Has the Next Generation Closed the Door on Newcomers?

The next generation of consoles are just around the corner and early looks taken have been very positive as they looked to be quite stacked – but gone are the times where there were more than just two or three options available, and whilst the interim has led to some interesting developments through crowd funding, the door could be closed on newcomers entering the gaming market, and here’s a couple of reasons why any potential third party may think twice about getting involved in the modern gaming ratrun.

Stacked hardware

The early days saw a number of different options available for players from the early Nintendo’s and Sega’s and their own dedicated consoles, the handheld devices that were available too, and the introduction from both Sony and Microsoft gave fans a little more choice – but modern offerings are so stacked on hardware with the underlying architecture to make the most out of that hardware, it has become much more difficult for competition to enter the market and offer the same quality and service that others do without seeing drastic differences in price or performance. For a new console to enter, it would need to be just as powerful, offering the same titles at the same quality but also at an affordable price – a lot of boxes to tick with little room for error.

Changing expectations

Early consoles also had a very different list of expectations – relying only on delivering a solid single player experience there was little in the way of complexity, but the advent and growth of the internet has changed that as expectations have become very different. The growth of esports has been seen particularly in this past weekend as the esportsbetting.site has shown how high the numbers for viewership and participation were at the League of Legends Worlds event, but it has started making its way to consoles as its own esports scene is developing and the introduction of things such as cross-play add further complexity and changing expectations from players – requiring a lot of collaboration, it may become difficult for a third-party to join.

Mobile changes everything

The introduction of the handheld consoles such as the Gameboy early on had a marked impact on the dedicated consoles as a cheaper alternative that was more accessible had become available, and the very  same has happened with the growth of mobile gaming. Whilst at a higher price point now, the accessibility for mobile has always been its biggest selling point and with changes improving performance it has quickly become the biggest gaming platform in the world.

Whether this will have a big impact on the next generation of console is yet to be seen, but alongside the changing hardware and expectations it makes it much more difficult for a newcomer to break into the market when it not only has to compete with the two existing console giants, but also has to compete with the growth and success that has been found in mobile gaming.

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