reality system itself or with Oculus, in addition to supporting augmented reality Hololens); Playstation will have to take care of the compatibility of the new games both conventional and virtual reality games, double challenge.

In any case, although the rational both Microsoft and Nintendo and Sony have good arguments, there is an “emotional” problem with the whole movement. The rationale is that if you have a One or PS4 can still access the new with the quality these consoles can offer, and that will be true for a few years, more or less close to what has come to be a consolable generation.

The emotional side is more complicated. Although the games “will go”, you no longer have “the latest model console”, in addition to unknown imbalances are introduced: so far, nobody could play a ‘Uncharted’ better than we have all this experience first and second correlating with pasta invested in the PC hardware itself comes to consoles.

It is the end of a model that has worked for generations, but that both Nintendo and Sony and Microsoft have decided to overcome. One, seeing the “gameplays” ‘God of War’ or the new ‘Battlefield’ has serious doubts that were necessary; then compares what is being achieved in PC, Oculus experience and live or as e-sports are exploding around PC games and begins to understand that none of the current console market players could be folded arms.