The next generation is almost here, folks. A new generation of a "war" between companies with tech to show off, and games to play on them, A new generation of fanboys singing the same praises about their favorite video game company they did 5-6 years ago.
And I'm saying that none of this really matters.
This new generation seems to be one of choice. The next generation will no longer be directly competitive, but one of 3 companies with different practices and different strategies. By that, I mean that now all 3 companies have slowly but surely changed in some degree.
Also, prepare for some really shitty mock-ups of what may be the next generation.
Let's take Microsoft for example. In the days of the original Xbox, they were very dedicated to the hardcore and had some real games to back it up. Hell, I almost bought an Xbox. This somewhat carried over to the Xbox 360 in it's first two or three years with some very interesting and impressive games at the time, games that spawned some of the best selling series this generation.
As of late, however, (Late, being the past two and a half years or so) Microsoft introduced the Kinect. This was a very promising piece of technology that wowed every single person watching that E3 conference at the time. However, that potential was sacrificed when Microsoft decided to use their Kinect to market to the casual market very strongly. This was very similar to Nintendo's Wii strategy... This was worse though.
Microsoft has then made some moves and such to suggest that they will go for a cheaper, more family friendly approach to their new console. This will make for some immense financial success, but I feel they may lose a bunch of fans as a result. Just as Nintendo did... But worse.
I feel Microsoft needs to find that precious middle-ground to win over everyone with this new product. They also need to revive or create some new software IP's to keep their exclusive line-up exciting, and not so boring and repetitive.
Nintendo, on the other hand is trying the opposite...
Nintendo's last generation with the Wii was very rocky. They went for a wider, more casual approach and definitely won a lot of families over, they however turned off many potential hardcore consumers. Nintendo fans were in the middle, though. The Nintendo-created games for the Wii were some of the best this generation, but there were too many terrible cash-grab games to make fanboys completely satisfied. I even bought a PS3 because of Nintendo's not so hot generation with the Wii.
Nintendo sees this though, so with the Wii U they are taking action. Nintendo plans to completely win over hardcore consumers with their new console, it will be powerful, it will be smart, and it will be online. Nintendo is sure to have a bit of a rocky start getting used to all this online, hardcore, HD stuff, but it will be worth it in my opinion.
Nintendo always brings innovation to the table with anything they work on, and I think with this new tablet controller, they will do some really rad stuff. However, Nintendo will effectively be doing a balancing act in this generation with both the hardcore and casual consumers. They, like Microsoft will have to find that sweet, sweet middle ground. Nintendo's just going about it the opposite way as Microsoft.
Sony, however, has been very consistent, but can they win over more consumers?
Sony has always been consistent in bringing hardcore games to the table for hardcore fans, and powerful hardware for those techies out there. They also like to sprinkle in some casual ideas along the way, like the Move and Wonderbook... yeah.
Sony has gone on record as saying that they don't want to be the cheapest or the fastest, but to be the best; in both hardware and software. This will definitely set them apart from Microsoft and Nintendo in the PlayStation 4 being an absolute beast, and presenting technology that is well worth it.
What Sony has to do in my opinion is to bring an idea that will win over some casual consumers, because they really need it with the financial trouble they have been in recently. Other than that, they are very good at bringing a lot of games to their customers very consistently.
So, all in all, all three of these companies are going about their respective console strategies very differently, and really, this generation is barely about which is more powerful and more capable, it will be about preference. The console "war" is almost a defunct idea. It will now be a matter of appeal rather than power, because these strategies are so vastly different. The new generation will be underway this holiday, and I can not be more excited to see how this all plays out.