What’s The Messaging For Next Gen?

2026 is approaching rapidly; is it the year of a new generation of consoles? Maybe. A lot of indicators are pointing to it, as the messaging from both PlayStation and Xbox points to the end of this generation. After all, Microsoft is already working on their next generation consoles. Sony will also not want to be left behind.

So there is plausibility in it, from what we can see. When any new console goes on the market, it’s not long until the next one follows up from a competitor. I also think that a PS5 Pro is seemingly out of the question now. I think that decision has been made, by the way. I think it’s full throttle for the next generation of consoles.

I think the reason for that is because we’re talking very small, marginally technological differences. Would it be even worth releasing so close to the fact that Xbox is about to kick off a new generation, potentially in 2026? I don’t think it would be all that wise. But what I will say is that the message is clear. This generation is winding down. Some will say, how can it be winding down when it’s barely even started? I just think that this generation has differed from others because of extraordinary circumstances not under anybody’s control.

I think Xbox is starting to fulfil their promises of games that have been years in the making. It’s been a generation bogged down with industry-wide changes on a whole different level. People say maybe they could of been avoided, but I actually don’t believe that completely. Fundamentally, we’re just seeing a change. That is industry-led and includes everyone. It’s probably the generation of the major reset.

Could we see going into the next generation a generation that emphasizes small-scoped games from some passionate indies that take risks? I think we’re already seeing that, and that is where the innovation is coming from these days. That’s where developers will be able to take the most risks. These are risks without the danger of being shuttered but still be backed because costs remain doable.

I personally feel like this generation has kicked off with major support and direction from the Indies. That direction will only get stronger going into the next generation. So more Stellar Blade’s are guaranteed.

You know, I think the players have already made up their minds about how they want to support this industry. They want to buy and own their games. That’s why PlayStation and Nintendo are so strong. But ultimately, Game Pass is an option for showing your support in a different way. It also helps games be discovered, played, and all the rest of it. So it’s about discovering what banner of support you fall under and how you want to support the industry and its studios that are working around the clock and pretty much 6–7 year lengths to make their next game.

But getting back to the messaging, I think it’s clear. Series S has been a success for Microsoft. It’s going to be interesting to see if they compromise on their specs again. Especially for the next generation. Will they meet the demand for a hybrid dock-able handheld that meets that same level of performance? It hasn’t gone too well this generation because of the complications in performance.

Going head-to-head with Nintendo as well. It’s a gamble, but from Microsoft’s point of view, it’s a way of reaching new players. It’s the portability and mobile aspect that they see as potential for revenue increases. So it’s smart.

I don’t see how Sony changes what have made them successful this generation. What they will want to address, though, is an increase in the kind of content they are best known for. While also, diversifying that content. We’re already started to see a range of changes. This generation, then, has been very much a transitional one.

I think the messaging for the next generation is already under way. I really do. I think the next generation will start earlier. That’s a given, I think the reset is coming, and I also think that this generation will have made a lot of players pretty annoyed with how it’s been handled. Many will seek PC as the answer. But ultimately, this is industry-level change, and maybe people will vote with their wallets with how dismayed they’ve been this generation. But at the same time, it’s clear that the industry and messaging are moving forward. It’s something that’s going to effect everyone, no matter what platform banner you fall under.

With that, maybe it will be worth sticking with the platform you own right now. Because I really do think that on the PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo side of things. The competition and change that’s coming, and the level on content that’s going to be there. I think we’re going to see some really good things cooking. So it might be worth sticking around and just waiting to see what the next generation actually offers. Take the hit on this one and go again. Because I personally see the next generation as being one that is going to be incredible from a technical point of view. I think it will deliver where this generation hasn’t, in many people’s view.

This is not a view I share, by the way. But it’s the general consensus out there. There has been good stuff that has come out of this generation. There is a lot that goes under the radar with a lot of people. But at the same time, next-generation messaging is well under way.

 

Craig Clark

I write about the gaming industry and everything in entertainment.

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