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The console war is a topic that always reoccurs within the gaming community. Different companies that own gaming systems are always competing to have the most innovative and powerful technology. The console war has been around since the days of Nintendo, Atari, and Sega. These were the classic big three but times have changed and a new era has arrived. Nintendo is the only competitor from the original big three that is still participating in the battle of the consoles. The other two have been replaced by Microsoft and Sony. Now we have the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, all fighting for console supremacy. The companies have already upped their graphics and the amount of exclusive games they have access to, so they must expand their markets. Sony and Nintendo have prepared to do just that with, Sony Vue and Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch is the newest console that Nintendo is working on. The goal of this project is to make their handheld console and their TV console one and the same. The Nintendo Switch will be the first console to be both a handheld console and a home console. People will be able to play their games at home, in the car, and on planes. Many people with gamer addicted significant others have new horrors to deal with now.

Once again, Nintendo will be the first to make such a major leap in the way their console can be played. Nintendo loves to be first but perhaps being first is their weakness. The first innovation, while iconic is also many times the worst. After Nintendo creates this console, other companies will have the opportunity to capitalize off of the flaws of the console. Nothing is without flaw and Nintendo Switch has the potential to be the most flawed because it is the first console of its kind to be released. Sony and Microsoft will have the opportunity to make their own version of Switch and will have time to improve in any of the areas that Nintendo fell short. This situation is exactly what happened with the Wii. The Wii was not around without competition for very long. Sony and Microsoft gave the Xbox and PlayStation motion controls and then the Wii had little foundation to stand on because it lost the only advantage it had, which was being the only console with motion controls. Luckily, it was successful enough in its initial release for Nintendo to be the victor of that moment in the console war.

Sony’s plan for this era of the console war is different from previous attempts by any other gaming companies. Sony is using what is known as PlayStation Vue. The PlayStation Vue has nothing to do with gaming; it is all about television. It allows Sony to attack two markets; they can now tackle broadcasting, television, and streaming. Sony is well known for attacking multiple markets; an example of their multiple market approach is that they made the PlayStation 3 with Blu-Ray DVD playing capabilities in order to target both the video game and the movie market. The streaming service would allow you to watch many major television networks for a monthly subscription with a cost of about $30-$40 depending on where you live.

PlayStation Vue has been around for about a year but did not make much impact before due to a lack of major channels such as ESPN. As proclaimed by Jared Newman from techhive.com, “Everything changed in March, when PlayStation Vue launched nationwide and added ESPN and other Disney-owned channels to its lineup.” Perhaps the one remaining weakness to the PlayStation Vue is that the pricing depends on your location. Depending on where you live you may have to pay more than the $30-$40 price range. However, it is unlikely that Sony will improve only the PlayStation Vue. They likely have a new console in hiding. It has been nearly three years since the PlayStation 4 was released and with a new Nintendo console coming soon, I doubt that Sony or Microsoft will sit idly by without new console plans.

It seems that the next generation of the console war is set to begin soon, with Nintendo Switch coming out in the near future and PlayStation Vue constantly improving. If Microsoft did not have a plan for the next-gen before they likely do now. Nintendo has pushed the boundaries of their technology again by creating a console that simultaneously performs as a handheld console and a home console. However, everyone is wondering what drawbacks it will have when it is released. Sony and Microsoft likely have new consoles in the making that we do not know about. PlayStation Vue could change how consoles are marketed and make cable companies obsolete eventually. The next stage seems to be set; now everyone is simply waiting for the next battle to begin.

 

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