What Do You Hope To See With The Next Xbox?

 

There are a ton of rumors out in the gaming industry right now, we’ve heard the next Xbox is under the code name Durango, we’ve heard rumors that the next Xbox will feature a controller with a screen in the middle of it, it’s been kind of described as a cross between the Wii U controller and the old Sega Dreamcast controller with the VMU in it. We’ve heard that Microsoft will announce something this year, conversely we have heard that it will announce something next year. At this point we aren’t really sure whats real and whats speculation, I think it’s fun to speculate about the next generation of consoles, it’s almost like a wish list. If you could have a feature included in the next Xbox, what would it be?

I’m not a real technical person, so I’ll leave all the internal specs to the experts. I would like to see Blu Ray added, but hopefully it’s in an improved drive that doesn’t require installs. Blu Ray is cheap enough now to not cost the consumers an arm and a leg and it would help the industry as a whole because you wont have to limit or compress games so much. This will mean no more swapping disks, but as I said earlier, I don’t want the trade off to be mandatory installs. That would just be trading one time consuming thing with another.

As for the controller, I’d like to see Microsoft keep the controller pretty close to what it is currently, the Xbox 360 controller is perfect for shooters and that is what a lot of the original Xbox fans are really into. Considering the Xbox mascot is Master Chief and the best selling game on the console is Halo, it makes sense not to deviate from the great design they already have. Maybe improve a bit on the D-pad, sort of how the newer Xbox 360 controllers have the spinning D-pad that allows you to change what kind of pad it is. If Microsoft wants to have a screen in the middle of the controller, then let that be an option, not the standard or requirement.

Even though I’m not a technically inclined person, I do know that I would like to see full 1080p running on the next Xbox. Most of us have HDTV’s at this time and our consoles aren’t giving us the most out of them. I would suppose we will see 3-D support, mostly because I believe we will have glasses less 3-D perfected and available at cheaper rates in the middle of the next console cycle. 3-D support wouldn’t really add much to the cost of the consoles considering the Xbox 360 and PS3 can both already offer 3-D gaming. While it’s not really a feature I would take advantage of, you would think Microsoft would try to lure in as many people as possible.

Lets get physical, Microsoft will need to keep their games in physical media form. I think they will continue to offer and push download only titles, but it makes the most sense to keep offering physical games for the foreseeable future. Games are getting larger and it probably wont be uncommon to see games in the 20-30 gigabyte range in the next generation, could you imagine trying to download files that size before you could play the game? I only recently had a bandwidth cap imposed on me, I can only use 250 gigabytes a month. This might seem like a lot, but I stream a lot of Netflix and Hulu Plus and all of that counts as bandwidth used. I also share a place with my brother who streams Netflix and plays online games a lot as well. We are already just about at our limit. I couldn’t imagine having to download full games, we would end up losing our internet altogether, which is the punishment for going over the limit 3 times.

Don’t limit the use of used games on the next Xbox, I cannot stress that enough. I admit I will buy used games from time to time, most people do. The thing that would absolutely ruin the next generation would be not allowing used games to work in the new consoles. There would be a huge ripple effect felt throughout the industry, the people who work at game stores, the brothers and sisters who have to share games, the friends who like to trade and share games with each other. It would have a huge impact on people and the industry, don’t underestimate the importance of something like used games. I would fully support an online pass program in order to recoup some of the money lost on used game sales, but locking games to a single consoles is a mistake of epic proportions. Sometimes I’ve been drawn into a series by buying the first game used, ended up loving it and then I’ll buy the sequels new. It’s sort of how I used to download songs off new CD’s, if it had 3 or more that I liked then I would buy the actual CD. If you denied used games then you might as well expect a very long attach rate and you’ll alienate a certain type of consumer. Not everyone can afford new game upon new game.

As far as Kinect, I’d suggest packing it in. I don’t really see a second Kinect adding too much to the overall price of the next Xbox. It would be smart to have it built in or packed in if it’s a whole separate device like it is now. It definitely needs its own processor, like the current one was originally supposed to have. This would help with tracking and truly make the possibilities endless. Of course Kinect 2 on the next Xbox wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but imagine if the current Xbox 360 launched with Kinect, there could possibly be double the amount of 360’s on the market and probably 80+ million Kinect devices sold. If Microsoft truly wants to offer a console that appeals to core, casual and everything in between, launching with a Kinect 2 would be a solid idea.

Pricing the console right is going to be a huge factor, I think all the companies took notice to Sony and their struggles with a $599 price point to start with. It’s clear Microsoft probably wouldn’t mind taking a loss on their consoles to start with, so a solid price point for me would be $399-$449, anything above that would potentially make me think twice about buying one at launch. I’d also suggest Microsoft stick with offering separate SKU’s. If Kinect isn’t built in, then make a SKU without Kinect. If they are offering a 500 gig HDD version, then also offer something with less space. I mean I have a 250 gig HDD with my Xbox 360 and I’ve still got around 175 gigs left on it. I would rather save some money on a smaller HDD. Some people like premium devices, but personally I think bare bones devices like the original Xbox 360 Arcade were perfect for people on a budget. The Arcade versions are like credit cards, you can buy now, and pay later. I could deal with a 20 gig HDD for a while, eventually upgrade, but the smaller HDD didn’t prevent me from playing right now. I knew some people who were forced to save up for a PS3, because they were so expensive. If Sony had offered a $299 PS3 with 20 gig HDD, no wifi, no rechargeable battery for the controller, then I feel they probably would have sold a ton out of the gate. People need to have choices and it’s important for these consoles to be affordable.

The last thing I’d like to see isn’t hardware related, it’s software related. I’d like to see Microsoft make use of some of the IP’s they actually own. Microsoft took off this generation by using IP’s like Viva Pinata, Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Kameo and Lost Odyssey. I’d love to see Microsoft bring us something like a new Killer Instinct or Conker. It’s obvious Microsoft is gearing up for some next generation games, they opened 4 new studios in 2011, bought Twisted Pixel and we’ve heard hints at Crytek that Ryse is now a next gen Xbox title. Epic Games is also set to unveil their latest version of the Unreal Engine. So we are closer to the next generation of gaming then most people realize. What types of tech or games would you like to see in the next Xbox? Feel free to sound off in the comment section below.

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