With many analysts saying Microsoft’s answer, the supposedly-title XBox 720, set for release in the Autumn, the buzz has begun for the next generation of gaming consoles.
PlayStation 4 vs. XBox 720 vs. Project Shield
Each company will be vying to get their systems out first, but Christmas 2013 will be the deciding period to see who gets their foot in the market most successfully. And this time round, it isn’t a simple two horse race.
Graphics chipset maker, nVidia, have announced Project Shield, a hand-held Tegra4-based Android multimedia system with tons of interesting features.
But that’s not a console! I hear you shout.
But yes it is. That’s like saying a mobile phone it’s a phone because it’s not tied to the socket in your hallway. We’re living in a mobile world now. So why aren’t handheld games machine just the next evolution of consoles?
The XBox Something
Someone out there knows what the next XBox will be called. The industry seems to think it’s going to be the “720”, a natural evolution from “360”.
But the rest of Microsoft’s systems have superseded the number “7” (Windows, 7, Windows Phone 7, etc.). So I personally think this isn’t it.
I think it could have something to do with the number 8. We’ve just seen the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, so as Microsoft consolidates its major business units it could also consolidate its naming conventions. “XBox 8” seems a bit too obvious and would beg the question – where are the other 5? (Original XBox and XBox 360 notwithstanding).
But I will be amazed if the number 8 isn’t somewhere at the heart of the new name. The answer lies in the BRICS.
BRICS, or Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, forms a league of emerging national economies experiencing massive growth. There are almost 3 billion people living in those countries, more than 40% of the world’s population, so anything that helps to get interest in those areas could be huge.
The number 8 is lucky in China, home to over a billion people, and while this may seem unimportant in the grand scheme, it has been suggested as the reason why aircraft manufacturers have suddenly skipped some numbers and gone straight for the “8”s.
Meanwhile, the number “4” is unlucky in China, and other parts of the Orient, so perhaps Sony will want to name their console something different too?
See the live stream from MarketWatch here.
Update: Sony announced the name of their next generation console… and it is indeed the PlayStation 4!
Update: I’m not the only one mentioning the superstitions surrounding the number 4…. 🙂
Update: More live blogging at http://live.kotaku.com/