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How MMOs on Consoles Will Change Multiplayer & The Way We Game
MMOs have been PC exclusive since their origins with classics like Merdiian 59, Dark Ages, and Nexus: The Kingdom of The Winds, while adding Macintosh into the mix in the late 90’s. They have kept true to their roots with many elements like character customization and development, big open worlds with constant expanding content and DLC, and weapon and magic crafting all while keeping a very strong sense of online community. There are also some RPG elements that really make the game come alive and give it some replay value like giving the player options and decision, like Mass Effect, when you speak to someone it will allow you to pick some different responses which will change the outcome of the story whether it be a lot of a little.
Whether you see this as a good or bad thing, MMOs have been made available on consoles and they are growing with popularity. DC Universe Online, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Diablo III, and The Elder Scrolls Online have made a huge impact on how MMO’s are played and perceived going from PC to Consoles.
Leaving mouse and keyboard and switching to a handheld console controller can be a huge change to some people while others like myself are already really used to my PS3 & PS4 controller so playing Diablo III or Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be a natural and easy pick up for me. While on mouse and keyboard some people would say it is much easier to have one hand on the mouse and point and click to attack and move your character while having the other hand on the keyboard to give other commands. It can deliver a very smooth and easy experience but that can be true for the console versions as well.
MMOs have gotten nothing but more popular when we saw the release of World of Warcraft in 2004 which brought in 1.5 Million subscribers and ended 2005 with 3.5 Million subscribers. Blizzard reached their peak with 12 Million subscribers in 2010. Numbers speak volumes and the public wanted more.
New MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and The Elder Scrolls Online look to be huge hits as they are keeping true to their roots while adding superb next-gen graphics and utilizing the powers of new PC, Mac, and Console equipment. Keep in mind that a lot of MMO’s are free to play while the other big name ones like WoW and the new ESO will charge a monthly or yearly subscription fee. If you are already used to paying fees like WoW, PS Plus, Xbox Live, and so on then it wont make much of a difference but there are other games that you pay for outright and don’t have a monthly fee like Diablo III and Starcraft. Those may determine which type of MMO you pick up and whether or not you want the console version or PC version.
Things like Twitch streaming and the social integration with the PS4 & Xbox One make it very simple for one to stream and connect with the community making the social elements of MMO’s much more present and accessible. That can and will change the feel of the game entirely. Do you think that MMO’s on consoles will change online access, streaming, and multiplayer or do you think it will be more or less the same as the PC? What do you think about playing MMOs with a PS4 or Xbox controller, better or worse than the classic mouse and keyboard?
Let us know in the comments below.