This year is THE year. One way or another a new console will be announced, or at least we should start hearing some believable rumors. With Sony sticking to the ps3 10 year life cycle, that leaves only two of the big three left to make that big expensive move.
Why does this make me nervous? Never before in a consoles life cycle have I been more invested. I own a 360, and I bought in to Microsoft’s promise of a multi media living room center piece. I use it for DVD, Netflixs, gaming, chatting, espn, and more. The xbox replaced my cable bill. It just makes me sick to think we could be moving forward, I have tons of games, plus this brand new Kinect camera I hope we have barely scratched the surface of potential of.
The xbox “720”
The xbox 360 has been around since 2005 , which is makes it a little overdue for an upgrade. But the 360 has plenty of life left in it, games continue to look graphically better every year. Features of the xbox are still industry leading and compelling, With Kinect breathing new life into the xbox life cycle and Hulu Plus being added around April, why do we think an upgrade is around the corner? These days seems like other than Kinect Microsoft looks quiet. Seems like Microsoft is pouring all their resources into something big, and its not Kinect. They are saying its taking 5 months alone to add Kinect support into Netflixs, a sure sigh resources are being spent somewhere else. With game budgets for modest games on current hardware ranging around pile of 20 million dollar bills, an upgrade would be really risky for Microsoft, or any company for that matter.
What would the new xbox be?
Good question. Kinect will definitely still be apart of the next xbox . Most new consoles are defined by a substantial graphic upgrade., but not in the upcoming generation. Graphics are being pushed every year on current hardware, sure a graphics can have smoother frame rates ,smoother textures, but thats not where the sell points are going to be this time around. The next consoles are going to have bigger processors for faster loading, multimedia conversion, streaming of games , music and movies. You are going to see huge hard drives for all the saving and new apps you are going to be enjoying soon in the future. You are going to see the xbox become a complete hub of media conversion.
Nintendo has lead sells this generation, and found a way into homes where gaming consoles were hardly found. Still delivering amazing first party Nintendo classics , but losing core gamers with a slew of party games and mini collections. Hardware sales power the Wii, but software sales are the life blood of a console, and Nintendo needs a transfusion.
What will the Big N think of next?
Nintendo is tricky. What Nintendo has to do is pretty clear at this point.With lagging sales of the Wii, and current excitement in Nintendo’s next hand held is not going unnoticed by Nintendo big wigs, Nintendo needs a new console.The tricky part is it is nearly impossible to predict what they will try or do next. The Wii took everyone by surprise and everyone by storm. But to simply think Nintendo will just add HD graphics to the Wii is a definite underestimation of Nintendo. More than anything Nintendo is torn, continue chasing the mass appeal of the Wii audience? or play catch up and try to regain the core audience? Nintendo will have to find a way to better implement their online store, online gaming, apps, chat,and well anything do to with the internet. Nintendo and the internet to not play well together. Graphics update will be a major issue for Nintendo, along with finding a way to affectively streamline online usage into a user friendly environment.