So with E3 done and dusted we have a lot more information and confirmations than we did before. I hosted an Out of Lives Special Discussion on the future of consoles and postulated why E3 2016 was more important than anyone seemed to realise. So was I right? How has the predictions/theories on the future changed since last week.
So lets break it down.
Nothing has changed here, we still know nothing about the NX except that Aisha Tyler let slip, at the Ubisoft Conference, that the new Just Dance would be coming to NX in March 2017. That suggests a much earlier launch date for the NX than many assumed.
Microsoft have 2 new Xbox’s on the way, The Xbox One S and “Project Scorpio”. The One S is as expected, a slimmed down and refined version of the standard Xbox One. The major change is that for the first time it has an integrated power supply, R.I.P oversized power brick. This is a first for Xbox and a departure from the previous mentality of laser guided focus to avoid any risk of overheating and a repeat of the infamous, “Red Ring of Death”. Phil Spencer has lead a tight ship so I’m confident he won’t allow a repeat of that one.
Project Scorpio is much more ambiguous at this point. Announced to be coming in the holidays 2017 (likely November) with upgraded hardware allowing 4K output and full Oculus Rift support. No real details on what shape those upgrades will take at the moment but we do know it is on the way in the not too distant future.
Before E3, Andrew House admitted in an interview that the PlayStation “Neo” (PS4.5 or PS4K if you prefer) was real but that it would not be shown at E3. That makes me think they will wait until PSX in December to announce it as part of their Keynote at that event. That means it won’t be released until 2017, I think, and that is really all we have on the “Neo”.
What we did get at Sony’s conference was a statement from Shawn Layden in black and white and a direct rebuttal to the previous rumours as to the purpose of the “Neo”. When talking about PSVR he said:
“We have a combination of the necessary processing and graphics power already built-in to over 40 million PS4’s that have been sold worldwide.”
Addressing, directly, the fears that perhaps it would not work as well as was previously suggested. Which is good news to everyone like me that was worried they might need to jump off the VR hype train.
The future, as always, is still uncertain but at least we now have a clearer idea of where the main players in the console market stand. Well, apart from Nintendo who are off doing their own thing and ignoring the others. No doubt I’ll return to this topic when we’ve had some more solid details on the PlayStation “Neo” and Microsofts “Project Scorpio” or if Valve decide to throw a spanner in the works for both and make a big play to capture that audience and integrate them into the Steam ecosystem.
I’ll go back to peering into my crystal ball now, thanks for reading.