This year, two brand new consoles have been announced, packed with new features aiming to "bring us together" and revolutionize "entertainment". But for some reason, it still feels like 2006 to me, and I think I know why. It's not that these consoles are rehashes on the past, by any means. I think it's because the core gamer has been forgotten, yet again.
I watched the Xbox One presentation yesterday. My position going into it was "cautiously optimistic". Out of the four platforms I play on (PS3, 3DS, PC, and 360), Xbox was a solid number two. All my friends played on Xbox, an excuse I hear from a lot of different people on the fence during the console wars. But not only that, I felt the Xbox brand was different. I mean, sure they had Halo, but they also brought a lot of different experiences to us. Alan Wake was one of my favorite new IP's this generation. Before going multiplat years later, the first Mass Effect blew me away. The first Gears was a solid experience that was rather innovative at the time. I could go on and on, but the point is, it seemed like Xbox was dedicated to investing in new IP's, and were willing to take chances on gamers. The past few years have been pretty rough for Xbox, but maybe this new announcement would revitalize this brand that was so dedicated to bringing new experiences to core gamers.
And then we got TV, sports, and Skype. We got mandatory Kinect, online checks, and DRM. We got 3 games with no gameplay footage. We got "Wait till E3".
We got screwed.
Flashback to February, the PS4 announcement. Again, I was cautiously optimistic. I think Sony had a rough gen this time around, and almost for no reason. I had a PS3, and besides a handful of exclusives, it was mostly ignored. I can't tell you why. Maybe it was the Dualshock 3. I felt, for shooters, it was inadequate. The sticks felt too sensitive, and the triggers felt just....weird. But regardless, I still had hope Sony could turn this around. The PS4 announcement didn't leave me in disgust like the Xbox One did, but I did feel....underwhelmed. I mean, they showed off video games, and even the "social" features all felt tied into my games, but it just didn't set right with me. It all felt like pandering to a group of gamers that we're brought in during the Wii era, the Era of "Grandpa can play". I'm not an elitist that believes that games shouldn't be for everyone, but core gamers will be around forever. This isn't a fleeting hobby for us, it's here to stay. Casual gamers will come and go, but we'll still be here when the dust settles. So why is it that gaming's most dedicated and loyal groups have been ignored?
This is why this gen is the perfect time for PC to step into the limelight. PC gaming is generally seen as an enthusiast level platform, but really, it's as open as you want it to be. People seem to think it's too expensive to build a decent gaming PC, but it's about the same as consoles (if you're shooting for a mid-tier PC, that is). Yeah, there's DRM and no used games on PC, but unlike Xbox, it's an open platform. PC gaming is filled with more unique experiences AND at lower prices.
I think this is the gen that the core gamer will migrate to PC, because it's apparent that these consoles aren't made for us. They're made for Mom and Dad. I don't need to watch tv while I play games while I skype my friends while I masturbate. I just want to play games and masturbate.