There’s no denying that Android and iOS gaming have become quite popular over the last few years, and gaming PCs are now strong enough to outclass Sony or Microsoft’s next consoles. This means that if the three major console makers hope to succeed this coming generation, they will have to learn to adapt in a rapidly changing market.
The current generation of consoles saw the beginning of this transition. Applications for Netflix, along with Xbox music and other media apps, have turned gaming consoles into media centers. Nintendo recently went a step further with their TVii app, which gives families an incentive to use their Wii U while watching regular television. Gaming is still considered a sub-culture, so it is important to give each member of a household, whether they’re a gamer or not, a reason to desire a new system.
Unlike generations past, consoles no longer compare to high-end gaming PCs. With it being impossible to keep up in terms of power, consoles must continue to focus on their unique features. Love it or hate it, motion controls and other quirks from this generation are undoubtedly here to stay. The Wii brought cheap motion controlled gaming to millions of people. Beating its competition, it sold almost 100 million units within its lifespan.
Microsoft is rumored to release their next console with the Kinect 2, a revamped version of their current product. While the Kinect wasn’t used to its full potential this generation, the technology behind it still fascinated consumers. Keeping it as a mainstay will lure more buyers into considering the next Xbox, if only to experience this technology. Sony’s next system has been rumored to feature a “share” button, which will focus on social networking. A feature like this could perfectly capture the “social generation”, making sure Sony stays relevant.
Nintendo’s own eighth generation console features its own social network, the Miiverse, as well as a touchscreen in its main controller. It will soon be known whether this was enough for it to compete with Sony and Microsoft this coming generation.