The Console Wars and Current Generation Gaming
The Start of Next Gen Gaming
Rumors began circling in 2013, about the next generation of console gaming (now Current Gen). It was soon after that dawned the announcements of the PS4 & Xbox One consoles. Nintendo brought in their own Wii U. But at the time, the Wii U was deemed not a very successful console for a few issues it had.
I had not known the term coined 'Console Wars' until around this time. People began choosing sides of their favorite developer of said consoles. Things like console exclusive games began cropping up more and more that effectively made this happen. As well with pricing models of the PS4 being 400$ USD to purchase and the Xbox One being a whopping 500$ price tag.
The Xbox One's original plan was going to run with a production line of an only online DRM service (Digital Rights Management). This meant that if Xbox's servers had any issues at all you were not going to be able to play anything or do anything with your 500 dollar console. They were also attempting on cracking down on used games and making them physically un-able to be done. Another event that made the community of game-lovers split apart. Luckily Microsoft realized their mistakes and had decided to run with their already existing model of the Xbox 360.
This has made me very concerned for Next Gen Gaming. I plan to elaborate on that thought, and many more things that have concerned me and why I think Next Gen Gaming is taking a few steps back then a few steps forward.
This was the generation I was really excited for. The Xbox 360, and PS3, all bringing to the table their own exclusives, but not out of reasons to try and bring more customers to their side of the table. Previous generation has brought me many good memories of playing some fantastic games. Many that I've written about on other Hubs of mine.
Pre-ordering and DLC became a bigger thing here, but there was to a point that they stopped.
It also seemed that gamers in general weren't having petty squabbles over which console is better.
I feel the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 both brought to the table unique standpoints but effectively nothing that made them better then the other.
Next Gen (Current Gen) Gaming Consoles.
Now that it's been a year both consoles have been released. It's clear that there was an ever growing rivalry between Sony and Microsoft for each business' console. With the initial announcement of the Xbox One being an all online DRM service and trying to eliminate the idea of buying pre-owned used games.
Sony put out a response to the crack down on used games., with effectively sticking to their old ways and delivering a very catty low-blow beneath Microsoft's belt at the same time.
But I was both concerned for each console. Games now would have an increased focus on making hyper-realistic and extremely good looking graphics, instead of inventing new and interesting forms of gameplay.
Sharing used games is indeed caring.
Next Gen DLC & Pre-ordering & Exclusives
With new consoles, comes new ways for publishers and companies to figure out how to make more DLC and Pre-ordering opportunities. These opportunities have really stepped up to being even more aggressive then last generation consoles.
Destiny though released on both consoles have been orientated to the Playstation 4. Most of their DLC has been in the 20 USD price range. Though being timed exclusives, Xbox One users will find they're spending the same amount of money for less content initially. At a set date the rest of the content for these DLC (usually PVP maps, Strike missions) will be unlocked entirely.
Recently one to be announced is a kickstarter-like hybrid Pre-order attempt from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Offering various bonuses you can unlock by determining how many people have pre-ordered Mankind Divided. Branches of content will be unlocked with multiple choice picks. Allowing you to 'customize' your Pre-order package. Thankfully this has been one Pre-order attempt that has been met with generally negative reviews from the gaming community.
Console exclusive games are no longer determined by the certain company making the game. It has become that franchises that many people have grown to know, love, and are nostalgic for, are becoming victims of this type of capitalization. Street Fighter and Tomb Raider are now only being made for their selected console. This has made a 'war' between console fans who are now claiming the console they've chosen to buy are now the better of the two.
I feel when something like this happens, every gamer should be upset. Not trying to justify their purchase and throwing insults and comments that they're better for buying this piece of plastic and hardware. We should all be upset as gamers that publishers and companies are making these kind of decisions to further tempt us to buy their console. As for DLC/Pre-ordering. You might be under the impression that I despise these two things. I would prefer games be in their original forms. Not having bits of the game sliced out to be re-sold to us as DLC. Or giving us more reason to pre-order. The only time I find Pre-ordering to be worthwhile is if you're interested in the collector's editions that come with various gamer fair (such as banners, items from the game, models, figures. Etc.) As for DLC I take what I feel is a reasonable thing to sell to me and buy it if it intrigues me, if not? I abstain from purchasing.
Jim Sterling's thoughts on this
My interpretation of 'Next Gen'
Not long ago I had began playing Dark Souls 2, for the first time on my brother's Xbox One. It was a game that was released for last generation. The graphics have been improved slightly. But what I noticed was the performance. Dark Souls 2 effectively ran at a full 60 FPS for the entire game.
This couldn't have been a better example of what I think next generation consoles could have focused on. Instead of creating amazing looking graphics that are no-doubt detrimental to a game's gameplay. Developers and Companies could have focused on presenting us with games that had a slight improvement on graphics to separate them from last generation. To then be-able to focus on creating interesting and new forms of gameplay and being able to possibly establish a new 60 FPS standpoint.
Currently Infamous Second Son is the only Next gen game I've played that has reached 60 FPS in moments of playing it. It tends to fluctuate, between 30-60. But it's the only game I've played that managed to hit it.
I also found it had some really nice gameplay features and mechanics. Even incorporating the motion-sensor in the PS4's controller, in the gameplay. It also makes use of the controller's speaker from time to time to make a more interesting perspective.
So, that's my thoughts on Next Gen Gaming. I'm very hesitant to get a Next Gen Console myself. Not only do they cost an arm and a leg to purchase, but many games I've played on my brother's PS4 & Xbox One has left a bitter taste in my mouth. This showed me that my 360 on a personal standpoint is still valuable for my entertainment. At this moment I could be given a free Xbox one and PS4 along with several games of my choice in trade for my 360, I certainly would not make that trade.
I was also very pleasantly surprised by the Wii U and Nintendo sneaking in with some of the best looking/performing games. I would certainly lean towards buying the Wii U.
Please, give me your thoughts on Next Gen consoles and gaming in general down below in the comments if you'd like!