Big Pic­ture Mode

Nathan Brown would rather not hear your E3 2019 tips, thanks

EDGE - - CONTENTS - NATHAN BROWN Nathan Brown is Edge’s editor. If you’ve got the skinny on what’s be­ing an­nounced at E3, do throw your­self in the bin

The ru­mour mill is spin­ning up again. I’ve never been one for in­dus­try gos­sip, to be hon­est. Don’t get me wrong: if you’ve got some scut­tle­butt about a mis­be­hav­ing PR rep, I will buy you a drink and you must tell me im­me­di­ately. But I’ve spent my time in this pro­fes­sion stu­diously avoid­ing too much in the way of ru­mour. Mostly, to be hon­est, this is be­cause I am at heart a great big fan­boy, and I love to be sur­prised.

One of the great­est mo­ments of my ca­reer was be­ing in the room for the Sony E3 con­fer­ence a few years back when they showed off The Last Guardian, Shen­mue III and the FFVII re­make within min­utes. Brit journos al­ways feel a bit out of place at these things. There’s all this whoopin’ and hol­lerin’ and then there’s us, pale-skinned and feel­ing weird in our shorts, grip­ing about the poor air con­di­tion­ing and barely-there WiFi. We are typ­i­cally quite hard to im­press, like. But when Sony showed that lot off, well, I’ve never seen any­thing like it. I was there when the UK mag­a­zine press lost its col­lec­tive shit.

You couldn’t take that away from me. Shortly be­fore E3 this year a fel­low jour­nal­ist bragged to me that he knew ev­ery sin­gle game that was be­ing an­nounced at the show bar three. There’s lots to un­pack here. First, what a lot of ob­vi­ous bull­shit. Se­condly, how did you know there were only three? Thirdly, why on Earth would you do that to your­self – rob­bing your­self of one of the few re­main­ing rays of sun­shine in an in­creas­ingly over­cast world? New games! Sur­pris­ing ones!

All of which is to say that I know about as much about PlayS­ta­tion 5 and Xbox Two, or what­ever names you’ve heard ap­plied to the in­evitable new wave of con­sole hard­ware, as you do (un­less you’re that guy from the pre­vi­ous para­graph, in which case you prob­a­bly know loads but it’s all wrong). But it seems to be uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged that it’s hap­pen­ing, and rea­son­ably soon. I do not deal in ru­mours. But I can cer­tainly tell you what I’d like to see from the next batch of boxes to take up res­i­dence un­der our TVs.

First, and per­haps most im­por­tantly, if we get an­other gen­er­a­tion of con­soles pow­ered by five-year-old CPUs, I shall sim­ply scream. Let us never again be suck­ered in by lofty prom­ises about GPU power or mem­ory; it is the CPU that has held the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion back from great­ness, and if plat­form hold­ers are left unchecked it will prob­a­bly do the same next time as well. I like my shinies as much as the next per­son, and I’m as­sum­ing 4K will be the bare min­i­mum the plat­form hold­ers al­low onto their new boxes. But fram­er­ates have been left be­hind through­out this gen­er­a­tion, and the work the in­dus­try is do­ing in AI isn’t re­ally go­ing to get any­where if the next gen­er­a­tion of con­sole hard­ware is to be pow­ered by a worse CPU than the one in your mum’s phone. If I can’t play Des­tiny 3 in 60fps on a new £400 con­sole, there’s go­ing to be hell to pay.

Next, plat­form hold­ers, please en­sure your new de­vices are ac­tu­ally able to fully avail them­selves of all avail­able band­width. As I write this, I am star­ing at a PSN down­load that is us­ing barely half what my con­nec­tion is ca­pa­ble of. Xbox One X is a lit­tle bet­ter, sure, but glass houses and all that: while we’re at it, let’s also com­mit to disc in­stalls tak­ing less than, say, 300 hours.

PS4’s Share but­ton was a bril­liant in­no­va­tion back in 2013, but five years later I think we can all agree it is ter­ri­ble. To this day I’m not en­tirely sure how to get it to save a clip of the amaz­ing 360 no-scope head­shot I just did (and let’s be clear, this is the only rea­son I have no such clips saved to HDD or up­loaded any­where, be­cause I do them all the time). I mostly use it for screen­shots, but the de­lay be­tween press and cap­ture mean that get­ting the per­fect screengrab is a deeply an­noy­ing, and usu­ally un­suc­cess­ful, guess­ing game. Switch is the gold stan­dard here; it takes a cap­ture the in­stant you press the but­ton. It works. Please copy it.

An­other big­gie is the fron­tend. You want us to live in your pre­cious con­sole ecosys­tems, I get it. Could you make them a lit­tle more pleas­ant to ac­tu­ally ex­ist in, please? We game-play­ers are sim­ple folk at heart: all we ask is that when we press a but­ton, some­thing hap­pens, and it feels good. Af­ter lash­ing out £500 on the world’s new most pow­er­ful con­sole, my first ex­pe­ri­ence with it shouldn’t be com­pa­ra­ble to that of a £30 An­droid tablet.

Lastly, and most im­por­tantly: I don’t want to hear any of this in ad­vance. Leaks are bor­ing, and spoil the fun. In fact, just wake me when it’s ready. I’m go­ing back to bed.

If we get an­other gen­er­a­tion of con­soles pow­ered by five-year-old CPUs, I shall sim­ply scream

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