Gaming: The Next Generation

There has been a ton of speculation regarding some of the decisions Microsoft has made regarding the Xbox One. I think many of these questions are certainly valid along with some of the criticisms. What I think however is that Microsoft isn't designing a console for games as we know them today.

So why did MS only include a 500gb hard drive that cannot be upgraded? Why are they integrating it so much into the Cloud?

I think the problem is that we are using our current knowledge and understanding of gaming to try and project what these next generation games will be like. Game quality has reached the point where I don't think you can win in the hardware race anymore. The reality is that gaming is changing dramatically.

Here is what I'm thinking the Next Generation of Gaming is going to look like. Gaming is going to look like. What it's going to incorporate. What may be next?

Leveraging the Cloud

I know we've talked about this to ad nauseum already but there are some really amazing possibilities in here that we have only started to realize.

  1. Cloud based AI
    Just imagine for a minute that when you are playing a Real-Time Strategy game and the game is able to adapt to your play and strategy. Being able to leverage multiple servers and keeping parts of the Engine in the cloud, this will allow developers to scale and make changes on the fly to your game experience. They will only need to write code to the Cloud and not have to push an update to every single console.
    This feature will allow developers to cut back on costs and delivery significantly. Developers saving money and providing you with a better and more intelligent overall experience is a good thing.
  2. Less local use of your own storage.
    I know we've wondered why the Xbox One only has a 500gig harddrive that is not upgradable. This design choice is to push developers to keep significant parts of their games in the Cloud and have those parts available "On Demand" for you when you need them. Pre-Rendered videos? They will just stream, saving loads of space on your disk. I'm thinking back to Mass Effect where your character is customized. Your choices affect the outcome of the game and what you see in the movie clips. What if that can all be done on Xbox servers?
  3. MMO and Dynamic maps.
    Imagine playing a Real-Time MMO game on your Xbox Console. Since we will be all connected to Xbox servers, we will be able to have games that are constantly running. Worlds could change overnight after a battle. Think of Minecraft on Steroids and running 24/7/365.

Kinect 2.0

This is something I really think will be a game changer in the next year or two. The PS4 will not be able to match the capabilities that are built into the Kinect. I am envisioning games that are able to react to your body characteristics. What if a game to slow down or speed up based on your heart rate? The possibilities don't just stop there. The advanced voice recognition I think will give you the ability to have added feature that we see in PC games. You don't need a mouse, you have the camera advanced enough to follow your hand gestures. The Kinect will be there to compliment the controller, not replace it.

Smartglass

This is another interface you can use that can really compliment your game. I'm imagining a full on interface for you to be able to change/select inventory items, for you to customize your character(s) or advanced displays to add to your HUD.

Convergence:

This is where I am seeing the next generation of games going. Games are leveraging Cloud processing. Rendering custom video and then streaming it to your console. Your local hardware doesn't need to be as robust.

The next gen Kinect is going to allow you to option many different aspects in gaming that we've never even thought of. Games will be able to react to your actual bio output and elevating or scaling down the experience depending on your preferences.

You will be able to use any smart device to add even more control on what you can do with your game.

What do all of you think? Am I missing something?