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Next-Gen: What I Want vs. What I Expect


What generation of consoles is this? Consider yourself more knowledgeable than me if you know that off the top of your head. For those of you(Like me) who have to rely on Google, fear not! This is the 7th generation of home consoles, and started on November 22nd, 2005 with the release of the Xbox 360.

God damn, 7 years?

That's right, we've been dealing with Wii gimmicks, melting Xboxes, and horrendously slow PS3s for 7 long years. And honestly, I think there's never been a better time to be a gamer. You know, ignoring the awful state of the triple A market right now and the plethora of bullshit that we put up with on a daily basis, we've seen some truly amazing advances in the games industry. Mobile gaming exploded with the advent of the iPhone/Pad, Activision popularized guitar rhythm games and then ran them into the ground like fucking professionals, and my console(a PS3) was the absolute epitome of coolness for a few years before devolving into a netflix-box. Still, I think we've experienced some of the best that gaming has to offer; even though we expected so much more. And it's that devotion to our medium and expectation of greatness which is often the downfall of the gaming community. So, I'm going to quickly run through the 3 major players in the last age of consoles(Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft) giving a quick talk about what we(I) expect from them, and then what we(I) will actually be receiving. Onward!

At bat: Nintendo

Nintendo will go first, as they are the only company who has actually showed their hand and revealed their 8th-generation console, the Nintendo Firetruck. Get it? Wii-U Wii-U Wii-U! F*ck, I'm hilarious. Anyway, Nintendo. Video games.

What we expect: The Wii U, like the Wii, will sell well to the mainstream. But, unlike the Wii, it will get rampant 3rd-party support and Nintendo fans everywhere will rejoice as the Wii U becomes the victor of the 8th console war. The Wii U will offer a unique blend of innovation and gameplay, balancing the console perfectly and allowing for Wii Fit-style "gimmicks" to pull in millions of dollars while a healthy online community, strong indie presence, and "hardcore" triple A titles satisfy the gamer core.

What we will get: The Wii U, like the Wii, will sell well to the mainstream. The Wii U, like the Wii, will be filled with bloatware and gimmick games while the hardware will work at sub-par levels until Nintendo offers a fix about halfway through the console's lifespan, for a small fee. There will be some worthwhile indie games, but, like the Wii, they will be obscure and esoteric in the extreme. 3rd parties and triple A developers will pay more attention to the console, but many of the games released will be shoddy ports of PS4/720/PC games, causing the gamer core to largely ignore the Wii U. Just like the Wii.

On deck: Microsoft

This is a complete guess, but we've heard slightly more about the next Microsoft Console than the Sony Orbitz or whatever that damn thing's codename is. I'm going to be referring to it as the "Xbox 8", because I heard that somewhere and it seems like the kind of forced integration which we love Microsoft for. Apparently Microsoft has stopped using South American city names as codewords internally(Project Natal, anyone?) or they're just really damn bad at this "embargo" thing. Still, I have a feeling that this Xbox 8 will show up first. So, Microsoft is next. Video games.

What we expect: Microsoft continues to dominate the living room, offering tons of new media features and seamless integration with Windows 8. The OS will be shiny, Xbox Live will actually be worth the price or will be free, and it will put a renewed emphasis on games(both indie and mainstream) while effectively controlling media in the living room.

What we will get: Microsoft continues to try to dominate the living room, offering tons of new premium features and shoddy integration with Windows 8. The OS will be alright, and Xbox Live 8(The same thing but with a different name and at a higher price) will still pretty much be worthless to anyone who doesn't care about multiplayer, but now it will be required. Used games will not work, and online passes will be enforced by Microsoft to allow games on their system. It'll have some good games and some shit games and will be used mostly for Netflix and Call of Duty 17.

In the hole: Sony

The Sony Orbitz(I know what it's damn called. This is better) is the last console I will be tackling today. On a personal note, it'll probably be the one I lean towards getting. Besides the Wii U, anyway. I've always felt that there is very little reason to own a 360 and a PS3, especially because I have access to a gaming computer, iPhone, and Wii. The Sony Orbitz/PS4/etc gets the same treatment as the Xbox 8 and the Firetruck(I'm seriously hilarious. Laugh now). So, for the third time, video games.

What we expect: Hey guys! Sony called. They apologized. They're not going to make amazing hardware with no support from marketing or game developers any more. In fact, this is a controller-only console! Also, they completely reworked their infrastructure and plan on shipping a console with a working firmware. Playstation Plus is renamed to Sony Plus or Orbitz Plus and offers similar content, creating essentially a "freemium" marketplace. Sony has become completely unhackable, and they care about the consumer.

What we'll get: Hey guys! Sony called. The don't give a fuck about anything but money. Every game has forced 3D and motion controls. A new peripheral is released every 2.7 months to zero fanfare and an average of 4.2 games is produced using each new one, a majority of which are movie tie-ins or cash-ins. Playstation/Sony/Orbitz Plus has become mandatory, now becoming the equivalent of Xbox live. Sony decides the only way to not get hacked is to hack themselves, causing massive latency and painfully slow, mandatory updates which are released every time Howard Stringer makes a million dollars.

There then. That is the 8th generation. You may have noticed, reading this, that I used some hyperbole. Well, if you think I used any exaggeration in this post, you're dead wrong. Marty McFly himself told me all of these things when I gave him a drop of my blood to drink, so you'd better listen to me.

Oh, and PC gaming will lag behind at the start of the generation, causing the glorious PC gaming master race to learn some humility which will be promptly destroyed by another gigantic PC dick-measuring contest when the Firetruck/Orbitz/8 all fall behind again. The advent of the 8th generation will be a revolution; the face of gaming will change. But, revolutions are revolutions because they tend to come around again. And, in the year 2020, I'll again venture to Twin Peaks and give my blood to Marty McFly in exchange for knowledge of the future. Tune in next time.

Hi there! It's me again. See, I gave this post a quick edit and decided I should toss in one or two real predictions. So only read this if you want my serious thoughts about the 8th generation, okay? I won't go for long.

If I've noticed one thing about generation 7, it's that the market across PCs, Wiis, Xboxes, and PS3s is becoming more and more homogenized, which I completely support. The day where the console I have doesn't matter and I can still play all the games I want is the day that the gaming market will finally focus on that oft-overlooked aspect of video games: video games. I think that too much time has been put in to console wars and PS3 vs. Xbox dick-measuring contests, and we are moving towards a time where the contest will be where it deserves to be: In the games.

Of course, generation 8 is not the time for this. The triple-A market and the $60 model are failing rapidly, but as long as they remain in control, the market will remain roughly as it is today. My hopeful estimate is that by the tenth generation of console gaming we will begin to see a true change for the better. Unfortunately, I think that the next two generations may see the market decline.

As for generation 8 specifically, I think it will be shockingly similar to generation 7. Three consoles, overpriced triple-A games, hardware wars, cash-ins, and essentially all of what I described in the above part but to a lesser extent. I hope that I'm wrong.
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About ImmortalBardone of us since 8:38 PM on 01.23.2012

I'll be brief: There are two things in my life which I truly love to do. Okay, maybe more than two. But these two are big ones. I like to write, and I like to play video games. So, I guess that writing about video games is a pretty good idea, right? So I'm going to do that.