I’m probably not going to buy any of the next generation consoles, but if I do, I’ll make sure I’ve waited enough time to 1) be able to buy it for much cheaper than the original price, and 2) be able to base my decision of which console I buy on a decent range of games and services that’ll undoubtedly become apparent/ announced at a significantly later time after their release.
Do you always look for a story in a game? Games can just be about fun, y’know, and that’s where the open-world sandbox game tends to excel (not necessarily moreso than linear ones) in that they allow ultimate (comparatively) freedom. This ‘you create your own story’ point sounds more poetic than actually true. Yes, okay, you ‘go on an adventure’ of your own choosing/parameters, but It’s not like it has anything even remotely comparable to the qualities/characteristics of a written narrative that takes you through all of the tropes (beginning, middle and end etc.) of a great videogame (or even film) experience. A sandbox game has the marginally higher potential to actually deliver (no matter the intention of the developer) an uneventful and monotonous experience because they’re not putting you where they want you to be when they want you to be there – severely restricting theatrics/the ability to dramatise the world in which you are exploring.
Linear games with a story to tell have one up on sandbox games in terms of potential to be fun and provide a great narrative/experience due to how focused the adventure is. I believe this is why I’ve gotten quickly bored of the likes of DayZ and have never failed to enjoy a game of Left 4 Dead.
I wouldn’t necessarily rate a sandbox game on the merits of its story over how enjoyable it is as a fun, casual, social game. Nor would I do the opposite for a game with a focused, linear story/adventure. You should really know what to expect with these two distinct types of setting/mechanics.
I reckon backwards compatibility will be included in the first edition of the new generation of consoles, but (much like the PS3 32GB version) will later be phased out with an additional or newer model so that they can eventually introduce a ‘retro’ style downloadable library of xbox original & 360 games for a reliable stream of easy revenue.
I don’t care for this call to actually see the consoles. Function is what matters, and let’s be honest these designers are going to have so much financial responsibility on their shoulders that they’re not going to propose anything that strays far from the current public perception of what is aesthetically pleasing. Think small, with glossy black plastic, smooth tight curves, miniature rectangular lights, and low-profile buttons that’re practically invisible/flush with the unit.
Another Halo release is inevitable but I don’t at all care for the series these days. Bungie have consistently disappointed me in what I hoped could evolve into something rugged/gritty out of the stereotypical gay space marine universe of vapid characters that it was up until Halo 3 and thereafter.
This next generation is going to be about gimmicks (voice recognition, kinect), social integration and further pushing for an online-based market (cutting costs) with the idea of netting a greater profit (pricing strategies remain the same). If you want to be really cynical you could say the modern trend of sharing everything you do is a way to get us the consumer to operate as free labour for the marketing departments of publishers; exposing as much as possible to as many other people as possible.
I have no doubt, however, that the next generation will sprout some fantastic games, and that the areas of videogame creation that really do improve the experience/enjoyment will continue to be perfected by certain developers.