Who will win the next Console War?

Will PS4 take advantage of its full potential and win the next generation console race?

By PKKHaseo, Posted 21 Mar 2013

With the next generation of consoles knocking at our door, the question on most people’s mind is who will win the next generation war: PlayStation, Microsoft or Nintendo. Judging by the information that has been thrown on the market so far, regarding both specifications and what the console’s focus will be, it seems like the next PlayStation, the PS4 will be the flagship of the next generation of consoles.

Next Gen Gaming

Before talking about anything else, of course we have to take a look at the specs of the console. When it comes to specs, the WiiU is clearly the underdog, with its hardware coming closer to the current 7th generation of consoles, rather than the next generation. Even though this is a big step up from the Wii, it feels like this won’t be enough to carry the WiiU in the next generation of consoles. Still, this wouldn’t be a problem for Nintendo seeing as the Wii managed to sell more than both the PS3 and the Xbox360, by focusing their games mostly on faithful fans and casual gamers. And that’s where the problem arises. Judging by the launch titles for the WiiU, it seems like the focus has been shifted towards core gamers, seeing as the roster of launch titles contains more games that have been ported from other systems, than games develop exclusively for the WiiU, that are actually worth playing. If Nintendo keeps this focus, it seems like the WiiU will end up being crushed by the competition.

Wii U, Controller

Seeing WiiU’s situation, it seems like the only true competitors will be the PS4 and the Xbox720 (we’ll go with this name for now). Keep in mind that considering Microsoft’s secrecy towards the new Xbox, all the information available right now is based on a leak provided by vgleaks.com, so all of it is subject to change.

First stop, of course, is the CPU. In this department both consoles will come equipped with an 8 core AMD Jaguar CPU, utilizing the x86-64 architecture, which means that when it comes to the CPU, the next PlayStation and Xbox will be equally matched.

The next most important is the GPU, and this is where the PS4 starts getting an edge over the Xbox720. PS4 will come equipped with a GPU capable of 1.84 TFLOPS, while the Xbox720 will be capable of 1.2 TFLOPS which is 35% less than the PS4, which indicates that PS4 might be using a modified Radeon HD 7850, while Xbox seems to be using a modified Radeon HD 7750.

And last, but not least, is the memory, where again the PS4 has the lead on Xbox720. Coming equipped with 8 GB of GDDR5 unified system memory, the fastest type of memory available right now on the market, with a maximum bandwidth of 176GB/s outright smashes in performance the 8 GB of DDR3 unified memory, that the Xbox720 will come equipped with, which only reaches a maximum bandwidth of 68GB/s. Granted the Xbox720 comes equipped with an extra 32MB of ESRAM memory, which has a maximum bandwidth of 106GB/s, I still don’t think this will be enough to match the 8 GB of GDDR5 memory of the PS4.

So as far as specifications go, Sony’s new PS4 should have no problem in outperforming its competition.

Still, we all know that specs and hardware look all nice and cool on paper, but in the end what actually matters is what Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony decide their future consoles are meant to do and whom will be their target audience.

As mentioned before, out of the three, Nintendo seems to be the undecided one when it comes to what their focus is. And what’s even worse for Nintendo, is that this lack of focus and the lack of good launch titles has severely affected the sales of the WiiU (granted the name didn’t help either). Compared to its predecessor who had sold in the first month from launch 3.19 million units, the Wii U managed in the two months from launch to sell just 3.06 million units. What’s even more surprising is that, according to the figures provided by Nintendo, in the same time frame the Wii managed to still sell 2.4 million units, which goes to show that the thirst for Nintendo is still as huge as always, but that the WiiU fails to quench that thirst. So either Nintendo ups their game, or they risk getting into even bigger problems.

Xbox 720, 720, Controller

When it comes to the Xbox720, it’s starting to feel more and more like Microsoft has forgotten that consoles were invented for GAMING. Sure, over time, the consoles have adapted and learned to do more than just play games, but the focus remained the same: gaming. Instead, it seems like the new Xbox will be focusing on having as many media applications as possible, ranging from Skype app to TV services. Another focus will be Kinect 2, which seems will be shipped with every Xbox720, because you know, the previous Kinect was such an “amazing” piece of equipment that it really deserved even more attention. Let’s think about it. Remember the last Kinect game that everyone just had to get their hands on, that didn’t involve dancing? Because I sure don’t.You may be asking yourself what’s the problem with having a wider focus, rather than just focusing on gaming? The answer is simple. You become a jack of all trades, yet a master of none. In other words, you’ll be providing services that are most likely being provided better by companies with tradition in those services. What’s even more aggravating is that you have analysts like Michael Pachter already calling the next Xbox the winner of the next console war, due to TV tuner, Kinect bundle with every console and Skype features being "killer apps”. And with rumors like the console requiring an always on internet connection and not supporting playing used game, I’d say gamers should keep away from the new Xbox720.

And lastly we’re going to talk about Sony’s take on the next PlayStation. Judging by the PS4 launch conference, Sony has made it pretty clear that they are going to focus on the gamer and making the gamer’s experience more pleasant. Even though there were initially rumors that the PS4 would need an always on internet connection and wouldn’t support used games, these rumors have long been debunked.

PlayStation 4, PS4, Controller

PS4’s biggest problem though by far is the lack of backwards compatibility at launch. Since Gaikai promises to bring backwards compatibility to the PS4 through cloud-gaming only post-launch, Sony will have to rely on a strong line of launch titles.Fortunately it seems like Sony has learned a thing or two about launches from the failed launch of the PS Vita where the low number of good launch titles and the high price has hit the sales severely. So from what we’ve seen at the conference it seems like the PS4 will feature a strong line of launch titles, such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Witness (from the creator of Braid), Watch Dogs, inFamous: Second Son,DriveClub. The biggest surprise was the announcement of Destiny, a game being exclusively developed for the PS4 by Bungie Studios, studio mostly known for the popular Xbox exclusive title Halo.

The other problem that might arise with the launch of the PS4 is the price, especially taking into consideration the precedent with PS Vita where Sony went as far as to cut the price of the PS Vita in Japan. If Sony manages to assign the right price to the new PlayStation and to ensure a good roster of launch titles, the launch of the PS4 should be a successful one.

In conclusion, taking all of the above into consideration it would seem like the PS4 has the most potential of winning the next console war. With the Wii U needing to find its focus and the Xbox720 being developed to do too many things besides gaming, it seems like the PS4 is the only future console that still has a focus on gaming and also knows who its target market is.

But hey, that’s just my opinion and I might be wrong. So let me know in comments what your opinions are about the new generation of consoles and who you think the winner will be.

Cirstoiu Alexandru,
NoobFeed Trainee

comments powered by Disqus
  • PS4 obviously have the upper hand, but don't take Microsoft's plan for 720 lightly. Even if it does multipurpose some people will always prefer one device in a room than many. I know I would. Why not? If I can play games, watch TV and surf internet using the same device, why should I buy 3 separate products?
    Posted Mar 23, 2013
  • Though Destiny is a shot away from its Xbox exclusivity days, it's not a PS4 exclusive, in fact, it's also on PS3, but also 360. As they announced a ten year life cycle for the feature, I also wouldn't be surprised to see it pop up on Microsoft's successor.

    I think price speculation at the time has it around $300, which would be a great value compared to the steep $5-600 price point the PS3 had at launch, for less functionality. I wouldn't be too worried of its price holding off its fan base.
    Posted Mar 24, 2013
  • So far PS4 is winning this and it has won me over quite nicely. However, MS has a chance at redemption this coming month during their own conference. we shall see how that goes.
    Posted Apr 10, 2013

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Publisher(s): NoobFeed
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Genres: Artcile
Themes: Feature, Editorial, Interviews, Opinion Pieces
Release Date: 2009-02-14

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