Tonight Sony will officially unveil their PlayStation 4 Slim and their more powerful console that we know as Neo. Microsoft have already released a slightly more powerful slim version of the Xbox One and announced their own powerful 4k console back at E3. Could this be the end of the traditional console cycle as we know it?
Back when details about Playstation Neo leaked and when Microsoft announced Scorpio I felt conflicted. On one hand I felt that my relatively young consoles had been made obsolete but on the other hand the advancement of technology excites me.
I wasn’t convinced this would be a good idea and who knows, perhaps my initial concerns will be realised, but over the months I’ve had time to think and other gamers’ enthusiasm and excitement has changed my opinion quite dramatically.
Both Sony and Microsoft are keen to let gamers know that those who have the current versions of the console, that their PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will be just as relevant tomorrow as it is today if they are unable or unwilling to upgrade to the more powerful versions.
The other point it that I thought about those who have a 4k tv and wish to utilise their technology as much as possible. Gamers are more demanding than ever and want to get the biggest bang for their buck, and who can blame them?
The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were great consoles but by the time their cycle was coming to a close they felt aged. Tonight Sony will call time on the traditional console cycle and next year Microsoft will do the same and the possibilities excite me and are more responsible for my change of heart than any other reason.
Will we now see premium versions of consoles appear a few years after new consoles release or perhaps we’ll see various versions of consoles release simultaneously giving different entry points into console gaming depending on people’s needs? Perhaps we’ll see them move to the mobile phone industy’s business model, giving the option to either buy outright or a more affordable pay monthly option.
I can’t help but feel that Nintendo are missing a trick here too. Should they have slashed prices for the WiiU and marketed the NX as a premium version? Have they lost touch with the people they’ve been making games for for decades?
The time for speculation is fast passing and we don’t have long left to wait until we start getting some answers and I think that tonight, gamers all over the world will know whether they play on Nintendo, PC, PlayStation, or Xbox, should sit down and enjoy watching what will no doubt be a pivotal moment in Video Game history.
We need the 4 major platforms to be competitive to keep the industry going forward, and whilst we might have our preferred platforms, we should all respect the innovation and technology these companies bring to our homes. Good luck to Sony tonight and for all the gamers out there, sit back and enjoy.
Tune in tonight, September 7th, starting at 12:00pm Pacific / 3:00pm Eastern / 8pm BST, here at this link.