The current generation of consoles have had a tumultuous reign that has redefined the way video games are played and viewed. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 fans enjoyed games with ever-increasing complexity of controls and gameplay, cinematic triple-A experiences and fascinating indie treasures. Motion controls, introduced for the first time as a workable and mainstream product by the Wii; have been adopted by Sony and Microsoft, and the calibre of games being released with motion compatibility is improving steadily. Casual games have exploded, giving a majority of people an avenue into games, and an entry point into core games.
So... as the mighty consoles of our day near the end of their lives, what is next?
Restrictions and enforced Internet compatibility, it seems. Rumours (unsubstantiated, but ostensibly reliable) describe a new Xbox that requires an Internet connection to be constantly on in order to play games, an Xbox where used games will only allow the buyer to play a kind of 'demo' mode, with the real game requiring further payment to activate. The allegedly titled PlayStation, 'Orbis', will also require an Internet connection to start up games, and shares the restriction on used games. Backwards compatibility will not exist with the Orbis according to the speculation, with details remaining sketchy on whether it will be provided with Microsoft's offering. If you despise heavy-handed restrictions on how you can play your games, perhaps it is time to stock up on current-gen games before the 2013 holiday season.
That's right, the consoles are said to be available to the public in the festive season of 2013. They are apparently being delivered to beta testers and screeners already.
Those who are unfazed by the newfound restrictions will be pleased to know that both consoles will have roughly double the processing power of current high-end computers, with the upcoming Xbox featuring between four to six cores.
Users will be forced to register all their games with a single PSN or Xbox Live account, and it is possible that the main means of acquiring games will be not with the dvd, but with Internet downloads.
For information about the Wii U, read the earlier article in this blog.
I am looking forward to more information about the consoles, that is, information that does not tout their DRM schemes, but the actual gaming experience they are selling to consumers. After all, it is about consumers, isn't it?
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