originals\ Jul 1, 2012 at 9:00 am

What should we expect from the next generation of consoles – Sony

This is part one of a three part series and covers Sony

When you hear “next generation” as a gamer, you start to picture photo-realistic graphics and movie quality games. In reality, you usually get enhanced console features such as online gaming and improved graphical capabilities like enhanced lighting effects. So while we’re closing in on the end of the PS3’s lifecycle, we can start to picture what the PS4 will look like.


Graphical Improvements - The PS3 came out November 11, 2006 and still produces top-notch graphics; Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us are perfect examples. While the PS3’s graphics are top-notch for consoles, it trails high-end PC graphics by a long shot.  It’s not exactly fair to compare a nearly six-year-old console to a brand new gaming PC, which is like comparing the first iPhone to an iPhone 4S.

The Graphics won’t be as big a jump as it was going from PS2 to PS3, but the PS4 will be expected to have groundbreaking lighting, improved frame-rate, and an overall lifelike image. The PS4 launch lineup should rival high-end PC graphics at the start, and will be able to pull away once the developers get the feel for the system. The PS4 also needs a huge RAM upgrade in order to compete more effectively.

Playstation Network Improvements – First off, Sony’s PSN needs to remain free. Customers haven’t had to pay for the PS3’s online service for the consoles lifespan, and would balk at the idea of paying to play online. Sony also needs to implement the same digital format that they have with the Vita; where every game released needs to come out the same day on the PSN store and for less money.

Increasing the system’s RAM (as mentioned above) will allow for cross game chat on the PS4. With this feature, you would be able to talk to other PS4 owners and Vita owners regardless of what they’re playing. This is a feature sorely missing from the PS3 at the moment.

Stick to what you know – This section is about what needs to stay similar to the current generation. The PS4 needs to keep the Dualshock controller the way it is. Adding motion controls to the base controller is a terrible move (here's looking at you SixAxis) and would be like having a reoccurring nightmare. The only thing that would be worth changing on the Dualshock would be the rear triggers, which face downward and are easy to lose grip of.

Dualshock 3

While we’re on the subject of motion control, why not just scrap the move entirely. Do people actually buy the move or move games? I doubt it. If we learned anything from the Wii and the Kinect, it’s that motion controllers seem fun at first, then are ignored and collect dust. Leave motion controls and other gimmicks out of the PS4 entirely.

The Blu-Ray format must make a return in the PS4, which is now a mainstay in people’s entertainment centers. The PS3 might not have been as successful as it is now without the built in Blu-Ray player, and increases the value of the PS4 if it’s included.

Sony’s PS3 has arguably the best exclusive games being made for it, and certainly the largest selection of high quality Playstation only games. Improving their internal game development studios will only help Sony going forward, and they will reap the rewards heading into the next generation.

Backwards compatibility is a must on the PS4, especially with games like The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls coming out close to the rumored PS4 launch window. If these games come out for the PS3 and people are buying PS4’s that wont be able to play them, everyone loses. Including this will raise the price of the console, but it will be worth it to play your large library of PS3 games.

Playstation StoreDigital content – Digital content will be very important in the future, and it’s imperative that Sony starts locking up rights for different services. How amazing would it be if Sony made a deal with Apple to have iTunes on the PS4? Or if Sony had a contract with video game streaming service that would allow you to play your PS4 games on the Playstation Vita. The future of digital entertainment is limitless, and Sony needs to think of the impending all-digital future.

The big picture – Sony needs to carry over the PS3’s current momentum to the PS4’s release. Giving the system’s graphics a significant bump will attract new customers, while letting you play your current PS3 games will keep the old ones. Improving the network and acquiring more digital services will future proof the PS4, while Sony’s large stable of developers continue to turn out great exclusive games. Sony’s PS4 has all the necessary tools to become a great console, and will battle the Xbox 720 and Wii U for your time and money.

What are your expectations for Sony going foward? What other features would you want on PS4? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow me on twitter at @AlexEqualsWin and Gamezone at @Gamezoneonline

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