Recently, we took a look at the concept of open world gaming, and showed that there was quite a bit in the field poised to make its way toward the market. At the time, we noted that this was an exciting development, and indeed, referred to the open world concept as being quite a bit like the massively multiplayer online experience. Well, as it turns out, MMOs
are set to make the jump to consoles too, and in almost distressingly large numbers.
There are several titles set to make the jump to consoles, including “DC Universe Online,” “Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade,” “War Thunder,” “The Elder Scrolls Online
,” “Destiny,” “World of Tanks,” “Planetside 2,” “Final Fantasy XIV,” “The Division,” “The Crew,” “Diablo 3,” “Dragon Quest X,” “Everquest Next,” “Phantasy Star Online 2, “ “Free Realms,” “Warframe,” and, eventually, “Titan.”
Now, that's a lot of names, and serves as a great jumping off point. See, this lot is looking to make its way to mainly next-generation consoles over the next two years or so, and joins at least one major console MMO in “Defiance.” A large number of these—the bulk of them, in fact—is set to hit the PlayStation 4 first, though more than a few will get Xbox One
support, and a few will show up on both of the two major new systems.
There's actually a fairly substantial discrepancy between the two, with the PlayStation 4 set to get quite a bit that the Xbox One won't—like “Final Fantasy XIV” and “Planetside 2”--sufficient to make me wonder if it's not specifically Sony's plan to try and be the console MMO king. It's an exciting idea, and it's likely to draw a lot of potential users—especially given the price differences between the two main consoles in this go-round of the console wars—though there are reports that there won't be a lot of intermingling. Some, yes, but based on the current reports, there's not a lot of cross-platform action going on in here.
Given that there's been quite a bit of friction in the past between console and PC gamers—see also “glorious PC gaming master race” for an example of the hubris and the acrimony that brews between elements of the two groups—it's interesting to see what was largely a PC-only experience make its way to consoles. This is an unusual development, and one that makes it easier to wonder if the platforms are starting to, perhaps, merge. As PCs in general face decline in the face of increasing mobile device use, PC gaming may well need console gamers in order to survive.
Yet this is an exciting development in more direct ways as well; console gamers are getting a wholly new, and wholly different, experience from what is commonly found in consoles. The idea that, potentially, PC gaming and console gaming may be coming together is an exciting one. If, as we discussed earlier, modding communities start coming up—given that Xbox One is set to offer some self-publishing options that seem to be taking well, this may be more likely than first expected—then the crossover between the PC and the console may actually be well underway.
Regardless, however, the immediate point is still big enough by itself without implications: we're looking at a future that's going to be packed with games, whole new gaming experiences, and should it all go according to plan, more than enough fun to go around. Strap in, folks...it's looking like good times to come.