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On the Eve of the Next Generation

XBox-One Horizon 1000This has been an important week for the gaming world. The Sony Playstation 4 was released and despite some issues is being heralded as a success. Its rival, the Xbox One is being released on Friday and with it the next generation of gaming is upon us. The flow of new games has already started with many, many more queuing up behind them. Along with these releases and announcements, there are the obligatory worries, criticisms and panics concerning what might or might not be changed or removed. There certainly has been a lot of talk. It is to be expected as this is the first major update to the two leading consoles in many years. The Xbox 360 debuted in May of 2005 and the PS3 in November of 2006. That same November saw the release of the hugely successful Wii console. Its replacement, the Wii U debuted last December but has not sold well in the U.S.

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(Selected) Total Gaming Platform Sales | 11/20/13

Pos Platform North America Europe Japan Rest of World Global
1 PlayStation 2 53.65 55.28 23.18 25.57 157.68
4 PlayStation 38.94 36.91 19.36 9.04 104.25
5 Wii 44.95 33.47 12.75 9.28 100.45
7 PlayStation 3 27.45 32.26 9.6 11.24 80.55
9 Xbox 360 44.86 24.87 1.65 7.77 79.15
16 Xbox 15.77 7.17 0.53 1.18 24.65
23 Wii U 1.64 0.87 1.15 0.27 3.93
Source: VGChartz.com | For more poll details

Many predictions have been made about the success of the new consoles and polls have been taken to gauge public reaction. I have written about what I consider unexplainable biases present in some of these polls in earlier posts. Cast Your Vote: Consoles and Cast Your Vote: Xbox One Anger – Is it Genuine? While understand that some of the policies initially presented at the Xbox One’s launch were received badly and that the One costs $100 more than the PS4, I consider these fairly moot points as Microsoft has rescinded the most egregious of the policies and the cost difference is easily lost in the enormous expense of buying games and peripherals. In any case, I simply cannot understand why so many who responded to the surveys were turned off by buying any new console.

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Poll of the Day | 11/10/13

With the launch less than two weeks away, do you plan to buy an Xbox One?

Yes, I’ve got one pre-ordered from a local store 2.58% 907
Yes, I’ve got one pre-ordered online 2.17% 763
Yes, I haven’t pre-ordered, but I plan to find one on launch day 0.56% 196
Not at launch, but I expect to have one by the end of the year 5.4% 1901
No, I don’t have any plans to get one yet 89.3% 31428
TOTAL VOTES 35195
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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Poll of the Day | 11/09/13

With the launch just a week away, do you plan to buy a PlayStation 4?

Yes, I’ve got one pre-ordered from a local store 7.36% 2372
Yes, I’ve got one pre-ordered online 5.94% 1914
Yes, I haven’t pre-ordered, but I plan to find one on launch day 2.28% 735
Not at launch, but I expect to have one by the end of the year 23% 7417
No, I don’t have any plans to get one yet 61.42% 19805
TOTAL VOTES 32243
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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If these numbers accurately represent the gaming public, then I feel badly for Sony and Microsoft and for the industry as a whole.

Despite the GameFaqs polls, the industry is doing well. A recent report aired on NPR’s “All Tech Considered” stated that the gaming industry has grown to $20 billion a year – that is twice what Hollywood brings in. Some close to the industry expect this total to rise to $70 billion by 2015.

I for one am looking forward to the new games and new capabilities, but I can’t escape the feeling that the general gaming public is spoiled and jaded and expects that everything will be perfect at launch. They are ignorant of the fact that the consoles are not the money makers (as it was released this week that Sony spends $381 manufacturing each PS4 which they sell for $399) and that many of the new games do not fully take advantage of the power of the new systems.

For me, the Xbox 360 was a significant milestone for many reasons. It was my return to gaming after a long absence. It was my first gaming console since I was a teenager and most importantly, it is the console that my children are growing up using. When we purchased our first 360, back in 2006, my eldest son was five years old and my twins were three. My eldest took to it like water and I tend to forget just how well he did playing games, some of which are still challenging for adults today. I think of all three of them playing MotoGP 2006 with me. It is still a beautiful and excellent, but very demanding game and I doubt that they would put up with it today. As new games came out and the boys grew, they each found games that appealed to them personally and today they all have their specialties. There are still many new games that they all play together such as Minecraft and BattleBlock Theatre.

My first post, in fact dealt with this feeling related to Pixar’s ”Cars” games (Nostalgic for Cars) and I can easily think of several times when the boys and I all focused on a single game together. Past favorites included Castle Crashers, various Halo iterations as well as the music games, Rock Band and Guitar Hero

But the point is, I have literally watched my boys develop and grow using the 360. They have become better players and in many cases learned valuable lessons about how to interact with those sitting next to you as well as those with whom they play remotely. (My twelve year old now spends most of his time playing with friends on Xbox Live.)

So I am looking forward to the new generation and all that it its expanded technology can bring. The increased graphic capabilities, the levels of interactivity, the integration of the television all have potential to elevate the experience. It took six or seven years to get where we currently stand. I bet that looking back in 2020, when my boys are nearly independent adults, we will have a similarly nostalgic feeling for this time and this new generation of consoles.

Cast Your Vote: Consoles

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I have been considering adding more polls to my blog for some time but quickly realized that the blog does not yet receive the traffic required to make the polls truly meaningful. After a little research online I found several existing surveys I thought were interesting and am sharing them here. The polls range widely in topics concerning gaming-related subjects and in some cases the results are surprising. I might even venture to argue that they are incorrect. Over the next few weeks I will post some of these polls and offer you the chance to weigh in with your own opinions. The polls will be published as posts but then be added to the new blog section as permanent pages.

Our first topic concerns the main consoles on the market today and those coming soon. All of these polls can be found on gameFAQs.com except where noted. I find the results surprising. For full transparency I must admit that I only own an Xbox console and my experience with the PlayStation is fairly limited. But I cannot believe that the results of the online polls are accurate. According to the data from gameFAQs.com, gamers responded not only that they would overwhelmingly purchase the PlayStation over the Xbox (60% vs 3%), but they would buy the Wii U over the Xbox One (13% vs 3%). In my experience I find this very hard to believe. That poll was taken 6/21/13, weeks after the new consoles were revealed but before Microsoft’s reversal on the DRM issues. Apparently though, even the changes to the rights’ policies did not change the responses with 55% stating that they were not planning on buying an Xbox One.

Ricochet.com seems to agree with gameFAQs.com findings. In their article from June 28,  “Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4“, where they quote poll results showing that gamers were favoring the PlayStation 95% over the Xbox One. Again, I find this very hard to believe. Are the respondents all current PS3 fan boys?

Not all sources show the same results however. On June 21, CNET.com posted it’s “Friday Poll: Now will you buy an Xbox One or a PS4?” The subtitle was “Microsoft unveiled some big changes to the Xbox One Internet and used-game requirements. Does this change your mind about which console to buy?” Their results still show the PS4 in the lead but with a much smaller advantage (48% vs 45%). I still am surprised that the PS4 is in the lead and there am conducting my own (albeit unscientific) poll. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

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Poll of the Day  |  06/012/13

Based on what you’ve seen so far, how would you rate the three next-generation consoles?

PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox One 62.91% 32108
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U 18.72% 9552
Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One 13.26% 6769
Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 0.83% 426
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U 3.25% 1661
Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 4 1.02% 521
TOTAL VOTES 51037
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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Poll of the Day  |  07/03/13

Got PlayStation 3?

Yes, I own the newest super slim model 6.07% 2583
Yes, I own the normal slim model 35.19% 14967
Yes, I still have my original fat PS3 26.45% 11249
Not yet, but I might pick one up if they drop in price 9.65% 4103
I used to, but I lost/sold/broke/trashed it 3.28% 1394
No, and I doubt I ever will 19.36% 8233
TOTAL VOTES 42529
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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Poll of the Day  |  07/04/13

Got Xbox 360?

Yes, I own the brand new E model 2.5% 967
Yes, I own the normal slim S model 20.33% 7858
Yes, I still have my original model 360 29.38% 11356
Not yet, but I might pick one up if they drop in price 2.58% 996
I used to, but I lost/sold/broke/trashed it 9.18% 3549
No, and I doubt I ever will 36.03% 13924
TOTAL VOTES 38650
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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Poll of the Day  |  07/05/13

Got Wii U?

Yes, I have the Deluxe 32GB model 16.54% 6259
Yes, I have the Basic 8GB model 2.7% 1023
Not yet, but I plan to get one this year 8.56% 3239
Not until there’s a price drop or a must-have game 33.02% 12495
No, I don’t have any interest in buying one 39.17% 14822
TOTAL VOTES 37838
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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Poll of the Day  |  06/27/13

Do you think any of the new Android-powered game systems (like Ouya, Nvidia Shield, or Mad Catz MOJO) will make a real impact on gaming?

Yes, they are leading the true next generation of game systems 0.77% 294
Possibly, they’ll be real competition to the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One 1.32% 506
Maybe, if they can get some big-name quality exclusive games 21.83% 8340
Not really, they can’t really compete with true game consoles and portables 45.72% 17464
Not at all, I don’t expect any of them to be sold by this time next year 10.27% 3922
No, because I haven’t even heard of any of those systems until now 20.09% 7675
TOTAL VOTES 38201
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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Poll of the Day  |  06/27/13

How many different game consoles do you currently have hooked up and ready to play in your home?

None – I’m not really a console gamer 4.92% 2091
Just one – that’s all I need 23.08% 9815
Two or three – Enough to cover the exclusive games 43.19% 18372
Four or five – Spanning more than one generation 19.64% 8355
Six to ten – I’ve got a huge choice of systems 6.4% 2722
More than ten – I’m a bit of a collector 2.77% 1178
TOTAL VOTES 42533
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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Poll of the Day  |  06/27/13

Has Microsoft’s reversal on the Xbox One’s DRM policies made you reconsider buying one?

I was planning to buy one anyway, so it didn’t change my mind 5.18% 1984
Yes, I was hesitant before, but I’m definitely getting one now 3.9% 1494
A little, I’m not sold on it quite yet, but I’m warming up 18.05% 6911
Not really, I’m still not planning to buy one 55.92% 21411
Not at all, I’m probably even less likely to buy one now 16.94% 6487
TOTAL VOTES 38287
Source: GameFAQs.com | For more poll details

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