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Are Iterative Consoles a Betrayal to Console Gamers? Editor's Debate

An idiot and a senile old man duke it out about whether or not console manufacturers are undermining a traditional console gaming strength by cluttering their line-up and forcing iterative upgrades...

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Neonridr191d ago

As long as they don't come too often, I don't mind. I honestly would probably rather upgrade every 3-4 years instead of waiting 7-8. Means we get access to better tech and games sooner.

darthv72191d ago

Before the Pro and X, there were generally mid gen refresh systems in the form of cost cutting and design differences (aka slim models). It happened to the SNES, Genesis as well as Sega CD and 3DO as well as the PS1 and PS2. The idea was to refine the system to run better than the initial releases and cut costs at the same time.

Only the 360 is one that added features not found on the initial systems out of the box. Every other system that received a "slim" revision had something removed. the 3DO did have a memory manager put into its revision though but that's about it. And MS has continued that trend with the XBO as the slim had some features added instead of removed.

The release of the X is just another example of MS continuing that upward trend of giving more for less. It's a premium system and the price point reflects that and represents a much better value than the initial system. Hence the more for less (more bang for the buck).

traumadisaster191d ago

You wrote all of that and didn't even mention the first ever mid gen upgrade that improved the cpu/gpu; xbox one S.

darthv72191d ago

@traum... well, it's implied: "MS has continued that trend with the XBO as the slim had some features added instead of removed"

2pacalypsenow191d ago (Edited 191d ago )

"The release of the X is just another example of MS continuing that upward trend of giving more for less."

The X is $500, you cant say that releasing a better product 4 years later for the same price is giving more for less technology advances.

Also In the 90's we were getting upgraded to newer technologies (Going from cartridges to CD's), its much different than a resolution bump. In the 90's and early 2000's we had actual innovation. Now were just improving on what already there. The Pro and X don't bring anything new to the table except prettier graphics, having all that power is held back by the vanilla consoles.

Rude-ro191d ago

I disagreed... but because the mid gen consoles are not giving better games.
They are the exact same games with resolution bumps.
It rewards a tv more than a game.
Rest I agree with

Neonridr191d ago

fair enough, the improvements are mostly cosmetic.

fenome191d ago

As long as they don't have games that exclude the base model then no harm, no foul. People happy with the base can enjoy that, people that want to pay for the extra performance/resolution upgrades can enjoy that too, good options all around.

My wife just got me the God of War Pro, and it's really cool to see the difference. I don't even have a 4k tv yet, but it's still noticeable. I wouldn't have personally just went out and picked one up because I didn't think there would be a difference without the tv for it yet but I was wrong, I think I'm going to upgrade hers too before we get the 4k setups going.

rainslacker191d ago

I found it pretty pointless this gen. Went from PS4 to PS4P. I feel I would have been perfectly fine with the base PS4 for the duration of this gen. I still boot up on the stock PS4 in the bedroom sometimes, and while the TV in there isn't a great one, the games still look great, and play just fine.

Neonridr191d ago

yeah, I upgraded from my base to the Pro primarily for PSVR. At the time I didn't have a 4K TV, so the improvements in most games were pretty minor. Thankfully I did end up upgrading to a 4K TV a couple of years ago. So the added visual benefits are certainly welcome. But the base offers a great experience still regardless.

jhoward585190d ago (Edited 190d ago )

@Neonridr
I honestly would probably rather upgrade every 3-4 years instead of waiting for 7-8.

Lol, It takes about 3-4 for a dev to get a hang of a hardware to really tap into its full power.
6 years is better.

Neonridr190d ago

I would think less so now that the consoles have moved to a PC like architecture (x86). Assuming the PS5 utilizes the same architecture, there isn't much learning to do the next time around. The system will just be more powerful and more capable for the next version.

jhoward585190d ago (Edited 190d ago )

@Neonridr
There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to game development. Budget, talent, Software, hardware limitation, etc. Anything can slow down a game production. As for hardware, the PS4/xbox one is already using the x86 architecture. The only thing will happen next gen is they'll be much more powerful than their predecessor. Kepp in mind, with the 7nm processor to close to release you will see GPU(for the PC market) as powerful as 20tf/30tf/etc sometime in 2020. That being said, I highly doubt console will pack that kind of power next gen. The gap will widen once more, separating the men from the boys. And also, I think many AAA games will require 4-5 even 6 years to make a game on the level of GoW/HDZ. That said, Sony has set the bar and every other 1st party game studio will follow. That includes MS. So I think if that happens to be the case next gen then they'll need a gaming console based on that.

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strayanalog191d ago

Mid-gen upgrades, the console market's way of dipping their toes into the mobile way of thinking, in my opinion,‎ is already on thin ice.
I don't mind mid-cycle upgrades, as people seem to like them, but I draw the line on exclusives for those 2.0 systems. That's taking advantage of the community and unacceptable if it came to pass.

TheCommentator191d ago (Edited 191d ago )

It's neither a mid-gen upgrade nor a 2.0 system if it's iterative though. MS is the iterative example, and has moved development to the 1X as the lead platform to maximize it's capabilities. From there they reduce quality to allow the game to play on an original Xbox One. When a "2X" comes out, they will make the 2X the lead platform and scale back to the 1X.

They may still support the XB1 at that point also, but nobody knows yet how long support will last because this concept is new in the industry. I'd imagine it would work like the mobile industry, where at some point the machine just can't handle the newest programs anymore, so it seems unlikely that the XB1 would still see support after the 2X launches.

Edit: I agree with you about exclusives for 2.0, mid-gen systems, and even iteratives like 1X. There should always be at least two consoles in play.

RauLeCreuset191d ago

I'm not a fan, which is why I went with a Switch over a Pro (though the benefits to PSVR are tempting). I would rather they offer a premium and a base addition from launch if they're going to offer a premium version.

Einhander1971191d ago

Slim models and actual tech upgrades are a totally different thing. I have to admit I'm a little pissed off ps4 pro turned up to be honest. But it is what it is, hopefully next gen I would like to see ps5 have some sort of modular upgrade I can buy and plug in to give it that extra juice. Not a fully fledged mid cycle console where I have to shell out another £350 to get extra benefits.

Xb1ps4191d ago

Like what Nintendo did with the n64... I don’t know why something like that never took off?

CBaoth191d ago

because just like today with these mid-gen refreshes not all people saw the value in it. I think I bought my RAM pak with one of Turoks as a bundle. It didn't really have the total support of many developers so the list of enhanced titles was even smaller when you factor in your own personal tastes.

I doubt we see a mid-gen refresh anytime soon if the PS5 and nXbox hit the 4K/60 HDR threshold. The jump to 8K would be a waste of a company's resources, given the expected timeframe around 2023/24 for a PS5Pro

getbacktogaming191d ago

I wouldn't mind paying 500 $ for a PS4 Pro with 4K player and 6 TB of GPU like the Xbox One X... But as it is I'll just stick with my original PS4

RauLeCreuset191d ago

@Einhander1971

I'd be all for that. I'm with you. I'm an early adopter. I don't want to have to pay full console price for an iterative upgrade. Give us the ability to upgrade the base console. They can still sell the "pro" version to people who don't want to bother upgrading the parts themselves.

Ron_Danger191d ago

I don't really mind the upgraded consoles. I mainly got mine to experience the best console VR.

Neonridr191d ago

the *only* console VR :P

TheCommentator191d ago

The only failing console VR. ;P

Neonridr191d ago

what's with the disagrees.. I was pointing out that PSVR is the only console VR out there currently. Am I wrong? did I miss the launch of some other console headset? :P

Goldby191d ago

@thecommentator

well at least Sony is trying something new, instead of waiting for everyone else to get in on it before Ms does.

as for Failing, if it wasnt for PSVR, VR ion general wouldnt be where it is today, they (sony) hit the ground running with it, the best priced VR system for entry level gaming with a very easy plug and play set up. no need to worry about if your GPU will work etc.

TheCommentator191d ago (Edited 191d ago )

@ Goldby

Sony also tried something new with Eye Toy, PS Move, PSP, Vita, and now PSVR... all of which Sony launched and abandoned afterwards leaving Sony fans with expensive, useless peripherals.

MS is investing in MR, not VR. Samsung is too. They know it has more value than VR ever will and they want the tech done right... not half baked like PSVR and Pro.

Also PSVR "hit the ground running" and fell flat on it's face just a few months afterwards when most of the games proved to be virtually useless. You know how you guys laugh at MS for not revealing sales figures for the XB1? Sony stopped releasing them in February of last year, and games support is already down to practically nothing. You are right though, VR wouldn't be where it is today, failing, if Sony actually supported PSVR post-launch.

Neonridr191d ago

VR has it's place. I enjoy both PC and console VR. I think what Sony did was a great job for a first stab at it. Sure the PSVR has its limitations in comparison to the Rift/Vive, but it's still pretty solid.

The main issue is the lack of killer games at the moment. Sure we get a good game every so often, but they are a little few and far between sadly. PC has the advantage of more games releasing for it, but even there it can be hit and miss. But it certainly is coming along and we should start to see some major improvements for gen 2.

TheCommentator190d ago

@ Neonridr

Well said! Sony isn't supportive of PSVR like they should be, the tech is passable but not mass market ready yet (including PC-VR options), and VR does eventually have it's place... in MR, which runs the full spectrum of realities.

Check out the link to see what MR really is:

http://www.realitytechnolog...

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Derceto191d ago (Edited 191d ago )

PS1 - 1995 (Dec 1994), PS2 - 2000, PS3 - 2006, PS4 - 2013

I really don't see the problem with a 5/6 year cycle myself, but these days with generation "I want the latest greatest everything now and am stupid and will throw my money at you for anything" on us, well, this is what we end up with.

Iterative console releases, and yes, they do suck. The P4P and X1X are both hilariously underwhelming for their cost, versus what the original systems offer.

Miniaturization, is nothing new. It's been around since the Atari 2600 days. They were merely that though, same system, in a smaller form factor. Not this "Pay us more to get a minute amount of performance increase" garbage.

fathertime4464191d ago

I have to disagree, because if you have a 4k tv with a pro or a 1x then you'd know that its more than just marginal. If you take a game like ghost recon it's nearly night and day.
Just saying you may be down playing

rainslacker191d ago

The problem i see with iterative consoles is that the dev cycle for games is 3-4 years at least. If an iterative console comes out, about the only thing that can be upgraded is the graphics. The games themselves stay the same otherwise.

A 6-7 year cycle means that by the end of the that cycle, you'll see the best of what the base system has to offer.

I have nothing against the systems themselves, but I feel they're just offering graphical enhancements, along with maybe FPS and loading time reductions enhancements. But I see the paradigm as being something that can wear thin very quickly with the consumer, when they realize they aren't getting much more from the purchase, and if it becomes the norm, it gives more incentive for people to just wait it out for the inevitable mid-gen upgrade if they can't or don't want to just dive into the next gen in the first 2-3 years which usually have the least amount of compelling content to actually get the system for.

Obviously the hardcore is a different beast in all this, as they like jumping in early, but if you have a huge collection of games for the current gen, why jump in for a couple launch titles?

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