Looks like its Spring cleaning time for the videogames industry. Bizheads all over are tossing aside their aging children to make room for newer, shinier ones. Let’s take a look at what’s happened over just the past few days.
Nintendo announced their plans to release a brand new console in late 2012. The device will make its first public appearance at E3 2011, as well as be playable, which starts on June 7 in Los Angeles. Goodbye, Wii, and hello, Wii Wii (or Wii 2 or Wii Are Trying Again or Wii Do HD or whatever they end up calling this mysterious Project Cafe). Not that the company seemed to really care about the Wii for some time, and it looks like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be the last hyped game for the system before its dumped into those bargain bins at Best Buy for kids many years late to the party to pick up for super cheap.
Nintendo seems to also be phasing out DS Lites, stating that once a retail store sells through its current stock…that’s it. No more after that. I guess this is to make more room for the 3DS and the–to some people–stronger upgrade of the DSi. That’s a shame, especially since I consider it my gaming system of choice; many stores and websites seem to still have plenty in stock though, and they are the most affordable version. If you’ve been waiting to pick up a DS, you might want to stop waiting sooner than later.
Sony is also stopping the production of their PSP models. I don’t know enough–or care enough–about that handheld to give you any kind of insight on the matter, but basically, another one bites the dust. More interestingly, Sony is releasing two tablets capable of playing original PlayStation games with updated touch controls. Um…what? Why would anyone want that? I mean, I guess they do more than that, but for some reason, somebody at Sony thought this was an excellent talking point. However, it is not. I barely want to play a lot of original PlayStation games now let alone have to repurchase them and learn new funky control schemes. The only genre I see faring well with this are RPGs because a lot of button-pressing isn’t based on timing or quick reflexes, especially turn-based combat.
I’m kind of glad that Microsoft hasn’t announced a new successor to the Xbox 360 just yet, but I’m sure it’s on its way. Personally, I don’t believe we need any kind of console upgrades just yet, and it’ll be either a hit or flop for this new Nintendo system, which looks like to be launching with zero to little competition. Unfortunately, Nintendo’s systems seem to place gimmicks above hardware, something many gamers are getting tired of, and there’s a lot of rumors circulating that it could have a touchscreen on its controller, but we’ll just have to wait until E3 to really take it all in.
I hope that, at some point, all the companies, developers, and publishers get together and create the Nintendo PlayBox 9000 and put down their weaponry to live, create, and game in utopian bliss.
P.S. All links go to GiantBomb because I’m too lazy to look around for multiple articles. Deal with it.