Let’s go back to the autumn of 2005. Remember those days? E3 was still a huge thing; PAX was just getting itself together, it was an exciting time for video games.
The seventh generation was being with the release of the Xbox 360. The general public went wild; children and adults all wanted a piece of the newest hardware to play the newest games like Call of Duty 2, Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero (RIP) and many others.
You may be asking yourself:“Oh great and ever knowing OkamiGotFuzz, why are you talking about the SEVENTH generation launch? Didn’t we just have the eighth generation launch with the PS4 and Xbox One?”
My response to you is first: thank you for the really heartwarming comments, and secondly; there is just something different about this generation.
It could be that the fact these consoles are so connected with every single thing that we can Skype while playing Battlefield 4; or that the gaming field is so much more pessimistic than what it once was.
There is just a different feeling to this generation; instead of excitement, it is anxiousness.
This isn’t a good thing.
Rumors are flying that this generation will be the last before the one-console-to-rule-them-all comes out or that PC will just take over with the questionable Steambox. The air around this launch of the eighth generation just seems very dull compared to what the seventh generation was.
I feel like the eighth generation launches were appealing the casual gamer more than the hardcore gamer.
The Wii and Wii U go with the casual gamer just like ice cream on a summer day. But why do both Microsoft and Sony want those gamers? The reason is: wait for it, money.
“But OkamiGotFuzz,” you cry, “the unveiling of the PiSer4 was appealed more to the hardcore gamer than the mass public compared to the Xbone’s!”
Now, now, let’s not jump ahead.
Let’s talk about one important issue: Who is the hardcore gamer?
Are they the few that prestige in CoD: Ghosts 6 times? Are they the ones who play just a few hours of their favorite game before going to work? Are they the 13 year-olds who scream profanities over multiplayer matches?
In the eyes of this college student, the gaming world has lost it’s hardcore gamer because of the consoles we play on.
The consoles appeal more and more to casual gamers and just non-gamers for all the added extras. The commercial featuring Ghosts and “Xbox, Record That!” shows that the Xbox One just wants everyone to buy it because of its “cool” recording techniques.
What happened to the good o’ days of playing video games for the pure [u]fun[/u] of it? Leveling up in a multiplayer match without paying anything to get better guns or cars? To buy a game and it be nearly perfect; no bugs or game-breaking glitches that require an immediate day one patch?
TO NOT PAY TO UNLOCK HALF OF A GAME THAT WILL TAKE YOU MORE HOURS THAN IN A WEEK?
Gaming has lost track of what it was originally made for: to convey and take the player on a journey to a place that they have not experienced before.
Gamers have lost track of that goal. Most players only want to grind more and more on
Call of Duty or Madden without experiencing the pure joy of gaming.
How much more can we take of another Call of Duty or anotherAssassin’s Creed or another Halo without turning away from what gaming was founded on?
I don’t want to end this article with a hopeful, “we can turn gaming around and we can reinvent gaming!” because I believe that we can’t. If games like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed keep posting million dollar sales then why would they stop?
Gaming is in a very shaky spot with the future of the medium being held in a very unusual spot: its not Ubisoft or David Cage, it’s actually the Indie market.
“Groan, not indie games, OkamiGotFuzz! Every gaming journalist believes that indie games are our future!” Well, oops.
With games like Outlast, Metro: Last Night, Shovel Knight, and many, many more, indie developers are showing that innovation is still around in the gaming industry.
These games won’t sale like Call of Duty: Ghost or Grand Theft Auto 5, which both deserve the praise for being top seller; it’s sad to see that not a lot of people will get to experience these new, innovative games, because the mass gaming public will play the big hits.
With all the negative and sour comments above, I will say this: what an exciting time to be a gamer.
Maybe that this generation will turn around the horrid experience of the seventh and bring the innovation that gaming has been missing since the original Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube brought.
Maybe this generation will prove to everyone that consoles are here to stay and that they will be the centerpieces of every media center inside homes.
Maybe this generation will be the one that will surpass the sixth generation and usher in another golden age of gaming, one that we haven’t seen since the 80s.