GameSpot rounds up everything we know--and everything we think we know--about the Wii U, the PlayStation 4, and the Next Xbox.
The Wii U
Of the three next-generation consoles, by far the most is known about Nintendo's, the Wii U. Announced at E3 2011, the console is due out by the end of the year worldwide and is a follow-up to the Wii, which launched in 2006 and arguably changed the landscape of the games industry forever.
The Wii U will sport an updated graphics processor, capable of rendering higher-res images, finally ushering Nintendo into the HD era. However, it won't play DVDs or Blu-ray discs, as Nintendo believes the ubiquity of DVD and Blu-ray playback devices render this feature useless.
Wii U? Maybe Not.
Last week, the rumor mill churned out word that in the face of consumer confusion, Nintendo was considering renaming the Wii U. No mention was made as to what Nintendo was planning to call it instead. Whereas Microsoft (Xbox, Xbox 360) and Sony (PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3) have held on to their console names generation to generation, Nintendo has not been as consistent, with the Nintendo 64 giving way to the GameCube, which then yielded to the Wii.
Will the Nintendo Network…work?
During an investor presentation last week, Nintendo announced the Nintendo Network without offering much in the way of detail. The new online system for the Wii U and 3DS will give gamers matchmaking support, "personal accounts," the potential for downloadable content, and even full-game downloads.
It's no secret that Nintendo has lagged behind Microsoft and Sony in regards to network functionality and usability. And it appears the Nintendo Network is the company's first true step in that direction. However, its competitors--Microsoft and Sony--are already years ahead of Nintendo here, which puts all the more pressure on Nintendo to succeed.
Nintendo caused quite a stir at its E3 2011 presentation when it displayed a sizzle reel of games like Darksiders II, Metro: Last Light, and Dirt as if they were running on the Wii U. However, Nintendo of American president Reggie Fils-Aime later confirmed the footage was actually derived from the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions of the games.
That said, Nintendo confirmed these titles and more were in fact coming to the Wii U. Among the third-party titles confirmed for Wii U are THQ's Darksiders II and Metro: Last Light, Namco Bandai's Tekken, Codemasters' Dirt, Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Online and Killer Freaks From Outer Space, Warner Bros.' Batman: Arkham City, Lego City Stories, and Tecmo Koei's Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge. (Tecmo Koei confirmed that Razor's Edge on the Wii U is different from Ninja Gaiden 3 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.)
A high-def 3D tablet?
Nintendo's Wii U patent documents recently surfaced, and the filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office reveal the Mario maker has the right to develop tablet controllers for the system that run in high-definition and boast 3D support. To date, Nintendo has not confirmed that the tablet will run in HD or support 3D, but if Nintendo wants to add these features, it has the means.
Tech Demos to Become Full Games?
When Nintendo showed off the Wii U for the first time at E3 2011, it brought along "tech demos" called Chase Mii, Battle Mii, and Shield Pose. Nintendo noted these were only tech demos and not full games, but that doesn't mean they won't become them some time. Wii Sports was once a tech demo, and now, it's one of the best-selling games of all time.
The Wii U was shown off with support for a single tablet only. However, that might not be a finalized configuration option. Speculation from November from a "trusted game development executive" said Nintendo was planning to add two-tablet support. Beyond that, the source was mum.
Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii U will boast Near Field Communication (NFC) support. This technology was most recently used in Activision's Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, allowing players to use real-world objects to manipulate the in-game world. How this technology will be employed on the Wii U remains to be seen, but the options are nearly endless.
First-Party Software Lineup?
Nintendo has a deep stable of solid franchises, and the company said at E3 2011 that it is planning to bring many of these to the Wii U. At its presentation, the House of Mario said new Super Smash Bros., Super Mario Bros., and Legend of Zelda games were all coming to the Wii U.
But outside of acknowledging their existence, Nintendo has not said if any of these titles will launch with the console this holiday season. Launching the 3DS with a dearth of hot properties hurt Nintendo badly, so it's unlikely the company will make the same mistake twice.
Try as they might to block out used games, and console can be cracked one way or another, it's inevitable. Hell you can play Wii games from a usb external hard drive now.
I'll only buy a new console if it's backwards compatible and it's able to play used games; that I either purchase or borrow from friends. Otherwise it's too much of and expense that I can't even justify in my mind (let alone to my wife).
The main reason why I brought a PS3 over the box 360 was it's backward compatibility feature. Ditch that and there is no reason why I shouldn't buy a Xbox next time.
No used game =No buy
I only keep one console of each buy the new give away the old no worry cause I now it will play all my old game what would I do with my old game that I replay. that would be the most arrogant and stupid , we accepted the lock code and we don't play these games any more. huh (EA). Now I cant play used game on my new console LOL.
SO KEEP THEM !!!
As for the no-used-games bit? Probably because all of their games will be on the cloud (Nvidia is looking into cloud gaming themselves..)..or will be sd cards you offload onto your console's HDD and then the sd card is rendered "useless" somehow. (?)
i agree sega genesis 2 please with a disk tray and cartridge slot for genesis games and 250 gb of memory with rechargable controllers and a new classic commercial like from the ninties
I'm done being burned by Sega consoles. I had high hopes for the dreamcast thinking they finally got it right, then when it died I remember looking in my Sega mag with it saying "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated". What a pile of shit. Genesis was bad ass though, as was Sega Channel.
pfft..just give me my genesis and sega channel from the 90's..they can keep the next gen consoles..lol
if any console locks out used game usage, I for one refuse to have anything to do with it. Its ludicrous and its a stupid ploy to suck more money from gamers.
I am aware that some people can stand to pre-order and pay full price for every game they want and get the extra content and blah blah blah, but as a gamer on a budget the used game industry is pretty much the only way i can even play games.
If game devs want to make their games unavailable to play used or have online codes, thats fine, its their game, and I just wont play it. No big deal. Same goes for consuls, but they console devs have no right to do that.
Oh and AMD is garbage, PS4 and new Xbox are going to look like crap, I'm SOOO glad I got a new graphics card and when another better Nvidia chip comes out for cheaper, I can upgrade practically free. GO PC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeh..sadly for the few of us pc gamers left out here...we get few games...and when we do..we get crap like Diablo 3 and ports of console games that dated computer hardware can run..(so much for that gtx 680? this crap can run a gts 8800!).Thanks to piracy and whatnot..no one wants to make/support pc gaming anymore..(atleast not like it was in the 90's)As for the bashing on AMD..I'll let that slide..my $700 computer has yet to run a game it can't play maxxed 1920x1080 with acceptable frame rates..lol(and then the 4kHD monitors come out..and I will need to upgrade again..so much for my 6870 )
Playing games is a blissful and heavenly experience which only who play know it. Why on earth would Sony want people to buy the PS4 and not let them play games of the previous PS versions. So either people keep two consoles or more if they want to play PS 1 or 2 games or just throw all the great game experiences out of the window. Playing games and being associated with them is nostalgic and its a feeling hard to describe. Why do these companies sell us games like products of mass use. Sony listen to the people who make you who you are, these are experiences, a window of our imaginations. Don't do the unthinkable of restricting us from enjoying what you made for us to enjoy. You are going to loose lots of people and over that respect if you don't tune your frequency and wavelength with the people who put you on that place.
It would be unfortunate if the PS4 abandons the Cell processor; it would probably mean no backwards compatibility with PS3 games, because of how unique the Cell's architecture is. Emulation would be extremely difficult.
Wouldn't locked consoles prevent game rentals?
Don't game rentals shops constitute a large portion of the purchases of a title, to stock in all their locations?
Seems a bit like shooting themselves in the foot.
i have to say sony if you locks out used game or have no backwards compatibility. i am done with your concel
Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony need to come together and make ONE system, drive up the price because demand will be extremely high and watch as they take over the world!
I'm not sure what console I'll go with next gen. I took a long break from the Xbox 360 when the COD online craze took over, and when Kinect started being pushed. Gamings going a direction I dont like, I miss the days of popping in a game and having fun...not this big online deal and add ons required. I feel a big part of the problem are the developers not making quality games like they once did.
The Xbox and Xbox 360 were great and I think Microsoft knows what they're doing but I really need to be impressed or feel the old way of gaming to go back to the Next box.
As far as Sony goes, I've never cared for the Playstations after the first one...the controller, games, and entire persona of the Playstation turns me away. Ever since the Dreamcast and PS2 rumble I've hated Sony.
The Wii U, so far I'm liking alot...but questioning alot. As of now I would get one...but the 1st and 3rd party titles need to wow me to jump on board
Now if Sega crawled out from under a rock and announced a system I would buy it no matter what.
you will never see MS doing it again. X box will be positioned as a main entertainment device at home not a hardcore gaming platform because the market is bigger. It will target more and more casual gamers, families etc... with movie rentals, shoping, internet browsing etc...
As more rumors are being spawned from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the more I have a feeling that they're trying a little too hard to make their gaming platforms 'different'. (Wii-U's tablet-thingie, Xbox possibly focusing on the kinect, PS4 potentially focusing on move or not existing at all,). I think this generation will be the one that finally crosses the line from 'awesome gaming machines' to 'trying too hard''.
Got a feeling I'll be sticking to my good ol' PC for awhile.
FYI I Had a PS2 for years lot of fun on it just bought a PS3 hardly use it except for playing DVDS, I'm officially a PC gamer. I have only upgraded the graphics card[$200] on my computer in 7yrs and i can still play games on it.Not on Maxed out settings but still high or medium and the graphics are awesome.
that crapstation is way better then the xcox disks don't break from knocking over the system,bluray disks,no battery packs for controler,playstation move is more responsive and easier to use, and you don't need to pay for ps3 online and it's the same thing as xbox live all the xbox fans are doing is giving a rich man money
@Aktiv16 Yeah... you're right.... Did you think that I thought Nintendo made the Dreamcast? What made you think that?
@GodOfSyn i was thinking the same thing by just letting us upgrade our consoles. So if you want the best settings go buy a good v-card. They probably make there on type of proprietary cards to make money though, but it still will be great to upgrade down the line. We all know devs will be complaining in the first few years in the development cycle. But once they get familiar with the process their games get better and we'll have to upgrade the v-card to get the better graphics.
I'm so excited for these consoles. It's going to be so amazing. I'd prefer 3-5 year console cycles personally, because like anything electronic, specifically computers, they are on similar life cycles, at least in an IT environment with our vendors, and at previous companies. I know its not the best business practice for a company like Sony or Miscrosoft who are out to make money, but we will get the best product, best graphics if they are able to continually upgrade the hardware, unless they design a PC type system where end users like ourselves can constantly upgrade the components when they are launched for the system, that way its not required for those that cannot afford to upgrade, but will unlock the highest settings in future games for the platform! That would truly be a 10-15 year life cycle!
both the ps4 and next xbox workers are so dumb. i will never buy a gaming console that forces you to be online all the time. unreal!!
Someone tell me why I got the feeling this "Orbis" project is NOT meant to be the successor of the PS3 at all, but rather a completely individual gaming hardware project of sony? Is it just the statement that a PS4 is not imagined (instead there is such a codename like orbis), or the rumor of a lack of backwards compatibility...?
all the imformation about sony and their next gen console is just rumors they are NOT proven facts so everyone who is talking shit about sony can sux it because everytime they made a console they succeeded with flying colors did you know that the most sold console is the PS2 and the second most sold console is the PS1 and the tenth is the PS3
If Sony and MS are going to lock their systems and make them only playable online (with internet connectivity) then I'll be no longer a Big Fan of the PlayStation and will go then with the Wii U.
Nintendo not wanting to pay for DVD or Bluray is the reason they aren't including it. Silly to say something that does Netflix won't do DVD, that goes against each other. I have four devices that play Netflix, the difference is Nintendo doesn't have to pay the fee for Netflix.
@spydax1 I doubt that Nintendo would attempt to market a system that sports 6-year-old technology. More likely, the Wii U will have notably higher capabilities than the PS3 and 360. I'm more concerned of the possible capabilities of the other Next-Gen machines, because they will, likely, have access to greater levels of tech due to later release dates. At least it's unlikely that they will use less than brilliant tech in their newest system. They ought to have learned that lesson from the non-HD Wii
I believe that Nintendo has there work cut out for them when the wii u is finally released sure it will have the ability to play in 1080i but you know its like saying when nintendo's wii u can do what the xbox 360 can do and the Playstation 3, sony will be releasing there PS4 and Microsoft will release there xbox 3 this will put Nintendo new system behind again unless nintendo releases some kind of expansion unit to the wii u that will update the graphics but then nintendo has the tablet controller to also consider hmm well will the tablet controller push out the same graphic capability as the wii u or less and will there be some kind of upgrade to the tablet controllers along with the wii u system?
Microsoft needs to just adopt Sony's approach to online purchases; You want to buy DLC, a game, a movie? The store tells you how much it is (in real money, not points so that you can't keep track of how much you're ACTUALLY spending), and you pay that much. No money/points left over. If it's $5.99, it says $5.99, you pay $5.99. Simple. There's not much that I prefer my PS3 over my 360 for, but making online purchases is a no-brainer. Sony got it right.
Until Nintendo can prove that 3rd party support is on board with their "next gen" console, only then with I take interest. I'm tired of bying their stuff and only ending up with 1st perty games.