Editorial

Why I don't want a next generation console just yet

The idea of new consoles has gotten me excited since I was bought my very first GameBoy Pocket, but nowadays, the appeal of current games and experiences exceeds my need for more visually appealing games.

Current games in this generation are primarily developed for their stellar stories and cinematic gameplay sequences, which is exactly why I just don't want that to end just yet. This generation has delivered some of the greatest games and franchises of all time and has made me a die-hard 3rd person action game fan. With great games like Uncharted, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, InFamous and Dead Space to name a few, we've somewhat managed to get the most diverse line-up of game releases in a very long time.

Image credit: WeGotThisCovered

As we continue to push the boundaries graphically, and also push boundaries with in-game mechanics. This has lead to games like Little Big Planet being top-sellers because of the game's ability to make people wear their creative hats and come together to share ideas or play together.

It would seem the current state of the industry has lead to more opportunities for developers to start working on games, and it means that pretty much anyone can get their game published if it has a market. I honestly believe the indie developer experience is perfect right now. Games like Journey and Papo & Yo are great examples of top-selling indie games which offer an emotional but ever-so artistic approach to the video games industry and why would anyone need more?

Image credit: VGBlogger

I just feel that a newer generation of games may lead to a lot of great franchises coming to a standstill in development, and although I'd be open to see more original IPs in future, I just don't feel as inclined to play them. I also think that games do not need to look more realistic, but I also understand that whatever happens, it'll be welcomed. I do think games like Battlefield 3, The Last of Us, Crysis 3 all look phenomenal enough.

Image credit: Gamespot

I think in time the games industry is quickly impacting and creating a demand for mobile entertainment, which is something future consoles should try to embrace. The mobile market is huge, so it'd be a waste to not partner with OEMs to allow some minor or major cross-compatability features, similar to how the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 systems work together.

It's also a concern as to how much it'll cost to purchase a next generation system, as even the PS3 cost $599 at launch. Hardware advancements are one thing needed to manufacture a decent successor, but if you're Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo, you are likely fighting for some form of relevance, and with that comes extra features, services and capabilities, which could prove to increase costs.

Whether it's ruining the creative direction for current franchises leading into the next generation or the cost of hardware, the games industry will continue to grow rapidly until our visions become a reality. I do think next generation games and consoles will be spectacular, I really am for new consoles, just not now. I'm too busy enjoying remasters, exclusive titles and beautifully constructed franchise to care about the future just yet. However, at the end of the day, new console releases are based on developer and consumer demand, so on that note, please let us know what you think on the topic.

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31 Comments

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I really want a next gen console now so Activision sequels can be real sequels and not the same game with a new number on the case.

As others have stated, I'm having trouble with your primary assertion that a "new generation of consoles = an end to the types of games you enjoy currently."

I'm not following at all. When the industry transitioned from PS2/Xbox to PS3/Xbox 360, we got even better games, not just visually, but in terms of story, experience and gameplay. What have you seen or experienced that would lead you to the conclusion that the PS4/Xbox "720" would change that?

PC graphics hardware refreshes every year, with better performance and lower energy requirements and also adds new features (via OS libraries like DirectX and vendor-specific driver enhancements like TXAA) that enhance the visual experience, yet we still get great games and experiences and stories. If your premise had any merit, PC gaming would have been dead on the vine years ago when this hardware upgrade cycle/treadmill started.

The fact of the matter is that the current generation of console games, no matter how good they are (and the stories and gameplay experiences have little to nothing to do with the hardware) are limited by what the hardware is capable of rendering on screen. And let's be honest, we've hit that wall (as evidenced by games like Rage, where the tech is just so far ahead of the hardware that you had to install it on the Xbox 360's hard drive to reduce, not eliminate, the texture streaming being visible - granted that was primarily the difference between optical and hard media, but the effect is still noticeable even with the game on hard media because the hardware can't keep up with the demands of the tech).

Consoles by their nature are "locked" in time. The designers of the console have to choose a hardware spec that will not change notably over a longer period of time. This ensures a long life cycle for the hardware with minimal (and decreasing over time) costs. This also ensures that developers have a stable non-moving target to hit for their game.

But the problem is that technology keeps improving and capabilities of newer hardware make the existing stuff look comparatively worse as the tech gets better. In order to remain competitive, the consoles have to refresh periodically, even if that means a period of "pain" as the user base transitions.

I'm fairly happy with console games visually, except for two things:

1. Frame rate (everything should be running at 60 fps)
2. Anti Aliasing

The only way to improve those is with some new hardware. And when I say I'm fairly happy with how games currently look on consoles, that's only true as long as I don't compare it to a screenshot of the PC version with all the details set to high.

all the games mentioned suck.
my first console was some Atari style thing with credit cards for games (80's)
Advanced tech i was stunned at was the orig Game Boy.

PC gaming sucks and console gaming is even worse.
This author is the kind of person that i always wonder who
buys all these games that come out (that arn't worth torrent bandwidth)

I got almost 300$ for my Dreamcast + extras years ago and that was my last console.
recently had my brother offer me an xbox too and i said no.. i don't want it.
It may be i'm a crotchety old man here on this but i've seen it an been there and done that too many times.. most of this monster/sci fi/zombie/future fps/mmorpg stuff
is shockingly bad in my opinion console or pc or even on your cell phone.
Gotta look at what is all time popular and why and then look at the crap that gets pumped out all the time.. see a difference ?

Atleast on console you have less bs though for example new drivers came out today for nvidia 306.23 and their changelog said the 600 and 700 series of cards will be not supported on the next driver version and are being moved to the Legacy driver package LOL
Man technology moves fast ahahha

I am Not PCyr said,
how articulate of a reply wow.
do you have the ability to say what your thinking ?
..can always take some late night english classes.

Well you were kind of rambling on there like Grandpa Simpson.

CatweazƖe said,

Well you were kind of rambling on there like Grandpa Simpson.

Because your reply was that much more articulated. Maybe it should be you that takes those classes?

This article is based on the premise that the current level of "engaging" experiences in games using current gen, and better graphics with the next gen are two mutually exclusive things. They aren't.

There's nothing to say a game with better graphics has to somehow automatically have a weaker story, or worse gameplay. This just isn't true.

Xbox 360's graphics are very dated by current PC standards, and games that really push the boundaries on the 360 quite often suffer from occasional moments of frame rate loss. It's day is over, and we need a new replacement. And to say again, that doesn't mean games developed for the new platform have to be any less engaging.

I don't think a new generation of consoles would mean the end of great stories and gameplay and the Xbox 360 really needs replacing. Its technology is really ancient by today's standards. I want to see the PS4 give Microsoft some competition too. The PS3 was such a disappointment and let MS take over the market, leading to greedy nonsense like forcing us to pay for XBox Live to access things like Netflix or charging ridiculous prices for proprietary hard drives.

CatweazƖe said,
I don't think a new generation of consoles would mean the end of great stories and gameplay and the Xbox 360 really needs replacing. Its technology is really ancient by today's standards. I want to see the PS4 give Microsoft some competition too. The PS3 was such a disappointment and let MS take over the market, leading to greedy nonsense like forcing us to pay for XBox Live to access things like Netflix or charging ridiculous prices for proprietary hard drives.

To be honest, its not Microsoft's fault that you pay for XBOX live.. well it is, but you can pay for Playstation Plus and that isn't as good as Microsoft's offering on a paid service platform. So from that point of view, Sony just didn't provide a good enough service and that is why you pay for XBOX Live.

Also, Microsoft did some amazing deals for when the 360 hit the stores. They had learnt from their past mistake on the original xbox with Sony getting exclusive rights to far too many titles. Microsoft pre-empt that and signed up every single one of Sony's existing publishers who had exlcusive rights and got them onboard with the XBOX.
Next up, was Microsoft's arguably best trate, their software development kits. They've already had years a head practice one up on Sony for allowing developers to create software for their platform (Windows) and have done quite successful with it too.

sagum said,

To be honest, its not Microsoft's fault that you pay for XBOX live.. well it is, but you can pay for Playstation Plus and that isn't as good as Microsoft's offering on a paid service platform. So from that point of view, Sony just didn't provide a good enough service and that is why you pay for XBOX Live.

You don't have to pay for Playstation Plus to use Netflix. It's free on the Wii also, and every other device made. The XBox 360 is the only device that you have to pay extra to use a pay service like Hulu Plus or Netflix on.

CatweazƖe said,

You don't have to pay for Playstation Plus to use Netflix. It's free on the Wii also, and every other device made. The XBox 360 is the only device that you have to pay extra to use a pay service like Hulu Plus or Netflix on.

But you're not paying to use Netflix, you're paying a premium for XBOX Live access. That itself is a premium service for the reasons I've already said.

sagum said,

But you're not paying to use Netflix, you're paying a premium for XBOX Live access. That itself is a premium service for the reasons I've already said.

If I want to use Netflix I have to pay for Premium XBox Live access, even if I only want to use Netflix. That is a fact. It's also a fact that no other console or device makes you do that. There is no reason to not allow us to use Netflix without XBox Live, other than greed. Netflix is not a Microsoft service.

I don't want a modified 'PC'. I want a REAL console, like a PS2 or Super Nintendo, put the game in and play. No required Internet, no huge Hard Drives, no P2W and no DLC.

And with the younger generation not even owning a TV, I can't see 'Consoles' playing much of a role in the future. Especially with real gamers getting older and caring less about Video Games.

Mike Frett said,
I don't want a modified 'PC'. I want a REAL console, like a PS2 or Super Nintendo, put the game in and play. No required Internet, no huge Hard Drives, no P2W and no DLC.

And with the younger generation not even owning a TV, I can't see 'Consoles' playing much of a role in the future. Especially with real gamers getting older and caring less about Video Games.

I do miss those days but I'm afraid they are gone forever. Today it's all about internet connected multimedia hubs that do it all. Which wouldn't be so bad if they wouldn't plaster them full of ads and crap (*cough* Xbox). As for DLC it's here to stay too, a new way of milking games for more money.

Mike Frett said,
I don't want a modified 'PC'. I want a REAL console, like a PS2 or Super Nintendo, put the game in and play. No required Internet, no huge Hard Drives, no P2W and no DLC.

I'm also with you but I think also that Catweazle has a point, I however am quite new to steam, they somehow gave me back the sensation of having a full fledged console on my PC, good games have often discounts and overall feels very great, I seriously recommend it to anyone.
And with the younger generation not even owning a TV, I can't see 'Consoles' playing much of a role in the future. Especially with real gamers getting older and caring less about Video Games.

Arceles said,

I can't see 'Consoles' playing much of a role in the future. Especially with real gamers getting older and caring less about Video Games.

If they were a real gamer, they'd be playing hardcore until they really can't play anymore. Don't confuse real gamers with people who had a good time playing games

sagum said,

If they were a real gamer, they'd be playing hardcore until they really can't play anymore. Don't confuse real gamers with people who had a good time playing games

like who Tween's in a Clan being all uber leet n stuff ? !1111III1!!ONEONE!11111

I am Not PCyr said,

like who Tween's in a Clan being all uber leet n stuff ? !1111III1!!ONEONE!11111

I wouldn't really consider them the older gamer, I was thinking more along the lines of the 45+ year olds who still play games for several hours a day and chances are they will continue to do so until they can't anymore, be it from arthritis, or they simply die.
The real gamers won't care if the game is 20 years old, they'll still play it like the day they got it when they were in their teens, as well as moden day games with their fancy graphics.

If someone thinks that this generation is the best of all generations... they really need more "gaming" education.

Arceles said,
If someone thinks that this generation is the best of all generations... they really need more "gaming" education.

Do they? Or do you just have a differing opinion? I've been gaming since Apple 2+ so I thinks my education is fine.

Current games in this generation are primarily developed for their stellar stories and cinematic gameplay sequences, which is exactly why I just don't want that to end just yet.

I guess I missed the news that next gen consoles won't have stellar stories and cinematic gameplay sequences....?

Nashy said,
I want a new console, and I want it to be friggin awesome.

We're at the stage of uber graphics and great gameplay from personal computers. Be it the C64, or the zx128 or even prior to that. Its always been computers that have pushed the limits of graphics and what we call games today.

Consoles are, by their very design, held back. Any PC game who knows their hardware will tell you, its heardly worth upgrading to the next gen tech for games because progress is now halted by Console to PC ports with little or no thought process gone into upgrading the games graphics or gameplay (think control pads now) and the result is we're stuck with games that are now years past their best before date on the PC front.

The only reason I'll be welcoming a new gen console is hopefully, so that games get a decent bump up for PC users as well. If it wasn't for PC gamers and the hardware they have, development/publishers for consoles would be quite happy to rehash the same game engine over and ov... ok .. so they do that already but you get the point.

sagum said,

We're at the stage of uber graphics and great gameplay from personal computers. Be it the C64, or the zx128 or even prior to that. Its always been computers that have pushed the limits of graphics and what we call games today.

Consoles are, by their very design, held back. Any PC game who knows their hardware will tell you, its heardly worth upgrading to the next gen tech for games because progress is now halted by Console to PC ports with little or no thought process gone into upgrading the games graphics or gameplay (think control pads now) and the result is we're stuck with games that are now years past their best before date on the PC front.

The only reason I'll be welcoming a new gen console is hopefully, so that games get a decent bump up for PC users as well. If it wasn't for PC gamers and the hardware they have, development/publishers for consoles would be quite happy to rehash the same game engine over and ov... ok .. so they do that already but you get the point.

I'm not an uber gamer. I'm a gadget nut, who plays a few games, and talks too much **** on the Internet.

I want a new awesome shiny console.

Nashy said,

I'm not an uber gamer. I'm a gadget nut, who plays a few games, and talks too much **** on the Internet.

I want a new awesome shiny console.

I hear the Wii U is out soon. Thats shiny enough or would you prefer to wait for the PS3 ultra slim where they've removed the bluray drive?

sagum said,

I hear the Wii U is out soon. Thats shiny enough or would you prefer to wait for the PS3 ultra slim where they've removed the bluray drive?

Xbox next gen will do.

sagum said,

I hear the Wii U is out soon. Thats shiny enough or would you prefer to wait for the PS3 ultra slim where they've removed the bluray drive?

Umm... they didn't remove the BluRay drive. It's just top loading instead of slot loading. Without a BluRay drive, you wouldn't be able to play any disc-based games, which would be kinda silly right now.