Captain Obvious Versus Random
As usual, with any and all apologies to the real Captain Obvious. Wherever you are...
Yeah, just some musing and conclusion - predictions? - on recent events and subjects.
PS4 Preview: Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Overall Sony hit it out of the park with the PS4's announcement. It wasn't perfect however largely because third party devs such as Square Enix presented nothing new during their presentation. Blizzard showing up with Diablo 3 while hinting at some empty Sony-only alliance, offhandedly commenting it was coming to the PS3 as well, might have been the major disappoint to others, but I have to go with those I formally felt trust towards.
The failed appearance of the console itself is both an empty and real concern. On one hand its just the automatic response of fanboys and scandal-revenue sites trying to crowbar in controversy for their own goals, while on the other with around eleven months until release such a trivial detail - which was likely held back for a more in-depth E3 reveal - could just as well result in another Red Ring of Death escapade. Something caused from a production delay because the marketing department held up the outside design until the last minute with little or no time for engineering to confirm how such would effect its insides.
Again my bet is on a full E3 showing, but if there's one thing a self-honest and reasonable person should be aware of, its that the gaming industry is prone to cutting corners, rushing things out and hoping for the best.
What should be of real concern, more so than backwards compatibility, since despite everything being able to play PS1/PS2/PS3 games on the PS4 is more a privilege than right, is Gaikai and game streaming. This is likely how PS+ will be given more value, make the PS4 itself more appealing to newcomers with an instant subscription-based library, but also how Sony plans on weaning used games from their system, controlling piracy, and giving off-line consoles more reason to go and stay online. Always.
On semi-final note in regards to the PS4 for PS3 users intent on keeping the older system for all of their PSN purchases, keep in mind that at some point your console will breakdown. That while it'll likely be replaceable if not repairable, the servers which hold your backup data will be shut down at some point.
The Next Xbox: The Next Cable Box(es)
Given what little and more is coming from Microsoft, there will likely be two different Xboxes. One a full system with physical media and all else, and another which will be a glorified cable box that only plays downloable and streaming media. MS will make both available though cable providers as replacements for cable boxes while the full, standalone, console will still be available through normal retail, but you'll be able to lease either at different prices. Plus XBL Gold. Plus a required internet connection that will come with special packaged deals. And the cable box Xbox will have to always be "on" and online.
This will be an enormous and likely automatic win for Microsoft. Any current or future plans Sony have for the PS4 would become trivial. The Next Boxes wouldn't even need to match or surpass the PS4's specs as the systems practically will sell themselves thanks to a joint ad blitz from MS and any and all cable/internet providers they can bring aboard.
There's more I could - and should - say here, but given the community there's no real point. But I do have more to say.
The WiiU: One Thing
Whether the Nintendo faithful wish to admit it or not, the WiiU is in a query. Currently facing current generation systems and apparently not doing too well, its the next console cycle it needs to be concerned with. Especially when its not particularly flying off then shelves like its predecessor.
All that said I will buy a WiiU. I will buy one for Monolith's "X" project which is likely a Xeno title and features world exploration, giant monsters as well as robots. Transforming giant robots.
Look at my friggin avatar. Web search my name minus the "290". Do not speak to me of the WiiU until that wet anime dream is announced for the U.S..
To sum up, in edit:
Personally my current next generation console of choice is the WiiU provided it gets a certain title in English. Like what I saw with the PS4, but what was shown honestly is really nothing new or all that exciting. Expecting that the Tokyo Game Show more than E3 will change that. Most of its media features are on the PS3, not overly fond of the social one much less its Kinect-clone camera.
Likewise the next Xbox is still a worrisome question mark, but if suspicions are true then its coming general market success will make the brand's fan base ecstatic where such applies. Many others will be S-O-L.