So I just discovered a new show called The Final Bosman. This particular episode talked about what it would take for us to get excited, truly excited, for the next gen again. Let's face it, we're not getting the same generational leap in graphics this time around. Yes, graphics seem to be improving, but not by much, and not much else is improving along with it. So, what then do consoles have to do really get us excited?
Tried it. Nintendo's already abandoned it. And well, the Wii U simply is not the answer either. The tablet, although it is fun and convenient in places, has its own share of problems. For one, it has horrible battery life, which doesn't make it ideal for long gameplay sessions. Sure, you can plug it in and play, but honestly, you're not supposed to be connected to anything when playing on a "wireless" controller. It defeats the purpose of the term "wireless". The screen on the controller also presents another problem in that it causes you to avert your attention away from the TV to the tablet and then back to the TV again. I find that counter-intuitive, distracting and disconnecting. Sure, I loved playing ZombiU for what they did with it, but in most cases, they just took information that would have been displayed on the TV screen and shifted it to the tablet screen. Is it really that convenient to manage your item inventory when you have to look down, move with your fingers and then look up again? In that same amount of time, you can pause the screen, select what you want and unpause. Even the scanning of the environments can be done on the TV by simply having the character bring up the device, which then takes over the TV screen. I love my Wii U, but it simply isn't the future.
The future of consoles will always be in what lies in the inside of the machine. It will always be about raw power, not new controller interfaces. You cannot beat the traditional controller of two sticks, triggers and face buttons. This is why Nintendo did away with the remote and nunchuck and gave us back sticks and buttons. They just managed to cram a screen that wasn't really necessary in the middle of it. The Move failed to catch on for the PS3, and the Kinect is being woefully crammed into the next Xbox. All three companies are failing to understand the real draw here when it comes to next-gen games... and well, that's the games. Yet, they want to bank on gimmicks; Nintendo with their tablet controller; Sony with their Share button; Microsoft with their Kinect.
This is why I liked what Kyle Bosman was saying about games needing to present themselves more creatively. That will happen through creation of the game itself, not whatever goofy controller we'll be playing it with. We'll need to see raw power utilized in ways that don't just give us shinier and richer graphics, although that is still important. Graphics are immensely important when it comes to games, and any person that says otherwise is simply blowing steam up....someone's tea pot. Graphics suck you into the game and immerse you. It's the gameplay that keeps you locked in, and if the gameplay isn't continuing to evolve like graphics are, then you're going become aware of the real world again. That's why raw power needs to continue to be the forefront of next generation machines so that we can have more environments that react to us. We can have more enemies on screen to produce more random chaos. We can have smarter enemy AI. We can have more meaningful experiences without having to wave our arms or feel compulsions to have others watch what we play just like we want people to read our self-absorbed status updates.
It also wouldn't hurt if next-gen consoles were... perfect from the very start. What I mean by this is no more Red Rings of Death. Quality assurance would play just as an important part of a console's manufacturing as the design process of developing the architecture. Imagine being able to buy an extremely powerful machine and knowing that it would operate for at least the next 10 years. This is something no one, not even Nintendo, can do anymore because of the inherent nature of complex machinery. But yet, you give me a machine that will never mechanically fail? I call THAT next-gen.
I'll also call it next-gen when games no longer have load times. I know games can be loaded to harddrives because they're faster to pull information from compared to optical drives, but there's still got to be a way to get rid of load times altogether. It can be done, and has been done like in games such as the GTAs and the new Tomb Raider. They let you explore their worlds without any load times. There are tricks to getting away with no load times (one such trick that worked well was Metroid Prime loading the next area while the doorway was unlocking), so what needs to happen next is that developers find a way to do it and implement it into all their games making it the standard. I want it like the good old days of cartridges when you turned on the console and the game is ready to go that very second.
Next gen would also mean that even though machines could do more, they would be easier to program for. What's the use of having so much power when no one knows how or is able to use it? This is why we get so many titles with so many bugs and glitches. Next-gen for me would mean seeing more polished games more often. Products continue to improve at accelerated rates because the new hardware is not only both extremely powerful but extremely easy to code for.
And for the love of god, implement a sleep function similiar to what the 3DS and Vita have. Contrary to popular belief, gamers have lives. We go to work. We visit people. We go to school. We spend hours a week in commutes. Some games are near impossible to play because they require a scheduled block of at least an hour or two to get something done. I know some games have auto saves and others have checkpoints, but sometimes things come up where you need to leave immediately. Sure, you could leave your machine on, but if you're like me, you don't like to leave your systems running unattended. Plus, you may not be able to get back to them for several hours; that's wasted electricity. Being able to sleep your console would be a next-gen feature.
Honestly, I get the notion that gaming has "grown stale". It isn't the controller's fault. It isn't the hardware's fault. It's the games themselves. It's the creative minds of developers who are building the software. If you keep changing how we play games, then we'll just keep playing the same unimaginative games only by interacting with them in different ways. If you keep giving us more powerful hardware and don't do anything special with it, then we'll just keep playing the same unimaginative games only with prettier graphics. Changing controller interfaces and pimping consoles to be Internet media hubs is only detracting from what a game machine should be doing, and that's playing games. So for the next gen to really feel like the next gen, consoles can't keep getting more powerful without the developers getting smarter.
What does next-gen mean to you? Do you feel like the new consoles will truly be next-gen? What do you want them to do that you aren't able to get with your current-gen systems?
"I get the notion that gaming has "grown stale"
I think what you mean there is "console gaming has grown stale". While I prefer console gaming and never play games on my smartphone or tablet or facebook or whatever....the fact is right now gaming is in a very exciting time, when virtually anything could happen. Gaming is being taken up by more people in more ways than at any time before.
And I completely agree with your overall post. Features like no load times, sleep functions, etc. WOULD be "next gen" features while the WiiU tablet, Move, Kinect and Share features are just gimmicks that won't have true lasting value.
My understanding is the new Unreal Engine 4 does in fact allows developers to work much more efficiently and aggressively with the new MS and Sony machines and therefore enable devs to do things they couldn't imagine previously.
Now, whether that translates into truly innovative, compelling games or just another shinier version of Medal of Duty Black Uncharted is a different question.
Without getting too deeply involved in the subject, something that would most definitely make me think "wow tech has really advanced" would be "real" gravity/weight & different materials that behave according to what they're made of following a rule-set in the engine.
We are probably a long way away from materials being made of digital molecules but there are most likely a few steps in between.
Something else that would make me think "wow! next gen!" is 4k+ and 120+ fps
Honestly, at this point all I really want from the next generation is new IP. I want to be shown a new type of game that I didn't even know I wanted. I'm getting sick of seeing nothing but sequels on each month's release schedule.
--we'll have to abandon the "console concept"
--with computer tech advancing as fast it does these days
--were gonna have ta move away from the "locked down"(un-upgradable) gaming consoles of yesteryear
--at least that is " What will it take for next-gen to really feel like next-gen again? "
I'm on board with most of this. I'll say a few things--Tomb Raider, for instance, does have load times. They're not all that bad, but they are there. Anything shorter than fifteen seconds or so is probably short enough. No load times at all? Probably impossible, especially when we're demanding better graphics. Streaming has gotten better--just compare Oblivion's occasional brief loads while traversing the wilderness to Skyrim's lack of loads except when entering closed areas. Better, but not great.
I wouldn't say that gaming has gotten stale. There are some well-tread paths that should occasionally be strayed from. They make these same games because that's what gamers buy. When they come up with new, fresh ideas, they don't sell. In short, I don't think the problem is the developers. I think gamers often say they want new experiences--and then go buy the newest Call of Duty. There's a divide between typical gamers and enthusiast gamers (most of the people here). We aren't representative of most gamers, and expecting developers to make games for us rather than the masses is probably not going to happen.
Next gen doesnt have to do anything, because the only thing that has made gaming great has always been the same, the games.
When the games suck, like with this generation, at least in consoles, there's nothing to do.
Seeing the PS2, xbox and gamecube game library makes this generation look like a long nightmare you wish you'd wake up from already.
I think they have nailed visuals in terms of Immersion... and sound has obviously been there for a lot longer because of movies moving it to point 0 for Immersion...
What we need now imo is the final of the 5 senses... Touch, Smell and Taste (last 2 can be included as one)!
You may think iam either mad...or joking! But imagine a game like dishonoured for example.... when you are walking towards the bridge right at the beginning, and there's 2 guys throwing dead bodys off into a bardge below.... We can see the place is industrial and slightly dirty, and we can hear things like seagulls and passing boats etc, which all adds to the Immersion... but imagine we could also smell the damp brickwork... dead bodies etc etc...... THEN games will be truly Immersive and will need to enter the surreal to be "next gen".
The way we play on consoles should reflect the console itself. Imagine if we continued to keep advancing in hardware but we stayed on the 2 button 1 d-pad controller format? How is that advancing? The more power the system has, the more it asks of us to do in one time. PC players have a keyboard and mouse and its perfect for that specific platform. Best precision control with the mouse with multiple keys to use. With console controllers, they seem to adapt to the consoles needs. We only needed a few buttons and a d-pad for the early years. Then when technology advanced with our consoles, we needed something to improve on 3D world gaming. Which is why the controller got advanced as well with analog sticks. The next gen console controllers could very well have some sort of touchscreen/pad to complete the entire controller and enhance our gameplay. We won't know until a few years have passed but imo, controllers should adapt to next gen just as well as the hardware.
Finally, someone else thinking the same as I am. This is why I agree with almost everything you said.
I do think there may still be a future for gimmicks. The Wii introduced its gimmick and reached a whole new crowd of buyers. A LOT of money was earned, because of it. Sure I didn't like the wii-mote, nor the games. But they were effective from a bussiness standpoint. I'll agree that the PSMove and Kinect aren't nearly as great, but that has (at least for the PSMove) much to do with the lack of direct support in the form of games, which brings us to the current day lack of developer ingenuity that you spoke of.
I'd say that there are a lot of possible gimmicks yet to be invented. And think there will be many more wii-esque success stories, in terms of consoles sold. I can only hope they will one day serve to actually improve games, instead of alienate people like myself. As you said, the wii-U probably does not so much improve games (for as far as we've seen). I think it's only truly useful for item management screens, bringing the 'mouse' (in the form of a touchscreen) to the console.
Straight to the point!It has been quite a while since i have the feeling that everything is evolving beside's what really matters.It's all about looks these days without backbone to back it up!Great graphics with a meh gameplay and boring/predictable/crossover story!I used to think that this gen devs were having a majour lack of inspiration but seeing things as they are today,world wide monetary crisis and all,i simply think they're affraid to risk it,to experiment,making mistakes these days is the way to a fast paced bankruptcy.They all have jobs to keep.Simply put!
What will it take for next-gen to really feel like next-gen again?
it's called a PC but poor people can't afford a good one.
Really good read, especially agree with the part about the gimmicks. I myself just want to play the games, just me, a controller, and a TV, thats it. Haven't used a Kinect, Move, or anything of that nature. Don't really feel like I want to either.
If you believe that " It will always be about raw power, not new controller interfaces.", shouldn't you then take some responsibilty for the "stale" gaming you experience?
CPU power never directly correlates to better gaming, and game design is not a technologically dependent art - people confuse the technology with the creativity.
Technology is a necessary (but not sufficient) ingredient towards better games. Just as games have never been dependent on pure technology.
@so_hai But I also said it will take more creativity on developers' end. More power just so happens to make that easier.
@JustPlainLucas @so_hai How does more power make it any easier to be creative? The PS3/360 were way over powered to the Wii yet we got so many CoD clones that rivaled the quantity of all the shovelware the Wii had. If all you're pushing is greater graphics on video games, there'll be a time where it starts to become stale. Just like how the controllers have evolved with the console tech, so should the games. We played on D-Pads for a good while. Technology pushed us further in gaming which brought the birth of analog sticks on our controllers. Maybe a touch screen/pad of some sort is a new way to play the future games. We don't know that until we see the games naturally utilize these features. The consoles will ALWAYS be behind PC in terms of actual hardware but the difference in gameplay and obviously exclusive games are the only defining attribute that consoles have over PC.
If I get a PS4, I will want to get it early, more than anything I would love to get it on first day launch.
If only I had money.
Hmm. I'm not sure gaming has "gotten stale." Not for me, at least. I have to dig through some not-so-good titles in order to find the truly epic ones; but that has ALWAYS been the case. I've put a few hundred hours into Dragon's Dogma (although taking a break so I it will be fresh again when "Dark Arisen" comes out). I still play the **** out of New Vegas (gotta love all those endings... and the nearly infinite small permutations that come from your alliances/enemies).
Sorry; had to address that part.... since I really feel we're in a "Golden Age" of gaming.... hell, we've been on the same consoles for what... 5 or 6 years now? And I, for one, could easily go another few years. The graphics are good enough to where full immersion is now possible.... sure a rough texture can ruin the moment... or a bad animation... but graphics are pretty sweet right now.
In terms of what would make me feel that we've taken a large step forward.... I'll take a decent jump in graphics (even half the jump that we had from Xbox to the 360) would fix those few complaints that I've had with this gen of consoles (although the jump in processing power is supposed to be HUGE), but the thing I've been psyched about is how Game Engines like Unreal Engine 4 (supposedly) is going to "level the playing field" between big and small developers.... AND raise the ceiling for all.
The thing that I thought was cool was that "non-programmers" could do a MUCH larger chunk of the work, leaving the code-writers to have more time to fine-tune. Supposedly this would cut development costs, cut development time, and increase quality. This means more games and MORE IMPORTANTLY, more experimentation: since a blockbuster game's costs could be cut in half, that means that other 50% of the work force could take a chance on a high-risk/high-reward game, knowing they are essentially playing with house money. If this comes to pass..... we could really be in store for a good time this generation.
I think the WiiU tablet is meant to be like a device you would use if you were really in that situation. How many countless games have used that mechanic, starting off with PDA's which the character look down at and moving on to some type of futuristic super tablet. Nintendo is trying to get you closer to the actual game not further away. I haven't got a WiiU so I don't know if they succeeded but I get what they are trying to do. We can't be married to the old dual stick controller for the rest of time, they are experimenting and soon we will have a replacement. The original NES controller over the traditional Joy Stick was a huge leap that people are quick to forget how different it actually was back then. I don't think the current controllers are perfect and I'm looking forward to the next evolution of controllers.
@jeffrobin If a character in the game brings up a PDA, your eyes just have to shift. In a Wii U game, if they use the tablet, you have to shift your entire head down so you can look at the tablet. That's not getting any closer if you ask me.
@JustPlainLucas @jeffrobin I meant getting you closer to what the character in the game does in other words if it was actually you i.e. the character looks down to look at their PDA so you have to. It's actually the same family of ideas that motion controls are in, trying to get you more immersed in the game by getting you to do what the character does. This will work or not work dependent on what type of gamer you are, do you want to sit and play games expecting your character to be your avatar and nothing else or do you want to actually "be" your character.
There are a whole lot of other factors too like how well is it implemented, is it appropriate for the game etc. Some gamers hate this trend others like it. Me I like the trend because I want to experience more of the game but I'm not sure if it has been done well yet. It is a highly complex thing to nail as there is such a gulf between controller based gaming and the next step up. I hope they keep on trying.
Thank you,thank you. Couldn't have said it better. We need more companies like Valve & Bethesda out there, for the love of god & the future of gaming.
@-Geo and bungie. :)
As a supplementary feature to the sleep state, perhaps they could bring back the on-spot, user-based, ad-hoc save system that was so common with older titles. In my opinion, that kind of save feature trounced sleep states, but I don't think that the two ideas need to be mutually exclusive -- give us both. Let us save when we want to save and where we want to save. And hell. . . allow us to share those saves.
I'm with you on the shorter loading time ... some game are just way to long even after "installing" it on the consol. Otherwise I'm not really with you. I think the fact that you could have multiple controler on the Wii ( like a Gamecube controler or the controler pro ) didn't help the thing because you can't make a game taht will use all those button or work better with a pro controller because you don,t know if every body have it. This is why ( I think ) the PS Move didn't catch up, if it isn't an integral part of the system, not everybody who bought the system will have the controler and well programming that take time,money and space on the disk ...
Also I bought a PS Vita a week ago and I'm really impress by it. It is really fun. I have played a lot of LBP and using the touch sreen or touch pad add something to the gameplay. I feel like I interact more with it, it makes some interesting puzzle etc. It is so interesting that Sony release a patch for LBP2 on the PS3 that let you use your Vita as a controler.
To me the WiiU feel like a very big version of a DS. Developpers doesn't seem to see it that way ... it may boost their interest like it did with the DS and 3DS.
I don't think the next gen will be very popular if they only make game that is HD remake of what we already have. After seeing the PS4 controler, I think their will be more and more interactivity with the game by touch pad or stuff like the kinect or PS move. To me it really add a little something that is interesting over the classic style ...
this is a great article. I have been gaming since the atari 2600 and have never failed to be interested in forthcoming games / consoles... until now. I now find myself playing emulated games on my pc for gamecube, PS2, dreamcast, snes and megadrive. I really could not care less about the new generation of consoles unless something like VR is introduced. I'm not going to spend £500 for some new particle effects and FINALLY 1080p 60fps when i've had that on my pc for years. I'm 31 and could be classed as an older gamer i suppose.... but nothings new anymore. It's gone the way of hollywood movies. The main games i'm looking forward to next year are kickstarter funded games.... i suppose that comes with my age.
I agree, only at end of the current generation developers started to know how to use power of the current gen, the end of loadings times is a dream, it requires a lot of thinking something current age developers are unable to do, the amount of game bugs is because of the rush to release a game whiteout testing, they do that because the current mean of profit they use is the DLC, the ones who releases first win.
I would seriously love a sleep mode, several times i had to turn "off" the system because of rush, one time if I had let the system "on" I would be screwed, because I was unable to play till 2 days after the rushed "off".
Hey man, great article. About the goofy controllers, how about the Occulus Rift concept of immersive gameplay? That feels very next-gen for me...
The simple answer for making the next generation of consoles really feel "next-gen" is simply making better quality games, but that won't happen in the economy we're in. So many games get rushed out for financial reasons that the quality takes a nosedive as a result. Nintendo isn't as guilty of this, but then again they are the company that's still putting out the same games with each passing console containing a plumber, a monkey, and/or a guy in green tights.
I have a feeling that console gaming is going to ultimately fall by the wayside, because people are more and more concerned with playing games on the go, or on their PC. Why shell out $400 for a top-of-the-line new console when you can get a decent laptop for less than that? Or even a phone? The fact is...I think we've reached the glass ceiling when it comes to presentation. Now companies need to go back to what made console gaming fun in the 90's: Quality. No more bug-fests or day one patches...we just want functional games that are worth the price tag we're expected to pay. I don't think that's hard to ask.
Great blog. One thing I want to point out to people is that when the Xbox 360 and PS3 came out, they didn't have the great graphics that everyone is claiming they did. When the 360 came out most of it's games were multi-platform games probably designed on the PS2. The 360 could upscale the graphics and display them on an HDTV without giving you a headache but everything else was still 6th generation technology. The PS3 promised amazing graphics on launch but those promises didn't come until later on with games like Heavy Rain, Killzone 2, Uncharted 2.
I remember when the PS3 was coming out and Resistance was suppose to show off what the PS3 was capable of. Well the gameplay was awesome but the graphics couldn't compete with Gears of War which released within a couple days of it. Speaking of Gears of War, it was released a year after the 360 came out. So it took a year to see those kinds of graphics on the 360.
The PS4 has an 8 core cpu x86 architecture. This will mean that developers will be able to tap into the console and produce games that are noticeably better from a technical standpoint earlier in the consoles life cycle. This processor is faster than the cell cpu in the PS3. 8GB of GDDR5 shared memory which is 32 times more memory than the PS3. The leap from the PS2 to the PS3 in terms of RAM was 8 times increase. Now I know RAM doesn't equal better graphics but it shortens load times, allows for bigger open worlds, larger textures, better AI. Now it all comes down to what the GPU in the system is. If this is just an APU system, then I can't imagine it being that great.
With all that being said I think that there are some people that think that the current gen consoles ALWAYS had the graphics that they do. This isn't true at all. Look at the early titles the 360 had. Perfect Dark Zero, King Kong, Hitman Blood Money. There's a lot of titles that didn't have amazing graphics. Call of Duty 2 had nice graphics but it's a far cry from what it can do now. I hope that developers can focus of things like AI and physics more than just pretty graphics.
So when these next gen consoles finally come out, your gonna have to wait a bit to see what they're really capable of. This isn't directed at the author of the blog it's just a general thing I wanted to share with everyone.
Game companies just keep increasing resolution and dynamic range of graphics. They need to focus more on animation, physics, properties of cloth and materials, plants, and artificial intelligence. I can watch an old black and white movie, and it still looks more realistic than a 1080p video game, because of all those things that programmers are unable or unwilling to recreate.
The generation that will impress me will be when game characters have true AI, not completely programmed top-down, but the ability to learn from the ground up. I'll be impressed when the player is able to do everything they can do in real life and more. I'll be impressed when there is no discernible difference between animation and the movements and behaviour of a living animal or human.
I want every object in the world to react as it would in real life - I hit something and it chips, dents or scuffs or breaks as it should, according to the real life physical properties. I don't want objects to seem lighter or heavier than they should be, and nothing should be indestructible. Also, I think pre-animations have had their time, and now we should make user experiences more unique - e.g. in games like Force Unleashed and God of War, the sequences you can do are limited, and get repetitive, why can't the player decide how to dismember their opponents? e.g. if I want to chop the legs off an AT-ST, or kill the driver and hijack it, I should be able to. More freedom to do unexpected things, which are not pre-determined, would be great.
I would like to see a game in which an entire planet is explorable, and the player is free of force fields and barriers, and everything is accurately to scale such as speed and distance. Imagine climbing to the top of a mountain, fighting through hordes of monsters, and it is accurately to scale so you could take days or weeks to get to the top, and the view around is of actual locations you can go to, rather than a fake 2D background, where you instantly die from falling 3 meters down as we see in current gen. The ability to fly over a planet and land anywhere to explore, and for there to be a rich interactive environment wherever you land, or go underwater/underground, would be mind-blowing.
Some of these suggestions are probably a few generations off, but I think it would be possible. E.g. the last suggestion would be possible by programming the basics, such as AI, physical processes, and growth of plants, animals and civilisations. A computer simulation generates the environment and the programmers would release the world at a certain stage of the simulation. Interactions would be based on AI and physics - no need to animate anything. When we reach this stage of games, they will be easy and cheap to make, and all the programmer needs to do is write the rules and storyline. The artist will still need to create designs, architecture and flora and fauna, but the computer could simulate the brains of the characters according to a few personality traits.
In the far future, (100-200 years) computers might be able to generate an explorable universe, and you won't be able to tell the difference from the real thing. DNA could be manipulated in a game, and the resulting plants, animals or humans could be simulated as if real.
@blueblur87 I'm with stratfender....this is just a wishlish that has no connection with what is currently available or will be in the near future.
@blueblur87 Wow, I feel like this is so unrealistic for a single video game. At the end of the day, I have to ask, what's the point of any of this?
Good blog, I agree with pretty much all of this. The current hardware and games are already capable of producing near-photo realistic graphics - I honestly can't see how things could be improved enough to justify shelling out hundreds of quid for a 'new' system - especially as I've only had my PS3 for just over a year.
Think about the graphical leap between the PS1 and PS2/Xbox, and again between those systems and the 360/PS3. Both times it was amazing and significant. I don't see the next 'leap' having the same impact - more of a hop maybe. What I would expect is to see are things like no more stuttering framerates, no more hideous texture pop-in, and better draw distances. If the next gen can't provide these things then what's the point?
As someone who has zero interest in social media, online gaming, motion controls and other gimmicks, I can honestly say I've seen/heard nothing about this so-called next gen to get me excited. Perhaps that'll change if/when we start seeing some interesting games...
Also if a picture is equal to thousand words, I wonder how many words a 5 min video equals. anyway watch at 1080p or it will be useless.
@vaibhavp Very pretty....and looks like it could be fun. But not really any different than about 2 dozen FPSers that have been out there for 10 years.
I think this is a prime example of what many are weary of. Another shinier, prettier version of games we've all played a zillion times excite me about the next gen of consoles.
graphics will be improved. in open world games. where lots of far off scenery is not rendered because of ram limitations, we can have sprawling vistas, as far as eyes can see. in case of shooters we can expect more open and huge level design. developers like david cage will make facial expressions more lifelike. but yes, graphical showcases will probably be few and far between. and i am ok with that. if you get all your games at crysis 3 fidelity, it gets old fast. i am equally interested in indie, point and click and isometric 2d rpgs, as next uncharted.
My opinion as to what would constitute true next-gen gameplay will be a combination of both raw processing power, incredible graphics, and intuitive controls. Combine motion sensor technology that allows a user to use their own body (ala Kinect), and project the game around the room, or with VR-glasses that immerse the player directly into the game environment -- where they will truly feel like the main character and part of the action. With this type of tech, I can imagine even perverted companies trying to cash in on the action with their own brand of triple-X games (though I would be against such), but this is what would drive true next-gen gaming.
I think the biggest improvement of next gen will simply be that we will be able to reset the stakes and let developers come up with the next big thing. You have quite a few companies saying they have a bunch of new IP's in development and they are just waiting for the next gen to release them. Those new games will be what sells new consoles. And it isn't even a matter of the consoles themselves being different, it is a matter of everyone wanting to make the next Call of Duty on the new systems. Obviously easier development environments and more powerful systems will help with this, and will definitely help wow gamers and draw them into the new series, but in the end it will be a combination of great visuals and new gameplay ideas that will keep gamers invested for the long haul.
There is a certain X factor I feel playing games that in time define a generation. For example, jumping around in Super Mario 64, seeing a FMV in FFVII, watching real time cutscenes in MGS, hitting somebody with a car in GTA III, replaying Mass Effect 2 and experiencing the same scenario in a significantly different way, having 3 other players join my game in Dark Souls to take on Smough and Ornstein, feeling delighted when Journeys simple game design and beauty click with its music.
very good and interesting read! i agree with your sentiments on games being the problem and not the hardware itself. thumbs up!
Graphics are a sure fire milestone for progress and I remember seeing TOmb Raider for the first time or Shadow of the Colossus and being blown away. However it's clever use of new technology that wows me. The PS4/Vita integration is pretty amazing and I would love to see really novel uses of MP like Dark Souls or Journey.
next generation will focus on ai, cinematics and advanced programming of engines, things that can be hard to see on the surface. where we stand, games these days are already pretty damn amazing it will be hard to expect to be blown away. already moved from 2D-3D. where to now?? maybe connect the controller straight to your brain??