The current generation of game platforms has been really good to us so far. I honestly think this is one of the best generations we've had yet. You got your full retail games (and their 20-someodd sequels) You got smaller Indie games from Xbox LIVE Arcade, WiiWare and the Playstation Network. Back catalogs like the Wii Virtual Console, Xbox Originals, and Playstation Classics (in case you don't have the earlier consoles). Casual games for the newcomers, hardcore games for the veterans. And games that are in the limelight are more diverse than ever. But for all the really cool things that have come out of this cycle so far, there have been equally cool ideas that simply haven't caught on. I'm going to talk about what I think is the biggest missed opportunity for each platform.
Xbox 360(and PC now that I think about it)
Cross-platform play. The idea that you playing the Xbox 360 version of a game while your friend is playing the PC version WITH YOU has always been somewhat of a pipe-dream. Microsoft implemented Games for Windows LIVE cross-platform play with Shadowrun in its debut. The game wasn't that good, and there were steep hurdles to overcome if you wanted to play with your console playing friends. But the fact that it has been done was exciting in and of itself.
When Microsoft said they were going to use Games for Windows LIVE with the PC port of Gears of War, I was frothing over the potential of it being cross-platform. At the time I didn't have a 360 (yet) and my brother did with Gears of War. So naturally I was excited, only to find out it wasn't utilizing the feature. Since then Games for Windows LIVE has been revised, and all the original hurdles have been lifted, but only a few games support cross-platform play, and none of them being very good; I think the best game that DOES use it is Lost Planet: Colonies.
Now if they were to use it for . . . say . . . Left 4 Dead, or Call of Duty: World at War, they would've struck gold. But it has simply gone back to pipe-dream status. Too bad.
The Playstation 3 is by far, the most versatile of the 3 consoles. Being able to install Linux, using 8GB jump drives as memory cards, using your own HDD, Blu-ray, third party mods. That's right, all that awesome stuff that makes PC gaming so cool you could potentially do on PS3, but the biggest missed opportunity on the PS3 is . . .
Third party mods. The only game as far as I know that use third party mods is Unreal Tournament III (and Little Big Planet to a lesser extent). The ability to use the UnrealEd toolkit to build your own levels, mutators, mods, etc. and "cook" them for use on the PS3. Having a feature like that in other games like Fallout 3's G.E.C.K toolkit or SourceDK for the Orange Box would probably render PC gaming obsolete. I like modding, I don't like having to deal with drivers or other little issues because the developers didn't devote enough time on the PC version.
Ugh, take your pick.
- The lack of quality games
- Bad online experience
- No true 1:1 movement until June (and only for certain games)
- waggle controls that don't "revolutionize" the experience
- Older franchises recycling the same formula (i.e Zelda and Metroid. Yeah I'm calling Nintendo out on this bullshit)
- Repackaging Gamecube games as new Wii games.
As a loyal Nintendo devotee for the past three console cycles I can't help but be disillusioned by the Wii and Nintendo's current business model. And I know I'm not the only one.
NOTE: the last one on that list isn't a missed opportunity so much as it is simply BULLSHIT!!
OK I think I've rambled on long enough. And to all of y'all, what is your opinion on the biggest missed opportunities this generation?