PS3 News: Developers, Not Gamers, Suffering From Generation Fatigue - PS3 News

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Developers, Not Gamers, Suffering From Generation Fatigue

When Crysis 3 failed to pull down the high review scores expected of the widely acclaimed franchise, Crytek boss Cevat Yerli attributed this drop to "gamer fatigue," in that he believes many gamers are simply waiting on the next generation of hardware and are no longer that impressed with what this generation can offer.

But I think he's got that backwards.

I wasn't as enamored with Crysis 3 as I was with Crysis 2 because it felt like a somewhat watered-down version of the Crysis I had come to know and love. Read the full review to understand exactly what I mean, but in short- It felt faster, flashier and yes, a little dumber. It felt like a blend of Crysis and Call of Duty. It was easier, there was less opportunity to really push stealth as a gameplay mechanic, and the story felt rushed. Those appear to be hallmarks of several recent big-budget productions, in truth.

Something very similar happened with Dead Space 3, which tried to put a premium on co-op and faster action without sacrificing the thrills and chills found in the first two entries (especially the original). But that's an ambitious goal and it didn't really pan out, as most series fans will tell you. Even one of the most highest-rated, most accomplished franchises of all time just missed the mark, although I still think it's a better game than either Crysis 3 or Dead Space 3. I'm speaking of God of War: Ascension, which, while plenty great, felt almost...unnecessary. The multiplayer was definitely unnecessary, that's for damn sure.

And let's not forget the freshly unveiled Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, which a great many have found mildly upsetting. It looks fantastic and indeed, it could be fantastic, but most just wanted Ubisoft to take a year off to rethink, retool, and revamp that excellent franchise. A new Call of Duty is coming in 2013 as well (as expected), but Activision was the first to say they don't expect this year's entry to top Black Ops II. That shows they are well aware of the fatigue I'm talking about. ...or else they've recognized a slightly dwindling popularity in their vaunted CoD series, which might be inevitable. And in some ways, downright hilarious.

I have yet to award a 9 this year and by this time, I had expected to see at least three, if not more. The closest that any game has come to elite status in my eyes is the recently released Tomb Raider. And this is because, much unlike the three titles mentioned above, this reboot actually gave us a different experience, and in a way that did not reflect the multiplayer/Call of Duty-fascinated mainstream populace. For the most part, I see developers as suffering more from generation fatigue; it's not the gamers. Gamers will always respond to greatness, regardless of when it arrives.

Of that, I'm relatively certain. So don't hide behind the gamers, Cevat. Developers are the ones showing signs of exhaustion.

Tags: gaming industry, gamer fatigue, next generation, next gen

3/12/2013 11:41:12 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (26 posts)

Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 12:12:28 AM
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The only reason I'm stoked for this next gen is just to see if developers really do deliver this time around, with easier to develop to architectures. See if they can just shut the hell up and see if they are capable of delivering a decent product.

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 12:24:27 AM
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I just miss the old school RPG's (Turn-Based) the most. To me it seemed like all of the variety of games from the ps2 era was non-existant. All I really played either involved a gun, or racing model in the same way. And of course sports games can't really deviate much from their real-life counter parts.

Here's hoping that games like Watch Dogs and Destiny can be a start to something new...and with broader range.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 12:27:09 AM
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Yeah they forgot how to push the limits and just pushed those sequels and prequels out the door instead.

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PC_Max
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 12:36:26 AM
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To be honest I am wondering what gamers ARE expecting with the new console. Gameplay is... gameplay no matter what generation of console. So what are gamers expecting? If its just prettier graphics then.... okay. Lets buy a potentially $500 dollar machine that gives us.... prettier graphics. Not sure I want to spend money just for that.

I really think we as gamers have been spoiled over the last 5 to 7 years with many good games. Sony made the mistake thinking the next step would be 3D gaming... but I am not sure that has really taken off.

What would I expect this generation and in to the next? Some more original stories and worlds to play in. Sandbox worlds are fine but if everyone did that... it would just lead to gamers being over spoiled and people would say they are fatigue with that.

I personally am fatigued with devs. I am glad they are creating entertainment for me and the rest of us, but...come on devs, sit down, take you time, script out a good story with a decent plot in a what if world. Order a pizza, brainstorm and get to it. Oh, and not all games need to have multiplayer attached to it, just where applicable. Coop... a nice option, again where applicable.

Keep Playing!

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 1:38:37 AM
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I think there is fatigue in both camps.
I know I am fatigued. To be totally honest I am dead tired of the PS3 now. And I got such a backlog of unfinished games that I feel bad for buying yet another game for this machine, and feel even worse for buying yet another game for a machine I will put away in less than a year.
So on my behalf I can say the fatigue is most definitely real.

And quite frankly I would be surprised if developers felt it *very* different. They must be tired of fighting against that same wall again and again now.
There is something very refreshing about turning a page and start on a new.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2013 1:39:26 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 10:41:16 AM

I won't be tired until I've played said backlog.

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homura
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 2:45:00 AM
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Most developers are exhausted that they are tired of thinking for a new idea in a game and reviewers are also exhausted of reviewing a game with same gameplay with just a prettier graphics. But soon The Last Of Us and Beyond: Two Souls will come.

And Dead Space 3 will never live up to the first because that's the first encounter, and 3 is still a Dead Space game, not a Gears Of War clone. What if Visceral put Sadako in the 4th installment, will it be more horrifying? Is it still Dead Space?

And the next gen is still going to deliver those same game with the same gameplay just with more prettier graphics. Killzone 4, Infamous. And Watchdogs has assassin creed style of gameplay in futuristic settings.

Beamboom,
You are tired of the PS3? I thought the graphics is not that important for you. There still The Last Of Us and Beyond. Oh wait! I remember, you don't like Naughty Dogs and their linear games. What wall are you talking about? You mean the Cell of the PS3? It's the thing that has given the PS3 more edge over the 360 this gen.


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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 4:04:37 AM

The next generation is not all about graphics, in fact it's the least interesting part of what I look forward to with an upgrade.

I'm tired of the limitations of the PS3. Like the ridiculous shortage of memory that has choked all games, forcing the developers into heavily dependence on scripting, very simple AI and no persistence.

To think that the next gen is only about "more of the same" is depressingly little creative of you. "More of the same" is what we have with the PS3.
With sixteen times more RAM for the developers to be creative with, well that fact alone makes the next gen to be about so insanely much more than just slicker graphics.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2013 4:35:23 AM

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 3:12:56 AM
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I feel that all the right ambition has just been put into all the wrong places. Like with the Ascension comment. I, for one, felt from the beginning that it was going to be lackluster because the first thing they pushed on was the online multiplayer. God of War is NOT an online franchise, and looking at all other games that pretty much lean on the online side of gaming, leave the story tainted, rushed, or whatever else it is they gimped on story to try and make useless online gameplay "better". I haven't gotten to play Ascension yet, but I definitely will eventually. A huge letdown this generation was the amount of gamers that would rather play online multiplayer rather than an enticing story driven plot. I'm just glad we have developers like Quantic Dream and Naughty Dog (Even though Uncharted does come with online, they did a very good job keeping epic storytelling and online gameplay separate enough to make a perfect balance) out there that still have creative minds unlike everyone behind the FPS crazes.

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homura
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 5:27:56 AM
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Beamboom,
The AI is always on the hands of the programmer and it's always based on the story, the capabilities is always there in the PS3, it just depends on the imagination of the developer on how to use it. Have you played MGS4 or Killzone 2? Test the AI. Of course AI needs weaknesses for us so we can finish the game.The problem is that even with this capabilities of the PS3, some developers still don't take this advantage, they still focus on the graphics. And even with the PS4, if they still focus on the single player campaign, it will still have those AI that needed for the story to progress. And it still depends on the hands of the programmer on how they act. That's the limitation of a heavily story focused game, of a single campaign game. Persistent world can be achieved in MMO, Defiance and Destiny comes to mind. What I expect from the PS4 is the environment, on how they behave. For ex: In an RPG game if I've cast a big water spell, I wan't it also to effect the ground, if it sand it should turn into some kind of quick sand, or if I cast a Fire spell in the water I want it to boil. And I really want the armor in real time to show wear and tear. AI will always going to depend if the developer wants it to be difficult to challenge your mind or easy for the casual gamers. And in single story campaign games, story is the most important.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 7:42:00 AM

No, it does not only depend on the developer. If that was the case, the best chess game simulators could have been made already on 80s home computers.

What we've seen in games on the PS3 where people has said "ooh this is great AI", they have mainly witnessed scripted events - ergo no AI whatsoever.

The next time you play a game like GTA4 or Infamous, do something Crazy and notice how the pedestrians react. First they behave scared, then, a few seconds later, they reset into default behaviour again. notice how all pedestrians behave the *exact* same way. Exact same animation, exact same duration. No matter what you do.
That is how limited that AI is - the game can't keep the status of each individual pedestrian in the memory for too long - they need to have their AI engine "forget" everything that happens as fast as possible to make room for other events.

The AI don't differentiate the events or relate to the kind of weapon you use, analyse your behaviour patterns or base their decisions on your earlier actions. There simply isn't much "I" in the "AI". This is not cause the developers have no idea how to do it. It is because there's no room for it.

Another example: The next time you play GTA4, notice the first cars that pops up after you enter the game world. They are usually the same model and even the same colour. That is cause the machine is unable to create enough various models in memory in time for the world to be displayed. So instead of lagging, Rockstar coded the game engine so that it only adds to the world the objects that are ready in memory. Ergo, you initially get loads of copies of the same model. Again, hardware limitations.

These are just a couple very simple/visual examples suitable for illustration. But these things are all due to the limited capability of the current hardware.

With this significant increase in capacity that comes with the next generation it opens up for *much* more complex possibilities. The developers can create worlds with a much higher level of detail - not to mention the things I've missed most of all: Persistence. If I crash through a fence in Saints Row, I don't want the fence to magically restore itself the moment I turn my back to it. Whenever I turn my head in GTA, I don't want to see an entirely new line of random cars driving behind me.

You must realize that the PS3 is an OLD machine now. The world has moved on. This is not a question about x86 or Cell or this or that. It's a question of generation.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2013 9:16:01 AM

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___________
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 6:37:38 AM
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im not sure its that developers are fatigued, or if its because there convinced thats what we want.
the crysis series is such a perfect example of what is wrong with this generation!
1 was so different to normal shooters it was f*cking AWESOME!
2 was even more different to normal shooters and it was even more f*cking AWESOME!
3 is so much more of a michael bay typical shooter its just spoiled the whole feel of the game!
crytek have fallen into the same trap everyone else has fallen into.
were not allowed to make unique games anymore, if a game is in the same genre as another it has to be a carbon copy!
sigh.
im REALLY hoping new consoles will help break this up and bring some separation and uniqueness, individuality to each of the games.
but im not so sure that will happen, im worried were just going to continue to get more of yesterdays leftovers!

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homura
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 6:39:37 AM
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And Beamboom what's depressing little creative of me to think that the PS4 will still have those type of gameplay? Am I wrong? Of course other developers will have balls to push it more further and innovate, you know very well whose developers I'm thinking about. But there's always those developers who will stick to the same formula because it sells a lot. Have I said that ALL the game in the PS4 will have the same old gameplay? You don't have the slightest idea of what the hell I'm thinking about in terms of creativity.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 7:26:26 AM

Why don't you use the reply function?

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Eunoia_
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 8:11:52 AM
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I'm definitely ready for PS4 and - I'll admit it - it's primarily because I want better graphics. I'm no longer particularly impressed with any graphics on the PS3, even from AAA, high budget games. As great as the graphics in The Last of Us and God of War: Ascenaion are, I just know they would have been so much better on next gen hardware. So yeah, I'm definitely fatigued with the PS3.

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homura
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 9:57:05 AM
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Beamboom,

I can't reply properly because I'm using a cellphone.

Those things you've mentioned are not important variables. They reset because they are program to and. But if the developers really want to focus on that, there are ways. You do know in MGS4 if something that you can brake it will remain broke, if you crash something it will remain there. Of course it's not a big open world, but the fact is it can be done it just depends on the developer. I know the PS3 is an old machine. And yes it is limited with RAM. If developers want those AI to have more things to do, they can. And of course the PS4 will do more, it should be because it's the new gen. As I said you are tired of this gen because you don't like linear games. You like open world. And those AI that I mentioned are not simple. Again it's not true that PS3 can't do complex AI, it depends on the developer.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 10:42:27 AM

Of course they reset because they are designed to, but the programmers made it so because they HAD to. They needed the power elsewhere.

Is it so hard to realize that there is a limit to any machines capabilities, and the programmers have to make priorities within that workspace? They need to give more urgent tasks priority cause the machine can't handle it all.

The next generation will too have their very clear limits, who the programmers then will have to relate to as best as they can. But these limits are far, far wider than the space the developers had to work within on the PS3. And with that comes new opportunities.

I don't understand why you are arguing against this? It really is quite logical.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2013 10:57:57 AM

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xenris
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 10:33:28 AM
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Brilliant article. I agree fully with this. It really does seem like Developers are fatigued, the part that especially resonates with me is the "It felt faster, flashier and yes, a little dumber." quote of yours.

This is exactly how I have been feeling towards several big budget titles that have come out recently.

I dont think gamers are getting fatigued of the generation, but the formula that a lot of devs seem to be using in their games regardless of genre.

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wackazoa
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 11:25:15 AM
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I feel that gamers are somewhat fatigued but with the hype not with the games. The publishers are hyping each game as the trend setter, the new best, for the first time ever, etc.. I do believe people are getting tired of this and when the game comes out and they dont promise what they hyped then reviewers maybe are not giving them the scores the publishers want. And maybe a section of gamers are starting to wait and see if the games is all hype.

Publisher propaganda is getting terrible. Look at the recently announced PS4 for the perfect example. It will sell, and it will sell big. But the hype on that thing right now is out of control.

Last edited by wackazoa on 3/13/2013 11:25:54 AM

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homura
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 11:30:27 AM
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Beamboom,
I'm just pissed because you are so happy with the PS4 and it's x86 and it feels like you are so very disappointed with the PS3 and it's Cell and those linear games that makes the PS3 special in this old gen. And the fact you always dis the limitation of the old console because of your love with the open world games. And there's still 2 exclusives coming in the PS3 that is exciting and for you it just doen't matter. And I'm a fan of the PS3. And yes I know the PS4 is much better, of course. I just want to remind you that the PS3 did great in this gen with those exclusives that took advantage of the Cell.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 12:00:16 PM

I've had a great time with the PS3, not sure why you are of a different impression.

The mistake you and others are making is that you imagine I have this fixation on architecture and hardware. I don't. If anything, I have a fixation on software.

I believe this next generation will show you all that in fact it was not the Cell architecture that made the exclusives stand out on the PS3, it was the software. The developers. The PS4 exclusives will be equally impressive. Just wait and see.

The reason I am excited for the PS4 are many, but they are all rooted in my focus on software:

- I believe this change of architecture will bring multiple new developers onboard to our platform. That is nothing but a Good Thing.

- I am 100% *sure* that the multiplat games will run better now. And since practically all my favourite games this gen has been multiplats, this to me is a Big Deal. Again, a focus on the software.

- The hardware spec is what I perceive as much more balanced and flexible. It offer more room for creativity. I say that from a developers perspective but it's not specifically about the x86 architecture. I'd say the same had it been a similar build around another architecture.

- The x86 architecture let more developers much faster get to the stage where they can be creative instead of wasting time to get something to work equally good as it would have worked on the architecture they know. I'm not saying the x86 is better from a engineers point of view - only that developers work best with technology they know, and in the end that benefits the software.

So it's not the architecture in ITSELF that makes me excited, it is the consequences it carries with it. I see all this from a developers point of view, since I firmly believe they are the most important element here.

So don't be pissed. Be happy! :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/13/2013 2:34:22 PM

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PS3_Wizard
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 8:00:46 PM

I don't know why you keep repeating yourself beamboom...you've been saying the same thing since the PS4 was announced, in every article since, and for some reason certain users seem to disagree with all valid points you've been making.

I dont understand how anyone can be upset with a machine that will be LOADS easier to develop for, while still offering a pretty big jump in graphics and gameplay ability. True the jump may not be as huge as past generations, and the architecture will be maxed out a bit quicker, but the bottom line is that an easier development cycle will in turn give us;

-new developers able to understand the system

-better ports from other systems

-shorter developmental cycle

-price of games stay the same

-The PS4 should cost less out of the gate, and receive slightly quicker price drops

Its like everyone who isn't happy with the PS4 has a problem with the hardware. They are forgetting that the hardware isnt what defines gaming...its the GAMES! All signs point to the fact that the new generation should be better than the previous one. How you can be upset with the PS4 is beyond me. I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but damn!

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Beamboom
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 5:00:38 AM

I don't know why I have to, Wizard, but I do know I'm about to give up.

I'm thinking they maybe didn't bother reading my earlier posts, or didn't understand them. Either that, or they just have decided to disagree with me, regardless. I'm not sure.

But if only my opinion this time around were controversial, then I would easier have understood. I can understand that people didn't really listen to me back when I argued why I was afraid the Vita would flop. That was a controversial opinion, and something people didn't really want to hear. I get that.

But now... I don't get it. First and foremost because my arguments this time around is plain facts, but also cause it so clearly is in Sonys favour. So why am I met with this? I really don't know. Maybe it is because I am indirectly saying something about the Cell they don't want to hear. That's probably it.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/14/2013 5:04:10 AM

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PHOENIXZERO
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 5:54:45 PM

Yay! Nothing more needs to be said. Buuuuut...

Every generation shift there's people saying how a new generation isn't needed and that we're good where we're at now and it can't get better, that's simply not true and comes from either denial or ignorance. It's time, it's more than time to move on to new hardware the idea everything is fine with what we have now is silly, things have stagnated because there's only so much you can do with hardware that's pushing 10 years old. Doesn't mean everyone needs to do so right away, hell I lost count of how many games I have back logged at this point and I'm probably two years away from even considering a PS4 because of it.

Developers have been handcuffed for a long time now, regardless of what some may think when it comes to the shortcomings of the current generation of hardware. The PS3 is going on seven years old this year, the XB360 eight! Factor in R&D/design time and that hardware is even older. It's crazy how long this generation has lasted though for obvious reasons.

Developers are definitely looking forward to the day they no longer work in the PS3 and fighting with the hardware's short comings. The new consoles will have their own limitations as well but it's nothing but a good thing that the wall that represents those limitations is being pushed back significantly. From what we know from leaked specs it's looking like the PS4 will be the multi-plat king this time around as well and at worst the PS4 and next XBox versions of games will be nearly identical which is a big improvement over the issues this generation has had.

Yeah, the next generation will still have the issue of sequelitis, that's not going away, ever. It's the safe bet but it's those safe bets that allow publishers/developers to sometimes take risks with new ideas or IPs.

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Ather
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 4:33:19 PM
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Makers need to learn gamers do not want to spend $400-$700 every 5 years for new hardware. Especially when the new tech is not backwards compatible. I for one do not want to have to swap out 5 different consoles to play all my games across the various generations. Nor do I want to play for 3 weeks straight 24/7 just to finish my games in time for the next new piece of hardware.

Maybe if prices dropped to $100 per system, $20 per game, but face facts, that's never gonna happen.

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PHOENIXZERO
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 6:11:27 PM

What? This generation is on year eight now, why are you bringing up the five year thing that is irrelevant at this point? The consoles are going to be $400 at launch at most barring a premium version or bundles. If there's another console generation after the upcoming one odds are the games from the PS4 era will be playable on the PS5 as long as the architecture doesn't radically change.

Of course that isn't going to happen, that's beyond ridiculous. The only way you'd get a $100 console is through a plan like what MS tried with the XB360 and you'd probably end up paying more in the long run.

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