Let’s have a serious, and adult conversation about the next GEN gaming consoles. Of the five (Wii U, Xbox 720, PS4, Ouya, and Steambox) which has the better chance of survival as a stand alone unit? Now, I am not asking about which has the better graphics, which is more powerful, etc… Why, simply because Graphics and power do not define the greatness of a game. A game should be judged on its storyline and playability, not graphics.
To make this fair, let’s go in Alphabetical Order, shall we?
First off is the OUYA:
Although not yet officially launched, the Ouya does have the ability to release games to the market rather quickly. The downside is that it could be a rather niche market. Android OS fans are sure to love it, and its open sourceness is sure to attract developers, hackers, and those that dabble in developing. The $99.99 price tag (US) is sure to attract a multitude of sales.
In my opinion, we will probably see quite a bit out of this little guy. The price alone is a huge selling point. Although I don’t think it will fully compete with the big 3, it will surely be the chihuahua biting at their ankles.
Second is the PS4:
At this time, we still do not know a lot about the PS4. During their announcement, they showed some pretty impressive tech demos, but the console itself was…well..nonexistent. Pricing is sure to be an issue here, it will come nowhere near the pricing of the Ouya (understandable), but the higher price tag will only guarantee sales to the PS Fanboys and girls. To those on the fence, it will come down to game availability. Again, I would say power, but you need interesting games to harness that power. My concern is that the PS4 will not have enough original titles to lure fans away form the others. If Call of Duty is available on all consoles, I don’t think I would buy a PS4 just to play it if I already own it on Wii U or 720. In this next Gen, Sony needs to work on creating new and original titles exclusively for their consoles.
In my opinion, without a selection of core titles to rely on, Sony will always struggle for dominance with the Xbox like two arch rivals courting the same girl in high school. Both have equal chances, but constantly mimicking each others stale moves is getting them no where.
Third is the Steambox:
The Steambox is almost a dream come true for PC gamers. A non-PC with the capability to run PC games seems like a great idea. But PC Gamers are a dedicated and vicious bunch. Take away their favorite PC, and they suddenly become rabid. The Piston Steambox has a selling point between $499 and $999. That is rather expensive, however I would guess that a true PC gamer will be willing to shell out the cash as long as it lives up to promises. There are rumors that Valve will release something less expensive, but I am not sure that I have the faith in Mr. Newell.
In my opinion, I have doubts that we even see this anytime soon, and if we do I have a feeling that the PC gamers will stick to their set ups, opting to incrementally upgrading their PC as they seem fit. Sure it will sell, but just like Gabe running a marathon it might be tightly packed into spandex, but it will still come in last.
Fourth is the Wii U:
The Wii U is the one next gen console that has enough esxclusive titles to survive without third party support. They also have the imagination, and the guts, to try new things and test new original titles. I think their biggest issue right now is third party support. Nintendo has to not only capture more third party cross platform games, but also convince those same developers to create exclusive titles. We saw Rayman Legends take the lead here, until Ubisoft pulled out at the last minute to make the game cross platform. A huge plus is that Nintendo was the first to release the console for the next gen. With a collection of great games released already, and many more to look forward to, I think we will see great things to come.
In my opinion, the Wii U has staying power. Nintendo is not afraid to gamble (think back to their Love hotels and Taxi services), and they did just that with this console. They could have released Pikmin, Zedla, etc… immediately at launch, but instead chose to wait and perfect the games. This angered some fans, but I think they need that extra fire power once Sony and Microsoft releases their consoles. However,like Lil Mac, Nintendo is never afraid to back down from a fight.
Finally, we have the Xbox 720:
I almost left this one off of the list because we know nothing about it yet. However, their announcement is coming soon. To win over the fans, and 1-UP Sony, they need to show us an actual console during the reveal. Much like the PS4, there are plenty of fanboys and girls that will line up for this console regardless of price. However, much like Sony there are too many third party cross platform titles that the console relies on for sales. They do have Halo, however I feel that the series needs some sort of upgrade to make it a serious threat to exclusive titles like Mario. One thing that Xbox does have going for it is Xbox Live, in my opinion it is still the best online service, followed closely by Wii U, then PSN.
In my opinion, The Xbox 720 will be successful, just like the PS4, there are a lot of fans out there that are dedicated. However, their battle for supremacy with Sony will always get in the way. Unfortunately, both Sony and Microsoft seem to forget about Nintendo when they are battling it out. However, one has to knock off the other before they can seriously confront the grandfather of gaming. One down side of Microsoft is the lack of a handheld. I think in this generation, a handheld is essential. Hopefully the 720 will have a solution for that.
So, in my opinion, the Wii U will come out on top in this next gen market. To me, Sony and Microsoft are too busy trying on dresses in an ongoing cat-fight to see who will look better, but in the end they both seem to pick the same dress. Nintendo is contempt with their Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and Tom Selleck mustache, so they can spend their free time thinking ahead. Although there is potential for Steambox and Ouya, they are still new on the block and will take some time to earn the respect of the big boys.
Who do you choose to come out on top, and why? Let’s have a discussion in the comments below.