Many of us will always remember the video game industry as something stable, even rocky, basically on its key and fundamental pillars: the consoles… that hardware that we used to buy knowing that we would be happy for years, during an entire generation. These times seem to be changing and that golden era could be actually coming to an end.
I must admit that, as a gamer for decades, it was pretty comfortable buying consoles or handhelds knowing that the support from SEGA, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft or the whole third party developers behind the systems would last, at least, 4-5 years. I was happy and I was at peace. I bought my favourite consoles when they were affordable, I looked for video game sales in stores (later on the Internet), and my collection just grew and grew without too much economic effort.
Nowadays I (we) face a paradigm shift. First, we saw “slim” versions of our beloved systems just two generations ago. It became usual and, in fact, today we demand them. But what many of us, old gamers, didn’t expect was something that should not be surprising, as the mobile industry gave us hints during the past years: we are witnessing the birth of the so-called “inter-generational consoles”.
Many people want and need to change their smartphone every one or two years. They want to buy and enjoy a more powerful Samsung Galaxy, a more stylish iPhone and now, more and more people will need to play the games they purchased for a determined system on a newer one which will allow them to enjoy better graphics, resolutions and frames per second. We must assume the reality of the era we are living: this was an unavoidable step.
Therefore, just some days ago we saw how Sony embraced this new path when the brand-new PlayStation 4 Pro was introduced to the whole gamer world. Microsoft is currently finalising its new strategy with “Project Scorpio” and Nintendo, on their side, seems to be developing a hybrid system.
Will this business model work within the video game industry? Only time will tell if this is a really smart move for hardware developers, but what I do appreciate clearly is that i will always miss that old, golden and remote golden era when I was just a kid playing his endless video games.
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