Hey guys, I’m not feeling the anxiety topic this week, however, there is a topic I’d like to talk about. This is about my experiences in the video game field and an idea as to where things are going.
Being a millennial, I grew up with video games. Now, not all of us did, in fact, I believe my generation is the last generation to frown upon gamers and look down on them for enjoying the craft. I’ve gone through my fair share of teasing when it comes to this sort of thing, and even still I feel uncomfortable talking about one of my favorite hobbies from fear of either being teased, or grouped in with the stereotypical guy living in his parents basement (though, that isn’t much of a stretch and is certainly not even considered as much of a blunder anymore but that is for a later blog). The younger millennials out there, however, need not worry about such ridicule. It appears almost all the kids nowadays play Call of Duty, and other M rated titles. They make their voices heard on the global chat, and even they mock players that are my age (for different reasons which are beyond reasoning. Also a blog for another time).
What I wanted to talk about THIS time is where gaming is progressing at the moment, particularly in regards to paying for what you want. For those of you that don’t game, a lot of options are coming out on the Sony network of being able to just play the multiplayer gameplay of a certain game (so far Killzone 3 and Uncharted 3). Taking this to the next level could mean limitless potential. What if we made it so when gamers buy a game, they have a plethora of options? It’s not even necessary for the multiplayer to be free, but I like the idea of customizing a purchase to suit your needs. Personally, I usually just like to play the campaigns of games because I enjoy a good story, so the option to just buy the campaign of a game at a discounted price sounds more gratifying to me than free multiplayer. Games like Call of Duty attract people just because of its stellar multiplayer, so why not allow the consumer to purchase just the multiplayer at a discounted price? Mind you, depending on the demand, prices may vary. The multiplayer of Call of Duty could sell for $40, and the campaign for $20, a fully finished product would result in the same price, but it is forcing nothing on the consumer. In many cases the multiplayer is made by different people than the single player campaigns so this also makes distribution of payments a lot easier to handle.
The PS4 was announced recently and it looks to integrate a huge social media aspect, and looks like it’s bringing gamers together in ways lots of us didn’t even think of. Not only does the PS4′s controller have a share button to take gameplay clips and share them with the world, but it also has the ability to spectate other people’s games and help them through the chat, or take over control momentarily for them through tricky parts. This new breed of inter connectivity, and it combines two of my favorite aspects of the internet; Online gaming, and social media. The new dashboard of the PS4 resembles a similar breed of social media and online gaming, having a profile complete with updates of what you’re playing, clips you’ve shared, your trophy collections (collected by completing tasks in your games) as well as news on your friends. This design alone should attract more people that aren’t used to the idea of gaming, and have been hesitant, as it looks extremely user friendly to anyone who has a facebook account.
The SteamBox (or rather, the Xi3 Piston) was showed off at the CES last year and got lots of people in the PC gaming realm talking, but I feel like not enough people are talking about it. The idea behind the Steambox is to be able to access your Steam account (an online app that houses the largest PC gaming collection bar none) on your home television and play however you see fit. How is this attractive to non-gamers? Xi3 has allowed third parties to participate in creating their own ideal Steamboxes, what they want to see on the market. These ideas range from cost effective, to an extreme powerhouse, and each would have a different price tag. Valve, the company behind this project has said that they are interested in having multiple models to suit the needs of anyone. I’ve thought of many ideas about this flexibility of the hardware and even thought of having a Piston that specializes in watching film, so it would be like a blu-ray player, but better, as it seems movie players are stuck in the past still. This model would have a blu-ray drive, naturally, as well as all the apps you need to get started (Netflix, hulu, etc.) It would be considerably cheaper than a gaming powerhouse because watching film requires less hardware, and this could be the ultimate viewing experience.
I like to think that customization and connectivity is the way of the future of gaming, and with the PS4, and Steambox, I look forward to my many options the hardware allows. I eagerly await Microsoft’s next step into the very same future, and I hope, for the business, that they have their own spectacular innovations to share with the world, as I’m sure they do.
Sony Press Conference (PS4):
Steambox (Xi3 Piston):
Uncharted Free Multiplayer: