With 8th Gen gaming just kicking off, many have already questioned whether the console era has reached its limit. With technology moving at an ever-accelerated rate, it certainly seems a valid question, after all. Can the console market keep up with these technology demands? What’s obvious is that the lifespan of 8th gen has to be reduced.
Some have already deemed that the PS4 and XBOX One are to be the last consoles ever released. However, Nintendo has recently put this question into massive doubt – they’ve announced that they are working on something new. Whilst many are hoping that this isn’t a handheld device, if it turns out that it isn’t, then the PS4 and XBOX One are about to see a very new and unwanted competitor.
Are we heading towards a 9th Gen console gaming situation? The answer is probably a massive Yes. If Nintendo are working on a new console, then this will spark both Sony and Microsoft to start considering their next offerings, too.
The future of gaming is certainly heading towards a different direction than the tradition we’ve become so accustomed to. However, with many nations across the globe still having access to lacklustre internet connections, it’s fairly obvious that Cloud gaming isn’t so near for the masses.
For those who aren’t already aware: the future of console gaming is when you’ll connect to the technology, opposed to actually owning it. What does this mean? It means that you’ll be connecting to hardware that is ever evolving – the graphics will continually improve, the performance better, all without you actually owning anything more than a USB sized device (potentially). You’ll basically be connecting to a service which doesn’t just provide the content, but the hardware too.
The biggest barrier to this future utopia? The lack of global internet infrastructure. Let’s face it, many gamers still prefer to buy the physical game opposed to the digital version, but why? Because a 50GB game can take hours or days for the majority of connected users.
If you can take a positive from a negative, then this means you should expect a new shiny console from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in the near future. However, expect cloud gaming to be a potential separate service for those who do have better internet connection availably.
Whilst Sony and Microsoft might have been happy to allow the two consoles to battle it out until either were ready to enter a 9th gen cloud-based console, it seems as though Nintendo will be the company to disrupt this possible idea. It’s hard to believe that a console that can out-perform the PS4 or XBOX One, in the coming years, could sell extremely well, especially if the games are right, and we’re talking about Nintendo here, after all. On the other hand, if Nintendo’s upcoming big project was nothing more than a handheld device, then this would probably raise an eye brow towards the smartphone market, more than anything else.
Is this likely that Nintendo are working on a handheld console? The quick answer to this is No. Why? Because the smartphone market is saturated, and Nintendo are sure to have seen how popular the PS4 and XBOX One have become, and realised that the Wii U can only decline in the near future. The answer? A 9th gen console – perhaps included with a handheld controller.
It should also be remembered that Steam are trying to make the PC platform far more universal, further creating uncertainty about where gaming is actually heading.
We might only be a matter of years away from finding out exactly what 9th gen gaming will offer. If it isn’t a PlayStation 5 from Sony or an XBOX 2 from Microsoft, expect plenty of excitement from the Nintendo camp with their project NX.