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Opinion: What to expect from the next generation



There has been talk of the next generation for what feels like years, yet both the PS3 and Xbox 360 continue to fight on, providing some quality games along the way. We are promised that the next generation of consoles will bring a level of quality like no other, a suggestion that most PC owners will probably scoff at. What I want to know though, is just what will the next generation bring? For now we can only speculate.

It seems obvious to me that both next generation consoles will take a leaf out of Nintendo's book. As you no doubt know by now, the Wii U will be using a second screen to provide users with a different kind of experience, allowing gamers to interact with maps, in-game inventories and all other manner of features. Already we are hearing similar noises from both Sony and Microsoft. The latter announced Smartglass at E3, which seems to offer features not unlike those on the Wii U, while Sony has already experimented with cross-play features, allowing users on Vita to play against those on the big screen, while also allowing Vita owners to control games using their handheld.

But what else will the next generation bring? I think the biggest answer could be more of the same, but better. You can surely expect the next iteration of motion controls from both companies; Microsoft will be releasing the next Kinect, marveling us with a hands free controller (that actually works this time hopefully), while Sony will no doubt tweak the Move and release a new PlayStation Eye camera (unless it's built into the console), giving us a whole new level of precision.

Another area you can be sure will be bigger and better is the current trend of TV services. I'd expect services such as LoveFilm, Netflix and BBC iPlayer to expand, perhaps providing us with more features. It also seems likely that we will have more of these services and who knows, possibly even the ability to record live TV, although this may be speculation too far. Whatever happens in this area, it will expand, of that there is no doubt. Both Microsoft and Sony are fighting for your living room and if that means taking on your satellite dish or cable box, they will do it.

One of the things I'm most sure of is that the graphical performance of these machines will be a cut above the current models, although this does not necessarily mean better games. Obviously any unique IP's being released for this next generation will come down to developer innovation. We have seen some great titles this time around with Uncharted, Heavy Rain, Dishonored, Assassin's Creed and LittleBigPlanet to name a few, however better hardware does come with issues of its own, so even if we do see new machines from Microsoft and Sony next year, even though we'll no doubt have a big graphical boost, it doesn't mean we'll start to see games which offer a different experience, instead that could come later down the line.

As much as things will change with the next generation, a lot will stay the same. The currently worrying trend of day one patches (I'll get to that in another feature at some point in the future) is something that I can only see becoming a regular occurrence as more people connect online. It also seems like online passes will also be more widespread, while DLC will only continue to grow. What may actually happen, or rather what I'd like to see happen is for publishers to start reducing the cost of retails games, since more and more games seem to be releasing with DLC then completing the experience further down the line, although whether this will happen or not is another story. On a related subject, I could also see it being possible to rent games on future generation consoles, Sony of course has acquired Gaikai, which could see back it's entire back catalogue become available on the cloud, while Microsoft will no doubt have similar plans. This could also count for future releases too. Can you imagine renting a game for the price of DLC? Wouldn't that be interesting.

One more area which has got me scratching my head is storage. I'm pretty sure that both companies will provide us with a huge hard-drive to store our games on, but what will Microsoft do about disc based media? It's obvious that Sony is sticking with Blu-Ray, but what about MS? Will it finally take the plunge to this superior-to-DVD format?

Whatever happens, the next generation is going to be an interesting prospect. Whether or not it'll change the way we game remains to be seen, but it's going to be fun finding out.

Edited On 07 Nov, 2012

Comments
( 19 )
Dead's avatar
Dead 4 years ago
I'm really not expecting much of a leap in the next generation, more of a small jump. Graphically speaking things can't really get much better, and more processing power will make little difference. It's all going to be down to new ways to play I think, something Nintendo are embracing, and I expect Sony and MS to follow suit, just like they did this generation.
rick75fowler's avatar
rick75fowler 4 years ago
im looking forward to seeing the new xbox,i think it will be bigger and better,gfx wise i think will be an improvement over the one we got now,storage space is another thing as well will we go upto a 1tb drive,i heard rumors off the new box being non disc all rumors i know as this was all around the 2nd hand games market being stopped due to lose of profits ect,kinect i also heard was going to better with 3d intergrated again all rumors and really thats all we will get till its confirmed but its all interesting,to me anyway
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 4 years ago
I want more innovative stuff being promoted and sold. Wii had plenty of great titles that got overshadowed in favour of the shovelware. And I die a little bit inside when I see amazing titles like Nier or Catherine not being put on shelves in favour for 'Call of Duty: This year's game' and 'Fifa: You already own this one.'
Dead's avatar
It's the way it is in every industry, blockbuster movies overshadow independent films, indie bands are largely ignored whilst the likes of Justin Bieber sell out stadiums. People just buy the same old crap year in year out, very few of us want anything different or interesting.
Dead 4 years ago
adwan's avatar
adwan 4 years ago
Graphically we'll no doubt see a improvement, to at least high end PC levels at least to start with. I expect a minimum of 1080p at 60fps in terms of performance. I don't see much point currently going for anything higher untill TV's are there and affordable. Current 4K screens are rediculously expensive at the moment.

Hopefully we'll see some new inovation, but to be honest I'm not all that bothered by motion controls, but I do think the use of tablets being incorporated is a nice idea. For me it will be mainly about the media side of the console, films, music, TV streaming, web browsing etc etc where this control would appeal and not so much for actual gaming.
HappyNoodleBoy's avatar
HappyNoodleBoy 4 years ago
And just as long as the next generation comes with plenty of Halo, Mass Effect (ME MMO included), GTA, and a new Half Life, I'm all good
adwan's avatar
Would rather see the next gen filled with lots of new IPs personally.
adwan 4 years ago
HappyNoodleBoy's avatar
Yeah, those too. But I can't get enough of those aforementioned franchises. They keep me gaming.
HappyNoodleBoy 4 years ago
Anonymous user's avatar
MARK 4 years ago
I'm with adwan I think the next gen will offer a small but not insignificant advancement in graphical power. I too think that they should step up that basic quality of the games so that all games are 1080p at least. Games could be released in 1080 now but developers aren't doing it and that has to be down to storage constraints on the disc. 2k and 4K are very unlikely to be features of the new machines and if they are very few developers will bother with them. Largely for the fact that a disc more advanced than blu-ray will be required to store the visuals, they just take up so much space. A new storage medium will come to the market place as more home TV's take up 2k/4K and then the gen of consoles that follows may use the tech. I think the next gen machines will become even more media connected and as mentioned in the write up it seems likely the 360 at least will be some kind of PVR too. They want to conquer the media arena in the living room, if they can become your one stop shop for games, music and video then that is something that they can make an awful lot of money out of! Personally I look forward to the new machines I hope that they are both backwards compatible in some way either by a type of cloud service or by supporting the old discs. Forward from this I also believe they should make sure that your gamertag and it's associated information such as gamer score and achievements can be brought over to the new machine. I know that it sounds like a small thing but being able to do this will be a big thing for a lot of gamers. I too am not that bothered with the motion controls although I do like the voice control function with Kinect. Also I am a gamer that has a young son now and I think the Kinect capable sesame street stuff is great and it would be really good to see this expanded upon. Also smart glass is a nice feature that they are experimenting with on the xbox before introducing it in full with the next gen. It works great with my phone it's a good idea.
Wey1's avatar
Wey1 4 years ago
don't think my comment posted successfully, sorry for the duplicate if it did. i expect next gen will have better graphics of course, more games in 1080p and games running better. however, for a while now ive thought features will be a big point of next gen. such as on the ps4 being able to access the store during gameplay. and as we've seen with that leaked document of the 720, if true, about it being a set top box as well.
Robichoico's avatar
There were rumours of Activision and EA wanting to sell extra bullets, Health etc for their FPS games, so I could actually see Sony putting the store so you can buy these during gameplay. Ran out of ammo? No fear, for only 99p you can buy 100 bullets to get your out of that tight spot.
Robichoico 4 years ago
adwan's avatar
And that's one of the things i'm not looking forward to in the next gen, micro-transactions. Gamers getting bled dry by publishers. It will kill the gaming community and split the players with money and those without and make online games uneven.

I have no problem with free-to-play though, as long as they make sure those who don't throw as much in to the game can still actually play it. I don't play Equolibrium on the Vita because of the fact that unless you pay money for micro-transactions you can't really play the game for any more than 10 minutes before you have to wait half an hour before you can build up enough energy to do anything again, unless you buy power from the store.
adwan 4 years ago
Artemisthemp's avatar
Artemisthemp 4 years ago
All I expect from PS4 is that it will be Region Free (like now, meaning you can have more than 1 account on it) and a Blu-ray drive. It would be nice with PS3 backwards compatible on Disc, but doubt we will see that sadly :/
Anonymous user's avatar
Tyrone 4 years ago
I really would love to see a graphics up scaling BUT I honestly don't see everyone having the TV's to cope with it! But would really like to see Xbox ditching the traditional DVD and going onto Blu Ray or the next big thing just to compete with Sony! Having 3 discs for FF13 was a complete joke for 8 hours worth of gameplay on each. Would be nice to see something were the hub was social with friends, jump in and out of chats basically like the Wii U, it's going to happen with out a doubt! Don't change the controller to touch screen no one wants that at all keep it normal maybe with a touch middle?
Anonymous user's avatar
Tyrone 4 years ago
I really would love to see a graphics up scaling BUT I honestly don't see everyone having the TV's to cope with it! But would really like to see Xbox ditching the traditional DVD and going onto Blu Ray or the next big thing just to compete with Sony! Having 3 discs for FF13 was a complete joke for 8 hours worth of gameplay on each. Would be nice to see something were the hub was social with friends, jump in and out of chats basically like the Wii U, it's going to happen with out a doubt! Don't change the controller to touch screen no one wants that at all keep it normal maybe with a touch middle?
Barada's avatar
Barada 4 years ago
Nintendo to bring out a new system in 2018 called, "Synapse". Will consist of a huge glowing orb, where gamers tap into the pulsating energy with the power of their brainwaves. Users can create anything they desire and make up their own rules. OK, maybe not just now but 100+ years from now.
GAZZAAAAAAAAA's avatar
GAZZAAAAAAAAA 4 years ago
Still enjoying my 360 so can keep this for now lol.
mrmascal4's avatar
mrmascal4 4 years ago
As long as they do not go the disc-free, download only route, I'lll be happy.
Crunch70's avatar
Crunch70 4 years ago
I would like to see the next gens to use existing hardware like the kinect as people have spent lots of money on these items. It would be nice if they were 100% backward compatible with software titles too.

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