The Calm Before The Storm
Can you feel it? There’s electricity in the atmosphere. Something stirs on the horizon and the air grows thick with anticipation as sparks of excitement crackle here and there. A dull rumble echoes across the hills in the distance. It’s a sound some gamers haven’t heard in over seven years but it still manages to elicit the same passion, the same sense of expectation and the same sliver of anxiety that many have felt in times past. Every so often we can see the distant suggestive flashes that illuminate the coming clouds, which seem to whisper things like ‘redesigned controller’, ‘cloud gaming’ and then there’s that particularly dark and threatening one that seems to mumble ‘used game block’.
I am of course using a clichéd metaphor to describe the coming console generation and in particular Sony’s big Playstation event, which takes place just over 24 hours from now (at time of writing). If you’re a gamer, and you haven’t had your head buried in the sand for the past week, you will already know all there is to know about the New York extravaganza as it’s all that anyone is talking about. When I say “talking” I obviously mean wildly speculating, rumour mongering, fanboy baiting and just plain making crap up. Nonsense aside, this is a very big deal for the gaming industry and its fans as it signals (what some would consider) the first announcement of an 8th generation console (poor WiiU always overlooked).
Although there has been quite a lot of talk surrounding next generation recently it’s nothing compared to what is to come, if my experience is anything to go on that is. Very soon we could have some rock solid information on what we can actually expect to be entertaining us for the next 5+ years. The gaming press are going to go mad and, in all likelihood, it will also spill over into mainstream media. There’ll be analyses, comparisons, even more speculation and some things will end up being taken out of context, you know, the usual, just on a grander scale. We could be looking at the perfect storm and, in my opinion, it's just what this industry needs.
There are some who would give you the sagely advise to not get too excited and they’re right in a way but, personally, I enjoy giddy anticipation and I can manage very realistic expectations while I’m at it. It only happens once every 5-7ish years and I’m not ashamed to say I’m as twitchy as a Kinect avatars shoe doing massive damage to a giant enemy crab. Let’s hope hyper-negativity and fanboys don’t rain on the parade and Sony at least give us a good show.
Are you excited for the next generation? What do you think Sony will announce? Come on, we have so little time left to speculate might as well get some guess-work in now before facts get in the way. Give us some crazily optimistic predictions in the comments section, they will be appreciated, thanks.
Update: Looks like I was right about the next generation spilling over into the mainstream. Almost immediately after/during submitting this blog I notice this...
Sony are going all out with this and it won't be long until everyone is clued up on their next-gen plans.