So, with the next gen consoles well and truly around the corner it would seem that the central theme running through all three consoles (apart from the strange fixation with watching netflix) is the idea of greater connectivity with the online world, and more specifically, with online gamers across the globe. Online gaming has been well and truly established for some time now, but these new consoles will take online gaming to the next level by making it even easier to connect with those across the world. This has caused some a certain degree of inner conflict to my morning. On the one hand it seems great that we can now reach out and play with millions of other gamers. However, it saddens me to think that the emphasis on 4 player multiplayer games on a 4 player console has slipped somewhat. The current and previous efforts from Sony and Microsoft, with their 2 control ports each, have demonstrated that 4 player gaming has not been high on their list of priorities. However, even the WiiU seems to be moving away from being four players together to play multiplayer games (I can’t imagine many willing to fork out the money necessary for four WiiU pads to get the most of the console). This is a shame because when it comes to multiplayer experiences Nintendo are the undisputed masters of the game. From childhood to the present day there have been many hours burnt up with three of my friends playing four-player Goldeneye, Super Smash Brothers and, of course, Mariokart. Online gaming just doesn’t seem capable of recreating or equalling the frenzied atmosphere of four-player gaming on the same console. It lacks the shouts of triumph as Ness soars off the screen for a KO, the screams of frustration of being shot in the head, again, by the Farsight rifle on Perfect Dark and, best of all, the cry of ‘Have a blue shell of doom to the face!’ as you zoom past your opponent on the finishing line past an enormous blue mushroom cloud. Even lesser known titles such as WarioWare and Crystal Chronicles really did offer up a whole world of excellent multiplayer gaming. I’m sure that there will be some great multiplayer titles over the horizon, indeed the next instalment of Smash Brothers is in the pipeline, but it seems that the focus of multiplayer gaming does seem to be shifting to the online realm. I guess I’m just hoping that new generations of gamers have the wealth of quality multiplayer titles that I enjoyed and still do enjoy to this day. Please comment and let me know the games of choice for your multiplayer gaming sessions.