Next Generation Gaming: Improvements We Hope To See

Next generation gaming improvements we want to see

With next-generation gaming consoles just over the horizon, some improvements feel long overdue.

With the announcement of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 (in April), we hope some things improve. There have been some key elements of gaming that have bothered us, but we haven’t expected much improvement until now. With new consoles comes the opportunity to change those things.

Loading times have bothered us since the release of the original PlayStation, but we’ve been tolerating it because loading times mean prettier, more impressive graphics and more content. However, with the Xbox 360’s upgraded systems, we’ve seen the chance to install the game to the hard drive, cutting the load time and keeping the system running cooler. Perhaps with PC-style hard drive installation of videogames, we’ll see the loading time problems introduced with disc-run videogames go the way of the dinosaur.

Speaking of loading times, firmware updates are something no gamer wants to face. That’s why most gamers avoid PC titles. If Windows ever stops updating every day, we’re going to wonder if Microsoft just stopped supporting our version. On consoles, this leads to even bigger headaches. We turn the console on because we want to play our favorite games, not because we want to wait for the console to update its firmware. Perhaps with the next generation gaming consoles, we will see it happen in the background while we play, with minor noticeable hiccups in the meantime.

Shooters and other simple genres need to stop trying to be emotional. We play action games to blow things up, not to cry. It’s just cutting into our “blowing things up” time watching our hero have an emotional moment. In a story-driven videogame like an RPG, it’s fine, but not chess or Gears of War. Speaking of misplaced emotions, we don’t need any more misleading trailers that try to look like Titanic when the game is about knocking zombies over the head with a modified baseball bat. Dead Island: Riptide, we’re looking at you.

Camera placement is also a boon on the modern gaming industry. Remember when the old-school Tomb Raider put the camera in a place where you have a fantastic view of Lara Croft’s hair instead of the space in front of the cliff you needed to jump from? That’s what the problem is with camera placement. Even in Prototype, when you consumed a storyline target, the camera dramatically swung away from where you wanted to go. How many seconds did we lose on those missions? Console games have been operating in free-roaming 3D since 1994, yet still we come across the occasional twitchy, glitchy or easily distractible camera system.

Releasing the game before it’s finished is a huge issue. Sure, that enables us to download DLC and make more money for the developers… That’s the problem. If we wanted only half of the game, why did we pay for the whole thing from the start and then continue buying more parts of it? Yes, Blizzard, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is a perfect example.

Speaking of prices, the cost of the core game is insane these days. Yes, we understand that piracy led to developers raising the prices to keep the money coming in. However, the US recently passed a law against piracy. Drop the prices. We’ll pay you because we don’t have a legal choice now.

What are some things about videogames you hope to see improved in next generation gaming?