Predicting the future of gaming consoles is tricky, especially when we consider some of the past curve balls the industry has thrown at us. Still, with so much information being leaked and released online constantly, we thought we’d have a go at forecasting the future of gaming consoles.
Microsoft Xbox Inspired by Mobile Games
In April 2017, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer spoke to Gamasutra regarding the future of gaming consoles and the ways in which they are changing already. Spencer stated that he believes console games will cover a variety of hardware generations rather than remaining stagnant or dying out. However, he does note that console games themselves are beginning to feel more like mobile titles with every passing year, not graphically but in terms of games as a service. So, it’s really no surprise that Xbox’s slew of new consoles over the last few years is reminiscent of how many smartphone brands release new mobile devices.
The Xbox One launch was particularly fraught, but five years later the Xbox One S sold far better – mostly due to the fact Microsoft actually listened to players and offered the S at a reasonable price. More recently, the 4K machine that is the Xbox One X entered the market and is selling surprisingly well. However, none of these newer Xbox consoles is huge leaps forward – in fact, we’d say they are simply iterations on the previous model. This is very similar to how smartphone devices are developed and released, which isn’t necessarily bad it just makes it difficult to predict whether Microsoft will be behind any ground-breaking console technology in the future.
Sony PlayStation to Push VR Further
PlayStation, on the other hand, has already hinted towards a brand new console to be released later this year. The aptly nicknamed PS5 could be available by Christmas, at least according to SemiAccurate, who reported that a number dev kits have already been distributed. The site also claims that Sony will use this new console to further push their Virtual Reality (VR) efforts, which is extremely interesting indeed.
For many years, gaming forecasters have been waiting for VR to really take off, with everyone from TechRadar to the Guardian discussing the immeasurable benefits of VR. In an article that discusses the future and history of video gaming, online lottery syndicate site Lottoland has even pitched the idea of VR becoming a huge part of every day social interactions in the future following on the success of virtual worlds such as the one Nintendo has been creating for decades now – which isn’t that far-fetched considering how much we already communicate through the internet. It appears that Sony wants to be the company behind making VR a gaming staple. The company has already released the PSVR, a somewhat reasonably priced alternative to other VR front runners such as Oculus Rift. If the new technology continues to be adopted by players, it’s quite likely that VR will become a mainstream element of the gaming experience in the future.
Nintendo Keeps Things Light and Portable
In the past, there have been a number of handheld gaming devices, many of which came from Nintendo, so it’s no surprise that the company is sticking with their dreams of creating portable devices. However, considering the fact that almost everyone on the planet now has a handheld gaming device in the form of their mobile phone, Nintendo has had to up the game.
Enter the Nintendo Switch, a portable gaming console that you can not only play on the go but can also play on a television with others. With the introduction of this device, the glaring screen between portable and home console has been lifted, leaving a path for future portable consoles. We honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft and Sony decided to create their own versions of this technology, and we hope they do.
Ultimately, it is still difficult to accurately predict the future of consoles but we have a pretty good idea of what it will be. For Xbox, it may be re-releasing improved consoles like mobiles, while PlayStation could focus on the VR experience and we reckon Nintendo will continue to break all gaming trends with their portable devices. What do you think the future holds? Let us know in the comments below.
What do you think game consoles of the future will look like? What are you most excited about?