Over the years gaming systems have made incredible leaps forward. Online game play has made many things possible, including the ability to play with other live gamers that you do not know and friends that live a great distance away.
I have noticed a shift away from gaming with real life (RL) friends, and playing with strangers. I have also noticed that games that would appear as perfect candidates for multi-player from a single console no longer include that option. For example games that include four members of the story such as Ninja Turtles, or Fantastic Four, or any Marvel or DC game. These games are often 1-2 players.
I for one miss the couch co-op experience, or games where you could start an online instance with you and your group of friends. I always expect online gaming to branch into a private server area, or instance based online experience. Even with a paid service that would allow you to create a world specifically for your group of friends. Adventuring and Problem solving together instead of racing and competing against a world of unknown gamers. That area of gaming never developed.
Is this the end? Are any game developers creating games to encourage the couch co-op or Multi-player RPG, not MMORPG? I remember Secret of Mana allowing for 3 simultaneous players to work together through that story line.
I would like to see gaming finding a way to bring Real Life people together instead of pulling people away from those social circles. I now know gamers that have more Online friends they've never met than they do Real Life friends.
With all this technology it seems like there should be a way to encourage both.
Simple answer, no. Everyone does not have the same system or even own a system at all, and being able to play games on the same screen with a friend will never leave, it always has its enjoyable experience you do not get will playing solo.
I completely agree with TMAZT, not only that but sony announced that the ps4 camera will make special use of "couch co-op" and will even adjust to which side you are sitting on. So for example, you are playing with your friend split-screen, you get up to go get a drink, he scootches over and moves in to your spot, the split screen on the tv will actually swap sides because the camera will recognize the positions of the players moving.