In November 2010, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime stated that the release of the next generation of Nintendo would be determined by the success of the Wii. Nintendo announced their successor to the Wii, the Wii U, during the expo of 2011. After the announcement, several journalists labeled the system as the first eighth generation home console. However, prominent sources have brought this into speculation because of its lack of power with respect to the announced specifications for PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The Wii U’s main controller, and game pad, features a touchscreen that can work as an auxiliary interactive screen in a fashion similar to the Nintendo DS or 3DS, being compatible without the need for a T.V, or screen to be played on. It will act as the main screen itself, allowing games to be played without the need of a television. The Wii U is compatible with its predecessor’s peripherals, such as the Wii remote plus, the nunchuk, and the Wii balance board.
The Wii U was released in North America on November 18, 2012, in Europe on November 30, 2012 and in Japan on December 8, 2012. It came in two versions, the Basic Model, and the Deluxe/Premium Model, at the price of $300 and $349 US Dollars. On August 28, 2013, Nintendo announced production of the Basic model has ended and expected supplies to be exhausted by September 20, 2013. On October 4, 2013, the Deluxe/Premium model was price cut from US$ 349 to US$ 300.
On February 20, 2013, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 during a press conference in New York City, and was released on November 15, 2013 in North America. The new console places a heavy emphasis on features surrounding social interaction; game play videos can be shared on the Playstation network and other services. The users can stream games being played by themselves, or others (either through the console, or directly to other services). The PS4’s dual shock controller is similar to the previous model, but adds a new touch pad and a “Share” button. Along with an LED light bar on the front to allow motion tracking. An updated camera add on will also be offered for the system. It now uses 1280×800 px stereo cameras with support for depth sensing similar to Xbox’s Kinect, and remains compatible with the Playstation Move peripherals. The PS4 will also have second screen capabilities through both mobile apps, Playstation Vita, and game streaming through the recently acquired Gaikai service.
The PlayStation 4 was released on November 15, 2013 in North America and November 29, 2013 in Australia and Europe at US$399.99, A$549 and €399.
On May 21, 2013, Microsoft announced the Xbox One at an event in Redmond Washington. The console has an increased focus on entertainment, including the ability to pass television programming from a set top box over HDMI and use a built-in electronic programming guide, and the ability to multitask by snapping applications (Skype and Internet Explorer) to the side of the screen, similar to Microsoft Windows 8. The Xbox One also includes an updated version of kinect with a 1080p camera and expanded voice controls, a new controller with “Impulse Triggers” that provide feedback, the ability to record, and save highlights from users game play.
The Xbox One was released in North America, Europe, and Australia on November 22, 2013 at a price of US $499.99, € 499 and Australia $599, With Japan and other countries set to be released in the near future of 2014.