E3 (the Electronics and Entertainment Expo) is right around the corner, and speculations are running amok about more than just the games we can hope to see on display. Rumors are swirling about the announcement of release dates, but not for “Cyberpunk 2077” or “Death Stranding” (c’ mon, Kojima! Give us SOMETHING!). Rather, it’s looking like we’ll be seeing the next generation of gaming consoles and entertainment systems, as well as the games that will be making the leap to join them.
If you’re like me, you know that the announcement of next-gen means the end of another era. It means older games will be phased out, and you’ll need to drop a couple of paychecks into another machine that will probably do all the same things your current one does, but better. It’s sad and daunting, but as much as it sucks to justify sinking a ton of green into the next big thing, I believe we should actually be excited about it.
It’s all about perspective. See, if you look at it from the angle of possibility and technological advancement, it’s much more agreeable. Next gen consoles aren’t just an excuse for companies like Sony and Microsoft to keep the cash flowing (though I’m sure that plays a part), but rather they’re the product of years of software development and technological experimentation, often coming in smaller, denser and more efficient systems. Not only that, but the possibilities that these newer, skinnier machines bring to the table could change the industry forever. Sony, for example, is seeking to eliminate loading screens altogether, amping up their processing power so that you won’t have to wait half a minute to transition between areas of the city in Spiderman, or between games and apps when you get bored.
This means that Microsoft’s Xbox will need to step up its game, as well and according to journalist Ainsley Bowden, they’re planning on it. Ainsley claims that multiple insider sources have told him that the Xbox Two “Anaconda” will be even more than the PS5, of which consumers have only caught glimpses of so far. No clue what exactly that will mean for players, but it’s bound to be exciting.
The future of console gaming isn’t limited to just these two industry titans, either. Nintendo already has plans to update their Nintendo Switch consoles to keep up with software demands, and London-based developers Slightly Mad Studios have recently announced their declaration of console war with the Mad Box, which hopes to be the everyman’s VR machine. Not only that but virtual deity Google is also making moves toward virtual entertainment with their confusing but intriguing gaming streaming service, Stadia. Both stand to make big waves in the coming years, and who knows what kind of unique features and groundbreaking titles will come with them.
Say what you will about corporate greed, it’s destroying the planet. But on the bright side, it’s bringing us the world on a virtual platter. The future of console gaming has never been more open, and if any of these trailers and teasers are to be believed, 2019 and 2020 are set to be groundbreaking years in gaming history.
Sarah Nowack is a senior professional writing major who is minoring in graphic design. Her days are spent haunting the local library, consuming copious amounts of coffee, playing unpopular video games, and making terrible puns. She can be found at @battlerouge on Twitter and @shiverbound on Instagram.