The Xbox 360 launched way back in 2005 to kick off the seventh generation of videogame consoles. After the comparative failure of the original Xbox, Microsoft bet big on the Xbox 360, pushing it as a total entertainment device. Launching early paid off for Microsoft, and even a billion dollar red ring of death fiasco couldn’t stop the Xbox 360 from selling well over 70 million units worldwide.
Usually generations last around 5 years before console manufactures release a new console with vastly superior specifications so that game developers can create new experiences unencumbered by too little RAM or processing power. This generation, however, kicked off early, and thanks to a global recession amongst other reasons, has dragged on for seven years. Nintendo claim to have started the next generation with their Wii U console, however, with specifications that are barely ahead of the current Xbox and PlayStation, many regard it as Nintendo playing catch up.
The little information we have is that both Sony and Microsoft are likely to launch their next consoles in 2013 with E3 or before when we hear about them. As to what games they will launch with, or even if they will be bundled with next generation versions of motion controllers remains up in the air.
The fact that the current generation has gone on longer than those before, means that for some gamers it is starting to get a bit stale. Perhaps this is being reflected in respective sales figures. Despite the launches of big titles such as Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, it was not enough to prevent a drop in annual US video game sales. Hardware and software sold by retailers were down 11% on the year in November and this trend shows no sign of abating.
Perhaps, people are holding off and saving their money to see what next year brings. Hopefully, a new generation will also lead to greater variation in intellectual properties. Personally, the repetition of sequel after sequel, first person shooter after first person shooter is starting to wear very thin. I look forward to the days of developers trying new things rather than playing the safe option. 2013 cant come quick enough.
Are you looking forward to a new generation of consoles or do you think that the current one still has more to offer?
Thanks for reading,