The buzz this week is focusing on what will be coming later in the year. Every gamer is hungry for announcements surrounding the next generation of consoles.
New Consoles This Year
The PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo Wii U are both expected to hit the shelves this year, with the Vita hitting stores in February after a Japanese launch in mid-December.
The PS Vita is a handheld console and successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) that promises snazier graphics, interactive touchscreens on the front and back and dual analog sticks much like the PlayStation 3 controllers. Sony has stated there will even be some compatability between the PS3 and PS Vita.
More than 320,000 units have been sold in Japan since the Vita’s December 16 release, The Vita’s numbers dropped dramatically in the second week of sales to just over 70,000. Critics are unsure whether the device has staying power in the rest of the world.
Later in 2012, Nintendo will be releasing their next-generation console called Wii U. It is the first Nintendo console to feature souped-up 1080p high-definition graphics and will have a touchscreen embedded in the controller to allow for gaming when the TV is off or interaction between two screens.
A prototype unit was shown last year during E3 with simple games designed to showcase the new Tablet like controller. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has confirmed the final version will be revealed at E3 this June in Los Angeles.
Critics are concerned about the potential cost, but Nintendo says it’s confident the Wii U will open up a new style of gameplay for the home gamer in the same way that the Wii expanded the customer base for gaming consoles in general.
Further Rumors and News
There has also been rumors from MCV UK that both Sony and Microsoft would be making announcements at this year’s E3 about the next generation of consoles.
Sony Computer Entertainment president, Andrew House has said, “I don’t think we’re contemplating talking about anything to do with future console iterations at this point.” Which would make sense, the cost of developing a new console is a big risk and investment. With the PS3 getting into profitability as of early 2010, Sony is unlikely to hamstring sales with any next generation announcements.
There is still the possibility of suprise announcements comming from Microsoft or Sony regarding their next generation this year. We will probably see a great focus on the new Xbox 360 Dashboard and Kinect interface from Microsoft.