As gamers, we’re always striving to be on the cutting edge of technology. Every new console provides us with faster processors, enhanced graphics, and realistic gameplay. But the basic principles of gaming consoles have been the same since the 80s. Eventually, using a controller to interact with your television feels a little dated. Next year, we’re going to be seeing plenty of new consoles hitting the market. These systems are unlike anything we’ve seen before. In just a few short months, “gaming” will take on an entirely new meaning.
Oculus Rift We’ve been waiting for the Oculus Rift since 2012, but initial orders are just starting to ship. Early adopters have a pretty limited selection of games to choose from, but that will all change in 2017. The Rift pairs up with your desktop or laptop computer and creates cutting edge 3D images with a pair of 1080x1200 OLED displays. Every motion you make is tracked on six separate axes, providing sub-millisecond timing. This creates an unbelievable virtual reality experience, unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Next year, the hardware will be readily available. There are tons of amazing games planned for release, making 2017 the year VR finally goes mainstream.
PlayStation VR Oculus isn’t the only company to hop onto the VR bandwagon. The PlayStation VR is a headset that’s designed to pair with Sony’s PS4 console. It’s a little more powerful than the Oculus, with two 1080p displays that are capable of 120Hz video. Instead of motion sensors, player behavior is tracked using the PS4 camera, allowing your arms and legs to be made a part of the game. Since the PS4 is cheaper than a gaming computer, this system is a little more accessible. With Sony’s immense connections in the gaming industry, you can expect that there will be plenty of great titles to back up the platform.
HTC Vive Although it wasn’t the first VR headset to be announced, many gamers are calling the HTC Vive the Cadillac of Virtual Reality. The AMOLED display produces images that are much more vibrant than anything on the market, and the 1200x1080 displays create a wide field of view. But the main benefit to the Vibe is the unique controllers. The two handheld controllers are the most sensitive on the market. They’re perfectly weighted, operating like magic wands that transcribe your motions into virtual actions. Although it’s a little more expensive than the competition, the controllers are the most accurate and natural feeling on the market.
Nintendo Switch If you’re not quite ready to jump into the world of VR, Nintendo’s got another vision for the future of gaming. They revolutionized mobile gaming when they created the Gameboy, and the Nintendo Switch is poised to do it again. The heart of the console is an attractive looking tablet. Powered by the same technology used in the Nvidia Shield, its performance is much higher than any android device on the market.
The high-quality controller splits down the center and clips onto the sides of the tablet, creating one of the best mobile gaming platforms we’ve ever seen. But the magic of the device is that the controllers can be removed, allowing the tablet to plug into your television. Then you can simply use the controller, as usual, enjoying your favorite games on a full-size television.Once released in march of next year, there will no longer be a divide between console and mobile gaming.
Xbox Scorpio 4K televisions are all the rage. People all over the world are enjoying Blu-Ray and Netflix content with more detail than we’ve ever seen before. Unfortunately, consoles haven’t been able to catch up. In fact, the Xbox One often reduces the resolution to 720p in order to maintain high frame rates. The Xbox Scorpio is going to change all of that. Every game will be playable at 4K resolution with HDR color, creating an immersive experience beyond anything we’ve seen before. Like many previous generations, the console will be fully backward compatible with current Xbox One games.
Will this make the Xbox One obsolete? Surprisingly, it won’t! The Xbox One will be forwards compatible with all future releases, with nothing more than a slight reduction in graphics performance. We’ve divided consoles into generations for many years, but today that may all be over. We’ve finally reached a point where consoles never become obsolete, giving consumers more choice than ever.