So the NGP is here, both Sony and Microsoft have joined the motion-sensing movement, consoles are closer to PCs and full multimedia home entertainment machines than ever before, and the multiplayer boom has changed the face of the industry forever. But will the day ever come where the traditional setup – a console, a gamepad, and a TV – be replaced by something all new?
The PlayStation Move and Kinect are advanced versions of what the Wii offered several years ago, but despite cool accessories and neat-o unique ideas for motion-based interactivity, it doesn't seem possible that any such form of interaction will replace the controller. One could argue it was more about the keyboard and mouse early on, but the dawn of this industry began before there was any such thing as a mouse. And in truth, the groundbreaking Atari isn't much different than the PlayStation 3: a system, a controller, a TV. Sure, all of that has gotten much, much better over time, and we've even added 3D into the mix, but essentially, how we play the majority of our video games hasn't changed much.
So what's next? Virtual reality? Kinect or Move times a hundred? An entire world that takes place in the lenses of glasses we put on; no TVs required? Who knows? But it all seems a ways off, and for now, despite all the many ways we can virtually interact, the traditional gaming method seems to remain the widespread favorite: pressing buttons and watching something happen on a screen. And you know, you can call me old-fashioned or whatever, but I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm just wondering when we'll see the first full shift to something else; some new technology that changes the way the majority of gamers get their entertainment.
Maybe we won't have too long to wait…