As we learn more about the next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles, fans are already salivating. We’re also already starting to save, as current indications are that the next generation of consoles could be the most expensive we’ve seen in a while, or ever. Looking at the revealed specs, and simple patterns of technological improvement, it’s inevitable that we’ll be seeing better graphics and larger games, but what else do gamers want? Taking a completely professional and not at all biased survey of our workmates and friends, here’s what we’ve come up with.
More Open Architecture
One of the biggest advantages of PC gaming, while admittedly a double-edged sword, comes from their open architecture. Modification of the platform and gaming experience can add a great deal to the way we play a game, and this is doubly so for those of us with health or disabilities to contend with.
Unfortunately, consoles have been historically hesitant on this front. It makes sense in many ways, as some forms of open platforming raise the possibilities for virus and corruption, but we’d still like a better way to enjoy a wider range of homebrew games, for a start.
Speaking of homebrew games, how about the ability to engage in free online gaming? Xbox Live and PSPlus are great in their own ways, but they measure up poorly when compared to the free offerings the PC gaming world gives openly. This would be great in terms of cost, naturally, but also for those of us who hate dealing with signup systems. Many popular modern systems like online casino sites now allow users to play without registration for games like blackjack and poker, so why can’t we do the same with Halo or Dragon Ball Fighterz?
A Choice in Graphics
This generation has been one which has been very much leaning into higher resolutions. There is little doubt that 4k images look great, and help sell games, but in terms of actual gameplay, it is framerate which is king.
Towards the end of this generation, especially on the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro versions of current systems, increasingly more games are leaning into offering a 4k cinematic 30fps option, or a 1080p 60fps performance option. Hopefully, this is a pattern which adopted even more thoroughly next-gen, as for most of us, the choice is not a difficult one.
Greater Cross-Platform Multiplayer
One of the best trends to come out of this generation is undoubtedly that of cross-platform multiplayer. Initially held back by Sony’s reticence, now most systems are combining their communities into one cohesive whole. No more having to coordinate with your friends to buy the same version is amazingly consumer-friendly and well-loved by all. Here’s hoping this is a starting concern with Sony and Microsoft as the new consoles and online infrastructure launch.
While we always look forward to the next generation of console gaming, rarely has the gaming environment proved as promising as it is today. We have high hopes for the coming consoles, and unlike previous years, many of our hopes have very real chances of coming to pass. So which of these potential aspects are the most important to you?