I just wanted to quickly say thank you to all those who took the time to reply with some very thoughtful comments that also raised some valid reasons that I forgot to mention in my blog. I honestly wasn't expecting this amount of comments, so thank you! :)
I ask a simple question that lacks a simple answer. Just where exactly is the video game industry headed? After reading the recent news article about BioShock Infinite skipping the WiiU--as well as some of the more intelligble comments by various GS members--it sparked this burning question in my brain.
It's no secret we're coming upon the precipice of this generation. It's arguable at best, but the launch of the WiiU last month can be considered the "official" start of next gen consoles despite using slightly more powerful tech than what is currently available in the PS3 and Xbox 360. But taking a look back a mere ten years we can all agree that the gaming landscape we find ourselves in now is vastly changed and probably more different than we could have possibly imagined.
Where does the game industry go from here? With each respective company offering more and more bells and whistles to their systems we've never seen such a fractured environment with motion controls, 3D-stereoscopic games, the proliferation of high speed online connections, the digital marketplace, streaming movie services, and the rampancy of DLC and online passes.
The gaming industry seems to be lacking a focus as they strive to offer everything in order to try and please everyone at once. Unfortunately, pleasing everyone cannot be done as inevitably some facet will suffer. I'm cautious about what the next gen has to offer because if it's simply going to be a repeat of this gen, then what's the point? Nintendo is already experiencing this from their lackluster sales of the WiiU. Sony and Microsoft need to seriously reassess what is important.
Motion controls right now are like game controllers were in the late 80s and early 90s--still in a transition period. I think we'll see more experimentation in the next gen, and then motion controls will probably standardize and, I think, become incidental to the gaming experience to the point we don't think about them. We'll use them occasionally, but only a few games will bother to use them for more.
3D tech isn't being adopted quickly at all, so it'll remain a niche for the next ten years. DLC and microtransactions are here to stay--and we'll be seeing more of both. Which could be an opportunity for more game customization, if we're allowed to pick and choose which elements of a game we actually want to pay for and download.
I think the next big breakthrough will be episodic gaming. Forget this new full game every year model--I think we'll see at least one big AAA game go completely episodic, with a initial purchase of the engine and a few episodes, followed by monthly (or so) new content that will stretch out for a few years. Think Walking Dead, but an RPG, shooter, or other game type, and with a larger budget.
Everyone being online has changed everything this gen. We'll see more social features, less physical media, more interconnections between gaming platforms (playing minigames on phones that connect to full games on consoles, something we've already seen a bit of), that sort of thing. The hard edges between console, PC, and mobile gaming will blur until we're really just playing different aspects of the same game on whatever device we have in hand.
And I'm pretty sure every single one of these predictions is completely wrong, which is fine by me--because I'm pretty sure reality will be far cooler than anything I think of.
DLC is, in my opinion, the biggest change ove the last ten years. Because of its success I think more games will go the free-to-play route, with micropayments. For example, Fifa XXXX. You get a couple of teams to start out with, but you have to pay for the better teams, stadiums, kits, player upgrades, etc.
I don't want that to happen, but that's what I'm seeing.
Ignore the gimmicks. New consoles, old IP's but great games will come along eventually. There's no need to get all fatalist about it. It is what it is. Give the PS4 and new XBOX a bit of time and the price will come down and the games will arrive.
The only absolutely serious 'no-go' for me is if they ban used games. They effectively ban me at the same time.
I kind of figured we'd all be in the opening stages of cloud gaming by now. I figured all games would available through the internet and we'd be paying a licensing fee to get access. Stops piracy, eliminates console exclusive titles, saves on production costs. Seemed like the natural way to go.
I'm not feeling cloud gaming. If your internet connection craps out you lose access to what you paid for. Screw that.
Of course, that's console makers' rackets. I ditched that scene years ago. Not because of the games; the games are awesome. Things like no/absent bc, propietary software, propietary perriferals, propietary online services, planned obsolescence... It was the console industry practices that put me off...big time.
I think Steam and, even moreso, GOG are doing it right. Once you buy it it's yours. You can play online or off. And, if your hardware craps out and you replace your PC, you can re-download your previous purchases for free.
GOG is the better deal out of the two. Because, if you want to, you can copy your games unto your external harddrive for safe keeping. Steam has a better selection and cloud saves (for backing save data) for some games. But GOG's drm-free approach is more my cup of tea.
@Wango_Tango I have two problems with cloud gaming. First, if I buy a game I want to *have* the game. A disk or a digital copy, doesn't really matter to me. Cloud gaming is essentially renting since you just get the a/v data through the internet and you never actually have the game on your computer at all.
Second is that America seems to be pretty far behind much of Europe and Asia when it comes to affordable high speed internet. Currently our average ISPs just can't handle that kind of system yet. Well they probably could, but you'd have to pay a lot of money for those kinds of connection speeds.
@INF1DEL @Wango_Tango That "having" thing is what is keeping cloud gaming concepts where they are. But we'll see more cloud data management, game saves, profiles, etc. (which we already see now). But I don't know too many people who like the idea of renting a game. That might change, but not soon.
As for high-speed internet, that's changing too, but slowly--the US has a far wider dispersed population. Still, high-speed internet prices have been coming down and bandwidth going up. There would be plenty of bandwidth for cloud gaming if the demand ever shows up, but I'm not sure it will.
Why dont we just do away with consoles in general, then the games that are made can continually be on the cutting edge of what's available tech wise....just a pipe dream I know.
@Elem3nt If you can afford to constantly upgrade your hardware, that works. But the appeal of the console is not worrying about hardware requirements. No one has come up with a solution for this that works. Whoever does will make a shitload of money, because you're right--I think most gamers would prefer it if your pipe dream were reality.
I think the next consoles will come and then be the dominant form of "core" gaming for a good 5-6 years, perhaps more. More non-gaming services will be integrated into these consoles, and the cloud will have a much larger role to play. Will we see always online DRM? I hope not, but I wouldn't put it past the console manufacturers right now.
Looking past these next consoles? Well, I think that's where things get really murky. Do we have another round of consoles after this next generation? Will cloud services just take over completely? Who knows, 10 years from now broadband speeds might well reach the point where we just wirelessly sync our smartphone devices to a cloud gaming system (Xbox Live, PSN, Steam, etc) that we then hook that up to our TV's to play. It might sound crazy right now but think how much this industry has changed in the past ten years. In terms of business models, how does free-to-play versus retail play out? I think we'll see free-to-play have an ever increasing role in games, unfortunately. But then again, when I look at how much I'm paying for most retail games + DLC in order to get the full experience, I'm usually shelling out over a ridiculous $100 per game anyways, so maybe this won't be so bad.
One thing that NEEDS to happen is some serious policy changes regarding digital content. Companies need to first off be openly honest with consumers. They also need to have backups in place, so if a company should go under customers will still have some way to access the digital content they purchased. And digital content on services needs to be ubiquitous - if I buy something on Xbox Live, I need to KNOW that it will be available for as long as Xbox Live is a service, period. Not being able to have access to all digital content that I purchased on past consoles won't thrill me (as I suspect this will be the case), so this change needs to occur, and soon.
At this point I'm cautiously optimistic about the future. Will we see a lot of rotten apples? Yes. But there are still going to be some amazing games worth playing, and I look forward to the future for that reason.
The industry definitely needs to change its attitude and policies this next gen around. Now there's a fragmentation in both the market and the tools that deliver to the market.
On the development front there's now completely different hardware provided by each of the console makers, the Wii U with its Game Pad, the PS4 rumored to be having 'modest' specs and the new Xbox which seems is going to focus even more on the Kinect, of course PC will still be there still going strong. That's not even mentioning the handhelds or smart phones.
I suspect that companies will have to back away from this gen's 'more multi-platform and less exclusives' approach because it's just going to be a pain developing the same game from several platforms that have very different specs and features. I think, and hope, we will see more games made exclusively for specific platforms thus providing better quality rather than watering down a game so it can fit on as many machines are possible.
I also think devs and publishers, especially publishers, are going to have to seriously re-think their DLC policies if they want to please their fans. Their audience has matured and are more aware of when they're getting ripped off, thus sometimes leaving strong reactions that would only bring bad publicity to the publisher. In this regard I could also say the same happens when a highly anticipated game fails to provide the kind of quality it is expected to.
Now I'm not excusing whiny self righteous fanboys who complain about anything and everything, but players who genuinely love their games and want to see their favorite franchises top notch. This constant pressure on the industry to provide quality games is good, again not from the people who complain for stupid reasons which sadly sometimes companies mistakenly indulge.
@mav_destroyer The financial commitment to building games runs counter to this. Publishers want to push games on all platforms to recoup their investment. Which is why we've seen fewer and fewer exclusives during this gen as time has gone on. Now, if you're right about the specs being wildly different, perhaps we'll see more exclusives. But publishers are going to fight it. Also, Microsoft and Sony have incentives to match each other's processing power. I doubt either company would give up bragging rights to having the most powerful console, even to the point that they'll throw millions out the window to lay claim to it. But you could be right--we won't know until we see the actual specs for the next gen consoles.
I have always been both a pc and a console gamer. But I have to admit that as this generation of consoles have lived far beyond their expiration date, I am almost entirely a pc only gamer now. Steam is by far the best online service compared to xbox live and psn. Plus, every 3rd party game looks infinitely better and runs smoother on my pc.
Besides a better overall experience with the online service and 3rd party games, pc exclusives come with a ton of replay value and quality that so many console exclusives lack today.
Until consoles get back to being focused on the value of games, we the consumers will continue to suffer. It is a business after all, and as long as they are selling games of poor quality they will continue to do so.
The thing with the WiiU is that most people only want the Black Version ... I see that situation a lot.
As for what I think for the next gen. Hum it is hard. I always bought my consol after 2 years ... it gives enough time to see where they are heading, what kind of exclusive they have etc...
But this gen was one of the least exciting I had since I started playing video game with the Atari 2600. Even if the game are short, on NES and SNES many games were short and it wasn't a problem ... the game was so fun ... So I think this is the problem with curent games ... many are like ... you play the game and you go sell it back or it start collect dust because you aren't compelled to play the game again ... I played through Mega Man 10 more times than I played a game like Heavy Rain ...
My problem with so many games are that feeling once you finish it that you really want to go through again like right now ... and the stupid DLC ... a lot of the times it feels like they removed big part of the game to sell it after or they limite the game a lot ... Like in FFXIII-2 you could have the possibility to buy alternate costumes and unlock the whole casino thing ... but no... all of that is a DLC ... same thing with GOW3 ... in the past you could unlock many alternate costum with fun effect in the game, this time only one alternate costum is unlockable and everything else is a DLC ...
But here is some very good game anyway ... I did enjoy FFXIII-2 anyway, I also like Fallout 3, KillZone 3 in single player or even GOW3.
But this gen was the only one where I bought so few games ... and mostly exclusive on the PS3. Like this year I only bought FFXIII-2, Journey, Transformers FOC ( which I sold like like a month after ... stupid Activision I'll never buy again from them ), Limbo ... everything else just looked very boring to me ... or they were sequel of game that I didn't like ...
Next year have some game that interest me so there is still hope ... I will wait at least 2 years after the next PS or Xbox will come out before I make any decision.
I'm kinda where @acer7x is.
I'm still very much a gamer. But I'm almost exclusively PC and retro anymore. GOG, Steam and Gamersgate are practically a way of life for me anymore.
Up until about 3 years ago, I was pretty much a console gamer with some PC stuff here and there. But, as I started to tinker with the 7th (PS3, 360) gen, I was very put off. The lack of bc with my 6th (PS2 era) favs, the hardware failure rates, the focus on online multiplayer, the eroding of some of my fav genres... I went full on PC and, for the most part, retro.
And, no, I'm not one of these PC gaming "elitist" twits either. I don't shell out $1000 for a PC nor $300 for a graphics card. I game on a $500 laptop with fairly modest hardware (2.7GHz dual core CPU, 4GB RAM, 512MB GPU, 500GB hdd). Most of my PC favs are ports of my console favs from the 5th (PS1/N64/Saturn) gen and 6th (PS2/Gamecube/original Xbox) gen. Most of my PC favs can be run on a freakin' netbook.
I've fallen in love with the PC scene for some very good reasons. The bulk of PC games have backward compatibility via free patches. Some sites, like GOG, actually patch up older games before even making them available. And, when my laptop eventually craps out, I can re-download my old purchases for free.
Console makers don't like such features because they can't sucker you into splurging on the "latest", "flashiest", "most expensive" shit. They've gotten so arrogant that they've come out and said that they don't like bc and wish to block used games. They've gotten away with shit for so long that they expect us to just take it even when it's obvious.
I know that PC games are hardly ever available used. But I'm a digital distribution buff (prefering DRM-free, like on GOG). At least with GOG, Steam and Gamersgate I can re-download old purchases without being charged extra. The console makers will nix bc and force you to RE-purchase your old favs as "HD" re-releases. Jip.
Console games were/are great. It was the console scene's INDUSTRY PRACTICES that drove me away. They're too damn racketeerish.
The 7th gen, save for a few PC ports (L4D, Borderlands, Oblivion), has passed me by. And the 8th gen will do the same. I'm tired of feeding the racket.
Its quite simple.
Nintendo will make a console with 1000+ add ons for games. (tablet is the first step again)
Microsoft will make another console fast and will add extra features later.
Sony will again pretend they are making a all round media system but never make a descent update for the damn thing
(PSP never got a media update, PS3 never got a media update and the Vita going on the same steady pace)
Oh and dont forget about that awesome browser of theyrs makes Internet Explorer look like gold.
As you all can see i have some old grudges against sony for making a consoles adding features and promises but all they do is strip away functions.
The game industry will unfortunately go the same place it always go and that is where the money might be. The latest example is the Wii-U. Wii-U may have had many innovations but their interface/game selection at the time is not impressive and will not attract many "hardcore"/ "casual" gamers. Game companies right now have many visions of COD initial, WOW long term or some pay-to-play ideas for their games so they will not fund many non-AA/AAA games.
Speaking for myself, the industry will be going on without me. I've been gaming since the Atari when I was like 5 and have a collection of over 350 games. This will be the first time I will not be buying a new console. I've bought every one of them since then and for myself, this is the first generation I won't be buying consoles. I was going to get the Wii U, but I'm passing and I'm doing the same with the new PS4 and XBOX. All the DLC, Season Passes, Content Cutting via Pre-Orders and DLC, Online Passes, Survival Horror Genre Neglect, DRM, short Single Player, Gimmicks, Dashboard Clutter and so on along with all the other long list of shady tactics has turned me off to the new systems. Its sad because I loved this hobby and ironic too since now that I make good money I can afford this, but now that I'm older I know when I'm getting the short end of the stick on my purchases.
@acer7x I wouldn't be tio grim just yet. As I was saying vary similar things. As this past gen I sold my 360 after a year realizing there wasn't anything for me on it, bought nothing but PS3 games(till I builted a killer pc), played a few good exclusive wii titles. So of course I told myself "I think this is the end of the road of console gaming for me :/". Since I spend almost all my time on PC titles now or handhelds when I am out and about.
But even then I still ended up buying a Wii U. Why when there is no good games for it? simply because I know there will be good party games on it after playing Nintendo Land. As me and my friends have been enjoying it thus far. But for anything else, it is utter garbage.
So after I thought on it more. I realized almost all the good third party games will end up being ported to PC anyways. And for the next gen of gaming I will wait towards the end of it when things are at its cheapest and then go experience the good exclusives each system has to offer.
So if you want to be a dedicated gamer still. I highly recommend just going to PC and flip through various sites to find good, affordable and usually fun games. And that is why I am loving GOG, steam, indieroyale, and humblebundle so far., As I realized there is still lots of fun to be had from days long ago instead of hoping the next big thing is actually good.
there are still some good games out there and more to come. I too want be jumping onto the new consoles straight away but there are some games coming out next year that look good, GTA 5 is going to be a hit I reckon.
The problem is that they are, as you said, trying to please anyone. The consoles are becoming jacks of all trades but masters of none. The reason I want a console is to play games. It should be a master of that trade. The only other feature I really ever use on my Xbox 360 is Netflix, and I could do without that as my TV does that. I believe that the consoles need to start catering again to the gamers that originally bought their product. Consoles need to be made more capable easier to develop for (See PS3 and Bethesda issue). Nintendo has gone down a weird path, but Sony and Microsoft need to revolutionize gaming in a good way like they did with their systems 6 or 7 years ago.
I just want to see an end to these multimillion dollar 'blockbuster' titles, with 10 hour campaigns and utterly rehashed multiplayer concepts, the ones with a 60 dollar sticker slapped on it. Im alos tired of the cookie cutter loot diversity in RPG, that's the whole reason I play RPG's it to find epic unique'ish gear. And as always give the player more freedom of choice! It's the sandbox element that some games have that keep me coming back over and over.
@Elem3nt Then i guess you were no fan of the FF XIII game with its awesome you can only walk in 1 direction game mode ?
I know your feeling i really liked games like Fallout and Elder scrolls.
also the less common games like the Atelier series and disgaea.
Disgaea prooving also that a high learning curve isnt such a bad thing
I can't stream netflix, youtube, hulu, MLB, NFL or anything else on my Ps1, Ps2, Xbox. N64, SNES, Genesis, Dreamcast, Colecovision or Intelevision. I can't wait for what the next gen of consoles will offer.
I believe something else that's happened is that companies have traded the SPIRIT of gaming for whatever makes them more money. My favorite example? Splitscreen games. I'm turned off to a lot of shooters (not all though) for this reason: I can't play them easily with my friends in my living room. From the company's standpoint, Why only charge some one once when you can charge them a continual subscription to play online?
I have some great great memories with Crash Team Racing, Mario Kart, Smash Melee, and Smash Brawl (and several others)--me and my friends just chillin' playing all on the same screen, and we LOVED it. Kinda miss that. It's sad to me that developers have largely (though thankfully not completely) ceased producing games that have the ability to facilitate that kind of interaction.
@mgassassin117 Agreed man. I miss the days when you could just invite a few friends over and plug in 4 controllers and just have at it. Now in order to do that you have to have 4 X-boxes, 4 xbox live accounts, 4 tv's, and 4 copies of the game. unfortunately, companies are all about bleeding you dry now. They resort to underhanded tactics like, making a game and then locking half the content, only to make you pay for it later via DLC. or charging you to play online when you already have to pay for xbox live, and for internet service. It's sickening.
I think the dye has already been cast here and I would agree that the subsrciption-based model will be the bread and butter of this "next generation" of systems. Call of Duty and its many incarnations have proved that DLC creates what is not only a viable but a reliable stream of revenue for the publisher. There is relatively little expenditure in producing DLC, versus a standalone title, which allows for wider profit margins and a good return for investors.
If you are not apart of the COD demographic (and I am not by the way) it shouldn't surprise you that you feel left behind. This industry, like every other industry, is only interested in marketing products to people who net them the most money. If you won't buy DLC, and you find yourself in the minority, you won't have a voice either. Money, unfortunately, is the only thing that talks.
activision has been doing this for the past ten years, Call of duty took over Guitar hero, Guitar Hero took over Tony hawk, and soon they will find some new game to exploit and pump out yearly editions of it. I have enjoyed the cod ride and I was a big fan off the MP side of the game but it has gotten stale, Once the mp fad wears down a bit maybe than developers will go back to spending more time on there single player campaign. Look at Far Cry 3, even with a bland down before MP it is a big hit with players and reviewers because of its huge single player and thats what GTA 5 will bring to the gaming world next year and hopefully developers realise that players want more focus on the single player campaign and less on the MP side of the games. As for DLC's I am all for them if they offer more missions to single player or maps for MP shooters but don't like the ones that sell you weapons and early upgrades.
@rad8045 Yeah, I'm with you in that I hope the focus on MP does die down, I'm excited about both Far Cry 3 and GTA V, and I too appreciate DLC when it's expansive just as I'm also not for simple upgrades (weapons et al).
I think it's appropriate to qualify my previous post and state that I have nothing against COD or the people who play/love it: If someone digs COD; that's awesome. Honestly.
I can see how you would frame it that way. I would argue however that most people play COD for the MP, Even its commercials emphasize the competitive play over the single player campaign. So I think rad8045's idea would be a better use of resources and you might think differently. That's cool too.
I can see why so many people are hating on COD now, it keeps getting bigger each year without any real changers to the previous title, I personally reckon COD should do away with single player all together and just focus on how they can make MP better each year, and sell it as a extended DLC for half the cost of a full game. Chucking in a 4 hour campaign with a quarter of that made up of cut scenes is pretty much an insult considering the price of the game.
This is a great question indeed! Personally I am getting tired of having so many consoles with exclusive content to choose from and wish there were some way the industry could continue to thrive based on software alone. I have had a Wii for four years now and an X-Box 360 for less than two. Part of what drew me to the Wii was retro-feel Wii-Ware such as Gradius Rebirth, which sadly wore out pretty quick, whereas I perceived the X-Box to be all hi-def 3D graphics. Since my X-Box purchase, I have been much more interested in gaming again as X-Box Live seems to be a more open environment. I think what the industry needs is smaller gaming with more fun that makes good use of the powerful hardware at its disposal. Games like Dust: An Elysian Tale show me where the current gen and concepts from the 16 bit days can be reconciled to be just as immersive as something like Batman: Arkham Asylum. as far as the WiiU, I doubt that it will fail, although there is little outside of Super Mario WiiU that excites me. As far as Reggie Fils-Aime's maligned claims of graphical prowess being better, yeah that is sort of a captain obvious thing, but it's also his job to talk up the machine. I think Nintendo's focus on gaming innovations rather than graphical prowess may still be a very good thing, I just wish Nintendo would become a software house rather than hardware so that those who love their variety can enjoy their brilliance without buying another machine. These are just my opinions though.
@topherlee94 I would personally rather prefer Microsoft stepping down from the hardware scene myself, since they don't really offer any compelling first party titles besides Halo, and beyond that, their system's hardware is comparable to Sony's but charges extra for basic services like online play. I see no reason to have such a needless competitor in the market when Sony offers better bang for your buck if you're looking for a power house console, and if you're in the mood for something more innovative you can pick up a Nintendo console as well. Getting rid of Nintendo in the markets however just leaves two stagnant competitors who never take big risks and I don't think that would be healthy for the industry. I'd be OK with Nintendo focusing only on software if other competitors actually bothered to try and do new things, but they don't. Sony and Microsoft only got on the motion control bandwagon when they saw that it had already been proven profitable, and even then it was only a half-baked effort in comparison to Nintendo's. Not to say that Nintendo didn't have their own problems with the Wii's controls, but it was certainly miles more progress than their competitors made in terms of innovation by choosing to make the Wiimote their standard controller and going all in with the concept. It encouraged developers to experiment with the new controls even if it wasn't always successful and in many cases amounted to nothing more than gimmicks. The thing is, without Nintendo pushing the hardware as well, you can't get the variety you want from them. Sony and Microsoft probably have no interest in making a touch screen controller until they see that the WiiU has already shown to be profitable from it.
@Derpalon All good points. I think my issue here is simply that I have a 360 now and not a PS3 and really, things being what they truly are I'd rather Nintendo open themselves up in the way that MS and Sony have with playable demos and free trial versions of their online only games. In the nearly two years since I got my 360, I have purchased only 3 games on disc and somewhere around 9-10 on the arcade, mostly i have been busy with life and otherwise trying out new things via demos. Had the Wii been in HD and had a few select games that I have on my 360? i may never have decided to go with anything other than the Wii.
It is a very broad (read difficult) topic so I will just focus on one element: graphics.
Graphics have been heavily emphasized over the past two console generations and they may be approaching the point where costs become unreasonable to achieve minimal improvement. Currently graphics are a crowd pleaser, but ultra-realism is starting to take a back seat to visual style like in Borderlands, Arkham City, and Dishonored. Hell even the new Bioshock looks cartoony. The industry is probably going to find out exactly where that "uncanny valley" of graphics is. That is to say when graphics get too realistic to be seen as a fantasy and not realistic enough to be appealing. I personally think (hope) they will focus more on the animation side of graphics this coming generation. Graphics themselves have advanced by leaps and bounds but the animations leave much to be desired. There is a lot of room for improvement in that area.
Also, this stupid 3-D tv fad will end (I hope). What a damn misnomer. It's not actually 3-d, its more like a pop-up book. I can't look at the TV from different angles and actually see a different perspective of the same image.
I would not say the Wi U has lackluster sales, probably has sold more than 1 million units worldwide, which is not too bad for the start, besides it only fall short for 50,000 units from the original Wii in the United States. You can say that it will have lackluster sales if in one year it does not sell more than 5 million Wii U units.
On other topic, remember the game industry it's a business, for the company to keep making money need to grow more every year. It is a very unfortunate to think about the future, because what truly worries me it is that more than 7 million people are willing to spent their time playing videogames only in one game (COD Black Ops 2),that is something you should worry about.
The obvious reason gimmicks sometimes exceeds what the gamer wants, it is because games are temporal, you won't keep playing them forever. To buy a new device to play a game could be risky, you might not spent as much time playing the game that requires the new device. So you would spent more money in something you migh use once.
Having a next-gen could be a very dangerous event, improving in graphics and new engines will make the price go up in gaming, and every new generation gaming becomes more expensive. One day we will reach the point where gaming will be very expensive, maybe making the game industry not affordable.
Take a look at gaming five to ten years ago and apply the same changes:
-Fancier graphics (Kids will go crazy for those extra polygons and photo-realistic textures)
-Higher marketing budgets (More TV ads, Video ads on Gaming sites and YouTube channels, and not to mention rigging review scores)
-Higher gaming budgets ($50.000 cinematics, more explosions, famous voice actors, hiring experienced game scientists (designers) who will just tell you to play it safe and make a sequel)
-Lower difficulty ( If only a handful of kids sees the epic cinematic ending then we're wasting money!)
-Less original game mechanics (COD 1 to 9 sold well, COD 10 will probably sell well, too. We're obviously doing things right, why change anything?)
-Less original IPs (We made a boring cover shooter, how the Hell are we going to sell it!? I know! Let's put ' Max Payne ' in the title!)
-Shorter single player modes (Just a warm up for multiplayer. Video game movies are usually unsuccessful, so I guess kids don't like good stories)
-More focus on multiplayer (in the corporate world: More multiplayer = less pirates)
-Less content at launch, more DLC ( We know Mass Effect 3 will sell millions regardless, so why not add some DAY ONE DLC for our REAL FANS?)
-More season passes and premium memberships (turning games into a service instead of a product. Why take $50 for a game when we can charge them $15/month for a whole year?)
-More online only DRM (You can't pirate WoW because it's online only, hmmm, Blizzard's onto something!!)
-More indie shovelware (Wow, Super Meat Boy sold over one million copies and it was made by TWO people! I should do this, too!)
-More hardware gimmicks (The Wii sold 90 million units and all it's got is motion controls, WE MUST RESPOND TO NINTENDO)
-Extinction of hand-helds (Everyone has a powerful smart-phone these days, why waste our time developing games for toys?)
-Longer gaps between console generations (If it ain't broken, don't fix it, just increase the internal storage capacity every few years. If the kids want something, toss some gimmicky peripherals their way, that's should shut 'em up)
I hope that answers your question.
@SwimSwimHungry That's pretty much the current situation of the industry. It used to be a niche market that few people explored and for many years now it has become a business. The developers are controlled by publicly traded companies that will see something working and will demand that the developers do the same.
Hopefully, with the competition getting fiercer next-gen (Steam, Ouya, the mobile market as whole) the companies try something different.
As much as people complain about Nintendo, at least they try something different.
Pretty good, its something I often say to people, we don't need a new gen if its keep exactly like the current one(only graphics).
Very good question. I think the industry is to busy looking at eachother and making games that are selling the most. That's why we did get a lot of shooters this gen and to little change in gameplay. To little special games with a different angle. For the console itself,just make something to game on. Just my opinion
Take all the bulk (Apps, TV, Sports, ect) and get RID of it off my console, or at least let me remove it from being displayed and cluttering up my dashboard. Stop nickle and diming people to death, including day 1 DLC, excessive DLC, etc. Stop with the -pre-order exclusive crap. Let EVERYONE get the same content. Stop with the fee's and anti-used games gestapo. Stop making everything have multiplayer, PLEASE!!! Stop with the gimmicks (motion sensing, etc) and get back to making GAMES!!! Yes, we want GAMES. That's all. People have their freakin' cell phones and tablets for all the other crap. I quit Nintendo long ago, they do absolutely NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING, that interests me since the Gamecube. What is the direction the industry is headed? Bloated greed, gimmicks, and lack of real fun, that's what it is headed towards. I am almost to the point where I honestly don't enjoy gaming much anymore because of all I mentioned above. No joke, the gaming industry is turning me off more and more.
I think next generation of consoles will probably be the last,because they have to keep improving the graphics which needs more expensive engines,stuff,... and companies won't make enough money out of exclusive games so most games (if not all) will be multi-platform. But they may release exclusive DLC or something. However handheld consoles and mobile games have a bright future and you can always count on your trusty PC. But about the games itself,the way i see it we will encounter shorter campaigns and story modes in addition to cheap plots,bad characters,... and some will not even have a story mode. The only way to stop that from happening is to return to our roots and basics,learn from the past.