Gaming becomes smaller, more mobile with the new generation of consoles

Luka Turanjanin, Sectional Editor

The PlayStation 5 and the XBox Series X are coming out in November, and these releases secure the next generation for gaming consoles.

However, when I saw the prices of the two consoles, I started thinking about how they could affect gaming in the future. 

For one, the PS5 has two variants: the standard version, with both disc and digital download for games for $500. Then there’s the PS5 digital edition, where games can only be purchased and downloaded from the online playstation store at only $400. 

The new Xbox also possesses two variants, with more noticeable differences. The regular Xbox Series X, a large console with both disc and digital copies of games available, comes in at $500. Then there’s the Xbox Series S, a smaller console with less processing power than the Series X, but still plays the same games with only digital purchase of games. This console is priced at a surprising $300.

Gamers may have started to notice that the two consoles share a similarity, in they both have alternate variants from the main consoles that only allow digital purchases of video games.

However, this leads to larger implications about video gaming consoles. If these releases say anything, it means that video games are going to become more mobile and cheaper, with only digital purchases of games. 

Let’s go back to late 2016. The Nintendo Switch’s arrival was announced in October that year, only to be released in early 2017. Its design was revolutionary and highly innovative, as players had the ability to having it docked to play the console on TV. They could also change it to a mobile tablet-esque device to play those same games on the go. The Nintendo Switch also was cheaper than expected at the time, with a price of $300.  

What I’m getting at here is that the Switch is a smaller and much more mobile console at the time, compared to the PS4 and Xbox One. It didn’t cost much to make. Now if the PS5 can be cheaper, if you can only purchase games digitally and the Xbox Series S is smaller and cheaper, it means it takes less to build.

Now we’re seeing a change in console design with the PS5 and the Xbox Series X. They don’t need much resources and materials to manufacture such consoles. They have a stronger processing power than past consoles, but with smaller yet stronger technology. With the growing dependency on digital purchases of games, it won’t take much to build such consoles, and it won’t take much money either. 

With a new generation of consoles ready to launch this fall, a shift is starting to be seen more with console design. From larger consoles that depend mainly on disc copies of games, to smaller and cheaper consoles with a heightened dependency on digital games, the next generation gaming is a foundation for innovation.

These consoles are only the beginning of what’s to come.