Working Title 03.16.13: Welcome to Next Gen...AGAIN!
Posted by Jordan Williams on 03.16.2013
It's time to finally be excited about the next-generation consoles! 411's Jordan Williams gives his thoughts on the upcoming transition to the new consoles in this week's Working Title!
Okay, Tomb Raider's reboot was successful. Can we have a Gex reboot now?
Note: If this column feels a bit…disjointed…it's because it is. This rant/thing was typed over the span of three weeks. Why? Because up until this Tuesday I was dealing with a cancer scare. Not to go into detail but the doctors found something while I was sick, thought it was cancer, told me it was cancer…and just before I started to cook meth we got a second opinion, a biopsy, and other work done and found out it's NOT cancer. So yeah. I was goin' through some shit. GET YOUR PROSTATES CHECKED, GUYS.
Welcome to the #1 Column to complete blame Hugh Jack man not winning the Academy Award for Best Actor on that piece of dreck that was Movie 43, WORKING TITLE. Hugh Jack man has been added to the list of people who have 'Norbit'ed themselves when it comes to actually winning a major award. If only they had waited to release Movie 43 a few months later...
Oh fuckin' well. This isn't the time and place to talk about movies. Especially like...three weeks after the Oscars. This is the time and place to talk about VIDEO GAMES. More specifically the fact that for the first time in a long time I am completely fucking amped and jazzed for VIDEO GAMES. Why? Because PlayStation 4. That's why.
But wait, Jordan. For the last seven years you've always largely ignored any Sony console like the Xbox fan boy you really are!
Why yes, Disembodied Troll Voice! I HAVE largely ignored Sony and the PlayStation and usually talked about things relating to Xbox games and multiplatform titles! You might even be correct in calling me some sort of Xbox fan boy! But there's a reason for this! A really logical, simple reason.
You see, Disembodied Troll Voice...I have friends. No, that it not some knock at everyone else. It's just a fact. I got friends. I play video games regularly with my friends. I also have a very gaming oriented family. My mother, my little sister, my older brother, and his wife all regularly play video games. What do they play games on? Xbox 360. So the reason for me choosing Xbox over the PlayStation more boils down to the fact that roughly 75% of my game playing time is spent online playing with said friends and family therefore I play more regularly on the console I can connect with them on. So yeah, it might not run with the 'wonderful' stereotype that all of us video game players are introversive, elitist, fickle, and entitled assholes to say "I play games with muh family!" but oh well.
...There's also the fact that I don't find most Sony exclusives to be terribly interesting but that's beside the point.
So what does all of this have to do the with PS4 since it seemingly sounds like I have made up my mind about getting one (I'm not, at least not yet). Because for the first time in a long time we are about to see a motherfucking FIGHT when it comes to video games. It's no secret that this generation has gone on far too long. This generation got really lazy and comfortable in whatever niche it had and the games started to suffer. We started getting a heavy dose of sexualities and even a bigger dose of things like Day 1 DLC and other shady ass things to extend the life, scope, and the BUSINESS of games.
Xbox 360, whether people would like to admit it or not, won the generation. It had the biggest install base in the biggest market for video games. It positioned itself more as a media console that had its eye on where video games as a service and a hobby would be going. With that seated heavily under their belt and with the failure (again, whether people would like to admit it or not) of the original Xbox Microsoft was able to for all intents and purposes sit back and get fat while they watched Nintendo do their own thing and Sony struggle to keep up.
But this time? We're at the exact opposite is happening. Sony knows what they did wrong last time and they are looking to come out swinging. Where more than a decade ago we had Xbox trying to throw its name into the Console War only to be snuffed out by the juggernauts that were Sony and Nintendo. This time we have Sony as the grizzled veteran who got beat down last time but got itself back into the fight. I am not going to do a point by point recap of all of the things shown at the PS4 Conference because it's been too long and pretty much everyone else has every bit of a detail about that and probably would do them a lot better than I would.
There's also the issue that most of the stuff they showed at the PS4 Conference didn't really impress me at first. Hardware Specs, Developer Reels, and Tech Demos really don't do much for me anymore...the thing I am most interested about with the PS4 Conference is all of the stuff that's going to come out after it.
Sony threw The Gauntlet down. I want to see what Microsoft and even Nintendo do to pick it up.
Working Title – Working Mini-Rant: Welcome to Next Gen…Again
Yes, I totally did dust off the Welcome to Next Gen tag which was the first actual column I did for 411mania way back when. That's telling on just how long this generation has been going on for. We all went into this shit with bright eyes and bushy tails and we came out of the other end all jaded and resentful to the thing we claim to love the most.
BUT BRIGHT SKIES ARE AHEAD, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. FOR THE PS4 HAS DESCENDED FROM THE HEAVENS TO SAVE US...
Why is it going to save us? Because now people are all a buzz, all atwitter about all of the next gen implications. Sony stepped out front in a big way with all of the features that are most likely going to be the same across every console. I'm not talking about the games and the hardware tech...those things are quickly approaching a level where unless we stack them side by side with other things we aren't going to be able t see the difference. What I am talking about are the extras.
Yes, those things that we 'gamers' love to bitch and moan about are actually going to be the things that decide the outcome of this war. Whether we'd like to admit it or not (I seem to be using that phrase a lot this week) those are becoming actual reasons to prefer a console over the other. Yes, the reason why 90% of us will buy one console or the other is going to play the games that come out for those consoles, I am not trying to dispute that. But what I am talking about is the fact that a lot of these consoles are simply NOT being used for just games anymore. How many people here have Netflix or Amazon Streaming on their console of choice? How many of you use download services to download games to your console? The fact of the matter is that the era of the console exclusive being the selling point of the console is dying.
They are still going to be important in the long run, but with more and more of the games everyone gets excited about being multiplatform titles the new war is going to be fought on the Exclusive DLC and Exclusive Options front. If Super Duper Shooter Bros comes out both on Xbox Infinity and PS4 and the PS4 version allows you to stream your gameplay out via Ustream and the Xbox Infinity version allows you to use the Twitch.tv (as often rumored) then the battle no longer becomes ‘What console do I like?' it becomes ‘What streaming service do I like?'
I am not going to be as naïve as to say that games will never not be the focus of the consoles we buy and the decisions we make when it comes to them. All I am trying to say is that the war is no longer fought on just the front of games because games as a whole are just too thin to compete against each other.
So how does this all boil back to why the PS4 has me so excited? It's because no matter what…even if their box is an inferior one to the PS4…Microsoft has to come out with SOMETHNG to steal the spotlight back from Sony. Let's not kid ourselves and think that some of the PS4 system perks are going to be things exclusive to PlayStation.
The Next Box will probably have some sort of streaming component.
The Next Box will probably have the ‘always on' component that allows you to resume a game from where you left off.
The Next Box will most likely allow you to download in the background, as well as play games that are already being downloaded.
The question and the excitement is coming from what else Microsoft may do to TOP Sony. THAT is what is getting me all excited. We have a legitimate FIGHT once again. Sony is pulling out all of the stops, Microsoft HAS to pull out all of the stops and while Nintendo has already been left behind (like many had predicted) THEY even need to step the game up. For the first time since "Sega does what Nintendon't" we have two consoles that know they are competing against each other and for once are going to ACT like it. As much as we like to throw around the term ‘Console War' we really haven't seen one since the 16-Bit Era where Nintendo and Sega for going tit for tat with features and games.
Nintendo puts out Mario? Sega would put on Sonic.
Nintendo gets a good version of Street Fighter II? Sega gets a great version of Mortal Kombat?
Double Dragon? Streets of Rage.
Final Fantasy? Phantasy Star.
They were with each other almost every step of the way and it ended up giving us some of the best games not only of that generation, but of all time. While the Xbox 360 and PS3 were definitely competitors, they also adopted the whole mantra of ‘Never draw attention to the competition' which made it largely feel like any moves they were making against the opposition were for business and they covered it up with a ton of lingo without ever directly calling someone out.
If the consoles have as much parity between the two as we are being lead to believe…or even we go the opposite and there is such a large gap between the systems (also, as we are being lead to believe) the thing that holds true is that everyone is going to be swinging for the fences with everything they make.
Big games. Big sequels. Bigger ‘gets' for each console. And you know who wins out in the end?
Just let this great feeling wash over you, just let it overtake you. You are now officially allowed to be excited about GAMES again! Yes, there's still fucked up things in the industry like DLC, Patches, Sexism, Shoddy Hardware, Sequelitis, Remakes, Reboots, Revamps, and Regurgitations. Those things are shitty and will probably continue to be shitty.
But for once, even if it's for a little bit…let's just put all of that aside and revel in the fact that once again we have a FIGHT. We have a BATTLE. Companies are once again going to actively compete for our hard earned money.
That's a good feeling.
Video Games have a good feeling again.
Working Title Defense Force
This is normally where the Working List is but I figure this week I am going to try something a little different. I've always been that sort of asshole that tends to play devil's advocate to a lot of things simply because I like to see how the other side thinks sometimes. This has lead to me having some pretty damned strange opinions of games and things surrounding games. So now at the bottom I am going to do a quick "Defense Force" style rant on a subject or topic. If you want anything Defense Force'd let me know and I'll see what I can do.
For the Inaugural Defense Force I am going to talk about the first game I got for my GameCube, which is ironically a game a lot of people hate.
Star Fox Adventures
I really liked Star Fox Adventure. That goes beyond the usual ‘first time' love that most people have for the game they play for the first time on a new console, this was just a whole new beast altogether and I actually dug almost everything about Star Fox Adventure. The way they expanded the SF world to more than just the Arwings and the stuff they shoot, the way Fox actually gained a bit of a personality, even to how they finally showed just WHY Fox is such a badass OUTSIDE of the Arwing. I really liked that game and I don't understand most of the hate people have for it.
Most people berate and it talk shit about it because it's a clone of a Zelda game…and despite me not necessarily being a fan of Zelda I can at least appreciate the fact that a clone of something that is already good shouldn't necessarily be seen as a BAD thing automatically. How about the combat system that was simple enough to grasp yet stiff flowed great on screen? What about the art style!? WHAT ABOUT KRYSTAL!?
Actually, no. Fuck Krystal. I don't mean that in the yiffy way either. I think she was probably one of the more blah parts of the game because (similar to the game it's apparently a clone on) for the most part she was just there to be a Damsel in Distress and didn't add much. But you know what? I liked that game. If I had to take all of the Star Fox games it would actually be my second favorite overall, the first of which being Star Fox DS…but that's a Defense Force for another time.
When will that time be? I dunno. We'll see. Next week though…
I'm talking about why Saints Row IV is a GOOD thing.