While much is shrouded in secrecy, both Microsoft and Sony have been hard at work on their next generation consoles—likely the Xbox Two and PlayStation 5—set to release next year. There could be some new features that blow people away whenever the consoles are revealed, but from the obvious to the not-so-obvious features, these are the things we’d like to see from the Xbox Two and PS5.
Fantastic exclusives from the jump
Headlined by a critically-acclaimed God of War game, Spider-Man , and the Uncharted series, PlayStation won the exclusive battle in this console generation according to most people. However, Xbox has an undervalued set of exclusives, including the Halo series, Gears of War, Forza, and a number of other exclusives from Xbox Game Pass.
In terms of sales, there’s no question PlayStation 4 won the current console war after the Xbox 360 probably won the previous generation—hopefully we’ll see both Microsoft and Sony come out strong with first-rate exclusives in an attempt to deliver some opening-round haymakers in their latest battle.
Exclusives could easily turn the tide in either direction or just keep both consoles afloat from the jump. The competition will be good for both Microsoft and Sony creating the best products possible for consumers.
Competition is important as both sides attempt to come out on top with their newest console, but Microsoft and Sony can still get along in the way of cross-platform play. Sony didn’t want to offer the option for PS4 gamers to play with Xbox counterparts, likely because they didn’t want to give consumers a reason not to buy their superior-selling console. However, with Microsoft stepping things up with the Xbox One X, and clearly determined to capture a higher market share after the Xbox One lost to the PS4, an even playing field to start the next console launch should make it more likely cross-platform play can happen from the start.
We’ve seen Fortnite get cross-platform support, and other games like Rocket League and Apex Legends are getting it too. A fully-operational cross-platform network between Xbox Two and PlayStation 5 might be the best feature possible on next-gen consoles. Game developers have a lot to do with adding the capability, but obviously the most important two parties (three if you include Nintendo) that must come to an agreement are Microsoft and Sony. This would help sports video-game franchises in particular, as it’d get more players to participate together—for online franchises as an example.
4K at 60 frames per second
Considering the Xbox One X is already at true 4K gaming, it’s a safe assumption that both Project Scarlett and the next PlayStation console will both be in 4K. The One X also hits 60 frames per second (fps) on many “enhanced” games, so the next Xbox is a lock to at least hit that mark. The PS5 will no doubt also be pushing for that as the standard for their games, too. So, true 4K at 60fps is an obvious feature everyone would love to see—but as the standard for every single game. Perhaps things will be taken a step further, particularly with the possibility of VR (which many gamers have no interest in at this point) being in a frame rate of 240fps.
Super-fast loading times
“Power” is probably going to be a buzzword during the announcements and marketing of both new consoles, as both companies will likely claim their hardware is the most powerful console ever (as the Xbox One X claimed, rightfully so). A big part of being able to claim that title, aside from graphics and in-game performance in terms of gameplay, will be loading times. Games that can load in an instant would please everyone, and loading time might be the most undervalued aspect of a powerful console. Also, faster download times—particularly for PlayStation, which lagged behind the Xbox One in the category—should be a focus during the development of these consoles.
There’s been talk about cloud-based gaming without a physical gaming console. Thankfully, it appears these will be secondary options as opposed to the new powerful hardware consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Physical discs should be clearly superior for loading and download times compared to fully-downloaded games from a cloud system. And as is the case with CDs, records, Blu-rays, etc., there’s simply something about actually having a disc in your hand.
The controllers should be pretty simple for Microsoft and Sony. The Xbox will have an upgraded controller building on the changes made to the Xbox One controller, while Sony will almost certainly release a DualShock 5 controller. Hopefully there are no drastic changes that would change either controller into more of a portable handheld with a screen; the Switch is awesome, but traditional Xbox and PlayStation controllers shouldn’t change too much.
One change I would like to see is the ability to customize the lighting options for the controllers. For the Microsoft, the Xbox home button light can get too bright at night, as it could be the only bright thing in the room aside from the television, which can be an annoyance. Ideally, you’ll be able to adjust the light brightness and color—a black light might look pretty sweet. For the next DualShock, it’s pretty simple: the ability to choose the light color on your controller, especially for when it’s just one player.
Finally, let’s get more friendly prices for the next Xbox and PlayStation. The Xbox One and Xbox One X were both introduced at $499.99, while the PS4 and PS4 Pro were released at $399.99. Microsoft probably won’t make the same mistake of having their console $100 more this time around, so hopefully both are $399.99 at the most—ideally (but unlikely), maybe even $349.99. Many people would buy the new consoles almost regardless of the price, but this isn’t about them—it would appease parents and others looking to purchase as a gift.