As mentioned a few times in past posts, I enjoy speculation, as do many people in the gaming community. So I figured I’d post about my own predictions and thoughts on the current and future landscape of video gaming as it is now and as we move forward towards the impending 9th Generation of Consoles.
I appreciate that everyone has their own thoughts and ideas and I could certainly be way off the mark and be missing information that I was unaware of etc. However I am happy to discuss what other peoples thoughts are and if I have missed anything. This for the most part is just an opinion based off what I have been following since getting back into gaming and what I have observed over the years.
To look at things in a broad sense, some may see video gaming as a dying business. This is an article from 2001 and spends some time talking about how the Xbox is very similar to a PC. Which some were speculating meant consoles were heading in that direction where they were basically console sized PC’s. Which made me think that they may just disappear leaving desktops and PC technology as the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the gaming industry and eventually consoles would disappear and just be Dell and HP and IBM etc. making PC based consoles. I also saw this sort of speculation thrown around suggesting mobile technology is the future of video gaming. Further articles like this although make good points.. it really is jumping to conclusions.
It’s currently 2018. We have seen and still see PC technology custom installed into console sized form factors like the Steam Machine’s and companies like Asus’s console-esque gaming rigs with varying degree’s of commercial success. Of course our traditional consoles are closer to PC’s than ever before, but it seems to mean and have very little impact on the companies involved in making them. Furthermore mobile gaming is huge however gaming consoles are still popular (in fact increasingly so) as is PC gaming and laptop gaming, and hell, board gaming…
…the point here is, some things don’t go anywhere, they just diversify. Console gaming is sticking around and growing. As is PC, as is mobile, as is digital downloads.. it’s all growing.. isn’t it great!? I think this diversification can only be a good thing, benefiting the consumer by catering to what everyone wants and needs in their gaming lifestyle’s.
With this landscape where can we see things moving forward? PS5, Xbox Two, Switch mini, Atari VCS, Sega Spartan, Google Yeti!? I think in the most part we’ll see gaming continue from strength to strength, because there will always be huge number of people who enjoy the experience and convenience of console gaming. So I think all the major companies will continue forward with new consoles, below are my predictions:
- PS5: Late 2019
- Xbox Two: Late 2020 (and fall behind Sony because of it)
- Switch Mini: Maybe mid-2019 (Or some kind of form factor and/or spec revision by the end of 2019)
- Atari VCS: Mid 2019 (Won’t be very successful.. but I’ll buy one for sure)
- Sega Spartan: Never (Unless it releases under their own brand via crowdfunding)
- Google Yeti: Mid to Late 2019 (However will be more a Google Play console, if it gets some strong titles and is solid with decent specs, it could potentially be competitive)
What about portables? 4DS? or Vita 2? Maybe and not likely. I think Nintendo could make a new purely portable console however I think it will be more like a Switch than a 4DS. It will look like a Switch but without detachable controller’s and it will be HDMI to the television and existing Switch hardware will be fully compatible (including current Switch titles.. and 3DS backwards compatibility too? well… that’s a buy for sure.)…
…it’s a big part of gaming culture is to speculate about what the future of gaming has in store, it’s a fun detour from playing games to think about the future of what is a very enjoyable hobby. I most enjoy speculating about the hardware side of things, however many others are more interested in new games releases. Although equally as interesting, my backlog is so long that I try not to get too hyped these days!
But in terms of hype surrounding hardware.. I’m pretty hyped for the PS5, reports sound like VR support will be available out of the box (instead of having a mess of cables) which I’m excited about. Raw power doesn’t excite me too much, I’m more of a convenience kind of guy, I’m interested in seeing a 4th company take a chunk of the console market so what Atari and Google have in store is something I’m keeping a close eye on. However I doubt what it is, will have any significant impact on the gaming landscape, it may end up being just another healthy contender in this ever diversifying culture of video gaming and that can only be a good thing!
Featured Image: Picture taken by the author, a console from each generation of consoles.
First Image: Collage of conceptual artwork of potential upcoming video game consoles, some are less conceptual than others ie. pretty close to the actual design. Each picture in the collage was taken from a website and is in no way the work of the author of this article other than the use of fotor to create the collage. Xbox Two concept image credit (TNHOnline), PS5 concept image credit (GameRant), Sega Spartan concept (SpartanConsole), Google Yeti controller concept (FossBytes), Atari VCS concept (ComicBook), Switch mini concept (NintendoLife).