Welcome to the E3 2012 Console Press conference Recap!
What a day it was, we all got the first look at "the future of gaming consoles", the "GameStation"! Well to be true, we got several first looks at the different flavours that have been presented by the big 3...
After the devastation that was caused by the last generation, where lots of smaller developers were lost and fanboywars raged across the internet like wildfire, and in the end the general public losing interest once they got tired of playing waggle-mini-games on the Wii and then not wanting to drop the amount necessary to get a high-def-gaming system. for the past 2 years seemed like the end of console gaming was nigh, but then Sony, MS and Nintendo got over their differences and decided it was time to save console gaming in the only way possible: co-operation! So what is this GameStation you ask?
Nintendo, Ms and Sony realised that the big issue that consoles have compared to their PC-counterparts is the fact that there were always multiple versions available ( as you all well know ;-) ), the result is a segmented market where in the end the console with the highest sellthrough gets the largest amount of games ( on average ). This not only hurt the 3 companies because they had to research, develop and market a new console each on their own, but first and foremost it hurt the consumer!
Avid gamers were forced to buy all 3 consoles if they wanted to be able to play _EVERY_ game available... But as we all know, that is not a common feature, so the result was that lots of gamers would be unable to play a certain game, just because they hadn't made the 'right' choice of console. Sometimes later on a (shitty) port would appear, but it wouldn't be the same as the original, or worse, the port got a few _sweet_ extras that the 'original' buyers didn't get...
Another problem faced by many, is that when you get console X and your buddy gets console Y, there was no way you could play together... Thus instead of going through the same problems again, the big 3 designed a "single core system" around which the rest of the console can be built. This way, any company that feels like it can take a license for the 'core system' and release their own console based upon this core. The result is that for the
consumer there will be a plethora of choices, though we've only been shown the initial 3 models available. Core System?
So what is in this core system? Well basicly everything you need to be able to play games and get online. The differences between the consoles will be in the casing and the 'added features'.
Based upon the magnificent Cell-CPU from the original PS3, the SuperCellCPU is in fact capable of doing 20 times the amount of calculations from back then, and the completely fresh graphical card is of a quality that Nvidia guaranteed, regular PC's won't be able to catch up within the next few years.
The drive used for the system is the BLURAY2-format ( the spiritual successor to BLURAY ).
To make this part short ( since not too much info has been given ), the big 3 have combined all of their research-and-development potential together with some of the biggest players in the hardware market to make sure that this core-system will be able to withstand the test of time! So what about these "different" versions?
The idea of the GameStation is to deliver 1 single system for which games can be released, all games, arcade-games, retro-rebuilds and whatever, will work on ALL systems!!! It is purely up to the consumer to see what kind of console they want.
Some of the highlights: Nintendo GameStation
-> stricter parental controls then the other versions
-> Using the channel-system from the original Wii, but then in High Def
-> Group Chat Mic ( like the one from Animal Crossing on Wii )
-> Bright and colorful design, available in 4 different colours from the start
-> No movieplayback
-> controller is based upon the Game-cube-controller, but then with the added in motion-detection. Sony GameStation
-> UI looks like a redesigned XMBar, with an updated version of Home named "Villa" being made available for all versions.
-> Headset iso Group mic
-> Design is very 'high-end-multimedia-system' like, will fit perfecty with your Bravia-TV/other SONY devices
-> 500Gb HD
-> Controller is the DualShock 4 ( since they had to redesign the DS3 to be compatible to the GameStation) Microsoft GameStation
-> Ui is an update from the one released shortly after E3 2008, looks a bit dated, but we all know it works great!
-> Wireless Headset like the Sony-version, just smaller ( don't know if that's a good thing or not ;-) )
-> Controller reminds me of the original 'small' controller from the first XBOX, but then with an added chatpad like it was made available for the Xbox 360.
Of course, you can get a controller from each system if you want, since everything is fully compatible! Exclusives!
For years this was the nightmare of the industry, exclusive deals to 1 piece of hardware, thus limiting the amount of possible consumers as much as possible, we've lost too many great gamedevs in the 'past' generation simply because they released an awesome game on the 'wrong' console...
Now however, exclusives are a great marketing tool for everybody! They announced a couple of exclusive releases ( as in no longer coming to PC! ) that will surely make everybody want a GameStation!
-> Forza 4 ( the folow up of the legendary racing experience on the 360, now available for all to play!)
-> Call Of Duty 7! Yes! you heard it right! the next iteration of COD won't touch PC's anymore
-> Gran Turismo 7! another great classic 'exclusive' series that has joined the ranks of the console-exclusive!
-> Red Alert 6, the devs decided that since RA5 was the most played game on PC for 2010 yet it sold barely a million copies, that they would no longer waste their efforts on the pirated medium that the PC has become... Conclusion
Instead of the game-companies deciding what you need and whether or not you get to play a certain, game, this generation will be known as the "Generation of the consumer" since its the consumer that decides which extra's he does or does not want, its the consumer that chooses even which kind of controller to use for any game, its the consumer that gets to play any game that is released!
The gamedevs are celebrating since now they will have a consumerbase that can become larger then the PC-gaming-scene and they don't have to worry about making the 'wrong' choice of system, nor will they have to re-create every game 2 to 3 times for the different consoles, since everything will be compatible... I'll be getting one DAY ONE!