The future of the gaming industry looks bloody bleak. Stores have become so fed up with shovelware thanks to Nintendo's adamant marketing to the casual gamer that they are refusing to stock these garbage titles. The age of digital distribution for gaming is approaching, doing away with the physical ownership of one's games. Waving your arms around like a silly monkey to control games has become the industry trend, the mad dash to finish line to see who can make it work the best. And, videogames are the international scapegoat for all things evil. What's up with that, videogames?
I am most disappointed in Nintendo. Formerly a hardcore gamer powerhouse, Nintendo has become associated with flash minigames. Why spend $199 on a console to play games I can enjoy for free via my web browser? Oh, I can wave my arms around? Oh, neat! That's not to say that the Wii doesn't have its games... the New Super Mario Bros., Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (but wasn't that also on the GameCube??), Super Mario Galaxy, Wario Land, Mario Party 8... well, these games are all Nintendo games! The third party support for good games on the Wii is severely lacking which is not surprising due to the Wii's lack of technological innovation compared to its competitors.
To the core gamer, the future of Nintendo seems bleak. The recently announced Legend of Zelda is a glimmer of hope, although the fact that the Wii's graphics are comparable to the GameCube is rather sad. But, graphics aren't everything! I know that, but in this day and age, outdated graphics are no excuse. Technology moves quick, so please try to keep up! With the beautiful graphics of the PS3 at 1080p, having your maximum resolution at 480p is laughable.
Nintendo's hard marketing to the casual crowd has also opened the flood gates for developers to dump any and all ideas for games into the reality bin. Calvin Tucker's redneck games? Carnival games? Barnyard games? Are you kidding? It's garbage, full of garbage that will end up in the mystery dump along with the E.T. cartridges.
Sony also let loose their digital distribution machine. The PSPgo was unleashed to...a few sales here and there. However, the move by Sony signaled the newest venture that will undoubtedly take over: digital distribution. The medium has already consumed the music market and it is only a matter of time until it swallows the movie and game market as well. When high speed internet becomes the norm regardless of location, this move will make things easier. However, there are still a large number of people who are stuck in 1992 with their dial up modems and slow DSL. There's just not enough bandwidth to go around for games and movies of gigantic size to be downloaded. Mark my words, though, once this happens, kiss videogame stores goodbye.
Digital distribution is especially upsetting because I, personally, cannot for the life of me justify spending money on virtual property. Electronics can be wonky and you can easily lose that $60 game if your five year old cousin Larry likes to play with magnets. Sure, you can just download the game again, but if your internet is lacking, who wants to wait a day to download a 10gb game? I just want to play it! I tried rending a HD movie from the PSN. Yea, it was cheap. Yea, it took me 12 hours to download it. I wanted to watch it now, though.
There is also the issue of stores. All digital distribution will mean that videogame stores will cease to exist. As much as we all hate GameStop, it's still nice to be able to trade in unwanted games to help pay for new ones (am I really going to play Madden NFL 2010 once Madden NFL 2011 comes out?) and it is also nice to walk into such a store to find a used game cheap that you may want to play, but not dish out a lot of cash for a brand new copy. I picked up a used copy of Madden NFL 2009 for like $10 a few months ago. I'm not a big fan of football, but I like to occasionally throw the pigskin around, so this was a nice way to satisfy that urge. With all digital distribution, finding old treasures or cheap fixes will also cease to exist. Let's hope for frequent amazing Steam sales?
Nintendo, being the powerhouse gaming company it is, has also created a mad flux about motion controls. Project Natal and the Sony Wand are in the works to bring this wacky control scheme opportunity to the PS3 and Xbox 360 and I can't say I am excited. I am loathing this move. Will this open the flood gates for more shovelware? Will we see Willy Wonka's Candyland Minigames on the Xbox 360 in the future? Having one console drowning in a slew of shoddy games is enough, must we enable the filth to spread? The motion control madness is like a mad pestilence on the gaming industry. The only hope is that both Sony and Microsoft have acknowledge that these controls will not replace the normal controller.
Of course, video games are also the root of all evil. Germany and Australia are easy targets to show how ridiculous people are behaving in the wake of the videogame culture expanding. Even porn stars are dogging on videogames.
The future of the videogame industry is bleak. It's diminishing. Once the fad of the Wii has completely faded out and the other big dogs see that motion controls are a cheap gimmick, hopefully the industry will return to normal, quality games will be made, and the gaming companies will continue to churn out worthwhile experiences rather than barf worthy titles that you can physically buy.