With Sony having just officially announced the name of their next console, the PlayStation 5, we’re all in waiting to see more details announced. As we have already covered, what we know so far is that the controller, game installation and UI will be different, and the new solid-state hard drive will facilitate these changes.
But what of the likely features we’ll see at launch for this and the new Xbox? Which components haven’t been officially announced, but seem likely given the current trajectory of the world of tech?
Microsoft touched on this, but so far we’ve yet to see any major announcements from Sony on this front. At this point, we’re getting close to the release of Google’s Stadia, which is much-hyped but is yet to be tested in real-world situations.
The question is, will Sony and Microsoft allow streaming on their systems, or will they prohibit it in favor of their own first-party solution? This would hardly be a surprise on Sony’s part, given they already offer such a system in their PSNow service, which launched back in 2015.
Of course, this has not been a flawless project, and it does leave some questions about availability and connectivity. What we are picturing is something more analogous to how the Steam Link operates. The key difference could be the availability of streaming not just from a company’s official servers, but rather from your home PS5 to any internet-connected device.
With faster internet getting cheaper and 5G coming, this is rapidly becoming a more viable choice. It also means a far different library of possible games to play than with a straight server-based service.
More Open Architecture
We wouldn’t expect the Sony or Microsoft console operating systems to ever be as free as something like Windows on PC or Android on mobiles, but we would like to see some sort of middle ground.
A big part of modern operating systems is their flexibility when it comes to apps, and here we would love to see a greater level of cooperation. Let us download a wide range of media players, for example, instead of forcing users into the lacking existing options. These would be helped considerably with a UI that was better suited to a mouse and keyboard or a more streamlined pad solution.
A more open system could see consoles become more flexible in their offerings, which has certainly been the case in mobile and PC gaming. For instance, in the iGaming sector, many of the best sites are solely available through browsers rather than apps, with an emphasis being on the range of games offered. One such example is ComeOn, which is able to offer a range of casino and live casino titles alongside many guides to help out newcomers. Console gaming limits itself to its own platform, so having a more open architecture could allow gamers across multiple disciplines to access genres that are only usually available on PC and mobile on their home console as well.
This might seem unlikely, especially on Sony’s front, but recent developments have shown us that this level of cooperation is not as impossible as it seems. After considerable pressure, Sony has finally opened itself up to proper cross-platform play. With the floodgates open, we’d love to see just how far we can go.
Different Levels of Access
With different versions of consoles seeing more importance in this generation than ever before, we would have to expect a similar focus on the next-gen devices. Almost guaranteed at this point are different launch models. If history is any indicator, these will probably include different size hard drives and extras such as controllers and games.
The question is how far will these new-gen differences go? Will we finally see games unplayable on some models compared to others, or will strict mandates keep this from becoming a reality?
Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait at least a bit longer to get some answers, as these consoles are expected towards that end of next year. With this in mind, only one question remains – what probably bizarre thing will Nintendo do next to compete?