Over the past few days, the Internet has been abound with the rumor that Sony will announce the Playstation 5 at E3 this year. This would be Sony’s way of counteracting Microsoft’s new updated console: the XBox Scorpio. Now, obviously, this information should be taken with a pinch of salt, this could just be something spawned from hyped up online ramblings. However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this rumor proves to be true. Under normal circumstances, I would be ecstatic at the news that a new console is going to be announced. But in this day and age, only one thought goes through my mind: haven’t I only just purchased a PS4!? If Sony and Microsoft already feel the need to update their consoles, this could be a sign that consoles are quickly becoming redundant, a thing of the past.
Looking back, I’ve always been a console fan. Throughout each generation of consoles, starting with the NES, I’ve consistently owned one. I’ve always loved the practicality a console offers. Just insert the game and you’re good to go. I did own a PC briefly in the mid to late 90s and have been scarred by the endless problems I encountered while gaming. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best of PCs and granted PCs have come a long way since, but at the time, the bad experience just reaffirmed my love for consoles. It’s also important to remember that for a long time – I’m talking PSone and PS2 era here – consoles and PCs were pretty much neck and neck in terms of performance. But most of all, what I loved about owning a console, was the surefire knowledge that my gaming needs would be secured for almost an entire decade. I was happy to fork over my hard earned cash in order to indulge myself in the best gaming had to offer, for the next eight years at the most. It was a no-brainer. But everything changed with the present generation of consoles.
Back in 2014, when the PS4 was released, I knew I’d be getting one. I’d learned from experience that there was no use buying one immediately. Better to give it at least one year and wait for more games to arrive. Besides, I still had plenty of mileage to get out of my PS3. Hence, in December 2015, I decided to treat myself to a brand new Playstation 4. I once again had that satisfying feeling that my gaming needs were sorted for a good chunk of time.
Fast forward nine months later and Sony is announcing the PS4 Pro. Upon hearing the news, (and I imagine Xbox One owners can relate to this too, when hearing about the Xbox Scorpio for the first time) I went through three different phases:
Denial: What do they mean they’re going to sell a better, updated version of the PS4? No, that’s not possible, they’ve only just released the PS4. Nonsense.
Fear: Does this mean I have to buy another one? Will there be games sold only for the PS4 Pro? Am I missing out?
Anger: You mean I just spent my hard earned money on a PS4 only to have them throw another better one out there?! What, do they expect me to have two PS4s now?! I can’t afford this! Why are you doing this to me Sony?! Why?!
It’s painful to look at how consoles are faring now in 2017. Only three years since its release, The PS4 already has a slim version, which is something that was once reserved for the end of a console’s life cycle, serving as one last attempt to boost sales before moving on to the next generation. Xbox is gearing up for the release of the Xbox Scorpio and even Nintendo had to abandon the Wii U console early in its life cycle and release an entirely new and more hand held focused console, the Switch. If the release of a Playstation 5 proves to be true, what’s to stop me from believing an updated version, or even the Playstation 6, won’t be released just a couple of years down the line?
The truth of the matter is PCs have become much more advanced and are far better at adapting each time new, improved technology comes along. Which is often, too often for consoles to keep up. Despite constantly waving console exclusive games at me, it’s no longer enough. I might have to jump the sinking ship that is consoles and go with the more sturdy and durable PC. As a long standing console fan, just the mere fact that I’m considering this, goes to show the dire circumstances the gaming console has found itself in. It hurts to say it, but this truly could be the death of the console.