While we're pretty satisfied with our Xbox 360s here at Everybody Plays, and for those who've just jumped on the 360 bandwagon with Kinect, the announcement of a brand new console may be the last thing they want, it seems like Microsoft may be about to have their hand forced by Nintendo, who announced their new console, the Wii U, at games trade show, E3, last Monday.
According to the latest rumours, which have been leaked to videogamer.com, Nottingham-based developer Crytek UK are currently hard at work on a game for the brand new, and currently unnamed Microsoft system. Some words are thrown around about what the console's capable of doing graphically, but we don't really understand them, nor do we really consider that important. What is important is that Crytek UK, formerly known as Free Radical, are currently hard at work on Timesplitters 4 - at least, according to Videogamer's "high ranking" source.
Timesplitters first started out life as a PS2 launch title, before becoming multiformat, and seeing releases on the consoles of the day - the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox (original). A fun, arcade, tongue in cheek first person shooter, Timesplitters was a game that revelled in ridiculousness, letting you play as characters as bizarre as a robot fish, who, annoyingly, was half the height of everyone else, making him rather tricky to hit, to a gingerbread man, a snowman, a duck (called Duckman Drake), and even a glove with a face drawn on. Oh, and monkeys. Lots of monkeys. With map makers, split-screen co-op, and a heck of a multiplayer mode, there was a lot to like about Timesplitters, which gained it something of a cult following. There hasn't been anything quite like it since - and while the game was initially teased, with the concept art suggesting the single player may take the form of one big parody of games, news of a fourth game's development is rather interesting indeed.
Apparently being shown off behind closed doors at E3, development on Timesplitters 4 has allegedly been under way for some time, with the new console, which we'll dub the Nextbox for the time being, set to be revealed over the course of the next 12 months.
Could we be seeing the Nextbox head face to face into a collision with the Wii U? What will Microsoft's new console bring us? Judging by today's crop of games, it's hard to imagine how graphics can get much better, as it's now fairly safe to say we've reached the point of diminishing returns - each new upgrade in graphics will only bring with it increased costs for increasingly small differences. With Nintendo's Wii U showing a revolutionary new controller, will Microsoft follow suit? What awaits for Nextbox Live? And what about the recently announced Halo 4? Could the be seeing a move to the Nextbox 720?
Nothing's known for sure - but no matter where you're sitting, a new console launch is always an exciting time. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that the new console has more to show than just fancy graphics. On the other hand, it does seem to already have a Timesplitters game in development - and that's no bad thing.