Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of GamerXChange]
Before I started console gaming on Sony’s PlayStation 2 system, I called my PC home for gaming. I used a keyboard and mouse for everything except flight simulators and loved how responsive I could be. When I transitioned to consoles, my very first game was Medal of Honor: Frontline. I was disappointed in how the analog sticks felt compared to the PC’s Medal of Honor: Allied Assault with the mouse. I didn’t have the precision I was accustomed to, however I kept on and enjoyed the game as best I could.
I then began seeing commercials for a title known as SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs and got that and a network adaptor immediately. Like every other game I get, I dive into the options first and was surprised at what I found for SOCOM; options for look speed, acceleration, and dead zone! These are 3 options all first person and third person titles need to include as an option to gamers. Not everyone has the same hand size or shape, not everyone holds their DualShock or Xbox controller the same way, and not everyone learns or adapts at the same pace. Having these options allow gamers to fine-tune how their analog sticks react to their thumb movements, creating what is a precise and smooth motion for their crosshairs or camera. Sometimes the analog stick gets worn out and the deadzone becomes too loose. With a deadzone option, players can then increase it to the point where your character or crosshair doesn’t drift without even a touch. The lookspeed and acceleration would be used to the player’s discretion and can even lead to more competitive online gaming as gamers would have their own setup instead of the clichéd 0-10 or so option.
Another in-game option I would love to see more in console games is akin to what you would find in PC games. The ability to disable or enable anti-aliasing and v-sync would be a welcomed option. Leaving them enabled would of course give the better picture, however at the cost of input-lag and/or unresponsive controls. I can only think off the top of my head two games that gives these options are Bioshock for v-sync and Battlefield 3 on PS3 for anti-aliasing. If the developers have an artistic view for us to see, leave it enabled at default with us at the discretion to use it or not. My first playthrough of Bioshock had v-sync enabled to see it at its best: no screen tearing, stable 30-fps. Subsequent plays had me disable it to get a responsive hold over my character at the cost of screen tearing but I didn’t mind on other playthroughs.
The sensitivity options along with the visual effects options are my current biggest peeves in what is restricted by developers and would love to see them open up more choices on consoles. These are always available on PC and it is because not any two PC’s are alike. Same can be said with consoles but rather than the systems being different, it’s the players. It took several months for DICE to add the anti-aliasing option for gamers because of complaints of input-lag. The same input-lag that wasn’t prevalent in their beta as it didn’t have v-sync. Instead of just offering us the ability to disable v-sync or anti-aliasing, their core-gameplay designer told a gamer he was on crack. Gamers than waited around March the following year for the basic option to appear and had to wait several more for the input-lag to dissipate.
What other options would you like to see available to gamers in the future? There are some other ones I didn’t mention such as color-blind modes, different sensitivities for whether you were hip-firing, aiming-down-sights, or using a scope, or separate sliders for horizontal and vertical speeds. Leave comments below on your hopes for what next-gen might offer in options to gamers!