An Alternative Opinion: What We'd Like to See From Next-Generation Consoles

An Alternative Opinion is a weekly feature where Alt:Mag writers are given a question or topic, and submit their thoughts and opinions. Today's topic of discussion is the next generation of consoles: now that they're round the corner, what do we want to see from them? Do we even want next-gen consoles?

Aaron: Now that the PS4 has been revealed and, by the time this article goes up, we will be just a day away from the reveal of the next Xbox, we thought it would be appropriate to talk about what we'd like to see from the next-gen consoles, assuming we even want them. First off, I personally do want the next-gen consoles simply because developers have seemingly decided current-gen is as good as dead and that the ceilings have already been hit. With that in mind, let me first stress that the much-dreaded "always-on" possibility (which we discussed in our very first Alternative Opinion!) plays a huge part in my thoughts on next-gen. While PS4 have effectively assured us that they will not be doing it, we still aren't certain on Microsoft's stance. I absolutely stand against it, and will not support any console that takes it up.
However, what I do want to see is more focus on the indie developers (which the PS4 seems to be nailing right now) and certainly less focus on external media and gimmicky motion controls (your move, Microsoft). Now, I'm a big Xbox gamer: it's my main console, and is used far more than my PS3. However, everything I have seen so far from the next-gen is leaning me toward the PS4; tomorrow's Xbox reveal is crucial. I want to see more emphasis on the games themselves, not the graphics, not the apps, not the motion controls. I'm not buying an Xbox to watch Netflix (even though I have been doing that a lot recently). I'm buying it to play awesome games. Go ahead and do that, guys. That's why we like you.

Lewis: At the end of the day, I don't think I am too bothered about what the next-generation consoles end up being like, as long as they are not evil devices that feed the pockets of greedy people (micro-transactions and games that cannot be traded in are what I fear the most). I don't care if they have more impressive graphics than the previous generation, I don't care about all the gimmicks. I just want to know if the games will be good. Basically, I want to see some decent games. Back in the 90s, a full out console war was going on for king of the fourth generation between the SNES and the Sega Mega Drive (AKA the Genesis) and they weren't competing on gimmicks, they were competing on how good their games were, sure Sega loved to push 'blast processing' or whatever, but that isn't the point I am trying to make. When the PlayStation 2 arrived with a DVD player attached, this was when game consoles stop competing for the quality of games and became more about gimmicks, like which one can you control with telekinesis or which one can play Betamax tapes. That's why if the new Xbox or PlayStation is rigged with some gimmick that isn't relevant to whether or not it can play its games well, I don't really care. I want a new Jet Set Radio game, I want a sequel to Mirror's Edge, I want to see Shenmue III! So that's it really. The games are what I am looking forward the most from next-generation consoles. That is what I have always looked for, and it will continue to be this way until I lose interest in gaming all together.

Peter: Sony have already announced their PS4 (what else would they call it?) and Microsoft are very soon going to be announcing theirs. I just hope that it won’t be called the Xbox 720. Stupid rumours. What other rumours are there? Well we’ve already dealt with the always online lark, and another rumour is that you won’t be able to play pre-owned games. Which is a messy subject. As someone who has a lot of pre-owned games, if this rumour turns out to true, it will affect me and the games I do buy. I’m already selective as to what games I buy, now I’ll be even more so as I can’t wait for a few months to get it pre-owned. I can understand why they are doing it, what I just said alone proves that developers are not getting money from me, and I’m just one person. If every person did that then developers wouldn’t be getting any money.
But if it is true then the quality of games really should be better, and I don’t mean just visually, games are bloody expensive and it’s debatable if you actually get your money’s worth out of a lot of games. Yes it is up to the gamer how much time he spends on the game but if there isn’t much to do on it other than a mediocre campaign and multiplayer (granted which can tie you over for hours) then there is not much reason for people to be returning to the game. (And yes I was digging at Call of Duty games there *cough cough*).
But that’s a bit of a digression. There isn’t really much I want from the next Xbox. Obviously better visuals and a better processor. I’d like it to play Blu-Rays but that being a Sony product I don’t know if that would happen. It would certainly help to reduce the amount of discs for a big game. The TV and other apps will no doubt be carried over and improved, but I’m happy with them as they are really. The PS4 will have a sharing button for you and your friends to share what games you are playing and what you are doing in them. Because people really care, don’t they? Just imagine: you are immersed in some game when a notification telling you that XxxiNsErTsTuPiDnAmEhErExxX is playing Fifa 50... Again. Well that information, sure was useful when you are on a mighty quest to save the future of mankind... Ok, that was a little cynical, but you see my point?

The next generation is nearly here and there will be some cool new things we will really like, and there will be some things that are pointless.

What would you like to see from this next-generation of consoles? What features of a console would make you side with it, and what features would scare you off? Let us know in the comments section below or by our Facebook or Twitter page.

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