Don’t count your PlayStation 4s before they hatch, people. The next generation of gaming consoles may yet miss 2013 for humble countries like Australia and New Zealand.
I hate to be the burster of bubbles, but it just doesn’t seem that certain that we’ll actually be embracing our shiny new PlayStations and Xboxes come Christmas time this year.
I base this on a couple of points:
The next generation of gaming consoles may yet miss 2013 for humble countries like Australia and New Zealand.
Firstly, that Australia and New Zealand received the PlayStation 3 on 23rd March 2007 (it was released during the holiday season of 2006 in North America and Japan only), and that the Xbox 360 hit on 23rd March 2006 (again, with the telltale almost half year delay).
Secondly, I noticed some comments made by GameStop yesterday that it was looking like supply might not meet demand. If it’s looking like those in North America aren’t going to be able to fill all their orders for day one, why would we suspect they’d go to the trouble of diluting their impact with a multi-region release?
None of this is confirmed, of course, but there’s no historical precedent for us getting consoles at the same time as North America (just look at the original Xbox in New Zealand), and no reason to think anything will be different this time around.
So where does that leave us?
Well, not in quite as bad a position as you might think.
How many times this year have you heard the phrase ‘Coming to PS3, 360, PS4 and other next generation consoles’?
There certainly were many titles which went cross-generation when the PS3 and 360 came out, but most of them were revved up versions of the current gen console versions at the time. Of course, the experience itself isn’t going to be the exact same, but if it came down to playing Bioshock Infinite today on PS3 or a year from now on PS4, which would you rather?
In fact, while I’m certain Microsoft are soon to announce some big new games for their new console, we’re really not looking at a launch lineup which is eclipsing what else will be out this Christmas.
Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Grand Theft Auto V — these gems will all be available on current gen consoles.
Sure, the new generation will spurn new interest in the market, but it’ll still have that down period of asking us all to buy into the new generation with hard cash, and those making Triple A blockbusters will inevitably be forced to embrace as many platforms as possible to make their money back.
It’s only the Beyond: Two Souls’ of this world which are definitely destined for next generation only — the majority of incredible titles coming out of 2013 are going to be just as playable this Christmas whether our humble region gets served its dose of PlayStation 4 and Xbox goodness or not.
A few things will soon happen
1. Microsoft will announce its new console
2. The hardware manufacturers will announce which countries will get the consoles on which dates (hint: Australia and New Zealand won’t be first in line)
3. The supposed ‘lull’ of interest in games will be rectified by shiny new hardware
4. The renewed excitement in games will see everyone make lots of money, make great games and dance together in a field of rainbows.
Sorry if I sound bitter, I’m really looking forward to some new hardware under my TV, just not that certain we ought to be waiting for a release date with bated breath given that it likely won’t apply to us in the short term. In the meantime, I’m going to keep playing Bioshock Infinite, looking forward to The Last of Us and just generally having an amazing early 2013 in gaming!
By Leigh Harris