'Next-Gen' consoles lack appeal

Since the Wii U started the “next-gen” console race back in November, there have been fears and speculations in investing in these new consoles. Since then, the Wii U has suffered from poor sale numbers. Gamers are waiting to see what the PS4 and the next Xbox will have to offer. But, if Sony and Microsoft want to have a successful launch, unlike the Wii U, they have to learn from Nintendo’s mistakes.

Video game consoles are an investment. People buy consoles expecting to play the available games for that console. The Wii U did not release anything that could motivate people to go out and purchase a console. The essential games available were only a couple of Nintendo first-party games like “Nintendoland” and “New Super Mario Bros U”) and games hardcore gamers have already played like “Mass Effect 3: Special Edition” and “Batman: Arkham City – Armored Edition”.

Nintendo has an opportunity at E3 to get people excited with a new “Legend of Zelda” or “Super Smash Bros.,” but people will have to wait a year for these games to be released. With Sony, none of the games announced at the PS4 press conference can be considered “must-own” games. Hopefully more games will be announced at E3, but without that “killer app,” the consoles will not do well on the market.

The biggest mistake Nintendo made with its release was its lack of games. Even now, upcoming games will not be coming to the Wii U. This includes “Grand Theft Auto V” and "Battlefield 4.” Plus, there have been recent releases that were not available for the Wii U, such as “Bioshock Infinite” and “Tomb Raider.” It seems to be the smarter decision to stick with the Xbox 360 and PS3, because developers are focusing on releasing games for these consoles and not for the Wii U.

Now with PlayStation 4, will developers focus their efforts with releasing content for the console, or will they continue making games for Xbox 360 and PS3? I think there’s going to be a transitioning period, but that speculation with wondering how long that transitioning period is going to be will stop people from purchasing a new console for quite awhile.

What I think is worrying most people is the lack of information on what these “next-gens” have to offer. Microsoft has released nothing on its “next-gen” console. Sony did release information on the PS4, but there isn’t any draw that makes it worth buying. The graphics on the PS4, with what Sony has shown, aren’t that much better then PS3 graphics. PS4’s additions to its console, like the social networking and “share button,” feel more like gimmicks than innovative improvements. Will it be worth the $300 to $500 price tag to have slightly better graphics and social networking capabilities? Most people aren’t going to bite.

But, Sony and Microsoft have a chance to succeed where Nintendo has failed. Both companies will need to keep the prices of the consoles down. E3 is the perfect opportunity to get people excited if they released information on “killer apps” and other great games the console has to offer. Sadly, as history goes, both Sony and Microsoft will probably focus on hardware over software like Nintendo did with Wii U and ultimately do poorly in the initial release.


Reach the blogger at tyler.verti@asu.edu.

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