This year has been great for console gaming with games like Overwatch and The Witness bringing a breath of fresh air to the market. But what about the consoles themselves? The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will both be turning three years old this fall, but will they still be able to keep up with modern games? And while Nintendo’s Wii U console is only four years old, it’s struggled to support new games for a few years now. And while all these consoles our bound to be relevant for at least double their current age, all these three companies still have something under their sleeve, so let’s take a closer look.
The PlayStation 4 Neo, or PS4K, is a console that is being created by Sony to help facilitate the move to ulta-high resolution gaming. While the console is rumored to have similar specs to the PS4, it will have a superior processor and better graphics to help display 4K (cinema-quality resolution) movies and some games. An upgraded processor will also help with performance on the upcoming PlayStation VR device, which will need all the hardware power it can get to provide realistic environments and a quality virtual reality experience.
Ultra-high resolution videos could now become available to any household, and 4K streaming might also get a huge popularity boost. Games will also be able to run at higher framerates and higher resolutions to continue to compete with PC gaming. Sony already has 4K TV’s in plentiful supply, and the PS4 can already play a select handful of Blu-ray movies in 4K, so they definitely have the experience with this technology.
Recently announced at E3, Xbox: Project Scorpio will be a faster, more powerful version of the Xbox One. While Microsoft will also be launching the Xbox One S, a smaller Xbox One with more default storage, Project Scorpio will be a significant upgrade and possibly the next generation of Microsoft console. The current rumored specs for this new console rivals the newest and beefiest PC graphics cards, obviously meant to handle both virtual reality and 4K gaming.
Xbox Scorpio will also tie heavily into Microsofts new seamless game development experience. Their goal is to make it easy to create a game for Xbox and Windows without having to change much for each device. Xbox One already supports a heavily modified version of Windows 10 for running cross-platform apps, and it’s very likely that Scorpio will make it even easier. Microsoft will also be launching a cross-buy system, so that gamers only have to buy a game once on either system to be able to play it on both. This may be the most advanced and powerful consoles currently in planning, without counting living room PCs.
While Nintendo has been counted out of the console arena by many gamers, its Wii U system has still been able to host a variety of quality content. And like always, Nintendo plans to follow up this lukewarm console with new innovation. Current rumors expect the NX to be a mobile console of sorts with a home docking station that will allow for TV gameplay. Detachable controllers have also been seen in a few patents and concept images, although nothing has been officially confirmed.
As far as hardware, the NX will be the weakest in terms of grunt power, but that may be to its benefit. Because it is supposedly a mobile console, having a smaller but optimized processor allows for much better battery life. Rumored to run on the Nvidia Tegra X processor, the Nintendo NX will still have a less-than standard system architecture, which may make it harder to develop for. But the new power (at least compared to the Wii U) will allow 3rd party developers to better support the system. And with games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild coming out, Nintendo is sure to impress the market with some incredible gaming masterpieces.
There is a lot of promise in all of these upcoming consoles, from Sony’s high-res focused PS4 Neo, to Xbox’s cross-platform capable Project Scorpio. And the Nintendo NX will also possibly provide the next big step in mobile and Nintendo gaming. Who knows what the future will hold though, as announcements are bound to come as the year draws to a close.