Do you remember the months leading up the PS4 and Xbox One release? Do you remember how scary it was? How unsure and confused we all were? We heard various reports and rumours that made us think the next generation would be awful. Rumours like, there won’t be a disk drive and that you’d have to go online at least once a day in order to play games. It was not a great time to be a console gamer. So many unknowns and a lot of speculation lead to a horrid atmosphere around our beloved game machines. However, with a lot of complaining from fans we managed to put those speculations to rest and received two pretty great consoles. In hindsight it seemed like we had nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, since this past E3 I am now getting the same sense of fear we all got back in 2013 awaiting the next generation of consoles.
So, why do I feel this way? Well it was pretty much due to Microsoft’s unexpected announcement of two new consoles at their press event. I should say here that we were expecting one console announcement from both Microsoft and Sony. Not only were there convincing rumours floating around the internet but it’s happened plenty of times before with the PS3 Slim and the Xbox 360. But what we didn’t see coming was 45 minutes after the Xbox One S being announced was the Project Scorpio reveal. The Xbox One S is essentially a smaller 4K compatible Xbox One. But Project Scorpio is being marketed as having the best graphics of any console yet, being faster, smoother and all round being a much better console than any other. With all these high specs it seemed like Sony was forced to remove its announcement of the PS4 Neo at their press conference and instead replace it with that pretty underwhelming Day Gone gameplay. Sony is going to have to go back to the drawing board to remain the king of high specs.
Now, what exactly is the problem with this? We’ll be getting better consoles, right? Well… yes, but we’ve only been in this console cycle for three years and I honestly still feel like I just got my PS4 not that long ago. But the way people are talking about the Scorpio may qualify it for a whole new generation. It feels like the same large leap our current consoles made when we were still using our PS3’s and Xbox 360’s, except it’s not been about seven years, it’s only been three. I don’t want to have to spend hundreds of pounds on a console that will only last me a few years, but with the announcement of Scorpio it may seem like that’s what we should expect.
Speaking of money, these new consoles are defiantly going to be pricey. The quality of Scorpio’s graphics card is going to be just under Nvidia’s best and current card for PC which is about £600. If that’s how much the card costs alone how much are all the other pieces of tech inside the box going to cost!? Microsoft and Sony obviously need to make a profit so it scares to think how expensive these consoles are going to be. Also the companies are trying to get around this by saying that all of the games available for our current consoles will be playable on these new consoles. I have a very hard time believing this. Developers are going to have to make compromises in order to get their games playable on all of these consoles, this may result in poor video games and I think eventually devs will want to concentrate solely on the newer better consoles making my PS4 redundant.
I hope that in a few year’s time I will feel the same way about the PS4 Neo and Project Scorpio as I do now about the PS4 and Xbox One. That there wasn’t really anything to worry about, things resolved themselves and that we got two consoles that are great to play. But that was a time when we asked for new consoles and wanted new tech. I’m all for slightly improved versions of our current consoles but this grand leap in specs makes me anxious and maybe just a little scared about the future of our video game console. I guess only time will tell.