The One Console Generation

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If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking risks, and that means you're not going anywhere. The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more changes to learn and win.” All companies compete with each other; we know this all too well. The video game console wars are not new to a generation of players born into an ever-evolving technology base that seems to always be at each others throats. There is always more than one company manufacturing a new console every five to ten years at a time. It always seems to baffle consumers, consumers that are aware of such a problem within the confines of these systems hardware. There always seems to be one ore more consoles lacking when it comes down to its power.

I say, why not one piece of hardware, one box, one standard. Games and the developers of these games are constantly struggling to build for separate hardware constraints. Sony has more hardware power and the disk storage capacity than Xbox and Nintendo combined. Xbox lacks in the hardware space but backs it up with its ever-evolving eco system. Nintendo has just recently come around to the idea that gamers don’t want to be treated like children, who actually want to play online with friends. Sony wins in the hardware space because they are a hardware company, Microsoft’s software blows anything out of the water due to the fact that they are a software company, and Nintendo is not even on the board, unless you are five years old. With all these separate standards for specific pieces of hardware, and limitations based on the idea that one has more than the other, and this lacks that, no wonder its hard for these games to translate well to other systems. This is why one game might be better on one piece of hardware than its identical brother on another. This is where one piece of hardware comes into play.

This “unified box” could be sold with one pre-installed OS, depending on which brand you wanted. If you wanted to purchase a new type of OS (be it Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, Valve) you could buy on the basic dashboard of the system itself. With one box and multiple OS’s too choose from, you still get competition for types of games, Ecosystem experience, still keeping that separate system nostalgia that people love so much. With one unified hardware spec that will run games flawlessly across the board. This concept would let companies focus on games without the limitations, because they all would have the same disc capacity, hard drive storage, and the same memory capacities. No more will developers put out a game that runs well on one system, but fails to meet standards on another.

These companies need to come together and agree on a standard for the next generation. With a system that has the right amount of ram, processing power, graphical capabilities, and one type of code, would push these companies to innovate on software and peripherals to make them more intuitive to generate the competition for sales. At the same time, this system would not be limited by its disc format being that it has a standardized, across the board format for all companies. If consumers could buy extra equipment for their separate game experiences, and still know it will all work on the same system format, consumers would be more inclined to buy more accessories. No one wants a dozen controllers for the same action. No one wants multiples of the same accessories. Gamers don’t want a billion wires and separate consoles littering up their space, I know I don’t.

When it all comes down to it, we want to play games. We want to play good games without our experience being broken due to software and hardware limitations of one system to the next. Give consumers one choice and multiple sub choices to choose at their convenience. I believe that the current skew of how gaming hardware is handled is flawed. By narrowing the hardware choice down to what works across the board and giving us the choice of the software we want to run our experiences on, gives us a better gaming experience without limitations. Maybe one day we can live in a one console world with a unified entertainment experience, until then I’ll stick with steam.