Sunday Thoughts: The Next Generation Can Wait

I feel I was raised pretty well by both of my parents. They may have separated when I was about twelve but they both still had their role to play and I feel they instilled me with good values. One of the central tenets that came from my Mum was being frugal with money, never splurging out. I know that those of you who know me will say that the amount I spend on comics is pretty contrary to this but I was also raised with the notion of treats, small things that you’re allowed.

Basically if something is under about a £5 I can buy it without much thought, above that and I really have to justify it to myself. Even buying a DVD requires some real thought, I ponder whether or not I really need it. Can I survive without the newest show from Ross Noble? I mean I still have the one he did two years ago and that still makes me laugh without fail.

[drop]This is the exact same reason I haven’t got a HDTV yet, I just find it hard to justify. I’m watching Mythbusters via my PS3 on a clunky JVC CRT and it works perfectly fine. No, I can’t watch anything in HD and some people seems to think that in some way this makes it “broken”. Right now I’ve not found anything that doesn’t play, just stuff that won’t play in HD for the obvious reason. The fact that it plays is enough to keep me happy. Why buy a new one if this one still works?

That’s the exact same place my head goes every time I think about the next generation of consoles. I’m not saying it’s logical, because its not. If everyone took my approach then technology would very quickly stagnate; why create cars, horses are still more than good enough. I am well aware it’s unsustainable as an approach, and that it’s a view that doesn’t really sit well with a love for finding out about the newest gadgets and technology; I might know about them, but actually buying them? No thanks.

See my 360 and PS3 still work just fine, I’m still having fun with them. To my eye games are still advancing and making use of the power of this generation. Oh it’s not always graphical advancements, that’s for sure, but to me it will be a sad day when we only look at a game’s graphical prowess to determine whether or not it’s a step in the right direction. There’s still new gameplay emerging, improvements in AI, new ways of thinking about a game and its characters. These are all valid and important ways for the industry to move forwards. To me we’re still seeing these things change and evolve on this generation’s hardware, do we need a new one to pick up the pace?

[drop2]That leaves me wondering just what a new generation will bring to make it so great. Will it just be more horsepower under the hood? Are we just going to see physics engines improve or graphics look a bit shinier? I want more than that, I need some real new reason to move forwards.

The Wii U is looking to do that, playing with yet another new control mechanic. Hopefully we’ll see Microsoft and Sony follow suit, either building on their motion controller offerings or bringing something entirely new to the table. I have no idea what that could be, but that’s something that I really need to see to sell me. Will Sony and Microsoft decide to do that? Who knows?

I know I’ll eventually have to cave in though, the next generation of hardware is an inevitability. Technology will push ever onwards, and that’s certainly something to be praised. I just don’t know if it’s what I want, if it’s what I’ll ever really want. I mean I only got my 360 because it was a stupidly good deal at the time, someone looking to sell it quickly in order to fund a PS3.

I may not really want the next gen that much, but I’m not sure that attitude will ever change. I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

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32 Comments

  1. I agree with you that the next generation need to bring something new to the proverbial table. Upgraded graphics, memory and so forth won’t convince me to part with £500…

    On another note, why did you buy a PS3 and Xbox 360 without an HD TV? Surely that was the main selling point?

    • I was still using a crappy SDTV for my PS3 until October 2011 until I got a new TV.

  2. Before I actually make a response, hasn’t there been several of these articles already? I feel like I’m repeating last week 0_0.

    I’m definitely with you I guess, although time and my tolerance for frequent Corporate BS has run thin with this generation, when we see how the console manufacturers unsuccessfully run network services. Plus i’m old enough to have purchased and experienced the gimmicks console manufacturers release to try and increase profits, which is making me even more distrusting.

    • I agree that this does seem like a very similar topic to other Next Gen discussions that have been posted lately. I guess January is pretty quiet for gaming news so the TSA’s staff are giving us some more of their views and opinions which I like.

      As for Next Gen gaming, as I’ve already said, I’ll certainly get the next PS4 as long as it’s in a year or twos time after some more great games like Uncharted 3 and Batman AC.

    • CES, lots of new gadgets get talked about, so only natural that gaming console pop up in covo’s.

      IMO, a new console is a little early for me. I pre-ordered my PS3, got it day one. But still think we have a good year or two before i need a PS4 under my TV. A new xbox announced at E3, and being release a year later wouldn’t surprise me. then the PS4 the year after. xbox tech is very old it seems, so an update would be nice for them. PS3 seems to be improving each year, shame to halt it all and start again…

      If a PS4 was to be released next year, i would probably not pre-order it. wait a few months from release, then see if i need it

  3. I only just feel like the ps3 has come out. I kinda want them to continue with the ps3 and 360 games for a bit longer. I don’t want to be thinking about the next console yet. I definitely agree that sony and ms need to bring something new to the table, but I don’t want any gimmicky rubbish like the wii. That may have sold well, but for me it got old very quickly. Tbh I just want sony to improve every feature they already have. They seemed to have done a lot of things half arsed regarding the extra features on ps3 imo.

  4. Although I will buy Sony’s next gen on release day I hope it doesn’t come for at least another year or two. I’m quite happy to stick with the PS3 as I still think there’s more to be squeezed form it’s innards.

    • Agreed, although I’m not sure if the PS4 will be a day one purchase for me, unless GT6 is released with it, then it might be a deal clincher ;)

      • In which case, you’ll be able to save your pennies for quite a while yet ;)

  5. I’d likely give it two years and thats dat… there is of course the threat of PC, Vita and maybe Wii U (if its interesting by then) that will take loads of timeee… that could put me off the PS3 for ages unless there new fresh games on the horizon… I do like my Armoured Core and Yakuza but its time for change.

    Capcom have some interesting new IPS released soon really excited for Dragons Dogma and Asuras Wrath. Thats all I want really to play on the PS3 or whatever what else I play on, fresh games… sequels can be rejected for all I care unless… it as Yakuza and mechs teehee

  6. Nintendo isn’t really working on a new control mechanic. It’s basically a DS in form of a home console. Not saying it’s bad, but it isn’t exactly something entirely new.

    • my other half was watching the livestream when they revealed it and came into the bedroom and said “Nintendos next console is an ipad thats eaten far too much cake” :D

  7. The next gen probably won;t even support CRT and may even be pure HDMI.

    I can see that thinking about spending is frugal but when it comes to gaming surely you want to experience the game as intended?

  8. I have totally opposite views to yours.

    The technology inside the current generation is simply obsolete, no form of tweaking or clever programming can make the GFX and RAM setups any better than they are.
    as for games looking good to your eye, well, id love to have your eyes! the current generation of games has been looking increasingly dated to me since the middle of 2010, the trailer for Uncharted for example made me not buy the game, it was so clearly substandard compared to the medium graphics settings on any PC game.

    5 years is long enough, its been a good run but dont forget that bigger ram, GFX and processor speed equals bigger worlds, shinier guns and bigger more beautiful explosions ;).

    if you love this generation, you`ll let it go :D

  9. I think I’m happy with the controller style that has endured the last 25ish years. And I’d be happy for gaming to carry on the way it is just as long as immersive experiences with intelligent plots keep getting made. The gaps between big budget epic adventures will be filled with an ever evolving veriety of big and small games, but I have a feeling there will always be demand for a good story.

  10. Thank god that they don’t wait for you, we’d only just have had the PS3 out now and it wouldn’t be in HD!

    I’m sure you will be happy enough to just wait a fair few years before you buy into the next gen anyway, just like this gen, which saves you a lots of money. If they waited until you (or people of the same opinion as you) then you wouldn’t like it because you would be paying launch price. Then there would be an article about the consoles being too expensive for you. They cant really win with you Kris!

    • +1 ^^

    • Spot on, sir.

      Kris… stop being a hipster and just buy a HDTV.

      • I agree with these people 100%

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