As you may have read, it looks like Sony and Microsoft are both gearing up to debut their next generation consoles at E3 2012. I have already stated my position that I don’t think we really need new consoles right now, but instead some updates to our current generation. With a few updates, I think the current generation could be more than viable for the next 2 years and then that would be a great time to introduce new consoles. But if Sony and Microsoft refuse to see the writing on the wall and are going to deliver new consoles then we might as well tell them what is really important to us right?
We have put together a short list below just to get us started but we really want to hear from all you, both Sony and Microsoft fans. Let us and Microsoft and Sony know what you really want. We will take all your comments and compile a master list to publish a little later. Alright, so let’s get this thing started.
Easily Removable/Upgradable Hard Drive
This one is specifically for Sony since Microsoft was ahead of the game on this one. While you can remove a PS3 hard drive, it’s not something that one could be called easy and definitely not obvious. We would love to see a mechanism similar to what is in the 360 make its way to Sony’s next console. As both companies continue to add more and more multimedia capability to their devices, the ability to easily upgrade storage will be a big deal. We would love to see solid state drives here but even in late 2013 I don’t think they would be cost-effective as a standard, but if we had the ability to swap drives then folks could get the benefits of the improved I/O.
Easily Removable/Upgradable RAM
This is one we would love to see but don’t think it will happen. Whatever ships in the base console would be the “minimum specs” like we see in PCs and would run all games but gamers would have the opportunity to upgrade the RAM to get even more performance out of their consoles. The ability to upgrade RAM could drastically extend the life and viability of these consoles, developers of really high performance games could even have bundles with RAM in them as a bonus in special or collector’s editions.
Faster Disc Drives/Standard Disc Format
If we are getting new stuff, upgraded disc drives couldn’t hurt. More than that though, I would love to see Sony and Microsoft standardize on a disc format. I know how much Microsoft would hate this, but Blu-Ray isn’t a bad format to use. You will notice that I didn’t mention digital distribution like you might have seen other places, that’s because I don’t believe its viable as the primary game distribution method right now. High speed internet just isn’t wide enough in the U.S. (sadly) and even though services like OnLive are making headway, I don’t think the infrastructure to support the demand of today’s gamers will exist on a wide scale for another 3-5 years.
Games/DLC via Thumb Drive
This is one that I have wanted to see for a while in order to help out not only gamers in bandwidth parts of the country but also us folks with solid connection that get killed from congestion of so many people downloading content. I would love to be able to buy content online, stick a thumb drive in to download it and then taking it over and upload it to my console. If this was the case, with those bigger hard drives I mentioned above they could make all games available digitally day one (in addition to disc) and I never have to leave the comfort of my home. In those bandwidth starved areas, they could go to their local Best Buy or Gamestop which should have better connection, walk up to a Kiosk, buy the content and download it to their thumb drive after a virus scan of course.
More Advances In Motion Based Controls
Even as a Sony fan I can admit that Microsoft’s Kinect kicks PlayStation Move’s ass. Both companies have solid products out current, but we definitely want to see them take the technologies further and incorporate it more elegantly into major titles.
Increased Processing Power
This one is almost a no-brainer and should she a major bump. Both the Xbox 360 and PS3 run on processors that were created using 90nm manufacturing process. The chips of today are manufactured under the 32nm process and the difference in performance is as big as it looks. We the difference in chips, we could easily expect around 7-8 times the computing power and cache on roughly the same size chip. If it shipped in late 2013 which I think would be smarter, we could expect possibly double that.
Improved Online Services
PSN and XBL are both really good, we just want to see both companies continue to build on what they have already done. For Sony’s part, I would love to see services decoupled from PSN so that you don’t have to be signed in to PSN to watch Netflix or Hulu, I mean what’s the point.
While we are talking about online services, I suppose we could throw in the whole social aspect. With Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus growing in popularity you have to think that new consoles will need improved integration on the social front. While I’m not a fan of the idea, I have this sinking feeling that we might finally see the introduction of those pesky/annoying social games like Farmville and Mafia Wars come to consoles with vengeance.
Cross Game Chat/Play
The first one would see Sony deliver on a promise from the last time around that took them years to tell us wasn’t ever going to be technically possible on PS3. I think that Sony has an accurate understanding to easily correct this issue this time around. The cross game play is one that I think is less likely but would love to see, then we could finally determine which console had the best Call Of Duty players right?
Alright folks that’s all we got which is a lot more than we thought we had. Now we want to know your comments on what we laid out and anything you think we missed.