The Subtle Joys of Speculation – Part 2: follow up

Part 2, referring to this post back in April 2018 which we’ll call part 1. A landscape where the initial stirrings on multiple next-gen consoles were coming to fruition and I made predictions about when such consoles would be released. It is now December 2019 and out of my predictions, for all intents and purposes, the consoles all have release windows. So I’ve decided to follow up on this and see what I got right, and what I got wrong.

Prediction 1: PS5 release in Late 2019

(Image credit: Lets Go Digital)

Back in April 2018 I predicted a release date of late 2019. Which I maintain was both generous for me to think it would be that soon, but also reasonable considering just how early we were hearing about PS5 news back in July of 2017 and starting hearing about dev kits in March 2018. From my perspective this makes a PS5 release prediction of late 2019 pretty realistic, at least at that time. As soon as we heard that there’d be no PSX in 2018 and no Sony presence at E3 in 2019, to me it became obvious that my prediction was off. Instead we now know the release period to be Holiday 2020 or possibly the exact date of November 20, 2020. Which is keeping to theme of releasing their console’s in November and within their general gap of 6-7 years per console release.

Prediction 2: Xbox Two (Scarlett) release in Late 2020

(Image credit: The Verge)

Now known as the Xbox Series X, we first started hearing the initial stirrings of a new console back in mid 2017, obviously around the same time we started hearing of the PS5. The difference being however, Sony released their ‘half-step’ PS4 Pro console in November 2016 whereas Microsoft released the One X an entire year later in November 2017. Leading one to think in the case of Sony, PS4 Pro release in late 2016, PS5 initial news in mid 2017, PS5 announcement late 2018 through mid 2019, PS5 release late 2019, which was my thinking. Whereas with Microsoft it was Scarlett rumors mid 2017, Scorpio release late 2017, therefore I figured the earliest we’d hear anything official from Microsoft would be mid 2019 at the very earliest. In fact we heard the first word from Microsoft at E3 2018 about new ‘consoles’ however my predictions were in April of the same year. So yes, this was a surprise to me to hear so soon. In all honesty, I may have changed my prediction to a little earlier had I made my predictions after E3 2018, although looking back the announcement was likely just to keep fans, investors and competition in the loop on things. I was hearing alot more about PS5 rumours than Scarlett rumours at this time, especially with the dev kit info making it’s way around the internet. I figure Microsoft just wanted to let everyone know that even though they’d just released the Scorpio, they aren’t taking a break.

Prediction 3: Switch Mini release in Mid 2019

(Image credit: EB Games)

Now called the Nintendo Switch Lite. At the time myself and most other’s I follow were referring to the hypothetical switch revision as the Switch Mini, which was released in September 2019. Being that my prediction was ‘mid’ 2019 I’ll call that a win. The first info on a new switch revision surfaced in October 2018, so just under a year from first info to release. From what I’ve seen it’s quite common for Nintendo to hold their cards as close to their chest as possible until it becomes necessary to start releasing info so pretty on point for them. However in reality I think most knew a Switch revision was coming, Nintendo historically hasn’t done too much with it’s home consoles (Other than the Wii) regarding revision’s, but handhelds, there isn’t a handheld console Nintendo hasn’t revised and re-released multiple times. It is reasonable enough to suggest the Switch will see more revisions down the road, I hope something with more power, whatever the case, I’m confident Nintendo will be sticking with the Switch brand for a long time coming.

Prediction 4: Atari VCS release in Mid 2019

(Image Credit: Atari)

Atari VCS first announced in mid 2017 at E3, has for me and most other people become quite the disappointment. I was never one to join the pessimism train initially, I was all on board until roughly this point in March 2019. I remember thinking if you’re going to delay an already delayed console, I suppose simply to upgrade it to higher spec, then by that logic, why not delay it again in late 2019 to upgrade it to even higher spec. I just don’t feel like upgrading a console’s specs is a good reason to delay a project, I think it is more sensible to release the console, see how to takes, then make a revision or a second generation if it sells well enough. I’m tempted to think it was just a way to bide their time because they still weren’t ready. Nonetheless I obviously botched my prediction for this console, but at the time I was still on board with Atari, I didn’t dream they would delay the project so much, now looking at an ‘”allegedly” solid release month of March 2020.

Prediction 5: Sega Spartan will never be released

(Image credit: Digital Crack Network)

I mean, I’m only adding it here because I added it to my post back in April 2018. I would love to see a new Sega console, I’m just certain there will never be one. As far as Spartan is concerned, the last solid piece of info from the developers of the console was back in April 2018, their website is still live. That is all.

Prediction 6: Google Yeti release Mid to Late 2019

(Image credit: Google)

We now know the Yeti by the name Stadia I feel I was pretty accurate with my prediction of Mid to Late 2019. Initially rumoured in early 2018 it has made it’s way to release in November 2019. Admittedly I had hoped it would be a console alongside a streaming service, it turns out to simply stream through existing devices and the main piece of unique tech being the controller. This makes perfect sense however I’m simply not sure the current market is ready for their offering, casual gamer’s would be, but considering you still need to pay full price for games that you’re only subscribing too, I can’t see too many hopping on board for that. Especially not by a company new to providing a AAA gaming platform. Under it’s current format, as far as I’m concerned Google Stadia will flop. However I can see a situation where it can thrive but people aren’t going to pay full price for games they’re only ever streaming never downloading or owning physically, at least not in 2019. I mean as an Australian I can’t even access Stadia yet, and if I could, I would only buy casual indie titles due to Australia’s sub-par internet I wouldn’t be willing to make the investment for an expensive game due to lag, drop outs etc. However I think if Stadia embraces the wants and interests of the public and plays into those, then I can see it succeeding, only time will tell.

Conclusion

So I’m willing to call that 4 out of 6 correct. It’s interesting to lay out the info and see the way in which you start to hear rumors of a new console, then you start to hear more info from reliable sources, through to actual info direct from the company, through to official announcements of a new console, through to actual release. It’s interesting to line it all up next to each other and see that companies all tend to mention new info at around the same time and just how early on we actually start hearing certain things about new hardware. I suppose sometimes where things can differ are the delays and the current products already on the shelf that can blur the line between the usual rule of thumb and what ends up happening. Nothing is going to stop the real world from imposing it’s own set of constraints you just can’t plan for.

Nonetheless as most of the consoles have release dates or months now, if not, have already been released, it will be interesting to see what happens in 2020 and beyond. The PS5 is still yet to be officially shown off, the Xbox Series X is one strange looking console and I can’t wait to see how it performs. It will be interesting to see what’s next for Nintendo with their Switch platform. I’m disappointed with the Atari VCS, but I’m looking forward to seeing if there’s any signs of hope there and what actually happens with it. Stadia should have some time to prove itself by the end of next year and it will be interesting to see how it performs next to Microsoft xCloud.

I post very irregularly as I find it takes a long time to put a post together, time which I struggle to find these days. I used to post weekly, then fortnightly, then monthly as my time started draining but now I simply post when I feel there’s something I really want to write about. For a brief time there I wanted to try and make something of Gaming Detour, but I get more joy from using the brand as a way to simply share my gaming thoughts and interests with others, whenever I get the time and feel like doing so. 2020 is going to be a fun and interesting year in gaming and I look forward to very occasionally discussing it here on Gaming Detour!

Featured Image: Collage of early fan art / concept art of upcoming video game consoles. 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).

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