Why We'll Probably Have A PS4 And Xbox 720 By This Time Next Year

We talk to people. It's part of our job. And lately we're not hearing any big bombshells about the next generation of game consoles, but we're hearing the same buzz we've been hearing all year: the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation are right around the corner.

Microsoft and Sony have been privately talking up their new consoles, the ones that will succeed the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, throughout the year.

Game publishers and developers inside and outside of Microsoft and Sony are working on next-gen games for these machines. Some major game creators have what could be called development kits, though its unclear if that means proper dev kits or simply PCs running at the specs these new consoles are expected to run at.

This is all very vague, of course. It's not like us telling you the measurement of the Wii U touchscreen to the tenth of an inch a year and a half before the system was released. But it's more than you'll hear from Sony, Microsoft or any major game companies, none of whom will publicly admit that the next generation of two major game consoles is coming upon us at long last.

We think you might want to know, so you can budget accordingly.

The first-parties (MS and Sony) won't talk. The game creators won't dare get out in front of the first-parties, which may explain why a game like Metal Gear Solid V gets announced in such a weird way: no platforms announced, not even an official title... just the absence of the official title, a space sculpted so that the astute gamer can fill in the blanks. Go ahead, fill them in.

Earlier this year, we broke news of the codenames of both machines: Durango for the next Xbox; Orbis for the next PlayStation. We also reported that the next Xbox will run Blu-Rays, pack in Kinect 2 and may include some protection against used games. One persistent theory we hear is that one or both consoles might require an always-online connection, but put that a notch below our other reports; that's conjecture, not official word that's reaching my ears.

The vibe I get when I hear about Durango is that Microsoft is on the mark. Sony appears to inspire less confidence.

If you talk to people about the next-gen games at, oh, I don't know, a major gaming trade show or a major gaming awards show, the persistent impression given is that these new systems will be powerful. The old comparison I heard — and saw backed up by a solid report on IGN — was that the new Xbox would be eight times more powerful than the 360. That's old reporting, from earlier in the year. We've also heard that Durango is roughly as graphically capable as the second-most powerful PC on the market today, which, yes, is quite the indirect statement. The chatter we hear is that Durango and Orbis are close in power to each other or at least both in the same league past the current gen. Much may have changed since then and, as any Wii U owner can tell you, it's damn hard to assess how powerful a system is even when playing the first batch of games a developer made for it. (Or don't ask a Wii U user... ask an Xbox 360 user to compare 2005 360 launch games Kameo: Elements of Power or Perfect Dark Zero to 2012's Halo 4).

The vibe I get when I hear about Durango is that Microsoft is on the mark. Sony appears to inspire less confidence, though I've had a hard time nailing down why and discerning how much lost confidence is due to the on-and-off troubles of the PlayStation 3 and the struggles of the Vita vs. how much lost confidence is due to any problems looming for PS4. What I do know is that confidence is high that the next Xbox will be out in time for next Christmas. Confidence is less high that Sony will pull off the same feat, though they want to.

One more measure of how close we are to the next gen of PlayStation and Xbox is how much silence there is right now. From the first-parties, it's the same as it was before Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. But look somewhere else: the covers of Game Informer. That magazine traditionally announces the big games of the following year with exclusive cover reveal after exclusive cover reveal.

In 2011, the magazine revealed games that would almost all be released by early 2013, the majority by the end of 2012:

As of the end of 2012, the games promised on GI's 2012 covers will pretty much all be out by mid-2013. In other words, they're not giving us as far a look into gaming's future as they usually do. Any guesses why?

What does that suggest? Some will say it merely hides the (northern) fall's big 360/PS3 releases. After all, we didn't know about the massive end-of-2012 releases of Black Ops II and Assassin's Creed III until a few months into the year. The same could be happening here. After all, we don't know much about late 2013's Call of Duty (Modern Warfare 4!) and Assassin's Creed yet.

The other theory is that there are fewer games for Game Informer to announce because there are fewer major games for this time next year that can be announced in front of the consoles that will play them. A sound theory?

Consider a few more things as we move from reporting to speculation to some armchair analysis:

  • What does it look like if PS4 and Xbox 720 come out next holiday season? Sony and Microsoft have never launched consoles in the same year before. The one that went first did better than the one that came out next: PS2 in 2000; Xbox 360 in 2005. But is there room for both against a year-old Wii U, potential Valve-backed hardware and the generally-resurgent PC and the presumed iPad 5 and other tablets of Christmas 2013?
  • What happens if Sony slips to 2014?
  • Through all of this, what if the impressive console-market-leading momentum that the 360 has had for two years continues... and people don't feel the need for new consoles? What if game-makers feel the need to keep making games for the 360/PS3/WiiU standard not just through 2013 but into 2014 and 2015, too?

Save your money. Look for clues. Enjoy the games you have on the systems you have, of course. We'll keep you posted and hope that those who are in the know decide to stop clamming up. We'll keep you as well-informed about the future of gaming as we can.


Comments

    I've been trying to decide if the time ifs right to buy sony stocks. But the company had so many arms and problems i wonder if its wise

    "What does that suggest? Some will say it merely hides the (northern) fall’s big 360/PS3 releases. After all, we didn’t know about the massive end-of-2012 releases of Black Ops II and Assassin’s Creed III until a few months into the year. The same could be happening here. After all, we don’t know much about late 2013′s Call of Duty (Modern Warfare 4!) and Assassin’s Creed yet."

    ^.^ No one needs to tell us about another call of duty being released! its pretty obvious 1 - 2 call of duty games are released each year so no surprise people dont give a fuck! you guys just over report on it causing shit! hitler should be brought back to kill a fuck load of people that support call of duty! it is just becoming one big annoying joke now!

      Those last two sentences are wildly inappropriate.

        You mean the second to last sentence is wildly inappropriate. The last sentence is pretty spot on.

      CoD games are the best selling games each year. Yeah.... nobody gives a fuck about them.

    I don't think Sony can afford to let it slip to 2014. They have to realise that the 360 has the lead it does in part due to have that extra time on the market. It is the lead platform for many developers because of that increased time and install base.

    Sony has recently found with Vita that 3DS is killing it because the extra time on the market, extra install base means that the big games go to the 3DS - Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest etc.

    I'm calling PS4 with Vita remote play functionality similar to the Wii U setup. That would be a good reason to buy a Vita, if you've got the $$$, but I'll bet a Vita price drop will happen at that point if not before.

      I agree with the 360 bit but I think 3DS is killing Vita because Vita doesn't have any games that drives people to buy the console.
      If they announce they are going to make Gran Turismo on Vita then I will go and get one straight away.

        Yeah, good point. I guess a Vita God of War, Gran Turismo or whatever might drive up the number of adopters, but Uncharted (which is one of Sony's big guns) failed to do that, and it was a very good game (metacritic 80%).

        If EA decides to put a big name on the Vita like Dead Space, Mass Effect or Dragon Age, then we might see some movement serious. All we've had so far from EA are the sports ports, which are not a compelling reason to buy a new platform.

    When is dem flying cars coming out? Video games keep doing the same ol' thing... beep, boop, beep , boop. etc.

    deleted

    Last edited 19/06/15 9:55 am

      It worked in the way they wanted it to though, the main reason the Ps3 was sold at a loss was to get bluray players into homes and for bluray to eventually replace Dvds which so far they seem to have achieved.

        They put too many eggs in that basket though and didn't foresee the rise of web based delivery. Consequently, disc based formats aren't the money spinner they were during the DVD era.

    The distinct lack of games releases detailed for after about May next year has had me thinking along the same lines - next gen will be out by the end of 2013. At first I thought the games were getting announced later than usual, but I doubt they'd be this late. I never wondered about what might happen if Sony and Microsoft release the same year, tho... that worries me. It means most people will have to choose one or the other, potentially resulting in one of them bombing. At least all indications point to a strong backing of third-party publishers. New hardware at last!

    /ramble

    Nice advertising for Game Informer :P
    I don't think we'll see the next Sony Playstation in 2013 - MAYBE a new Xbox. I just still see a lot of potential with this generation. Doubt Sony and Microsoft are worried about the Wii U - a console 5 years late to the game.

      You wish they werent worried. 5 years too late? keep telling yourself that, because i cant see things changing. Nintendo will still be number 1 selling console and make a healthy profit. That is unless microsoft or sony bring a game changer (like the Wii was) but lets face it, thats not gonna happen. They would have been bragging about it since the last e3 to get everyone excited. Its just gonna be a better 360/ps3 nothing different or new.

        They're not worried. The Wii U is doing really badly, Nintendo are going crazy trying to make people understand that it is a new console and not an accessory.

        Something new? Game changer? You must be 10 years old, or have a really bad memory. Nintendo have been doing the same shit for the last 20 years.

          Obviously havent got a clue do you. Nintendo did have a gamechanger in the form of the Wii. It was such a success even with the 360s massive year headstart and throwing money around for exclusives it still was outsold by the Wii in a very short time. Thats what gamechanger means. And did Nintendo have motion control 20 years ago? Where you born yesterday? Yet you claim they been doing the same shit for 20 years? Keep spewing your bitter fanboy nonsense. I asked you a simple question what will microsoft and sony have on their next consoles so that it can outsell the Wii U? Yup you cant even answer a simple question.

          Their not worried? Your dreaming. Both microsoft and sony havent made a cent on xbox and playstation brands. ZERO. Sure they have been making a profit for a few years, but its not enough to pay of the billions they invested to get them this far. Nintendo has. Look at the situation now. Sony is going down but hopefully they can get their act together but it will be hard , and microsoft? well they do have Windows but the market share for that is dwindling as people move to tablets for computing, you do know that tablets outsold laptops recently right? That means less people that rely on Windows - which means less profits for microsoft to throw around to pay off the massive debts the xbox brand has till now. So microsoft has to fight apple and android, and also sony and Nintendo, so its not going to be easy to throw cash around like they did before. As you can see things have changed since the 360 and ps3 released.

          Wii U is still doing better then either 360 and ps3 did when those consoles launched so i dont understand where you get your facts from. As long as it out sells those two and makes a profit im sure Nintendo will be fine.

    Reading about Sony's current financial situation, you have to wonder if they even have the capital for another console launch. They have a fairly small cash reserve, no profitable divisions, they have the worst possible credit rating (basically saying they can't pay their debts) and their stock is at junk status. How are they going to find the capital to launch a new console?

      I think this is the real question here. Even if it does launch, can Sony restructure to become profitable without collapse and seeking Government Assistance?

      I'll lend 'em ten bucks... twenty, if they ask nicely.

    Steambox will be released and the death of consoles will happen. The world will be a better place for it.

      You're on acid if you think this will happen. You cant just 'bust in' to a pre-existing market and take over. Android didnt. Apple didnt. Steve Jobs' success with the iPhone came from a measured approach over everything the market lacked and put together in one package.

      Steambox at this stage provides minimal details, no degrees of what the hardware will be - what developers will support it or how it will be run. Then theres the problem of converting Windows-based development kits to Linux (which Valve loves) because it isnt straight forward. Theres no out of the box direct conversion for directX to Linux - which will be the greatest obstacle.

        Ah... Android took over Internationally more than a year ago, and is now number in one in Australia too. Apparently can just bust in if people are ready for an alternative.

          Yep, Android busted in. I suppose it depends on your definition of busted, but if you mean take the global market share of a hugely important and profitable market within a few short years, then Android definitely busted in.

          Steambox, along with several other competitors (Ouya), could also seriously hamper the console market.

          I've always prefered consoles over PC gaming - big screen, controller, simplicity, no cheating. If the Steabox acts as a console it will be tempting.

          Android had to build up to that - it didnt just pop in and then roll the market sideways.

          If you missed it, Android had massive issues and no take up rate from its first iterations leading up to the eventual 2.3 Gingerbread which made it more mainstream with devices from 2.1 with HTC's Desire / Desire S on to Samsung's Galaxy S / S2. Right up until Samsung's overwhelming popularity with Android, it was on its way - but Samsung caused the biggest market movement toward Android. Internationally a year ago the S2 was in full swing IT was the single driving force behind take-up rates of Android devices.

          My point still stands, you cant bust into the market without preplanning, prereleases and many months of testing. No solution takes over straight away, it builds to it.

    Not that anyone gives a shit but I've been calling Q4 2013 since the "next gen coming soon" rumours started in 2008.

    Can Sony afford to release the PS4? I won't be surprised if we don't see one. Their credit rating is at junk level, which means no one will loan them money or it will be loaned to them at a massive rate. PS3 they borrowed money to help with its release, they sold the console at a loss at launch and took years to make a profit from it. Currently the Sony are running the PS brand at a loss like all of their departments. They are billions in debt, can they launch the PS4 at a loss like they had done last gen....

    I'm definitely going to wait a good 6 months after they are both released before even thinking about buying one or the other. They always release them at inflated prices and then later reduce the price.. but that's not the reasoning behind me waiting.. I'll be waiting to see which is actually the best.

    Despite PS3 having the best spec sheet on paper, the system was too hard to develop for so we ended up with games being ported from XBox all the time and having games better on the XBox as a result "most of the time".. there were a handful of exceptions of course. So I will wait.

      6 months to a year is ok to wait i think, prices will come down, games will start to get a bit better. Also they may have worked out any tweaks to make hardware better.

    Bring. It. On.

    "what if the impressive console-market-leading momentum that the 360 has had for two years continues… and people don’t feel the need for new consoles?"

    Personally, I don't see this happening. To me the current generation has gone on for far too long and we need some fresh hardware to keep games growing and keep things interesting.
    For example, in next gen games you can imagine that we will see much more detailed, complex and immersive open world environments, and that is something I greatly look forward to for the future.

    Either way, 2013, 2014... When ever they come out, I just hope they will give developers the opportunity to grow and experiment again.

    i think one will come through next year, putting money on sony. They have had a terrible year with the failure that was vita within in the market. so i think they will launch the new console in an effort to gain early buyers and maybe some new followers within the community. Here's to hoping sony can pull off the great console because i think if they flop it like they did with the vita then they wont be around for much longer. either way im sure what ever which ever console comes first the other one will only be a few months behind.

    hearing rumours of a possible "steam box" next year will definetly escalate things. I am really intrigued to see this launch and the effect it will have on consoles.

    this is already a little late for me. I like to update fairly regualy, and the longer it takes to bring out a new console the more change I look elsewhere for entertainment.

    I think that the proportion of gamers that choose to stick with the current gen will be very significant.

    I've owned (and traded in) about 200 PS3 games this gen, I think - whatever the number it's been loads, and I've got so many games that have been sat on a shelf gathering dust. I've not even played Assassins Creed 1 yet, i've barely touched Far Cry 2.

    By the time I get round to playing those games that have been gathering dust, I'll have a massive PSN+ collection still to dive into, and also many games that I want to play for a 2nd time. Some for a 3rd time. I just played through MW3 for the 2nd time and I loved it.

    By the time I've gotten through my collection and my PSN+ collection, all the 2013 and 2014 released games will be available to purchase at a bargain price - so picking those up, which I will want to do, will see me through for another couple of years.

    And that's even if I continue to resist allowing myself to fall into the time trap that is multiplayer. Which I seemed to have lost that battle as I'm in the process of becoming hooked on MW3 multiplayer, and am keen to try out Battelfield 3 multiplayer.

    One option for me is to simply give up on those games that I've not played (much) yet. Simply write them off, and move on to the next gen, and perhaps be a little bit more selective in my purchases. But I'd hate to do that. I love Sega Rally. I've only played it a few times, but it's great. But Dirt 2 is even better. Dirt 3 is better again. Grid is also great. So is Shift. And Shift 2 is awesome. F1 2010 is awesome. Ok, I can let Ferrari Challenge slide, but Motorstorm deserves my time, so does Split/Second and Blur.

    So many games, virtually all of them great.

    Yes PS4 will be better again, but I really think that I owe it to myself and the games that i've bought to spend more time with them.

    I can see myself (reluctantly) skipping the PS4 generation altogether. That would be the sensible thing to do.

      Umm, is this myself posting as an alter-ego?

      I borrowed AC1, didn't end up playing. Bought FC2, played it once. I love racing games, especially MotorStorm!

      Oh, but don't make the same mistake I did and try BF3 multiplayer. I've lost 500+ hours to it so far, and show no signs of stopping :'(

        No, I'm an entirely different person. I've not played BF3 multiplayer, and I never will. I prefer to bake cakes. In fact I've never heard of BF3, I imagine it's a sewing machine or new type of dinosaur. We've never met.I'm not you. How could I possibly be you, silly billy, you must be having a bad dream. Now go back to sleep and never mention this again. Can you smell cheese?

        Last edited 15/12/12 7:45 pm

      My prediction, (and don't blame me if it comes true - I have no special powers here), my prediction is that you will continue to acquire games and hardly play them until the PS4 comes out.
      Then you will rationalise to yourself why you must own a PS4 and that you will certainly play those PS4 games you buy. And all those PS3 games will be left to rot in your pile of shame.

      Just saying... :P

        You might well be right. I've slowed on purchasing games, but not eliminated it.

        I think buying a PS4 is very much going to be determined on price. Price of the PS4, price of the games, price of accessories. If the PS4 releases for under $500, and the games fall in price, to say $30 after 6 to 12 months (as they have this gen), and buying second hand games isn't an issue, then it will be tempting to buy, presuming that there is a definite and significant step up in quality of games. The PS4 will be much more tempting if it uses the same accessories as the PS3, and for me backwards compaitibility will be a big draw card. I don't really care about it having other bells and whistles. I don't feel the need to have a new version of Blu Ray, or a gamepad, or Move 2. If they're there, great, but I'm perfectly happy with just another round of improved specs. The revolution of Motion Control did not offer me that much.

        I think BC will be very important - especially for PSN+ subscribers. If we can't play our PSN games - whether that be "indie" titles, or big full release games, whether we bought them or got them free, it will be important to us to be able to play them. Not allowing BC of PSN games will be a big turn off, and make SteamBox a more tempting proposition. Why build a digital collection if you're going to be cut off from your collection every 5 or 6 years or so.

        I think that I'll probably stick to my guns for the foreseeable future. I am slowly making progress through my collection. I will probably give up some games after a short while of playing them. I no longer need GT Prologue now that I have GT5 (for $12!). I'll give Rainbow 6 and Dantes Inferno another chance but if they annoy me again, that'll be it, they'll have to go. God of War Collection is on it's last chance too - if it annoys me once more it goes - regardless of its high Metacritic rating.

    So what you're saying is its not a good idea to jump off the console bandwagon now and buy a new PC right now huh...?

    Cos I totally did that two weeks ago.

    What are the chances of the new consoles being backwards compatible with the current gen?

    Ill wait a few years like i usually do with sony and let it get a price drop.

    I think the whole RRoD bears mentioning here, if companies try to rush development just to be FIRST! they will lose more than they gain. By cutting corners to make a tight dealine and therefore releasing faulty product people will feel wrong and jump ship. When I worked in retail gaming almost everyday I would have people come in to switch from xbox to ps3 as they were sick of having to repair/replace their RR'd Xbox. I know Xbox is still ahead overall, but not by much anymore and a lot of it is due to people sick of their bs.

      Whose rushing these machines have been in development for a long time and I don't think MS will make the same mistake again.

      Honestly I'm expecting to see cheaper machine $500 or so and them to not be monstrously more powerful, but still be better than this gen significantly. I'm also hoping to see them add something and be backwards compatible. The Wii U is a good example of what I want. More powerful, new feature, backwards compatible (not BS some games but completely) and use Wii Motes as controllers so I already have 2 controllers for it.

        Yeah I think MS would have learned its lesson from the RROD fiasco, but then this is Microsoft. They do do some quite ordinary things with fairly consistent regularity. Some good OSs', some bad OSs'. Some well priced products, some over charged products. Some successes, some failures.

        Windows 8 isn't going down too well. The surface tablets aren't spectacular.

        MS have made huge strides in the gaming industry and a real player. I think they probably will repeat the success of the 360 with their next model, but they could also find a way to cock it up.

    Azif Sony will bring out a new console next year. They don't even have enough money to build TVs these days. That company has been run into the ground.

    Bring out a cloud device Microsoft and you'll trump all competition. No need for expensive end user hardware, put all the processing power into the cloud and stream me my games over my 28800 baud modem connection to a big beige box containing a dumb terminal that I can stain with dirty little hands! Microsoft are in a much happier place when it comes to cloud capabilities than the rest of the competition.

      Try playing any game on the cloud in Australia with our dismally small upload / download speeds and you're going to have a bad time.

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