PS3 Catching Up? Next Gen Months Or Years Away?

I was catching up on some videogame related reading over the weekend and found brief mention of this article at Industry Gamers via the Official PlayStation Blog.

Overall, the global games market is facing “major uncertainties” for the rest of 2010, Strategy Analytics said, including the “extent and pace of the Wii’s decline,” and the impact of the upcoming motion devices for PS3 and 360. The research firm believes that total global home games console sales will fall by 9% in 2010.

Of course Sony referenced this one to show that the PS3 was in front of the 360 this year, and was closing the global gap of 4.4 million or so quickly. Kittens and roses for Sony until you compare numbers to the Wii.

You will notice the part of the article I quoted is a digression from who is in front. This has me thinking about the next hardware generation, which will not come in the immediate future due to the overall economic climate.

Nintendo may be in position to be first out of the gate, however I would be shocked if even a minor Nintendo Wii HD upgrade was available in time Christmas 2010.  I think 2011 is the earliest we will see any new hardware.

Sony’s introduction of the Slim has slowly helped turn around their fortunes, and while Sony loves to say they built their console for the future, did they? In the hands of committed developers, and strong middleware and various toolkits, the PS3 probably does have plenty of life left. How much is plenty?

Remember the PSX and PS2 had a good five years in them before the next console came along. PS2 started slowly and helped mass adoption of DVD. PS3 started even slower and helped Blu-ray win the HD format war. Something tells me that 2011 may be too early for Sony launch a new system.

I am not sure about Microsoft; they are the wild card. If Microsoft wants to keep an advantage over Sony they have to release early, which means 2011, however they have to bring something to the table that is a significant upgrade over the 360 and more exciting than anything PS3 has in the works.

The motion control stuff just does not interest me. I could change my mind once these new devices are out along with some killer games. Same for 3D. Something has to be damn impressive if I am going to commit to a new 3D HDTV. Right now these ideas seem like little more than gimmicks to bridge the gap between today and the launch of the next generation systems.

We need next generation hardware to reinvigorate console gaming, but in the current economic climate I just do not see it happening before spring 2011. And I think it will take a minor miracle for Nintendo to do anything more that a HD Wii.

I hope I am wrong on all accounts.

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