Many video game enthusiasts have been patiently waiting for successors to the revolutionary XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming consoles, which both made their debut in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
It has been a little more than six years since the original PlayStation 3 launched, and needless to say, the public is growing anxious and quite curious for what is coming next. However, there are a couple of reasons why gamers should be more alarmed than excited.
It was released to the public that the upcoming XBOX 720 and PlayStation 4 game systems will do away with actual game disks, ruling in favor of streaming. Though this process sounds more optimal, there are definite problems that arise. The biggest issue of all is that gamers will not be able to play their games at their friends’ houses anymore unless they bring their entire game console. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not have to physically carry my XBOX or PS4 if I want to play games at another location.
Many people see no problem whatsoever, claiming that friends can still play video games together over the network. However, many can tell you from experience that it is not the same as competing in the same room. One will miss out on the inside jokes that form, the unworldly facial expressions one makes when they win or lose, and the experiences you gain playing on someone else’s television.
Other rumors have developed that the new video game systems will not be backwards compatible to former game systems, such as the XBOX 360 and PS3, making used games and trade-ins invalid.
This development not only affects social aspects, but also takes a shot at one of the leading industries in the economy today. It will ultimately destroy once-popular organizations such as GameStop, EBGames, and gamefly.com. In 2010, used games accounted for 30 percent of total video game sales and 55 percent of gross profit gained at GameStop. That may not seem earth-shattering, but combined with the fact that they will be discontinuing production of disks, it will terminate “buying video games in the store” for good.
With these sudden changes being made to the video game industry, who are we to blame? The answer lies in the selfish corporations that created the systems themselves: Sony and Microsoft.
Some may see these changes as a way to capitalize profit, but I see these changes as what they really are: pure greed. The used game industry actually loses money for the console manufacturers for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, used games are also much more convenient for the users, who may not want to pay full price for a certain game. In that sense, these corporations are stealing an opportunity from its own consumers, which I find despicable.
On Black Friday in a couple of years, there will be no lines at the video game counter. However, there may be some slow Internet connections due to backups for streaming new games that make their debut.
There are some people who have decided not to buy the PS4 or XBOX 720 because of these flaws and others. Ultimately, this may drive many customers to their main competitor, Nintendo.