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The False Wisdom of the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4

by William Schwartz

fwak-xbox-720-ps4

I first encoutered FWAK (False wisdom and knowledge) pages when combing through Final Fantasy III (VI) FAQs on the early internet in a time before wikis.  I even tested out some of their claims, such as trying to save General Leo to make him a playable character.  It couldn’t be done, but it was fun to read the FWAK pages.

At this point anything anyone reports about next gen game conosles is basically writing a FWAK page.  But it can be fun to let your imagination run wild, and sometimes take a wild stab at an educated guess.

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PS4

Playstation 4

I’ll start with the company and console I know best.  I live in Japan, so I’m pretty much Playstation exclusive, mostly because I don’t have any other choice.  Maybe WiiU, but I’m biding my time.  But Sony’s next gen system is the only console where I can claim to make any sort of an educated guess.

I teach English in Japan and one of my former business students was an employee of Sony.  His name was Mr. Tsuchiya and he worked as a manager and engineer in the R&D section for Sony’s next gen Blu-ray project.  He never gave me any specifics on the details just that there would indeed be at least one more generation of optical data discs before memory storage went the way of flash drives and cloud computing.  CD, DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and then something new.

When I left my last job, Mr. Tsuchiya had moved onto to next gen HD tech, sometimes called Super HD or 2K and 4K resolution.  We had some pretty coy conversations about Playstation 4, Orbis, and 2K and 4K resolution before I left.  He did point out the Super HD wouldn’t be meant for home TV use and only had commercial applications like for giant billboards at sports stadiums and such.

My prediction:  It will be called Playstation 4 (and not Orbis) and feature compatibility with next gen Blu-ray technology.  You’ll also be able to play in 2K and 4K resolution provided you have an IMAX screen in your living room!

xbox-720-logo

The Next Box

Xbox 720

Your guess is as good as mine.  I do find some of the reports interesting that Microsoft wants to make two Xboxes.  One just for hardcore gaming and one just for casual and entertainment services, linked in with all the major TV and movie streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix.  But if they do that, why even call the non-gaming one an Xbox.  To me an Xbox is a gaming console and nothing else.

My prediction:  Microsoft does indeed make two entertainment/gaming hubs, but one of them isn’t called Xbox.  And they drop the 720, because that’s just too big of a number.

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Steam Console

Valve’s Steam Engine

Everything is rumor and FWAK at this point, but this would be the console I want most after PS4.  Since the next Playstation is so much of an inevitability, I think a console made by Valve accessing every game on Steam would be the more surprising addition to the industry, and the one I’d be rooting for most to make it to the market.

Valve would have a strong library of 1st party titles, Half-Life and Portal.  They would bring some of the more difficult to access PC titles to a console audience.  Being a PC gamer is a pretty expensive hobby these days and I had to give it up a long time ago.  My old Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop is not worthy of modern PC games.

And the Steam Engine seems like a pretty good name.  What else could it be called?  Valve named their PC gaming portal Steam and there’s no other way to make that sound solid and powerful.  Steam Cloud?  Steam Boat?  Steam Bath?

My prediction: They do it just for me, so I can finally have access to the Witcher series.

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Apple iKon?

Apple’s iKon

There are some rumors flying around about Apple getting into the console market.  They did make a console back in the day, but was easily forgotten.  Does anybody remember Pippin?  I don’t.  I’ve only become aware of it’s existence fairly recently, just after googling ‘Apple console’ in a hasty attempt to do some research for a FWAK blog.  Apple is the biggest and most profitable company in America right now, thanks to the Chinese working class, and have enough success with their current products.  Then again, there is no such thing as enough success or enough money in the modern economy.  But at this point Sega is probably more likely to get back into the console market before Apple does.

Apple iKon!  And yes, with a ‘K’ because anything else just wouldn’t seem edgy enough.  I’m dreaming that every new console maker has me in mind as their typical customer, the hardest of hardcore gamer.  Playing Dark Souls in Japanese with the lights off on a PS3 controller with a broken L2 button!

My prediction: Not gonna happen!

Future FWAK

WiiYew, WiiVee, Dreamcast 2, Sega Re-Genesis, Nintendo Uber-Famicom, and 4DS (more of a time machine used to go back to the days when handhelds were cool!)

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