3 Threats Facing Video Game Consoles: Static Console Hardware Can’t Keep Up With Innovation
Add-ons like VR headsets aside, once video game consoles are in production, their capabilities are pretty much set in stone until the next-gen consoles arrive. That’s usually seven years or so. Hardware can advance rapidly during seven years while video game consoles’ core specs remain unchanged.
That wasn’t a big issue in the early days, but just look at what happened during the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 era. When the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, there was no iPhone, no iPad, no app stores selling 99-cent games, and only 10% of U.S. homes had HD TVs.
The new video game consoles are being called the first generation to be released with hardware that’s already outclassed by what’s currently available for PCs (one developer says 2 year-old, $150 budget PC GPUs outperform the Xbox One and PS4), meaning video games developed for the consoles will quickly look dated compared to the PC version.
At the same time, mobile capability is increasing rapidly, there’s the threat of those cheap mobile games hitting the living room in a big way, and there’s competition like Valve’s Steam Machine initiative nipping at their heals.
And we’re only months past the launch of the next-gen consoles. Who knows what innovative new technology will be released over the next few years that could completely disrupt the video games industry the way mobile did.