So I've been thinking about all these fancy, scary rumors about the next-generation of consoles not supporting used games sales. Even talks of games being linked to and only playable on single accounts while online!
Even though I am about to try and make things sound not so bad, as I typed that, I got a little depressed. Because this industry is my passion (along with music/guitar playing) and to have my main area of play, the console, depart so extremely from it's current set of ideals (which are just perfectly fine.. for the most part, btw) doesn't sit too right with me.
You could talk about the benefits, but outside much positive thinking (even more than I can muster), they're greatly outweighed by the negatives of this move.
BUT.... it's not all bad.
It honestly really isn't.
My first instinct was to outright hate the way things were going, completely drop all the games I was playing to almost solely focus on these horrible rumors until they were either completely debunked or completely proven. Because I couldn't think about anything else. My games had now become stamped with "CASH-IN" and "PRODUCT" while I'm left with a big "SUCKER" stamp, myself.
Then I calmed down a little bit and started playing my games again.
All that rage had now been turned to sympathy. Looking to the future was now a non-option as I dwelled on the awesome past and present/near-present.
So let's just say that all of the worst happens. Including:
1.) The majority of developers/publishers start focusing their attention on the casual market and a mass attack (not like the adorable Kirby DS title) of shovelware work-out sims, 60+ dollar gimmicks and mini-game collections hit the market like never before.
2.) Used games are almost completely wiped out.
3.) Games stay expensive despite no used games and going completely digital.
4.) The DLC "epidemic" worsens.
5.) Places like Gamefly and Gamestop go out of business and thousands upon thousands of even more jobs are lost.
6.) Not only that, but developers who refuse to buckle under the pressure of their contracted publishers to push out their games faster or make a certain title are let go, lose money and THEY lose their jobs too!
I don't think I'm done with that list, but I wanna go ahead and get to the positives before I start pouring myself a nice, tall glass of bleach and cookies.
What I'm about to say will hopefully lighten up a few as it's doing for me at the moment. Here we go.
Now, at least for me, every generation for at least the last 20+ years has held so many great/excellent titles and I can't even begin to count the number of solid-really good ones. It's the reason I've enjoyed my time as a gamer so darn much. Even today, awesome games are coming out at a fairly steady rate with plenty of good filler in-between.
If you feel anywhere near the same way, I think you'll understand where I'm coming from when I bring up this, albeit potentially scary at first, suggestion: Just keep playing the games you already own.
I have a ginormous list of games I could play for the rest of my life. Games that will NEVER get old.
GTA: Vice City
GTA: San Andreas
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo 3: ODST
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Sly 2: Band of Thieves
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
Jak and Daxter
Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack In Time
Resident Evil REmake
Resident Evil 4
Super Mario 64
Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door
Mario Power Tennis
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart: Double Dash
Mario Kart 7
Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy 2
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Spyro the Dragon
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage
Spyro: Year of the Dragon
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Boom Blox: Bash Party
Elite Beat Agents
Space Invaders Extreme 2
Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
Tony Hawk's Underground
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
Need for Speed Underground
Need for Speed Underground 2
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Need for Speed: Carbon
The Chronicles of Riddick
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Timesplitters: Future Perfect
We <3 Katamari
Saint's Row 2
Rock Band 3
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Dragon Age: Origins
Half-Life 2: Episode 1
Half-Life 2: Episode 2
Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Alan Wake's American Nightmare
The Darkness II
Fallout: New Vegas
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
Super Stardust Delta
Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2
... and so sooooo many more!
I (mostly) have no problem playing these and only these until I'm nothing but dust. I plan to game for my whole life and these should last me just dandy. Hell, just several specific titles like Skyrim could last me long enough.
I also must make a mention of the indie PC game market. Full of wonderful little titles, both inspired and entertaining. A great outlet for risk-taking and just getting your ideas out there without any big-name publishers riding on your back. Games like Hard Rest, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Octodad, The Binding of Isaac, Machinarium, all made possible by the indie market (and Steam). Some (pessimists) may even say indie is the only way to go nowadays.
I firmly believe we will never see a decline in this area of the industry anytime soon.
Then for those like me who still have a huge backlog of games to play, there is no better time to catch up.
And my favorite, and final, point I'll make is the recent Kickstarter revelation.
With the funding of Double Fine's next adventure title surpassing expectations by a huge bit, people are realizing that we now have (essentially) a whole new kind of indie market growing. Immediately following, we had the cult-classic hit Wasteland get a sequel funded within a few days along with some other smaller projects.
It seems gamers are more than willing to pay for such things. And that really warms my heart. Really, it does. It's one of those things that reassures you there are great people out there. Including game makers with a passion to.... make games! We might even be able to fund Scoville's infamous Fantasy Beach Sex Island.
But hopefully not.
All things considered, this future may look bleak at first, even second glance, but even at it's worst, it's not all bad.
When the Xbox Durango 720p-Output Device and the NEXstation 20XX Megabeta hit stores... all may seem lost, but I'll still be playing games. On my PC. On my old consoles and portables. In my dreams at ni- okay that sounds pretty cheesy.
And, hey, this is all only if we assume the worst. So C'MOOOOOON! Have a party, ride a chocobo, play some Dungeons and Dragons with your creepy uncle. Gaming and all nerdism will continue to live on, I'm sure of it.