The Future is Going to Suck

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And I don’t just mean because you’re going to lose your hair and put on a few pounds – here’s why gaming is set to get a lot worse.

Sony Can’t Afford To Take Big Risks
Sony spent billions making the cell chip for the PS3 and sunk further billions into selling the console at a loss. Sony can’t afford to do that again after four years of heavy losses. The company also no longer employs anyone like Ken Kutaragi, who used his position and power to create an amazing device seemingly without taking profits into consideration. That’s why rumors suggest the PS4 will basically be a PC, and not even a very impressive one.
It’s Going To Be Hard To Be A Used Gamer
Some rumors say that the PS4/NeXtBox won’t play used games, but that’s generally seen as being rather unlikely. What is far more probable is that Sony will do what they did with the Vita – Online Passes on pretty much every game, no trophies on used discs. Expect further hurdles as well, as it’s only a matter of time before companies try and implement singleplayer passes, or used game time limits.
The Death of Singleplayer
This is something that we’ve seen more and more this gen. Other than truly massive single player experiences like The Elder Scrolls and GTA, mainstream games are becoming increasingly multiplayer focused – after all, more people buy map packs than singleplayer DLC. Multiplayer also means that people don’t trade in their game or buy a competitors, they just sit around throwing knives until the next COD game.
Free-to-Play Might Be The Future
For developers, F2P is awesome. They can come out with a casual game, market it as free, and then entice people to pay to make the game actually any good. Which sucks if you play games for enjoyment, and not to make Zynga one of the biggest publishers in existence. Ngmoco’s Ben Cousins believes that the future will see games with the breadth of Skyrim available for free – except that you’ll probably have to pay a lot more than $60 to make the game as enjoyable as Skyrim.
Subscriptions Are Too Lucrative
You can bet that Sony has been eying the near-billion dollars of profit that Microsoft makes from Xbox Live with considerable envy. Sure, they now have PlayStation Plus, but gamers don’t need to subscribe to play online, and PS+ has to really work for its money. Don’t be too surprised if the PS4 has a more constrained and aggressive subscription policy.
Developing Next-Gen Games Will Be Even More Expensive
In 1982, Namco spent approximately $100,000 (now around $237,000) on Pac-Man. PS1 games cost around a million dollars, PS2 5-7 million and PS3 15-30 million for the average title. Logic dictates that next-gen dev costs will be even higher – after all, better detail, more complicated AI, more realistic engines all require more developers and longer dev cycles. More expensive games means that there will be less titles, possibly higher prices, and far less risk taking (innovation).
The Apple Has Landed
Apple may or may not ever get into the console space, but it doesn’t really matter, because they are already in the games space, making ridiculous profit off of the iOS platform. Most indies now develop on iOS or Android, and an increasing number of big studios like Crytek are exploring the space. Consoles are no longer the most important sector in the industry, and innovation and change is likely to happen at a far faster pace on mobile games, with the PSN and XBL taking a back seat.
What Is Wrong With People?
Call of Duty keeps selling at astronomical rates each year, despite very little change. Hell, Black Ops II has triple the preorders of BLOPS, even though no one really knows anything about the game. Look forward to more COD, and more COD-like annual titles that change little each year.
West Is Sadly Best
20 years ago, all the best games used to be from the land of the rising sun, but now the Japanese games industry has – as a whole – failed to keep up with this gen. Sure, there are a few awesome titles, but the country has mostly been unable to understand how the market has changed. Graphics and gameplay also haven’t evolved as fast as in the West. With the next generation, this gap will likely get worse.
Facebook My Tweet And Share It With Your Circle
Publishers love to advertise their games, but they hate to pay for the advertising. So they came up with a genius idea – you market their games for them! Expect far more Facebook and Twitter ‘integration’ in future games: finished a level, shot someone in the nads or bought some DLC? Games will offer you the opportunity to share it on Facebook, something that doesn’t seem like that big a deal. But then take a look at iOS games, which are beginning to adopt a policy of locking out features unless you spam your friends. Yaay.
It’s Watching You
Sure, Sony might have pioneered the EyeToy, but Microsoft mainstreamed the motion controlled camera with Kinect. As you’d expect, Sony wants a piece of that lucrative market, and is probably creating their own 3D camera. Which leads to this:

Source

I'm not too concerned about the PS4's specs if those rumors are true it won't be as bad as they think. I'm semi-impressed with the Wii-U and not impressed with MS console.

As for used games, I'm an importer and no longer deal with the used market, but I'm still not happy at the fact that the Next Gen may be blocking used games, not all of us are rich. The used game market is a main reason consoles sell especially in the intermediate and long term.

Singleplayer dying is not really a concern for me since there will be offerings of this in Japan for many gens to come, however elsewhere seeing it go is disappointing, I like singleplayer games especially RPGs, the things that should be online only are Monster Hunter Style games like PSO and Ragnarok, it's nearly impossible to play those well with out a partner or 2-3 other people. Everything else should have online as an option, not a requirement. Singleplayer passes are bullshit and uncalled for, the practice of online and singleplayer passes should be banned.

Subscriptions, I do not like them when they are required, optional ones like PS+ are ok and welcome, you can play online for free, but required subscriptions like Live eventually going on the PSN and Nintendo Wi-Fi, it's uncalled for.

Game costs are going to go up no surprise, but this will be at the cost of innovation because devs don't want to take a few risks which is bad on both markets, good innovation means more customers wanting to play your games and there's a danger of oversaturation (FPS in the West, uninnovative RPGs and VNs in Japan, oh and it's got worse with the VNs, they are going overboard with them on handhelds especially). This could lead to a third video game crash.

Social games well the good news is that in Japan they may be cutback due to the compu-gacha ban if it passes, however in the West no such law exists and devs might leave the console industry for the social gaming market since it is profitable due to the item transaction profits. There needs to be a crackdown in the West, it's cutting into the innovation potential of the consoles.

"West is sadly best", I strongly disagree, it's "West is almost completely uninteresting", There are no western games that give me any interest whatsoever for next gen heck Western games that interest me are few and far between this gen. I expect it to be zero next gen, I'm disappointed beyond belief.
 
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notmeanymore

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Developing Next-Gen Games Will Be Even More Expensive
In 1982, Namco spent approximately $100,000 (now around $237,000) on Pac-Man. PS1 games cost around a million dollars, PS2 5-7 million and PS3 15-30 million for the average title. Logic dictates that next-gen dev costs will be even higher – after all, better detail, more complicated AI, more realistic engines all require more developers and longer dev cycles. More expensive games means that there will be less titles, possibly higher prices, and far less risk taking (innovation).
This is one of the biggest factors in the rise of indie developers.
Indies keep the production costs small to keep the game price small. If Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo maximize on this growing culture in the coming generation, they've got a new cash cow to milk, and a way to get their hands on Apple's money.
 

Rydian

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1 - Well maybe Sony should pay some attention to what people want?

2 - This is going to suck. It's not just passes, there's tons of ways to make used games not be as much fun (such as non-deleteable saves).

3 - This generally ties into wanting to make things a service instead of a good, because then they can make you pay more than once.

4 - Yeah Freemium can bite a donkey's turd as far as I'm concerned the way it's heading. It was a good idea in principle, but when the paid features became "core" instead of "extra", it went to shit.

5 - yar.

6 - Yet indie games made at home can rack up a million dollars or more? The gaming industry is becoming like the movie industry, companies think tossing more money at something means it'll be a better product. There are some things where more money spent actually does give good returns (such as advertising, which way too many games don't do on TV and such even once), but a lot of the budgets are retarded.

7 - Apple's like, making it's own NES thing here. Small games that can be surprisingly-fun to play without million-dollar budgets.

8 - People buy what they like to play, but yeah the way some companies shovel out sequels without many changes is sort of annoying.

9 - I sorta' agree on the graphics part.

10 - Yeah this kind of deceptive advertising irks me.

11 - Meh. If it gets people moving and it's fun to play, more power to it. Of course it needs fun games first...
 

alphamule

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"Sony Can’t Afford To Take Big Risks"
Hmm, they should sell modified versions of their chips. You'd be surprised how much people would pay to be able to use them in certain applications. Then again, they'd probably find themselves competing against their own silicon.

"It’s Going To Be Hard To Be A Used Gamer"
It's going to be hard to sell games at $60+, then.

"The Death of Singleplayer"
Ditto. This combined with the next two will likely be the death of selling $60+ games. Remember: People in Australia pay at least twice that for the exact same game.

There's a resemblance to the people claiming calculators would make there be no new engineers and mathematics but the computer lets people learn even FASTER and some major parts of number theory depend on computers simply because it would take billions of years for humans to do. Who knows, maybe multiplayer will improve a lot and they'll find a happy medium between "need an army to enjoy" and "sit in your box and play".

"Developing Next-Gen Games Will Be Even More Expensive
Self-induced pain. Sigh, and there's not much to do. Plenty of blame to go around for this one. Buyers, sellers, makers, investors... I guess the only solution is either to reuse a lot of the effort or depend on AI to write most of the game. (LOL, Westworld was a great movie and Star Trek:TNG was a good show but this is not likely to happen anytime soon)

"The Apple Has Landed" Even Apple is facing some stiff competition. And this is even with all their market share. I'll be curious to see how Apple handles this in the next 5 years. We'll see if Apple drops the ball or rides this for all it's worth. History has shown both happen to them. ;)

"What Is Wrong With People?" Just the way it works. I never got why people paid full price for each Madden or NHL release on the SNES. We always just rented it to play our favorite or the most recent season.

"West Is Sadly Best" How is this bad in and of itself? And this is highly subjective. I grew up on the Apple II and other systems like that and practically all the games were from North America or Europe with the rare exception of stuff like arcade games such as Pac-Man. No one can own a market forever and there's always some specialization. What made me so happy with the SNES was how much better the gameplay was compared to the NES and Atari's. The graphics were practically identical to an Apple IIgs as well - this was a major thing for a console back then - it was as good as a computer and without all the load times or failing discs! The cartridges were a damn site better than the NES so far as reliability goes, as well.

The big problem I see is mentioned above. The fact that the games... mostly look the same, mostly play the same, are barely different than all the "me, too" console games, and just generally seem like less fun versions of books and movies. It's one thing to have similar controls - it's another to make the entire game seem like it could have been made at the same time and place, and by the same team. Remember the Atari 2600? Don't let this happen, people! :( At least on the plus side, I remember how the industry rebounded with 'outsider' Japanese help. NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD... At the time, these were obviously way better than the Atari, hardware wise. They still had the 90% of games that you'd only rent for a weekend and then never want to play again, but at least it wasn't 99%!


"Facebook My Tweet And Share It With Your Circle" And they wonder why people release hacks for stuff like that. It'll only get harder as they find a financial incentive to screw us.

Video: Haha, that's so funny and it's not even supposed to be. I see an untapped market in selling gym software.

Oh, and GOTCHA! Meh, they'll just switch to a trade-in points system. You get the items that will only help you do it easier, instead of giving you a 'lottery ticket/chance'. Say, they merely make it less boring by effectively doubling ingame money. The real reason for this is gambling addiction. Random rewards are actually more addicting than surefire ones. This is classic operatant conditioning ala Skinner.
 

awssk8er

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I agree with most of the points you named.

As long as my console can play great single player games, I'll be happy. If not, looks like I'll be sticking to my Wii and previous generation consoles.
 
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324atk

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I agree with most of the points you named.

As long as my console can play great single player games, I'll be happy. If not, looks like I'll be sticking to my Wii and previous generation consoles.
I agree with you completely on this. If the industry does go to shit I'd happily stay in this generation until it gets sorted out, IF it gets sorted out.
 

godreborn

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personally, consoles shouldn't be in a power-struggle with pcs. and, they should stick to gaming. these days, multimedia features r being touted off far more than the games. after all, the new metro dash of the 360 has the gaming section pushed off to the side. I think the industry took a wrong turn when graphics became the end all and be all of gaming. sure, it might be nice to have great graphics, but the cost will undoubtedly be passed on to the consumer. I really don't want to take out a loan just to buy a game next gen.
 

Yatashi Strife

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just realized this? i have given up on anything regarding the future. in the future the earth will try to go super sayain 9000, but fail miserably and we will all die from the earth exploding within a time frame of 8 secs, and while we are dying we will hear the mario gameover sound. after death we will be cast into a dimension where we will hear elevator music wherever we go for the rest of our lives and we wont be able to say S#%$ about it, or u get falcon punched right in the nuts by chuck norris, because chuck norris survives super sayain 9000. PS: chuck falcon punch = death, unblockable, infinite invincibility frames, and 9 billion damage, and armor breaking. if u some how manage to stop it, you become the new chuck norris and the old one dies.

this is how i imagine the future. :/
 

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The best thing for Sony and MS is to sit down and decide together to not release any "Next-Gen" consoles anymore...
Not exactly a bad idea... but highly questionable from a legal point-of-view if they collude. Morally, they might just do this independently, anyways. After all, if it's logical to one of them... 2-5 years to concentrate on helping developers reach gamers instead of competing on losing economic grounds. I don't know how this would work, though.
 

Bladexdsl

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the future is going to suck? it already sucks this has been the worst gen yet for me nearly all the games out were lame fucking shooters or them dumb ass idiotic button combo mashing games. there was very few games out that interested me at all. most of the games focused solely on fucking making the gfx da best eva and gameplay took a backseat. and if next gen is going to be about the same than i am just going to quit altogether and not waste my time or $.
 
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ZAFDeltaForce

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My PS3 is going to be my last console, I'm sticking with PC gaming. Not really because of the reasons listed, but the article is very convincing
 

godreborn

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after playing the emulators on the ps3, 360, and wii, I bought a retron to play actual carts. I can honestly say I've had more enjoyment with it than any of the main three consoles. though, I might say I've also enjoyed the wii since it does focus on single-player (never liked online). the sad thing is that the retron will likely outlast all three consoles considering the relatively low-build quality of any newer console.
 

FireGrey

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All of this is made by diehard fans that can't let go of the past so they are using rumors to back up their reasoning for why the next gen is going to suck.
Also, they say that it's sad that people pre-order BOII without knowing anything about it, but that is similar to what they are doing in that post.
 
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ferofax

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"West is sadly best", I strongly disagree, it's "West is almost completely uninteresting", There are no western games that give me any interest whatsoever for next gen heck Western games that interest me are few and far between this gen. I expect it to be zero next gen, I'm disappointed beyond belief.
coming from a very small, singular point of view: yours.

They obviously view the point differently, like in the shoes of a developer, staring at something like how Call of Duty prints money, how iOS and Android apps prints money, and so on. who cares if you find CoD uninteresting, or if a million gamers out there find it uninteresting? fact of the matter is, it's a very pregnant cash cow, and that's what they see.
nothing speaks volume than sales, no matter how mindboggling it may be.
 

Sterling

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Personally, I'm enjoying the shift to online games. Playing with other people is not only enjoyable, but many people I've played Call of Duty with have become great friends. While single player is indeed important, if games companies would add online capabilities and such they could potentially make much more. For example, I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to play Skyrim with a friend, or several friends. If Bethesda had made an online Co-Op mode where it requires an online pass to access, they'd have made much more money while still keeping the single player mode intact.
 

Nathan Drake

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"West is sadly best", I strongly disagree, it's "West is almost completely uninteresting", There are no western games that give me any interest whatsoever for next gen heck Western games that interest me are few and far between this gen. I expect it to be zero next gen, I'm disappointed beyond belief.
To be entirely blunt, even on this forum, you're somewhat of a minority in regards to your taste in games. I don't see you post a whole lot, mainly because I just don't read as much on here anymore, at least not nearly as much as I did for my first six months here, but I still have a fairly good idea of your taste in games. Anyways, as was pointed out, you may not like CoD, but millions of other gamers do. You may not like western RPG's, but millions of other gamers do. There's money to be made with conforming to western gaming trends for developers, especially as these trends begin to catch on in other parts of the world.

Let's face it, Nintendo is the only one anymore who's games have a strong foundation in Japanese game making. Everything I played and enjoyed when I had a PS3? Made in the west. On the 360? Made in the west. I feel like half of it is because western developers are finally able to compete when in a market where development takes time, tastes have shifted, and patience wanes when it comes to waiting for everything you want to play from Japan being translated. Japanese gaming trends also either were never big over here (see: every dating sim ever), or have hit a sharp decline (see: JRPG's). Sure, JRPG's are no more repetitive than FPS games, but we haven't been hit by solid FPS games by the dozen for the past two or three decades.

You can't deny that the west is becoming the big region for games. They will never be entirely dominant, but it seems that at least for the next decade I'd presume, they've pretty much secured their spot as the dominant developers in the market, just as Japan was for a very long time.

Edit: I should probably mention that I can't really argue with anything the author put forth. They're all very valid points, or very valid worries. None of it is for sure, of course, but they have reasonably backed up their ideas well enough that I won't argue.
 
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