The lights are on
E3 is coming in a little more than a month. That means we'll all be inundated with big news about various features, services, and tidbits about the PlayStation 4 and whatever it is that Microsoft is working on. That's great. I like hearing about those things. As we inch closer to the next cycle of console hardware, however, I hope the companies behind it all also address a few niggling issues I've been dealing with for years. I did something like this last year, but that feature focused on graphical upgrades. This one is a bit more obscure.
Meta achievements and trophies
We're now entering into the second generation of Achievements and Trophies. It's time to get meta. I'd be ecstatic if consoles could track my stats on not only a per-game basis, but across all of my gaming sessions. Most shooters already track how many headshots players get. Feed that into a system-wide stat of headshots per gamer. Track milestones like hours played overall, or the amount of time spent playing with friends online. I'm a bit of a stat junkie, and this would give me one more thing to geek out on.
Sometimes I have to pause games, even when cutscenes are rolling. Pressing start can do a variety of different things, however. It can pause the game (hooray!), pause the game while pulling up a screen that asks if I want to skip the cutscene (hooray x100!), or blast right through it (boo!). Similar inconsistencies occur when batteries on my controller die; sometimes games will pause and gives me a chance to replace them, while other times the world keeps chugging along. There are fewer things I find as frustrating as watching a character's health chip down to nothing while I fumble around for a pack of AAs.
The vast majority of the time, I don't have problems with a game's default inputs. When I do, I don't see any excuses for not allowing me to tinker around with them as I see fit. Certain exceptions can obviously be made – swapping an analog trigger to the select button isn't going to work – but if it's a standard digital face button, I want the option to move them around. Guess what? Sometimes developers put the handbrake button in the wrong spot. This kind of flexibility also opens up games to people with disabilities, too. Who can seriously argue against accessibility?
And here's a bonus one:
Don't take one million years to populate list of games or dink around in your UI
This one's for Microsoft in particular. I download a lot of games, and it takes entirely too long to populate my games list on Xbox Live Arcade. We're talking minutes sometimes. Fix that. When that's taken care of, work with Netflix on their app to ensure that it doesn't take forever to launch. Netflix users have dozens of alternatives. Give me a reason to stick with yours, Microsoft. As it stands, Sony is eating your lunch.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
this made my day I just received a free Microsoft points card code and it worked! I got it at freemspointsforever♥ com
I have no arguments to these updates!
" Track milestones like hours played overall, or the amount of time spent playing with friends online" You can sort of get that from Raptr but it really should be part of the UI if only for Parental Control purposes.
here's an idea: talk to the developers about what you want. you have direct access to them as a media rep. don't just b*tch about what you want on a website.
if you did do this, great - post that in your article so it sounds a little less complacent.
And Sony is enjoying that lunch! Nom nom nom!
I don't use batteries in my X-Box controller but I DO use batteries in my wireless headset. I have had many experiences already where the batteries die in the middle of a cut-scene. It happened in one of the later scenes in Tomb Raider...a game with a great story. I didn't have any other option for sound until the batteries were back in the headset so I had to make a choice...try to read lips or miss half the cut-scene while I'm fumbling around with the batteries trying to get the sound back on. A "pause cut-scene" button would be much appreciated.
So, four piddly little things then... ;)
Agree on all of them (although the achievements are not important to me).
I want an HDMI cable packed in the box this time, **BRAAAHHHH**!
Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, or whoever...these things should be universal. I am most with the controller mapping. I can only use the Legacy configuration (as Halo named it) and I don't play most shooters because of an inability to remap the controls as I see fit. How hard could this be?
+5 internets Jeff!
As for the controller battery Sony is eating Microsofts lunch on that as well.My ps3 will hault any game and say"this isn't happening till u get a controller. Lol I dropped Microsoft like an annoying girlfriend,"all ways wanting money"and not worth the squeeze
Sounds like xbox problems mostly
I totally agree on the controller customization 100%. I have learning disabilities and have a very hard time with new controls all the time and gets very aggravating,WWE Wrestling games is a great example! I would just like to be able to come home from work and be able to pick up my controller and play. Same with the HALO games. I play a lot of Call of Duty but play HALO too. The CoD controls get familiar easy and like it and would love to customize my HALO controls to the same.