Just posted by Kotaku, there’s been what could be a major leak in the next PlayStation, supposedly on track for 2013. And if half of what we’re reading is true, this will be the last console generation. No, seriously. This really has the potential to kill console gaming.
Its codename is Orbis, which Kotaku insists on over-analyzing. We instead will now christen the new system “Roy Orbison”, or Roy. So what’s Roy packing that will kill an entire freaking subset of the electronics industry?
Roy’s got two very nasty problems: he won’t play used games, and he won’t be backwards compatible with PS3 games. Apparently the system works like this: you can either buy a game from the store on Blu-Ray, or download it (even full retail titles) day-and-date. But it’s locked to a single PSN account. So you’ll just buy games and stay offline? Nice try: the system won’t even start if it’s not connected to the Internet. Any games you trade in will be limited to a “trial mode” and you’ll have to pay to unlock the game.
We’d like to think that this is just games-industry pie-in-the-sky dreaming, but considering the PS3 launch, and all the stuff Sony threw at that, and also that the next XBox is doing the same thing, our gut tells us that this is legit. And that’s bad.
Seriously, if this is going to happen…why buy a console? No, seriously. Why should I buy a console when I can buy an OnLive subscription and an iPad, or a high-end Android tablet, for the same amount of money and get the same thing? Why should developers spend millions of dollars to develop for consoles that deliberately limit their audience? What advantages does a console offer us, the consumers, that we can’t get elsewhere?
As we’ve mentioned before, the entire console gaming industry seems to be screaming LALALALALA WE CAN’T HEAR YOU EVERYTHING IS FINE in the face of some pretty radical changes. When your average high-end TV is going to come with a microprocessor that can easily handle Dreamcast games, and your average tablet has enough power to crunch a PS2 game, your industry is facing a serious and direct threat. And your response is to try and squeeze your target market for every buck they have? Really? Really?!
Don’t do this, Sony. Don’t be stupid. But if you are, don’t expect us to stick around for console games. Oh, and a note to publishers: you might want to start buttering Valve up now. You’re going to need Steam much sooner than you think.
image courtesy badgreeb records on Flickr