Dtoid Community Discusses!: Next Next-Gen Consoles
Woot!! Another week, another discussion! In case this is the first time you are reading one of these, Dtoid Community Discusses is a weekly c-blog which brings together members of the Destructoid Community to talk about topics that pertain (of course) to gaming and gaming culture. If you’d like to check out the backlog of past discussion topics, please check out the links on the side bar!
This week, the dream team of Aerox, Christiangamer, Knives, and Bigby came together to discuss the future of gaming consoles! (and PC….there was a little bit of sidetracking that occurred near the end) Read on to see the question I posed to the panel, and their responses!
The Next Next-Gen Consoles. Even though the PS3, Wii, and Xbox360 have been out for a while now, you can still hear them being referred to as 'Next-gen'. Eventually, however, the time will come when these consoles are old hat, and we have new consoles to look forward to...the next next-gen consoles. This dicussion will be based around our thoughts on the future.
What are your thoughts on the future of consoles? How different will they be from what we currently have? It seems like there are two paths to go down. The path of the multimedia center that Sony claims the PS3 is, and the path of the waggle, with a motion control mindset that the Wii has cemented into the minds of the general public. Finally, there is always talk about the possibility of a "one console market". Do you forsee that happening? Jonathan Ross is a PC snob? (<3)
Well, this generation has really had huge upsets over the last. With Nintendo jumping from last to first from the previous gen, and the big dog of Sony dropping down the to third spot, its anyone's guess as to what will happen this next gen. If anything was learned from this cycle, it was the power of third party development. Xbox has flourished under tons of developers flocking to its console, even with its bugs and problems. Mainly as it not only made the development easy for them, but also MS threw huge chunks of cash to entice them. Sony took a hands-off approach and expected developers to jump on their bandwagon because of the PS2. Nintendo, as usual, relied mostly on its own stables and some new ponies and tricks. But not only did Xbox grab up the mainstream, but they also put a lock on online content with its Live service. I think the next gen will see a much larger focus on online capability and community than ever before.
Though I am not sure what Nintendo is going to do, as it has the unfriendliest online service of all. However I can definitely see Sony stepping up their game to try and compete on a more level playing field with MS and Live. Yes, Home is a bag of donkey balls, but at least they are trying. We can only hope they will get some better departments working on their online capabilities. And also, they will not be the red headed step child of DLC the next generation as they are this one, with MS buying up huge chunks of exclusive DLC for itself (see the GTA IV DLC controversy) and Sony just (mistakenly) shrugging it off as if it won't matter. They are going to have to acknowledge that the online services now are a major part of gaming and game consoles. And Nintendo is going to have to dump friend codes and do a damn nickname system of some kind, for crying out loud.
Well, with the Wii's success and Nintendo's current stance on "core" gamers, I can see the Wii lasting a long time. I can easily forsee in the Next Generation, the Xbox 720, The PS4, and the Wii. If Nintendo decides to make a new Wii, I agree with Bigby; they'd have to make better online functions. There's no excuse for it when the 360 has such a streamlined experience. Is there really a huge difference between playing with the computer or online players in Brawl in the Wii's current online state? No voice chat, no nick names, and no way to add randoms to your friends list. Nintendo has to man up to the facts that kids shouldn't play video games online so there shouldn't be all these protective features. I got more to say, but my chicken pot pie is almost done.
I think it's going to be hard to predict what next-gen consoles do, because it's really going to depend on what happens in the remainder of this generation. Sony's recent $1 billion dollar loss is a BIG deal, and the blame seems to pretty solely rest with the electronics division; who knows what could potentially happen in the next couple years. If Sony continues to hemorrhage money for the next two years as a direct result of the PS3, we may not even see a next gen console from them.
Nintendo is going to be the key one to watch out for, I think. Like it or not, they're really setting the direction of the industry. The Wii2 or whatever they're going to call it will almost certainly be the first of the "next-next gen" consoles out, which is going to give them an even bigger advantage than they already have. If whatever they decide to do with the Wii2 ends up being a huge success again, expect the other companies to try and emulate. At the very, very least, I imagine that motion control will be a part of every single next-next gen console.
Personally, motion control stuff is a gimmick, and one not that well implemented. It's ok for Wii Sports, or a game dedicated to its use, but when they try to shove it in as a partial component to another game it feels tacked on and irritating. Like having to turn your controller on PS3 to open a door or flick it to reload, when you can press a button and do the same thing without having to think about it. I can't really see motion control being useful until they make it more reliable.
Oh, I agree it's a gimmick, but it's a gimmick that's selling a ridiculous amount of consoles. We're getting to the point where investors are pretty much forcing the companies to appeal to the casual gamer, because that's where the money is at. You can see it in Microsoft, you can see Sony pathetically trying to do it, and you can bet that if the current executives at Nintendo announced they were ditching everything they had done with the Wii and going back to a "hardcore" focus, the board/shareholders would toss them out in a heartbeat. Companies are going to be forced to attract casual gamers, whether the people who run them like it or not.
"Nintendo...like it or not, they're really setting the direction of the industry"
Are you addressing me about the online functions of the Wii, Christian?
Bigby, I wasn't referring to you because I had made that post before you without hitting reply to all and Tactix corrected it for me. Oops! :) But um, yeah, I can't see the 360 changing all that much besides with graphics. It dawned on me last night that I will never trade in my Wii or 360. I have way too much downloaded on both of them. I am extremely doubtful that the next consoles will enable the ability to transfer our downloaded games like Castle Crashers or Super Mario RPG. This really disturbs me. The 360 could possibly allow the transfer of our games to a new Xbox console through Xbox Live, but I'm not so sure. Microsoft and Nintendo seem to make a killing off of charging us for games that we already own. Unless Nintendo makes another console like the Wii, our Wii games will be never be backwards compatible. Now if only there were some games worth being backwards compatible on the Wii.
Well, MS already has the license transfer tool between 360s, I'm sure they could adapt that to be used for their next console. Nintendo you could just throw everything on an SD card and transfer it over. The PS3 I'm not sure about, unless you just pull your hard drive and stick it in the new one, but I'm guessing they'll come up with some sort of solution.Sony keeps insisting they're following the 10 year cycle anyway, so you won't have to worry about that for a while.
I think the whole economy crisis will delay the next consoles for a while. I don't think any of the companies would want to make a huge investment and sell products at a loss (like they usually do at launch) with everything that's going on.
With that said, I would really like to see MS or Sony take a risk like Nintendo did with the Wii and, even if it ends up being gimmicky or whatever you like to call it, at least bring something new that could sweep people away (maybe the Nvidia 3d glasses?
) and hopefully bring out more creativity from developers this time. Although I can still easily see the next Xbox and Playstation be "two 360's or PS3s taped together".
And yes, Jonathan Ross is a PC snob... but so am I <3.
Thinking about it from a economic standpoint is a really interesting stand point that I didn’t think about! It seems like Sony and Microsoft are already hurting like crazy selling their consoles at a loss, so its true that Nintendo will probably be the first out of the gate with a new console and the ability to take more risks with their new product.
Anyway, kinda related (and speaking a bit about PC snobbery), where do you think the future of the "next next-gen" PC games will go. If it does turn out like Aerox says and gaming trends casual and motion sensing, do you think PC games will follow suit? Or will they just do what they do best and become the platform for superior versions of games like Left 4 Dead? (....as certain people won’t shut up about.../me looks at Jonathan Ross)
I think Steam has hit it on the nose. A large shift is going into online content now, as almost everyone is connected that is into the gaming world. Updates and expansions galore are headed our way for games released with a smaller footprint with expansions going out to make it a more in depth product. As for PC machines themselves, well HP is gearing up with ready to go PC gaming rigs like the Blackbird and the Phoenix i think its called, smaller version of Blackbird. As prices drop on PC's so too will the cost to get into the PC gaming market. Mods and community efforts are really pushing this across as well. While consoles are limited to whatever experience is laid out for them, PC users can enjoy tons of customized content made not only by the developers but by fans and modders.
On the console side, bigger is not going to be better. I think the current gen is at the upper limit of what can be done for a game, and now it needs to be polished, nurtured, optimized for better handling and gameplay. Learn more about the current architectures with only minor tweaks and have a focus on larger drives and internet capabilities. Open up a modding tool of some kind for consoles to allow end users some flexibility to make their own kind of content. Nothing major, just maybe a way to import maps or skins, that alone would be something.
I don't really see PC gaming having a radical change anytime soon, I guess Steam will continue becoming the platform/distributor of choice (except maybe for Maxio [Steam blocked his account -Tactix]
), mods will still be made, torrents and piracy will still be there, indie developers will still get more public on PC, Jonathan Ross will still be a snob. Maybe the biggest change could be found in the PC gamers, with decent **cough**
better than mine :( **cough**
gaming PCs under $1k (just checked prices on newegg) there's a chance more console gamers will try PC gaming, unless of course hardware makers still advertise their expensive flagship products as a must.
I think consoles will continue following the PC path; they got online last gen, this gen they've been getting into the user generated content. I expect next gen to have more PC-Console integration, with more games offering stats like Bungie with Halo, easier ways to get mods on games like UT3 and with MS, Sony and Nintendo trying to get more profitable indie games on their service.
Oh, and before I forget, I also think MS has the biggest pressure of the 3 to make something better/special to keep their userbase after the horrible reliability of their 360 console.
Hey now, between you (Knives), me, and Bigby, we can just pummel Tactix into submission. There's enough snobbery to go around.
/me hides in a corner
/me readies pummeling gloves of submission +1
/me wants to hear Tactix singing The Remedy [by Jason Mraz…swoooooon –Tactix
Obligatory Jason Mraz picture :D :D <3 <3 :D :D...Don't blame me, Knives brought him up. So suck it.
For the next gen of all the consoles, I think it will be very very interesting this go around, and perhaps a much more level playing field. Everyone made mistakes this generation, now they can learn from them and apply it to the next. MS is taking its time this time around and working on the hardware aspect too so they could be the killers of the next gen. Will Nintendo continue their current trend of super friendly user type games, or beef it up to try a new tact from being flush with cash and success? And Sony, will they return to their former glory of the PS2? Or will they blunder along and fade away with the PS3? This generation has really throw it all out of whack from the past ones and upset it so much we can't really tell what's coming round the bend. We did learn one very important thing though, you can never simply depend on the fact you were great at one time to carry you over into the next generation, you still have to push and strive and compete with everyone else. If Sony does give its last gasp, that would be too sad, and leave gamers in a lurch of epic proportions. But who is to say someone will not rise to take its place? After Sega bit the big one, MS quickly filled the void, so who is to say the same cannot happen again?
I'm just hoping Sony survives the next gen. Or Capcom learns how to make consoles. Best system ever. Hopefully with this economy, we won't be charged an arm and a leg for our consoles again! Thanks for letting me be apart of this wonderous panel thing.
No...thank YOU Christiangamer, and thanks goes out to the rest of the panel. Hope you guys enjoyed reading the discussion! As always, to be included in a future panel, let me know in the comments or through IRC/email!