Forums - Gaming Discussion - Will NeXtbox and PS4 Need Major Unique Selling Points?

Nintendo have become exemplary when it comes to innovation in the hardware space. They are pioneers, and their pioneering in new and bold areas has proved incredibly fruitful – The Wii, with its motion controls, and the DS, with its dual screens, are two of the most successful video game systems in history. Nintendo’s designs have been mimicked by the other two console manufactures, by Sony, rather overtly with the Playstation Move, and mimicked more subtly by Microsoft’s Kinect; the “inspiration” behind these two products is obvious.

To be perfectly fair, Sony and Microsoft have created new and interesting ways to interact with our games; the PS Vita has it’s back touch pad, and although the Kinects existence is probably solely due to the Wii popularising motion controls, it’s far from a straight replica. But whilst innovative, neither idea has brought Sony or Microsoft the kind of tremendous success the Wii or the DS has for Nintendo, and neither idea is the main selling point of the hardware, it’s merely a feature.

So, considering the success of Nintendo’s unique hardware, and the general competitiveness of today’s market, is it time Sony and Microsoft became a little more daring in the design of their consoles?

Well, yes and no.

No, because while I would like them to refine their controller designs, and produce innovative peripherals, I think radically changing the default method of input would be a huge mistake. I think this for two reasons, the first being core gamers love their Xbox 360 controllers and their Dualshocks, and there’s a reason for that; they just work. The second being the sort of design I could see them producing would likely be something that doesn’t really improve the gameplay experience, but simply changes the method of input, which is absolutely welcome, but as a peripheral and not the primary input device.

Yes, because innovation isn’t strictly confined to hardware. This generation both Microsoft and Sony have created innovative software, whether that be through the enormous advancement in online gaming with Xbox Live, making gaming ever more social, or Uncharted redefining the action-adventure genre, or the introduction of achievement systems, rewarding gamers for gaming. There’s a myriad of ways MicroSony have changed gaming this generation, and it’s been mostly through their software, and it’s been awesome. That’s the direction I want to see them continue taking. When it comes to their hardware, put more polygons on my screen and let me do more thinks at once with ease, but don’t take away my beloved controller, and instead continue to make compelling software.

When it comes to games, these two have us covered. Sony have a world class array of development teams, and though Microsoft have been subject to criticism over a lack of first party titles, they’ve been opening studios left and right over the last couple of years, so I’m confident they’ll be up to standard in that department next generation. When it comes to the operating systems and user interface of Orbis and Durango, we’ve had next to no indication of what they’ll entail, but I don’t see why we won’t be seeing further great progress in this area. The latest Orbis rumour mentioned an interesting software feature, it stated users will be able to seamlessly switch between applications by pressing the PS button on the controller – Sony is “trying to make it as fluid as possible.”

These sort of “miniature USPs”, if you will, these little innovations, are the way to go. Individually they may seem insignificant, but collectively they’re bordering revolutionary.


Around the Network
Only if their games aren't unique enough.

Yes, they have to have something unique. I want to control video games with cock and my bollocks. Why? Because I love innovation.

720 is going to be much more than a game console.

It will be a media center capable of interfacing with your tablet/cell phone/PC/full social media intergration, and will have a lot of "smart TV" features and perhaps even be a replacement for your cable box/DVR entirely. You'll be able to interface with the system through a game pad, sure, but also through a much advanced version of Kinect (gestures/facial rec/voice rec) or even your cell phone/tablet if you want.

And I do think 720 will actually have Windows 8 (or at least RT) on it, full stop.

I imagine Sony may try to match some of that by putting GoogleTV onto PS4.

I think the era of the "game console" that just sits there and plays video games and not much else is basically coming to an end. Even Nintendo, with Nintendo TVii and Miiverse seems to be moving away from that concept.

The next generation will be much more about this type of intergration, not controller gimmicks so much (that idea in itself now is starting to become old hat). Even Reggie himself admitted he feels the revolutionary features of the Wii U are actually Nintendo TVii and Miiverse, not the fact that the controller has a touch screen on it (nice, but nothing earth shattering).

No. Absolutely not. We don't need something "innovative" from every system in terms of hardware. Nintendo has the Wii U and Microsoft will undoubtedly push the Kinect, so it's my fervent hope that Sony will, with the PS4, create a traditional gaming system where most of the budget is tied to the internals of the machine.

What I want more than anything is software innovation. I want more games like Journey that defy the need to slot everything into an established genre. I want hardware that's robust enough, and programmer friendly enough, that developers can do whatever wild things cross their imagination. I want games that are unique, varied, and compelling. Games are what matter the most to me.

I have nothing against motion controls or touchscreens or whatever but it's just not where my focus is directed.

Around the Network
the PS4 will likely need Sony franchises as selling point, so I really hope they have Gran Turismo 6 along maybe with one of their cinematic games lined up for launch - then they might actually win the european wallets

Lafiel said:
the PS4 will likely need Sony franchises as selling point, so I really hope they have Gran Turismo 6 along maybe with one of their cinematic games lined up for launch - then they might actually win the european wallets

So you are one of those people...

You really believe in the ten year plan for the PS3, because you don't expect the PS4 to launch before 2016.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

It's not in Sony's nature to pioneer innovation. They'll probably focus on making the next system integrated with all media and social networking just like microsoft.

Games can and should tell stories and share ideas through their mechanics. This is the intrinsic element of the medium and this is how experiences should be crafted in video games. No company does this as well as Nintendo and their echoes from the past.
  Aurum Ring  Delano7  Ocarinahero032

Sony has tons and tons of incredible tech demos but I doubt they will implement them. Heck Move was years before the Wii yet it stayed in the lab because Sony failed to realize its potential. Then again they did put the rear touch pad on Vita which could show a change in thinking. It isn't too crazy for PS4 to launch with one of these "gimmicks" front and center.

Around the Network
echoesfromthepast said:
It's not in Sony's nature to pioneer innovation. They'll probably focus on making the next system integrated with all media and social networking just like microsoft.

I think they've released quite a few innovative games this gen. Look at what Uncharted has done or at least helped do to action games, or how "Play. Create. Share" games like LBP have changed custom creations.