It's the way it has always been in the gaming industry. A console launches to hordes of fans grappling to lay their hands on those monstrous boxes that house the latest and greatest video game systems in the land. For the next four years game after game is released, played, tossed into the trash then the process is repeated. As the console's life rolls on games begin looking better than the initial efforts seen at launch, third and fourth generation games looking almost nothing like what the first games on the system presented to players. Then there are the inevitable price drops which help push the given system (or systems) deeper into the consumer market as sales charts almost assuredly spike at the news of a reduced price tag for the system that was once too expensive for Little Johnny. Simply put, it's the way our industry has always been, and it's likely the way it will always be.
But this generation is proving to be a beast of a different color, a monster of a different size, and it's due largely in part to the two top dogs in the industry Sony and Microsoft and their new consoles, the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 respectively.
Typically when companies launch new consoles they're prepared to take some kind of a loss with every system that they move off of store shelves. What it comes down to is the fact that each console is sold for much less than the sum of its parts. But even still, the price tag that these companies have slapped on their new hardware gems could lead to less market saturation than any consoles that we've seen in quite some time. With the Xbox 360 retailing for 400 dollars, which will later increase to around 600 dollars if you want that HD-DVD add-on that Playstation 3 users get bundled with their system in the form of a Blu-ray player, that means that both systems will be flying off shelves at twice the price of their successors which were released in 2002 (Xbox) and 2000 (PS2) at an MSRP of $299.99.
What we're getting down to here is the point of this article, the one undeniable fact that has remained absent from next-gen discussions until right now. That being that next-gen gaming is actually bad for business and just may very well be a plague on gaming itself.