After many years of reading way too many threads on VGChartz and 10 times too many articles about the video game industry, I have come to the conclusion that this will be the last CONSOLE WAR ever!
This is not a new theory or even one that can be debated rationally by anyone other than a fanboy of any type. We have all watched how the last 5 years have changed the face of consumer video games. I remember when I got my first "windows Phone" almost 10 years ago. It was clunky and small and extremely hard to use. But, I had outlook on my phone and the internet!!! That alone made it worth it. That wasn't exactly the beginning of the end, but it was close to it. Now, the latest phones are reaching the same power of the PS360 generation. Within 4-5 years, they (smartphones or tablets) will be very similar in power to the PS4/XB1. Heck, if money was no object, you could get a razr gaming tablet that is better than the PS4/XB1 now.
Now that we have had a chance to see what the PS4 and XB1 have to offer, I am not so sure that they will ever reach the sales heights of where the PS360 are now. Sure they are more powerful than the PS360, but they don't blow them away with new capabilities. They have the same basic features of the last gen with a little better graphics and a little more power. But they do NOT have something special or new for gaming.
Here's how I see it going from the start of 2014:
2014 - Both the PS4/XB1 will have good to great years because they are new and shiny. They are advertising the hell out of them both and the hype will push a ton of units out the door, maybe 10 million+ units for each system. The WiiU may also sell 3-5 million units. At the end of 2014, the next wave of tablets and phones come along. These newer units will have 2-4gb or ram and begin the actual GPU (built into main board) phase of phones and standard tablets. They will be weak, but they will have them.
2015 - The PS4/XB1 will have their peak selling year. They might get to 11-12 million units sold each or one of them could already be falling out of favor and be reeling at this point. Both will have had significant price cuts. The WiiU is reaching its end of life, and will sell 1-2 million units. If Nintendo drops the system to $99, they might extend it another year. Towards the end of 2015, the next wave of phones and tablets again make their way to the market. Now, 4gb of ram is the norm for the better phones/tablets. The presence of even better GPU’s in these systems allow for many of the PS360 games to be ported to the phones and tablets with ease. There will be plenty of optional bluetooth controllers to add to your tablet/smartphone. Tablets and smartphones easily hook to any TV through wifi or easy HDMI cables. The general public can now have their favorite tablet/phone games with them everywhere they go and can easily hook them to any modern tv. These are things that can be done in 2013, but are not as easily accepted by the public until 2015.
2016 – The PS4/XB1 will see a tremendous slowdown in the rate of sale most of the year until the holidays. The PS4 will sell much better than the XB1 due to the 3rd world nations that it supports. The holidays will see both Sony and Microsoft selling their systems with vastly reduced prices and thus increasing the sales in the holidays. The WiiU will be known as the WiiWho? by the end of 2016. Nintendo will have already released or is preparing to release many of its main IP’s into the tablet/phone arena. The Tablet/Smartphone market is clearly the future of gaming for most if not all of the casual market. Even the cheap smartphones and tablets come with the capability to run most any game that the casuals will want to play. Selling accessories for the tablet/smartphones will begin to be a massive market. Controllers, headsets, motion controls(?), steering wheels and whatever start flooding the market. Those high powered tablets from 2013-2014 are now not so expensive. They have similar power to the PS4/XB1 and they can be had for $400-$600(the sweet spot for tablets).
2017 – The PS4/XB1 will continue to sell, as they are now priced so low that people will still buy them out of habit. They will have extensive game libraries that will keep them interesting to the market. They will probably only see 3-4 million in sales. Microsoft will have begun to release their whole catalog to the smartphone and tablet arena. Sony will have at least started to with older IPs. Nintendo will be a big player with their family orientated titles selling well on all of the extremely cheap tablets. Nintendo might even acquire or be acquired during this year just for their solid IPs(maybe Disney?). Smartphones/Tablets again have become even more powerful and the accessories for them have become very innovative to fit into the mobile world. Tablets and Smartphones will be most of the electronics market. They will now be just as powerful as most PC’s that the average user will ever need and the PC market will be very niche. The real power of the cloud is finally beginning to emerge in the richer nations. Storage on the tablets and smartphones is no longer an issue with the cloud being much easier to get access to.
2018 and beyond – Console wars? Why bother? Consoles are still used, but only by the hard core gamers and the poor nations that lack technology to support the smartphone and tablet environment. The only thing we will be discussing here is which OS is leading and which games are tops on which OS. Will it be the Game Wars???
There is no need to release another round of consoles, as they will no longer be needed. The super slim or small versions of the PS4 and XB1 will fill the need.
It is near the end of the end....