Unparalleled Console Upgrades: Should We Fix What Isn’t Broken?

Since the dawn of gaming, there have been a few constants that we never thought would be broken. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft will always be in competition, games based on movies will usually be crappy, and consoles come out in generations. With the release of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, that last constant has been forever shattered. Iterative consoles are here, but do they represent the future? Will we never see a quantum leap forward with a next generation machine? Will it always be just one upgrade after another? It’s time we looked at the facts and speculate on the future of console gaming. Shifting The Playing Field: How The Industry Has Changed Until this latest generation, console releases moved at a pretty normal pace. You had the PS1, the PS2, the PS3, and now the PS4. Consoles moved at a relatively predictable pace, but in the background, there was alway this tension between console gamers and PC gamers. As consoles aged, so too did the hardware. While developers always did an incredible job of pushing the consoles to their limits, the gap between console and PC hardware has always represented an elephant in room. As the growth of PC power accelerated, this gap only widened, so it’s only fair that Sony wanted to prevent people from leaping from consoles to PC as the generation goes on. Their solution was to introduce a console that would sit alongside the PS4 within the same generation, but offer additional power that would entice hardcore gamers to stick around instead of jumping to PC. Andrew House, the boss of PlayStation, spoke with Polygon prior to the release of the PS4 Pro, and explained this reasoning behind the iterative upgrade. In the interview Andrew house said: “There’s a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that’s obviously where it’s to be had. We wanted to keep those people within our ecosystem by giving the very best, and very highest performance quality.” In seeking to hit the PC bar with a console, PS4 Pro doesn’t quite meet the expectation. Thus far, it’s only really focused on 4K, which is something PC gamers enjoy, but the not the sole reason people tend to gravitate to PC for gaming. Other things like frame rates, graphics, and effects are also higher fidelity on a high-powered PC. The PS4 Pro does offer more power, but with almost a year under its belt, I haven’t seen enough from it to convince gamers that it’s the better choice over a PC. This is mostly due to the fact that the console is focused primarily on 4K, which is nice, but PC power offers more than just higher resolutions. Better graphics, higher frame rates, and the option to continuously upgrade are all good reasons to choose it over consoles. Don’t get me wrong, I like the PS4 Pro and I do own one, but I don’t … Read More