Are We Ready For The Next Generation Of Game Consoles?

Illustration for article titled Are We Ready For The Next Generation Of Game Consoles?

THQ isn't ready for a new generation of consoles. Are gamers? That's the question commenter Jamaicanmecrazy ponders in today's installment of Speak-Up on Kotaku.


The THQ article got me really thinking. Are we ready for next gen consoles? Is that something we would really want in the next year?


I love my consoles this generation. I don't really want to send them to the shelving unit in my apartment where gaming consoles go to die. It's too full and I'm not done with them yet. Sure my PS3 80gb sounds like a rocket trying to complete a lift off sequence. It turns out that HDTV did catch on, and maybe the Wii doesn't look so great at 55". Yes it's the 3rd Xbox I've bought, but it was worth it every damn time. I'm OK with what I have now.

I just spent my video game hardware money for this year in the form of a gaming PC. Give me an extra year or two of the current consoles. Then I'll be asking you to take my money for your new shiny toy.

I'm sure it's a tough call though right now. For both us and the big 3. On the one hand, you have a console that's just starting to turn a profit (or had CRAZY sales figures) and now has a large user base to sell loads of software to.

On the other hand however, you have rampant piracy. All 3 consoles and both handhelds have been hacked to their core with no going back. PS3 just had a CFW with backup support released a day or two ago, Nintendo has been busted open for a while now, and MS even longer. The 360 is not nearly as easy or accessible as the other two, but the damage has been done nonetheless. The difference between this gen and last gen is the fact you can load up a USB stick or SD card with software, and the rest is pretty much done for you (again, the 360 being the exception).


I wouldn't be surprised If the rumor mill starting cranking on the next gen. Sad, but not surprised. If Sony starts seeing PSP level piracy on the PS3, they might not have any choice but to introduce a new platform. The other two, not to be outdone, might follow suit. Bad for us. At least Apple isn't in the console business, could you imagine buying a console yearly?

Good for us though is that fact that we all love shiny new toys. Let's face it, we all don't think we want something until specs and pictures are released. Then it's a sea of "Do want!" memes and outbreaks of nerdgasm comments. I've been 'round these internet parts for a while now and it happens every time. I'm sure the next consoles will be awesome. Probably won't be that big of a jump hardware wise (except Nintendo), but there's always a hook. Everyone will still have their distinguishing features, and there's sure to be a surprise or two.


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On the other hand however, you have rampant piracy. All 3 consoles and both handhelds have been hacked to their core with no going back.

Rampant piracy? On the consoles? We need to look at numbers before we apply that. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts it's -nothing- compared to the piracy on the PC. I'm guessing that less than %10 of console users pirate.

Anyway, even if there were rampant piracy, I don't see how you, a consumer, are arguing that we need a new round. I don't want to have to shell out another $300 bucks just because some people are pirating games. That's not in my interests.

Same with being hacked, why should -I- be punished for that when I didn't hack it and have not hacked my console?

It also seems to me that locked down hardware is -always- going to be hacked quickly. That is the norm, the PS3 was the exception, and that was the exception apparently because it wasn't completely locked down. My understanding was that the only reason the PS3 lasted so long was that homebrewers had the option of using OtherOS. Sony removed that option and very rapidly, the console was hacked. I've heard the "hackers" only really started trying to crack the PS3 once the otherOS option was removed.

Console makers seem to have not learned the lesson. You have to allow the small percentage of homebrewers out there a level of control on their own consoles, or else they're going to force it themselves, and that will likely break it wide open for pirates. If you open up the console to linux and homebrewers, you'll have some piracy, but retain some control as well. If you try to have control over everything, someone is inevitably going to find a way to break it open. And that's what the next gen is likely going to be: more of the same and hacked rapidly as well.

It's not a reason to put out a new console generation. Whether or not console makers will realize it or say "Okay, it's never worked before, BUT WE CAN DO IT THIS TIME!" I don't know.