The next generation of console gaming is almost upon the masses as November quickly approaches. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have shattered pre-order records and are both on track for an incredibly successful Holiday season, but some already have their minds on what will almost assuredly follow the highly anticipated platforms.
The industry as a whole is going to radically change in the coming years, as digital distribution starts to take a more prominent role, which has lead many to believe that brick-and-mortar software is on its way out. According to a recent interview between the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu and Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, gamers are in for a much bigger change than the loss of physical media.
“I think in the future, it’ll will be a contest of services instead of hardware. When there’s the PS5, it will probably be just a controller and a monitor. Then, the thing that will be left is the name of the service.”
Harada believes that the need for consoles will be called into question once multiple services can be run on any device. The rise of services such as Steam, Xbox Live Game Store, PSN, and more are indicative that change is in the air for the industry, and all of the current competitors appear ready to change with the times — including Nintendo and its recent digital push with its eShop service.
Success with services such as Netflix also gives credence to Harada’s theory pertaining to the evolution of the entertainment industry in general, and Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai puts the proof in the metaphorical pudding that streaming will be a major factor within gaming going forward. Even Valve’s recently announced Steam Machines are more application/streaming-driven, with a multitude of models set to cater to different classes of gamers and entertainment connoisseurs.
Gamers are in for some serious change in the coming years, but for now the impending arrival of Xbox One and PS4 will deliver the tried and true experience gamers have come to love — albeit backed by some significantly more powerful tech.
What do you make of Harada’s comments, Ranters? Do you believe the PlayStation 5 will be a console rather than a service or multimedia hub?
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