While a 2016 release for Bioware’s Mass Effect Andromeda seemed unlikely to begin with, a 2017 release coincides with plans by both Microsoft and Sony to release new/upgraded consoles.
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And what better way to justify the purchase of a new console a mere three years out from the release of the originals than by offering a beefed up, “superior” version of a game that millions of gamers have been waiting years for.
Next year seems primed to be a big year for hardware releases, with Nintendo’s NX hitting in Spring 2017 (autumn in Australia), and the rumoured Xbox Scorpio and confirmed PS4.5 hitting sometime between November this year and June 2017. In Sony’s case, a Paris Games Week reveal seems likely for any new console upgrade, but their hopes for PlayStation VR may clash with any prospective plans to successfully launch a console upgrade. It’s anyone’s guess what their plans are in that regard, but we know for sure that they won’t be showing any new hardware at E3.
Whatever the console release schedules are, Mass Effect Andromeda (one would think) would be the primary case for the purchase of a new console. The latest trailer for the game, which you can watch below, was an impressive albeit brief showcase of space exploration and character design, and something tells me that EA is sending a message about the game’s scope and how it ties into Sony’s and Microsoft’s plans for new hardware.
I’m doubtful that it was new consoles exclusively would have been reason for Mass Effect Andromeda‘s delay into 2017, as it’s clear that the game is far more ambitious than anything developer Bioware has made before, and therefore the studio simply needed more time. But for a game with as much scope and freedom as the Mass Effect series offers, and with Andromeda obviously going above and beyond what its predecessors have achieved, it’s hard not to look at it as a well-timed release that ties in well with new hardware plans from Sony and Microsoft.
Mass Effect Andromeda could be one of the first “big” releases that act as any new hardware’s “must have” title: the system seller of a new era, where a slightly upgraded version of a new game is the version to have. Not all that different from cross-generation games that we’ve seen this generation. The major point of difference of course is a technical and visual prowess that is within reach for gamers, and a hardware upgrade that doesn’t render a game collection obsolete over night.
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Would you upgrade to PS4.5 or Xbox Scorpio for a “better” version of Mass Effect: Andromeda? What would it take to get you to upgrade? Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments below!