Claims arise that Microsoft or Sony will quit consoles at E3. Here's why that's not impossible

When a company authoritatively predicts the demise of its rivals without a shred of evidence, it's usually a situation akin to spreading a rumour that a kid at school is gay because you've noticed that he has a bigger knob than you in the shower. And there's every chance that's happening here. You see Nanea Reeves, an exec at cloud-based gaming provider Gaikai, has come out with a statement that one of the main console manufacturers will drop out of the race at this year's E3. Yeah, I know.

Speaking to Industry Gamers at CES, Reeves stated "Not all of the current console makers will have one more generation. That will be the big news at E3". Nintendo has a new machine on the way. We know that. So that just leaves Microsoft and Sony. Neither company has officially announced anything new, but next-gen rumours persist on the internet like the general sense of confused disappointment persists on an X-Factor winner a year down the line.

Either company pulling out sounds as likely as jam turning out to have been the renewable energy source humanity has been looking for all along, but there are a few ways it could happen. Though none of them are strictly a case of a console manufacturer simply giving up and going home. They are, as I see it, as follows:

1. Microsoft is technically backing off from console manufacture, in that its next Xbox is geared much more towards being a living room media hub rather than a games machine. Check out my recent feature on why this is the probable direction for Microsoft next generation. It's no secret that MS' first-party games line-up has been all but non-existent for a while now, so it would be no great surprise to see the company make that more of an official policy. A bit of Halo here, a few Kinect and Fable bits and bobs here, and a multimedia focus everywhere else. In fact MS need not necessarily even release new hardware to provide any of this. System updates to the current box could do the job.

2. Sony is going to stick to the 10-year lifespan idea with the PS3. Which would be fine. We don't need new consoles yet, and another few years expanding on what can be done creatively with the current hardware now that devs have mastered it could only be a positive thing from a game development perspective. As for not having another generation, it's entirely feasible that given the company's various financial troubles this generation, Sony's plan is to use the extended PS3 lifespan to accrue enough time to get a new (cheaper) gaming direction ready.

Above: ...responded Kaz, upon another question about the PS4

Kaz Hirai has already stated that a PS4 will not be at E3, but has also stated that a new machine
would have to be disc-based, due to current broadband quality making streamed and download-only gaming infeasible at the moment. All of the above in mind, it's possible that Sony's seeming desire to tread water a little longer might tie into the notion that...

3. Gaikai itself is in bed with either MS or Sony for a new game delivery development, hence the claimed knowledge. Gaikai has already announced a deal with LG which will see the game streaming service built in to future TV sets, with games playable through a dedicated 'channel'.

So it's feasible that an MS or Sony-partnered service could be on the way, Gaikai handling the games provision for Microsoft's new media machine in the same way that LoveFilm and Netflix handle movies, or running an eventual PlayStation-branded, cloud gaming box (or even a PlayStation channel within Sony TVs) a few years down the line, which would be home to Gaikai's standard third-party games line-up as well as exclusive SCE titles.

Or it could just be a load of old bollocks, intended to make Gaikai (and cloud gaming in general) more of a talking point in the run up to this year's E3. We shall see in June.But in the meantime, brace for a bigger pre-show rumour-storm than you've ever weathered before.


E3 Gaikai WTF

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  • DannyMB - January 12, 2012 5:24 a.m.

    Another good, thought provoking article Dave! I would love to see this generation get a few more years. I've not even bought a PS3 yet, was going to just after xmas but held off due to persistant PS4 rumours. If they are sticking to a 10 year cycle, then I'll definitely take the plunge on one, been itching to try out a bunch of Sony's first party efforts.
  • ToThe9thPower - January 12, 2012 5:45 a.m.

    Okay Dave, you are pretty smart and all. But you got the Xbox thing all wrong. The next Xbox console will still have a strong focus on playing games. Your dashboard argument is shenanigans because you literally start on the Play Now button or however it is phrased. Allowing you to instantly bypass all the crap you don't want to look through and play your game. The next console will certainly be more then just for gaming. But that does not mean the next Xbox will be primarily for watching Netflix or whatever else they cram onto it. Them completely bowing out of the console wars is just not possible. It might be a couple of years before either of them make another console, but they will make one. This will continue for a long time, as long as both companies are still making money, there is no reason to disregard such a massive market that is only getting bigger. The better games get, the more gamers there will be. This will obviously lead to a pretty healthy group of consumers who can buy their product
  • MidianGTX - January 12, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    The fact there is a load of "crap you don't want" in the first place is utterly dispicable if you ask me. Cheap, nasty nickel and diming. Trying to force more and more services on people who only wanted one. Worst thing that's ever happened to the Xbox, and I'm including the RROD fiasco in that.
  • ToThe9thPower - January 12, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    Trying for force what? you do not have to be apart of any of the services they offer. Microsoft and Sony are being smart by offering more entertainment on their consoles. The only time people stop playing video games is to get on youtube or their computers in general, so why no offer them these same services right on the console. Also, people didn't only want one service.. there are probably more people who want the Xbox to do more then less. So your point is just utter crap. Try not to get so mad bro
  • Joco84 - January 12, 2012 5:58 a.m.

    holy fcuk balls!
  • mikeylawson - January 12, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    Insanity. Gaming is the biggest entertainment industry in the world. MW3 has made double what avatar did. Sony especially because these consoles tend to be partnered with televisions, Sony would benefit there too. (I know this isn't the best phrased argument but I'm really hungover. Leave me alone internet.)
  • larkan - January 12, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    The fact that a crappy, overhyped game made double of an overhyped, crappy movie just goes to show where the world is today in terms of how many idiots are good at blowing their money. Maybe it is time for consoles to die off so companies take a step back and remember how to make good, quality games again, instead of releasing buggy messes and using us as paying beta customers.
  • MercurialForce - January 12, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Strange that you think that when both that movie and that game got very good reviews. Clearly somebody liked it.
  • MidianGTX - January 12, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    Is that a Justin Bieber CD in your pocket? He's making good sales as well, so clearly that s*** is worth investing in.
  • Darkwun - January 12, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Teen girls! There's a demographic for everything! the Biebstr... unfortunately, sells. But hell, he makes my daughter happy. As long as she plays him with her headphones in. Hating on Avatar and MW3 (especially when besides th original poster's point) is moot at best!
  • mikeylawson - January 13, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Typical internet post. I don't own MW3 or Avatar. Noticing the sales figures doesn't mean I like it. Its just the truth. Games make money. A company like Sony likes money. That was the point I was making.
  • MercurialForce - January 12, 2012 6:57 a.m.

    The day cloud-based gaming becomes a reality is the day I quit gaming. I don't know what it's like in the rest of the world, but Canada charges for internet usage, and the prices are huge if you go over your data cap. I wouldn't be able to sustain streaming games. Also, I don't know why there's such an emphasis on cloud-gaming being the next big thing. I much prefer physical copies, and I don't want to have to rely on the Internet to keep my games for me.
  • mothbanquet - January 12, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    Come back, Sega! Come baaaaaack!!!
  • rxb - January 12, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    Good insight Dave, also I worry about your time in school.
  • wedgie - January 12, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    I honestly never even heard of Gaikai until they started saying this...
  • bananablitz - January 12, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    While you do make good points for why this is plausible I still have trouble believing that source based on what they work in and it would be in their interest to place doubt in physical consoles in favor of cloud based gaming, like your last point states
  • chrisbarker1980 - January 12, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    Load of old bollocks. Gaikie simply trying to garner a few headlines for themselves.
  • A9entOfChaos - January 12, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    What happens when the internet goes out, how will all this cloud gaming be for all of us? Oh yea we won' be able to play. Then since everyone of us is connected to everyting we do (assuming we are cloud gaming) The government will easily be able to switch us "off" whenever they want because of loss production, national security, brain washing kids, etc. or whatver they throw as an esxcuse to control the masses.
  • potpan0 - January 12, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    I think if there was a government that would go to the extreme of turning off the internet, not being able to play games and view websites would be the least of our worries.

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