Finally, the time is almost here. After years of rumors about ‘always online’, Kinect integration and impressive processing power, Microsoft will unveil their next gen console in 10 days, on May 21st 2013. What does the future have in store for us? Below you will find a wish list for the hardware side, as well as games that would be great to see on the system.
Next Xbox Hardware Wish List
Improved power and graphical capabilities, obviously. The difference should be big enough to warrant a new generation of hardware, and provide a futureproof console. It should be able to keep up with the PlayStation 4, so multiplatform games will be easy to port or developed simultaneously, and won’t suffer from clunky porting.
The console itself needs to be a lot less noisy and more durable. No more RROD-like debacles, it has to be reliable. I would prefer it to be smaller as well, something like the Wii or slightly bigger, but that’s probably too much to ask given the fact that it’s relatively new technology. An aesthetically pleasing design would be welcome, at least. It would be nice to get rid of the monstrous power adaptor as well.
Improved controller: functional d-pad, rechargeable out of the box, more durable. It also needs to be easier to sync controllers to the console. The Xbox 360 controller is great in general, so they could use that as their base to make an even better one.
For game storage Blu-Ray, or another large capacity medium. The advantage of Blu-Ray, aside from the size, is that they are very scratch resistant as opposed to dvds.
Bigger HDD (200GB at least, but I would like to see 1TB or more.) Especially when it uses a disc based format and you have the option to install your games, or if they want to offer more games as digital downloads, as this eats up a lot of space.
Free online. Microsoft could mimic Sony in this area: free for a basic membership, which includes online play, and a paid membership that offers a lot more value than it does right now.
Achievements and Gamerscore of Xbox 360 and Next combined, but also viewable separately. In other words, you can see someone’s total (both Xbox 360 and Next Xbox score), but you can also choose to view just Xbox 360 or just Xbox Next. This keeps things organized.
Next Xbox Games Wish List
It’s nice to think about the system itself, but what is most important in the end, is the library of games that are available for it. What titles would be great to see? Here is a list.
The first two Condemned games were a refreshing mix between survival horror and first person action. They were high on atmosphere and tension. The improved graphical capabilities of the the new Xbox could enhance this even more, and the fighting system could become more sophisticated and realistic. Just take out the unnecessary multiplayer that made it’s debut in the second game.
With Criterion Studios working on Need for Speed titles, it’s been a long time since we saw a new Burnout game. The launch of a next gen system could be a great time to revive the series. More processing power could for example lead to more interactivity with the world, and the idea to not only see your car fly to bits, but also everything it crashes into, is interesting already.
Alan Wake 2
This game has been rumored to be in development for the next Xbox for quite some time now, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. Build on what made the first game great, use the power of the system to provide lighting effects that are meaningful to the gameplay (since you fought enemies using light), and give us another engaging story, and this should be good.
This seems pretty likely and rumors have indicated for a while now that the game has been moved to the next Xbox. If the console indeed comes with an improved Kinect camera, this could be the game that finally proves the device can really add something to a gaming experience that is worth it for everyone. The concept has always sounded good at least: kicking and hacking your way through ancient Rome is never a bad thing.
RARE title (Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, Killer Instinct)
Just… anything worthwhile from RARE. This used to be one of the top developers in the past, and now they have been reduced to close to nothing. Some people claim all the talent has left already, but I just hold out hope. Come on, Microsoft. You have the studio, you have the IPs, you have the money. Use it!
Dead or Alive 6
With the Xbox and Xbox 360, Dead or Alive 3 and 4 respectively were titles that showed off the graphical capabilities of the new systems. Aside from that, they were great fighting games. The next Xbox should follow that tradition and have a new, beautiful looking installment in the series close to release.
Mirror’s Edge 2
Rumors about the sequel to the much appreciated first person game from 2008 have been steadily popping up, but no official word yet. The first one was only moderately successful, so for a publisher this is not a great incentive. Let’s hope EA will take the risk anyway. Mirror’s Edge wasn’t a perfect game, but it certainly was something special and original.
Gears of War
One could argue that the Gears of War series has seen its best days, and it’s time to put it to rest, but we could be proven wrong if the franchise gets reinvented on Microsoft’s next gen system. It would be a big name with an already large fanbase, so for a new console that could prove very helpful.
Halo is the flagship franchise of the Xbox brand, putting Microsoft’s first console firmly on the map, and being one of the last big exclusives to launch on the Xbox 360. Since Halo 4, the series has been taken over from Bungie by 343 Studios, and we already know that two more games are planned right now. It’s not rocket science to conclude that Microsoft will bring the series to their next console. What will a new installment bring to the series? More impressive locations, consisting of space ships and strange planets? Open battles, with vehicles, on an even larger scale? Improved AI? Time will tell.