E3 2019: Can We Expect a New Console From Nintendo or Microsoft?
E3 2019 is going to be a great year. We have plenty to look forward to, such as new games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, The Last of Us 2, and more surprises set to get announced by game developers. A detail many are wondering is if Nintendo or Microsoft has a new console up their sleeves they'd like to share with their consumers. With Sony not set to premiere anything at E3 and have no conference prepared, this might make sense for Nintendo and Microsoft to come out with something, as they'll steal the show with it. How likely is it we're going to see something like this?
Console Potential from Nintendo and Microsoft at E3 2019
A New Nintendo Switch Model
Of the two choices, Nintendo has the most potential to come out with something new and landing the mark at the conference. Their last performance at E3 had focused nearly half of its airtime to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While it was a good showing for a Smash Bros. fan, it didn't leave their best foot forward for their consumer market who wanted to see something new. They're going to have to step up their game, and a new console announcement could do that.
Back in early October of 2018, we had been hearing rumors of Nintendo toying with the idea of crafting a new Switch model. These rumors had come out of the Wall Street Journal Japan who believed Nintendo were planning to do so as a way to remain competitive on the market with their competitors. Given that the Nintendo Switch has already been out since March 2017, having a new version of the console coming out during the second half of 2019 would make a lot of sense. They would not have wanted to mention it until E3 2019 as to ensure their holiday and end of the year sales don't get stomped out while consumers wait for the new version to release.
If Nintendo is going to come out with a new model of the Switch, we're going to hear about it at E3 2019. You can catch their show on June 11 at 9 AM PST, and 12 PM EST. There's no better time to do it, and if they were planning to do it for a direct, they miss the mark. They want to get the announcement out to as many people as possible and share as much information as they can. Doing it at E3 2019 seems like the ideal option. If we don't hear about the next model of the Switch at E3, we'll have to wait and see what plans Nintendo has for their on-the-go console.
Microsoft Moves Forward With The Cloud
Many believe Microsoft and Sony are about to heads again next year as they both have planned announcements for their next console. There was a time Sony was talking about a 2021 release date, or statement, for their next console, the PlayStation 5. However, as of right now, many are getting small, nuggets of information about Sony's next console. Some of the details we learned about happening in an interview Wired had with Sony's lead architect behind the next generation console, Mark Cerny. This happened during the middle of April, and the first few details hint at it being incredibly fast, with the console's SSD making loading screens obsolete. For many, that'd be a nice change of pace. Although, Microsoft has a different focus and has had a unique approach for the past year.
An important topic surrounding Microsoft's next console is if it's going to connect to a cloud network, or not. This cloud network would keep all of the games offsite, so console owners wouldn't have to prevent physical copies of the game on hand or have any of them downloaded on the console they were using. The console would instead stream the game's entirety of the player, leaving the chosen machine open to use all of its internal processes to focus on playing the game. We do know Microsoft is working on a project called xCloud, which pits Microsoft directly against the surprising competitor: Google.
During this year's Game Developer Conference, Google came out with their brand new concept for a console network called Stadia. With it, all potential players would need to do is connect to a Google browser on their desktop, have 30fps of internet connection, and they can play their game directly from the browser. All of their information should go to a cloud network, and it shouldn't matter how poor of quality the computer's hardware, because a majority of the heavy lifting is going to happen off-site. This was a concept Microsoft had been talking about, and toying with, for the past year. Google beat them to the punch, and plan to have Stadia on the market later this year during the fall.
Now, not only is Microsoft traditionally contending with Sony but now they have an unexpected enemy with Google because this was exactly what they've wanted to do for a while. How are they going to handle this new strategy? A good step forward for Microsoft could be leaning on their E3 conference, which happens on June 9, at 1 PM PST and 4 PM EST. If they announce a console here, it'll be their plans for their xCloud. If they don't, they may be waiting for a more finished product before they share anything with their consumers. Microsoft could take a misstep and announce something too early, leaving fans disappointed by the wait time. However, Microsoft has been in the video-game market for decades, and Google is brand new to it. The experience Microsoft may already be a step or two ahead of Google if they play their cards right.
Make sure to check out the E3 2019 Conference and Livestream schedule to make sure you catch all of the action later this year.