This last week has been full of reports and rumors all conflicting with one another about whether or not we will be seeing the next generation of consoles at E3 this year. Only question is, do we really need the next generation of consoles already?
Depending on how you look at the question, you could argue either way. What new features would we really want in a new console as gamers? Is the industry ready for the big impending change in the way that we not only play but also purchase games? There are more questions that arise the deeper you look into the topic.
Every generation of consoles should bring something brand new to the table. Something we haven't seen before. Not just a few upgrades from the generation before it. N64 brought true 64bit gaming. Playstation brought disc based games with more space. Playstation 2 and Xbox brought online gaming and DVD's. Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 brought HD graphics, DLC, and online web streaming. Nintendo Wii brought the first motion control scheme into play. (Kinect and Move... yeah yeah I hear ya but they weren't originally part of the system) What's the Wii U, NeXtBox and PS4 going to offer? Better graphics? Duh. Better online connectivity? Of course. The videogame console is rapidly becoming the multimedia center for the household, but WHAT will be the thing that separates the current generation from the next?
While Wii U has already shown us some interesting features, like the controller that will allow someone to play games using the screen on the controller so that they don't have to hog the TV from the whole family. Microsoft has been rumored to have their next gen Xbox to have the Kinect 2 be a part of the actual system as opposed to having a separate peripheral. Sony has been hush about their next gen plans and that Sony has stated that there will be NO PS4 at E3 we probably won't see anything from them until 2013.
EA's Label President said in an interview in August 2011, "The way the business used to run where you had these big console transitions just isn't happening anymore," he said. "They're much longer, the online capabilities are making the way customers interact within the audience very different from when we went from PSOne to PS2. I think that [the age of] big, abrupt change in consoles where we all pile in on top of each other and everything changes overnight is just gone." Source (Tom's Guide.com)
So I've been thinking, what would I as a gamer want for the next gen systems? I've made a small list that I was able to come up with:
- Updates in the Background - This is one of my biggest pet peeves with the current gen systems. ESPECIALLY on the PS3! Having to wait for an update to be able to play or use the system while downloading and installing a system should all be done in the background. I don't want to be kicked offline and wait for it. Have the system download and install it and then have the updates take affect the next time I start the system.
- Backwards Compatibility - It's 2012. Can we not have full backwards compatibility? Not just games, but peripherals as well. Enough said.
- NO MORE MICROSOFT POINTS! - Microsoft listen, we just want to be able to purchase the exact amount for that DLC or XBLA game we want. I almost never have the exact amount of points for downloadable content and don't appreciate you having my money for something I may not even get to use all of.
- Reasonable Pricing for Peripherals - $50 - $60 for controllers?? $40+ for 60GB HardDrive? (yeah its cheaper now but remember how much they were when they came out?) Let me buy any external hard drive I want. Connect it via USB and let me download it on there. Some of this pricing is getting ridiculous. PS Vita is a good example with their outrageous pricing on their proprietary memory cards.
- Let us keep our Achievements - We spent a lot of time trying to earn these achievements and trophies. Although personally I am not a 100%'er on every game, I still would like some recognition for my work.
- Storage in the Cloud - I'd love to be able to save all my games, downloaded songs on music games, and any other information I choose to be saved on the Cloud and be able to have it all available to me when playing at a friends house.
- Use Motion Controls to Add to the Experience - Don't make it so that I have to stand up to play everything with Motion Controls on the Kinect. Let me use my controller and then maybe make a simple gesture with one hand then let me go back to playing with the controller.
Our poll this week is "Do you think we NEED the next gen of consoles?" Voice your opinion by voting and posting a comment below. Tell us if you believe it's time for the next generation of consoles.