Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Creation of Need for Next-Gen Consoles

My latest PopMatters article is now live: The Creation of Need for Next-Gen Consoles

This piece is less of an expose and more of my way of working out my thoughts on the latest console announcements. Like everyone else, I was flabbergasted at the lack of games in their presentation. The buzz around Microsoft's press conference was entirely in their favor. At least in the circles I frequent, everyone expected Microsoft to soundly defeat Sony in their reveal. All they had to do was follow Sony's presentation, but just add a few tweaks we all expected - a stream partnership with Twitch, some Smart Glass integration, etc.

Instead we got this fantastic Xbox One reveal highlights:

The entire affair felt like it was targeting an audience that was not in the room. It became increasingly more blatant that the announcement was branding the release as a cure for ailments that do not exist, at least not as severely as they make them out to be. Microsoft was practicing the art of snake-oil salesmanship.

Thinking back on Sony's conference, they seemed to take the same strategy for the most part. Both companies releasing a next-gen system into a market place that seems to find the logic behind consoles as we know them increasingly dubious. My suggestion is to look elsewhere for gaming's future.

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