WEL­COME TO THE FI­NAL CON­SOLE GEN­ER­A­TION

Or why there will never be a Sony PS5.

GAX (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

Mi­crosoft and Sony have en­gaged in a heated con­sole war for the past 16 years, go­ing all the way back to 2001, when the orig­i­nal Xbox was re­leased oth com­pa­nies also face sti co mpe­ti­tion from PCs, but ay nally be tak­ing sig­nif­cant steps to ad­dress that

At E3 in June, Mi­crosoft un­veiled the Xbox One X, the most pow­er­ful gam­ing con­sole ever built, with an octa-core AMD CPU clocked at 2.3GHz, 12G of RAM, and a six-ter­aflop GPU. It com­petes di­rectly with Sony’s PS4 Pro, which was un­veiled at last year’s Tokyo Games Show. What’s unique about these two con­soles is that, for the rst time, Mi­crosoft and Sony are break­ing their usual ve- to seven-year con­sole cy­cle by re­leas­ing what are es­sen­tially next-gen­er­a­tion con­soles mid-cy­cle and man­dat­ing that all new games must work on both the new con­soles, as well as the ex­ist­ing Xbox One and PS4.

In the past, con­sole gam­ing has re­volved around gen­er­a­tions. Ev­ery veto seven years, Sony and Mi­crosoft (and be­fore them, Nin­tendo and Sega) push the re­set but­ton and re­lease a com­pletely new con­sole built on new ar­chi­tec­ture that is in­com­pat­i­ble with the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. This lack of com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween gen­er­a­tions has al­ways been one of the big draw­backs to con­sole gam­ing.

The other big draw­back is that ve to seven years is a very long time in hard­ware terms. As a con­sole reaches mid-cy­cle, its non-up­grade­able hard­ware starts look­ing very dated in com­par­i­son to the lat­est PC hard­ware, which can eas­ily be up­graded ev­ery year. In fact, “In the past, con­sole gam­ing has re­volved around gen­er­a­tions. ver ve to seven years, Sony and Mi­crosoft (and be­fore them, Nin­tendo and Sega) push the re­set but­ton and re­lease a com­pletely new con­sole built on new ar­chi­tec­ture that is in­com­pat­i­ble with the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.” Sony Com­puter En­ter­tain­ment CEO An­drew House ac­knowl­edged that, “there’s a dip mid-con­sole life­cy­cle where the play­ers who want the very best graph­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence will start to mi­grate to PC, be­cause that’s ob­vi­ously where it’s to be had.” But with the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, Mi­crosoft and Sony seem to have nally solved both prob­lems. Al­though nei­ther com­pany may la­bel their new con­soles as ‘next-gen­er­a­tion’ the tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments over the launch ver­sion of the PS4 and Xbox One are sub­stan­tial enough to make them per­form like nextgen­er­a­tion hard­ware, and games on the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro run at 60fps in 4K HDR res­o­lu­tion just as well as any gam­ing PC.

So what changed? Just take a look at the hard­ware in­side the con­soles. In­side both the Xbox One and PS4 is ef­fec­tively what cor­re­lates with stan­dard PC-style ar­chi­tec­ture – they’re ba­si­cally PCs. With this ar­chi­tec­ture in place, it’s easy for Mi­crosoft and Sony to re­lease new and up­graded ver­sions of the Xbox One and PS4 when­ever the old hard­ware starts fall­ing be­hind. For mar­ket­ing pur­poses, they might even­tu­ally change the name of these con­soles, but un­der the hood, they’ll still largely re­sem­ble the cur­rent con­soles. That means if you’re a con­sole gamer, you’ll never have to worry about back­wards com­pat­i­bil­ity, and you’ll never have to set­tle for in­fe­rior graph­ics again. Your move, PC.

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