This edition of the next-gen console Rumors Feature talks about the limitations of Blu-ray, the 4K / 60fps sweet spot, a brand new Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR 2.

New Switch on the way?

Rumors are growing that Nintendo is already secretly working hard on a new Switch! The console / handheld hybrid has been a great success and Nintendo would like to keep the momentum high by releasing a new version, according to The Wall Street Journal. Well, it’s almost standard for Nintendo to release new versions of their hardware, so why shouldn’t this be happening with the Switch?

Nintendo also has an extra stick in the form of piracy. All Switch consoles are quite easy to hack and because in this case there is an exploit in the hardware itself, Nintendo cannot solve this problem through firmware updates. New updated hardware must come to seal the Switch again for hackers.

If this had happened at the end of the console cycle, Nintendo could still have regretted it, as all their platforms are being hacked, but for the Switch this exploit is now much too early. Before it becomes too much of a problem, Nintendo has to put new hardware in the shops. The new Switch will arrive anyway and probably sooner than we think.

Get rid of Blu-ray discs?

It seems that we are not finished with games on disc for the time being. Xbox One and PS4 games are on Blu-ray discs, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for developers to fit all data from their game. The blu-ray discs that the Xbox One and PS4 can read contain up to 50GB of data and that is getting pretty tight these days. That problem gets even worse with the next-gen PlayStation and Xbox, where the files of the games become much larger.

Microsoft may work around this problem by releasing a streaming Xbox that does not require installation at all or tied to physical media, and according to Mark Little, WWE 2K19 executive producer, this is also necessary. He says:

Literally, having Blu-rays as our media is challenging, because the advent of 4K gaming means everything is getting better and bigger and bigger, and we try to add more content every year. One of the challenges we have every year is how do we try to fit everything on to a Blu-ray, and then how do you load it fast enough, because you’re literally talking 50GBs of data. It seems like a funny problem to have, but it is one of those challenges we face , and we talk to the hardware guys about it and they’re like, ‘yeah, that’s hard’. “

Incidentally, there are Blu-rays that can have more data than 50GB, but you need special players for that to be able to play and the read / write speed is much too low. Then you are either waiting for hours before a game is installed on your HDD, or we get super long loading times. Both not really an option.

4K / 60fps won’t be the standard?

Gaming in native 4K, at 60 frames per second, is considered the sweet spot. PC gamers have been able to enjoy this for a while with the right hardware and it is now kind of a dream that this will also be possible with the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation. However, according to Stefano Pinna, founder and CEO of Forge Studios, we shouldn’t count on this.

According to Stefano, it will be possible, but developers will always have the freedom to choose what to do with the extra power compared to the current consoles. He explains:

“I think each developer is still going to decide where he wants to put the new power available. You can steer that in higher resolution and fluidity or you can put insane amount of visual fidelity on screen and render it at lower resolution or a bit less fluid… let’s say that a current-gen game, visually astonishing as a Naughty Dog game can be , would probably run 4K / 60fps with new amazing tech features added… if you want more visual fidelity than that, we are going to lose either FPS or resolution. ”

If I personally had the choice, 4K / 60fps would make me happier than even more graphic bells and whistles. The current games already look seriously fantastic and if you can run those games in 4K / 60fps, they look a lot better anyway. Bring on that next-gen hardware!

PlayStation VR 2 going wireless?

There are more and more rumors about a new PlayStation VR headset, which can be controlled by the PlayStation 5. PlayStation VR has been quite a success on the PlayStation 4, but if we’re honest, we all see that the hardware of both the PlayStation 4 and the PS VR headset itself must be much better for an even better VR experience. Oculus and HTC are also making big steps in the world of VR and Sony must participate in order not to make the gap too big.

According to the rumors, PS VR 2 will have a much wider field of view, which means that that ‘show box effect’ is a lot less and you get the idea that you are in the middle of the game world. In addition, the resolution of the screens will increase, so that the ‘screen door effect’ will be less present. Counting pixels does not make anyone happy. It could even become 4K HDR screens according to the rumors!

The biggest innovation, however, would be that PlayStation VR 2 becomes completely wireless. It is now possible to send HDMI signals wirelessly, without causing any delay. There is an add-on for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to make them wireless, but if we are to believe the rumors, this will all be already in the PlayStation 5 internally. That stupid connection box will also be a thing of the past. Fancy!

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