On expectations of the next-generation of consoles...

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So, with the Wii U just a few days from launch, the next generation of the console race is about to begin. Pretty exciting stuff all around, as the current generation is certainly starting to get a bit creaky.

However, there's one thing I've noticed recently regarding discussions of the next generation of consoles. It's an assumption that seems to have taken hold, until it seems to be a very common belief among gamers in general. Firstly, that the Wii U is no better in terms of tech than current consoles, and secondly that the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony are going to be astronomically better in terms of technology.

Now, I don't agree with either assumption. In fact, I think that both these assumptions run completely counter to all the information and rumours that are currently out there, as well as being somewhat ignorant of the current state of the gaming industry. I'll give my reasoning below, but first I thought I'd ask: what are the Escapists; opinions on the next generation of consoles? Do you believe that the Wii U is no better than current gen? Do you think Sony and Microsoft are going to invest in tech-heavy consoles again?

I don't think so. I'll try to keep my reasoning concise, but this may still get a little wordy (as is my wont)...

- Assumption A: The Wii U is no better in terms of tech than current gen consoles. This is an assumption that still has common currency among debates about the Wii U, but I honestly cannot see how. Every piece of information Nintendo has released about the console either confirms or strongly implies that they're using more modern tech than the PS360. We know that it's got 2GB of RAM, as opposed to the 512mb of the 360 and the 256/256mb of the PS3. That's nearly four times the RAM. That alone is a huge increase. Nintendo have also confirmed that the Wii U's multi-chip module is going to house a GP-GPU, or General-Purpose GPU. That's the sort of tech that Microsoft and Sony could only have dreamed of when R&Ding their current gen consoles. We know that the Wii U is able to stream an image to the Gamepad with less latency than many HDTVs, thanks to an interview with Rayman developer Michel Ancel.

And when you start factoring in some of the rumours that have kept circulating around the console, the idea that it's somehow only comparable to 7 year old technology becomes highly improbable. The main rumour that's been going around for a while now is that the Wii U GPU is based on a custom AMD Radeon e6760 design. While this is in no way confirmed by Nintendo, the e6760 does fit pretty much every criteria that Nintendo seems to have set for the Wii U- it's lower power consumption, affordable, but still packs a pretty good punch. It is several generations of tech ahead of the GPUs in the PS360. If Nintendo has gone for this or a similar model, the Wii U will be more powerful than the PS360 without even breaking a sweat.

If anyone goes on Youtube, there's a guy who posts videos under the name ReviewTechUSA, and who makes a very valid point: Nintendo would have to go out of their way to make a console with the same power or less than the current gen. They don't even make the components that go into the PS360 anymore. They would actively have to go out and source the cheapest, lowest-grade components possible to do this. And the fact that Nintendo has stated they're selling the Wii U at a loss kind of implies the part in it aren't all that cheap. It's going to be a more powerful console, and therefore it's going to be a next gen console.

- Assumption B: The PS4/Xbox 720 will be way, way more powerful than the Wii U. This leads on from the last one. Even if the Wii U is more powerful than current gen, many gamers assume that the the other consoles will be far, far superior in terms of tech. But, what exactly are we basing this on?

I mean, news about the new Microsoft and Sony machines hasn't exactly been forthcoming. All we've got are very occasional rumours, and not much beyond that.

In fact, if you look at both companies, I'd argue that current evidence suggests they're both going to go away from tech heavy consoles in the future, in order to avoid losing the money they lost this generation.

Let's start with Sony. First things first: Sony is not in a great place financially. When they released the PS3 in 2006, they were flush off the resounding success of the insanely profitable and successful PS2. That is not the case this time round. Sony has lost a huge amount of money this generation. Not only from the initial costs of the PS3 selling at a loss, but also from the huge fuck up that was the PSN hacking scandal, as well as the continued abysmal sales of the PS Vita. When Sony released the PS3, they were the undisputed console kings releasing a console into a healthy world economy. Not the case this time. They've been trying to push the tech-heavy approach with both the PS3 and the Vita, and it hasn't worked out for them.

Before anyone brings up this point- yes, Sony is now making a profit on each PS3 sold. Unfortunately, as has been recently reported in the news, sales of the PS3 have nosedived over the last year. Making a profit on each unit means nothing when you're not selling many units, and you've still got to recoup your initial investment. Add to this the fact that while the PS3 may not be selling at a loss, the Vita certainly is. And it's tanking. Whatever small profit they make off the PS3 is going to be lost by the huge expense that is the Vita. If you don't think that's hurting Sony financially, then ask yourself why they fired 10,000 staff globally a while ago. Companies don't fire that many people when they're rolling in money.

And this is my point: Sony has tried repeatedly now to make money by investing in a loss-leading, tech heavy approach. It hasn't worked. Where the PS2 was cheap to produce and easy to profit from (compared to the comparatively costly Xbox and Gamecube), all of Sony's latest consoles have cost them money by being so expensive to produce. And there's only so many times you can do this before the shareholders start to notice. Sony's experiment in loss-leading strategy failed, and I really don't think they're going to try it again next time. And wouldn't you know, the latest rumour regarding the PS4/Orbis, is that it's using AMD's A10 APU. It's a good system. It provides a noticeable leap from current gen. But one thing that it is not is bleeding edge, or anything close to it. In fact, if Nintendo is using an e6760 MCM, then an A10 APU would not be that much more powerful. A bit, certainly, but not by a huge amount. It's a system that would suit Sony's approach if they were looking to keep costs under control, and to avoid losing money on expensive tech, at the expense of cutting edge processing power.

As for Microsoft? You only have to look at what they've been doing at the tail end of this generation to get an idea for where they want to go next generation. They have been marketing the 360 less and less as a hardcore gaming device, and more as a social media hub. If you don't think so, just look at their last two showings at E3. The entire panels were dominated by casual friendly Kinect fare. The only announcements relating to 'hardcore' gaming were regarding two games: the announcement of a new Gears title, and footage from Halo 4. Those two series (and arguably Forza) are now pretty much the only exclusives Microsoft has got in the 'hardcore' market. Everything else, they've allowed to go multiplatform. Ninja Gaiden? The PS3 got that at the start of this generation. Ace Combat? That jumped back to Sony with their latest release. Splinter Cell is heading back towards multi-platform. Dead Or Alive. The Elder Scrolls. Mass Effect. These are all franchises that were at one time limited to the Xbox/360 (and PC in the case of TES), but Microsoft has allowed them to go multiplatform? Why? Because Microsoft is less and less interested in 'hardcore' gaming, and more interested in selling the 360 as a casual friendly social entertainment system. The only 'hardcore' exclusives of note they have any more are Halo, Gears, Forza, and their XBLA titles.

So with Microsoft seemingly investing less and less into traditional 'core' gaming, and more into a more casual friendly approach, why do we assume that they're going to sink money into putting expensive cutting-edge technology in their next console? The only people who care about bleeding edge tech are hardcore gamers, and Microsoft has shown over the last few years that they're not too fussed by what core gamers think. Why sink all that money when they could make a profitable console that uses Kinect 2 (or whatever it'll be called) to target casual gamers instead. Basically, take the Wii approach. Don't tell me they couldn't. Their last two E3 panels have shown that's all they're interested in at the minute. If they end up integrating a Kinect 2 into the follow up to the 360, then they're damn well going to want to scale back costs elsewhere, and that'll come at the expense of cutting edge CPU/GPU tech. It may not necessarily happen that way, but I think there's a more than likely chance it will.

So yeah... those are my predictions for the next generation, if you will. I really don't think either the PS4 or the 720 are going to be as powerful as many gamers believe them to be, and I don't even think the 720 will be targeted at the people gamers think it will be. Sony's lost too much money, and Microsoft is too focused on non-hardcore audiences for it to pan out that way in my opinion. Bear in mind that every console generation since the PS1 has been 'won' by the least powerful, least costly console, and no-one will be more aware of that than the accountants at Sony and Microsoft. They're not going to invest in expensive technology if they don't feel the expense would be worth it. And right now, with the world economy in the state it's in, and both companies at the respective places they're at, I simply don't think either will feel it's worth it. So yeah, the 'next-generation' of consoles is not going to be the quantum leap in technology that people think it is.

Anyways, those are my thoughts. Yours?

You summed up what I thought in a wall of text. XD

Just for the fact that the Wii-U games are running in 1080P while rendering the pad at 60 frames for the both should be enough proof that it has a lot more power.

My thoughts exactly on the other two companies. I have no idea how much the pad costs to make so turn that cost plus 50-100$(350$-400$ seems about right) and you have their console in a nut-shell. I think it is safe to say that yes, both Sony and Microsoft will sell at a loss...for a year. They both saw how much money Nintendo made on hardware and wouldn't be surprised if they try to follow the formula.

While we can push graphics more, I don't think studios/developers can afford it and instead the main focus will be increasing interactivity with the world. By this I mean AI, making the world less static.

ThePuzzldPirate:
You summed up what I thought in a wall of text. XD

Just for the fact that the Wii-U games are running in 1080P while rendering the pad at 60 frames for the both should be enough proof that it has a lot more power.

My thoughts exactly on the other two companies. I have no idea how much the pad costs to make so turn that cost plus 50-100$(350$-400$ seems about right) and you have their console in a nut-shell. I think it is safe to say that yes, both Sony and Microsoft will sell at a loss...for a year. They both saw how much money Nintendo made on hardware and wouldn't be surprised if they try to follow the formula.

Exactly. Imagine being a shareholder at a meeting at Sony HQ:

Sony: Well, after selling our console at a loss for years, we've finally started selling it for a profit. Unfortunately, sales have tapered out, so we're not selling as many consoles as we hoped.

Shareholder: What about Nintendo? They've sold loads of consoles, and they've made money from each of them.

Sony: They don't have Blu-Ray!

Shareholder: But they do have lots of money.

Sony: ...

Shareholder: What about the Vita? That's quite a bit more advanced than the 3DS. We're outselling Nintendo in that regard at least, aren't we?

Sony: ...yeah, about that...

If a competitor manages to outsell you nearly 2:1 while making a profit from day 1, you'd have to be economically illiterate to ignore that.

While we can push graphics more, I don't think studios/developers can afford it and instead the main focus will be increasing interactivity with the world. By this I mean AI, making the world less static.

That's another key point. Technology may be on an ever-upwards swing, but graphics development can only go so far before it becomes prohibitively expensive. It's reaching that point even now. Super advanced tech isn't of any use if developers can't afford to make use of it. Until games development becomes massively streamlined compared to now, developers won't be able to make use of cutting edge graphics without pushing themselves into bankruptcy (again, something we're already seeing now).

I silently hoping the Wii-U will surprise me, but I'm full well ready to be disappointed.

There was really only a handful of titles that I can say made the Wii half worth it to won, and I'm not sure if Nintendo has learned their lesson yet. At launch we have a Mario Wii game more or less reskinned and made to work with the new controller, another damn Zombie game, and some ports of games I've already played with some stuff added on that may or may not be gimmicky and wear down the core game.

As for the next Playstation and Xbox? Well, I take it as a given that they'll have higher specs, even if the difference is unnoticibly small. But assuming all three clock out on the same numbers, sony, for me, has been doing the best when it comes to exclusives and online shit. So I'm fairly sure I'll have more play time on that when it comes out.

My prediction, digital distribution and free to play are going to be the defining issues of next console generation, and whichever company is able to get strong digital distribution and free to play titles out the quickest is going to have a serious advantage. Nintendo is at a disadvantage here, because even the more expensive WiiU model only has 32 GB of storage, which is not enough if somebody doesn't want to use physical media. Yes, you can use an external hard drive (and I probably will, if I get a WiiU), but that still isn't nearly as good as having 200 GB or more of storage built into the console.

You're right, it won't be a "quantum leap" like the Wii U (look up what that actually means), it will just catch up with PC tech from last or this year.

The Wii U's GPU will be DirectX 10-10.1/OpenGL 3.0-3.3 or equivalent compatible depending on who to believe with 1-2GB of RAM: http://www.techdigest.tv/2012/09/wii_u_specs_lea.html
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-08-30-how-powerful-is-the-wii-u-really
which is basically 5 year old tech from 2006/2007.

Both PS4 and NextBox will be DirectX 11/OpenGL 4.1-4.2 or equivalent compatible with 4-8GB RAM (they won't make that mistake again, they've heard enough from developers and RAM is really cheap now, can get 8GB as a end-consumer for close to 25€: http://www.heise.de/preisvergleich/791957 ) bringing them up to 2011 or thereabouts at least.

If you think that all these developers have engineered DirectX 11/equivalent engines for nothing you have a screw loose (EPIC for instance has Unreal Engine 4 ready, CryTek has a completely scalable CryEngine 3, EA has Frostbite 2 and has set both Dragon Age 3 and Mass Effect 4 to be based on it, Square Enix has shown off their Luminous Engine recently).

In your long Nintendo-biased rant you're also forgetting that they recently had to concede that even one of their low-tech Mario games won't be able to run @ 1080p: http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-brief/66800-super-mario-bros-wii-u-game-is-not-1080p

It has been reported that almost all of the Wii U's launch titles will only deliver 720p HD graphics, an admittedly outdated resolution in a world where every content provider wants to offer the best experience possible.

What you're also forgetting is that going after the casual market is a dangerous game that might just come to bite Nintendo in the arse, they've been posting losses for the past 2-3 years since the people they've marketed their console to have largely gotten bored with it and aren't buying any games, first operating losses for 2010 and 2011, quickly becoming actual losses in 2011 and 2012, that's why they're trying so hard to get the "core audience" back again but will very likely ultimately fail:
http://www.technologytell.com/gaming/101529/nintendo-posts-fiscal-loss-at-halftime/
http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/04/26/nintendos-530-million-loss
http://www.vg247.com/2011/10/27/nintendo-posts-huge-q2-loss/
http://kotaku.com/5599316/nintendo-financials-show-big-losses-2011-zelda-and-games-sales-figures
http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/28/nintendo-posts-first-net-loss-in-fiscal-first-half-in-seven-year/

I expect the Wii U to do badly e.g. it will sell, but probably more on GameCube levels than the Wii, which will be disappointing for them.

You're also not giving SONY enough credit, the PlayStation 3 was a calculated risk to win the High Definition format war and they did win out with BluRay over HD-DVD (which Microsoft was supporting by the way) and are now and henceforth getting licensing fees.

Also regarding the platform sales they aren't doing as badly as you say, in fact they outsell Microsoft exceedingly in Japan, Europe and the Rest of the World other than in the US and have nearly caught up with them: http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/
You're also putting too much importance on hardware sales, neither Nintendo, Microsoft or SONY are making all that much from that, the real money is in game sales, licensing and online marketplaces.

SONY weren't and aren't making much losses with their gaming department, that was actually comparably a money-maker until recently when they posted a $45 million loss: http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/02/sony-q1-2012/
They are still FAR away from the losses Nintendo has been bringing in the past years and especially the last. They NEED this console to be successful to survive for much longer, I don't think it will be very much, they might have a run till the next E3 but I see a lot of red after that.

One of the main reasons will likely also be that they don't seem to understand Digital Distribution and Online Play just yet, while Microsoft and SONY were on the ball last generation and will have likely learned from the PC ecosystem, especially Steam Nintendo is putting their console out with a pityful 8GB HDD while both SONY/Microsoft will attack that head-on.
http://www.ibtimes.com/wii-u-specs-console-storage-limits-players-should-know-about-launch-video-878914

Dexter111:
You're right, it won't be a "quantum leap" like the Wii U (look up what that actually means), it will just catch up with PC tech from last or this year.

Quantum Leap is a science fiction TV show staring Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett, a time traveling physicist, that ran from 1989 to 1993. That is indeed a very strange standard of measurement for hardware specifications.

image
Sam Beckett

Of course the far more common definition, dating back to 1956, is "a sudden and highly significant advance." But as you seem to have taken exception to that definition, I'll just assume you are referring to Scott Bakula.

Now that I got that ridiculousness out of my system, I think the PS4 and the xNext will be noticeably more powerful than the Wii U, but I am not sure how much it will matter.

Also, the Wii U actually has a launch title I am interested in. That hasn't happened since the Nintendo 64 (other systems have had launch titles that turned out good, but nothing I was really excited about before I got my hands on it.)

Dexter111:

In your long Nintendo-biased rant you're also forgetting that they recently had to concede that even one of their low-tech Mario games won't be able to run @ 1080p: http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-brief/66800-super-mario-bros-wii-u-game-is-not-1080p

It has been reported that almost all of the Wii U's launch titles will only deliver 720p HD graphics, an admittedly outdated resolution in a world where every content provider wants to offer the best experience possible.

I've said this multiple times now, so saying it once more won't hurt anyone: This is just Nintendo. They have stated publicly that all they need is 720p, that they don't need 1080p. Multiple games for the WiiU will come out at 1080p however; Black Ops II will be upconverted to 1080p, While Skylanders Giants, Transformers Prime, Zombi U, Ninja Gaiden 3, Monster Hunter 3, and many more games will be native 1080p. Rayman Legends is rumored to be in 1080p, because most/all of the screenshots are 1080p. All in all, that's 5 AAA games that are gonna be native 1080p, more then either the Xbox 360 or PS3 have. Just because Nintendo isn't doing 1080p, doesn't mean others aren't.

DrOswald:
Of course the far more common definition, dating back to 1956, is "a sudden and highly significant advance." But as you seem to have taken exception to that definition, I'll just assume you are referring to Scott Bakula.

Now that I got that ridiculousness out of my system, I think the PS4 and the xNext will be noticeably more powerful than the Wii U, but I am not sure how much it will matter.

I'm well aware in what sense a lot of people use it colloquially, but in physics it is the smallest possible leap on any scale when an electron changes its energy state within an atom from one state to another.

I just thought it funny that he used that term when talking about the Wii U. :P

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_quantum_leap

Mr.Mattress:

I've said this multiple times now, so saying it once more won't hurt anyone

You know what "upconverted" means, right? Here's an example of Dark Souls displayed at "upconverted" 1080p and native: http://imgc.rauch.co.uk/955

Every game even on the lowest of consoles can be "upconverted" to 1080p, which won't change much about the image quality.

As for the other examples, they aren't exactly power-horses, Zombi U looks rather dated and casual, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is literally a port of the Wii game Monster Hunter Tri with a few extra features.

That even Blops II (but even moreso Super Mario Bros. U), which is largely still based on the Quake 4 Engine and at about the same class of graphics as Call of Duty 4 from 2007 won't be able to do it is rather telling of its actual capabilities in general and there's still no details about the framerates. Also again DirectX10.1 or equivalent max. No Tesselation and similar fancy features the other consoles will support.

As for your claim that there aren't games at 1080p on X360/PS3, they are wrong, here's a comprehensive list of internal resolution for games, search "1920x1080": http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=46241

You'll come up with equally low-powered titles like Fifa Street 3, Ico, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Virtua Tennis 3 etc., there's about 40 hits.

We're talking about a half a decade to a decade long console generation here they are banking on and not just till next year by the way, they will likely be left behind again with only first-party and some licensed titles as the production of all the other studios ramps up for Next-Gen. xD

Dexter111:

Mr.Mattress:

I've said this multiple times now, so saying it once more won't hurt anyone

You know what "upconverted" means, right? Here's an example of Dark Souls displayed at "upconverted" 1080p and native: http://imgc.rauch.co.uk/955

Every game even on the lowest of consoles can be "upconverted" to 1080p, which won't change much about the image quality.

Meh, you make a point there, I concede on that. However, I have huge problems with everything else your saying.

Dexter111:
As for the other examples, they aren't exactly power-horses, Zombi U looks rather dated and casual, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is literally a port of the Wii game Monster Hunter Tri with a few extra features.

ZombiU looks dated and casual? Ummmmm, no, it doesn't. It looks better then a PS3 game, and it is in no way Casual, unless you think Left 4 Dead is also casual.

Dexter111:
That even Blops II (but even moreso Super Mario Bros. U), which is largely still based on the Quake 4 Engine and at about the same class of graphics as Call of Duty 4 from 2007 won't be able to do it is rather telling of its actual capabilities in general and there's still no details about the framerates. Also again DirectX10.1 or equivalent max. No Tesselation and similar fancy features the other consoles will support.

Or, it tells you how lazy the developers are, and that they aren't taking full advantage of the console, which many developers have said is more powerful then it's competition. Have you seen the original Xbox 360 launch games? They're ugly as sin and they look like Xbox games; did you blame the Xbox 360 for being weak?

Dexter111:
As for your claim that there aren't games at 1080p on X360/PS3, they are wrong, here's a comprehensive list of internal resolution for games, search "1920x1080": http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=46241

You'll come up with equally low-powered titles like Fifa Street 3, Ico, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Virtua Tennis 3 etc., there's about 40 hits.

I didn't say the Xbox 360 and PS3 had 0 1080p games, I said they had less then Nintendo will have at launch. Based on your site, and not counting Indie games or Demos, there's only 2 on PS3 (FIFA and Marvel Ultimate Alliance) and only 1 on the Xbox 360 (FIFA again). Meanwhile, like I said, the WiiU will have 5 Games that have been confirmed to be released in native 1080p, 4 of which will be launch titles!

Marik2:
Just found this link at another place

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/11/16/rumor-next-gen-xbox-details-spilled-in-penultimate-issue-of-xbo/

Wait, that doesn't make sense. It's just gonna be called "Xbox"? They already had an Xbox. It'll run Blu-Rays? While this is more realistic, it will end up giving money to Sony, one of their main competitors. People on the Website are saying 8GB of Ram is a lot, even more then a good Gaming PC. I don't believe this to be true.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

If a competitor manages to outsell you nearly 2:1 while making a profit from day 1, you'd have to be economically illiterate to ignore that.

The 3ds is outselling the vita 47 to 1.
And it still sold more than the vita at it's original price.
Vita is also going crazy on it's prices now.
Sony's pretty desperate at the moment.
I also agree with everything you said you are a informed person for sure.

Dexter111:

As for the other examples, they aren't exactly power-horses, Zombi U looks rather dated and casual, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is literally a port of the Wii game Monster Hunter Tri with a few extra features.

Nope.
It's a port from the 3DS.
It can even crossplay with the 3DS on the wiiU

Marik2:
Just found this link at another place

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/11/16/rumor-next-gen-xbox-details-spilled-in-penultimate-issue-of-xbo/

This is actually very interesting.

Firstly, according to this 'news', it'll be using a quad-core CPU that uses multi-threading. That is not a huge advancement over the Wii U's tri-core CPU that also uses multi-threading. Not when companies like Intel have already got processors like the i7 out.

Secondly, it looks like they'll be integrating Kinect 2 into the core system, as I suspected. What does that mean? It means that they'll be investing a lot of money into the tech for Kinect, and they're going to want to cut costs elsewhere if they want the thing to stay affordable. If the new Xbox has a built in Kinect 2 system, then I can guarantee Microsoft will have scaled back the costs of the CPU and GPU to compensate. To try and have both a cutting edge graphics machine and in-built Kinect support would push the machine into ludicrous expense territory.

Thirdly, the dev kits are stated as having 8GB of RAM. That means the actual console itself will likely have around 4GB. What's interesting is that this would put the console at a very similar level to Sony's rumoured A10 APU-based PS4 design, which is also rumoured to have around 4GB of RAM. And that means that both consoles would have only twice the RAM of the Wii U, not the huge 8-16GB leap some people were expecting.

Very interesting stuff indeed.

ohnoitsabear:
My prediction, digital distribution and free to play are going to be the defining issues of next console generation, and whichever company is able to get strong digital distribution and free to play titles out the quickest is going to have a serious advantage. Nintendo is at a disadvantage here, because even the more expensive WiiU model only has 32 GB of storage, which is not enough if somebody doesn't want to use physical media. Yes, you can use an external hard drive (and I probably will, if I get a WiiU), but that still isn't nearly as good as having 200 GB or more of storage built into the console.

Who's saying Nintendo won't release a higher capacity model at a later date? Sony and Microsoft didn't reveal their large memory consoles until both the PS3 and 360 had been around for a few years. Who's to say we won't get a 120GB+ Wii U a year or two down the line?

Dexter111:
You're right, it won't be a "quantum leap" like the Wii U (look up what that actually means), it will just catch up with PC tech from last or this year.

Apparently not, if the latest rumours around each console are to be believed. I don't particularly see 4GB of RAM as catching up with PC tech of this year, given that laptops have been shipping with 8GB of RAM for a while now.

The Wii U's GPU will be DirectX 10-10.1/OpenGL 3.0-3.3 or equivalent compatible depending on who to believe with 1-2GB of RAM: http://www.techdigest.tv/2012/09/wii_u_specs_lea.html
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-08-30-how-powerful-is-the-wii-u-really
which is basically 5 year old tech from 2006/2007.

Actually, if the Wii U uses a Radeon e6760, as many people believe, then it will be able to support DX11-equivalent features. To what extent, I don't know, as I'm not particularly schooled up on how DX11 capable the e6760 is, but it certainly won't be a DX10-limited GPU.

Both PS4 and NextBox will be DirectX 11/OpenGL 4.1-4.2 or equivalent compatible with 4-8GB RAM (they won't make that mistake again, they've heard enough from developers and RAM is really cheap now, can get 8GB as a end-consumer for close to 25€:

By the sounds of it, 4GB of RAM. Which isn't a huge leap, given that the 360 had effectively double the amount of useable RAM of the PS3, and the original XBox had twice the RAM of the PS2 as well (64mb as opposed to 32mb), yet that did nothing to stop multiplatform titles being released on both. In fact, the PS2 still got the majority of third-party titles, despite being a far weaker machine. Funny how these things go...

If you think that all these developers have engineered DirectX 11/equivalent engines for nothing you have a screw loose (EPIC for instance has Unreal Engine 4 ready, CryTek has a completely scalable CryEngine 3, EA has Frostbite 2 and has set both Dragon Age 3 and Mass Effect 4 to be based on it, Square Enix has shown off their Luminous Engine recently).

If you think developers can afford to develop entire games to the level shown in those tech demos, then I believe you are the one with a screw loose my friend. Developers are already going bankrupt because of the cost of game development. Even developers who have developed bona fide hits.

More importantly, while development potential is increasing with those new engines, actual development is getting even more bloated. Until games development has been streamlined to the point that it requires less manpower than now, you are not going to see developers suddenly making games en masse that look like the Luminous tech demo. To do so would be to drive themselves into bankruptcy.

You're also not giving SONY enough credit, the PlayStation 3 was a calculated risk to win the High Definition format war and they did win out with BluRay over HD-DVD (which Microsoft was supporting by the way) and are now and henceforth getting licensing fees.

Contrary to popular belief, Sony did not single-handedly invent Blu Ray, and they are not the only ones who are getting money from its sales.

Bu-ray was developed by a conglomerate of companies, of which Sony was only one. It is the Blu-Ray association which will get licensing fees, and as Sony is only one of nine companies that make up the association. License fees do not go straight to Sony, they get divided up between Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Thomson, LG, Hitachi, Sharp and Samsung.

So whatever you originally thought Sony was making from Blu-Ray, they're actually making about 1/9th of that.

Also regarding the platform sales they aren't doing as badly as you say, in fact they outsell Microsoft exceedingly in Japan, Europe and the Rest of the World other than in the US and have nearly caught up with them: http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

They have gone from being the clear resounding market leader to coming third in a race out of three. And they've lost money in order to achieve that. The PS2 sold over 120 million consoles. The PS3 hasn't managed even half of that. Sony's shareholders are going to want to know a) why they've sold less than half of what their previous console did, and b) why they had to lose money for the privilege of coming in last place this time round, instead of being first again.

You're also putting too much importance on hardware sales, neither Nintendo, Microsoft or SONY are making all that much from that, the real money is in game sales, licensing and online marketplaces.

Unfortunately, games sales have always been less on the PS3 than they are on the 360. Multi-platform titles nearly always sell far more on the 360 than they do on the PS3. Just look at sales figures for games like Call of Duty or Skyrim, and the massive gap in figures between the two. Their own exclusives don't sell all that highly. Their best selling game, Gran Turismo 5, has sold over 9 million, but all their best selling games after that come in under the 5.5 million mark. God Of War 3, Uncharted, MGS4, none of those games got above 6 million. In fact, Sony only has ten titles that managed to sell more than 3 million on the PS3.

And here's the thing- those are not an improvement on the figures for game sales Sony was pulling in last generation. Sony exclusives on the PS2 managed to sell in gargantuan amounts. On the PS2, San Andreas, Gran Turismo 4, MGS2 and Final Fantasy X managed to sell well above 7 million units each, and over 15 million units in the case of GTA and Gran Turismo.

Again, compared to the PS2 generation, Sony's game sales have not stood up as well. The AAA games selling on the console are selling in lesser numbers than they did last gen. With the escalating costs of development, that means SOny is going to be taking home less money from game sales this time round. And shareholders notice stuff like this.

SONY weren't and aren't making much losses with their gaming department, that was actually comparably a money-maker until recently when they posted a $45 million loss: http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/02/sony-q1-2012/
They are still FAR away from the losses Nintendo has been bringing in the past years and especially the last. They NEED this console to be successful to survive for much longer, I don't think it will be very much, they might have a run till the next E3 but I see a lot of red after that.

HA!

Sony is in dire financial straits. And their games department has not been making them a huge amount of money, given that they sold the PS3 at a loss, they're selling the Vita at a loss, they haven't made as much from game sales, and their games hardware sales are now drying up.

This is not the economic situation where a company then launches another tech-heavy expensive console. Sony needs to start making money back, and that means they need to start reigning in costs and actually making a profit from their consoles from day one. Shareholders are going to look at the success of the Wii, its day 1 profitability, its huge (100 million+) sales, and they're going to want to know why Sony isn't doing that. That's how business works.

EDIT

Turns out there are now 19 companies who are part of the Blu Ray association.

That means that Sony are going to be getting a 1/19th share of any Blu Ray licenses, not the 1/9th I originally thought. And not the entire share which you seem to think they're getting.

Dexter111:
SNIP

Just to hammer the point:

The article I linked to points out that Sony has gone from a company worth $120 billion in 2000 to $11 billion now.

Their value as a company has decreased by 90% in just over ten years! That is not a good place to be in. At all. And that is not the economic situation of a company able to continue investing in tech-heavy, loss-leading consoles. A company that has lost 90% of its value is a company that is either going to go bankrupt, or shed as much dead weight as it can, and get back to immediate profitablity.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Contrary to popular belief, Sony did not single-handedly invent Blu Ray, and they are not the only ones who are getting money from its sales.

Bu-ray was developed by a conglomerate of companies, of which Sony was only one. It is the Blu-Ray association which will get licensing fees, and as Sony is only one of nine companies that make up the association. License fees do not go straight to Sony, they get divided up between Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Thomson, LG, Hitachi, Sharp and Samsung.

So whatever you originally thought Sony was making from Blu-Ray, they're actually making about 1/9th of that.

HA!

Sony is in dire financial straits. And their games department has not been making them a huge amount of money, given that they sold the PS3 at a loss, they're selling the Vita at a loss, they haven't made as much from game sales, and their games hardware sales are now drying up.

This is not the economic situation where a company then launches another tech-heavy expensive console. Sony needs to start making money back, and that means they need to start reigning in costs and actually making a profit from their consoles from day one. Shareholders are going to look at the success of the Wii, its day 1 profitability, its huge (100 million+) sales, and they're going to want to know why Sony isn't doing that. That's how business works.

EDIT

Turns out there are now 19 companies who are part of the Blu Ray association.

That means that Sony are going to be getting a 1/19th share of any Blu Ray licenses, not the 1/9th I originally thought. And not the entire share which you seem to think they're getting.

I'm not really going to go through this point by point again, since the cold hard truth of reality will hit you in the face soon enough and set things straight about the capabilities of the Wii U (including that it won't do DirectX11 and that that 2GB RAM you are touting probably has 1GB dedicated to the system and 512MB to the GPU (if it turns out to be 2GB at all, there's just too many rumors around right now), its sales beyond the first 6-12 months etc.
Just a few things, when did I state that SONY is getting everything from the proceeds? I didn't, but your assumption that everyone who is part of the BDA gets the same cut of player/disc licensing fees while SONY spearheaded the technology with a lot of its assets and also directly profits from using it with their SONY Pictures and their SONY Game studios is even more hilarious. You even believe that whoever joined afterwards will automatically get a fair share of the cut and that's just cute. Almost as cute as when you try to compare the power of two consoles at the beginning by just using the words "tri-core" and "quad-core" alone, because everyone knows the PS3 was the most capable based on its hardware this generation, way beyond the others, after all it had 8 cores!

If the rumors you quoted before are to be believed and Microsoft don't turn to some sort of proprietary format for their discs even they are going to have to pay licensing fees to SONY come "Next-Gen".

The picture you paint of SONY is equally cute, yes they aren't in the best financial position, but first that isn't because of their Gaming Department, which has brought them a lot of money while other departments e.g. TV sales etc. were down the hole but contrary to Nintendo they have their fingers in A LOT of pies, while Nintendo basically only has gaming, and if they fail there they are done and gone forever.

You are concentrating on SONY too much and aren't on Nintendo, which aren't in the same comfortable spot they were back in 2007/2008 anymore: http://www.google.com/finance?cid=685139 and are hemorrhaging as much money with their gaming department as SONY does in total (despite likely never reaching their assets or revenue).

SONY also has like 160.000+ employees while Nintendo is hanging around 5000 employees total. For you to compare Nintendos position/situation with the whole of SONY is borderline lunacy and until very recently with their Vita gaming was one of the most profitable divisions for SONY, handhelds will just not sell much anymore in a field supersaturated with smart phones and tablets and the decision to make one was stupid in the first place.

I'm sure their shareholders will be much more interested in how Nintendo does with the Wii U than the now dying Wii and that remains to be seen.

Prediction as thus: All shall be inferior to my PC but marginally more convenient maybe??

Dexter111:

I'm not really going to go through this point by point again, since the cold hard truth of reality will hit you in the face soon enough and set things straight about the capabilities of the Wii U (including that it won't do DirectX11

Of course it won't. DirectX is a graphics system for Windows, and Nintendo won't be using any Windows software in their console. They'll probably use OpenGL for the Wii U.

What you seem to keep ignoring is that all the evidence suggests the Wii U is using a custom Radeon e6760, and that is a DirectX 11 capable chip. They won't be using DX11 direct, but the rumoured GPU can support it, and developers will be able to make use of those features in the appropriate OpenGL context.

and that that 2GB RAM you are touting probably has 1GB dedicated to the system and 512MB to the GPU (if it turns out to be 2GB at all, there's just too many rumors around right now), its sales beyond the first 6-12 months etc.

It's confirmed 2GB. Nintendo pulled open the Wii U a month or two ago to show the innards of the console, and one of the things they confirmed is that the console will have 2GB of RAM.

Just a few things, when did I state that SONY is getting everything from the proceeds? I didn't, but your assumption that everyone who is part of the BDA gets the same cut of player/disc licensing fees while SONY spearheaded the technology with a lot of its assets and also directly profits from using it with their SONY Pictures and their SONY Game studios is even more hilarious. You even believe that whoever joined afterwards will automatically get a fair share of the cut and that's just cute.

I was simply responding to your assertion that Sony would be making huge profits off Blu Ray. They won't. The fact they've been losing billions for consecutive years proves that.

Almost as cute as when you try to compare the power of two consoles at the beginning by just using the words "tri-core" and "quad-core" alone, because everyone knows the PS3 was the most capable based on its hardware this generation, way beyond the others, after all it had 8 cores!

No it doesn't. The CELL processor was a single core processor that utilised 7 SPE's to help computational tasks. An SPE is not the same thing as a core, as it is not a functional processor by itself. The CELL processor was a single processor with a bunch of stabiliser wheels to help. Not a mutlicore processor. The PS3 also had a weaker GPU than the 360, and was hampered by the fact that its RAM was split into two dedicated 256mb chunks, as oppsed to the unified 512mb of the 360.

The idea of the PS3 being the 'powerhouse' this generation came from Sony marketing, and smoke and mirrors. In real terms, it is no more powerful than the 360.

If the rumors you quoted before are to be believed and Microsoft don't turn to some sort of proprietary format for their discs even they are going to have to pay licensing fees to SONY come "Next-Gen".

The picture you paint of SONY is equally cute, yes they aren't in the best financial position, but first that isn't because of their Gaming Department, which has brought them a lot of money while other departments e.g. TV sales etc. were down the hole but contrary to Nintendo they have their fingers in A LOT of pies, while Nintendo basically only has gaming, and if they fail there they are done and gone forever.

Sony are not just 'not in the best financial position'. Their corporate value has shrunk by 90%, and their stock is at a 30 year low. The money gaming may or may not have brought them in is irrelevant when as a whole, the company is losing billions.

And you still haven't addressed the fact that Sony has gone from undisputed leader of the console market, to last place, in the space of a single generation. Why exactly would they repeat the tech-process of the PS3, when it has cost them the market leader position in the market, and relegated them to third place globally? Shareholders want their companies to be market leaders.

You are concentrating on SONY too much and aren't on Nintendo, which aren't in the same comfortable spot they were back in 2007/2008 anymore: http://www.google.com/finance?cid=685139 and are hemorrhaging as much money with their gaming department as SONY does in total (despite likely never reaching their assets or revenue).

Nope. Nintendo lost a couple of hundred million this year and last year, against the billions they've made off the Wii and DS. Sony has been losing billions for years, and hasn't had the day one profitability of Nintendo to try and compensate for that. Trying to paint Nintendo and Sony's losses as being equal is laughable. Nintendo hasn't seen its worth shrink by 90%. They're a more valuable company now (in business terms) than they were before the Wii and DS came out. That's called growth, and it's the exact opposite of what Sony is going through right now.

SONY also has like 160.000+ employees while Nintendo is hanging around 5000 employees total. For you to compare Nintendos position/situation with the whole of SONY is borderline lunacy and until very recently with their Vita gaming was one of the most profitable divisions for SONY, handhelds will just not sell much anymore in a field supersaturated with smart phones and tablets and the decision to make one was stupid in the first place.

Except that the 3DS is now outselling the DS at the same point in its life. People still buy handheld consoles, they simply need to be priced accordingly, and have games that work on a handheld format. Nintendo learned that after the 3DS launched, and they're now profiting from it as a result. Sony tried to make a portable PS3 that cost the same as a PS3, and they're now losing money as a result.

Also, a company division which requires the company to make a loss on each console sold for the first four years of its life is not a profitable division. Sony Games was profitable during the PS1 and PS2 eras, when they actually made profits from their consoles. A console which loses the company money is not profitable. Mixing the numbers round to try and include money from game sales (which are low) and Blu-Ray licensing (which is not theirs alone) does not change the fact that the PS3 cost them a shitload, and the Vita cost them a shitload more. Sony cannot afford to go down that route again. They are not a $120 billion company any more.

[quote]I'm sure their shareholders will be much more interested in how Nintendo does with the Wii U than the now dying Wii and that remains to be seen.

It sold 100 million units, and made a profit off of each of them. The PS3 sold just over 50 million, and lost money on most of them. That is all the shareholders need to know. That is all the info that is important to them. Your assertions that the Wii is now dying are irrelevant to business practise. The Wii is about to be replaced by its successor. It doesn't matter that support for it now has dried up. Nintendo sold a ton of consoles, and made a huge amount of money from them. That's all shareholders care about, because that's all that's relevant to the business discussion.

The wii U is still supporting Wii games.
So in a way it's still alive.

I think it's also important to remember, to all those complaining about launch titles for the WiiU being in 720p, that learning the coding for a console takes time. That's why we saw the Xbox360 outshining the PS3 when they first came out, because the box was easier to code for.

In general though, I agree with OP. Microsoft's plans are so obvious it's making me worry about how it will affect Windows (8 being a good example). From a business standpoint it also makes sense that Sony will not be able to make the same tech heavy machines that they have been making, especially now that the gaming market is so broad.

Time will tell but I'm feeling kindof "meh" on the whole coming generation. Feels like the hardcore "niche" gaming of yesterday is falling to the social all inclusive family friendly gaming of tomorrow.

I really... REALLY don't care how amazing or dated the next generation consoles are. As long as the improvements include more than 512 mb of gpu memory and 60 fps I really could care less what cores it's running.

It also amuses me how these same PC elitists who run circles around console gamers, mocking them for their stone age machines, also go around preaching "WELL GRAFIKS ARNT EVREETHING!"

I'm perfectly content with my gaming laptop and my Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3 (though I don't really use the latter two).

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Of course it won't. DirectX is a graphics system for Windows, and Nintendo won't be using any Windows software in their console. They'll probably use OpenGL for the Wii U.

What you seem to keep ignoring is that all the evidence suggests the Wii U is using a custom Radeon e6760, and that is a DirectX 11 capable chip. They won't be using DX11 direct, but the rumoured GPU can support it, and developers will be able to make use of those features in the appropriate OpenGL context.

Are you shitting me now? I've written "DirectX10/11 or equivalent and also mentioned OpenGL" about 10 times in my previous Post, you know exactly what I meant. As for whatever "evidence" suggests the Wii U can use DirectX11 "or equivalent" features I only see you keeping on mentioning it going after some Info from back in Mai or before because you *want to believe*, only recent thing that I could find was the CEO of Unity going on how they could simulate some effects with their engine that are typically DX11, every other leak or spec assumes its GPU will either be DX10 or 10.1 equivalent, as in 5-6 year old tech, if anything just a slight upgrade over the last console generation.

I was simply responding to your assertion that Sony would be making huge profits off Blu Ray. They won't. The fact they've been losing billions for consecutive years proves that.

They are making a good profit, and they will continue doing so for years to come, possibly even from Microsoft and game makers on XboxNext and PC soon enough. If they weren't they wouldn't have pushed for it as they did, you only invest so much money in something you have a large stake in, or do you believe SONY to simply be stupid? You've posted an article saying that SONY was mostly making losses in the TV selling/producing department, yet you conflate that with the entirety of their business time and again when their gaming branch has JUST started posting a loss, and a considerably smaller one than Nintendo did for the past 2-3 years?

No it doesn't. The CELL processor was a single core processor that utilised 7 SPE's to help computational tasks. An SPE is not the same thing as a core, as it is not a functional processor by itself. The CELL processor was a single processor with a bunch of stabiliser wheels to help. Not a mutlicore processor. The PS3 also had a weaker GPU than the 360, and was hampered by the fact that its RAM was split into two dedicated 256mb chunks, as oppsed to the unified 512mb of the 360.

The idea of the PS3 being the 'powerhouse' this generation came from Sony marketing, and smoke and mirrors. In real terms, it is no more powerful than the 360.

No shit, you've reiterated my point nicely about people going on for years that the PS3 is a "8-core machine" and thus the mostest strongest, and now you're doing the same regarding the Wii U because it is "tri-core" while the NextBox is (supposedly) "quad-core", which doesn't mean much if anything at all, FYI the Xbox360 is also a "tri-core" IBM PowerPC based architecture, yet the CPU design is like 8+ years old.
I guess I should have put the [sarcasm] tag around it.

Nope. Nintendo lost a couple of hundred million this year and last year, against the billions they've made off the Wii and DS. Sony has been losing billions for years, and hasn't had the day one profitability of Nintendo to try and compensate for that. Trying to paint Nintendo and Sony's losses as being equal is laughable. Nintendo hasn't seen its worth shrink by 90%. They're a more valuable company now (in business terms) than they were before the Wii and DS came out. That's called growth, and it's the exact opposite of what Sony is going through right now.

I don't know how often I have to reiterate over this, Nintendo has only gaming to profit off of and potentially even survive. SONY is a rather large company with a multitude in employee numbers, total asset worth and revenue (which is for instance over 6 trillion Yen while Nintendos is around 600 billion), they did make a lot of mistakes the last few years, but their gaming branch has been very profitable for them until late.

Also yes, I'm sure in whatever world you live in Nintendos market worth shrinking by about 80% from where it was in 2008 is what's called growth: http://www.google.com/finance?cid=685139 while the same thing happening to another company (which is a lot bigger though, has about 10x the worth of Nintendo in assets alone and could even drop out of several markets that aren't profitable anymore without losing too much fat) is the biggest loss and sign of doom.

Maybe I could quote your own words:

A company that has lost 90% of its value is a company that is either going to go bankrupt, or shed as much dead weight as it can, and get back to immediate profitablity.

And remember, Nintendo only has gaming that it could "shed as dead weight". Comparison with a time before the Wii when they were just about to go the way of SEGA doesn't help your argument much either.

It sold 100 million units, and made a profit off of each of them. The PS3 sold just over 50 million, and lost money on most of them. That is all the shareholders need to know. That is all the info that is important to them. Your assertions that the Wii is now dying are irrelevant to business practise. The Wii is about to be replaced by its successor. It doesn't matter that support for it now has dried up. Nintendo sold a ton of consoles, and made a huge amount of money from them. That's all shareholders care about, because that's all that's relevant to the business discussion.

You quoted me posting the updated numbers yourself, yet you deliberately use wrong ones by a large magnitude? http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

First, Nintendo didn't quite sell 100 million, it's still a few million short and the PS3 didn't sell "just over 50 million", it sold just short of 70 million, which is nearly as much as Microsoft sold worldwide despite being a year early (a lot of which can be attributed to their stupidly high failure rate though: http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/08/17/report-xbox-360-failure-rate-reaches-54 ).

Also I'm just stating the facts with the Wii dying, you are the one assuming that their next console will pick right off where the last one stopped and probably sell even more because the other possibility couldn't even go through your mind xD

Also, yet again it doesn't much matter if the console hardware made a profit or not, what matters the most is licensing and game sales, every console game costs 10€/$ more because of licensing cost alone, which goes directly to the platform holder and they're making even more money with their Online services (Sale percentages/DLC/Patches or the "Certification Scheme"/Licensing/Additional stuff like Avatar equipment and so on/Advertisement/Partnerships). They wouldn't sell the hardware at a loss if they couldn't make the money back otherwise, that would literally be bad business and SONYs gaming department has largely brought in money.

I don't even have any stake in all of this, just finding it interesting overall as gaming goes, I don't own any of the "Current Gen" consoles and will very likely not buy any of the "Next Gen" consoles. I'm mainly a PC gamer and from the manufacturers in the race I'm actually most sympathetic with Nintendo since I've been playing on the SNES etc. a lot and love Mario et al, some of the only "Exclusive" games I've played this generation at all were on the Wii and I literally almost hate Microsoft, but that doesn't mean that I can just ignore reality and form it to fit my bias because I might like Nintendo the most.

I believe I recall a similar tactic to what Nintendo's doing from 2 generations ago. Namely, Sega with the Dreamcast. Admittedly, Nintendo has a much better marketing department than Sega had, but it still seems all too similar to me. Releasing their next gen console early to try and get a jump on the competition and falling badly behind in in the tech race for doing so. The Dreamcast did great at launch but died almost as soon as the PS2 and Xbox hit the market because it couldn't compete. It didn't work out too well for Sega then and I don't think it's going to work out too well for Nintendo now. I don't think it will knock them out of the console business like it did Sega purely based on Nintendo's 1st party franchises having such a huge following but it's not going to end well for them. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Honestly, I don't really care how technologically powerful the next-gen consoles will be. So long as I get some really good games out of the deal, I'll be happy.

Well that and backwards compatibility. Which I'm not really sure Sony and Microsoft are going to offer this gen.

I see the Ouya has still not been adopted as 'Next Gen' then?

XX Y XY:
I believe I recall a similar tactic to what Nintendo's doing from 2 generations ago. Namely, Sega with the Dreamcast... I don't think it will knock them out of the console business like it did Sega purely based on Nintendo's 1st party franchises having such a huge following but it's not going to end well for them. Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

The problem is: Before hand, Sega was loosing money on the Saturn for all of it's life, and did stupid crud like release the Saturn way too early resulting in both Developers and Markets hating the thing, which ruined the Dreamcast in the future. Nintendo, on the other hand, has been making money for all the Wii's life (Except for the last year, due to the 3DS and dieing Wii sales). Also unlike Sega, the WiiU is trying to bring 3rd Party developers back into the fold; companies like Gearbox, Platinum Games, Ubisoft, A bunch of indie studios, and even Valve are interested/like the WiiU. EA and Activision both like the WiiU (Unlike the Dreamcast that neither of them released a game on). The WiiU does not have the same problems as Sega.

Dexter111:
Some details regarding the Wii U have been summed up here: http://www.nowgamer.com/features/1685385/wii_u_launch_what_went_wrong.html

This was also interesting: http://www.nowgamer.com/news/1687689/wii_u_has_a_horrible_slow_cpu_says_metro_last_light_dev.html

Your first article has a lot of valid complaints: Most of which will be fixed over time, but they are valid none the less. However, there are some things from the first article that seem childish: He complains about the Analog Sticks feeling different then the other consoles, and thus he is a bad shot on ME3. Well, of course the Analog sticks are gonna be different, they aren't PS3/360 Analog sticks! The Bricking is only caused if you turn your console off like an idiot during an update; the same thing happens when you turn off a PS3/360 when it's updating and you turn it off, as well as phones and Ipods.

Your second link, however, I highly doubt. No one explained why beyond "Slow CPU", but he didn't divulge any deeper. How slow is it? Why is it slow? If it's so slow, how come Black Ops 2 for the WiiU looks and runs better then the PS3/360? They need to explain: Maybe their game would be too complex for it, or have too much on it, and maybe it'd cause lag like on Batman: Arkham City. Until they explain, however, I don't think they're telling the truth.

Also, the WiiU is not the only system with a terrible launch. Launch 360's had the capability of not playing any games at all! Not only that, It was rushed as hell! I don't think I have to remind anyone of the RROD either.

Good post OP, while it's a shame we won't see 1080p 60FPS as std on the WiiU, as 360 & PC user
who wants to play classic arcade games like Hardcorps uprising & Streets of Rage which never make it to steam, along with other 2D XBLA that do i'm quite disgruntled with MS and how they are focussing more on the 360 been a casual set top box.

Given that the 360 is so outdated in how it handles digital downloads plus their failure in developing any persistant online gaming communties outside the standard "hardcore" mainsteam FPS, sports and racers i'm kinda hoping that the WiiU will have the online communities for the games I want to play.

One thing that i'm curious of knowing how much Ninty intend to charge devs for patching. I would hope they don't do the same as MS and Sony and charge $40k per patch which is out of the price range of many indies. I heard that they charged $10k on the Wii but im unsure if it's true or not.

Eh, I'm not going to pretend to know what the next gen will hold, but it will be far behind PCs on launch, as always.

This isn't so much of a problem, TBH. The tech heavy long console cycle is a flawed concept that doesn't really work well for any company. Having low end tech that is cheap and affordable, doesn't even try to compete with PCs, and relies on consoles strengths - cheapness and small size - rather than their weaknesses - actual power and low longevity - is what Sony and MS should be doing. A cheap, affordable console every 3-4 years I wouldn't mind. I wouldn't get it, as it'd be pointless for me, but for those who prefer to spend money now rather than save up for something bigger and better, it would still be a viable option.
It also leaves it so that developers who want to make high tech games have an easier choice of either going PC exclusive, or waiting a year or two for the next generation, rather than wasting tons of money trying to get their games to run on vastly outdated tech.

This allows a much faster progression of console technology compared to now, whilst allowing them to remain affordable, and really the cost-longevity dynamics don't really change compared to now either. You want something for instant entertainment that's cheap, but will become outdated quicker - you buy a console. You want entertainment that is at its peak now, and will slowly decline over time whilst maintaining its longevity throughout this time and into the future, whilst costing more for the initial investment - you buy a PC.

Dexter111:
Some details regarding the Wii U have been summed up here: http://www.nowgamer.com/features/1685385/wii_u_launch_what_went_wrong.html

This was also interesting: http://www.nowgamer.com/news/1687689/wii_u_has_a_horrible_slow_cpu_says_metro_last_light_dev.html

The quote from the Metro Last Light developer is interesting, as it stands in complete contrast to what developers like Frozenbyte (Trine 2) and Shin'en Multimedia (Nano Assault) have said about the hardware, mainly that its very fast and incredibly easy to work with.

I would also point out that the developer implies that he was using an early Wii U devkit. It's pretty well established that the later Wii U devkits were much more powerful and efficient than the early ones they sent out. That's pretty much the same for all console devkits.

TrevHead:

One thing that i'm curious of knowing how much Ninty intend to charge devs for patching. I would hope they don't do the same as MS and Sony and charge $40k per patch which is out of the price range of many indies. I heard that they charged $10k on the Wii but im unsure if it's true or not.

Apparently, nothing.

I shit you not. According to Frozenbyte Software, Nintendo is going to give indie devs complete autonomy over setting their own eShop prices, sales, all that sort of stuff. Also, they're not going to be charged for patching. At all. Devs can update their games as much as they want, no charge from Nintendo. Read all about it here.

Tim Schafer has already said on Twitter that if this is true, it'll put Nintendo way above Microsoft and Sony. Well, what he actually said was "Wow Nintendo, is this true? Because then you're my favourite!" Same thing, really. And it this could be a major, major boon for indie developers.

What I'm expecting from the next gen of consoles is inconvenience. Low capacity proprietary hard drives at a high price for upgrades (though the PS3 allowed use of any standard 2.5" sata which was cool, hopefully they wont go Microsoft's route of shitty enclosures). Long updates/patches. Mandatory installations requiring me to constantly monitor my hard drive space on the low capacity drive provided. DRM. Unfinished games released for full price then finished with DLC I have to pay more for.

Basically, the worst aspects of PC gaming, without the benefits (Mods, freeware indie releases, steam sales, more choice of control schemes, server based online gaming (fuck p2p, don't even get me started on xbox live), cheaper games, and yes, better graphics).

I've been predominantly a console gamer for years but with consoles adapting the worse traits of PC gaming they no longer have the advantage of "just plug in and play". "They just work", what a joke, had my Xbox repaired 3 times. As for exclusives, there's very few that interest me. I'm not meaning to sound like a PC elitist, if you want to stick with consoles fair play to you, I'm not going to act superior about my choice (I'm not that immature). This is just my standpoint on what's happened to console gaming. There's no advantage to owning a console over a PC anymore. No good reason.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

According to Frozenbyte Software, Nintendo is going to give indie devs complete autonomy over setting their own eShop prices, sales, all that sort of stuff. Also, they're not going to be charged for patching. At all. Devs can update their games as much as they want, no charge from Nintendo. Read all about it here.

Tim Schafer has already said on Twitter that if this is true, it'll put Nintendo way above Microsoft and Sony. Well, what he actually said was "Wow Nintendo, is this true? Because then you're my favourite!" Same thing, really. And it this could be a major, major boon for indie developers.

See, THIS is the sort of thing we should be focusing on as we enter the next generation. All this talk about graphics power... sure, HD is nice, but can we agree that it's the infrastructure and design philosophies that REALLY define a new generation?

The way I see it, Nintendo may be "late to the party" when it comes to DLC and online services and all those other new-fangled technologies, but they have a perfect opportunity to show us all how it ought to be done. How they respond to this opportunity will make or break the Wii U, and possibly be another genuine revolution in how the video game business rolls.

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