Here we will take a look at the next in line from Sony and Microsoft. What do these gaming masterminds have in store for the future of gaming consoles?
A speculative look ahead into the future of console gaming. Here we will look into the technology that is in production right now and some that has not yet begun. We have included concept art and console design. We want to know what you want from the future of gaming. Read through and comment at the bottom.
Next Gen Gaming
Although almost fresh out of their box at just one year old the Xbox One and PS4 are generally still not quite up to our expectations of 'Next gen' gaming. The next gen gaming experience is somewhat of an enigma at present, we know its out there we just can't seem to get our hands on it.
Before we get carried away, the consoles we have today are pretty mind blowing. The difference between xbox One and 360 for example is massive. To compare the two, lets take a look at one of the most popular titles ever released, GTA 5.
GTA 5 on current gen looked superb with no real need to look any better. However, as you can see from the video below, you really can improve on perfection.
The new hardware on next gen machines has allowed Rockstar to not only improve on the aesthetics of the game, but add more content to the environment: More people on the streets, more trees in the woods, fog in the mornings... the list is pretty endless in terms of what the next gen platforms give the title, compared to Current.
As good-looking as GTA 5 is on PS3 and Xbox 360, and as alive as it feels, this is something else entirely.
This being said, there have been a few broken promises and an introduction of distinctly unfriendly consumer decisions made by both companies. Mix this with what some consider to be underpowered machines and an overall observation of an underwhelming experience so far, Microsoft and Sony have already got gamers looking to the future.
Will this mean that the Xbox Two and Playstation 5 will be released sooner than we think?
This is the big question. When will we see the next console? To which we answer, how long is a piece of string? However if we look at this a little deeper, the Xbox 360 was allocated a 10 year lifespan and lasted eight years until the Xbox One was born. The Xbox One was also released with a 10 year lifespan, so we may see the Xbox Two by 2023.
Wired and T3 tech expert Guy Cocker spoke with TechRadar recently and he said.
"I think it'll be sooner. "I would say there'll be another Xbox in about five years time," he says.
"I think Microsoft will have definitely learned from its mistakes; the main guy responsible for the Xbox One's development, Don Mattrick, left the company for Zynga shortly after announcing it on stage, and Phil Spencer, who now runs Microsoft's Xbox division, is a games man through and through.
I think 2015, actually, is going to be a good time for Xbox. It's putting games back at the forefront, which is how it managed to become so successful with the original console back in 2001; with a great machine and great exclusive games like Halo and Jet Set Radio Future."
There is also a calling for the new Xbox to have a gaming focus. Substitute the entertainment side of the box for more computing power. Gamers we spoke to wanted to see vastly increased frame rates, capable CPU and Cooling systems, more memory and VR compatibility at the very least. With the introduction of smart TV, live streaming, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Blue-ray players coming free when you order an extra large pizza now a days, these consoles should not be focusing on TV. Consumers do not want to be doubling up on expensive tech.
Sony's PS5 again may be coming sooner than we all thought and a lot cheaper. The PS3 was also released a good 8 years ago. This is not just coincidence, Sony and Microsoft are currently engaged in probably the biggest tech war of the generation. This suggests that the early release of the Xbox Two will almost certainly mean an early release of PS5.
Sony are also focusing on the gaming aspect and will almost certainly get rid of the physical game disk. The PS5 will in essence be more powerful but have less. Allow me to explain, starting with the PS Now system.
The PS5 will certainly focus on this service. Currently this service allows users to gain access to a huge selection of PlayStation 3 titles with plans to offer PlayStation 4 titles in the future. Rumours are also a foot to provide access to PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles.
The PS5 however, will not only offer gamers their PS3 games, but games from the original Playstation through to PS5 only titles. This means that the PS5 will have more room for computing power but have a lot less hardware content meaning it can be sold cheaper. The future for Playstation gaming relies on super fast broadband and streaming services.
Microsoft and Sony lock horns with Oculus Rift as they enter the virtual reality arena.
According to a leak from Digitimes Microsoft is rumored to be hatching plans to mass produce a head-worn virtual gaming device in 2015 and is expected to showcase the product at the E3 gaming show in June. Presumably this will release on the Xbox One and communicate directly or in conjunction with the Kinect system.
With this system in current development for the Xbox One we can guarantee that the Xbox Two will come with VR as standard. We may see a rudimentary version on the Xbox One to keep Oculus Rift under control but development will be invested into VR on the Xbox Two as this will indeed be Microsoft's main focus.
Sony announced its own virtual reality project last year known simply as 'Project Morpheus'. This is the codename their upcoming virtual reality headset. It is said to be designed to be fully functional with the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and future gaming consoles. Not to be left behind, the PS5 will focus on VR and immersive gaming experiences.
At GDC in 2014, and after many months of rumors, Sony officially revealed Project Morpheus--a virtual reality headset that will plug into the PlayStation 4 and provide fully immersed gameplay similar to Oculus Rift. This is what will be built into the PS5.
Another genius Playstation initiative that is currently filtering out the kinks on PS4 but that will feature heavily on the PS5 is 'Shareplay'.
This feature, in essence was designed to allow players who can not get through a certain section of a game, struggling to earn those extra XP or even in locating those secret loot areas, this feature allows these players to virtually pass their controller to another player who will take control of their character and complete said above challenges.
Both will be fully synced to your 4K TV
The purchase of a PS5 or Xbox Two will necessitate the further purchase of an Ultra-high-definition television. The aim will be to sync your console to your amart tv in a similar way you sync your sky box or lap top up now.
Also there is a plan to downsize on the wired element of the consoles. Your kinect for example will be remotely connected to your television not actually wired. Gone are the days of masses of wires hidden behind the TV stands!
Batteries for the controllers will also be a thing of the past. Controllers will be charged wirelessly. How this will be done is still unknown but something i am severely happy about!
What is the difference between 4K and Ultra HD?
According to Trusted reviews -
While 4K is the most commonly used name for content and screens that use 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, some brands prefer the term Ultra HD – or UHD for short.
While confusing, there is actually some logic to the new UHD term. That's because it provides a way of distinguishing between the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution adopted by 16:9-ratio TVs and the slightly different 4096x2160 resolution first introduced in digital cinemas (and actually employed by Sony’s domestic 4K projector range).
However, 4K is used so widely to describe 3,840 x 2,160 displays and content now that the roots of the technical distinction between the 4K and UHD terms have been all but lost outside of the projection world. In other words, for most people the two terms have become interchangeable.
Will the kinect feature on the Xbox Two?
The Kinect has always been integral to the Xboxs identity, this is where Microsoft have bettered Sony for many years. The Xbox One has introduced certain elements to the kinect that bring the next gen element out of the closet. Voice control over your Xbox, interactive elements to gaming and facial recognition.
Although Kinect began life as a gaming peripheral for the Xbox, it has quickly become a platform in itself. Microsoft released Kinect for Windows last November as a way for businesses and researchers to tap into the power of the peripheral. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer has claimed that some 200 businesses have begun working with it.
The Kinect will feature on the Xbox Two. Whether it will be built in or kept separate is to be confirmed. There is currently a project in the works that will in theory transform your living room into a video game. It is in development potentially for the latter years of the Xbox One but certainly a heavy USP for the Xbox One.
No TV, no problem, Microsoft's research division is back with something very special and very complicated: "RoomAlive," which turns your living room into an interactive augmented reality space. Microsoft plan to turn your desired play space into a living alternate world.
The plan is to take video games out of the TV and instead put it around you. The idea is at dev working stage as you can see below.
RoomAlive requires no TV, but several projectors and sensors (Kinect), and turns any room into a video game, Holodeck style, and will be able to interact with the player in the room. The projectors are self calibrated to make the setup easier.
RoomAlive’s video projectors and Kinect combination are far too costly and large for living rooms right now, but Microsoft is imagining a future where this technology will be smaller and low-cost. Sony has created similar virtual reality experiments in the past, but Microsoft’s system can automatically detect the floors and walls of the room to let the system work anywhere.
"There’s still lots to explore with RoomAlive as a gaming platform," explain’s a Microsoft Research spokesperson. "We envision a future where games can use physical objects as part of the game."
Sony aim to dominate the industry
We are already seeing Sony teaming up with other industry leaders. Sony are teaming up with Samsung to give gamers the best Television experience ever! Come mid 2015 gamers can access almost any PlayStation game without an actual PlayStation console using Samsung smart TVs.
Samsung's smart Internet-connected TVs will now have access the PlayStation Now network.
You will need a Sony Dualshock controller, but once that's plugged in, all you have to do is fire up the app on the TV and you can choose from over 200 PS3 games to start playing immediately.
So, whats next is anyones guess. certainly VR and room immersion tech will play a major role but what else? What do you want from the next generation of gaming?
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