After yesterday’s article, we can talk about things that the next generation consoles actually need. This is a list of console and company policies that the big three developers ought to follow if they want to get this generation right and compete with their unexpected phone and tablet rivals.
5. Better Motion Control Support
I don’t think motion controls should be the emphasis, but if you think about it, a lot of the technology behind current motion controls is amazing and could use some better games. Recycling the Kinect, PS Move, and Wiimote allows them to gain new, better games. As it stands, the only decent game for the PS Move is Sorcery, and the Kinect is stuck with a bunch of arcade shooters because no one’s figured out a decent way to move characters through motion controls. Seeing actual games for all of these in the next generation would be nice. It wouldn’t be good as a focus—normal controls are the standard for a reason: everyone is most comfortable with regular controllers. However, continuing to support the old motion controls and explore their potential would be nice.
4. Backwards Compatibility
Backwards Compatibility is always an issue in new machines, since it determines whether a gamer can even use his collection of old games by trading them in. Keeping that compatibility in throughout all incarnations of the system would also be nice—it’s actually cheaper to get a PS2 and PS3 than a PS3 with PS2 compatibility, since they removed it after a few years, and warranties no longer cover old systems. Being able to use old controllers is also a bonus, especially for families who would have multiple people playing all the time.
3. Decent Internet Browser
I don’t think Internet Explorer 8 should be included in the next gen, per se. I think any Internet browser will do—so long as it browses without lagging. Trying to watch a youtube video on the PS3 is a horrendous experience, even with the quality set to low. This generation has generally low amounts of RAM compared to PCs, so a boost would allow better internet browsing and video streaming. If next gen consoles could accomplish this, players would be free to use Youtube or Hulu for their videos, rather than paying for some kind of streaming service that would come with the console.
2. Skype or Live Chat
The next generation should have live chat between friends or players, regardless of what game they’re playing. XBOX already has this, and the PS Vita already has this to a degree. The exact extent of the Wii U’s chat system is still unknown, although we see that at least video chat is available. With multiplayer slowly taking over the gaming scene, real-time voice chat is becoming a necessity. At least slight moderation of voice chat would also be useful for the next generation—while it might be difficult to enforce, it would at least deter people from turning chat rooms into a cesspool of racism and sexism.
1. Huge Third Party and Indie Support
While iPhones certainly did revolutionize phones, they also revolutionized gaming. With a huge amount of games in the app store, all for an affordable price, the app store took off and the indie game industry instantly grew into what it is today. Having a console with a similar system would do wonders for indie gaming—can you imagine actually getting affordable high-profile games? While PSN and XBOX Live Arcade both offer an assortment of games through their networks, Nintendo has fallen short this generation. A continued or emphasized effort on small indie games would do wonders for next generation game development. Hopefully the next generation will have fewer contracts required for XBLA games in particular, and allow for more multi-platform releases.
And that concludes the two-part series! You can read the first part of the series here. Let us know in the comments what you want to see in the next generation!