OPINION: Are You Ready for Next Gen? – Part 1

Monday, September 17th, 2012

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A hot topic for debate with the impending arrival of the Wii U is whether or not gamers (or the public in general) are ready for the “next-gen”. First off, what the hell is “next-gen”? Hyper realistic graphics and mega blast processing? Smell-o-vision and touchy-feely thingamabobs? Holodecks? And how much will all this newfangled tech cost? $300? $500? $999.99? Like it or not, while Microsoft and Sony are most definitely hard at work on the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, Nintendo is going to release their catch-up console in about two months. Are you ready for the next gen?

Part 1 of this series is an internal debate amongst oprainfall staff. However, we REALLY, REALLY want to know what you think as well… Are you ready for the next gen? Let us know in the comments section below (it’s free to sign up!) and we will pick out some choice comments from each category (yes, no, maybe) to share in Part 2 in a future article.

(Our No and Maybe votes are here on page one. Our Yes vote is on page two.)

And without further ado:

NO:

Steven Boaz: While I’m definitely ready for Nintendo to move on, I don’t think I’m quite ready for the NEXT generation. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 still have plenty of life left in them. Developers are finally learning how to harness the power of the consoles. Wii U was released simply for Nintendo to “catch up” to the competition when it comes to providing a good set of tools for developers. I think it would be wise for Microsoft and especially Sony to hold off for a few more years. Mainly because they have a sweet price point now where they can sit side-by-side with the Wii U and compete for what really makes the most money: games.

Scott MacDonald: Given the features and graphical prowess of the current generation, no, I’m not ready. I think this upcoming generation in particular is really going to have to prove itself to me. What is it that will differentiate the next generation from the old? I’ve never been a graphics snob, and if that’s the focus of the next generation, you can count me out. I’m also expecting a ridiculous price point for either console from Sony or MS. Ultimately, it’s about the software and until I see software that convinces me to make that jump, I won’t be. Even though Nintendo had to take its next step with the Wii-U, I’m still not even sold on that. Regardless, given the cyclical nature of hardware generations, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next generation from Sony and MS rolled out next year.

Will Whitehurst: I highly, highly doubt that significant improvements can be made in a “next generation” of consoles when things are already going well. Maybe it’s because HDMI and other formats already allow for impressive graphics and sound, and the next wave in resolution (4K) will, for some time, be strictly relegated to movie theaters and videophiles’ media rooms. New Unreal Engine 3 games, such as Star Wars: 1313 and WATCH_DOGS, already look brilliant enough, and may very well have no problem running on the hardware we have today. Also, hasn’t Sony learned in the beginning of this generation that pricing a console at “five-hundred-and-ninety-nine US dollars” would definitely hurt sales, no matter how advanced its technology is? Indeed, Sony and Microsoft have previously stated that their systems will be part of a ten-year life cycle, and for the time being, that’s a promise that should be kept.

Clinton Nix: You could say that I’m not ready for the next generation.  I just bought a PS3 a year ago, and I’m finding that the system has hit a stride of good releases.  I’m still pleased with this generation’s technology, I mean, just look at Beyond: Two Souls.  That game is developed with the PS3 hardware in mind, and it looks really good.  Also, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros is breathtaking.  I’m also excited for Tales of Xillia, Ni no Kuni, Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy: Versus XIII, so I see plenty of good games left to play this generation.  I have the Wii U pre-ordered, but that is about all I can handle right now financially.  I personally think Sony and Microsoft could wait more than a year to release their new systems.  Of course, there is the problem of ever increasing technology for the PC market, but that never mattered to me anyway.

Jared Cyhowski: To put it simply: No, not at all. Just a month ago I purchased a PlayStation 3 and I am now slowly building a library of games for that platform. I’ve had a 360 for a few years now and I still have many games to play on that system as well. And when I purchased a 3DS at launch, it was my first DS-system ever. I am completely comfortable with the current generation of platforms and I know I won’t be interested in next-gen technology for quite a while. For me, it’s also about the games. I tend not to purchase a system until I know there are a good handful of games worth owning. Although I believe the WiiU to be quite impressive with its tablet controller, I am more interested in titles I’ve yet to play on the PS3 and DS. Also, graphics aren’t what’s most important for me when it comes to a video game. It’s the new and unique experiences that draw me in. I believe those experiences can still be created on today’s hardware.

Steve Baltimore: To be honest, no I am not.  I think the current gen consoles we have have lots of life left in them. I mean the PS3 is just now finding it’s place in the market and has some pretty nice looking titles on the horizon, and the Xbox 360 still pushes out some pretty sweet looking games as well. I don’t think that pushing the graphics further at this point will help the industry which is in need of innovation rather than more eye candy.

MAYBE:

Richard Ross: It all depends on your definition of “next-gen.”  Is next-gen graphics? Is it a new way of playing? This may seem like weird questions, but if it’s solely on graphics then you can bet your ass that it’s going to be expensive.  However, if it’s just a smaller graphic leap with a  new gameplay twist (ala the Wii U) then the price of consoles won’t be as shocking, and if that’s the case I would be ready. For instance, the Playstation Vita’s graphics are already somewhat outdated, but the technology is pretty new, so the $250 price tag is less about the graphics chip and more about the tech behind it, it’s a reasonable price (if you can handle the lack of games).  I’d be more worried about Microsoft’s new console as they probably plan on expanding on both tech and graphics which will make a part-timer like me cry.

Devin Kotani: I can’t pretend to be an expert on technology or financials, so I can’t really say whether or not the next generation is necessary from either of those perspectives. It certainly is for Nintendo, considering how outdated the Wii is, but for Sony and Microsoft, I’m not sure. In the end, I suppose it will depend on whether or not an acceptable balance can be found between power and price. If Sony or Microsoft decided to release a next-gen console tomorrow with a huge leap in graphics, but which costs $1000, then no, I am not ready for the next console generation. However, if a theoretical next-gen console could strike a good balance between power and price, or whatever else makes something “next-gen,” they by all means, bring it on. Don’t expect me to buy it until I see something I want it for, though.

David Fernandes: It will all depend on how much of a leap and the price that these “next-gen” consoles will be. While I agree that Nintendo needs to go further, let’s face it:  the Wii was pretty much a revamped Gamecube when it came to specs. While for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it’s hard to imagine games looking better than the stuff we saw at E3 this year. Beyond Two Souls and The Last of Us. Of course I said the same thing when I saw the Half-Life 2 Tech Demo at E3 2003. So if they were to be a huge leap, what will the price point be? I certainly hope it won’t be over $400. We saw what happened with the PlayStation 3, hell look what happened with the 3DO and Neo Geo. Sure they were better in specs, but hardly anyone bought them for just the specs alone, and they had good lineup of games, as far as the Neo Geo is coming from. Like the above have stated, I’m more than welcoming of the “next-gen” but it needs a balance between a console being all powerful and of course affordable at the end of the day. If they can’t do that, I personally won’t be jumping on that bandwagon at the drop of the hat.

Is anyone at Operation Rainfall ready for the next generation? Click here to find out!

Remember to answer the question yourself in the comments for a chance to be spotlighted in Part 2! Are you ready for Next Gen?


Pages: 1 2



  • Page 2 is the best.

  •  I’d be more ready if they moved away from these ridiculous gimmick controllers. Motion controls are absolutely awful and I don’t see this touch screen game pad combo working any better than a normal controller would.

    • Superset controllers.  They always have more capability than the previous generation’s, and if the extra capability is a gimmick to you, then you can ignore it.  Problem is, most malinformed game players only pay attention to the extra (the motion control/ tablet) and ignore the current capabilities that are still there (11-face buttons, D-Pad and dual analogues)

  • I don’t think the Wii U was made only to catch-up to the PS360.  The Wii U advances past those systems and is an improvement in several regards.  It will be competing with other next gen consoles, I can promise you this.

  • I say, this “Jonathan Higgins” fellow is simply incomprehensible! Laughing at fanboys isn’t nice! Now, a hearty chuckle at their expense, that is a delightful shared activity amongst gentlemen!

    Indubitably.

  • I’ve been researching the video game markets and observing trends, as i’m an aspiring game developer myself , and am eager to jump into the industry (RPGs and JRPGs are by far my favorite) and i have to disapprove on the next generation right now.  While the newest, prettiest, and gorgeous graphics are always lovely, people are already having trouble making the current generation graphics (how long since Final Fantasy Versus XIII announcement?).  From a developer’s point of view, we are spending 500+ people on perfecting current gen games in around a 2-3 year span.  This itself is really inefficient, and extremely expensive. so much so, major games aren’t really receiving the profits people expect they would have.  In my opinion, we should find ways of making current graphics much more faster and efficient before moving on to even MORE detailed and expensive artwork.  I just bought Skyrim at Gamestop and nearly whaled at the prices ($56 for a used game, and $70 new).  If next generation comes, and companies try to expand graphics even further, games will become much more expensive, like $100 per game, and since rumors are afloat of a possibility of next gen consoles not supporting used games, consumers will NOT be happy, leaving the market to slowly collapse on itself.  I say to wait until developers can find a better system of making current generation games with less people before we move on. This would make that step to the next generation a little less stressful on everyone’s part (including everyone’s wallets).

  • bulletproof3DS

    Okay, first let me say that the Wii U is not their way of playing catch up. They’ve been working on it for quite a while now. That would make no sense. Just because the console is more powerful and can output in HD doesn’t mean it’s catch up. HDTV’s are a lot more affordable now–when the Wii was released they were very expensive. Also, Nintendo was more focused on new gameplay at the time. (Well, actually, they still are. That gamepad will do a lot of stuff…) The other two played catch up…Look at Move and Kinect. And they’re probably poised to do it again.

    Okay, now for my answer:

    NONE.

    That doesn’t mean no. It means that I am not giving no, yes, or maybe as an answer. I simply don’t have one. Because I simply don’t care about all this next gen, last gen crap. All I want are good games and nice consoles. This is why I love Nintendo. There are always so many games, and they have consoles that can last a very long time. I can enjoy their games for a long time, too. I’ve had Super Mario World since I was 5, and I still play it sometimes.

    I think I’ll leave the whole next gen thing up to the console makers. If they make consoles that I really want, I may buy them. I’m certainly getting a Wii U.

    This non-answer is not my way of trolling, either. I really mean it. Not trying to annoy anyone lol.

  • Simply put, if the PS4 and the 720 will not sell well when released (and judging all the factors, is an high prospective), gaming companies will do more games for the WiiU or at least for the PSVita. Besides, not only the consoles price will be higher, but the games too: you spend currently 60-70 $/€ for a game? For this new systems i fear we could arrive at 100. Just in time for the economycal crysis that is draining all our money.
    Have you ever wondered why Square-Enix after the death of the PS2 started to spread the Kingdom Hearts games all over the place instead of putting them on the PS3? Because they wanted to mantain the PS2 graphics, and besides, the selling were not in favour of Sony.
    It’s ok for Nintendo to step up, and if we consider all the possibilities, maybe Microsoft have a good point of releasing the 720 that can keep up with the PS3. But a PS4 can definetly put the final nail on Sony’s coffin, since everybody remember how bad was Sony’s E3 conference about the PS3.
    “So, there’s this giant enemy crab…”

    • You do know Sony is made up of multiple departments that deal with media outside of games right? Like Nintendo there not gonna die anytime soon, stop fooling yourself.

  • I think that MS and Sony played their whole hand too early. Here’s what I mean:

    At the beginning of the last generation, both of them created the most powerful machine they could come up with, and there was an enormous leap in graphical power. Nintendo didn’t. Now, 6-7 years later, MS and Sony are stuck. If they improve the graphics only a little bit, no one will be wowed like they were before. If they try to create a graphical leap like we saw before, they will price themselves out of the race.

    Nintendo made a machine that was graphically inferior to the other two, but had a good enough hook and software lineup to do well. 6-7 years later, a lot of gamers are excited for Nintendo to make the jump to HD.

    Basically, Nintendo left themselves room for people to get people excited again, while MS and Sony didn’t.

  • In the end, does it matter if we’re ready or not? The consoles are on their way in the distant future. Personally, however, I’m ready. I only had enough scratch to support one game console and i sided with Wii because, well, it was the cheapest (i bought used) and the software was cheaper too. It was absolutely painful watching PS3 and 360 get games like Left 4 Dead and Bayonetta (Who’s laughin’ now?) while Wii got 50 Minigames Weiner Butt Doody Shovelware Mix. I’d like to see Xbox and PS3 get better specs and better game disc size not to make better looking games, but heartier games. Games that not only look great but don’t fall apart due to bad pacing as a result of memory limitations. Bottom line, I’m ready for Nintendo to be considered a contender again, to not be laughed off by larger game devs.

    • “50 Minigames Weiner Butt Doody Shovelware Mix” Haha, I’m having fun imagining exactly what this game would look like.

    • Banned on 7 Continents!

  • ScienceNonfiction

    My answer is no. Why is that? Well, if Sony and Microsoft do indeed release their next consoles within the next year or two, I can only see two scenarios playing out.

    In scenario 1, the “PS4” and “Xbox 720” (as I’ll be calling them from here on out) present a graphical leap similar to that of the leap last generation (PS2–>PS3, Xbox–>Xbox 360). This would obviously result in the next generation of consoles costing a whole ton of money. While I’m sure there are some people who would willingly pay a lot of dough for the upgrade, I think there comes a point where the average consumer has to decide between paying x amount of money for something like the Wii U or PS3 and getting x graphics, or paying 3x for a “PS4” or “720” and getting 3x graphics. As it stands now, I think most consumers are content with what we have, so making a huge upgrade now just wouldn’t really make sense. Also, keep in mind that many a developer has just recently begun to utilize/embrace the current generation in the last two years or so. This is, in part, because of the increased development costs that are needed to make a game on PS3 or 360 (as opposed to the previous generation). Vastly enhancing graphics now would be very off-putting to an entire slew of devs who just got onto PS3 or 360 since it would cause development costs to skyrocket.

    In scenario 2, the “PS4” and “720” do not bring a huge graphical leap to the table. This scenario also doesn’t play out well because, while I did state that most consumers wouldn’t be willing to shell out for vastly improved graphics, I also think that if the graphics of next gen consoles aren’t vastly improved, many a consumer will opt to stick with their PS3 or 360. Someone who is just getting into games in this situation may also go with the PS3 or 360 cause of the lower cost/already large number of games. And I can certainly see developers sticking with the current gen in this scenario as well cause they’d be all like “We just started on PS3/360 and we aren’t going anywhere now!”

    So really, it’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, a double edged sword, if you will, in which the best option (from my point of view) would be to wait several more years before releasing the next generation of consoles.

    Also, I feel sort of bad for going on and on about graphics this whole time, but I really do think they’ll play an important role for Sony and Microsoft’s next consoles!

  • Vampiric


     But Nintendo has set themselves up for failure by playing “catch up” to the 360 and PS3,”

    Actually its basically been determined they will be th enumber 1 seller

    wii u preorders are already sold out

    I cant believe I have to say this because as a journalist and a gamer you should know this but 

    SPECS DONT DETERMINE WORTH OR GAMES

    The wii was left behind huh? is that why it got the biggest first and third party exclusives of the gen? is that why?

    Bottom line

    the wii u preorders have sold out. And its going to sell out

    and by the time sony and microsoft announce anything

    we will have seen smash bros and other things

  • Personally, I’m ready for the next gen as far as the Wii U goes, but not for Sony’s console or even the next Xbox.

    The Wii U is a pretty neat machine and it has several games on it within the launch window that I would definitely buy. I’m also curious as to whether or not there’s going to be a No More Heroes 3 since Suda said he’d want it to be on the next generation of Nintendo console since he felt they had done all they wanted to on the Wii. Whatever happens, I’d probably end up getting a Wii U at some point just because I know I’ll find games I’ll enjoy on it.

    As for why I’m not ready for the PS4 and Xbox 720/Durango, its because their current iterations still have life in them.

    The PS3 has just hit its stride with a ton of exclusives with even more on the way. We would probably just see a repeat of what happened last time Sony pushed out a new console: its super expensive and they’ll continue supporting the PS3 for a few years until the PS4 is able to stand on its legs, at which point its time for a new console. Then you have the stuff with the Move controllers, which to me seems pretty underused despite them supposedly working on it before Nintendo did theirs.

    Then you have the 360… Microsoft *could* move onto the next console if they wanted to, but they’re probably going to wait another year or so. While it lacks the number of notable exclusives that the other consoles
    have, the 360 has a strong following behind it since it seems to be the
    go-to console in many places. Then there’s the fact that the 360 got a
    relatively new model at a fair price: if Microsoft pushes out a new
    console too soon, there’s always the possibility that many people looking to buy a new console would just reach for the 360 Slim since its decently priced and has a sizable library of games on it. Heck, it could also go the PS2/3 route and be supported simultaneously with its predecessor.

    A lot of the people saying that the graphics on the next consoles won’t be that much different than what we have now and, from what I’ve heard, that seems true enough. However, I’m pretty sure the inner workings of a console goes beyond just making a game look pretty. I’d mumble technical jargon about why that’s the case, but my friend is the one who knows all that stuff. From what he figures, the next Xbox is supposed to be packing some serious power in it; the *major* downside is that it would be very expensive and Microsoft would be losing even more money selling it since they have to sell at a loss. Of course, that’s just speculation on his part; Microsoft could find a way to get out a more powerful system without overdoing it. They might as well make do with what they have now to make money until they’re ready to release the next big thing.

    Whatever happens for the next generation, I’ll be ready for it (unless I’m a hobo on the streets by then, at which point I won’t have the time or money for games). I’m not one for sticking to one side and blindly supporting them; I go where the games are at.

  • Ace

    Yes. I feel that the quality of RPG’s that have come out for the PS3 is way lower than the ones for PS2, PS1, and Super Nintendo. This console cycle has lasted longer than the usual consoles and it’s time for something new. Then again, it’s really the economic depression that’s hurting the creativity of industry, not the long console cycle. 

  • RichieBerry

    I’d probably say no.

    Really, the only difference between consoles is their graphical capabilities and the controller. Addressing graphics first, I’m sort of reminded of this old ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV5iTABKRHc Ha ha, they’re all incompetent jerks. More to the point, do we really want to buy a new console just to have a million 80p? Once you cram in a certain number of pixels, adding extra zeroes begins to be irrelevant. It’s only used to brag on a PowerPoint slide at E3.

    And, if I may be bold, I would posit that noticeably better graphics might actually be a bad thing. I haven’t seen anyone else say this, so I might be alone in thinking it, but when I saw Beyond: Two Souls at E3, I thought it was treading dangerously close to the uncanny valley. (I noticed it mainly in the close-up picture they released of the main character’s face.) Also, when I watched the video of her being questioned at the police station, I thought it was pretty impressive, until that coffee cup flew up against that wall. It didn’t fly anything like a real object: in an arc and somewhat chaotically. The cup flew in a perfect line and barely a drop was spilled. Maybe they were trying to make in look unearthly since it’s being tossed by a ghost, but it totally broke the illusion for me.

    Getting to the controller side of consoles, I’m not just talking about wiggle-waggle stuff. To use Nintendo’s history as an example, the SNES tripled the number of buttons the NES had, and the N64 added the control stick. The GameCube didn’t really add anything (a second control stick. Woo.) It’s really the only Nintendo console to improve only graphically. Back to the present, you’ll notice that both Sony and Microsoft have added new controllers (Move, Kinect, and now tablet additions) to their already existing consoles. They no longer need to make a new console to make a new controller; they can just do it via a firmware update, or whatever. Indeed, some less tuned in people thought the Wii U tablet was just an add on to the Wii (which Nintendo might have even have done this if the Wii had been of comparable power to the Xbox 360/PS3.)

    So given that, since the only thing a new console can offer is increased graphics, I can’t really see the point for a “next generation” for a good few years.

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    There is so much I would love to say but do not have the time. (maybe later 🙂

    However, in Nintendo’s view, they are not playing catch up but advancing with the “lateral thinking of withered technology” while still bringing even more freshness with their tablet.

    Nintendo knew that in 2006 not everyone had an HD TV (some people still don’t but the majority of gamers did not own 1080 sets and some were still playing basic TVs.

    Fast forward to now where well over 50% of Americans own an HD TV or if not, sets are cheaper and people have familiarity with their touch screen controls via DS and Apple etc products.

    Now is a perfect time for them to bring it if done effectively with 3rd party support (which we are seeing a lot of) and more community mindness – literally they are bringing together their new casual core from Wii with hardcore that have always been around Nintendo.

    That’s all I’ll say for now…great read though!

  • Inuboy1000

    Honestly no I am not ready for the next gen of console gaming. I still have to buy a PS3 and get games for that system. Although I honestly don’t like the recently announced Super Slim, it looks terrible honestly. But I am excited for the Wii U, but I know I won’t be able to get it because it will be sold out for months.

    • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

       I agree about the slim…although there is the option for 500GB at the same price one can get for a standard WiiU, the top loading looks chinsy for a bluray gaming machine.