There's been a lot of saber-rattling and chest-thumping lately regarding the next generation of video games and how they should offer high definition visuals and textures, online gameplay experiences and marketplaces, big explosions, and that sort of thing. It's the standard train of thought for when video games make the leap to the next step in technology. After watching games grow from Super Mario Bros. on up I find that I don't care much about high definition textures and digital eyelash rendering. You know what I want from the next generation of gaming? Bigger worlds.
I want the hub worlds of 3D games to go away so that I can run and jump in a single large interconnected world. Super Mario 64 seems to have set the trend of including a central point that connects to every other world in the game, while titles such as Banjo-Kazooie and Sonic Adventure re-enforced the idea. I've had enough of jumping into magic paintings for now. Technology may not be ready for that yet, but there are ways to cheat it.
Super Mario Sunshine almost got it right; although the game was built around the Delfino Square hub, it was possible to see other levels off in the distance while playing through the game. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is probably the best example of this generation that I can think of in that the massive sea made it seem as if the whole world were one massive place. Sailing from one place to another took a while, but moving across the ocean made it feel as if all of the islands and towns and dungeons existed in the same world. That's what I want in the next generation. Just give me big areas in which to play and I'll be happy.