The future of gaming

With E32016 now dead in your back garden, its time for the games media to break down what they saw at this glorified sales event. Personally i’m more interested in making wild speculation at what the future of the gaming industry holds for us.

Microsoft made a semi competent appearance at E3 this year despite continuing its down hill spiral of sales against the PS4. With the announcement of a new system “project scorpio” the xbox team is looking to throw themselves back into a loosing war by bringing a bigger gun.

Sony and Microsoft have in my opinion occupied different areas when it comes to exclusive titles. Sony has opted to be a little more experimental with its IP. You can see this in games such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Wild. But they also exploit the nostalgia side of things with the announcement of God of War; which i think is just going to be called “God of War”.

Microsoft tend to stick to tried and tested IP, with the announcement of the new Gears of War and Forza.  All games which sit well with its western audience. Sony are pushing for some new ideas and its looking good.  Of course this isn’t a major criticism of just Microsoft try finding a new idea in the Nintendo camp and you will be left disappointed.

O wait: mecha Kerby?, sure why not.

So what might happen?

One of the biggest things to be announced by Microsoft was that all new Xbox games will be coming to Windows 10 (maybe). Yes that horrible little gremlin that keeps trying to drag you away from your beloved Windows 7. So this triggered a few thoughts in my head.

Its been rumoured for a while now that the new CEO has had little love of the Xbox department and believes that Microsoft should get back to its software roots; something it excels at. With the announcement that all new Xbox titles will come to the PC, we could end up with something similar to the Steam box. Microsoft handles the OS and the games and hardware companies build the boxes to run it – you know; like a PC.

So thats controversial, I essentially said the Xbox will die off – kind of.

Everything’s going to the cloud. Lets be honest the gaming disc is dead. Future consoles will not come with a disc tray. Lets hope you have a solid internet connection because those 40GB games you download now; will be more in like 100GB.

Or we might all be streaming games?

With everything going into the cloud this could lead to a new business model entirely. The idea of monthly subscriptions to get access to the back catalogue of Playstation and Xbox has recently become a thing. So why not take this business model and apply it to new games. You pay a month fee to Sony or Microsoft and you can play any game your heart desires.

Lets not forget our old friends micro-transaction and DLC. You get the core of the game for your monthly fee but extras are going to cost you more.

All this talk of consoles and owning things: not anymore.  Remember OnLive? unfortunately the idea of paying a subscription and playing games over the cloud with just a controlled and a tiny box to communicate to the mothership was a little ahead of its time. I always saw the potential in this idea and once the internet infrastructure finally catches up with demand you might not even have to buy a console anymore. Just a one off fee of £100 and then £25 a month to access unlimited games on your chosen platform.

This is a big old shake up in the way we do things now but its not to far from how other companies have moved away from the expensive per-unit price to an affordable monthly subscription.

It sure would kill of pirating a game, why even bother if the month price is right. It might also cut out all the middlemen in the industry like amazon, but Im sure a deal can be made so amazon can give away a game code for 20% off the price of buying it direct from Sony or Microsoft in exchange for promotional material on their site or through traditional means. Lets be honest that pretty much what they do now anyway.

Game wont be about then so I wont include them.

Despite all this sounding terrible and “No way man your talking smach, I wont do it” its kind of already happening. If you think about it.


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Don’t worry PC gamers its not all that bad

Remember when you were ‘abandoned’ and the end was neigh and everything was awful, and console players started throwing rocks at you in the school playground, and then your wife left you because your controller game wasn’t ‘on-point’.

Well heres a few things to be happy about, after all just because every games company thinks of you as pirating scum and feeds you ‘Console ports’ – shudder – doesn’t mean you should strip out your PC and turn it into a fish tank…. maybe.

Building a PC can be expensive – recently I shoved a GTX 970 in to my machine, which at the point of writing this is about £250, and a PS4 is about £300. You can see the issue. However my machine is now capable of playing all modern games on ultra which as we know is twice as ‘eye sex’ as the graphics you get on your console peasant machine. Along with a  few other parts and piece you would be looking at a £600 rig. All these figures might be off the top of my head.

So despite the fact we had to take a second mortgage out to pay for our new box. Then we have to worry about putting it together (“it’s really easy to build a computer” – fuck off) and hoping we don’t super fuck the processor because the stupid arrow isn’t clear (google it). So what do we get which a Playstation or an Xbox just can’t.

Well if we start off with the money side – games are cheaper on a PC. On a console your average game is now up near the £50 mark. However on the PC we can get a game for about £20 cheaper if we look in the right places. We also have the love of Steam which bless us with the all glorious Steam sale allowing access to allot of A-list games for literally the price of a coffee.

Modding and generally fucking around with game content is also a big thing, meaning we get some interesting things coming out of youtube. From the dooms day Thomas the Tank engine Skyrim mod, to the meme worth Leeroy Jenkins. Allot of games content comes from the PC gamer.

We have access to more MMO’s than console players, admittedly this is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your view. On the whole we have a larger array of MMO’s with large communities, which are mostly full of lovely people. We also have access to MOBA games which have a much shitter community, so…..

Although in recent years people have become better with controllers you still can’t beat a keyboard and mouse. Modern games seem to have an issue with the mouse and keyboard and  have no idea that Quake gave you more control over the key layout than MGSV or Fallout 4. But even this doesn’t hinder the fact that aiming and playing video games is just better with a keyboard and mouse.

Overall despite the lack of care put in these days by triple A companies on PC games, we have it pretty good.

(I do sometimes miss the days of just turning on a console, picking up a controller and chilling on the sofa. Lets hope the Steam Link can bring me back to the sofa.)

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