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Will Generation Fatigue Greatly Benefit Next-Gen Consoles?

By normal and historical industry standards, this generation of gaming has lasted a long time.

When the new video game consoles drop later this year, the Xbox 360 will have been on the market for eight years and the PlayStation 3 for seven. Developers, publishers and analysts have all cited "gamer fatigue" as reasons for ailing game sales over the past year or so.

So, does this mean we can expect unprecedented interest in the new systems? With the PS4 and Xbox One supposedly launching at about the same time, many have wondered if there's enough money to go around. In other words, can we expect sales of one to sort of cancel out the other, just because few will buy both consoles immediately? However, that is countered by the recognition of an extra long generation cycle this time around and the legitimate theory of "fatigue."

I'm actually starting to feel it a little myself, and I was someone who had very little interest in the new consoles at the start of 2013. Then I started to see evidence of developer fatigue in several promising titles this year (Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Dead Island: Riptide, etc.) and I began to crave new hardware, which would in turn excite game makers. I think developers everywhere are very enthusiastic about the new generation and in truth, I honestly believe designers have suffered more than gamers over the past few years. Devs love new technology to fiddle around with, right?

And that enthusiasm is infectious. It's getting me, too. Therefore, do you believe that gamer and developer fatigue will result in skyrocketing sales of the next-gen consoles around the holidays?

Tags: next gen, next gen consoles, next generation, gaming industry

5/30/2013 10:09:14 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (27 posts)

Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 11:06:00 PM

I think the time is right for a new generation.

I was the same as you, and many others, where at the start of the year I didn't care for next gen consoles. Thought we could go for years without it.

But now, I recognise that we need it.

Gaming is more mainstream now than it ever has been before, the interest in next-gen consoles is already huge. These days, it's not just gamers, it's kids, mums, dads, husbands and wives, women, men, geeks, jocks, every demographic enjoys gaming in some form. The new tech that is coming in the next-gen will help to further this.

A lot of people say that the next generation will be the end of the consoles, honestly, I think it is just the beginning.

EDIT: Also when you consider the boom of E-Sports in recent years. This is starting to leak into consoles as well. I believe that is a big part of the reason for all this live-streaming features in next-gen. Call of Doody helped push E-sports in consoles too. Gaming TV channels already exist. Maybe one day we will see a Gaming Olympics. I wish.

Last edited by Akuma_ on 5/30/2013 11:16:09 PM

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Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 11:37:10 PM

I agree, there is still no wide usable device that could supplant a video game console right now. I know PC guys keep hoping everyone will stop playing game on consoles and come to their side but that won't happen either for anyone who hasn't already made that move.

Even though our consoles have become more like PCs lately they still represent a simpler more centered gaming experience that is easily accessible.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 11:42:37 PM

I guess I'm getting pretty tired too, knowing that only 2 devs exist that can push the current boundaries (Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream).

Plus it's time for a trend shakeup, we can't keep going in this particular direction and nothing shakes up trends like a new generation.

Lastly, yeah I think we are going to see a lot of consumer interest in these crazy boxes. Remember, to the whole generation of parents who are going to make up a lot of sales the PS4 and Xbox One probably look like another fun gadget to play with that also keeps the kids from bugging you about it all the time.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 12:15:00 PM

hehe, never underestimate the desire of parents to get their kids to leave them alone :) Fingers crossed I won't have to sell a kidney to afford a PS4...

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Deleted User
Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 12:58:09 AM

I'm loving the hell out of this gen. SO many great games I haven't finished and tons I want to go back replay. I honestly think that it could go on strong for a few more years, if we had fresh ideas. Maybe the fatigue is coming from developers having to work on one game the entire gen. And we don't think the same exact thing will happen in the next gen? It's going to be even worse, in my opinion. Companies are going to stick with what works and chug it out as much as they possibly can.

As for the next gen, I have to see something that warrants the term beyond graphics before I get excited. Sure, I'll pick up the new systems purely for the reason that I am a gamer, but I can't say I am excited about the next gen yet. Hopefully, E3 will ramp it up for the PS4 and X1. The Wii U is already looking strong for the holidays.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 2:04:41 AM

I've not seen any gamer fatigue and I know far more would be pumped for The Last of Us, Remember Me, GT6 etc if the PS4 hadn't been announced.

Game sales are tailing off because money is more scarce and hobbies are the first thing to suffer.

There may be an initial flurry of activity on the new shiny hardware and games but I expect that to dissipate quickly.

I think the 360 is getting tired (due to using standard tech?) but they are replacing the PS3 too soon. When we start to see a lack of noticeable improvement in the quality of games THEN we need replacement hardware.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 3:24:56 AM

@ Gabriel,

So you expect Sony to hold off on the PS4 and let Microsoft get a jump on them again? I'm glad you aren't a Sony executive...

And just like ole Benny boy said, the quality of games already ARE suffering. Developers are getting bored with working within the same confines of these outdated consoles. Prolonging this generation will just make it all worse. And then, my friend, not even Naughty Dog or ThatGameCompany can save us.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 10:37:39 AM

Money is not scarce. That's a fallacy. If that were the case, digital sales in the industry would also be suffering and in fact, they're skyrocketing. The general downturn in sales is easily attributed to people not caring as much about this generation.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 5/31/2013 10:51:37 AM

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Monday, June 03, 2013 @ 6:31:31 PM

@ Ben

Money isn't scarce just some people don't have as much available funds to spend as they use to. Digital games may be up because its still a cool game with a lesser price tag thats easier to swallow than $50 to $60 for a game to get that plays kinda like a game I already have.

Games sales are down to a whole slew of reasons but I would say money is a big reason. Its why the restaurant model changed and had to adapt as well

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 2:08:37 AM

TBH I'm not even considering a PS4 on launch day. It's not exactly generation fatigue. The $$ used on that could be used for car insurance, savings, books... booze.
Unfortunately I know I'm not the only one. Some people just have other things to look towards for the future and games aren't a priority anymore. Not to say we abandon them entirely, but there will be a percentage out there that were rabid supporters at the beginning of this gen but then life happened.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 4:58:25 AM

I honestly still don't feel the need, if the PS4 and Xbox Inconsistency were released next year I would still be fine with that. This year still has so many big titles on the way, Remember Me, The Last of Us, Beyond, That Final Fantasy Ligthing game... Grand Theaft Auto 5, Metal Gear Solid V and Grand Turismo 6 for racing fans. If you asked me this question last year I would have said yes. 2012 was probably the worst year in gaming this gen since the PS3 actually began to get good titles in later 2007. But 2013 has turned that around completely with titles multiple top tier titles being released every month or two. So I remain tremendously excited.

But of course I am happy to see the next gen on the horizon, it means by the time I get one in 2014 it will be cheaper by the time I decide to get a PS4 - So I am all for it.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 5:24:54 AM

I've suffered from a quite severe generation fatigue for at least a year already - probably even longer. Last year I hardly bought a game, and those I did buy I more or less bought on auto-pilot. I've barely unwrapped some of them.

But the next PS feels like it's custom made for my personal gaming preferences so how can I *not* be excited, really. I really have very high hopes and expectations for the upcoming generation.

Last edited by Beamboom on 5/31/2013 5:25:11 AM

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 10:54:00 AM

Everything's working out great for you isnt it?

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 11:20:15 AM

I'd say for us all!

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 5:37:56 AM

thats exactly what im worried about though.
whos to say developers are going to create new fresh ideas so people are not bored and sick of them?
consumers are suffering from generation fatigue not because of the platforms, this generation has been the longest ever.
thats not why though, there suffering because every game is just a rehash of last weeks game.
sniper ghost warrior 2 such a perfect example!
starts off brilliantly, a true sniper experience, and so, so, SOOOOOOO different to other games!
than 2 levels in, wait a minute, i swear to god ive already played this level before.
and the rest is history.
uniqueness, originality, creativity, illegal!
so whats to say next gen consoles will change that?

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 7:46:11 AM

I don't think it will. I think development will start off looking new and fresh because it's new architecture and an increase in power over the current hardware but then things will very quickly look samey.
Sales won't be significantly higher and certainly not in the long run.

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Deleted User
Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 9:26:26 AM

I agree. The fancy graphics will dupe the impressionable into believe they are playing something grand and different. Unfortunately, the glory days of the innovation of the fifth and sixth gen are over. If we can't get innovation now, how can we expect devs to suddenly do it with more power? Like giving a dude that can't ride a Huffy a Kawasaki ZX-14. Look at God of War. GoW2 was the greatest in the series on the PS2. Even with all this fancy cell tech, GoW3 and GoW:A, while great games, fell short of that high note. And now you have people begging for another one. Why?? Let's start fresh with new IPs and new ideas.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 10:07:06 AM

not yet, we need a GOW4 to fill in what happened at the end of 3.
we will see some innovative new ideas with thief 4, the witcher 3, and mirrors edge 2, come on thats pretty much a shoe in now.
but then we also have ACIV, CODG, KZSF, ect, ect.
so we have plenty on both fence, which one will prevail?
well ill say this.
this gen started out with some amazing new IPs and new concepts, the darkness, rainbow six vegas, heavenly sword, and they really never saw worthy followups.
this gen started quite well, a influx of new cool ideas, than developers finally started learning the ps3 and started really bringing out amazing graphics and suddenly the creativity took a nose dive.
so im really worried next gen will be the same, start off decently, which it has with thief 4 and the lot, but how long will that last?

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 6:32:16 AM

It's going to come down to money for a lot of people. New and better hardware is great but, in today's economy a lot of folks wont be able to afford it. The excitement is there along with the want but the necessity may be a ways down the road. My kids are all hyped for the next gen but cant afford to shell out the money. The devs are also hyped up with the "new toy" aspect, but I truly believe that they are going to stick with the "give the people what they want" attitude for a while to move product. I dont mean to be a downer here as I am excited myself. I will pre-order a PS4 when available. Another thing that bothers me are the internet providers. You cant tell me that they aren't looking hard at this. How much extra are people going to have to pay?

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 9:16:20 AM

Ah, the active mind of the consumerism who whats the latest sparkling new thing. Reminds me of someone I know who buys the new iPad and iPhone everyime, almost every year, one comes out.

Its called the "Gotta have it" mindset that consumerism has wonderfully bred in to us all. Whether we wish to believe it or not.

I have no fatigue this generation really other that hearing about some peoples... fatigue. If Beyond Two Souls is anything to go by then it tells me there are good story writers out there who can make something fantastic with whatever is at hand.

The old excuse of "Well, its the tech thats the problem. I have visions... but I am not going to share that with you until you get me the new tech". BS. There is a reason devs and some players are having some "fatigue".

1. This gen to my thinking has unfortunately been dominated by the multiplayer component of the business. Well, its dominated the media.

2 We lost good variety of games because devs believe people only one certain types now. Only a few have the balls to try new things or at least a variety. See more of that in the indie games that from the big guys.

3. The story writing for games has taken the backburner for many of them. I won't say most, but many. And those that have a "good" story tend to be watered down so the gray matter can handle it... I guess. What happened to the story tellers out there? Some are around, but seems to be not so many these days.

4. FPS type games seem to be whats being churned out. No wonder the casual gamer has moved to the mobile phone and the indie games. Sorry for us gamer types, who like variety.

Sorry its a rant. I am not that excited about the next gen except for the few games I see coming out such as Second Son. But we have not seen any real gameplay other than maybe the Killzone game and thats just not enough... to get me excited. And you know what. Pretty graphics and more physics does not make a good story. Might make a good place to tell it... but its not the story.

Yep, I am getting old and I guess "fatigued" with the b*tching and blaming of the tech HOLDING everyone back. Plz. Is this going to be the same excuse net time round, if there is, when people say, wait, that rain drop did not fall from the sky and hit the flower petal right. We can do better if only the big guys come out with better tech << sarcasm >>.

Good stories and good implementation is what I want to see, before I am convinced. Personally I think the fresh ideas are just running out. Soon we will be recycling, like people do fashion, our games from the 80's and 90's and make them the new.... 10's?

Anyway, Keep Playing!

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Deleted User
Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 9:40:38 AM

3D games are reaching a zenith. We are limited by 8 buttons, two eyes and two thumbs. We'll face the same amount of people on screen in combat as we did this gen. Otherwise, the game becomes unplayable. People want rush hour streets. How will that work? Especially, when you are supposed to walk or run down the same streets. Are we constantly plowing into NPCs? That sounds FUN!

We need and crave innovation, not bigger budgets to sell us the same stuff in prettier packages.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 10:23:24 AM

I haven't seen a lot because there isn't too much to see. But other than improved graphics I haven't seen any next gen games do things that required the new hardware. Watch Dogs claims that it will be greatly different on the ps4 but we haven't seen that so we have to take their word on it for now.

I personally think we are going to see the same tired crap with better graphics for the most part.

Sure we will still get gems and those gems will be amazing and it will be the gems that actually required the new hardware to create the new gameplay features that exist. We will still have the few great dev teams we have and the indy scene pushing games to new places.

But what about CoD ghosts looked next gen? Not even the graphics really. It has less technical muscle than the original Crysis.

What about the new killzone? Sorry but other than graphics it was the same stuff I have seen in every other shooter. Which isn't bad I just think you don't need new hardware for it.

I mean I wont deny that new crazy games will come out. But I really REALLY doubt that the hardware was needed for these things to happen.

Minecraft is the best example of a game that used old technology to create something very new and special that is mainstream as heck.

I would love if naughty dog made a PS3 game with PS2 or heck even PS1 graphics(smoothed out and hi rez of course) but then used all the left over processing power to create something crazy and new like what notch did with minecraft.

Sadly that wont happen but still that is what I would like to see.

As for next gen I couldn't care less, I have a huge backlog on the PS3 so unless something groundbreaking comes out on the PS4 Ill wait till its extremely cheap.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 3:47:18 PM

I can't say I don't care for the next-gen but I feel somewhat similar. I'm excited because it's the dawn of a new era. But for me there's absolutely no rush to leave where I'm at now because I have a backlog of killer games a mile long and then there's a list of killer games coming that can hold me over for another year or two.

I want the PS4 to get itself established and produce a library of great games, maybe some on discount, and then I'll make the jump.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 11:17:01 PM

It was early and I was feeling particularly blunt :P

But yeah I will wait a while and see what games the PS4 can offer before diving in. If the devs can prove me wrong and there are all sorts of groundbreaking games I'll be very excited and pick the PS4 up when it gets a price drop.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 10:45:34 AM

"...I honestly believe designers have suffered more than gamers over the past few years."

I think this gets at the heart of the matter. Games still look quite good on current gen systems, especially PS3 (Last of Us looks like it's going to be something REALLY special in that regard) but if you read what developers are saying, many of them feel they've hit a wall in terms of unique and new ideas for what they can do with current gen tech. I think that stymied creativity is evident in the needless prequels we keep getting (God of War, Gears of War, Batman later this year, etc.) instead of new IPs, new gameplay styles, heck, even just proper sequels to existing properties that move stories forward!

For this reason more than any other, I'm optimistic about the next generation. Games will look better, no question, but more importantly, I think game developers will have their imaginations sparked when they have an enormous new set of tools to work with. We gamers will reap the benefits.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 5:12:46 PM

meh I won't be getting a ps4 at launch.

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Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 10:39:55 PM

I think "genre fatigue" is the bigger issue. I'm not saying the 10-hour M-rated Action/Shooting genre has to go, but it needs to be severely toned down and interspersed with other things. I have no problem with console capabilities right now, but I have a massive problem with the games on offer. Unless there is some seismic shift in the types of games showcased at E3--and a public beheading of Online DRM--my interest level will likely remain flatlined.

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