Sure, we all want better graphics, better games, shorter load-times, more storage, better user-interfaces and stellar controllers. When it comes to the next era of console gaming, these are things that make the want list of just about every gamer in the world.
My personal want list, though, packs something that might be considered a little strange by others.
The odd demand.
It’s simple, really. I want to stream music from a popular internet radio provider like Pandora, Spotify, Last.fm or Slacker, and I want it to happen while I’m playing games.
Last year, I scraped some cash together and built my own gaming PC. Since then, I’ve gotten used to a few luxuries. Chief among them is the ability to stream music from any source from a browser while playing a fullscreen game.
It sounds so basic for PC gamers, but the console crowd is genuinely missing out on this tiny nuance. Think about driving around in Need For Speed while listening to smooth jazz or classic hip hop. How about going on a killing spree in Battlefield while jamming to Passion Pit or, I don’t know, straight up classical music?
Game soundtracks can be wonderful things; but, they don’t always suit the moods or needs of diehard players. Streaming radio bridges that gap and let’s players dictate the flow and feel of their in-game moments.
We’ve been so close!
A few years back, Xbox added Last.fm to their list of entertainment applications. Last.fm, if you’re unfamiliar with the site, is a little like Pandora. There are a host of unique features that make it different, but the general gist is that it’s a solid tool for streaming music.
When this deal was announced, my immediate thought went something like, “Yes! I can listen to tunes while relaxing in some multiplayer sessions of Halo.”
The problem? Due to the architecture of the Xbox 360 and the fact that multitasking is barely an option, you couldn’t steam Last.fm music while playing games.
The Xbox 360 has had an alternative since the launch of the console, though. You can rip CDs onto the console and play them from the media menu during any game. This was great...until the world left CDs for the digital format. Streaming music is where it’s at right now. CDs worked in 2005, but 2013 demands an alternative.
Sign the contracts, make it happen. I’d love this feature for next gen consoles.
Joey Davidson is the Associate Gaming Editor for CraveOnline. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeyDavidson.