January 22, 2009 Leave a comment
Darren at Common Sense Gamers just posted an article about MMOs on the consoles. It is an interesting read go here to read it. His article got me to thinking.
Do MMOs make sense on consoles? A lot of the hardcore computer gamers would rather die then accept the fact that consoles are winning the war. So they are absolutely against the last genre keeping PC gaming alive going to consoles.
There are a few hurdles that must be jumped in order to get a successful MMO on a console. The most obvious one is the keyboard. With out it communicating in a large group is almost impossible. The solution so far have been awkward or did just not work. The Xbox has a fairly decent addon that makes typing possible but it is still awkward.
I believe that the way they are going to solve this is with voice chat. Xbox live already takes full advantage of this in most of its games. I personally do not like voice chat at all. But it seems I am in a minority. The problems with voice chat can be worked through and it can work well.
The menu and skill system will have to be extensively overhauled. I normally have four full hotbars of skills. I can not imagine an easy way to convert this to a console with the limited number of buttons available. Making all of the skill easy to get to in a timely manner will be a tough task. Navigating the trade skills and all of the little extras you find in MMOs would be especially difficult.
A console MMO may end up being like an MMO-lite that does not have trade skills or many skills. This would turn away the MMO hardcore and may not get much of an audience. It is a difficult road ahead for MMOs on the consoles. I hope that they get it right I would love to quit upgrading my computer for every new MMO. But until then ATI will still be getting my money every year.