“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” ― Albert Einstein
I am no mind reader, nor am I a fortune teller, a superhero, or even a math whiz. If there’s one thing I am, it’s a writer, and as these words solidify that claim, I wish to make another. As a writer, I possess an imagination that is constantly at work. Given the gift of creating something from nothing, I have exercised the muscle of my mind to gaze into the past, the future, and beyond. These worlds that I craft, and these claims I make may not be tangible now, but that doesn’t make them any less real.
You may read my words and scoff at my claims. You may agree and you may not, but the fact still remains that I have said these things because they have become manifest in my mind and more importantly in my imagination. Right or wrong is not the issue here, the true measure of this article’s success through the coming tides of time will be the minds of those who read it and dared to dream.
The PS5 will come in time, and when it arrives, we will have hundreds, if not thousands of preconceived notions as to what the system will bring us. These ideals will come in the form of games that we cannot even begin to comprehend. But that, my friends, is the beauty of imagination. I can’t tell you what the launch titles of PS5 will be, but I can certainly make an educated guess as to the experiences that will drive the future generation of gaming. The thrill lies in the hunt, so let us track our prey and predict the future.
How will games play on the PS5? I’m pretty convinced that the dualshock 4 is the best controller ever made. With the release of the PS4, we have another console that relies on two things above all: a television and a controller. We have seen the implementation of motion controllers, but beyond the runaway success of the original Wii, this has never taken off. What is becoming more popular is the concept of AR or Augmented Reality. We’ve seen it with the Kinect and the PlayStation Eye Camera, but now we’re seeing high tech devices such as Google Glass that bring us a heads up display for life. The idea of projecting something else into the real world is a fascinating one and forces us to become immersed because it is happening in our world.
While the implications thus far haven’t been huge, we could see something like this tap into the upcoming technology seen in the Oculus Rift, to bring huge virtual reality experiences that can seep through the game world into our own. We’re already seeing this on the PS4 with the inclusion of smart devices and companion apps. We can leave our house with our Smartphone or Tablet and still keep our PS4 with us via the PlayStation App. We can interact with friends on multiplayer using the companion app for Battlefield 4 to provide support in real time online battles.
With the Vita’s remote play, we can play our games on the go. Imagine if you wore the vita on your head. If your friends list was displayed in the corner of your vision at all times. What if you could wave your hands through the air and have a one-on-one battle in the waiting room of your doctor’s office? The world is heading towards seamless integration. We don’t like things being separated or designated to one place. We like them on the go, we like them portable. In addition, we want to be immersed in our entertainment. We want to be pulled in the second the game begins.
You may still have a controller, but more likely you’ll have sensors on your hands and feet along with a virtual reality headpiece. Nothing unwieldy like the Virtual Boy, but more like Google Glass. And for the sensors, think Tom Cruise in Minority Report and you may have a good idea of where things are going.
What Kinds of Games and Game Franchises will we see on the PS5?
Most movies get one or two sequels, but many fade into the folds of time. Some movies, like Star Wars, spread across multiple generations of viewers and inspire people both young and old. Games are much the same, though there are some characters and franchises that never yielded to the younger, more advanced games. They persevered, coming back years later stronger than ever. Of course, sometimes these resurgences end in tears (Duke Nukem Forever), but in some cases like Tomb Raider, Thief, and Sly Cooper show that even old dogs can learn new tricks.
So, what kinds of games will the PS5 see? The big hitters will probably persevere, but some of these studios are as old as the PSone, and therefore have a lot in their catalogue to pull from. With gaming reaching wider and wider audiences, I think it will be high time to pull from the backlogs to bring back some of gaming's most missed characters. Here are my picks for franchises we’ll see on the PS5.
#1 - Call of Duty/Battlefield I group these together because I think it’s fair to say that are both reaching for the same goal. These two franchises have lived through two generations, and while I think Titanfall may have the publisher of Call of Duty, Activision, shaking in their boots, I think the likes of Call of Duty will always be around in some form. It’s possible that Battlefield will overtake it and become the top dog in the modern war shooter pool, but with these two constantly one-upping the other, at least one of them will live to see a release on PS5. You may love it, and you may hate it, but they makes millions, so they’re not going anywhere.
#2 - Destiny (or another game franchise from Bungie) Halo is one of those household names that permeates its loyalty to the Xbox. Despite the fact that it only released on Microsoft systems and the PC, Halo is a series that almost everyone has heard of or played. With the original studio, Bungie, moving on to bigger and better things, these guys have a reputation that will carry them far into the future. Their latest project, Destiny, looks to revolutionize the realm of single and multiplayer. It’s a rich world, a deep role playing system, and the ability to change from a two player game to a borderline MMO with the flip of a switch. This kind of innovation means that Bungie still has a lot left to give the world of gaming and with Destiny, they may just solidify their own immortality.
#3 - Assassin’s Creed I thought it was funny the other day when I saw that Ubisoft felt the need to say that they know how Assassin’s Creed ends, but not when. Here’s the official statement from Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft:
"We have multiple development teams, then we have the brand team that sits on top and is filled with writers and designers concerned with the series' overall arc," said Ismail. "So there is an overall arc, and each iteration has its place inside this. We have an idea of where the end is, what the end is. But of course we are a yearly title, we ship one game a year. So depending on the setting, depending on what fans want, we've given ourselves room to fit more in this arc. But there is an end."
You may think to yourself, “How can there possibly be more than ten Assassin’s Creed games?” I answer this with two statements. One, the history of the world and the fictional future of Assassin’s Creed leaves a great many options for eras to explore and ways to drive the fiction forward. Two, Final Fantasy is on it’s fifteenth release and counting. Which reminds me.
#4 - Final Fantasy The beauty of this “series” is that each one is completely different. The only connecting elements are the occasional nod to past games, and the commonality that all of them are RPG’s. Beyond that, you can have one in the future, one in the past, and one in space and still not even begin to scratch the potential of this concept. With each game arguably being a reinvention of the series, Final Fantasy has had it’s ups and downs, but ultimately it has lasted a long time and there’s no real reason to end it anytime soon.
#5 - Crash Bandicoot I know this may seem crazy, judging by Naughty Dog’s latest releases (Uncharted, The Last of Us) it would be insane to suddenly make a kid’s game, but hear me out on this one. In ten years, the people who grew up playing Crash Bandicoot will have kids of their own, if they don’t already. What better time to reignite the old generation and usher in the new, than to bring back Sony’s equivalent to Mario? With technology and the power of the PS5, they could bring Crash back in a new and exciting way that puts you into his world. It won’t have to be anything more than what it once was with a new coat of paint, but the way you play it will be vastly different.
#6 - Mario or Zelda This is the part where people start throwing their keyboards and putting together a mob to come and burn my house down. What blasphemy is this? This will never be! Pipe dream or utter nightmare, this idea isn’t as farfetched as you might think. It’s no secret that Nintendo is in deep trouble right now financially. There have been talks of bringing Mario and other licenses to Smartphones, but the idea is very hesitant amongst the executives of Nintendo. These once proud franchises are falling behind on the less than stellar hardware that Nintendo has been putting out.
This leaves Nintendo with two options in the eyes of investors and financial analysts. One, they can reinvent the Wii U in the hopes that their consoles will sell once again, or they can do like Sega did after the fall of the Dreamcast and go into publishing games for other consoles. Sonic made his way to Xbox and PlayStation, so why not Mario, or Link, or Samus? I don’t want to see Nintendo fall like this, but this may be the best move for them, to stay alive in the coming years. It’s not as impossible as it has been in the past, which is why I believe it’s worth considering.
What games do you think we’ll see on the PS5? Are there anymore franchises you think will cross over into the coming generation? Tell us in the comments!