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Current Gen Consoles Have Already "Done Everything You Can Imagine"

What do the next-gen consoles have in store for us?  We'll have faster processing and better graphics, though some developers predict it might not be much of a graphical improvement from the current gen.

But from an innovation standpoint, what might the Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4 have to offer?  According to Rockstar Games VP of Creative Development Dan Houser, we shouldn't expect anything much different than what we already have with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  Aside from a few smaller features that enhance what we've already seen, we shouldn't see much of a change - at least from an innovation standpoint.  Rather, we should see the next-gen consoles build on the current generation's already existing technology and accomplishments.

"Until they've got implants in your head or a holodeck, they've kind of done everything you can imagine," said Dan Houser in an interview.  Let's see what current consoles let us do: watch movies and shows via Netflix, stream music, browse the internet, an integrate our social media lives.  Heck, we've even got 3D in games.  Yes, it's a lot, but is it everything you can imagine?  I think from a surrounding technological standpoint, the current generation of consoles do successfully integrate things that complement the overall experience - making consoles full "entertainment" systems.

Maybe Microsoft and Sony shouldn't look for bigger and better innovations, and instead focus on making better what they already have. 

"The challenges are smaller in some ways - or less [about] these big things [and more about] implementing what you've got better and better."

Houser continued, "What people want in consoles is ease of use, stability, reliability, and new things."  He's definitely got a point.  Reliability, meaning the new Xbox 720, or whatever it will be called, shouldn't red-ring on us.  Stability, meaning the new PlayStation 4 shouldn't suffer from Network outages.  The Kinect and Move should be tightened up making them easier to use.  Of course, things like outages and hacks might never be 100% preventable, but at least reach a point where it doesn't completely hinder the experience. 

Lastly, new things doesn't necessarily mean better, bigger things.  It might just be something as simple as furthering the integration of social media tools into your gaming experience.  Rather than "new" innovations that actually transport you into the game Tron-style, we should see an improvement to the overall home entertainment experience. Remember the NES was an Entertainment System, not a "Gaming System", so I think we will see a return to the roots of home entertainment.  That's not to say we won't see bigger things in terms of gameplay, however.

Have the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 done everything you can imagine?  What are you looking for in the next-gen consoles?

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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