It’s official: it’s been announced that we will be getting Sony’s next generation offering in time for the holiday season 2013. Microsoft is hardly likely to let their old rivals get ahead of them, so it’d be surprising if the new Xbox 720 (as it’s currently known) doesn’t come out at the same time, if not before. So wherever your allegiances lie, you should have a little something to stick on the Christmas list.
It’s about time too. It’s been a good 8 years since the release of the Xbox 360 and PS3 and all this time those self-satisfied PC gamers have been racing ahead. Consolers can’t keep up with their ramped-up graphics cards and space-age hard drives – but that will all change at the end of the month.
So with all this extra power, what can we expect from the games?
While it’d be a little harsh to say that we’ve been ill-served with the graphics in the latest few console games (especially when you look at the landscapes rendered in the latest Tom Raider and Assassin’s Creed games), we’ve been somewhat left in the dust when compared to the PC versions. The latest consoles should bring us up to date, or maybe even edge a little ahead, albeit only slightly. History has shown us that PCs will race ahead pretty quickly, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll enjoy what we get any less. Consoles still offer a whole lot more ease and convenience when compared to their PC cousins and when you wrap that up with even more detail than we’re used to now, that’s quite a nice little package.
Size and scope
The sandbox worlds that are so painstakingly created for us by our game-designing feeders are already pretty grand as it is, but with that added extra that the next generation of consoles are going to offer, the worlds we’ll then have to explore seem set to be even more epic. This might not necessarily just be size, but rather the details that will make us dizzy. Imagine exploring each, fully rendered, individual building of San Andreas in GTA 6. Well, you could. Also, for all you WWE fans, what if the console could actually handle 30 figures in the ring at once during the Royal Rumble (or at least more than 6). I think we’ve all been pretty frustrated about that limit over the last 8 years.
While there has been improvement over the years, most consoles just offered a ‘hard’ setting, meaning it’s harder to kill your enemies i.e. more bullets are supplied or whatever. Yet what gamers have really been after for years is a genuinely intelligent enemy that’s going to challenge the ol’ brain box. With the updated technology now available, this could well become a reality. No longer will an enemy goon run aimlessly upon hearing a sound: instead, you’ll find them creeping in through the window behind you.
Look out – the bad guys are about to get a little more badass!
Tips for stocking up
With the next generation of consoles hitting the shelves during the holiday period, you have plenty of time to get through your current stock of games in time for the big change. Who really goes back to their old console once they’ve upgraded? It’s just too hard to look at something pixelated again once you’ve seen the same thing rendered so smoothly. So once the holiday season hits, it might be time to trade up.
Naturally, this is going to leave you with a surplus of obsolete games that are going to sit and gather dust in the corner. There’s really no need for this, however, as you can sell them. The easiest way to make a little money on your old, now-obsolete console and games is through Music Magpie
They offer a simple process where you just enter in the barcode of your game or the name of your console and they give you a valuation. If you’re happy with that valuation, you can send it to them to sell on and you get the cash. Then what do you do with that cash? Why, upgrade your games collection and replace old stock! (Of course, you’ll have got the console for Christmas.)