With a rapidly approaching next generation of consoles, it seems like a good time to look back on the last generation and the lessons we have learned from it to try and make the next one even better than before. These are the features we think should be in the next generation that either were not in this generation, or were not universal.
We have mandatory trophies and achievements, yet whether or not we include the hard of hearing is left up to the developers. This should be fixed. Here’s an idea too, make them available in the same place for every game. No more guessing whether they’re in the game, sound, or display options.
I’ve had plenty of consoles, from the humble NES to the mighty PS3, but never before until this generation have I invested so much money into downloadable content and games. I think at this point, really, all new consoles should be backwards compatible so that owners of all of this content can still use it – at least in terms of stuff from the various online stores should still work on the next console upwards. If they expect us to buy new consoles that are basically the same thing, but slightly better, then we should expect all of our old content to continue working. I wouldn’t expect to have to lose access to all my games because of a Steam update, consoles should really work the same way.
You’ve bought several hundred songs since your last back-up, but alas, the hard drive has finally died on your console. Time to replace it, and get the songs back on the new drive, so we’ll just pop into the store and re-download all the songs. You go through the menus to Rock Band Add-On content and hit the “Download All” option to queue all the songs for download. Except you don’t because that option doesn’t exist, now it’s time to go through the song list finding all your content and downloading it individually, or wading through the Downloaded List. Let’s add Download All options next gen.
Cross-game voice chat
I neither care for, nor really understand the need for cross-game voice chat when you can send invitations to games and messages already. Chances are; I’m never going to use it. I mostly want it so that people shut up about cross-game voice chat. There are other issues that are far more important.
Global console options
Are you, like me, one of those people who always … always … always fiddles with options and settings to get then just right, before you can even play a game? And isn’t it annoying when you can’t find options you want, either because they don’t exist – or because it doesn’t let you change them until after you start a new game? Well, a better place to have options for subtitles and control options is on the console itself with the ability to change from the default for any given game. Are you one of those strange people who like to fly their characters? Well, how about an invert vertical look option that’s on-console rather than having to rely on games having it. The ability to remap all your controls in one step and the ability to, again, change from the default for any given game. Prefer R2 to R1? Change the option. Prefer to swap sticks? Change the option.
That way, with a control and option standard enforced, we don’t have to worry about learning a new console layout. We don’t have to decide if it’s worth getting used to a game’s different controls, for example, Burnout Paradise doesn’t let you swap the X axis at all, so if you prefer it a different way to the game you’re going to have to get used to it, but this wouldn’t be the case with global control support. You could put any game in and enjoy it straight away.
Better Social and Media capabilities
You know what would be nice? If I could pause a game on my powerful and impressive-looking next gen system and open a web browser to find some information out right then and there. If I could make a little post to the social website of my choice at the same time too. I could use my computer, or my phone for that matter…but I’d always hoped and assumed the console was moving towards actually being the only piece of hardware you really need in your house. Being able to conveniently browse the internet, send emails, update twitter (with a small picture of the game I’m playing, that can’t be impossible, right?) and watch videos easily – even while in a game.
But (speaking as a PS3 user obviously) this isn’t the case. The browser is sadly lacking…the YouTube version you get on the PS3 is ugly, blocky, and low resolution. I can’t, sadly, make a convenient post to a social website or send an email because that would mean relying on that awful web browser. It has a few redeeming features, sure, LoveFilm and BBC Iplayer programs that work decently, but it’s not enough – and took too long to get.
I’d like to have, in the future please console makers, a nifty console box that I can plug into a tv and stereo system and do everything I could want. Playing a game, then pausing to post about something awesome happening, looking something up or watching a video if I get stuck, having an easy to use browser experience for when I get a little tired of gaming or I could watch something online if I wanted to. Then I’d really be using my console.