With the upcoming new updates to PS4 and Xbone, we’re seeing a trend where both Sony and Microsoft want to appeal to the hardcore gaming market. People are buzzing about their capabilities and all that, but in the end if the games are lacklustre, the console’s power really doesn’t matter at all. Look at PSVita, a damn nice little handheld, but its got nothing against the library on the 3DS.
As I’ve said numerous times before, PC is for hardware performance and cutting edge tech. Consoles used to stick with the philosophy of matured technology. The types of games and gameplays between PC and console are inherently different, but that line has been buried with the PC games entering console market. PlayStation was the most popular entry point, and never left. It may not have been the first console to utilise PC standpoint, but nevertheless it was something that stroke a deal. This has led consoles to be dumbed down PCs to a large extent, but at the same time everyone who plays games via Steam is playing those games via that digital game console on their PC.
Broken record, I know.
Microsoft has been synonymous with PC gaming at least since Windows 95. Other OS’ are enjoying the leftovers, for better or worse. The Xbox brand will be absorbed by the Windows platform at some point in the future, reabsorbed if you take into account that the Direct X box originally spun off from Windows itself. That will be good. The sooner Xbox as a console vanishes, the better. Nintendo will continue doing its thing. If the rumours about NX being a hybrid home/handheld console are true, this is the future where console gaming is going.
What will Sony do? They’re in deep shit, to be fair. Either they need to go the way of the dodo, or begin to emphasize something else. They have no place in the PC market, their televisions and other media equipment have been failing for some time now and they’re mostly known for PlayStation brand. If I were a dick, I’d say that PlayStation has been the thing that has killed Sony itself as a brand. They used to produce loads of new and dare I say innovative multimedia equipment. Their cassette and CD players were top-notch, their TV-sets were without a doubt cutting edge even at their cheapest and goddamn I still have a radio from the 1980’s that works better than most modern ones.
Sony has had their own little troubles. BetaMAX died in the war against VHS and Laserdisc, with VHS winning by the loads. The Blu-ray format has become more and more common, but it has not kicked DVD out from the race yet. Currently, the BD format is already competing against digital distribution. Whether or not digital distribution will end up being the main format over all else, BD and its successors will without a doubt continue the path Laserdisc paved as the collectors’ format.
Will Sony become just a publisher again? When Sony was a publisher in their pre-PlayStation days, they were known for lacklustre games. Whatever Sony will do, they can’t prevent evolution of the Screen. The Screen used to go by the name television, and before it was theatre and so on. Now, the Screen is in your pocket. It’s everywhere, you can watch and play games anywhere, anytime. The PlayStation is not. As PlayStation now, it is married to the Screen in the living rooms, to the TV. It can’t exist anywhere else, and Sony is clearly not willing to entertain handheld gaming. Sony can’t enter PC market, that’s Windows country. Perhaps, just perhaps, they can change the PlayStation into a true multimedia device for the home, except Microsoft already tried that and abandoned it very soon after.
People just want to play good games. All the companies really have to do is deliver them, but that, above all else, has seems to have become difficult within this world where those smaller groups with the loudest voice seem to be catered to. Be it the hardcore gamer or some women rallying against Dead or Alive.
Personally, I’m more or less stopped giving a damn where video games are going now. I’m just going with the flow, not really expecting any but still find myself being disappointed at times. However, I do find the constant push for 4K distasteful, as the screens meant for general consumers don’t achieve the desired quality and the prices are still high. Give it five years or so when the technology matures and prices come down. At that time those who want the bleeding edge tech will have already moved to 8K or 16K, but that’s how it always goes. Viewscreen technology moves so damn fast that’s it’s nearly pointless to keep up.