It's no secret that the PS5 and the next Xbox — or whatever Sony and Microsoft decide to call their PS4 and Xbox One successors — are in development and rumoured for a 2020 release window. There's been rampant speculation surrounding the next Xbox variants and possible PS5 specifications. Throw in changes in big budget game development that value persistent, online worlds with infinite experiences over traditional, linear titles, and the likes of Fortnite and Rocket League bringing the need for cross-platform play and cross-progression, the state of video games right now is very different to what it was when the PS4 and Xbox One launched back in 2013. Here's what we want to see from the PS5 and next Xbox.
One of the biggest reasons for the PC enduring as a gaming platform is backwards compatibility. Most games from a decade ago and even further can run on current Windows machines with little effort. Microsoft emulated this with the Xbox One that plays select original Xbox and Xbox 360 games. Some of them take advantage of the added horse power of the Xbox One and Xbox One X. Sony had a half-hearted attempt, bring a few PS2 classics like GTA: Vice City to the PS4 complete with trophy support, but it pales in comparison to Microsoft efforts. Hopefully the PS5 and the next Xbox are compatible with PS4 and Xbox One games in addition to supporting a host of brand new games for them of course. Allowing users to bring over their games from this generation would be a nice bonus. And who knows, perhaps it would allow games like Batman Arkham Knight to finally run at 60fps on consoles.
Sure, big budget games like Destiny and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 are online-only affairs as are the likes of Fortnite and PUBG, but we hope that Sony and Microsoft allow us to play PS5 and the next Xbox offline, particularly with games that don't need online support. Granted living rooms are a lot more connected than what they were, but being able to play your games without being dependent on your Internet connection is a massive plus regardless of how cheap connectivity has gotten.
Cross-play and cross-progression
Games like Final Fantasy XIV, Overwatch, Fortnite, Warframe, and PUBG are available on PS4 and Xbox One in addition to PC. Some of these, such as Warframe, have been around since the inception of the PS4 and would probably continue well into the next era of consoles. Considering the amount of time we've spent on some of these games, Sony and Microsoft would do well to allow game developers to bring their hits over to the PS5 and the next Xbox complete with the ability for users to retain their progress and play with those on older consoles along with true cross-platform play. PS5 Overwatch players should be able to play with those on Xbox One and PC. It's a post-Fortnite world after all.
The PS4 and Xbox One were touted to be consoles that could play games at full-HD. While that was true in most cases for the PS4, it was far from the case with the Xbox One. This necessitated the need for iterative consoles like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Although these were advertised as 4K consoles, the situations was reversed with the Xbox One X hitting 4K in most cases while the PS4 Pro does not. With the PS5 and the next Xbox rumoured to be using next-gen AMD Navi GPU tech, it would be great if both consoles target and achieve 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR for most if not all games. Reason being, it would give current PS4 and Xbox One owners a compelling reason to upgrade.
Better sharing options
One thing the PS4 did right was having a dedicated 'Share' button on the DualShock 4. It made sharing screenshots, videos, and livestreams a ridiculously easy process. We wish we could say the same for the Xbox One S or One X. Setting up and sharing videos and screenshots cumbersome, forcing you to either record your moments on an external hard drive as you play or upload to One Drive or Xbox Live if you're recording your gameplay on the internal Xbox One drive (as you can't copy footage over to external storage like the PS4). Sony would be wise to keep the same sharing options present on the PS4 for the PS5 and Microsoft copying Sony's implementation wholesale would make life easier for all of us who'd love to share our adventures in Halo, Gears, and whatever the next Xbox brings.
Discs and physical media
With murmurs of a discless Xbox One and companies talking up the apparent accessibility that game streaming will bring, Sony and Microsoft would be prudent to have their next-gen consoles ship with support for physical media. Although Internet may be connectivity superlative in some countries, it's far from the case the world over and adds another pain point for many who don't have the best Internet connection or data plan. Supporting physical media also makes it easier for PS5 and next Xbox users to fund the purchase of new games by selling old ones. Sure, it's not something most publishers are a fan of, but with game prices being what they are, it allows users to keep playing.
What do you want to see from the PS5 and the next Xbox? Let us know in the comments.
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