Opinion: Next Generation consoles critically needed

The ongoing rumours of ‘next generation’ consoles is intensifying prove the need for new hardware. With video game series’ reaching unnecessary trilogies, it’s time for game makers to refresh the console side of gaming.

Although, Ninja Gaiden designer Tomonobu Itagaki has said he believes releasing a next generation of consoles doesn’t make sense in our current economy.

From a business perspective, yes, it’s a risk. But it’s proven that new hardware can succeed in this tough economic period. Sony’s PlayStation Vita, which launched in February, has sold an impressive 1.2 million, less than a month after its launch, with software sales reaching 2 million units. Techradar has reported the handheld could sell 12.4 million in 2012.

Although there might not be a huge amount of excitement surrounding another generation of consoles, technically we’ve reached the peak. Just recently developer Mike Simpson of Creative Assembly claimed current consoles “couldn’t cope” running their Total War series, due to a lack of hardware memory.

It’s time for Sony and Microsoft to refresh the console market. New hardware is needed alongside new intellectual properties and ideas.

It was change the face of the used game market, as reports cite sources that claim the next PlayStation and Xbox will use anti-preowned hardware. This will greatly impact high street retailers like GAME, who rely financially heavily on second-hand game sales. Michael Pachter has said he believes the next generation consoles would suffer if they blocked used games “if one does [a console maker] it and the others don’t, the one who does it will see a loss of market share.”

As developers make no money from pre-owned sales, I am in favor of the game creators getting the transaction money rather than the retailer.

It will be interesting to see Nintendo’s explanation for the Wii U, their next generation system that promises HD gaming.

The recent announcement of the iPad 3, and suggests tastes in gaming have changed, and that portable and accessible gaming is becoming more popular. Whilst I seriously doubt we’ll see console “dying” anytime soon, companies like Sony and Microsoft will surely be taking note of Apple’s continual success.