Exciting Next-Gen Features
Of course, the graphics keep getting better, but what do the upcoming Xbox One and PS4 offer that current gen can't, other than prettier graphics? A whole lot actually. These two new consoles are packing more features than any console ever has and it's an exciting time for gamers. Here are just three features (out of dozens) offered by the new consoles that I'm stoked for.
Dedicated Servers (X1)
Most of us that play online multiplayer have had it happen numerous times; We're gaming, about to frag some sucker from behind but suddenly, we get booted back to the player lobby or the round begins fresh because the host decided to quit early. It sucks, but we've grown accustomed to player-hosted servers over the years on consoles and for the most part, they work as intended. But Microsoft is taking the future of online gaming on Xbox very seriously, to the point of setting up a massive amount of dedicated servers - 300,000 of them to be more clear - available for Xbox Live.
Microsoft has stated that the dedicated servers will be available to any developer's making Xbox One games if they so choose. That's huge news for those gamers that primarily play competitively online and demand high-speed connections without interruptions. If your serious about online competitive gaming, you should check out this post from a developer on Titanfall, which explains in detail why Xbox Live and its dedicated servers/cloud will make for an awesome online experience for the hard-core gamers.
Player Recognition (X1)
Kinect 2.0 is going to be awesome. I know, I know, the first Kinect did not live up to the promise but the new Kinect for Xbox One is everything that was originally promised and so much more. A lot of people only think of Kinect as some form of motion controller, missing (or ignoring) all the incredible things it does to streamline our gaming experiences. Player recognition is just one of those cool Kinect features that I'm really happy about and I'll quickly explain why...
I play video-games with "inverted" camera controls but my friends that I play with regularly prefer "normal" camera controls. So every time we pass the controller - and this happens a lot when playing GTA - We have to pause our game, go into the main menu, then select "controls", then we reach the "inverted/regular" option and finally we have to back out of that to get back to gaming. It's a cumbersome process that we just accept today. But on Xbox One, when I pass the controller to my buddy, the system will instantly and automatically recognize that (thanks to Kinect and the IR sensors on controllers) and re-map the button configuration to his personal profile settings (after a one time set-up)...No hassles. That's awesome. It may seem like a so-so feature now to some, but once we have it, it will be hard to go back to the old ways.
This is just one way player recognition works on Xbox One but there are many other interesting and forward thinking functions that will be discussed at another time.
Twitch Integration (PS4/X1)
This for me, is the feature I am most excited about for many reasons. If you don't know about the Twitch streaming service, it allows gamers to stream live gameplay-videos online for everyone to watch in real-time...and now it's built right into Xbox One and PS4.
"Lets Plays" have been growing in popularity and thanks to this fantastic feature, gamers all over the world will be able to live-stream games, right from their next-gen consoles without the need for any extra equipment. And viewers will be able to watch it from anywhere with their Twitch accounts. I can't express well enough how enthusiastic I am about this new Twitch integration and you can guarantee that I will be putting it through it's paces in the near future.
Who's ready to make some next-gen Lets Plays? I am!
Have Your Say!
What features of the PS4 and Xbox One are you personally excited for? Will any of you have a next-gen console in your home next month? Let me know in the comments below!