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Console wars: Everything we know about what’s coming next

Typically, the life cycle for a video game console is five to 10 years. But this generation, which is often referred to as the eighth, is about to buck that trend. By holiday 2017, three new consoles will make their way onto store shelves.

Typically, the life cycle for a video game console is five to 10 years. But this generation, which is often referred to as the eighth, is about to buck that trend. 

By holiday 2017, three new consoles will make their way onto store shelves. PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo will all release new boxes, crowding the shelves under our TVs and lightening our wallets. It’s still very early, but here’s why you should pay attention to these shiny new devices. 


It’s confirmed, but little to no information has slipped out of the vault that is Sony. All we know is that it is a slightly more powerful version of the PS4. It will play games at a 4k resolution, which is the main feature that has been talked about. But the downside to this is that Sony still wants all games to work seamlessly between the PS4 Neo and the base PS4. 

So when the new God of War comes out late next year (fingers crossed), you can either play it with fancy new graphics and even more pixels, or a slightly less pretty one. 

It is disappointing that games making their way to the new machine will not take advantage of the hardware, but Sony doesn’t want to split their player base more than they have to. It’s meant to be an optional piece of hardware. Consumers can save a bit of money and just put up with the slightly worse resolution, or shell out the cash for the new box and a 4K TV in order to play games at much higher resolutions, making them look more beautiful than ever. 

Xbox Scorpio

After a bevy of rumors swirled around the Internet leading up to E3, Microsoft took the stage at the show to announce Project Scorpio formally. With the Xbox One S – a slimmer version of the already existing console – coming out this year, Scorpio is poised to give Xbox players a much more powerful machine that will be much closer to a high-end PC in what it’s capable of. 

The only specs we got at E3 were six teraflops of power. Now, I don’t exactly know what this means, but word throughout the community is that this is actually quite the feat. But the problem with cramming this much power into a machine whose aim is to draw in the masses with stunning graphics and plenty of games is that the price tag may turn a lot of people off. 

Making a mass market console with this much horsepower behind it is bound to be a pricey endeavor for Microsoft. If they want to make money off of Project Scorpio then it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll have to drop at least $500 in order to experience the new and improved Xbox hardware. 

Other than the improved power, it too will have 4K functionality, letting more pixels fill the screen, making for an even prettier gaming experience. Microsoft is still being tight-lipped about new features that the console may introduce, but the forefront of the marketing is certainly the power, further bridging the gap between consoles and PCs. 

Nintendo NX

Here’s the big one. Last year, when they announced that they would begin developing games for mobile phones, Nintendo also announced the name of their next home console: NX. 

It was clearly done to ensure fans and investors alike that the company was still a hardware manufacturer first and foremost, and would not be moving the majority of their support over to phones. But since then we haven’t received a scrap of news from Nintendo. 

We know that the next legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild – is set to release simultaneously for Wii U and NX March 2017, but nothing beyond that. We don’t even know what kind of device it will be, but impatient fans have dug up every rumour that poked its nose out of the dirt, trying to find the truth among the lies. 

Possibly the most widely regarded rumor is the idea that the NX is a console-handheld cross. What this means is that the controller for the console can be detached and used as a portable system, similar to a 3DS. So games could be played in the comfort of your own home or on the go. 

If the system is actually a cross between handhelds and consoles then the graphical fidelity needs to be uniform across both devices. This would require a very powerful handheld, not to mention a design that works well as both a standard controller and a portable device. 

If the controller is a handheld, then it automatically needs to have a screen in its centre. But the downfall of the Wii U was that is had a screen in the center of its controller to augment gameplay, but it never did anything with it. 

Nintendo certainly knows that if it's going to create a device that is ostensibly two consoles in one, it has to give players a reason to want it. It’s one thing to make a good home console, but an entirely different beast to make a good handheld, and melding the two is something that would be a monumental effort. 

It’s a shame that all we can do for now is speculate, but with the NX rumoured to release in March 2017, Nintendo has to pull away the curtains sooner rather than later. But whatever the NX is, hopefully, it’s able to return Nintendo to the top of the pack where they haven’t stood in quite some time. 

Matthew Herst is a Carleton University communications student, video game journalist and’s resident geek writer. Yeah, this guy love’s video games. Besides, you can also find his work on Follow him on Twitter @supergurst.


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