The next generation has now officially become the current generation, and the current generation has become the last generation. It is a great time to be a gamer. The new consoles bring exciting new possibilities to the table. Gaming’s future has never been brighter, but a problem is hidden in the light. The new consoles boast many improvements, but they lack one very important quality. Despite many fantatic improvements, the new consoles lack true innovation.
The graphics on the new consoles border photo-realism at times. For lack of a better word, that’s pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the new consoles currently lack more than just a few bells and whistles. The new consoles do not feature the same level of innovation that has been consistently seen since the inception of gaming. New generations have traditionally meant new ways to play, but can the new consoles really say that? Instead of feeling like groundbreaking new pieces of technology, the new consoles only come across as an upgrade. The upgrade is significant and great, but it is still just an upgrade. The new consoles give off the impression that Microsoft and Sony have hit a wall in the development process. Have we really already seen all of the innovations gaming has to offer?
The PS4 and the Xbox One are both great machines. No one doubts that. They feature significant upgrades besides the obvious graphical enhancement. The new consoels have fixed most of the problems found in the previous generation, but they have not added very much to the mix in the grand scheme of things. Gaming is currently seeing a few groundbreaking innovations. The problem lies in the fact that these innovations are not found in the new consoles. The new consoles make drastic improvements, but they lack the creative design found in the past. They both hold great potential for innovation, but right now that innovation simply is not there. The difference between the new consoles and the old consoles does not seem as great as the difference found in generations of the past.
I am really enjoying the new generation of consoles, but I believe that there is more to be experienced. Will the PS4 ever actually take advantage of its camera, or will my PS4 forever boast a pointless blue light that destroys immersion in a dark room? (Seriously, Survival Horror could be a problem. Playing in the dark will never be the same again on the PS4.) Will the Xbox One finally utilize Kinect, or will Kinect continue to be a faulty $100 charge that no one desires?
The potential for innovation in this new generation appears to be endless. As more and more developers gain appropriate recourses, the room for innovation only grows. The inspiration of many smaller products fills the gamer in me with excitement for the future. It’s a shame that the new consoles lack that same level of inspiration. Until Sony and Microsoft can prove that the new experiences offered in this young generation boast true innovation, are we basically playing the PS3.5 and the Xbox 361?