Xbox One and the PlayStation 4: Weirdest. Console. Transition. Ever.

Mark Serrels, writing for Kotaku:

I can’t remember another transition that has felt so half-hearted, so conservative, so burdened by a reluctance to place proper, major bets on new technology…Despite the fact that the Xbox 360 and PS3 had been at the forefront of one of the longest generations I can remember, there was the sense that no-one had faith in the next generation of consoles.

Everyone was in a secure, definitive holding pattern.

As Mark goes onto write, both the Xbox One and PS4 have been selling very well, far better than a lot of the naysayers predicted. The results:

Now we have millions of new console owners with brand new boxes in their homes and nothing to do with them. Because development is long term game. It’s a big arse ship on the open sea and it takes an incredible amount of time to make an about turn.

It’s here that I think there’s more to the story. It’s true that pivoting fast is extremely difficult for AAA titles – true big budget PS4 and Xbox One exclusives (as in, not on any other console platform) should remain few and far between for this reason for a pretty long time, at least another year or two. You’re going to see a lot of cross-gen games with upgraded graphics on the Xbox One and PS4 and little changes elsewhere. Not only are big budget titles hard to switch up mid stream, the very nature of it being high budget and thus high risk makes it important to keep the sales base as wide as possible across multiple platforms.

But I do think indies, will fill out the release calendar significantly. It’s already the case with my PS4: this is the first console I’ve ever owned where smaller indie games like Resogun, Pinball Arcade and Mercenary Kings have about as much combined play time as the more traditional, big budget AAA releases like Assassin’s Creed 4 and Infamous: Second Son.