Game Utopia: How Gaming Could Be In the (Near) Future
Sometimes I stay up at night and fantasize about how awesome my current consoles could be. I’m not talking about adding pinstripes and superfluous flames; I’m talking more about features and functionality. Plus taking the time to put flames on your console means that you have a severe lack of friends and an overabundance of time and idiocy. We rarely take the time to think about how restricted consoles are when compared to PCs. After all, when it really comes down to it, consoles are highly specialized PCs tasked with rendering the game in the tray. I’ve had several ideas of what awesome things we might see soon on consoles. I’ve also had the brilliant idea to put them into list form, because everyone loves lists.
1.Cloud Gaming – You may be confused by the phrase “Cloud Gaming” and what it might entail. I assure you that it has nothing to do with illicit drugs, and even less to do with the atmospheric phenomenon that we encounter on a daily basis. “Clouds” are remote servers that are accessible from a host PC, or in my dream, from a game console. We have this in the form of OnLive, which streams PC games to a receiver and you play this game that is stored somewhere else entirely. The save files, the visuals, and every aspect of the game is stored remotely allowing you to play any game regardless of how utterly garbage your PC may be. Imagine doing this with PS3 and Xbox 360, allowing you to save files remotely and tie them to your online persona may finally rid us of hard drives, instead allowing our games and saves to be wherever there is a console and an internet connection. This leads me to my next point.
The future, I never thought it would look so...generic.
2.DRM Freedom – There are few things I hate more than DRM. Buying a DRM protected title is similar to someone telling you that the car you just bought can’t leave your driveway. Most gamers aren’t aware that all of their game content bought digitally, is only licensed. Basically if Microsoft decides it would be funny to delete XXXFurryRAzORzCOD2112XXX’s gamertag, he will lose everything he downloaded: every game, every update, every DLC, and every video is gone. This is a perfectly legal practice and is detestable. I dream of a world without DRM and permanent ownership of digital content.
3. No More Point Systems - Everyone who buys content online knows how the system works, you buy points using a credit card, or you pick up a prepaid voucher in a store and then you apply these points towards purchases. The problem with the system, other than it is completely useless middle step, is that you can never buy the amount of points you need. You buy some points and always have somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 points left. This is robbery, because you can’t buy anything with 100 points, it just sits there in virtual purgatory because you had to buy either 400 points or 800,000. How about we just disregarded these ridiculous systems and start using real money again; it’s worked for thousands of years.
4. TV Tuner – This is a no-brainer. We already have several terabytes of streaming video available to us on our consoles at any point in time. Consoles are definitely capable of handling streaming HD video, as we are shown with Netflix, and this would definitely ramp up purchases of premium memberships if it were included with Xbox Live. Plus I’d love to watch some cartoons while playing NBA Jam! In fact, that would probably be all I did. With less and less people watching traditional TV, what better way to regain audiences than by putting it on an Xbox Dashboard, because then maybe someone would watch The Cape. I’m just kidding, that show sucks.
Of course, these are only a few of the thousands of ideas I had for the list, but back massagers and integrated waterbeds are features that would be near impossible to integrate, (it would make millions!) In the world of gaming technology, we may see these things come to pass or we may even see feats more impractical and obscenely awesome (toaster in an Xbox,) and when that day comes, everyone will complain about how Call of Duty lags when the toast is done.