Five Things I'm Praying Won't Take Precedence Next-Gen
Posted on Monday, October 22 @ 09:00:00 PST by Alex_Osborn
As super-powered PCs continue to raise the visual bar for games, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are really starting to show their age. While Microsoft and Sony refuse to admit that they're currently working on new hardware, the writing is on the wall, plain as day. The inevitable launch of new hardware brings with it both changes for the future and carried-over features from the past, both tangible and intangible. As such, I've decided to share with you five things (some new, some old) that I truly hope won't end up defining the way we'll be playing games over the next several years.
1. Controller Gimmicks
Nintendo started the terrifying trend with the Wii and now they've likely done it again with the Wii U. Will tablet-centric controllers be the new "it" thing? Will we see Sony and Microsoft waste precious resources into copying what Nintendo has created? I sure hope not. It is one of the few reasons I was delighted to see Microsoft announce SmartGlass at E3, giving weight to the possibility that a simple app will be enough to incorporate tablet functionality while not letting it get in the way. In the case of Sony, I just hope that they let the Move die in peace. They honestly don't have the money to invest in some wacky tablet controller—never mind a new console— so let's just hope they focus on Vita compatibility instead.
2. Cloud Gaming
Services like OnLive and Gaikai, while incredibly impressive, scare the living heck out of me. The slow but steady transition to digital has already been a bit problematic (see DRM) as streaming games through a cloud-based service opens a whole new can of worms. Part of the appeal of gaming is the ability to take ownership of the products you've purchased. When it is all stored on the cloud, you don't really own any of the content you pay for. Should that service go down, well... then I'm sorry but you're out of luck.
However, with Sony's recent purchase of Gaikai, we're definitely going to see it in some shape or form in the coming years. I just hope it doesn't end up doing more harm than good.
3. Quick-Time Events
They may have been cool in the first God of War, but let's face it, QTEs are getting out of hand. (Resident Evil 6, anyone?)They've been shoehorned into nearly every action game on the market and do little more than give you something to do while you watch a cinematic. How about telling the story around the gameplay rather than slapping in QTE-equipped cutscenes that provide a false sense of interactivity? New hardware brings more power, so let's hope that developers put to rest on this game design crutch in the future.
4. Downloadable Content
Say what you want about lasting value, but I absolutely abhor DLC and what it has done to the gaming community. Between having to listen to all the whiners complain that there's add-on content already on the disc, and to being let down time and time again by half-hearted money-grabbing moves by developers, I've grown tired of the concept.
If, however, this can morph into a new form of game delivery, say, episodic gaming, I may be able to get behind a similar business model. It will be interesting to see how Halo 4's Spartan Ops mode changes the world of DLC. That said, downloadable content simply can't carry on into the next-gen the way it has been over the past few years.
5. Emphasis on Exclusives
Am I the only one who is sick of fanboys ranting on message boards about which console has the best exclusives? I can't wait for the day when every game is available virtually everywhere, when defending your console of choice isn't reduced to a list of games that you can only find on that platform. Since the early days of gaming, it has all too often been more about loyalty to a particular piece of hardware than the actual games that run on them. Unfortunately, as much as I hate to admit it, I fear we're still a long ways off from this ever happening.
But enough about what I think! Sound off in the comments below with the five atrocities you'd like to see ripped from the industry during the next generation of gaming.
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