Why the next generation Xbox and PlayStation ARE coming soon: A rumour free guide, using just the facts

The first-party games are drying up

Think about it. Where are all the first-party games at? For the last couple of E3s Microsoft has been pumping out barely anything but kid-driven arm-waving simulators, while pretending that it can claim development credit for good third-party games by encouraging the devs to shoe-horn a bit of desperate Kinect functionality into them.

Above: A first-party game. They're drying up

Sony is going quiet too. E3 2011 was conspicuously about Vita and Move, with remarkably few – if any – first-party PS3 megatons. And after Twisted Metal, The Last Guardian and The Last of Us, what is there (barring of course, the inevitable Last of the Summer Wine adaptation to complete Sony’s title-themed trilogy)? Yes, Microsoft is shifting into more of a multimedia entertainment area, but within both platform holders’ release schedules there's a very definite whiff their internal developers’ attentions are somewhere else. That somewhere is made of millions of extra polygons, has some lovely textures on the trees, gorgeously high-dynamic sunsets, and can be found just beyond the great big mountain of target footage that you’ll no doubt catch sight of soon.

And meanwhile...

The current machines are pushing for the kid market

Always a clincher, this one. In December 2011, Jim Ryan openly stated that the PS3 would be pushed into a more kid-friendly space, marketing wise. This always happens during the last couple of years of a console’s life. Hardware gets cheaper, as does the back-catalogue of games, and the whole platform becomes more affordable to kids and more feasible as a gift idea. Having the hardcore market locked down, platform holders move on to mopping up the kid money as they run into gearing up for the next generation.

I would explain that Microsoft is showing hints at going a bit more kid friendly too, but I don’t think I really need to. And besides, I’m not entirely sure it is entirely kid friendly to build your whole marketing plan around making the world hate all children.


So there you have it. Personally, I’m not in any immediate rush for the PS4 or next Xbox / Xbox 720 / Xbox Next / insert-another-crappy-made-up-name-here-box. And I highly doubt that either Microsoft or Sony really wants to start the next generation of console gaming any time soon either. But business is business and pressure is pressure.

E3 then? Well while I'm not totally convinced that recent supposed statements by certain French execs - garbled in translation and interpreted subjectively by the Chinese whispers of the internet -  really do mean that we won't see anything new at E3 2012 (barring the Wii U of course), such reveals do not have to happen at the show. I do think that the presence of the PS4 and next Xbox will be felt at some point this year, and that the intention of those reveals will be to allow their respective companies to hit the ground running next January, to start the lead up to a 2013 release.

Be it by logo, target footage, or a mere reference to a successor being in development, I wouldn’t be surprised if either company felt the need to cement the existence of its next generation console in the minds of the world’s hardcore gamers. Because that’s all that’s needed right now. The seed of hype. The concrete knowledge of a machine for the community to rally around. Because as the last 12 months of internet has shown us, the mere idea of a console is enough.


  • shnazzyone - February 1, 2012 11:32 p.m.

    I loved this article. One of the more interesting articles i've read deconstructing the current console state of affairs. E3 should be interesting this year.
  • Rhymenocerous - February 1, 2012 10 a.m.

    What about CryEngine 3? But yeah, after reading this, 2013 doesn't seem like a rediculous prediction for console releases at all. Not that I'm in such a rush though, I'm happy with things as they are.
  • psptwo-roundup - February 1, 2012 3:39 a.m.

    Considering the current latest PC graphics cards are going for $400+ each, lets guess (wildly) at: $150 for the four-billion transistor GPU, $100 for a quad-core processor and $80 for 8GB DRAM - based on $1.25 for 2Gbit memory (spot market prices - that's proper research that is!). $200 R&D, build, marketing and guff $530 - convert that to £s = £530 (not £333 thanks to evil money-grabbing types who ignore the .63 $/£ exchange rate.) And we're almost at the point where a next gen console becomes affordable. Can't be too far off, but while the middleware and graphics engines are now more than capable, most developers will need a good deal of ramp up time to produce the games that these consoles demand. The most important part of the equation - the Grand Theft Auto/Unreal/MGS/id-engine teams need to have finished their final this-gen products, had a holiday and settled down to master the next-gen code engines before its worth announcing anything.
  • aratiatia - February 1, 2012 12:16 a.m.

    The New Zealand scenery was a pleasant surprise in this article! Very cool.
  • D0CCON - January 31, 2012 6:57 p.m.

    I liked this article, and then I remembered that the title said rumor free and wondered how this article deserves that title.
  • Stiltzkin - January 31, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    Huh. Odd choice of photo with the highway (this way to next gen). Was wondering what the heck New Zealand had to do with this. Apparently we just have easy to photoshop highways?
  • tiben36 - January 31, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    there wont be a next gen console before 2014 (wii u is current gen btw, just veeeery late)
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 31, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    Dammit, just missed the Dinosaur Penis offramp... guess we're turning around, kids!
  • RedHarlow - January 31, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    "Rumor free" -> The entire article is speculation and hearsay.
  • ClusterShart - January 31, 2012 10:04 a.m.

    Well, you can't really consider it the next gen, just hardware upgrades. From what has been released, the Xboxwhatever doesn't even look like it will be able to play modern PC games, let alone at 1080p without cutting more than a few corners. I don't even know if Sony will have enough money to produce another console.
  • sam-street - January 31, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    David, I normally enjoy your articles but christ! Next gen consoles coming, 100% rumour free based on just the facts? This entire article was complete speculation! Reading between the lines will give you the real answer? So the fact that Kaz Hirai himself has said on record that Sony will categorically not be showing PS4 this E3 or that's it's coming anytime soon is trumped by reading between the lines? I'll stick to the facts in this case.
  • ZhugeLiang - January 31, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    "...lolloping along the track behind its big two rivals again like a tired dog with ever-shortening legs." Damn, Dave. That's some Byronian shit. As far as the photograph/screenshot comparison of the lighting engine goes, it looks impressive, but I'd be more interested in a comparison at a much, much higher resolution.
  • CaptCOMMANDO - January 31, 2012 9 a.m.

    I bet 5$ through PayPal to everyone* that SkraightSkreet will post in this articles comments and start some crap. *I will not really send money to anyone.
  • ultimatepunchrod - January 31, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    First party games ARE NOT drying up on PS3. They just all came out in 2011. There's nothing left for 2012 except Sly 4, (maybe) the Last of US, and Twisted Metal. But look at what came out in 2011: Uncharted 3, Littlebigplanet 2, Infamous 2, Resistance 3, Ratchet and Clank all 4 one, Motorstorm Apocalypse, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus collection, God of War origins collection, Killzone 3, Socom 4, and there are even more, but the rest just aren't that good. I liked the article, but that entry made no sense.
  • Barnsley Pal - January 31, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    I think you are missing his point. He means that the amount of future PS3 exclusives are drying up. It doesn't matter how many exclusives they have released in the past. He is not suggesting that Sony are not making future exclusives, but that the majority of those in development are still unannounced and for the next generation hardware.
  • AwesomeMan - January 31, 2012 7:34 a.m.

    As an Xbox gamer, I could use a bit of an upgrade in terms of power under the hood. I'm interested to see if they'll put a Blu-ray disc drive in the new Xbox, DVD's won't last forever. Also, whatever next Battlefield game comes out better have more than BS 24 player support on consoles! 64 preferably...32 the BARE MINIMUM!
  • ThisIsMyFuckingThirdAccount - January 31, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    No Blu-Ray. Maybe they'll bring HD-DVD back for games?
  • SalvadorZombie - January 31, 2012 6:33 a.m.

    Good, interesting article. Seemed a little rushed with all of the structural errors, but there were some interesting points.
  • taokaka - January 31, 2012 6:12 a.m.

    I think sony should wait for the ps4 otherwise the vita will lose support and will end up like the psp. But I can see the positives of new hardware, mostly first party studios will be able to make even sexier games while most third parties continue to make games that look like you've rubbed Vaseline in your eyes in comparison. Also to all the PC elitist people that will comment saying stuff like consoles are for noob casual gamers, real hardcore super gamers have PCs with nine motherboards and can anti-alias the anti-aliasing in games, etc etc, I just have this to say
  • LEGOMatrix - January 31, 2012 5:44 a.m.

    This article has gotten me all excited for a Last Of The Summer Wine game!

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