There is nothing like a console launch to crackle the synapses and thrill the blood. For those who love games, the anticipation of a fresh arrival is an adventure in its own right, a grand hunt across the meadows of speculation and rumor and conjecture.
At the end, we expect to find a great prize, a world-changing event like PlayStation 2 and Wii. We don't set out to corner some miniscule market like GameCube or Saturn. There is a certain necessary suspension of reality, a compact that all consoles are desirable and noble, at least until they are actually in our hands and have an opportunity to confound our faith.
So it comes as a shock when predictions arrive that the next generation – PlayStation 4, Xbox 720 and Wii U – will perform poorly. This week, one analyst stated that the next Nintendo machine will sell only a third as well as the last, while both Microsoft and Sony's consoles will only manage about half as much as the current generation.