My thoughts on Next Gen consoles.

So the Next Generation of consoles is almost here and everyone is wondering what they will cost, how they will sell and who will sell the most.

My PS3 has been the best console I have ever had and also the cheapest. Almost 25 years ago as a starving student I had a Mega Drive with only 3 games because, at £40 a time, that was all I could afford. This last year I have had about 40 games from Sony for the princely sum of £30 for PS+ plus discounts on many others. Given what we’ve been hearing about the XboxOne and second-hand games if Sony can continue PS+ onto the PS4 then my next console is a no brainer. The bigger problem for them is that there is currently no compelling reason for me or many others to upgrade immediately. I have around 150 games for the PS3 many of them 1080p and none of them will work on the PS4. Gran Turismo 6 looks amazing and is PS3 only. I also already have You Tube and Netflix and the ability to play DVDs, Blurays and all my streamed media on it in 1080p so what would compel me to buy one?

Every previous Playstation has upped the graphical stakes a lot. PS1 was lo-res. PS2 was hi-res. PS3 was HD and the PS4 will be…. HD too. This is a problem. Millions and Millions of people have been playing HD games on PS3s and 360s for nearly 8 years so now they have to be convinced that Next Gen HD will be superior. Undoubtably it will but not so noticeably to the average gamer. Hopefully all games on PS4 will be 1080p @ 60fps rather than just a few on the PS3 and that would make a big difference to me but would it matter to most? I don’t hear a lot of people howling about 30fps on most current gen games. Codemasters seem to sell plenty of F1 games despite the horrible 30fps refresh. The graphics on Need For Speed Unleashed 2 actually made me physically ill. One of my favourite games of the last year was Sonic Racing Transformed despite a less than smooth experience with s frame rate that seemed to drop into single figures at times. The most annoying thing about the current generation of consoles has been the difficulty of optimising for two radically different architectures so that the only games that really excel graphically are the ones which are exclusive to one console. (Uncharted 3, Forza 4, GT5 & 6 even Wipeout Fury.) Hopefully with similar architectures the Next Gen games will be, on the whole, better optimised although if the PS4 really is 50% more powerful that has to be a concern for Microsoft if they don’t want to be sidelined from AAA titles like Nintendo. I am going to watch with interest and probably won’t buy one till late 2014.

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