“Although we have not modeled extensive growth for new innovation in this presentation, we are very pleased to see the introduction of technology like virtual reality and rumored new console launches, some of which seem imminent,” Bartel said.
Bartel also said the company hasn’t factored in the potential of new console releases and VR into their earnings projections. I would be “very pleased” too. GameStop could be about to see multiple console launches they haven’t even factored into earnings yet.
Those “rumored new consoles?”
There’s been rumblings of new consoles from all three of the big hardware companies. Nintendo has said they will reveal their next console, the NX, later this year. Sometime around E3 is the most obvious time frame for a reveal. Several reports point to Sony releasing a new, more powerful version of the PS4 in time for the release of PlayStation VR. With the Wall Street Journal throwing their hat in the ring for a new PS4, I’ll be shocked if we don’t see a new PlayStation sometime this year.
As for Microsoft? They started all the talk about about stronger hardware last month during their Xbox Spring Showcase event. Phil Spencer was on hand and said the Xbox One’s future could lie in periodic upgrades. With the way technology is moving with VR and 4K TVs, this was inevitable.
And with reports of Sony poised to release a more powerful PS4, let’s hope Spencer’s words are quickly turned into action.
Sign me up for stronger consoles
I’m crossing my fingers that stronger consoles are on the way. The Xbox 360/PS3 generation lasted way too long. And PCs are quickly outpacing Xbox One and PS4. I know we’ll never see home consoles go toe-to-toe with gaming PCs, but the gap needs to be narrowed. And stronger consoles are the answer.
Plus, PlayStation VR is going to need the extra power. We’ve seen the system requirements for the Oculus Rift. If PlayStation’s VR games are going to compete, they need a stronger platform to work on.
There are obvious downsides. Price is the biggest. But there are also concerns with how games would work on the weaker versions. How big of a frame rate or resolution hit would games see in an upgradable console future? Plus, do some folks just take the hit and move to PC.
It’s uncharted territory, but it’s a move that was always going to happen. Solid communication with fans will be perhaps the most important part of releasing new hardware. We saw what poor PR and controversial features did to Xbox One pre-launch. Look for all three hardware manufacturers to clearly articulate their visions for the future with any potential new console.
What are your thoughts on a new console this soon? The last hardware generation lasted eight years. We are approaching the third year for the Xbox One and PS4. Too soon? Just right? Let me know in the comments below.