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Which company will update their video game console first?

  • Microsoft

    Votes: 15 22.1%
  • Nintendo

    Votes: 36 52.9%
  • Sony

    Votes: 8 11.8%
  • Don't have a clue!

    Votes: 9 13.2%

  • Total voters
    68
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When the Xbox 360 turned 5 years old this week with no known successor on the horizon, and no new imminent PlayStation or Wii either, it may well have signaled the demise of one of the video game industry's most longstanding truisms.

Interesting article.

I wonder if MS, Sony or Nintendo are seriously developing a new box at this time and how long we will eventually have to wait before the next generation console arrives.

My suspicion is they must have designs at the ready because if one of the big three announces a new box, the other two will likely have to respond.
 

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In each case (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) it is in their best interest to milk the installed base of existing systems with new software sales.

Nintendo did much better than anyone expected this generation, and (IMHO) the real disappointment this generation was Sony. Going from first place to last place must have hurt. In spite of the fact that Sony has the most to gain by releasing a new generation of systems and causing the console industry to "re-roll", I think they're just going to ride it out. Hopefully for Sony the profitable end of the PS3's life cycle can mitigate the financial hemorrhaging caused at the early part of the PS3's life cycle.

As a side note: I think Kinect has a lot of potential. I'm looking forward to games a year or two from now when developers have figured out how to use it best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Please lets keep this discussion on when we might see the next generation of consoles. I don't want a ****** flame war going on ;)

I'm more interested in who will be next (and why) so I've added a poll.

I think it will be Microsoft. By launching Xbox 360 a year before Sony, I think they really hurt Sony. My guess is they have the next gen box already planned out but are milking the 360 for every dollar of profit before announcing it.
 

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I think it will be Nintendo. They made a big splash with the Wii, and got Microsoft and Sony to jump in with "motion" controllers of their own. I think Nintendo has to bump it up a bit with a more powerful, HD capable machine. People want better graphics and the Wii is lacking in that dimension.

The real question is do we need more powerful game consoles than the PS3 or 360? I don't think games are close to using up the horsepower. It seems that peripherals might be the target for a while - introducing new ways to play games.

I'd be surprised if Microsoft or Sony introduce a new console in the next 2-3 years - especially after introducing streamlined versions.
 

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Kinect *is* a new platform. New games that are totally different from the older ones are now posible; what else does a new platform bring?
 

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I'm pretty sure that microsoft expects to get 10 years from the 360. It normally takes a few years for developers to truly begin to exploit the power of the engine. I don't think they've hit the ceiling of the processor power to handle the graphics/frame rate on too many games we've seen.

Sony will likely be the same.

Unless Nintendo intend to actually develop graphics to match the 360/Ps3, the technology is still sufficient for many more years. Most of their games look like PS1 graphic wise right now.
 

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The real question is do we need more powerful game consoles than the PS3 or 360? I don't think games are close to using up the horsepower.
"Need" is a funny word. Of course, we don't "need" a better console, but it would be nice to have.

When it comes to being first to introduce a new console, I think Nintendo has an interesting decision ahead of it. Wii hardware sales have dropped significantly in recent months. New hardware (that supports 1920x1080 resolution) would be very welcome to consumers who are buying a lot of HDTVs. I think Nintendo is not well positioned for the next 5 years if they don't give their hardware a bump.

If I were Nintendo, I'd consider releasing a "Wii HD". Make it backwards compatible with Wii peripherals and games (via software emulation), and give it graphics capabilities slightly better than the PS3/360, and keep the price point between $200-$250.

So my vote is for Nintendo.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The real question is do we need more powerful game consoles than the PS3 or 360?
Absolutely!

A FPS, driving simulation or sports game would look much better in 1080p than 720p. With better graphics processors, the characters in various games could be much more lifelike. 3D games would be more even more incredible.

It's a credit to software developers on what they can achieve using hardware that is now probably seven or eight years old now but I'm certain if you gave them GPU's and CPU's that were 5 or 10 times more powerful, you'd get some pretty cool advancements.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If I were Nintendo, I'd consider releasing a "Wii HD". Make it backwards compatible with Wii peripherals and games...
My guess is that any next generation Video game console will be compatible with the current generation.
 

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I think Nintendo has the most sound technological reasons to justify moving forward a generation sooner due to the current sound and graphics.

Before Kinect I would have said in second it was XBOX due to media size limitations, but I think they have made it clear that they do not intend to move ahead just yet. The only thing that would make them pull the trigger on a new Gen in the next couple of years would be if they cannot get good software out for Kinect (other than Dance Central).

For me Sony has the least reason to come up with a new platform. It plays all of the current durable media and it is compatible with the latest Consumer Electronics fad (3D). I really do not think the hardware has been brought to its limit yet.

My guess is that any next generation Video game console will be compatible with the current generation.
The interesting question will be what happens to downloaded content and games (i.e. XBLA, Wii Ware, Virtual Console, PSN, etc...)? Will they (MS, Nintendo and Sony) continue to support all variety of content as users move on to the next gen and come up with simple migration processes?

Cheers
 

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Nintendo, MS/Sony won't care as they don't consider it competition to their markets. (They would love to have it but going after the casual crowd means lowing your price point thus potentially losing the hardcore). Perhaps console gaming should be more like a cell phone. Sign up to a PSN or Live contract and get the hardware free or at a subsidized price. Once your 3 years are up you can upgrade to the new slim model or go month to month billing.

MS might have been able to chase Sony out of the business if they forced a short cycle of this gen. Sony NEEDS this generation to last 10 years. Nintendo can release a new console at any time. MS would like to get another year or 2 out of the 360 but but it's shortcomings will stick out more and more the older it gets (No HDD and just a DVD) unless they draw the line in the sand saying "as of this moment you can create games with a HDD requirement". That could also circumvent the DVD problem by allowing you to copy a game to HDD in it's entirety.
 

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I can almost guarantee that work started on the next gen systems for all three console makers before their current gen systems made it out the door. I remember reading that Nintendo had started preliminary work on the Gamecube before the N64 was even announced.

Are they anywhere close to actually having a product yet? I suspect they all have something ready to go if necessary, but I don't think any of them wants to release anything immediately.

I would guess that Microsoft will be the first to release a true next gen console, since being first to market obviously benefited them before, but keep in mind that Nintendo loves to release minor revisions to their consoles, so maybe a Wii HD is more likely next.
 

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Nintendo will likely be the next to upgrade,
with PS3 and xbox adapting a motion type system, nintendo will have no choice,
imo price is the only thing keeping nintendo alive right now
 

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My vote is for Nintendo as well. I'm not a gamer, but looking at advancements by MS with Kinect, I think that Nintendo needs to step it up. If I were to buy a system today, I would likely lean towards the Xbox 360 because of Kinect and the fact you don't need controllers for it. I'm sure MS will milk Kinect for a few years before moving on.

My choice used to be Wii because of motion control, but the idea behind Kinect with no controllers is much better than Wii's controls.
 

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Nintendo, in my opinion. They have the clearest business case for it (they made the most money last generation, and they're now seeing flagging sales which they will need to defend for their shareowners)

XBox needs to to do it because their hardware is fully exploited. (It was simple catalogue engineering and "mature" when it came out five years ago...) but their shareowners are still deeply in the red for this whole program and the only thing they have to show for it is a <10% (and shrinking) lead on Sony. Put another way...tied-for-last-place. Combined with the significant gaps in their leadership team, I don't think they can make a case for it today.

Sony still has lots of headroom in their hardware...they have other problems. I think history will show their technology curve was in fact too steep and that cost them commercially. They need to focus on the content, user experience and commercial challenges while the other two figure out their hardware problems.
 

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I was thinking of buying a ps3 but I hate too because they'll probably come out with a ps4 in a year or two. With my luck.
 

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I was talking to (interviewing, actually) a guy who had spent a co-op turn testing NHL 10 on the PS3. He said that they only ever used half of the processors/cores that the Cell had to offer. Now, NHL 10 may not be the most eye-catching game out there, but it's fairly complicated. So it's not the h/w that is limiting games, but the ability of the architects/programmers to divide up the work in such a way as to make use of all the processing power available.
 

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2 things Sony could do to decimate the competition.

1: Come up with middleware that to some extent automates splitting a task between SPU's

2: Charge one of it's 1st party studios to create a kickass engine and license it. This one seems so obvious I can't think of why they haven't done it.
 

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So it's not the h/w that is limiting games, but the ability of the architects/programmers to divide up the work in such a way as to make use of all the processing power available.
From a developer's point of view a system that implements less parallelism but has faster single-threaded performance is preferred over a highly parallel system where individual threads are executed slowly. The odd exceptions to this rule are problems that are considered "embarrassingly parallel" (e.g. graphics rasterization done by your video card, video encoding). The issue is that most code doesn't fall into this "embarrassingly parallel" category.

I've talked to other developers who are employed by game companies (Ubisoft, EA) who are currently working on console games and their main complaints are usually around the amount of system memory in console systems. If the console hardware guys listen to the software guys, the next iteration of consoles will have substantially more RAM than current consoles.

1: Come up with middleware that to some extent automates splitting a task between SPU's
If Sony could do this, then that would be the biggest development in computer science in the last 30 years. I just wanted to outline how monumentally difficult that would be.
 
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