2013 is going to be a big year for consoles whether you like it or not. This year’s E3 is bound to be chock full of announcements from Sony and Microsoft as their next consoles are expected to be released at the end of the year. Hell, even at CES we’ve already seen announcements from Nvidia for seemingly super-powered Android devices, and Valve’s Gabe Newell speaking openly about its plans for Steam Boxes. Personally, I find this all bloody exciting! Firstly, let’s be honest, consoles are not what they used to be; they aren’t just dedicated game boxes anymore. Just take a look at the current 360 dashboard or PS3 XMB and it’s painfully obvious that games aren’t always given first priority. You’ll see an ad for a new release movie before you see one for a game because the large install base of consoles means that non-gamers are now a significant proportion of the market. Console manufacturers make a tonne of money from advertising and Sony even owns the movies and music it’s advertising to you. The funny thing is that Valve’s Steam Box could end up being the closest thing to a “traditional” console. And even then, being a PC means that anyone can install whatever media player/store that they want to on it.
But I digress, the main thing is that new consoles mean better gaming experiences for everyone, simply because the next generation of consoles will be based on current PC hardware. So while better graphics is a given, the increase in horsepower will mean that games will use better AI routines (imagine a stealth game where guards ACTUALLY react to you!) and more realistic physics calculations (imagine the next Forza letting you monitor your car’s spring rates and fuel temperature in real time!). The most important improvement, for me personally anyway, is that the new consoles will ACTUALLY be able to render games at 1080p – NOT rendering them at 720p (and below) and then scaling them up. PC gamers have been used to this for years but only a handful of games have really showcased this on current generation consoles.
As for myself, a primarily PC gamer, I see new consoles as a boon because it will mean better PC versions of games. Okay let me explain: the way (unfortunately) most games are produced now means that they are developed on consoles first and then ported to PC with higher resolution textures, anti-aliasing, and all that stuff. Admittedly, console games can look bloody beautiful – just take a look at Forza Horizon or Halo 4 - but at the end of the day you are limited by what consoles can do. After all, the current batch of consoles are running on almost 9 year old hardware. Valve’s Steam Box could also boost PC gaming by allowing people to play PC games on a self contained living room PC – just plug in and play.
So while you may not be a fan of the games coming out you can’t deny the appeal of shiny new consoles. After all, we all love shiny new electronics. So keep checking Doublejump and we’ll keep you updated on what’s going on with Sony and Microsoft’s new hardware. I’m definitely looking forward to this year’s E3 where official announcements are sure to be made. On that note, bring on 4K gaming!
Featured Image: The Almighty Guru