New Levels of Procrastination: Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4

Gaming – The New Source of Procrastination

By Spencer Emmerson, Staff Writer

Image courtesy of: Mashable.com

Image courtesy of: Mashable.com

The world is on the eve of a new level of procrastination.

Slowly and methodically, the two gaming giants are pulling back the curtains on their next-generation gaming endeavors. This year, gamers will see a new version of Microsoft’s Xbox — speculatively dubbed the Xbox 720 — and Sony’sPlayStation (PS) 4.

There was a time when student’ only distractions were sex, drugs, and rock & roll. With the introduction of such high-end consoles, a new wrinkle joins the already unwashed sheets of university life.

Procrastination and video games have always gone hand-in-hand, and nobody knows this better than a university gamer.

So what can one expect?

First off: Looks, because believe it or not, there are those who will purchase a console based on looks alone.[pullquote]Creators will be ready to unleash their best efforts when the systems first go on sale, as opposed to waiting years while learning the systems[/pullquote]

Early designs for the PS 4 see it moving away from the black brick that was its predecessor toward a glowing blue orb that appears to be trapped in glass. The design resembles Hal, the spaceship computer from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

On the other hand, it would appear as though Microsofthas boxed itself in with their console name. Each of their previous two incarnations have stuck to the box design, so do not expect them to veer away from it with their new console.

But what really matters lies inside, and speculation has both companies working with similar engineering. It is believed that both consoles will be outfitted with processors that incorporate AMD’s new Jaguar technology. That will allow for less power consumption, but yet better performance.

Gamespot notes that the “Jaguar’s design should be more cost effective and reliable.”

With hardware comparable to personal computers, both consoles represent systems that were made with the game-makers in mind. This represents nothing but great news for gamers. Creators will be ready to unleash their best efforts when the systems first go on sale, as opposed to waiting years while learning the systems — the case with Sony’sPlayStation 3.

With similar processors, picking between the two consoles will be a hard choice. Price might turn out to be the ultimate deciding factor. But at this time, no one is sure what it is. The PS 3 was priced between $499 and $599. The Xbox 360 was priced at $299 and $399 during its original launch. One would have to assume that the prices for the new consoles would mirror their predecessors — the Xbox 720 will likely be cheaper.

But right now, nothing is for certain. Much of what we know is speculation. Sonyonly unveiled the PS 4 graphic and not the console; Microsoft has not revealed anything at all.

One thing is for sure, though. When these two gaming consoles are dropped on the public during this year’s holiday season, students around the world will have a new way of deflecting their studies.

Spencer Emmerson is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s English program. His passions include film, culture, and sports.

Follow him on: LinkedIn 

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