Category: Video Games


Hello To Meh

I have not written on here in quite some time.   Why?  Well in part I had really wanted to focus on creating You tube videos which I have also become lax on as of late.   The main problem with the You tube videos though was I was having trouble with being able to make the videos I wanted and not go over our Isp’s Band with allotment which is currently 350GB a month.  Now that is quite a bit, but when you factor in watching you tube and anime online along with all the other streaming we do – its not quite so much after all.

Yes I did check on what the next package up is with out Provider (Mediacom) and its 999 GB…….but for another $80.00!   What the hell?

So I am still going to be posting on you tube, but not as often and who knows when until I can learn some more about and use some of the free data compression software as well as any free video editing tools I can get my hands on.  I do not have a Smart Phone with unlimited Data, that would be the next choice….or perhaps going to the library or somewhere just to upload my videos.

So many other things going on!  Video games are a hot mess now, maybe more than they have ever been.  I myself got an Xbox One in back in December and less than a year later they have the Xbox One S!  Personally though I was not very impressed and have not and will not be purchasing an Xbox One S……nor a Scorpio.  I am going to play the shit out of my Xbox One and when the 2nd or 3rd upgrade to whatever is after the Scorpio comes out (late in the next gen possibly)  then possibly get another Xbox.  Of course that’s just me…..and that is not even taking into account the 4K factor.

I do not own a 4K TV or player, but they are great pieces of technology that will only get better and cheaper as time goes on.  Also 4K gaming and eventually movies are the types of 4K content I would be looking forward too.  Unless I can in the future get 4K cable that is not streamed over the internet but comes by way of a 4k Cable Box or 4K Enabled Cable box I do not care!  I mean I do care,  but I do not care about 4K streaming due to mainly the increased amount of Band with it would require and therefore not be an affordable option for us.  I have heard about the alleged existence of “Fiber Optic” internet for many years now…..have seen many people laying the cable and so on.  However I have yet to have lived in a single place (at least during the time I have lived there / here) that really offers and “Fiber Optic” Internet Options.
If I ever could get Internet with better speeds and unlimited band with…..at what cost might that be?

Now where this comes back to video gaming for a moment, including the consoles out now as well as the PS Pro, Xbox Scorpio and the rumored PS5 in 2018…….they could be band with HOGS!  Maybe not, but think for a moment…..whether you have them hooked up to a 4K TV or not the updates, streaming, and Digital Downloads / Purchased may be going over your internet connection in the equivalent of 4K.  If you have a 4K TV and can afford the charges or plan, great…….but if you have a 350 GB cap like I have……what the hell can you do?

Of course there  is one caveat to ALL of this, and that is – all of this is optional…….you do not have to buy a new console every year and I never would unless I was some big you tuber and it was then in way part of the job.

There are other things people are not even mentioning too!  OK so if you do want a 4K TV, and say a PS4 Pro and a 4k UHD Blu Ray Player (the one included in the Xbox One S is not so good……you’d be better off buying a regular Xbox One and the player separate if you want an Xbox) and a surround sound…….be ready for a total upgrade!  You may need a new Surround Sound receiver to connect your 4k equipment to!

The plot thickens again!  Should you buy a “Budget” 4K TV or pay a premium for what will be a “Budget” TV within 2 -3 years?

The key word here is Google!  I am far from an expert on theses topics, I am merely sharing my thoughts and experiences.  As far as owning all the consoles go, I did that with the PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii and it was kind of cool but also it wasn’t that satisfying in the end to own all of the consoles of a generation for me.  I mean sure go for it if that is what you want to do and you can, just don’t assume every consumer is going to do the same thing.  As for the length of the console generations, there was a change (at the time anyways) with the amount of money the Xbox 360($400.00)  and more notably the $600.00 60 GB PS3 cost.  People were willing to pay more for the consoles, but they wanted to know they would be supported longer / and Spoiler Alert they were!

Much like with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox Scorpio we will overall see another lengthy console generation……

maybe.

There are rumblings on the internets of the PS5 coming out the year following the Scorpio (where you would think the same year would have made more sense to be fair to consumers).  However, there are too many unknowns such as what will the Scorpio cost?  Will the PS5 (if it was to come out in 2018) be a lot more than the Scorpio?
And what in the hell do Microsoft and Sony have planned?  Will both the Scorpio and PS5 have good 4K Bluray players or simply be 4K gaming machines (the later which would be better and likely lead to a lower cost for consumers).  The Playstation Pro example, due out this year is going to have at least some (if not a lot of) true 4K gaming but no 4K Bluray player.  Compare that to the Xbox One S that says  on paper it can play 4K movies and deliver 4K gaming, which in the case of the Xbox One S are really just some cute marketing tricks used by Microsoft.

In any event, just play what you want to play.  I play my Xbox One on a 1080i TV and that’s OK.  It will probably be at least another 2 plus years before we even get a 4K TV and even then it would have to be some kind of Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal (if I can find a good one).

And remember these are just the random thoughts of one random guy online…….if you have a problem with that then you have more time on your hands than I do!

Thanks for reading.

 

The title of this post is a question from someone in response to a video I posted on Youtube, which was not really connected to the question…….but at the same time I felt his or her pain.  If you have had Xbox Live in the last few months, you know the struggle too.  However overall I think its a great console and a lot of these growing pains go back to before the console even launched………..anyways…………………………………………

It depends. First things first, I assume that you have an Xbox Live Gold membership eh? I have not talked with anyone about anything having to do with I think its Silver (Non Gold Xbox Live Memberships).

OK well what I have done when I have had problems is:
Of course you can unplug your Modem and Router (we have a 2 in 1, so I only have to unplug one thing) and plug it back in and then when it boots back up – try again.

You can also on the Xbox One go to Settings, then Network Settings and then at the bottom left corner of the page go to ‘Alternate Mac Address’ and select ‘Clear’. You will then get a message that the Xbox One needs to restart to proceed or something like that…….so go ahead and do that and wait for the Xbox One to restart and you should be good.

Beyond that, I dunno……..not everyone has the same internet speeds….some people have slower internet even though you may have Broadband it is slower or faster than somebody. Also DSL is generally not very good or that reliable unless you have a T1 or something like that and that’s crazy money unless you are a business or some type of professional.

Now Xbox has had a LOT of problems over the last few years……much to my chagrin as I discovered this after I got my Xbox One……..BUT overall I love my Xbox One…….I guess its like the Offspring song “Self Esteem”.
The Xbox One is a GREAT console but its still catching up from the botched launch……..a lot of what they wanted it to do was rejected and people in masses bought PS4’s instead. Anyways things are looking up for the Xbox, they are selling more consoles and the network issues are fewer and fewer – but there is still a lot more to be done.

One thing that SUCKS is on the Games With Gold you have to have a CC (or Debit, whatever) on file to get the FREE Xbox 360 Games with Gold Game(s).
HOWEVER, I have never had to have an alternate form of payment on file to get the FREE Xbox One Games with Gold! So yeah sometimes its a WTF for sure no matter what….but wait there’s more…….
If you play any EA games like Madden or Fifa sometimes you get kicked offline for no reason and get an error message something to the effect of “You have been disconnected from the EA servers. Please check your connection and try again”. This really sucks if you are playing a cloud Franchise game in Madden and you are smoking the other team and “POOF” you get kicked offline in the middle of the second quarter.

Good Luck To Everyone out there!

One side note on why I am upset that you need a form of payment on file to get the free Xbox 360 games on Xbox One (per Games With Gold,provided of course you have a current active Xbox Live Gold membership)………
I USE PRE-PAID XBOX LIVE GOLD CARDS AND PRE-PAID XBOX LIVE GIFT CARDS FOR DLC.

Joe

Xbox Games With Gold????

OK so anyone that has an Xbox and an Xbox Live membership probably knows about the “Games With Gold” program.  HOWEVER if you have an Xbox One, then wait there’s more!

OK so first of all Microsoft made a big yip-dee-doo out of their whole Backwards Compatibility program (being able to play Xbox 360 titles on the Xbox One).  To Microsoft’s credit, of course in theory its a great idea.  HOWEVER (yes I just used all caps twice)  they are not telling you the whole story.

Who even knows the whole story?  I am just some random guy writing a blog, so I don’t…..you the reader doesn’t either……and wait for it…….
nor does Microsoft!  I know I should have given you a spoiler alert before that one, please accept my apologies.
Anyways it kinda goes like this:(Or it should anyways from what Microsoft has been promoting).
– Massive catalog of Xbox 360 games playable on the Xbox One (not that many when you take into account how many Xbox 360 game there are, and most of the games are crap anyways…..so far at least the vast majority of good games are not backwards compatible).
– When an Xbox 360 game is put up as part of the “Games With Gold” program – and you have an Xbox One……you CANNOT download that game to your Xbox unless you have a form of payment on file!  What the hell?

I paid for my Xbox Live membership in advance with a Pre-Paid Xbox Live card.  ANY DLC or anything I that I may get, I use a pre paid Xbox Live Gift Card.  I am NOT going to have a payment option on file when I can pay in advance……and when I am getting Xbox Live at least a year at a time in advance……..I shouldn’t have to.  I do not trust the Xbox Live Network (or the PSN) enough to give them a CC……its just crazy with how often they both get hacked for one thing!  So if I cannot download a game that is supposed to be for free and backward compatible……DO NOT TELL ME I CAN if you also require me to have a form of payment on file.  You do not need my payment information, I have already paid for Xbox Live Gold!  You have my real name and Physical address Microsoft!  Besides I can get the Games With Gold Xbox One games and I do not get a message telling me that I need to have a form of payment on file to download the game!  This is crap!  Fix it.

Of course I guess Sony would do the same?   Nintendo?

Now I have yet to obtain an allegedly Backwards Compatible Physical disc Xbox 360 Game and try to play it…….so who know?  Would it still tell me I had to have a form of payment on file even if I had the disc?

Thanks for reading!
Joe

How do you like me now?

(The vast majority <if not all> of this post is based on my views and so on for these Video Game consoles as they relate to the retail and online markets of the USA.)

So a couple of years or so ago I wrote a brief something or other on what we can expect or look to from the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and I also briefly commented on the overall “Meh” debut for the Wii U.

Now let me bloviate on the Wii U for just a moment. I do not own one, but I have owned at least one of each of Nintendo’s prior systems. I am not playa hatin’ on Nintendo, but Nintendo has a history of completely idiotic marketing over the last few years……granted they did get lucky with the Wii though. However, my point is very simply underscored by the fact that Nintendo decided to call the system after what may have been their biggest success (the Wii at a minimum saved Nintendo from Bankruptcy) the Wii and call it a Wii U? I am sorry, but this is why the term WTF was invented. WTF Nintendo! Why could you not come up with a better name than Wii U? So sad.

However to Nintendo’s credit this is far from their biggest blunder. From what I have seen personally, as well as read, as well as just look at the fact the PS2 and Xbox offered online play………..
The near death (AKA Bankruptcy) of Nintendo may have very well occurred as a direct result of Nintendo deciding to not offer online play with the Gamecube while the PS2 and Xbox were offering online play.

To be technical the Gamecube did offer Network options (you could play someone in the same household on another TV if both of you had the special adapter, the same game and each had their own Gamecube -YAY!).
Also, to be fair to Nintendo there were a couple games you could play online on the Gamecube – but they were games that had very poor sales and most people (including myself) have/had no idea what they even were).

With some of the great Wrestling games on the Gamecube…..you would have thought there would be online play but in true Nintendo style no online play!
With Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube……….NO ONLINE PLAY!

So Nintendo did make up for a lot of this with the way they handled the online play for the Wii……to a point. At some point last year they shut down the server for Mario Kart Wii Online! What? Yet on my PS3 I can go online right now and play someone in NCAA Football 12 (2012)…… a game that came out in 2011 and yet Nintendo cannot have Mario Kart Wii for Online Play any longer? WTF? True also that Nintendo would rather now have you buy a Wii U and play Mario Kart 8……OK I get it…..sure.
However I have also read several articles online in reference to Nintendo maybe being a little overly eager to release another console. To be fair to Nintendo, they have said they will not release another console until they fell that every Wii U owner is satisfies. Nintendo did not say (in any article I have read to date) how they would be able to determine how every Wii U owner was satisfied or if some Wii U owners would just be out of luck.

OK so with the Xbox One at first they only gave you the option to purchase the console for $500.00 – with a chunk of that being for the motion sensor camera thing. Now I will of course give Microsoft credit for later on in the Xbox One’s life cycle dropping the price all the way down to $350.00. The PS4
(without the camera) is currently selling for $400.00.
I have read quite a few articles that say this price drop is only temporary – that the Xbox One may in fact actually increase back to $500.00 forcing you to buy that stupid motion camera or even to $400.00 without the camera. I have also read that the price point of $350.00 for the base console (in some cases you may find bundles for that price or a game) is permanent and will not change in part because Microsoft is so far behind Sony in Market Share (I.e.: how many people own the console).

Sony on the other hand has not had any problem with selling the PS4 and has no plans currently to lower the price.

Nintendo should have lowered the price of the Wii U by now from $300.00 (even though yes the Deluxe model was $350.00 originally). I think if Nintendo drops the Wii U down to $200.00 (which won’t happen…but if they did) then you would see a surge in Demand for the console……and you would also force Microsoft and Sony to make price cuts as well on their consoles.

Nintendo still has free online play, while Microsoft has always had a fee you have to pay to have Xbox Live Gold so that you can play against other people online. Of course to be fair to Microsoft here as well as to be honest – Microsoft still offers the bets online experience for online play (because they have the best & most reliable network). Sony NOW has a pay network for online play…..and perhaps they were long overdue……the PS3 always left a lot to be desired as far as the quality of the network is concerned.

Personally if I was to buy one of the next gen consoles…..or I guess they are kind of current gen by now……I would get the Xbox One. The best network, & from what I have seen from all 3 consoles – the best overall gaming experience.
There is also a Steam console out by Alienware……but we will have to wait and see on that console…….I will be very surprised if its even around by Christmas…..possibly 2017 though that’s very unlikely.

There is so much more to write about……and I will of course address this sooner than another 2 years (or however long it has been since I last posted). There is one other option, for some people anyways! If you live anywhere near a Family Video – you can actually rent a console…..so I guess that or from a Rent A Center would be one way you could try out the console.

Of course you could also go out and by all 3 consoles, or one at a time ….. and keep them all or return the other 2 that you don’t like (though keep in mind if you buy any games separate for one of the consoles you plan on returning – you will not be able to return the game if it did not come with the console/ you can typically only exchange them for the same title if the game is defective). Your best bet on trying games on the console would be to just rent the games…..then go and buy them if you like them enough and are keeping the console, etc.

Now I am NOT necessarily advocating
That you go
out and buy a console and return it…….but how else can you try the console?

One other option would be if you are serious about purchasing one of the 3 consoles…..a Gamestop or Pawnshop may have a used console for you to test.

Anyways it just seems like the consoles are soooo expensive even though they cost the same or less than they did a few years ago.

These are just my thoughts about these consoles drifting through the winds of the internet………………..

When?

After asking several people I know their thoughts on when the next Xbox will be released, the general consensus seems to be in time for Christmas 2013.  No they are not in the videogame industry and nor do they have an  interest one way or another besides they want to play the new console, but I have always gotten excellent information from them regarding gaming that has always been correct.  So, given that we should know for sure when E3 hits were the new consoles stand as far as a firm release date goes and hopefully soon after Gamestop, and other retailers will announce their Pre-Order information.   Personally I am still thinking we may be looking at the Xbox next year, even though its almost a sure thing the PS4 will arrive this year.  However you never know until you actually see the systems in stores right?  Or see them flying off of the shelves and people getting robbed,etc…..as was the case with the launch of the PS3 which was a joke for Sony.  I cannot say I would bank on a 2014 release for the next Xbox, but I think Microsoft may delay the release so as to ensure they have not just a good console with all the major bugs worked out – but also enough of the console manufactured to meet at least part of what is going to be an insane demand at launch.  Sony on the other hand, will release the PS4 this year for sure and to hell with the consequences even if they run the risk of having a far worse launch than with the PS3.  Now to fair to Sony, yes they did at least make some more PS3 consoles available to consumers in time for Christmas 2006…..however the initial launch and the first few weeks after were a textbook and gold standard for HOW NO TO LAUNCH A NEW GAMING CONSOLE.  Nintendo may have released the Wii U to lackluster demand if that – though I have not heard anything negative at all in relation to Nintendo not having made enough consoles for anyone who wants to buy one.  Of course its not an entirely new console either, and its overpriced for what it does at $350.00 USD.  I say its not new, even though yes it is, because its really just a beefed up Wii.  Why did they not make a whole new system?  And the price point, they just don’t get it do they?  It should have been $249.99 tops……maybe $299.99 at the high end – but $349.99?  Nintendo does indeed earn a WTF for that one!

Now I would not mind a Wii U myself sometime in the future, but not at the current price and not now!  I am waiting to get one of the next Xboxes, whether its at launch or sometime after launch.

One other thing I have NOT heard anything about and I would love to know – is what is the deal with the reliability of the next Xbox console?

Will these next Xboxes have the same failure rates as the first Xbox 360s?  Personally I plan to get a warranty when I do get mine, just in case and from say Best Buy or another retailer that honors warranties with no hassle.  However, if Microsoft has any brains whatsoever then they will have learned from the 360 Fiasco and make a far more reliable console with the Xbox 720 (or whatever the decide to call it).  FYI, in the movie “Real Steel” there is a sponsor sign in one of the combat arenas that clearly says “XBOX720″……….just a tidbit for ya.

So what is the deal with Sony?  Some employees or executives, or some in some way associated with the company, have seemed to have given up.  I could be wrong, but what the hell?  I think the statement I read in reference to the companies vision for the next Console (now confirmed for sometime in 2013) at least in part contained something to the effect of “….only Hardcore Gamers will get it” – meaning if you are not a Hardcore gamer then you may not be the target audience for the PS4.  OK, so yes it could also be said that Xbox did this with the first Xbox.  True dat.  However, what does that do?  Yeah you have a cool machine and that’s great.  However while I do not regret buying one of those $600.00 PS3s back in 2007, I would rather not pay that much for a console ever again.  I was caught up in the hype, and hype it was!  It was at the time – hype that actually delivered.   In the USA anyways, there was the $600.00 60 GB and the not so great $500.00 20 GB console released in 2006 (I mentioned 2007 above as I did not get the PS3 at launch).  I remember that there were some problems with the 20GB model, a higher than expected amount of console failures and such.  However for the most part, to 60GB original launch PS3 was a great console!

However, as time went on Sony was trapped.  The things that made the PS3 great were actually making it $600.00!  I have heard some viewpoints, that Sony had basically put a Playstation 2 inside of the PS3 – hence the backwards compatibility as well as the High Price.  So, after a while Sony had to come down on price, in an effort to move more consoles as well as attract new customers.  Was it worth it?  Time will truly tell.  I now have a PS3 Slim, and if I really want to play those PS2 games again – I can always find a good used Fat PS2.  The Slim PS2 was a JOKE!

But alas, I am trying to write about as I come to terms with what the reality of the next generation of Consoles is at the moment as well as what it will actually be when said consoles are released.

While yes I love my PS3, I am personally leaning towards saving my money now so that I can buy one of the next Xboxes in 2014.  If the PS4 is truly all Sony is jabbing about, who knows?  I may get a good used one in several years, though I doubt it.  I mean, even if I could afford both consoles at launch – there is only so much time I can play games in a day!  Not just because I am married and I work, I also like to read, we have cats, I love movies, etc,etc,etc.  So it’s not as important to me anymore to have every console out there since I can only play one at a time!  There are really only a few games I care about, and I love to play THOSE few select games again and again and again and yes again.  Some of those games are Madden, Soul Calibur, Fifa, Mario Kart Wii.  In the cases of Soul Calibur, Madden and Fifa I feel that the next Xbox is by far going to offer me the bext game experience, hence my personal choice to wait for the next Xbox.

If you are a diehard Playstation fan, that’s fine.  I can further expand on my thoughts and how I reached my decision.

Why did I not just get an Xbox 360 and I instead recently bought a PS3 slim?  Well in the past I also had Xbox 360s and having owned both I liked the PS3 better and feel good about the decision I have made.  I love the fact that my PS3 also plays Blurays.  I have always been more into playing offline than online, so I was not considering the online game play experience as much when I bought my PS3 slim (or my wife bought it as I get reminded sometimes).  I like how you can browse the web on the PS3; it’s nice to look at websites sometimes on my PS3 instead of going into the other room or having to bring my laptop into the room I am in at the time.  There is a LOT I love about the PS3, however now we will skip the good and the bad…..and go straight to the ugly.

The PS3 network has been an abysmal failure on a very good day, and not worthy of even being spoken about on a bad day.  Having said that, even with the next Xbox I will mainly be playing games offline – BUT – there have been a few times when a better network would have been more desirable.  I am not a computer geek or nerd, I do not want to have to spend hours to get my PS3 humming on the PSN (Playstation Network) – it should just work.  Yes the network is free; though I have my doubts even if and probably when Sony does eventually start charging to use the PSN that they will ever get it right.  I have considered becoming a Playstation Network Plus member, but I see no point in paying for the network when the free version of the network is so bad.  Why does the PS3 not have HBO Go?  Why does the Amazon Instant Video on the PS3 suck so badly?  I rented a movie, and it stopped at least 10 times!  I hate to use bad language in my posts, but talk about a major WTF!

Ok so on the other side of the coin, what do we REALLY know about the next Xbox?  I can sure with a lot of confidence we will not see it this year.  I mean, yes I am no expert here – nor am I preaching to an imaginary choir.  I am just another person looking for answers to all of these questions and concerns, and making the best attempt I can to fins those answers ….. At a time when the internet is chock full of opinions and speculations about the subject.  Yes, I suppose my posts could be viewed as such too.  However, I am only voicing my concerns and hoping to find answers which are far more than over 99% of what I have read on these topics even attempt to ever do.

The next Xbox may have run into production problems, something about a crucial part not being up to specs as well as unforeseen delays with the actual manufacturing of the part to begin with.

I however think this a good thing in a way.  I think Microsoft has learned a lot from the insane amount of ROD (Ring Of Death) failures with the early models of the Xbox 360 consoles.  I feel that Microsoft will fix the problem as well as be damn sure they have a reliable and great machine and then put the final product into production.

Also, it takes a lot of pressure of Microsoft and puts that pressure on Sony.  I would love to see the new Xbox come out in 2014 on the day that year’s Madden NFL game is released.  Though its likely you will see a release closer to the Holiday shopping season – but also if the console came out earlier Microsoft could (in the event of an overwhelming consumer demand) have enough consoles ready for stores by the Holidays if they were to release the console even in August 2014.

There is so much more to say and write about this topic!  I know a lot of people out there will disagree with what I have to say – and that is fine.  Just let me know what you think!

NEXT GEN Video Games

Well what is the deal with the PS4? The  Xbox 720?  The ‘Next” Nintendo?  On the Nintendo if I may for a moment, I have read a LOT of mixed things.  Such as the Wii U was just an upgrade to the Wii, and that Nintendo was indeed (as best as they could anyways) going to compete with Microsoft and Sony in the next round of the Console Wars.  Nintendo could conceivably in fact compete in the future with the other big 2, though it would be a different strategy in some ways.

Blu Ray.
While its not a stretch to expect the next Playstation and Xbox to have a Bluray drive, that may be something you will just not see in a Nintendo system.  However, at what point does that matter? Well yeah you would have the benefits of also having a Bluray player, which might be a selling point (as it was for me with the PS3) for people out there not wanting a separate machine for Blurays.  Then of course there is the issue of Storage, A Bluray disc can hold about 25 GB (single layer, about 50 GB Dual Layer) as compared to a measly 4.7 GB that was on the DVDR discs I used to use with the DVD Recorder once owned.

Of course you always hear about how big newer games are in relation the amount of Data they take up on a disc and what you need in the console to run said game, etc.  In the end they are just games right!  Though some are much better and far more entertaining than others.  Some, while the graphics may leave a lot to be desired like Mario Kart Wii, can offer far more replay value than a much more expensive and polished games.  Of course, while I will always remember the Atari 2600, I don’t really want to go all the way back to those days with a new system either.

WHEN?

When will these so called new systems arrive?  I suppose it could be said the Wii U is Nintendo’s foray into the current Round of next Gen…..BUT just because they were first – I do not see that move as anything other than it was what Nintendo felt they had to do at the time.  I do not think that Sony of Microsoft are basing any strategy whatsoever on Nintendo.  Now that is not to say Nintendo is dead, that they do not matter.  Nintendo will be around for a very long time, likely for good as a nice alternative to what could be seen as the Console standards if there really can be an established standard anyways.

So just because Nintendo put out a system first, I will be amazed if we see the next consoles from Microsoft and or Sony anytime before late 2014 in the USA.  In fact I will venture a guess one step forward and say expect the next Playstation in the USA in 2014, and the next Xbox in 2015.  I have yet to find any definite confirmation of any release dates, if they were coming out this year – there would have been Superbowl commercials announcing when you can place your pre order for the new console(s).  Of course, in Video Games as with anything else – marketing and advertising is never done in a way that makes sense.

The next Playstation will likely be first for two reasons.  First, Sony of course wants to beat Microsoft to the punch just as Microsoft did with the 360 coming out before the PS3.  Another important reason could be that Sony has a LOT to answer for.  Such as the poor quality of the Playstation network, the laughable design of the PS3 controller and so on.  So while it is important for Sony to be first (or Microsoft), it is perhaps more important that they stay relevant in the minds of video game consumers.

Microsoft is on the other hand in a unique position.  The X Box live network is far superior to the Playstation network, the controllers are better, BUT what about reliability?  I have yet to have ever read a single article or release about the ROD “Ring of Death” Fiasco that explained why the first generations of the Xbox 360s had such a high failure rate.  True, no electronic toy, especially one that is going to be used daily will be foolproof.  However, the fact Microsoft took so long to correct the basic design flaws of the Xbox 360 is both laughable and puzzling.

I look for Microsoft to take more time to get it right this time at launch, even if that means delaying the Xbox 720 (or whatever it will be called, possibly ‘X Box’) and giving Sony the chance to jump in first.  Also this could be a great opportunity to see what Sony does first, while the next Xbox is possibly still in a semi – prototype stage and then make a few last minute tweaks to the system.

I have heard that there has been an announcement already on Xbox Live in regards to the next system coming out this year, though I do not have an Xbox myself nor have I found any articles online yet to support this.

One other item worthy of mention, if you will indulge the notion, is that in the past some consoles are first released in Japan or countries other than the USA.  So maybe both of the new consoles will come out from Sony and Microsoft this year or next, though possibly not here in the USA.

In reference to no pre-orders yet, that is of course no absolute indicator though if we do not see pre-orders by say June or July then it is very unlikely the systems will arrive this year.  While it seems more unlikely with the flood of information I have been able to find online about the subject, we may not see the PS4 until 2014 – followed by the next Xbox in 2015.

There are some reasons, some obvious and some not why this too could also be possible.

Launch Games.
True its great if you can afford that fresh new console, but if there is not a selection of games available for it (that you are interested in) when it launches – what’s the point of getting it at launch?  Personally there are only a few games I really love and want to play endlessly as opposed to someone that buys games all the time. (If you are so inclined to and can afford lots of games, go for it – nothing wrong with that.  I would myself rather over time master the games I love like Soul Calibur, Madden, Fifa and couple others.)

Launch Failures.
When Sony released the PS3 even at $600.00 for the 60 GB model – there was an overwhelming demand and they failed miserably with anticipating demand.  Nintendo pulled the same silliness with the Wii, possibly failing much worse than Sony did in getting enough consoles to the shelves.  I will absolutely give Microsoft kudos with the 360 Launch.  While I did not own a 360 when it was first launched, I never had a hard time finding one in a store if I had wanted to buy one at the time. Of course Microsoft failed as well.  Will there were plenty of 360s to go around for whoever wanted one, it was a crap shoot as to if you had one of the reliable consoles or one that would eventually succumb to the Dreaded Red Ring Of Death (better known as simply the ‘Ring of Death’).

Why the ‘Launch Failures’ are particularly puzzling is that late in every console’s lifespan, you will almost always see an excess of more reliable versions of the consoles available for a deeply discounted price (as compared to the original launch price) in store inventories across the country.  Why not get it right to start with?  I hope that is at least one thing that now both Microsoft and Sony are considering with the release of their next consoles – whenever the do actually release them.  Just make a LOT of RELIABLE consoles at launch at then taper down the inventories.  After all, with the Playstation Network and Xbox Live are not most of your system updates done online now anyways?  For those without internet access, at least with the Playstation 3 you can go somewhere with a flash drive and get the system update and update that way if you have to.  The Hardware is more and more advanced with each new generation of consoles, if done right – then you would not have to update that model….. Just update the Firmware every couple of months or so without making an entire new physical version of the console.

The failure of the Video Game console makers to make enough of more reliable consoles at launch also hurts the companies in that at what better time could you attract a whole new set of consumers?  Sure a lot of people like me will wait until after the initial craziness of the launch passes before getting the system anyways.  However possibly even more people will just decide to not buy the console altogether.

One thing I have not heard a lot about is what seems to be a move towards motion based gaming.  That is all fine and well and that – though I hope there will always at least be the option of holding the physical controller in your hand. I can see motion based becoming a trend, as well as a place being there for the more traditional controllers…..I just don’t want to be forced to buy into this motion based craze if I want to get one of the next generation consoles.

I wanted to simply say a few words about the next generation of video game consoles, though I have not touched on price yet.  I look for the Xbox to come out at around $450.00 US and the Playstation around $400.00 US, just a guess.