Tech upgrades aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but people balked at the price of the XBOX One X. These new consoles either have to be crazy expensive (comparatively), or the respective companies will be making a massive loss on initial sales – much more than previous generations.
Who is going to buy this straight away? Early adopters and mega fans sure, but for the first time possibly the PC gaming ‘master class’ that has previously snubbed consoles.
The number of people that dropped around AUD$1,500 – 2,000 for the Nvidia 20×0 series before the specs were even confirmed was ridiculous. Having early access to new storage tech and the apparent blazing load times, this is a key area where PC players cite that PC beats consoles.
I am not saying that console gaming is about to make PC gaming obsolete or anything like that. But the market for people who will throw massive amounts of money because a single number marks it as ‘the best’ has grown significantly, and I am wondering if the traditional console war is finally on the way out.
Want to play old games? Depending on your platform, you can buy them again, have some backwards compatibility or streaming. If you are lucky enough to be in an area that PlayStation Now exists. (Yes, shots fired. Stop advertising things to me you know I can’t access Sony!).
Want to play new games without expensive hardware? Stream them. You will need the internet that only about 8 countries in the world can provide, but there is no doubt that streaming content is the future.
Hardware wise, the XBOX and PlayStations are basically identical these days (yes there are differences, but they are now AMD computers with different tweaks in a broad sense). Nintendo has always done its own thing, and look at the success of the Switch.
But now more than ever before, the content is what the war is about, not the hardware. On the PC, Epic has paid for exclusive deals on big titles to woo people over. Microsoft has made it all but a no brainer for people to just hand over $15 a month, and look how much Netflix makes from the same deal. Sony is still as stubborn as ever in its ways, but that might give Microsoft an advantage.
I don’t think the end goal for hardware like Scarlett and PS5 is as focused on getting hardware to the masses anymore. That will be handled by streaming onto comparatively lower spec machines.
But that goal is still probably 5-10 years away. If you want to play the new games and don’t have access to streaming, these high-end machines could put gaming out of your reach.
It will be an interesting 12 months to see what Sony and Microsoft do about all this.
Until next time,