The eagerly-awaited launch of the next-generation consoles towards the end of 2020 promises to have a major impact on many aspects of the gaming industry.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will both be released in the run-up to the holiday season, sparking what many experts believe will be the biggest console battles of all-time.
Both Sony and Microsoft have shifted millions of their previous consoles and the upgraded capabilities of the new models should help them to sell many more in the future.
Cumulative sales of the PS4 had risen to more than 108 million units by May 2020, while the PlayStation Network had around 94m active users.
By contrast, the Xbox One console had reached over 48m units by June 2020, with around 90m people using the Xbox Live service.
Experts have estimated that 103m next-gen consoles will be sold by the end of 2024, with the PS5 expected to account for around two-thirds of that total.
Read on as we take a closer look at the impact the next-gen consoles could have on the online gaming sector over the next few years.
Casinos Set to Crossover to Consoles?
Many fans of popular online casino games have bemoaned the fact that previous incarnations of consoles have not really catered for their needs.
While there have been some examples of popular poker game types like Texas hold ‘em finding their way onto both the PS4 and Xbox One, the overall experience has been a little underwhelming.
This has proved to be something of a surprise, particularly when you consider just how popular online casinos have become in recent years.
However, developers like Rockstar Games have started to integrate different gambling elements into some of their games and others are expected to follow suit further down the line.
Whether that will result in players being able to enjoy a full-blown casino experience on either of the next-gen consoles remains to be seen, but the future possibilities are certainly exciting.
Cross-Generational is on its Way
The lack of previous support by Sony and Microsoft for cross-generational gaming has proved to be a major source of frustration for fans of the biggest game series.
That issue will be addressed this time around, with at least two of the major titles from the current consoles embracing this ethos.
Both Fortnite and Destiny 2 will allow players to take their current game progress with them to the new consoles and still play against people who stay loyal to the earlier machines.
It had previously been the case that buying a new console meant that you effectively had to start all over again, but that issue looks like it will soon become a thing of the past.
With players also likely to be able to play games with other people regardless of the platform they use, the gaming world will be integrated like never before.
PS5: Power to the People
Early views of the PS5 have significantly ramped up excitement across the gaming sector, particularly with regards to the visual capabilities of the impressive looking machine.
The unveiling of the Unreal Engine 5 was met with huge positivity by gamers – a feature that Sony claim will allow game developers to ‘achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real-life’ on the PS5.
For established game series such as FIFA this is a hugely exciting development and is one which has the potential to fire the gameplay experience into an entirely different stratosphere.
EA Sports had got to a point where they had squeezed every pip out of the PS4 in terms of development and performance and that left the FIFA 20 visuals feeling a little bit flat.
The 8K supported gameplay on PS5 will provide players with much crisper visuals, generating graphics that will make previous versions of the game look extremely dated.
Xbox Series X: Power to the People 2
Enhanced performance is also the name of the game on the Xbox Series X, with Microsoft promising that their new machine will deliver in style.
One of the company’s major aims has been to get Series X games to run at 60 frames per second (FPS) in 4K, with 120 FPS also supported.
This is very good news for fans of game series such as Call of Duty, helping to take the way in-game objects and characters are rendered on screen to a completely different level.
With Microsoft also in talks with tech giants Samsung about adopting ultrawide support on their new console, future games could also be much more expansive than the current titles.
This is an attractive prospect for people who want longevity from their online gaming and creates tremendous possibilities for developers in terms of fulfilling that need moving forwards.