The Game Industry is saying, “Scorpio is not the Next Gen of Xbox. Neo is not the Next Gen of PS4. They are there to merely extend the life of the machines.”
This is nonsense. A generation depends on time, not on a ‘lifespan’ of a product. Some game consoles do keep selling into other generations. PS2 kept selling well into Generation 7 though it is best defined as a Generation 6 product. NES kept selling into Generation 4 but it is clearly a Generation 3 product.
Gameboy was released in Generation 3 (NES Era). I know Wikipedia pegs the Gameboy at Generation 4, but whatever. The point is that the true ‘next gen’ of gameboy was the Gameboy Advance which was released in Generation 6. We had Gameboy Pocket, Gameboy Color, and so on. With the DS of Generation 7, we had DS, DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL.
While it is true that the DSi and DSi XL extended the DS lifespan, the DSi XL could be said to belong to Generation 8 simply if you interpret Generation 8 to start at 2010.
The generation differences in console is not due to ‘next gen’ marketing but due to time periods. It is *that* simple.
Nintendo home consoles have been obeying the generational time shifts by putting out hardware for each period. After the long ass First Generation (which is probably so we can include the not-so-successful consoles such as the Odyssey), each generation has been around 5-6 years.
If you place new hardware during that time and say, “It is not New Gen, it is extending the life of the old console.” That is fine and dandy. But that new hardware belongs to the epoch of that Generation even if the old hardware can play the new games.
Generation is defined by time, not by hardware. People are getting confused because they think generations are defined by new hardware. They are not.
Where is the Seventh Generation Sega hardware? There isn’t any. The Sega line ends in the Sixth Generation. But let us say Sega came out with a console today. It would belong in Generation Nine, not Generation Seven. Time is the differentiation, not hardware.
Generation Eight began in 2012.
Generation Nine will probably begin in 2017. That is five years difference which is the norm. Each generation is half a decade.
This suggests Generation Ten will begin in 2022. That is five years from 2017.
If Scorpio and Neo are the only hardware Microsoft and Sony release before 2022, then Scorpio and Neo belong to Generation 9, not Generation 8.
“But it isn’t Next Gen because it doesn’t say PlayStation FIVE on it.”
But it IS next gen. It just says Sony doesn’t know how to obey the generation time shifts and is trying to sell a console architecture for two generations.
Nintendo has been obeying the generational time shifts by putting out new hardware every five to six years. The late Iwata mocked Sony’s notion that they didn’t have to obey the time shifts (back during the PS3 era when Sony was saying the PS3 was going to be a ten year machine). The PS3 was NOT a ten year machine. Sony had to put out the PS4. PS3 was launched in 2006. PS4 was launched in 2012.
Sony is launching new PlayStation hardware in 2017. “But it is not PS5!” It may not be a PS5, but it does belong to Generation 8. It is Sony’s hardware response to the time shift of that generation provided that PS5 doesn’t appear until 2022.
The Game Industry does not write the epochs of the console generations.
It is the console generations that write the epochs of the game industry.
Time is the master of all things… including money and business.