Tuesday, 31 January 2012

8th Gen Console Wars: Will we be paying too much for our console insurance?

The latest console wars are about to kick off. The Wii U is expected to be first new player to be publicly released, followed relatively shortly by the Playstation 4 and Xbox 720. Oh the joys! As per usual, the internet will be on fire once more with dedicated fan boys of each format giving each other pegs and calling each other names. Wii U adopters will be hailed as childish non-conformist Mario lovers (that is if people even realise that it's a brand new console) and even though I am a lifelong Nintendo fan, I can definitely see there being much ado about the big clash between Microsoft and Sony, and rightly so, as this time the stakes are likely to be much higher.

Hey at least they won't make me pay for a brand new set of identical controllers... Again!

Think about it, Nintendo will most likely make enough money with their loyal fan base and have the benefit of being first to market to carry them through. Also it is more than likely that the modest specifications of the Wii U compared to the likely heavy hitting specs of the PS4 and Xbox720 will give the Wii U a considerably lower price point. So let's not worry any more about Nintendo. They'll be fine. I hope.

Luigi doesn't seem worried, and he's scared of jam on toast.

The clash between Microsoft and Sony will be a bloody mess this time around. I don't know how the world will look in 2013 and 2014 but I can predict with a reasonable degree of confidence that people will still be reeling from the world's financial crises and so on. It will certainly be a big luxury to shell out the money required to buy these meaty machines at launch. Since getting the consoles into people's homes early on is crucial for a new platform to succeed, expect a price slashing bloodbath, expect there to be massive bidding wars to get exclusive releases for the big selling games series such as COD and most of all, expect Christmas shoppers to think long and hard about which of these consoles they want, if at all.

And also expect SEGA to thank their lucky stars that they aren't involved in this mess anymore.

I don't think I would be out of my mind to suggest that Sony might have the audacity to ask people to shell out half a grand (about $800) for their new console for their latest graphical juggernaut. You can buy a shoddy but roadworthy used car for that much and if there are any Xbox360 style "Red Ring of Death" goings on this time around you can bet that there will be a lot of people stroking their beards about buying the right gadget insurance for these machines more than ever before. Or more likely, that people will adopt my cautious tech savvy strategy of waiting for the smoke clouds of the 8th generation of console wars to clear before swooping in for some cut price deals.

I've mentioned SEGA before, and they were the last major casualty of the console wars and I expect that they won't be the last. I may live to eat my words but I'll throw my prediction out there and say that Sony had better watch their back this time around. Hardware is one thing, but damn it people need to see quite some many good games on the shelves! 

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