Consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation may have their respective next-generation versions launch sooner than anticipated.
The current Xbox and PlayStation consoles are said to exist in the mainstream for as long as seven years, as that’s typically the period premium consoles ride the tide. While it is true that consoles have an average life span of 10 years before being completely shun out, the latest reports suggest that both consoles may be replaced with newer versions before they become out of date by 2020.
There are several reasons leading to such an assumption.
The first one deals with how today’s game consoles are not equipped with the raw horsepower that can support 4K gaming. It is believed that 4K resolution will be the next big thing, and mobile devices are gearing towards this direction.
The second reason stresses the need to have faster hardware in order to support virtual reality gaming.
The third one, meanwhile, speculates that both Microsoft and Sony are in talks with AMD, as the microprocessor-maker is offering a type of hardware that increases the performance of consoles by up to five times per watt.
Both the Xbox One and the PS4 use custom AMD APUs that are based on the Jaguar microarchitecture. If what AMD currently offers proves to be amenable, backward compatibility is expected to remain feasible since the consoles would still run on the same x86 architecture. This will assure gamers that they can still play Xbox One and PS4 titles on the upcoming hardware.
It is also interesting to note that Sony is said to have posted job listings in preparation for the development of the PlayStation 5. According to the listings, the company is looking for a senior game programmer who will lead a team of research and development at Sony Computer Entertainment in the U.S.
While the company’s main office in Japan has offered no concrete details yet on the development process of the next-generation console, the job listing somehow hints that the upcoming PlayStation 5 is indeed in the pipeline.
It remains to be seen how the next-generation gaming consoles could beat the challenges that are seen in today’s current versions. These include shorter life span, practicality of manufacturing, and the transition to downloadable media-only gaming.
Emmett Shear, an executive from the streaming service Twitch, suggested that converting the next generation hardware into set-top boxes is a sensible decision that Microsoft and Sony could make.
In the meantime, Ben Wilson, editor of the official PlayStation Magazine, suggested that the next PlayStation gaming console will come with a new streaming service which will revolutionize the way Sony consoles currently work.