Thursday, December 1, 2011

How Much Are You Willing To Spend On Software Next Gen?

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With the growing rumors implying that Sony’s and Microsoft’s next consoles may being revealed within the next year or so, I’m beginning to wonder just what it will cost to purchase software on these new systems. The price for video games has increased with the introduction of every new home console over the years. Back in the day games for the PS1 cost $40, the price for PS2 titles increased to $50 and today a brand new PS3 game will set you back $60. See the trend?

Assuming the price for a new console game will set you back $70 will gamers finally ask how much is too much? If the next gen gaming experience is anything like what we’re seeing today – single player campaigns only lasting 6-8 hours, extra content that could easily fit in the game being offered later as paid dlc, online passes- will it be worth it?

The first next generation machine we actually know will release in 2012, the Nintendo Wii U, may give us an idea on what we can expect from the future of software pricing. Games on the Nintendo Wii are usually priced at $50, this includes AAA titles like the newly released Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. In comparison a big AAA title on either the PS3 or 360 will set you back $60. The $10 difference is partially due to the fact that the Wii doesn’t offer the same kind of high definition graphics that the PS3 and 360 does. What does this have to do with the Wii U?

According to reports the Wii U is expected to be as powerful as current HD systems which could indicate that software for the console will cost more than its predecessor. If it does this could be a good preview of just how much more we’ll be paying for games on the PS4 and next Xbox.

On the other hand if you listen to the analysts who assume that the digital age, made popular by the iPhone, Kindle and other similar devices, will soon replace disc format in home consoles then perhaps that may offset the cost of video game software. But the probability of that happening is unclear at this point since my crystal ball is still in the shop. We do know that Nintendo won’t be relying on digital downloads as the sole format in the Wii U and I’m going to make the bold prediction ( without my crystal ball ) that neither Sony nor Microsoft plans to ditch the disc based format in their next systems.

So come 2013 or 2014 when the next big gaming machine launches, how much will you be willing to spend on video games?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 and is filed under Opinion Piece. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0.

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