The current generation of video game consoles is the longest in recent memory. The Xbox 360 came out over 6 years ago, and the PlayStation 3 came out shortly after that. Typically, a video game console lasts for around 5 years before phasing out in favor of some new, more powerful hardware. However, with this generation, Microsoft and Sony seem to be in no hurry to get their latest consoles to market. Nintendo, who has seen serious decline in the sales of the Wii, is brining the Wii U along rather quickly. However, for this article, I will be talking about what I would like to see from the true “next gen” consoles.
Video game consoles have reached a point where the changes between systems can only do so much, at least in terms of hardware. Most of the big changes can come on the software side. Obviously, there are improvements that can be made to the hardware, but the graphics have reached a point where any change is going to be incremental, and less ground breaking. Still, there is plenty to improve, and that is exactly what I am looking at today.
All Games Can Be Purchased Digitally
Before you shoot me for this comment, I do not mean no discs; I just mean I would like to have the option to buy every video game digitally from the day it launches. I still expect them to have discs; I just want the option to buy a game without ever leaving the comfort of my home.
Realistically, they have to keep discs around for the sake of retailers. It will be hard to convince a place like GameStop to carry and promote a console when they cannot have a continued revenue stream from software. For spur of the moment purchases, it would be great to just click a couple of buttons and have my new game.
Improved Graphics & Framerate
With current generation hardware, it is very hard for developers to make a top end graphical game that can still run at 60 frames per second. It is not impossible, but it certainly is taxing on the hardware, and requires a huge team to optimize the game to run in such a way. The teams behind Call of Duty have consistently put out games at 60 fps that still look beautiful, but they are not nearly as visually attractive as a game like Battlefield 3. However, because BF3 looks so good, and has destructible environments, they have to run at 30 fps. I would like the see this rectified with new hardware.
I really don’t care if a game looks lifelike, after all, it is a game. If I want to see the real world then I will go outside. I just do not want developers to feel like they have to choose between a silky smooth framerate and beautiful graphics. The hardware for this exists, because PC games like Crysis 2 have no problem pushing 60 frames, while having the smoothest textures, and best looking graphics of any game on the market.
No Motion Controls
This is just dreaming on my part, but in all honestly I hate motion controls. I had a Wii, and I hated it. I have played Kinect at E3 and it seems like a gimmick, and the PS3 Move, realistically, that’s just a better version of the Wii. I’m hoping it is a fad that dies by the end of this generation and, like the Virtual Boy, is never heard from again.
Sadly, I do not think this is going to happen. I think there will be motion controls in both major consoles, and if this is the case, I just hope they are well implemented and they are optional in major games. If they want to stick them in there for people to play EA Sports Active and UFC Trainer, then fine, but please do not shove them down my throat when I am playing Call of Duty and Deus Ex.
Cross Platform Play
Here I go dreaming again, but I would love to be able to play a multiplayer game with people regardless of the platform. Shadowrun made it happen with Xbox to PC, and while that game was trash, it still let gave me a glimmer of hope.
I would prefer to see it from Xbox to PlayStation though. The mouse and keyboard advantage compared to controller in a shooter is large, but there is no advantage between a PlayStation controller and an Xbox controller, so it would be fair. It is technically possible; it is just a matter of making it happen.
Better Build Quality
For this console generation Microsoft faced an absolute PR nightmare due to the dreaded red ring of death. Consoles were breaking at an alarming rate, and they have since rectified the situation, for the most part. I am hoping that the next generation of consoles is built with some quality and attention to detail that will prevent this catastrophe from happening again.
I am about to go buy my third Xbox 360 in the next week or so, and I can safely assume that not many of you out there are still on your first Xbox. It’s a little ridiculous, and it is something that needs to be addressed for the next run of video game consoles.
As I said before, there is only so much that can change in terms of hardware. However, there is so much more that can be improved besides prettier graphics. These changes I mentioned could make for an overall better gaming experience for all of us.
What do you want from the next generation consoles? Let us know in the comments!