This post comes fresh off the news that Sony and Microsoft will be announcing the successors to the current gen of consoles at this year’s E3 in an effort to compete with Nintendo’s next console effort, the Wii U (source).
I’m a skeptical woman, both consoles are rumoured, even if they do come from a highly reputable source, but I’ll still refuse to believe either console’s’ existence until I have the actual, tangible product in my arms and the reality has set in that I now have no money or a social life thanks to them.
However, one can cross all of their fingers, toes and other crossable body parts that come June 2012, both will be confirmed by the Microsoft and Sony bigwigs themselves but until then I’ve put together a list of all of the things we should hope are included (or avoided) in the new next-gen platforms.
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- 3G, 4G, 5G – In a world where all of our info is stored in ‘the cloud’, like we’re all high-tech data meteorologists, every iProduct allows you accessthe Internet anytime, anywhere and with streaming of games via services like Steam, becoming the way to go, the demand for connectivity is at an all time high. It would be incredibly useful to those who don’t have access to Wi-Fi (or even the Internet at all) for patches and system updates, plus we’d be able to download more games, which would be a brilliant improvement as the PS3 only lets you download one thing at a time and the original Xbox 360 didn’t include wireless connectivity at all!
- Be compact – Off the top of your head count how many boxes are under your TV. For me, there’s a Sky box (British Tivo), a PS3, an Xbox 360, a DVD player, a video player and a DVD recorder. I know that a lot of you will only have 2, maybe 3 boxes, but the point is, they take up space. No one wants to be distracted by an ugly, giant behemoth of plastic design. The next gen should be sleek, slim and sophisticated.
- Be powerful without using so much POWER – the power pack that accompanies the original Xbox 360 is as big as my FOREARM. Confronted by a burglar I could put that thing in a pillow and make them wish they’d never trespassed (take note wareful women with roomy handbags!) The PS3 is no better. While not requiring a power pack, the first design of the console (i.e the not slim version) will add about £80 (approx. $160) to your energy bill per year but even the smaller, slim PS3 uses up a heck of a lot more power than the Xbox 360 or Wii consoles.
- Have an incredible launch line-up – the Xbox 360 had Elder Scrolls Oblivion. The PS3 had the first Uncharted game. It would be nigh impossible to best launch games like that, especially when the developer of the former can barely run their latest gaming effort on Sony’s current-gen console (Bethesda for studio of the year anyone?). But if Sony can coerce Naughty Dog to start work on Uncharted 4, it’d most likely give them the biggest leg-up over Nintendo and Microsoft ever seen in the history of gaming, which is important if they want to poach some Microsoft fanboys. And I’ll certainyl enjoy watching for what Microsoft can come up with as a contender.
- Trade quality for a release date – You’re bound to disagree with me (head up the comments if you do), but in my opinion, we shouldn’t be seeing the current gen of consoles until now. Granted, more years of the PS2 would have been absolutely insufferable and I most likely would have bludgeoned my eyes out with my memory cards should we have been subjected to any more SD graphics, but there’s no denying that the gen of consoles we’re seeing now, could have done with another year or so in the R&D oven. Xbox with its graphics, PS3 with its power, the Wii with its everything ; all 3 suffered from rushed releases in an effort to beat their competitors to the tills. It doesn’t benefit anyone but the company coffers.
- Launch a new format – Question : which well publicised gaming relating argument is more ridiculous than this year’s EA vs Activision Twitter spat, and was more painful to watch than that well known reality TV show that just happens to rhyme with ‘Jig Mother’? If you answered ‘HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray’ then DING! DING! DING! We have a winner! Ultimately, Blu-Ray won and so it should have, but I worry that Microsoft will try to give Sony a run for its money by launching its own disc format. It will only mean that we’ll all have to fork out for new [insert new format]-players because Blu-Ray/DVDs will get phased out. Plus, the money that either company will be forced to invest in the format’s development is money that could go towards developing better first-party games instead.
- Try and pack too much in – I love being lavished with console features as much as the next gamer but it’s almost never done correctly. We do not, I repeat DO NOT, need apps to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Bebo, MySpace, Yahoo, Friendster, LinkedIN and anything else that has its own URL. Better yet, give us an app store where we can pick and choose our own add-ons. It could even include small, cheap (yet fun) games that we can download on the fly using 3G while we use our Wi-Fi to download chunky demos from the store.
- Include a touch screen – I’m all for the inclusion of touch-screens. Only, exclusively to handhelds. There’s something unique about clutching a dualshock tightly with severe determination before lobbing it halfway across a room in frustration as another genero-rist in Call of Duty snipes you from a distance. To see that replaced with a tiny screen that leaves your finger tips cold and your controller mucky would be horrible. Plus, it would make eating and gaming impossible, which would be a damn shame…
Have some ideas for what the PS4 or Xbox 720 should (or shouldn’t) include? – Leave a comment!