The cynics amongst you will immediately laugh off the title of this article, particularly if you are one of the older gamers. How on Earth can modern gaming even compare to the purity, grace and innovative experiences of old, when gaming wasn’t asphyxiated by greedy corporate practice, a supposed dilution of the essence of gaming by way of exploitative measures and…shit like Fortnite. To that I say nay, oh jaded gamer. Whilst we have seen our fair share of successes and failures this generation, I truly believe the next generation will herald one of the best gaming experiences out there. Don’t believe me? Watch our video below and tell me with a straight face that it didn’t do anything to get you hyped.
If that eclectic mix of next-gen gameplay footage and an amazing musical score didn’t get your juices pumping well then perhaps the following points may do something to swerve your opinion, if you still disagree.
The upcoming generation sees stiffer competition than the current one which saw a very one-sided battle. Sony will inevitably continue to lead the industry with its sizeable majority but this time, its facing a battle hardened Xbox that has crawled its way from the depths of near-demolition to finally stagger into a fighting stance; armed with more gaming studios than ever before, a completely unmatched and staggering online gaming service and the most powerful next-gen console on the planet. That still isn’t enough to guarantee that Xbox will perform how it should and things like the Halo Infinite delay are a stark reminder of that. However, this is a far cry from last generation and with Xbox poised to really sink its teeth into this generation you can bet that Sony will be ready to return fire in kind with its own incredibly talented and well settled studios.
What also makes the next generation a much more exciting prospect than the current one and perhaps the generation before that is how the big 3, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are all doing something very different. Nintendo will always do its own thing and the gaming industry needs it do that. Sony and Microsoft are also taking very different approaches. Sony and its first party studios will focus on delivering those compelling single player experiences, playing to its strengths. Microsoft will focus on leveraging the power of the Xbox Series X, at least after the 2 year transitional period is over and focus on its gaming services, the value of which remains unrivalled by a large margin today. The variety of titles that Xbox is set to deliver is also divergent from its previous tried and tested formula courtesy of the fact that it has more gaming studios in its arsenal. It is quite an exciting prospect to see what these studios can deliver under the Xbox banner.
An increase in power of next gen gaming consoles is a given but unlike the current gen when the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were hampered by mediocre CPU’s holding them back, that limitation no longer exists. The equivalent gaming PC rivalling the specifications of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X would run in the several thousands, particularly when you account for those incredible SSD’s housed within the two next-gen consoles (especially the PS5). The near-elimination of load times is an incredible feat and will drastically change our gaming experience and do away with immersion breaking pauses. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a prime example of a title that simply cannot be done on current gen consoles; allowing gamers to shift between game worlds seemlessly. Developers are going to really make good use of this, especially first party studios.
With cross platform play now removing the artificial barrier between gamers and streaming now becoming more and more prevalent with the likes of XCloud and the portability of Nintendo Switch, rumoured to be enhanced by next rumoured Switch Pro console, gaming experiences will follow us where we go and not just in the vein of mobile gaming that, for the most part, have been rather simplistic for the core gaming audience. The gaming community is increasingly becoming more emboldened and intolerant of shady practices and whilst it being vocal does not mean that those practices will go away, the power is still shifting in favour of gamers. To this day we still see gaming companies take the mick such as the absolutely ludicrious faisco surround Marvel’s Avengers and its exclusive content but stiffer competition will hopefully serve to make such companies reluctant to fall foul of gamer sentiment.
Ultimately, the best gaming generation is defined by the quality of games we experience and crucially, all 3 big players seem poised to deliver. Microsoft was the weakest link this generation but Xbox is more ready to battle now than it ever has, not just relying on just third party deals to fight its corner. Fending off other wannabe competitors like Amazon and Google, expect more concerted and collaborative efforts by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to keep the gaming space for themselves. That may seem anti-competitive now but Amazon and Google have yet to make a compelling case for gamers to warrant attention. An incredible marriage of power, variety and determination could see the next generation become the best one yet.