Ron’s game shop

The Game Shop is open for business once again. Last time, we talked about Madden and NCAA Football. This time we’ll be discussing the current and next generation of consoles, and what I expect from the next generation, along with any up-to-date rumored information.

The current generation of consoles (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii) has been around for a while now. The Xbox 360 was launched on November 16, 2005. The PlayStation 3 was released on November 11, 2006. The Wii released on November 19, 2006. So for about five or six years, we’ve been playing the same console. That hardware is seriously out of date compared to the current generation of hardware. Because of the constant upgrades in technology, the PC can always be ahead of consoles. And most of the great looking games coming out today are being limited by the consoles, due to having to downgrade to the lower hardware.

The Microsoft Xbox 360 was released in November 2005. From a hardware standpoint, it featured a tri-core processor. From the get-go, it was deemed the better console. It had many more launch titles than its main competitor, the PlayStation 3. It also had an astounding online community that Microsoft built on from the original Xbox: Xbox LIVE.

The Sony PlayStation 3 was unleashed to the world in November 2006. It had very few launch titles, due to its complicated Cell architecture. The Cell Broadband Engine Architecture was designed between Sony, IBM, and Toshiba for about 4 years starting from March 2001. It featured eight cores, and it had much different architecture than a standard processor, which Microsoft used in its console. Because of this new processor and the new architecture, games were few and far between on the PlayStation 3 for quite some years. Developers finally started understanding and designing for the PlayStation 3 in late 2008, early 2009. It featured Sony’s online portion, the PlayStation Network. It is free to play, compared to Xbox LIVE’s pay-per-month system.

The Wii was released in 2006 as well. The other current generation consoles wowed audiences and critics alike for the amazing graphics they were capable of. However, the Wii ditched graphics for a more intuitive and revolutionary way to play. The industry standard controller was replaced with the Wii’s motion sensing nunchuck-type controllers.

The next generation of consoles has been highly awaited by consumers for many years now, but companies can’t just release a new console every year. This would cause confusion for consumers, and would lose money insanely quick, seeing as how a new console is usually around $400 (the PS3 was $600 on launch).

Sony is committed to what they call a “ten year life span” for each of their consoles. Microsoft never had a specific release pattern, so nobody really knows when the next Xbox could be released. Nintendo has a long history of video game consoles (dating back to 1985), and their newest, the Wii U, has already been announced for a holiday 2012 release. So aside from Nintendo’s newest console, we’re a long way away from seeing the next generation of consoles. I wouldn’t expect any announcements until 2013 or 2014. Then again, there could be a hidden announcement at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)…

The rumors going around are that the new PlayStation will be called the PlayStation Orbis. At this point, Orbis is only a codename, so the real name of the console is unknown. Supposedly it will use anti-used games technology, to stop companies like GameStop, as well as people letting their friends borrow a game to try it before they buy it. It is also speculated that the PlayStation Orbis will have a 2.9 Gh/z quad core processor, along with a low-mid range graphics card, the Radeon HD 7670. More information can be found here:

The new Xbox doesn’t have much information out yet. This console is usually called the Xbox 720 by the community, although there are no official codenames as of yet. There are rumors surrounding this new Xbox that also involve the use of anti-used games technology. The rumored specifications for the new Xbox are similar to that of the PlayStation Orbis, more specifically with the graphics card. More information can be found here:

The Wii U has much more information available to check out around the Internet, since it was announced last year at E3, which was in June. It will have a 6.2 inch touch screen on the controllers, in case you can’t use a TV. It will also feature current generation-capable graphics abilities, so Nintendo is still a little behind.

Personally, I expect so much out of the next generation of consoles. The current generation is so far behind that developers have to “dumb down” so much of their game just to get it to run at a stable pace. With the new generation, developers should have the freedom to use all of their content on their masterpieces. We will be able to see much bigger and more detailed game worlds, more exciting features, and greatness for many years to come.

Thank you for checking out the Game Shop! Next time, we will talk about violent video games. I expect a good blog for that one.

Blog by Ron Comton