E3’s a most beautiful thing, but it also brings out a rather frantic kind of reporting. Rumours, personal conjecture, flippant daydreaming: apparently the PS4 will be a million times more powerful than the sun and the Xbox Next 720 Core will butter your bread on both fecking sides.
You know what? I’m bored of it all, already, and there’s still six months of this to wade through before Los Angeles actually tells us what’s happening and we can all forget about this nonsense.[drop2]Except, of course, it’s all probably true.
I mean, sure, some of the words put down on screen about the next generation of consoles recently appear to have emerged from latent New Year’s hangovers, but there are elements of reality in amongst the fluff that tell parts of an emerging consistent story: whatever’s coming from Sony and Microsoft (whenever that might be) won’t be all about games, even more so than what’s currently on the shelves.
I remember unboxing a Megadrive, a PlayStation, an N64, they all played games and – mostly – that’s all they did. And I seem to remember loving them.
We’ve been here before, of course, it wasn’t long ago that I was writing about the Metro interface on the 360, but things are already moving on since then and even if half the rumours that are being banded around come true, I’m left wondering what the focus of the new machines will actually end up being because I’m starting to think it won’t actually be games.
When did all this start to change? When did a games console only end up being about 25% games?
Of course, you can forgo all the streaming, the live TV, the dodgy substandard web browsers and the crippled YouTube interfaces, but that doesn’t mean the manufacturers will do – especially when they (I’m looking at you, Microsoft) are happy enough to wrap all this inside a pay wall carefully (but increasingly vaguely) called Xbox Live Gold.
It’s big money, all this, and it’s going to continue.[drop]But even all that aside, there’s still this insistence on gesture control, on haptic connections and floaty, wavy lines and boxes big enough to eat your Corn Flakes off.
And if, like the most current playground talk suggests, the new Xbox will be more like the Wii U than anything else we can probably kiss goodbye to what we’d consider a ‘traditional’ console and controller setup for evermore. At least they won’t need to create something to run alongside the Vita, but I prefer my portables portable and my consoles to – you know – connect to my TV.
All the next gen needs to do is up the frame rate (seriously, thirty was never the new sixty, guys), make sure HD games actually run in HD and give them enough grunt so that 3D games don’t end up being crappy blurry messes that make your eyeballs bleed alongside your freshly empty wallet.
I don’t want to have to navigate through five menus before I can browse your online store, I don’t want to have to wave at something to make it happen and I certainly don’t want to buy hugely expensive controllers with fancy glass touchscreens on them.
Just bring me games, and I’m in.