Will New Video Game Consoles Revive the Industry?

Over the next year, Sony and Microsoft are set to release new gaming systems. This may prove a much-needed boon to the industry. In May 2013, sales of video games dropped by 25 percent as compared to sales in May 2012. Problems cited for the industry include aging consoles, which therefore have less demand, and fewer games released. Console sales also dropped by 31 percent from the previous year, as did video game sales. Video game accessories dropped by 6 percent. This is bad news for the industry, of course. No industry can afford to lose a third of its business without problems, especially since the trend is expected to continue through June and July.

Image: telegraph.co.uk

Sony’s New PlayStation

At E3, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4. It had previously shared a few details of the system in February, but at E3 gamers got to really see what they might be able to get their hands on this holiday season. Sony says the PlayStation 4 will be much like a PC, except supercharged. With the change to PC chips, gamers won’t be able to use any games bought for PlayStations 1 through 3. Instead, old games can be streamed. There’s plenty of good news to counteract that, though. Like the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4 will be able to play Blu-ray discs and will be backed up by an impressive lineup of releases of new video games developed by some of the best studios across the world. Gamers can easily broadcast their gameplay. A game on the PlayStation 4 can also be streamed to the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s handheld system. If you have subscriptions to Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, you’ll be able to use the PlayStation 4 to stream those to your TV. It also gives you access to Sony’s music and video libraries. It can even be used to access Facebook. The PlayStation 4 also doesn’t require a persistent connection. It can be unplugged from the Internet without problems. Further, Sony won’t restrict sales of old games. If there’s something you want for a previous model, you should still be able to buy it.

Microsoft and Its Stunning News

When Microsoft first announced its new system, the Xbox One, some of it sounded good. It can be used to watch TV, play movies, listen to music, browse the Internet, and of course, play games. Voice commands can take care of all that. So why did gamers everywhere react so poorly? The description of the console is enough to make anyone leery of buying it. Not only must the system be connected to the Internet at least once every twenty-four hours to function, but reps said it should ideally be constantly connected. Microsoft initially intended to restrict sales of old games and require online authentication of games. The One will use the Kinect sensor at all times. With the Kinect’s enhanced sensors, it could potentially collect data on everything from heart rate to eye movement,  or even a person’s mood. It can even detect the number of people in the room. It remains to be seen if new video games can help the system recover from the backlash.