With the next generation on the horizon, many gamers are wondering what we can expect. From graphical fidelity to exclusives and third-party support. The three main players; Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have all dropped hints at this year's E3 showcase as to what their future plans are.
Nintendo is in a precarious position as they will have no hardware boost to speak of by the look of things. However, the Nintendo Switch is still going strong as the company has once again carved a profitable niche in the gaming market after the Nintendo 3DS life support they were on during the Nintendo Wii U era.
But with the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles on the horizon, they could encounter an even greater challenge in a severe lack of third-party titles. One could argue that Nintendo's unique first-party titles will keep them alive and well, but I would argue that isn't anywhere near ruling the next generation.
Microsoft revealed long-term Xbox investments in its first-party offerings but beyond Crackdown 3, Halo and Gears we still don't have a good sense of what to expect.
Can Microsoft deliver features and, most of all, games that will tempt people away from the next PlayStation? They would need to be firing on all cylinders when the next generation of consoles are here. However, with backward compatibility becoming a consistent and consumer-friendly trend they may just take it if Sony takes the low road in that respect.
Sony is in the most advantageous position through sheer numbers, but their less consumer-friendly approach as of late is a splinter in an otherwise monumental victory for the PlayStation 4.
If the console's first-party releases hold strong and Sony adopts more open-minded practices, such as providing better backward compatibility and cross platform multiplayer support, PlayStation could take it in a landslide, especially if Xbox doesn't have their first-party offerings up to bat by then.
Nintendo doesn't have the horsepower to keep up anyway and their niche is likely notwithstanding in this fight, but at least the handheld console fully supports cross-play where the PlayStation 4 does not.
Until recently, Sony took a rigid stance on cross-play, but this seems to be on the way to being remedied after the recent Fortnite cross-play debacle. Should they pull something similar next generation it will not bode well for them in all likelihood.
With all that said, the fight for the next-gen crown is bound to be an interesting one: a mix of old, backward compatibility support to name one, and new, features and graphical processing power, will be necessary to win over the consumer base. Nevertheless, it's bound to be an engrossing time to be a gamer as nothing less than the best in every category will win the day.