So, now that I apparently have a representative from Valve casting an eye on this blog, (probably past tense; criticism tends to drive people away!) I thought I'd take the opportunity to throw some more mud in their general direction.
1) Team Fortress 2 badly missed a single player game.
At the end of the day, people like me who work for a living, still want to be able to play games without having to endure the environment that has become the on-line combatitive zone. Also, being a female player, I could end up having to combat more than just the game but possibly abuse from the immature kiddywinkie male morons who have been brainwashed in to thinking that women should be chained to the kitchen sink. Here's a good article on that.
There is a massive potential in the TF2 world which is ripe for single player action. A game along the lines of Futurama for the X-Box, set in the TF2 world could really be a stunner. Completing missions as the different characters involving a mixture of stealth, long distance shooting challenges (like the one that happened in No One Lives Forever 2) and even a case of going in, gung ho, with a rocket launcher, shouting "Looser!" while trying to avoid enemy fire, would be a potentialy funny experience.
So why haven't they done it? I haven't got a bloody clue. I do know that I'd buy it, though.
2) What happens if the new console needs replacing?
It has been on my mind that if this new console needs replacing, then what happens? Are the save games going to be in the cloud, or is there going to be a potential to back them up to a USB stick?
What happens to the games; can they be backed up too, or is the poor punter going to have to saturate their internet connection to download them all again?
Part of the reason that I haven't downloaded TF2 or the other one to my Linux installation is that I'm on rural broadband with a 60Gb/month limit. If a console keels over, then what is someone like me supposed to do?
These are the kind of things that are going to be on this customers mind should I ever buy one of these consoles ... not that I intend buying one, though. I'm not going to buy the X-box 720, the PS4 or the Nintendo ... um ... whatever. The PS2 and 3 were too noisy and the X-box 360 has so many articles on the red ring of death that I don't want to waste my money on a temporary experience which could be taken off me due to outages (both Microsoft and Sony suffered month-long outages) or having my account suspended, with no explanation and no opportunity for redress unless I call in a national TV show to embarass the hell out of Microsoft. The sad thing is that I think that this is still happening.
As important as the console itself, is going to be Valve's terms of service, how they behave as a company and what kind of fall backs exist for a customer when the hardware visits that great gaming graveyard in the sky.
3) What is going to happen to user content?
Any games life span has been increased exponentially by user generated content. The moment you have a console which is dedicated piece of hardware, things like level editors are going to be difficult to use.
When you fork out a small fortune for a title, the community generated content can make all the difference between an OK title and a game that continues to give pleasure for many months. If it is difficult to get user content on to the system, then that can make large game costs seem like lower value for money.
If Valve remain as they have done, then it should be possible to run the game on a PC as well, so this will be possible without having to buy the game, even if it is going to mean downloading the game twice (which is important for people like me) so complex tools like level and texture editors will be easier to use. (not only from the mouse/keyboard angle but also importing and exporting graphics)
However, there is always the question that how is this material going to get on to the console? I don't recall seeing this being discussed yet. Mojang have decided to give users a repository for third party mods but what Valve are going to do and how this will interface with a console, is a question that I don't know whether Valve have pondered yet.