Last week, Shank wrote a great article about the “Do’s and Don’t’s” for next generation consoles, and many of you agreed with him. I’m going to speak for the other side today and disagree with a few of his points. Shank and I come at this topic from different angles completely, so it’s understandable that we disagree. But Shank’s still a good guy, and I think we can still be friends.
I’ll start where he did, with motion control. He is adamantly against incorporating any kind of motion control into the system, saying that these systems are designed for hardcore gamers, and this sort of thing distracts the company from making quality hardcore games. First of all, I will admit I’m not a fan of motion control. I’ve never played a motion control game where I truly felt… in control. Whether it’s Wii golf or Carnival Games on the Kinect, today’s technology is seriously lacking in the “it works as advertised” department.
But I’ll stop short of saying I don’t want it in the next Xstation. What I want is for the technology to be built into, or included with the system from the start, not something separate that you have to choose to buy. I want it to be a part of what is already an amazing console, so the company isn’t spending extra time working on a device that ISN’T an amazing game console. I understand there will still be many hours spent working solely on this part of the system, but I’ll feel better if it’s built in or included, and it won’t seem like they’ve abandoned working on the system in favor of the wonky motion control device.
No matter how they incorporate the technology, I want it for one reason: kids. My kids are young, and my oldest is just now discovering the joys of gaming. But at her age, using a controller is not something she can do very well, so we’ve found that using the Wii or Kinect is a great way to introduce her to video games and keep her active. My Xbox 360 has Call of Duty: Black Ops II going at night, and Fruit Ninja going during the day. What’s great about this (and in particular Fruit Ninja), is that it’s fun for the whole family to play together. After dinner we turn on this game and destroy some fruit together, having fun, sharing laughs, and burning a few calories, too. It’s not a hardcore experience, it’s not displaying everything the system is capable of, but it is fun, and it’s building a desire in my daughter to explore more.
So yes, motion control has been implemented extremely weakly so far, but my hope is that in the next generation, it will come packaged with the console at launch and will work really well.
Shank also had a very long rant against why social media integration should not be included, and I want to quote the entire argument for you, just so I don’t miss anything.
That’s pretty funny! I guess my question would be exactly what he means by social media integration, though. Does he mean including Facebook or Twitter apps, or making it so that whenever you’re on your console you’re also considered “online” on your social media accounts? The way I look at it, I like the idea of social media integration if it’s done in the background. I would like to always be connected and be able, with the click of a button, to bring up a window, either in-game or on the dashboard, and send a tweet (I’m not much of a Facebook guy). I can see myself doing this if I just rocked a round of Black Ops, or dominated my brother in a game of FIFA. If you use Raptr, this has sort of been done there, and it’s all I’m asking for.
I don’t want Facebook to be popping up on screen with friend’s updates or anything like that. I don’t even want to see Twitter icons or status updates on-screen unless I go to a specific menu. I just like the idea of being able to do this seamlessly in-game. And yes, I know you can do this from your smart phone, but I just like the added option of doing this, and if they aren’t throwing it in your face, what’s the problem?
Shank also doesn’t like the idea of your console being an entertainment hub, meaning Netflix, music, movies, etc. I wrote a lengthy comment on his post arguing FOR this type of integration, but I think really I could go either way. My main argument in the comment I left for him was that I’m tired of having multiple remotes, but that’s pretty weak, admittedly. If MicroSony can spend extra dollars and manpower on giving us a top-notch gaming system, but leave off this option, I’d be fine with it. However, I don’t see them doing that, so I don’t see any real point of advocating for it here. Right or wrong, it’s the direction gaming consoles are going.
So that’s it, I can’t argue with any of his ideas of what consoles SHOULD do, because they’re all great ideas. Consoles need the newest technology, the encouragement of massive game worlds, and specs that compete with many PCs (at least for a little while). But I feel better now, knowing that my thoughts on his list of “Don’t’s” are out there.
The future of our gaming world is hanging in the balance, and it’s this next generation of consoles that will shape gaming for generations to come. I believe the next MicroSony will be the first time we can truly say we finally have full-fledged HD gaming devices that blur the line between game and reality more than ever before.
However it all shakes out, it’s today’s kids that will someday advance our gaming technology even further. Whether they get into gaming early thanks to motion control, or join the party later with Halo 9, it is these kids that will be making the consoles and games that we argue about 20 years from now. But rest assured, there’s a sweet, four-year-old fruit ninja out there who already loves to play video games.
I think we’re in good hands.