I have a dream, a dream of a one-console future. My dream is not as literal as it sounds however. I want there to be variety, competition, the ingredients that drive prices down and raise the bar for consumer hardware. What I also want is the ability to start gluing these devices together.
The technology is available today if the major players would just stop the pissing contest for one second and realize that collaboration is the key to progress. Everyone in this business is trying to be the next hot thing and they do that by introducing something that is kind of like the other guy. Microsoft and Sony have been playing copycat on each other and on Nintendo for a while now. Apple is doing what they always do, take an idea from someone else and make it consumable by a larger audience. Nintendo continues to introduce new hardware devices into the market to maintain their sales, but ultimately they’ve been selling the dual screen idea for a very long time. Everyone is hellbent on their on twist of the same wheel.
What if there was a truths between these companies to start setting some standards? Just like UDP/TCP or HTML or wireless technologies, standards allow a common language to be spoken between devices that might otherwise never know the existence of the other.
The latest craze right now seems to be this idea of dual screens in your home. Microsoft Glass is a small step in the right direction, but I’d like to see this technology go both ways. I’d like to see a standard that allows handheld devices (iPad, DS Next, VITA, Mobile, etc) to stream their content directly to smart TV’s. Why not project the top screen of a DS Next onto the biggest screen in my house? I’d like to see this dual screen future be a (technical) unified experience. There’s no reason, other than selfish intent, to force proprietary API’s and non-standard communication protocols for something as simple as terminal communication with a display device. Why should anyone have to purchase an Apple TV box, XBox, PS3, and other superfluous devices when most modern televisions are already playing games and downloading apps. Many televisions today are shipping with built-in WiFi or Bluetooth technologies.
As I said before, the technology is available today. Manufacturers just need to put their differences aside and accept that standards help to evolve technology through a hive mind approach rather than corporate dictatorship. Homebrew Kinect is proof enough that the masses probably know the product better than the people making it. So let’s see some communication standards for this generation of electronics and maybe, just maybe, we can all get along.