Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are doing rather well. The Ps4 has sold over 20 million units, and while the Xbox One seems to be doing a little more poorly, the console is selling better than its predecessor was at this point in the lifecycle. The future, for consoles, is bright. Or is it? According to Twitch’s boss, these are the last consoles we’ll see.
Every couple of years, we get all hyped up about the future. And the future, we’re led to believe, will be delivered right to our eyeballs thanks to Virtual Reality. I lived through the Virtual Boy and those large, bulky VR experiences in the arcades of yore, so I have a healthy scepticism when it comes to Virtual Reality – but with advances in the technology, thanks to the Rift and subsequent headsets like Vale’s Vive and Sony’s Morpheus, that incredulity is slowly waning. Microsoft? They’re still not convinced.
Those who’ve moved on from this physical media nonsense and who’ve got bandwidth to burn can, as of this weekend, pre-load the digital version of GTA V on the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, as many noticed, there seems to be a few problems with the pre-load.
Right now, thanks to the new consoles and the games that accompany them, video games as an industry are on an upswing. They’re not the only thing contributing to the gaming market’s revenue incline though; free-to-play games are generating more income than most of us core gamers would like. Still, they’re not enough to keep things swimming; according to a report we can expect a sharp drop in PC and console gaming in 2019.
When Microsoft first announced its Xbox One, the console was a DRM nightmare. The thing would required a persistent internet connection , and would phone home to Microsoft every 24 hours to make sure your digital game licences were valid. One of the benefits of this cumbersome DRM was that it would enable Xbox one users to share their digital libraries. The entire idea was hailed as idiotic..right until Steam announced something similar. The axed feature could make a return.
I was in the Steam in-home streaming beta, and it was like a glimpse in to the future. Naturally, it had mixed results and is entirely dependent on your home network, but i was able to stream my steam games from my desktop, to my underpowered laptop connected to my TV, and have it all be rather playable. It’s now out of beta, so you all get to try it too!
I’m cautiously optimistic about the new virtual reality revolution. I’ve had some eyeballs-on time with the Rift, and while it wasn’t quite there it was an interesting experience. With Sony set to introduce its own virtual reality headset targeted at its consoles, maybe this time the fad will actually catch on. Oculus rift founder Palmer Luckey believes it’ll do more than just catch on. In the future, he posits, it will replace TV’s entirely.
I have such mixed feelings about the Kinect. I honestly do think it's the closest thing to "future tech" that we have right now - voice and gesture commands are pretty cool. However, the big brother concern is always prevalent. If I had a theme song, that might just make it all better.
Back before Epic first showed off their fancy new Unreal Engine 4, they did a demo of version 3.5 of their Engine at GDC 2011, via a rather impressive Samaritan demo. At GDC this year, the engine purveyor confirmed that it’s working on yet another new IP – and indications point to it being based, at least in part, on that Samaritan demo.
Love it or hate it, but Microsoft’s DirectX API is what makes most of your PC games run. It’s also the reason most PC gamers are still sticking with windows, despite pushes from companies like Valve to get them to embrace the penguin. that battle rages on, as Microsoft plans to unveil its latest iteration of DirectX at this year’s GDC.
Right now, the Xbox One’s system software isn’t quite as fluid and functional as it should be. Its friends, party and chat system is effectively broken, and the standalone apps that replace basic, intrinsic functionality that users were accustomed to on the Xbox 360 make things slower and more cumbersome than they should rightly be. It’s going to get better.
The Xbox One is out in the US tomorrow, and one of its central pillars is that fact that you can talk to it, pretending its HAL 9000. While your Xbox One won't ultimately try and kill you, it will respond to a number of voice commands, removing that herculean nuisance of actually having to press buttons. Here’s a list of all the things you can ask your Xbox to do.
Speaking about the future of gaming at a recent Nvidia event, tech guru John Carmack has predicted that PC gaming technology will grow in leaps and bounds over the next five years, leaving consoles eating dust. This, of course, is not really news – and is really just Moore’s Law. Carmack’s predictions are interesting nonetheless.
There have been endless debates over whether or not consoles as we know them are dead, and if the new consoles coming from Microsoft and Sony will be the last. Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada certainly thinks that’s the way it’s going – saying that in the future, the Ps5 will be service hosted in the cloud.
Now that he game that people have been waiting for 5 years to play, Grand Theft Auto V is out it’s time to look to the future. Once GTA’s done and dusted, something has to rise up and lead the hype.