This Week in Gaming: PS4.5 Detailed, New Xbox One Model Rumored, Star Fox Zero Released, and Much More
This week in gaming may not have featured an abundance of developments, but the news stories that did circulate were certainly notable—especially the heavily rumored, but still not yet confirmed, PS4.5.
Let’s take a look at what this week brought gamers!
PS4.5, “Neo”, Detailed, But Not Confirmed Officially
In what was certainly one of the most interesting gaming developments in some time, the heavily rumored PlayStation 4.5 (also known as the Neo) was all but confirmed by Sony, as an abundance of information and statistics relating to the system were released. And before this information is detailed, it’s worth reiterating that Sony still hasn’t announced anything relating to the system officially; although all signs indicate that a new intermediate console is on the way, heavily detailed rumors have been untrue in the past, and may be here as well.
Basically, the reports surrounding the Neo have indicated that it will be an upgrade from the PS4 in essentially every way—graphics capabilities and resolution, RAM, and memory included. It has also been indicated that developers will need to make separate versions of all future releases for each of the consoles; exclusive content shouldn’t be an issue if this requirement is true.
The Xbox One is also rumored to have another, upgraded version in development, although nothing has been detailed yet. More specifically, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer hinted at the release of an upgraded console of some sort early last month.
Personally, I think the idea of upgraded consoles being released during the life cycle of current-generation systems is absolutely horrifying, and I sincerely hope that the rumors are just that: baseless and untrue bits of speculation and nothing more.
From the perspective of a player, I’m uninterested in these systems for a number of different reasons, including the following major point.
Their release disregards the hard-earned money and time that players have put into their current consoles and game collections. As the upgraded versions of the One and the PS4 obviously weren’t available for purchase at the time that the original consoles launched, players had no way of obtaining them. Instead, millions spent their money on new consoles—the only new consoles—that were released, as well as software for these consoles. Controllers for these consoles. Accessories for these consoles. Upgraded hard drives for these consoles. And so on and so forth.
To release new systems just a few years into the life cycle of those that not that long ago were marketed and sold as “cutting-edge technology” is absolutely ridiculous. Such an action completely and utterly undermines not only the aforementioned money and time that customers have spent on their consoles, but more pressingly, eliminates buyer trust and violates an unspoken agreement between the leading video game system producers and consumers. No intermediary console has been released mid-life cycle (of then-current-generation systems) in the past, and accordingly, players had no way of knowing that such hardware would be released during this generation.
If Sony and Microsoft wanted to release more powerful versions of their current consoles, they should have done so three years ago, when such an action would have been remotely acceptable (alongside their current hardware; they could have also replaced our current systems with these upgraded versions entirely, certainly).
From the perspective of today’s excellent video game companies, upgraded consoles are also a mess.
Crafting two separate versions of games that are likely already in development, as doing so may be required, is unacceptable, and the effects will be devastating. The sheer amount of additional time needed to make certain games would completely disrupt plans that have been literally years in the making. Moreover, the pressure of these dual-development responsibilities would cause companies to lose focus on the actual game’s quality, and be forced to present consumers with a watered-down product. BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk has spoken directly from the perspective of one of the industry’s leading developers on the subject and his thoughts reflect my own opinions.
From the perspective of a financially savvy individual (in other words, I set a budget and stick to it), these consoles are similarly troublesome. All of the new man hours which will need to be spent developing titles for both system versions will come from one or both of the following places: previously assigned hours (so games will be smaller) or the bank. In the case of the bank, this means that the already astronomical costs of creating a current-generation game will be amplified even more; fewer games will be released, accordingly.
That was a bit of a tangent, but all of the points that I made are certainly viable. Let’s hope that the “new” consoles, despite all of the evidence indicating otherwise, are just someone’s idea of a funny joke.
Star Fox Zero Released to Lukewarm Reception
Wii U owners have another exclusive title to enjoy as of this week, as Star Fox Zero hit store shelves on April 21st.
Reviews for the latest adventure of Fox have been largely average, with some industry experts being fonder of the title, and a seemingly even number of reviewers not loving it (with a considerable amount of average reviews tossed into the mix as well).
Regardless of whether or not these reviews are considered, Nintendo, like Microsoft and Sony, usually does a top-notch job when crafting an exclusive game, and the title is certainly worth trying out with a rental, at the very least.
Mafia 3 Release Date Set for October 7th, 2016
Mafia 3, which has been in development for some time, finally has a release date: October 7th, 2016. This information was revealed along with a new trailer, which supports the game’s awesome look. Despite being a long way off, the third installment in the Mafia series looks like it’ll be worth playing when it releases later this year.
This week in gaming was far from boring, despite being populated by developments—or more specifically, a development that is downright bad. Hopefully, next week will be a bit better!
Enjoy the games!