I think players are ready for Sandbox. Games like SWG came a bit too early. A time when PCs were few and far between, the internet was just embracing broadband @512kbs(UK anyway!) and things have moved on lots.
I think players want "everything", the best of both worlds.
A world that is full of epic stories where their choices matter, while they can also fully interact with a gigantic virtual world.
Their very own Total Recall.