It Could Happen

Posted on October 10, 2010

In an industry constantly mixed up in rumors and speculation, we can’t help but to conjure up a few stories of our own. That’s why we got to thinking about the future of gaming and the major players in it, and speculate what their next move will be.

Apple Could Make A Console

Remember the Pipp!n (see above)? Probably not as Apple’s first home console was a failure right out the gate. The multimedia platform designed by Apple and produced by Bandai aimed to provide consumers an inexpensive computer made for CD-based titles with an emphasis on gaming. Unfortunately for both companies, Pipp!n released for a launch price of $599 with little software support, and therefore couldn’t compete with the Saturn, PlayStation, or N64. That doesn’t mean Apple couldn’t make a comeback in the console space, however.

Apple’s current roster of consumer products – the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch – have a stranglehold on the casual market thanks to a bustling development community and inexpensive apps for gaming on the go.  And now with the addition of the Game Center used to connect with friends, the company shows it means business. With a multimedia empire already in place in the form of iTunes, a console by Apple could very well incorporate the user interface and sleek design of Apple TV for a home multimedia gaming experience. Perhaps its portable touch screen counterparts could serve as a controller option alongside a standard controller. Is it the best move for the company? We’ll let analysts decide, but it could very well be a possibility.

Microsoft Could Make A Handheld

The Nintendo DS proved that the dual screen and touch capabilities of the handheld are more than just a gimmick with a regular stream of excellent software support. Apple has further taken touch screen technology creating a mini gaming empire of its own pushing inexpensive software toward the casual crowd. Sony released the PSP with the not-so-successful follow-up, PSP Go, offering a multimedia hub with a less-than-stellar game library. This leaves Microsoft. Why hasn’t Microsoft attempted to go after a piece of the portable pie? Zune HD is as close as it gets as far as recent Microsoft support, and though a solid device, it has yet to make waves in the gaming world. What could turn the tide, however, is Microsoft’s Live Anywhere service that has been teased for years. Though not much is known about the service, it is one of the main talking points of Windows Phone 7, which could be the company’s answer to Apple’s iPhone.

Electronics Manufacturer Could Create An Ill-fated MMO Console

Oh, wait…

Popular MMOs Could Make Their Way To Major Consoles

If you read the last entry, you’ll know Panasonic is taking a bold approach reentering the console market post-3DO with the Jungle, a gaming device featuring a full keyboard to complement the company’s focus on MMOs. This made us question why more developers haven’t taken a chance at bringing MMOs to console users. Phantasy Star, Final Fantasy XI, and EverQuest Online Adventures made console appearances during a time when dial-up reigned supreme and online connectivity was not the norm. Our guess is the main issue lies in charging a subscription to a consumer base already being charged for online play as is the case for Xbox Live (Final Fantasy XIV and DC Universe Online are headed to PS3, coincidence?) Despite this and other potential problems with control scheme changes and your guild buddies not wanting to make the jump to console, this doesn’t mean we’ll never see a wildly successful MMO like World of Warcraft on a home console. Right?

Sony Could Finally Redesign The DualShock

Microsoft recently tweaked the design of their controller that now features a monochromatic paint job, a transforming d-pad, and grayscale buttons, along with other subtle changes. With this in mind, we feel Sony may not be too far behind in announcing a much needed DualShock 3 redesign, and we have a few suggestions. For starters, fix the left and right triggers, please! Overly sensitive triggers make shooter controls feel a little less tight, and placing it on a table during a movie has caused countless accidental rewinds and fast forwards. The DualShock could also be a little more ergonomically friendly in size and placement of joysticks. We built the perfect controller in our BioShock: Infinite issue #210, Sony. Take note. We’d be happy to consult.

Nintendo Will Announce A Slimmer/Bigger 3DS Within A Year Of The Original’s Launch

This isn’t even a question of could happen. If history is telling of anything as far as Nintendo’s portable business model, it will happen. Nintendo first released the brick-sized, game-changing Game Boy back in 1989 and has seen redesigns year after year, especially once the DS joined the handheld landscape. This is how it breaks down: DS (2004), Game Boy Micro (2005), DS Lite (2006) – intermission – DSi (2009), DSi XL (2010), 3DS (2011), 3DS XL/Lite/Mini/Pocket/Invisible (2012-2016). Also can’t forget the different 3DS colors that will roll out with game-specific bundles.

Nintendo Could Ditch Friend Codes As First Step Toward Creating A Better Online Experience

Not sure if anyone still plays the Wii online anymore. As far as most of us are concerned, couch co-op is usually the way to go. What drove us away from the online Wii experience? Stupid Friend Codes for starters. Perhaps in some weird futuristic world every human being will be indentified by a lengthy series of arbitrary numbers buried in some menu screen, but until then, I’d much rather go by GamerChickkXDXD24, or something equally ridiculous.

Sega Could Make A Dreamcast Successor
The Dreamcast took a few strides in innovation when it first launched in 1999 with online play, a neat virtual memory card, and original titles lauded by gamers as some of their all-time faves. The console died before it could reach its full potential, but still has the support of the development community with a few recent releases. Seriously. It’s like the 2Pac of game consoles.

This year Sega announced that a few Dreamcast titles will make its way in the downloadable arcade space, but what are the odds that Sega won’t completely break off and create a followup to its last console? Or maybe follow the design of the PSP Go for a download-only handheld that plays your favorite Dreamcast titles? Doesn’t hurt to dream.

Make your own gaming predictions in the comments section below!

Go to Source (Game Informer)

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Categories: Game News, Game Secrets

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