With PS4 Pro already available worldwide, and Nintendo Switch and Project Scorpio coming next year, it is time for us to have a deeper check about what these consoles are good at and which are the things you should consider when thinking about whether you should buy them or not. Interestingly, 2016 and 2017 are very important years in gaming despite no one would have thought that of them back in 2012 and 2013, when Wii U and Xbox One/PS4 released. I mean, did any one predict new consoles would have shipped in what, three and four years from then? Honestly, I didn’t. Let’s take a look then at the reasons why you should invest on new Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo platforms – and why you should not.
PS4 PRO: Pros and Cons
PS4 Pro is shipping on November 10 and this is just crazy. PlayStation Meeting revealed in September Sony would launch this console so early, and that, together with the day one price, came at a cost. 4K is going to be native only on few titles, while the rest of them is set to be upscaled from a lower resolution – not 1080p, nor 720, but it’s going to be lower. Many devs, like Mass Effect Andromeda’s BioWare, call that “custom” res.
- Pro: It’s the first console to be running 4K native video games…
- Pro: It’s launching on November 10, great launch price of PS4
- Con: … but many games will be upscaled from a lower resolution
- Con: Not all the games are supporting it now
I’m definitely going to buy it by trading standard PS4 in, and I don’t see any particular reason why you shouldn’t do that between now and the holiday season. This kind of 4K is probably going to be the dominant one for a couple years or slightly more, considering the current PS4 userbase, so if you are a PlayStation supporter I would not be worried about other technical solutions coming shortly (look at what’s next).
Microsoft has to be up to PS4 Pro’s challenge about price – Pachter said shipping at more than $399 would be a suicidal move and I sure agree. Is this really going to happen? Who knows. Phil Spencer said this is a “premium hardware”, somehow hinting that, no, this could not be happening at all. But, again, it’d be a bad move. Basically because I don’t see them explaining and showcasing successfully to consumers that there’s a difference between checkerboard rendering, the 4K upscaling technique Sony’s using with PS4 Pro, and Project Scorpio TRUE 4K RESOLUTION GAM.. no really, I don’t see it. And people won’t even notice that.
- Pro: higher native resolution than PS4 Pro…
- Pro: a chance for true and high res VR on console
- Con: … but who’s going to notice that?
- Con: possibly its price
Again, definitely going to buy it and trading Xbox One in will surely be helpful in the process. But Microsoft needs to do something more than talking about brutal and brutally hard to explain power now, and moreover has to have a competitive price tag at launch.
Nintendo is the usual kind of guy who doesn’t love competition and always wants to be unique in what it does. While the business men in Kyoto push for the company to be exclusively a mobile software company, the creative ones have yet another chance, and maybe their last, to show that this uniqueness can become mainstream as the original Wii did. Nintendo Switch is all about this. It’s all about Nintendo betting all over again on creativity rather than simply push power – striving to have content and different content in comparison with two other platform holders who seem to be entering a very dangerous loop.
As a gamer I love Nintendo, and hope they have success in this process of defining what video games are really about. As a critic, I need to wait and see whether this could lead to a success or another failure such as the Wii U debacle.
- Pro: Original concept
- Pro: Third party developers seem to be supporting it…
- Con: … but they always seem to be supportive. Look at the Wii U launch lineup
- Con: As a concept, it seems to be a Wii U 2. Is there anything interesting left to be revealed?
Yeah, you’re right, I’m going to buy this one too on day one. But I was expecting a better naming and sadly enough I don’t think trading Wii U in would be a good choice.
So, basically, we have three different consoles coming between the end of this year and next year’s. They’re all coming from different visions: PS4 Pro offers the best 4K possible right now at a very competitive price, while Project Scorpio is 4K without any compromise, with an improving relationship with PC gaming and a good perspective in VR gaming, and Nintendo Switch doesn’t care about it all but thinks about unifying handheld and home gaming into one single platform.
Unexpectedly, as I said at the beginning of this feature, 2016-17 are going to be very interesting years for gamers, surely more than they would expect. How good those will reveal at the end, well, only time will tell.