Next-Gen Wish List

IGN has posted Your Most Wanted Next-Gen Feature and it is a compiled list of what they see as the community wanting the most in the next batch of consoles which should be coming out in the next few years. I’ll break it down here and post my thoughts.

Focus on Entertainment

I’m torn here. I really don’t care that much about the entertainment options in my gaming console, I really don’t. I think that the console is going to be pushed back even more as TVs continue to gain the needed entertainment features and more and more consumptions is moved to other computing devices. This might be the place I want the manufacturers to spend the LEAST amount of time from this list.

Carry Everything Forward

A nice thought if it can be done. We have seen this featured touted, not used, and then finally dropped on almost every console available. The funny thing is that looking back at the start of the industry it was even worse.

Physical cartridges pretty much killed any chance at backward compatibility.

It would be nice to see the new consoles carry 100% compatibility with this generation, but it just isn’t something I’m going to cry home about. This becomes more of an issue, however, when you starting bringing digital downloads into the mix. Add in the fact that the increase in gaming networks and you get a mess of questions:

  • How long do we support old games?
  • How long do we NEED to support old games?
  • Should that digital download work with the new hardware?

That’s just the beginning. The question becomes one of resources: how much do you want to give up for more advances in hardware and software?

Digital Rentals and Streaming Games

Digital rentals would be awesome. Make ’em cheap, make ’em quick, make ’em fun. That’s about it.

Not sold on streaming games mainly because I think people really overestimate the level of broadband that the majority of the world currently has. Also, it gives LESS control to the gamer and only brings up more questions of who owns what and when a game will just go “dark” because they don’t want to support it anymore.

More Motion and Touch Tech

“There be dragons here!” Be careful what you wish for.

I’m a huge fan of Skyward Sword, but even I understand the limitations of motion and touch technology. I shudder to think about what types of games are going to come out as people just start bolting on stuff for the heck of it (and to check off another box).

If you are going to do this, go all-in and do it right. Please. The majority of the Wii titles are a huge warning to the whole industry about what can happen when you don’t care.

Wireless Everything

Oh. My. Gosh. No. Please, PLEASE include wired options. This is such a bad idea I can’t help but think that whoever recommended this has never actually worked with any kind of wireless technology … ever. Such a terrible idea.

Wireless is wonderful, but for something like a game console that is not going to be moved you really want to be able to hardwire that thing into place as much as possible. If there is one thing I wish my Wii had, it s an ethernet port.

Controllers? Sure. Headsets? Alright. After that, what you really want is a person who has a clue about what they are talking about.

Social and Community Focus

Nintendo really needs to step up here in a big, no HUGE way. Xbox Live is really the gold standard for community focus and the idea of being able to share certain things is nice, I just caution against spending too much time here and not enough on actually making a game console that … goodness … plays games.

I  believe we have enough narcissism in the world.

Modifiable Hardware

Wow, we are really going off of the deep end here. Part of what makes console gaming attractive is that you DO NOT MODIFY THE HARDWARE. You buy a console and you have the same experience as your friend. It is bad enough when console manufacturers sell a crippled piece of hardware (looking at your Microsoft) at the lowest price point to drive sales, but allowing people to then mod their hardware?

Besides, you already have PC gaming and the buggy drivers and inconsistent performance. If anything, you want one canonical piece of hardware that never changes … giving developers only a single run of hardware to aim at.

Of course, that would require more thoughtful hardware in the first place and … we can’t have that.

Playable Used Games

With digital downloads and required gaming accounts, this becomes a much stickier issues than it used to be. I, for one, would be very sad to see the used game market go away if for no other reason than it would kill the joy of playing older games after that console is EOL.

The fact that we are even at the point where this is an issue is truly sad.

Closing Thoughts

Most of what was brought up really doesn’t matter. I’m thinking that if you want this console it is already there … in the form of an awesome PC.

If this is the way that next-gen consoles go, we are in for a very bumpy ride.

Nothing mentioned really helps the gaming experience at all. If there is one thing that I would recommend, it would be: Eliminate. Loading. Screens.

Wait, I already did.