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?


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