Thursday, 14 November 2013

5 potentially great things about the next generation of games consoles

I was originally going to write a witty, yet sarcastic article on how superfluous the coming generation of consoles is however the last week with GTA V has made me reconsider... a little. Join me as I doth the 'top hat of positive thought' and mull over the coming generation of consoles.

1. Potentially endless worlds - minus dickheads.

I am not an online gamer. Lets just put that straight out there. I hated World of Warcraft, I despised C.O.D, and the only thing I liked that related to having an internet connection on my PS3/Xbox 360 was Netflix. As far as I am concerned the games are full of foul mouthed little fuckers with too much income and no class.

As I mentioned before I have spent a solid week with GTA V and the option to play my friends was there so for the purposes of a full spectrum review, I got involved.

I spent a few hours online with about 4 mates and really enjoyed the experience of messing around and doing missions together - I was expecting this. The thing I was not expecting was the lack of dickheads ruining our game. Not one person decided to ruin our fun and it baffled me so I asked my friend Mr D about it. Mr D is a fairly high level in the game and he told me that there were indeed dickheads but they get put in dunces hats and removed from the normal people. That singular concept made me smile ear to ear.

I used to work in a popular wargaming store and one customer literally sat in tears after losing a months wage on E.V.E - he was conned into assisting a mission when halfway through HIS TEAM destroyed his vessel and ransomed his items... that isn't fun, taking 5 years of effort and torching it.

Don't get me wrong if your stupid enough to pay silly money for imaginary things that can be stolen/ransomed your responsible for looking after them - but this guy just wanted to help other people. Games should be fun, not fun derived from humiliating or abusing others but the genuine enjoyment of involving yourself with others for everyone's mutual enjoyment.

The next gen will have millions of players connected 24/7, so the systems used to monitor and police servers will be high priority. Companies don't want to lose customer bases, this doesn't mean everything will be 'Barney the Dinosaur' simplified but games certainly will have to give people more options moving forwards and/or displace trouble makers and hackers in more imaginative ways & more rapidly. GTA V has set a great example on this front, with any luck we will see more multiplayer games with this mentality.

'You wanna be a dickhead, fine, play with other dickheads.'

2. New controllers.

Small lesson I have learnt over my 25 years gaming - Controllers NEVER get worse. Some start pretty crap [Xbox I'm looking at you] but a year or two in and all the bugs are hammered out. They also tend to improve on all fronts over the prior generations equipment - and so should they.

We are not entering new territory this coming generation, all the technology this time is just more refined and glossier versions of this generation. Graphics get a little sharper, worlds a touch bigger, interconnectivity improves a bit and controllers will be slightly more comfy and suited to our newly tweaked systems.

I recently tried out the PS4 controller and its very good. It wont make heads explode with sexual ecstasy but its better than the Dualshock 3. Its nicer to hold, the sticks are a bit closer to the body of the pad and the the new buttons dont get in the way. Its everything it should be.

3. First console generation with HD as standard.

All this coming generation's consoles are 100% HD... even the fucking OUYA is HDMI. Now don't confuse this with the 1080p/720p C.O.D: Ghosts bullshit - just the fact we don't have to use 1980's cable standards is a huge step forward.

This means less confusion for mums & dads at Christmas in regards to hardware purchases, It means we have one cable that works on ALL our consoles for the first time ever, and it also means games publishers don't have to cater to obsolete standards at all during development. The money, effort and time porting entire textures sets to a lower resolution is now history... less wasted effort, lower overheads, smaller teams, better product and larger profits. we all win.

4. Game video sharing

I am almost reluctant to have this one because its a bit lame due to the fact with the right gear you can already do this, however just think how easy this is for the guy without hundreds of £/$s of additional AV equipment to get their stuff out there.

I don't tend to review anything that can't be captured directly as it makes my life miserable truth be told. If I am reviewing retro stuff, it gets a quick blast on the original hardware then I am sat on my PC using an emulator to capture footage or images... I could run a video capture setup but why bother? This coming generation will do 90% of the boring shit, leaving me free to write the article or narration to go with it.

Not everyone will use it but not everyone listens to MP3s or watches Netflix on there existing consoles. More options is always a good thing.

5. Its a safe bet.

This is one of those double edge sword moments... We will see more of the same games and franchises this coming generation. They are proven products and they make big money. Now I will be the first man on the 'I hate sequels' bandwagon but what am I so angry about? If little Billy-Bob McMurder wants more C.O.D that's fine and If Peter the Pokefan wants more 'Pokemans' then let him - having more of the same won't hurt anyone, I mean for fuck sake we have been playing the same goddamn Mario and Sonic games for over 25 years just with more layers of make-up and gimmicks.

The world is a different place than it was 6/7 years ago, we have Steam Greenlight, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Humble Bundle, Game Jolt, Android/iOS markets, GOG and dozens of other sources to find quirky or more risky/imaginative IPs. Not every indie game is great, but those that are exceptional will appear on larger formats - we already have this, and it will only get bigger here on in.

Big games = big sales
Big sales = larger install base
Larger install base = more potential customers for new IP success/exposure.

If you cannot get your game noticed these days there are 2 things wrong...

  1. You are not utilizing the thousands of media sites, social sites or contacts to your advantage
  2. Your game is shit.

I hope you enjoyed this article and please add your thoughts on the subject to us in the comments section below or call us twats on Twitter or whatever.


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