The Wii U will be launching this year. It is confirmed, and has been for some time now.(http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu/) What we aren’t seeing is Sony’s and Microsoft’s answer to the Wii U. Sony’s biggest recent announcement is the 4K TV(http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&identifier=S_4KTV) and Microsoft is pushing Windows 8 on everyone who buys a PC(http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com/en-US). Neither company has made any announcement about a serious next-gen console.
Games like Assassin’s Creed 3 and The Last of Us are pushing this generation of consoles to their limits. Even last year, with Battlefield 3, we saw a game that had to disable some features for the port to consoles. When we look at the five of the biggest titles coming out this year: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, Halo 4, Borderlands 2, and Resident Evil 6, we see an interesting pattern. Every single one of those games is a sequel, three of them were started on this generation of consoles (Black Ops, Assassin’s Creed, Borderlands), and three have started annual releases on this generation of consoles (Call of Duty, Halo, Assassin’s Creed. This generation of consoles is coming to an end, so why haven’t we been hearing hype about the PS4 or so-called Xbox 720?
The holiday season approaches. Call of Duty breaks sale records every time it launches, it’s done so for years. Assassin’s Creed, Halo, Madden, Resident Evil, Medal of Honor, Borderlands; these are all huge titles that developers want to be able to sell at $60 each to millions of people. A huge portion of these sales, especially those critical new sales that the developers, publishers, and hardware manufacturers see revenue from, come in the first few months of release. This is the time of year when people spend the most on video games, having worked in a video game store during this time of year, I know firsthand.
Who is going to spend upwards of $200-$300 on video games this year if they know that their system will be obsolete come next Christmas? We will see the announcement for the next generation of systems in the Spring, after we have done our yearly splurge, and given Activision, Ubisoft, Capcom, Sony, Microsoft, EA, 2K, and Bethesda their Q4 revenue, and not a moment before.