This week marks the 24th year of the launch of The Nintendo Entertainment System and the 9th year of the PlayStation. Now, time marches on for the two for a part of an entire decade. In the coming weeks, a new generation of hardware — including mice and fridges — will usher in a once again improved kind of computing experience for console gamers, leading a relatively young industry and creating something that may not be different from when they last saw it.Oh, and by the way, the latter half of the decade is about to end with Microsoft’s next big move in the gaming business. In hopes of reinventing itself as a PC like platform, Microsoft will release a new line of games, including a new line of machines, Windows-powered phones, and a bunch of other things that should make a big leap forward. Will they be successful? Or will the other companies pull themselves back into the trenches of the old machine wars? While current owners will have time to pick up any of the consoles that have outsold the others, the most desirable content may now be older still, and they might not have even have the latest new consoles to play. So, what can we expect in the next few years? Here are five things to expect: A Nintendo Switch Shift
The Nintendo Switch currently allows gamers to play their existing Switch games on the device, which puts it in competition with both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. But Nintendo’s Switch, with its own launch video already on the internet, is possibly enough to actually reduce Sony’s installed base. The Switch might not sell as well as it once did, but it’s still undeniably the system best suited for streaming streaming games.
For gamers, the main attraction will likely be the nostalgia — the games, the “extended library” — that will come with the Switch. If the Switch has any chance of selling, though, it’ll have to allow gamers to spend more time playing games. As such, the hope is that it can double down on this appeal. We’ll find out more about the Switch’s potential in the next couple weeks.A Sony Gaming Network During the same period that the PlayStation 4 came out and became a household name, Sony shifted its focus to televisions. That strategy has paid off as PS4 owners are now more likely to buy a new TV in anticipation of a PS4 game and movie. (Go wild on the movie hubs too.)
Things are far from perfect in the gaming world. The new consoles won’t easily compete with each other in the way that they’ve previously done. In the next few years, PlayStation and Xbox alike will have to prove they can differentiate themselves by providing new entertainment options in new and different ways. The good news is that in the future, consoles will be much easier to switch from one to the other and through iTunes.
Xbox will have to do it too. No company in the past 30 years has attempted to market a game on a competing console and this isn’t a new idea. The truth is, Xbox will be looking to make the Xbox One and the inevitable Windows-powered PCs their primary selling point. But with a new generation of “big” consoles coming, they might still lose out this time around.A Hub in the Web
Much of this year’s new technology was built for Internet, so much so that many products have just tablets in mind instead of mobile computers. They serve a purpose, and that purpose is really less about adding functionality and more about showing off what you have in your digital world. This isn’t the case on TVs, laptops, or phones, though. Many brands have machines that essentially stream your media to them. That said, there is room for some voice-controlled technology to make Web-connected devices work just as well.
Again, all this means is that devices with the ability to offer a Google Assistant or a Amazon Alexa might be just the thing to bring out of the TV market. Whether they turn up on the couch or their hands, and in the living room too, that feature could be enough to keep you from wondering where you are.Nintendo Switch: Nintendo wants you to play video games again