dan forys

blog

Next generation console wishlist

Posted on 2013-02-18 - Comments

The next generation is imminent... which is nice.

Me? I'm quite late to the current generation. I got my first HDTV in 2011, just after moving to a house I could fit one in. Into said TV, I plugged in my Wii, which looked pretty rubbish blown up to fifty-five inches. So i bought a PS3.

I bought a PS3 because I wanted to be immersed in impressive HD visuals and surround sound - it was powerful and had some awesome games. This is important, and a point I shall come back to.

Fast forward to today and all the industry commentators are wondering if 2013's Sony and Microsoft announcements are going to set the world alight. Some of them have suggested that the gaming world has changed and we're now gaming on our phones and tablets. Sony and Microsoft are, in their opinion, Simply Too Late.

I'm not sure I agree.

As I said before, I want to be immersed. I want to sit in my lounge on a comfy sofa playing something on a big screen with surround sound. I want to play with a tactile controller that fits my hand and doesn't obscure the action. I want to play something with more sophistication than another bloody variation of Angry Birds. I want a device that will play at 1080p in stereoscopic 3D at 60fps.

I almost never play games on my phone. Instead, I read Twitter and the news on my commute. What a bore, I know.

I'm not so naïve to believe that my requirements apply to everyone else, but I also believe that I'm not alone in yearning for a console that has some BOOM for my hard earned cash.

What Sony and Microsoft were too late for was the gimmicky Wii-style physical and party gaming phase. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is fun, but having guests around to play childish party games is the exception rather than the rule. Most of the time I'm playing single player - at least until I can convince Mrs Forys that Little Big Planet Karting is really worth her time.

So, I guess I'm saying I'm really looking forward to Sony's announcement this Wednesday. I hope the rumoured specs are true. I also hope Microsoft come up with something to rival it - let's keep things competitive.

Specs are not, however, my only wishes. Here are a few more in no particular order:

Don't make it hard to transfer purchases from machine to machine

I've read tales of content migration woes on the Wii U. I don't ever want to be in the position where all my games vanish because of some accidental account closure, hacking attempt, or hardware failure. Please just make it really simple to back stuff up and transfer purchases from machine to machine. I'm not a pirate, don't treat me as such.

Don't forget the indies

One thing that phone and tablet platforms have been good at is bringing out the bedroom and indie developers into the mainstream. Please don't make your platform the exclusive territory of big studios who can licence your overpriced dev kits. Make the indie content easy to find and easy to create. If you don't - Ouya, iOS and whatever Valve come up with is going to steal away the indie market from under your nose.

In fact, if I can download a free dev kit for your console and hack away myself - I will come to your offices and kiss you all. Or buy you doughnuts. Probably.

Don't crap on your loyal customers in general

Hey Sony - I don't want to see a massive epilepsy warning EVERY TIME I turn the console on. I don't want features removed with mandatory software updates. I don't want the PS-vita hard-sell in the PS3 store. Rein in the lawyers and marketers FFS.

Be interoperable

I'm not made of money, I'm not going to buy every piece of next-gen shinyshizzle that comes out. Please licence and support the common audio and video codecs. I'd really like to stream stuff off my iPhone, PC or whatever to your device. Don't lock me in to your proprietary stuff alone.

Be backwards compatible

I've invested quite a lot fairly recently in joypads and games. Please don't make me buy it all over again - you're not Nintendo. I do appreciate that the PS3 had some crazy custom processor, but please please please find a way of making my old games work.

Thank-you.