Rumour Control: Next Gen

If you have been at all active on gaming news sites, you would be aware that they are all very preoccupied with the next generation of consoles. Basically if you wanted to start getting hyped for the Wii U, Playstation 4, or NeXbox then you are in luck. The problem is that almost none of the information is true. These sites are relying pretty much entirely on rumour and dressing the rumours up like they are facts. Constantly siting “trusted industry sources” doesn’t mean anything when they get it wrong every time. For example all of the “trusted industry sources” were pointing to a release of the next generation Xbox this year, and saying that it would have a large showing at E3 as well as several older tech-based shows. Microsoft has debunked those rumours and left it simply at that. Today we are going to look at some of the rumours surrounding next gen consoles, and why you shouldn’t put stock in any of them.

I hear Nintendo’s making the Wii U out of discarded Giraffe parts

1.) The Wii U is significantly stronger than the PS3/360

Above: the only new console we actually know about

The Wii U is the one console that we know anything about, as it is the only one that has even been announced so far. Rumours surrounding the Wii U have the biggest chance of being true, but we still don’t know much, as Nintendo hasn’t shown a lot. This rumour is simple. The Wii U is next gen, so it has to be stronger than the PS3 or 360. Truthfully this rumour is likely true, but not necessarily. In a press release concerning the Wii U’s power, Nintendo said that power wasn’t the focus, but that enjoyment is. This is pretty standard Nintendo stuff, but it is surprising that they didn’t address the power issue. This may indicate that the system is not stronger than the PS3/360, but in truth it doesn’t mean anything. Several developers have been praising the Wii U for its specs; although, this too doesn’t mean much when you look at our next entry.

2.) The Wii U is much weaker than the PS3/360

Graphical power!

Like the previous, opposite, rumour, this one is based primarily on logic. Nintendo has not focused on graphics since the GameCube, running considerable weaker hardware than its competitors with the Wii, and DS. What makes anyone so sure that they are going to be pulling out better graphic mid-generation? This is also based on the fact that we haven’t seen much footage on the Wii U, and what we have seen has been pre-rendered. A lot of people actually thought the Wii U controller was simply a new add-on for the Wii. The conspiracy theorists among us are wondering what they are hiding. This rumour is enforced by several developers coming out and saying that it is weaker than the PS3/360. However, that doesn’t mean the rumour is true. There are developers on the opposite side of the fence, and it’s possible that the anti-Wii U developers are just having problems programming with new hardware, not that the hardware itself is weak.

3.) The next generation Xbox is coming out in (Insert Year)

Is this a console or is this something I have to shove into Optimus Prime’s chest?

This could apply for any console, but it has been especially awful for the NeXbox. Since about a year ago we have been told by websites siting “Industry sources” that the next generation Xbox is just about to go into production and it would be available in a couple of months. If there is anything to be thankful for, it’s that Microsoft themselves debunked the rumour that a new Xbox would be released in 2012 or would have a showing at E3. However, if you do a search on Google for a next generation Xbox, you’ll see that the internet is already claiming that “Microsoft confirms new Xbox in 2013 or 2014”. This is ridiculous speculation at its worst. The rumour of the imminent Xbox comes from the fact that there was a brief time where all sorts of “information” was leaked, and people assumed that it was the beginning of the hype machine. Add in the fact that the 360 was released too early to get a jump on the PS3, and you have this kind of crap rumour. Will a new Xbox come out? Of course, but that time is so far unspecified.

4.) Sony’s PS4 will come out before the new Xbox

LSD in the water is the ultimate icebreaker

Basically this is a rumour started by another “industry source” that has gone through a game of telephone. Firstly, if you look at more reputable sites such as Gamespot or IGN, you’ll see that they say that the source is another industry source. However, if you simply do a Google search for it, you’ll see that many sites are claiming that Sony is the one making these statements. While Gamespot makes a point that they could not reach Sony for a comment, other sites are just taking this random source as gospel. Who’s to say that the Gamespot story isn’t totally warped and the original message was that the tipster wouldn’t be surprised if Sony launched first, not that they would. Once again, this rumour is ridiculous and based on faulty logic. The idea is that Sony is only behind Microsoft by about exactly the amount of units Microsoft sold in its year head start, so Sony will want to launch first at all costs. Of course this ignores Sony’s 10-year plan, which they have adamantly been keeping to, and the announcement, actually from Sony, that the PS4 is a ways off yet.

5.) Used Games!

First buy the used games, then kill the children

This rumour exists for both the NeXbox and the PS4. The idea is that the systems will register games with them and will not allow used games to play on their systems. This is by far the most ridiculous rumour that people actually believe. It doesn’t even sound like something an “industry source” would say, but a forum troll. Used games seriously hurt the industry and developers have been trying to find ways to protect their games from Gamestop and the like reselling their games, while giving the developers nothing. This has started a major anti-anti-used games movement in gamerdom. People have gotten their backs up and have been whining on the message boards about this policy for awhile now. I don’t understand how anyone could think that either Sony or Microsoft would risk alienating their fanbase by restricting used game (A policy I’m not against, by the way). Is it possible? Sure. But the news comes across as someone just trying to rile fans up instead of legitimate console development.

6.) Digital Distribution!

Because it worked so well for this one

This is another rumour that has been circulating that has been applied to both the NeXbox and the PS4. The rumour is that neither will have disk drives, or accept any kind of physical media, but instead, both will rely completely on digital distribution. The basis for the rumour aside from “reports” are the same as the used games rumour. By cutting out the middleman (Game retailer) developers can make more profit from their games. Also, people have noticed that many PS3 games are starting to be available digitally. However, this rumour is a total lie. Think about how many people that Sony and Microsoft would completely cut out of their market. I know, Mr. Hipster, that you can’t believe people don’t live in a huge cosmopolitan city, but many gamers don’t live in places where downloading multiple gigabyte games is feasible. This applies to areas in the US, Canada, and Europe as well as all around the world. Why on Earth would either company decide to reduce their market? This rumour makes no sense whatsoever.

I heard from an industry source that the new Xbox will stop your dad from beating you!

Listen, internet, crazy, paranoid internet, I’m not saying any of these rumours are false. Sony or Microsoft may indeed try to curtail used game sales by putting in some kind of used game blocker in their systems. The Wii U may be significantly weaker than the PS3 and the NeXbox has to come out sometime. However, it doesn’t matter if the rumours are true or not. The point is that they are nothing more than rumours, and for every one that has a small grain of truth to it, there are fifty which are just bullshit that exist solely to get people riled up about the system. If many of these rumours didn’t sound like fanboy wars, or trolls, I may give them more credence, but you have to remember, internet: nothing is confirmed.

Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer

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