Computer gaming has been making changes over the past 30 years. From going to arcades to play games, to computer games and console games. From single player, to now (thanks to the internet) where people around the world can play each other.
Arcade gaming use to be big, but now you have the arcade in your home or in your hand (with handhelds and smartphones). Gaming has become more social with MMO’s, Xbox Live, and PSN.
There are positives and negatives of both kind of gaming.
PC gaming has MMO’s (massive multi-player online) where thousands of people can play with each other and/or against each other in vast lands.
There are also FPS (first person shooter) and RTS (real time strategy) games where teams can play against each other. You also have a mouse and keyboard which some people prefer over a console controller.
The negatives of PC gaming though is the cheating. Some people really enjoy ruining other peoples time by cheating and it seems almost unstoppable with PC gaming.
There is only one way to really stop it and that’s using services like OnLive where the game itself is on a server and its streamed to you while you play. The downfall of this is you need high speed internet (between 3 and 5 Mb/s) which a lot of people still don’t have.
The cost of playing PC games is a mixed bag as well. You have your pay to play games (World of Waraft and Starwars: The Old Republic for instance) which cost $15 a month.
This is fine except for the parents who’s child asks to shell out this every month. Then there are buy to play games which you buy the game in the store and play online for free (Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3 for instance).
Then there is free to play. Now free to play can be a crap shoot because all these games have a cash shop.
This is fine when they just sell cosmetic things but when they start selling better weapons and such it can become a nightmare because it can become more than $15 a month, plus if you don’t pay you’re not on an even playing field with people who do.
Console games have also have FPS and RTS games but very few MMO’s. You have a controller which some people prefer over a mouse and keyboard.
There is also cheating on consoles but I think its less than on the PC (I could be wrong). A new console game can cost as much as $60 and even more if you get the uber awesome version. You can also buy used games (this option may vanish with the next generation of consoles). Then if you have an Xbox 360 you have to pay $60 a year (there are discounts at times) for Xbox live which to me seems like a good deal for what you get. Consoles generally you just pay for the game and play as much as you want. There aren’t many free games on consoles.
What does the future bring?
This is a hard question to ask. Neither Microsoft, Nor Sony are saying much. There is the Nintendo Wii U which does look promising, but there are still things we don’t know about it.
When thinking about the next generation of consoles it just brings more questions than answers. What will the next Xbox use for game distribution for instance? Will they go Blu-ray? Pure download? Or something else?
I’m hoping the next consoles (especially the Xbox) will bring the best of PC and Console gaming together. Hopefully they’ll have a wide range of controllers, guns, mouse and keyboard, controllers, wheels, flight sticks…etc. Also I know this is to much to ask for but I hope they make it harder for modders and cheaters.
I know there have been a lot of rumors and speculation on what the next Xbox will be like. The internet has brought rumors about the next Xbox, Kinect and there was even an article on Surface right before Microsoft’s event (which ended up being false).
Also there was a 56 page document that claimed the specs and such for the next Xbox that was taken down not long after it was put up. This could have been real, or not. My guess (and also what Paul Thurrott guessed as well) is it could all be misinformation.
Here is what we know.
That’s about what we can be sure of.
Maybe we’ll near more in January at CES or Penny Arcade Expo or next years E3, unless they have some kind of special even like they did with Surface.
What do you think?
What do you hope for in the next Xbox?