Speaking during his keynote address at Gamescom 2012 this week, Electronic Arts’ president of labels Frank Gibeau added more fuel to the next generation console fire when he told the crowd that not only does the unannounced Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 exist, but he has “seen both of them”.
Gibeau’s comments are not the only recent talk of new Microsoft and Sony systems, but are just the latest in a long line of hints and speculation that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are about to become last-gen machines. This month alone we have seen two apparent slips by Microsoft suggesting the Xbox 720 will launch next year, along with a supposed leaked image from the next-gen Kinect sensor. On the Sony side things have been a little quieter lately, but several reports surfaced earlier this year suggesting that the PS4 will also launch sooner rather than later.
With all the reports, rumors, speculation, and statements from third-parties about the next generation of consoles, there is no reason to doubt that the Xbox 720 and PS4 will be sitting on retail shelves in the near future. The only real question is if gamers are as eager to make the jump to the next systems as the video game industry seems to be.
Video games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve actively followed video game industry news and the “gamer community” (for lack of a better term) for well over a decade, and have been writing about it for almost five years. In all that time, I’ve never seen a bigger lack of enthusiasm from “core gamers” for the next generation of consoles that what I’m seeing now. To be perfectly honest, I can’t blame them.
I’ve seen the next-generation engine tech demos, which are impressive, and I’m well aware that games can (and do on PC) have far greater graphical capabilities than anything the Xbox 360 or PS3 could even dream of displaying. With that said, I’m having a real hard time getting excited for that future when I have titles like Red Dead Redemption, the Uncharted series, Batman: Arkham City, and countless others sitting on my shelf right now. Additionally, when I look at the massive slate of quality upcoming games (The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed III, Tomb Raider, Halo 4 etc.) I find it almost impossible to see any justification for a new round of consoles.
Make no mistake, the Xbox 720 and PS4 are coming. In all likelihood at least one of them will be released next year. I’m just not sure how many of us are ready to pony up the entry fee.