What's a rolling generation? What are the pros/cons?

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by mrcorbo, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter

    Dec 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I told you I wouldn't argue that there. But I will argue it here.

    None of that requires a rolling generation. You just have to be willing to support cross-gen games, continue to allow games to be published and sold for the prior generation for a longer period past the launch of the new-gen systems (this is easy with digital distribution) and the new-gen has to be able to play all of the games from the prior gen.

    A rolling gen would have the platform holder take two or more SKUs that had been, up to that point, part of a product family, with shared games and shared branding and then sever that tie with part of that product family and forge a new one between some selection of that existing product line and a new SKU. And this would have to be done in such a way that it was clear what games going forward would and would not run on the SKU being dropped off the bottom of the stack. Yeah, good luck with that.

    Secondly, the hardware design decisions made when all the games that will be running on a new design are going to have to also run on a prior iteration of hardware are different than ones you might make where you are free to establish a new baseline hardware spec unrelated to what came before (with the caveat of having to at least equal the prior gen's performance when playing prior gen titles through BC). The One X, for example, was designed the way it was because of its relationship to the One. It didn't get an upgraded CPU because the upgraded CPU wouldn't have benefited the games that would be running on it. If Scorpio had been intended as a new generation, and was set to get exclusive games, a CPU upgrade might actually have made more sense as it would have allowed for games that were materially different. Of, course that (Scorpio being a new generation) also would have been a bad idea. So, if you keep creating these links between products without allowing for some hard cuts you are going to end up boxing yourself in on hardware innovation since every new gen will be tied to hardware that at some point was directly tied (as part of a product family with a shared game library) to older hardware that at some point was directly tied to even older hardware an on and on...

    A rolling gen has exactly one benefit that can't be realized by some other means and that's that it makes later members of a product family a better investment than they would be without it. Everything else is a negative, or is a benefit that can be realized equally or better by a different model.
    Tkumpathenurpahl, Entropy and DSoup like this.
  2. manux

    Veteran Regular

    Sep 7, 2002
    Likes Received:
    It's pc experience in flowered garden.

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