Industry Comment: Eighth Gen Consoles

December 4, 2013

04-12-13

Industry Comment

The eighth generation of video game consoles: PS4, Xbox One and Wii U

 

Overview

The next generation of gaming consoles is the eighth in the history of video game consoles. This generation features the Wii U and the recently released PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the Wii U being released almost a year prior to the Xbox and PlayStation.

 

So what does the new generation bring to the gaming industry?

What were the business successes and/or failures of the new consoles?

In this report I will look into the eighth generation consoles and find research to provide an insight into the economy behind the latest console generation.

 

The transition between generations

The previous generation of consoles including the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 had lasted for more than six years, which is uncommon, as console generations normally occur in 5-6 year cycles. The Wii, released in 2006, was the first console to be replaced, as I mentioned earlier, by the Wii U after 6 years. The Xbox 360, which was released in 2005, was current for around 8 years before the recent release of the Xbox One. Similarly, with the PlayStation 3, released in 2006, this had a shorter ‘lifespan’ than the 360.

 

Wii U – Next-Gen?

When it comes to the next-generation of consoles each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Some people will argue that the Wii U should not be considered next-gen console, due to its lack of power in comparison with the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation. In an article, which discusses the Wii U with the CEO of EA, the CEO explains his thoughts on the Wii U in comparison to the newly released consoles: 

'I wouldn't say that we see a correlation between the results that Nintendo has shown with their console debut of the Wii U and what we see coming.'

The CEO explains how there is a distinction between the Xbox and PlayStation with the Wii U.

 

The Wii U has a significant lack of power in comparison to the other two consoles.

As discussed by many, the Wii U is somewhat considered not powerful enough for some next-gen titles. An article which quotes, Johan Andersson, technical director of EA Dice's Frostbite project, explains how he feel that when they tested their Frostbite 2 engine on the Wii U, the results were 'Not too promising'.

 

Costs and Sales

When it comes to costs, Wii U runs in the cheapest of the eighth generation consoles, at $299.99.

The Xbox One is the priciest at a steep $499.99, leaving The PlayStation 4 in the middle costing $399.99.

 

Recently, after the launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony announced that The PlayStation 4 has sold 2.1 million units worldwide and that in fact it had sold one million units in 24 hours. In an article on CVG, it is told that, Sony are claiming this as their largest ever release. Their console launch was clearly a success, as PS4 sales took over Wii U's lifetime total in hours.

 

Similarly with The Xbox One, Microsoft claim that, over a million units were sold in less than 24 hours, this being the biggest launch in Xbox History.

 

The Wii U trailed behind the two more recently released consoles, both of which out sold the Wii U sales in 24 hours than the Wii U did in nine months. Nintendo hopes to sell 9 million Wii U consoles by March 2014 and it's looking likely that they won't reach their targets.

 

Personally, I'm still happy with my Xbox 360 and I haven't been convinced to purchase any of the Next-Generation of consoles, (not that I can afford any). I will probably wait for the prices to drop significantly before considering buying ANY of the new consoles.

 

References:

 

EA's CEO talks about violence, the Steam Box, and why Wii U isn't 'next-gen' [Online Article] Available at: <http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/185850/EAs_CEO_talks_about_violence_the_Steam_Box_and_why_Wii_U_isnt_nextgen.php#.UQ-xeaU0V8E > [Accessed on: 03-12-13]

 

 

EA Developer: Wii U not powerful enough for next-gen titles [Online Article] Available at: <http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/consoles/ea-developer-wii-u-not-powerful-enough-for-next-gen-titles-1150016> [Accessed on: 03-12-13]

 

SCE boss Andrew House hails "PlayStation's largest ever" launch [Online Article] Available at: <http://www.computerandvideogames.com/441079/ps4-sells-21-million-worldwide/ > [Accessed on: 03-12-13]

 

Xbox One sales pass 1 million in 'under 24 hours', claims Microsoft [Online Article] Available at: <http://www.computerandvideogames.com/439876/xbox-one-sales-pass-1-million-in-under-24-hours-claims-microsoft/> [Accessed on: 03-12-13]

 

The Wii U’s day of reckoning has arrived [Online Article] Available at: <http://bgr.com/2013/12/03/wii-u-sales-ps4-xbox-one-launch/ > [Accessed on: 03-12-13]

 

Wii U sales plummet to just 160,000 units in Q2 [Online Article] Available at: <http://bgr.com/2013/07/31/wii-u-sales-q2-2013/ > [Accessed on: 03-12-13]

 

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