So here we are, supposedly in a new generation of console hardware while there are still new releases for the last generation. For a market that is supposed to be all about “next gen”, we still see a lot of releases for the Gamecube, the Playstation 2, and the X-Box.
Here I am all pumped and ready for the next generation and I still haven’t bought an X-Box 360. Right now there is no value add. No $20 games to try out the titles I’m just not sold on, not many titles at all, and really not feeling the pull to spend $400 on something that I will play less than older consoles I still own.
What’s a gamer to do?
Here are the top ten silly, frustrating, and stupid things about “next gen” right now
10. - Still waiting for Next Gen to arrive
When the X-Box 360 hit the market I thought “It’s here! It’s here!” Boy was I excited. With the last generation of the console wars clearly won by Sony I was ready to see how the new competition was going to shape up. So far it hasn’t shaped up at all. Microsoft has their team on the field and the other two teams are still in training camp.
9. - Letting Microsoft define the Next Gen market
Microsoft has a ten mile head start in a fifty mile marathon. That means there is still plenty of time to overtake them, but that’s still one hell of a lead. No matter how you look at it, Microsoft has essentially placed the next generation on their terms. Everyone else has to play catch up.
8. - Stupid name changes
With Nintendo’s revolutionary ideas, revolutionary control, and an approach to the console market that leverages their position as a smaller, more flexible, and more innovative company they had the perfect name for their console. Instead they decide to change the name to something that will inspire pee jokes for the next ten years. Brilliant, just brilliant! The best part is realizing the person who came up with the name “Wii” probably makes more money than I do.
7. - $60 games
With Microsoft facing little competition, they can charge whatever they want. Gamers have been complaining about the high cost of games for awhile, and raising prices doesn’t seem like a smart move to me. After all, it doesn’t matter how much a game costs because the price is pretty much fixed upon release, so the amount of copies sold means everything. Even so, the next gen market is still small so Microsoft needs to get the most for each game it can. Besides, it’s not like anyone else is out there fighting them. Expect this trend to continue till after Christmas when all the consoles are released and retail hits their usual yearly sales slump.
6. - Microsoft’s Multiple Personality Disorder
Probably not Microsoft’s fault really, but it is fun watching titles getting released on the X-Box 360, the X-Box, and PC all at the same time. I need the 360 why?
5. - Who needs backwards compatibility anyway?
It was the mini-trend we hardly knew. Once we saw the PS2 could play Playstation games it seemed like we had a sure thing on our hands, especially with Microsoft being the kings of backwards compatibility with Windows. Alas, it seems all for naught. A major selling point for alot of these consoles would be the ability to still play all your own games, but for whatever reason the development teams just couldn’t figure it out. I still wonder if the 360’s compatibility problems are as bad as people make it out to be, but gamers are clearly not satisfied, and Sony’s mewlings aren’t building any confidence.
4. - Chasing Nintendo
You can’t just ignore changes in the industry, but it sure is fun watching these two megacorporations scrambling to keep up with Nintendo’s ideas. Of course it’s one thing to respond to change, it’s entirely different to come up with new innovations of your own. Nintendo is playing smarter this generation, will they keep it up?
3. - Cost between consoles and computers vanishing
$60 games? Expensive peripherals? Consoles being released at a $600 price point? Anyone notice that desktop computers just continue to go down in price despite becoming ever more powerful? Consoles still have a lot of advantages over PC’s, but the most powerful incentive of console games is weakening.
2. - Dual price SKU nonsense
“You can buy our system or you can spend $100 less to get a castrated system. Wow! Are we a great company or what?”
1. - Sony’s Alternate Reality
No matter how you spin it, we still just want a game console first. Go push your format war somewhere else