Guest Post: What to Expect from the Next Gen Consoles

Wondering what 2013 has in store for new gaming systems? We are hot off the announcements about the upcoming PS4. What else might we hear about? The guest post below tells us what to expect.

 

Following the momentous success of the previous generation of games consoles, namely the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, manufacturers now find themselves developing and producing a new wave of entertainment systems.

With Nintendo being the first to market with its Wii U late last year, Sony and Microsoft will be the next big players to introduce next-generation consoles. Here is what you can expect:

 

Sony PS4

controller-4_LargeHaving officially announced details of its next-generation console in February 2013, Sony hopes that the PS4 can steal a march on its video game rivals. With a release date sometime before the 2013 holiday season, excited gamers may need to start saving, auction off their old consoles or even sell unwanted clothes in order to afford the inevitably expensive offering.

Although the industry is still none the wiser to the PS4’s design, its technical specifications are likely to remain the major talking point. Sony has adopted similar hardware to that found in personal computers, making it easier and less expensive to develop games. The console’s AMD developed semi-custom accelerated processing unit (APU) is a single chip solution combining a CPU and GPU. This computing power should make the PS4 able to run graphically detailed games at 1080p and 60fps.

The PS4’s home screen and interface will feature content from Netflix and Amazon among others and be fully customisable. Multi-tasking is also a new addition, allowing the user to access other applications during gameplay.

One of the PS4’s most unique features is that if the user purchases a game online, they will be able to play almost immediately. The remaining content that needs downloading will happen incrementally in the background while the gamer is playing.

 

Microsoft 720

Microsoft has yet to officially announce its plan for a next-generation console. However, the video game industry expects a release around the same times as the PS4. Rumours suggest it will be called the 720 and share several of the PS4’s characteristics, but Microsoft will still want to differentiate itself in the market.

The 720’s processing power is likely to be much the same, meaning developers won’t differentiate between either machine when producing content. One major difference could be in the way the user interacts with the game. Microsoft’s Kinect add-on to the 360 has been a lot more successful than Sony’s PS3 Move alternative. Therefore speculation indicates that Microsoft may develop its motion-sensor technology further and fully integrate it in the new console.

Microsoft may also expand and develop its Xbox SmartGlass app that enables the user to share their games console content across all portable devices including tablets and Smartphones. While Sony and Nintendo have already developed controllers with interactive screens and touchpads, Microsoft could take this idea further.

In terms of interface and design, Microsoft is likely to make changes and already has the upper hand when it comes to online security, following Sony’s high-profile breaches in recent years.

Although Microsoft are yet to reveal the extent of their plans, it looks certain that the next-generation of games consoles will be faster, provide greater levels of interaction and usher in a new form of home entertainment.

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