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Thought of the Day


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So this year, we're expecting to see all three next-gen consoles unveiled and one is scheduled to launch in November/December. My question to you, what are you hoping to see from each of these consoles? What do you think we're not likely to see that we should? What are we likely to see that isn't really necessary?

Do you think X-Box 2 is launching too soon? Are Sony and Nintendo taking too long? Are all three launching too soon? Do you think this generation of consoles has even seen all of its potential realized yet? Give me your thoughts.

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I don't think we've really pushed the boundaries of the current generation to be honest. The next-gen consoles seem to come out sooner and sooner in my view, and I know why it's done, but I wish it wasn't.

Sony needs to launch PS3 or whatever its being called with more than the two control ports. X-Box and Gamecube both have four, so to charge extra for more for a gadget that adds an option that comes as standard with its competitors is stupid.

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I don't think we've really pushed the boundaries of the current generation to be honest. The next-gen consoles seem to come out sooner and sooner in my view, and I know why it's done, but I wish it wasn't.

Sony needs to launch PS3 or whatever its being called with more than the two control ports. X-Box and Gamecube both have four, so to charge extra for more for a gadget that adds an option that comes as standard with its competitors is stupid.

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In the history of video game consoles, usually, whoever jumps the gun with the first 'next gen' system typcially loses.

Don't believe me?

Atari 7800, the first 8 Bit system. Loses to Nintendo.

Turbo Graphix 16 dies to the Genesis and SNES

Sega CD got owned by the Playstation.

The 32X fizzled out.

The Atari Jaguar, the first 64 Bit system, disappeared.

So what we have now is three CD based systems.

X-Box is jumping the gun by releaseing a new system. Only until the consoles begin to suffer since they are not capable of running the games should a new system be introduced.

If anything, GTA: SA introduces just what the systems are capable of. Maybe they should wait a bit. and expand what SA showed everyone.

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Sony does need to have four ports in the PS3, because countless people have forked out more money for a multi pad.

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I know I won't be getting any Next Gen for a while, the main reason is the price, why buy XBOX 2 this winter(if it launchs) for $499.99 CDN(same price as launch XBOX) when I don't play games as much as I used to and could wait a year or two and the price will probably half off(a price drop would be expect for when Nintendo Next-Gen and PS3 comes out)

People say it's too short of timespan, but the difference between this generation and last was around 5 years and this will be 4 years, not a big difference

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Well I could comfortably wait another year or two for the next gen systems to release. Then again I don't play as many games as I used to.

Microsoft will probably get a ton of people buying the Xbox 2 with it being released early so Sony and Nintendo run the risk of having less customers with them already having picked up the Xbox first. Though I don't know maybe there's more people like me who would rather wait and see what the other two have to offer before buying any of the consoles.

As for this generation's potential. I think it has been reached with GTA:SA, however it can probably be expanded on.

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My question to you, what are you hoping to see from each of these consoles?

Sony:

1. Four controller ports. I realize that this takes away revenue from sales of the multitaps, but that is easily fixed by releasing bigger memory cards and charging more for them (I'm not requesting $40 memory cards here, but I'd plunk down $30 for a 32 MB memory card. Intec has already proven you can make money with that kind of scheme.)

2. Ability to work with PS2 and PS1 games/accessories. This is one huge advantage Sony has over everyone else, and by extending this to their third system, they can keep this as an advantage instead of being on the same playing field as Microsoft or Nintendo when they invariably announce backwards comaptibility.

3. Some sort of storage device. The one -- and arguably only consistant -- advantage Microsoft had over Sony was the hard drive. Sony chickened out of the HD idea before by only having FF11 and Socom really take advantage of it, but they can really add a new dimension to their system by allowing this, becuase it furthermore allows them to do....

4. ...things such as utilizing DVR/TiVo technology. They've already leaped into the field...they are Sony, after all...but this could be the big thing that allows them to a.) charge more, b.) create a larger demand by hyping this additional technology and c.) ergo, make more moolah.

Nintendo:

1. Online play. This is self-explanitory, but there's a big reason I feel Nintendo can turn this current negative into a positive. That reason is....

2. ...that they can take advantage of the MMORPG market by bringing it to a console world. This is one of the last potentially huge frontiers out there, and Nintendo can jump all over it by gaining rights to games such as Phantasy Star Online and other major online franchises. Sony dipped their toes in the water with Champions and Final Fantasy, while Microsoft have just barely looked at the ocean by introducing PSO. With Nintendo wanting to revolutionize the way console gaming is done, simply bring in this element of the PC world and do whatever it is you're going to do to the physical hardware (such as controllers, etc.) This is arguably your last chance to jump on something that can seperate you from Microsoft or Sony.

3. Start branching out into more franchises. While games featuring Mario, Link, Samus, Fox, Donkey Kong, and the various other Nintendo-related icons are still bringing in praise and money, you know this can't last forever. Pokemon has been a nice coushin for the time being, but Nintendo needs to bring out fresh ideas and concepts before the stigma of them kicking a dead horse becomes too much for them to overcome.

Microsoft:

1. Don't rely on peripherals. I should not have to buy a remote just to watch DVDs. I do not need a memory card when there is a built-in hard drive. Stop focusing on milking my wallet and start looking towards stream-lining your production and thus, making a better overall product.

2. Shrink the system. Part of the reason I love the PSTwo so much is that it's small. Insanely small, and thus, very easy to handle. I'm not asking the folks at MS to make it THAT small -- that'd be unrealistic. However, try to use smaller hardware and keep the system from feeling as if I'm holding a rather fat infant in my arms when I carry the box. Now that you've had a few years to learn the console market, you can hopefully pull through on this one.

3. Focus on creating a huge catalogue of games. Sony's idea was simply to throw everything against the wall in the hopes that something would stick. GTA, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Jak, Ratchet & Clank, and other franchises eventually did. Do the same. While Halo and Dead or Alive are strong games, two titles can not a system make. Since you have a few top-tier ideas (XBox Live) and games (DoA, etc.) already, focus on volume. Bring in numerous companies and just let them run amok. The crap may start to pile, but the money you make from the few that shine will overshadow things.

4. Stop being such a prick to people who want to cheat. Allow companies like MadCatz or Code Junkies to release their products for your system. I know far too many people who refuse to play an X-Box for the simple fact that even if they wanted to, they couldn't use a device such as a Gameshark or Action Replay.

What do you think we're not likely to see that we should?

-Sony will forego any sort of storage device and likely adopt a pay-to-play subscription service for their online games.

-Nintendo will milk the same freakin' cows until their hearts come out of their udders.

-Microsoft will insist on making the XBox 2 weigh 450 lbs.

What are we likely to see that isn't really necessary?

-Sony will have a good idea but run vastly too far with it, as we've seen with the Crash Bandicoot series and the PSP ($250 for a handheld media player?! Go to the hot place, pal.)

-Nintendo will have the Revolution launch with a Mario title as its flagship.

-Microsoft will launch with a higher price than any of the previous consoles, as they insist that since their product is the best technologically, it deserves a higher price.

Do you think X-Box 2 is launching too soon?

Depends on how you look at it, and I believe that Microsoft should be first out of the gate. While it does allow your competitors to see what works and what doesn't, it gives MS a chance to increase their catalogue of games and, hopefully, nail some down to exclusive deals. Not to mention that being first allows you to take advantage of console-hungry gamers who demand a fix and thus, get the first one to come out.

Are Sony and Nintendo taking too long?

Sony? Not really, as they have bought themselves all the time they need by hyping up the PSP. That system will easily be the most-desired of the handhelds and ergo, let Sony have up to a year and a half -- should they want to take that long -- to hype and create the PS3.

Nintendo, on the other hand, should be on the aggressive, so I believe that they are at just the right pace. With the Revolution set to debut at this year's E3, it gives Nintendo a solid chance to get out there, grab the spotlight and throw down the gauntlet to the other companies. The best way to take down Sony and Microsoft when you're the #3 company in the console business is to just take them out by any legal means necessary.

Are all three launching too soon?

Easily. A good point was brought up earlier in that we're starting to see just what the PS2 is capable of with games like San Andreas. Meanwhile, I still feel that the XBox has some life left in it, as its best games still feel that tiny bit behind in terms of depth. For Nintendo, though, they're almost at the point where the Gamecube is exhausted. Numerous Mario games, a third Zelda game on the way, two Metroids, and none of the games -- Resident Evil 4 not withstanding -- are improving by any huge amount. RE4 signals the height of the Gamecube, and in a different case than the PS2, developers won't be inclined to bust their asses for the GC since the Nintendo Rev. is on the way. One of the downfalls to being overly aggressive is that you sometimes shoot yourself in the foot.

Do you think this generation of consoles has even seen all of its potential realized yet?

The Gamecube? Yes. Resident Evil 4 shows what the Gamecube was designed to do, and as stated earlier, the flagship franchises are already exhausted for this go-round. The PS2 is a slightly different story. Graphically, the system has long since reached its peak. In terms of depth, however, San Andreas is the epitome of what the PS2 can do in other fields of gameplay. Since San Andreas is arguably Sony's only HUGE franchise, other developers can see this and step up to the plate, thus creating a slew of games that can show just how deep gameplay can be.

Microsoft has a strange problem, really. Although the system is arguably the strongest in terms of hardware, their games have only just now started to scratch the surface of what is possible. Yes, the scenery in Halo 2 and DoA: Ultimate looks fantastic, but it can be so much more. Think of MS and Sony as two children. MS is playing the role of the ultra-hot model who doesn't care about their education or the long-term picture, while Sony is the moderately-attractive one who's got the brains to cure cancer and create world peace.

Nintendo, on the other hand, is the fat girl with a decent personality and no friends. Nintendo sees the other two with all their friends and decides to get pissed off, stop eating, and kill them both at the prom.

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Microsoft is rolling the dice with this premature release. It could give them the jump start they need, or it could completely blow up in their face with fans refusing to buy a new system already. Plus, Sony is the King, so what they do, may be the law of the video game land.

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Microsoft is rolling the dice with this premature release.  It could give them the jump start they need, or it could completely blow up in their face with fans refusing to buy a new system already.  Plus, Sony is the King, so what they do, may be the law of the video game land.

The thing is, though, that Nintendo may even pre-date the late-2005 release of the XB2 by showcasing the Revolution at E3. That means that Nintendo may even release their console at the same time -- or even before -- MS releases theirs (that is, if EA's leak remains true).

I say go for it, because the only way to become the #1 console company is to be proactive.

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As someone who long ago gave up on Nintendo I have no desire to buy the next X-Box or the PS3. I don't know if it's the lack of games I find interesting coming out, their relatively short length in some cases, or the fact that almost everything of value is a sequel of a game I already own, but I don't feel that I got nearly as much value out of either system as I did out of my PSX. Couple that with PC games generally having more life, and dropping in price over time, and I think I may just skip out on this generation of consoles all together. Just for comparitive purposes I have owned the NES, Sega Master System, SNES, Genesis, Dreamcast, X-Box, PSX and PS2. If I do ultimately cave, it'll be after at least a year or so when the inevitable price drop/bundling occurs. It saddens me that old systems would give you two controllers and a couple of games in addition to the console at purchase, and now those things cost upwards of an additional $100-150.

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