With the Wii U coming out some time later this year, and rumors flying all over the internet about possible hardware announcements from Microsoft and Sony at this year’s E3, the next console generation is within sight. At this point, we don’t really know much at all about what these new consoles will be, with very little known even about the Wii U. So, instead of speculating about what these consoles may be, I am simply going to run down 10 features I’m hoping for with the next console generation.
10. Spectator Mode
Anyone who was following the Xbox 360 in the months leading up to its launch will be familiar with this one. I’m not sure if it was ever actually stated by Microsoft or if it was just a rumor, but leading up to the launch of the system, many people including myself were under the impression that the Xbox 360 was going to have a spectator feature. The general idea is that you could simply select anyone on your friends list and watch them play as long as they were signed onto Xbox Live, whether they were playing single player or online multiplayer. This seems like it would be a cool feature, and Onlive actually has something just like this. This feature is great if you want to see a game in action before you buy it, and it needs to be implemented into all future consoles.
9. A Hard Drive With Every System
This one is aimed primarily at Microsoft and Nintendo, since Sony already accomplished this in the current generation (but obviously they should continue this trend as well). Nintendo needs to actually put a hard drive in the Wii U, preferably one that is at least 100GB, but anything higher would also be great. The current hard drive shortage due to the Thailand flood notwithstanding, hard drives are not typically expensive, and every system should come with one of decent size. This also means Microsoft better not sell any systems without a hard drive next generation. The fact that there exists Xbox 360′s that do not have hard drives forces the patch size limits to be too small, causing serious problems. Just look at the disaster with Mortal Kombat’s patch issues. NetherRealm wanted to put the DLC characters in patches for those that didn’t buy them to make sure there was 100% comparability when playing online. This was made impossible due to patch limitations, making DLC characters nearly unplayable online unless the players that hadn’t bought the characters were bothered to download an optional compatibility pack. This issue wouldn’t exist if every system had a hard drive built in.
8. Larger Disk Format
Once again Sony gets a pass on this one because they already achieved it this generation. The bottom line is, having a game come on 2 or 3 discs in this day and age is ridiculous, and it needs to stop. Swapping discs isn’t a huge deal, but it would be nice if every game simply came on one disc. It would also be great if pre-recorded cutscenes could actually run in HD and audio could be of a higher quality. All these things would be possible with larger discs, and whether the answer is that Sony and Nintendo need to use Blu Ray or just use some propriety format of similar size doesn’t really matter to me. As long as we have games on discs of 30+ GB, I don’t care what you call it.