Unless you have been living under a rock these past couple of months you have seen rather annoying speculation about these “new” consoles coming in from Sony and Microsoft and that’s coming after Nintendo NX rumor #8912476384813947321. So seeing as how I just woke up, opened my twitter and saw this, I decided to write down my thoughts on this. Now thankfully there is not anything too alarming in this announcement beyond the admission the friggen thing exists and that current PS4 users will not miss out on any software, at least not yet anyway. I just find it hard to believe that if you are promising better graphics that you wont have at least 1 game that takes advantage of it. Unless they are gonna re-release Uncharted 4 or something idiotic like that. I would laugh so hard if that ever happened.
Anyway this got me thinking about this generation of game console. To be honest it’s not that great. I say this mainly because the most popular console, The PS4, is nothing more than a refinement of what the PS3 should have been. That isn’t to call it a bad console by no means but it just lacks a certain identity to me. Especially when so many of these games releasing on it are so redundant to play. Obviously there are a few new games out there but nothing like previous generations. So imagine my reaction when only a few short years into this cycle we’re getting a new console. For what reason? Probably to make even more $$$ off the PlayStation brand. As you can probably tell I’m not a very big fan of this idea. Especially since it’s a symptom of redundancy, a trend that has been long standing in this generation of games.
I want to point out that the bulk majority of the games on the PS4 are “remasters”. You can’t even look up future game releases without seeing at least 1 old game cropping back up for relevance. I remember back when the PS4 was first released and Naughty Dog releases The Last of Us on it.
I was really confused especially since it was not really too long ago that the original game came out. Sony’s rationale was that a lot of gamers buying a PS4 may not have played it since they may not have had the PS3. Sounds fine right? It makes sense. But my counter argument would have been to have just added backwards compatibility from the start and just have gamers buy it if they wanted to. At least then it wouldn’t be seen as a blatant attempt to milk an already successful game.
Now Sony really isn’t the problem here. They aren’t, trust me. Its technology. We live in a world where every year a new phone gets released and with slight insignificant upgrades. People line up in droves for this and willingly spend hundreds of dollars for something they already have. Now it doesn’t help that because Smartphones are so popular that they are being considered gaming devices as well. Remember all that talk about the death of consoles? Have you noticed the rise of mobile games? So what I’m saying here is if we already allow this phenomena in our phones why shouldn’t big companies apply the same logic to their game consoles? That’s what Sony has seen and that’s why the PS4 Neo exists. (Side note: I accidentally typed PS$ while writing that and noticed that 4 and $ share the same key. Wow)
I want to address Nintendo now because they do this a lot too but usually with their portable handhelds. Nintendo has always handled upgrades in a better way. Let’s take a look at the 3DS vs the New 3DS. On paper nothing seems different other than an extra controller nub and amiibo support. But you can customize the New one (as long as it’s not the XL) with face plates that give it a more unique look. So would this be worth the $200 investment? I’m not sure. You decide that for yourself. Should you decide it isn’t but you want amiibo support for your copy of Super Smash Bros. then guess what? Nintendo released an NFC reader just for the 3DS family to use.
See what Nintendo did was take a major component of the upgraded console and make it modular should people not want to invest in a whole new machine. Modular upgrades should be more common nowadays because it at least gives a more affordable option to people who have already invested in a piece of tech. Remember the Nintendo 64? Nintendo did the same thing there. A modular upgrade to make the console more powerful to play bigger games.
I got mine bundled with Donkey Kong 64.
I’m presenting two schools of thought when it comes to upgrading. A blatant attempt to milk more money or something that can make your technology work better but is entirely optional. I wish Sony would have thought about a modular solution for 4K. But honestly it wouldn’t make a very big difference. Graphics are already hitting a wall when it comes to improving them. I really can’t see graphics getting any better. Maybe clearer? Like the new televisions on the market today. Besides, creativity should be more of a concern anyway. Make something truly unique and new.