We live in very difficult times for gaming.
Watching the E3 press conferences comfortably from my home and reading a lot of comments from gamers along many different sites…some rather depressing thoughts are invading me.
It´s been 6 years since the wii and the playstation 3 arrived, and even 7 years since the xbox 360 arrived, which leads us to one unevitable event: The next generation is only a couple of years away.
Most people are aware of this and are already waiting for E3 2013 for both Microsoft´s and Sony´s unveiling of their new consoles. Which leaves us that by the beginning of 2014, we will have the next generation composed by the PS4,XBOX720 and Nintendo´s Wii U.
Most people as well, are hoping for a massive graphical upgrade, due to the reveal of new tech demos of new engines, Square Enix´s Luminous engine and Epic Games´ Unreal engine 4, either of this running in real time, leading people to shout out claims, saying that the next generation of gaming will have that kind of visuals, and at the same time, not taking seriously Nintendo´s new console the Wii U.
However most people are forgetting one thing: price and affordability, in that prospect, I applaude Nintendo´s decision to give only a slight graphical upgrade. No, it is not false hopes riding on Nintendo or some sort of rising fanboyism, So I´ll speak with numbers to get my point.
Remember what a powerhouse was the playstation 3 when it was revealed? And I bet you remember its enormous launch price, 600 US dollars… which by no means affordable during this economically troubled times. Right now, 6 years after its release, it still retails at 249 dollars, an affordable price, but not exactly cheap.
Now let´s picture you want to run those engines in a console… well then you would have to sell that console at approximately 900 US dollars, and I´m by no means exaggerating, investigate a little bit about PC gaming(actually that price is kinda cheap for what you really need to run it)
Ok, so let´s say you have a powerhouse console, that runs those engines, and you want to buy a game that looks stunningly beautiful… well then I better tell you you better be ready to buy games at 99 US dollars. Why you say? Because the development costs would skyrocket.
And now the last condition, let´s say you buy the expensive console, and buy the expensive game… which game would you be able to buy? Probably a generic shooter.
“But why??” you say, well let´s say your studio spends 200 million dollars developing a game, you won´t try and make a creative and unique game, which can or can´t sell well, as a studio you will go for a game you know will sell well… and voilá you will make a generic first person shooter like Call of Duty each year.
Gaming wouldn´t disappear but in a way, it would die. That´s why I believe (and hope) both Microsoft and Sony won´t make such a powerful console for next generation, and will go down Nintendo´s road instead.
So tell me, are we ready for a next generation?