With the Wii U gaining steam after E3 and rumored XBOX 720 specs spreading around, next generation consoles keep getting closer and closer to a reality. In a two-part series, we’ll write about what the next generation consoles need to keep up with the phones, tablets, and small gaming devices flooding the market—along with the things that would be detrimental to a gaming console and entirely unnecessary. Starting with the latter, here are the five things next generation consoles don’t need!
5. AR Glasses
This was obviously pulled from the rumored XBOX 720 specs that could at any moment be proven wrong. But the glasses seem like an unnecessary medium between a gaming console and a computer, or the console and a gamer. With the Kinect already available for the XBOX 360, it should be easy to implement individual experiences without resorting to glasses. While it might have a few advantages, such as showing individual players different things during gameplay, it would raise the price of the system and likely go unused by major developers.
4. High Price
The new consoles will likely be expensive machines, but let’s be honest—there’s a limit to how much you can price consoles in this economy. A repeat of the PS3’s $600 launch price would be disastrous to any console who attempts it. As it is, $300 was enough to make people shy away from the 3DS—anything that costs over $400 would likely get snubbed by consumers, even if it’s worth every penny.
3. Mediocre Specs
Unfortunately the worst historical culprit of this has probably already finalized their console’s specifications. Yep, I’m talking about Nintendo. While the Wii U’s graphics are pretty good and gives the Nintendo brand a very necessary boost into HD visuals, the PS3 and XBOX 360 already have that technology and processing power. When they upgrade to new systems, they will likely push the boundary of what can be done and leave Nintendo in the dust…again.
2. Emphasis on Alternative Controls
The last thing we need is a Kinect 2 or PS4 Move. Touch screen support for a console game becomes very silly when you realize you can’t see the screen you are controlling and the screen you are touching at the same time. The Wii U has solved this with two screens, but I can’t imagine anyone comfortably or accurately shooting shurikens out of that remote and into the TV, despite what their commercial promises. Nintendo may have pulled off a console based entirely around a gimmick with their Wii, but even they decided to include a regular gaming controller with their new console. If Sony and Microsoft decide to leave regular gaming behind them and move forward with their gimmicks, they will probably lose the fan base they worked so hard to create this generation.
1. Cable Alternative
The rumored XBOX 720 information also contained an emphasis on converting the gaming console into a TV hub—the console would be responsible for games, movies, and cable streaming, effectively replacing whatever cable box a family would have with their own system. While it’s an interesting idea, this moves the focus from gaming to cable and making a profit from the 4G subscription that TV streaming would require. I highly doubt this cable alternative would be compatible with other machines (unless, of course, those machines were using Windows 8). This leads me to put cable alternative as the worst possibility for the next generation—while plausible, gamers just want to game.
Check back tomorrow afternoon for the five things the next generation could actually use. Are you dreading any features the next generation might have? Let us know in the comments!