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For console owners, is this the end of an era?

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For console owners, is this the end of an era? - 8/12/2012 11:51:56 AM   

Posts: 9734
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Star Trekkin', across the universe
I've been a console gamer since the days of the NES and I've always found the years/months before a new console launch to be the most exciting. The speculation, the leaks, the rumours until finally the big reveal - usually at E3. I remember buying every magazine that featured anything to do with the new consoles, even if it was merely a concept or mock up. I remember being blown away by the new graphics and new features that these new machines offered. More often than not I would buy at least one of the new generation of consoles at launch and play the most mediocre of games, but still be amazed at the graphics and just want to use the console at all.

However, with the new Xbox and PS4 being probably the last dedicated games consoles of their type, is it the end of an era? It's very likely that we'll never see a generational leap in terms of console performance after this generation. Gaming will probably go one of two ways (or perhaps both): the OnLive/Gakai model of set tops boxes, where all the processing is done server side (Sony now owns Gakai and this feature is certain to be included on the PS4); or the current smartphone model, where people use their smartphone to game, either on the device itself or by throwing the picture to an HDTV and using the phone as a controller-come-console.

In either case we'll never see that generational leap again. It will be gradual, incremental steps forward that we'll hardly notice. Now, depending on your point of view this might be a fantastic thing. It will mean never having to wait 5 or more years between upgrades. It will come yearly now. I must also qualify that I've never been a PC gamer and of course this kind of gradual, ongoing upgrade process will be familiar to those. I'm probably longing for days past, but is anyone else a little saddened or am I writing the dedicated console's obituary too early?
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RE: For console owners, is this the end of an era? - 8/12/2012 4:00:51 PM   

Posts: 5351
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Neo Kobe
If they go down the route of pure digital distribution or Onlive (is that the name?) style streamed gaming I think so yes. Not interested in buying licenses for games that I can never own or feeling like they exist on a cloud server somewhere. Using up such big chunks of hard drive space is annoying enough personally. DLC and online codes for playing multiplayer are things that I am not a fan of, but the tech has moved along so far that nobody will go back now. As far as dedicated consoles go I think that people would always expect a big leap forward, graphics are still a big selling point, but whether the hardware itself will become more of a PSN multimedia centre type thing I can't say.

(in reply to HIM)
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