The Reality of Gaming and Negativity This Generation (and Next)

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Back in 2009, I was publishing monthly videos via my YouTube account, while working for a previous gaming website. One particular video that garnered much attention was a video I did discussing my thoughts on the gaming market at that time. The video was aptly named “Death of the Console Wars”. Though it got several thousand views, as well as numerous comments, I felt good posting it because it was my thoughts on everything I had experienced and known from my 20+ years of gaming. The video was a culmination of all the disgust and nonsense that was flooding the blogs and internet at that time between the so-called “Console Fanboy Wars”.

Obviously, let’s be honest, this past generation has been Microsoft and Sony neck-and-neck. In the video, I spoke very bluntly on why I buy all consoles and what my predictions were for all three of the major consoles. Fast-forward 4 years years later and it turned out to be completely on the mark. No, Michael Patcher need not worry, because I would need to be wrong numerous times while sounding overly-intelligent about marketing strategies, while at the end of the day I’m just really talking about video games and nothing even remotely important to all of our everyday lives.

In this video, I predicted how Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would fare by the end of this generation, and, without getting into it, just check the figures and polls online and the results are roughly what I stated they would be. The point is I did that video because I was beyond disgusted with the super-fanatical stereotypical nerdy arguments and drama of 21st century expression. I had purchased the Xbox 360 back in November of 2005 and have never regretted the purchase. This system ushered me into the next generation. For the first time ever, my brother and I raced home and booted it up with excitement. We were told it would visually upgrade your original Xbox games, which was revolutionary at the time. Matter of fact, it’s still revolutionary, being that no other system, including the new X1 and PS4, can upgrade last-gen visuals. Wait, that’s right – they’re not backwards-compatible to begin with! Smart move guys, that way they can port more HD classic collections later on and charge for games we already bought years before. This equals extortion according to the FBI, but let’s not get off-topic.

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Having bought the 360, I purchased Call of Duty 2 and Condemned: Criminal Origins, and needless to say, we were blown away. The visuals and audio were nothing we had ever seen or heard before. Now this is 2005; just weeks before that I was still playing San Andreas on my PS2! The graphical jump coupled with this new “High Definition” technology in video games was astounding. Right out the box, we had HD Component cables, outputting 480p “DVD” quality, 720p, and 1080i, the standard with which TV channels are broadcast in today. Hooking up my iPod to the Xbox, I could stream my music and use it as a game’s soundtrack, which for a movie score fanatic like me was pure bliss. I won’t keep describing the numerous features we have all learned and experienced now or expect. A year later, the Playstation 3 launched and after much apprehensiveness, I decided to buy this mammoth of a system, despite its equally-large price. After leaving Toys ‘R’ Us $640 poorer (tax included), I was eager to race home. This large black console I knew had to be teeming with power if it costs this much, right!? I purchased Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm, and was very content. Motorstorm showed visuals I had never seen before up to that point and was thoroughly excited to see the future of this console. Resistance didn’t wow with visuals, but it did please all in its great gameplay and intriguing story.

As 2007 came, I purchased a Wii, because I wanted this experience of new technology that the other systems weren’t doing, and I loved it. It’s great when each system offers a variety that you cannot get on the other two. I purchased Super Mario Galaxy and Resident Evil 4 Wii edition. Both were fantastic titles that went on to score very well and sell even better. By now, I had experienced all three systems in their early years, and what each one was technically capable of, up to that point at least. And now, here is where the heart of this story lies. Throughout 2006 to 2009, there was an outpouring of gamers who continuously spewed hate because of their particular stance on a gaming system. Every website imaginable had ridiculous columns about why each system was better. Now for the first time ever, “gamers” all of a sudden knew or cared about company stocks and marketing strategies, and using these in arguments about which is the better console. Even big websites, which I will not name, occasionally had articles laced with overtones of bias that would, on numerous occasions, start a list of internet comment wars about 21st-century nonsense.

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These articles/boards/comments would circulate throughout the gaming community, leading consumers who are “not in the know” to believe idiotic rumors, and some did not buy a certain console or tend to take a stance against a company because of what a friend of a friend said, or what www.$@$#.com believed. Now to me, this is all insane and I never encountered such a heavily-psychotic problem in the previous generations. I had a PS2 and Gamecube and a cousin with an Xbox and everything was all cool, the world kept spinning. By the time we got to 2009, I had realized the direction each company was going and I released this video speaking my mind on what I felt I could see coming down the road for all three. Now in 2013, I realized, as well as all of you, who had watched and commented that it was a correct assessment. Regardless, this console generation is finally coming to a close this fall. With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I had hopes that this drama would be a thing of the past; clearly, it’s not. Interesting, since this generation, both the PS4 and X1 are going to be so closely similar in specs and features and even appearance in some ways, that the differences between them are the most minuscule they have ever been in the previous generations. The Wii U shows the biggest difference between the three consoles.

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I purchased a Wii U in November of 2012, and have my own thoughts on Nintendo’s latest system and their marketing strategies. Regardless, I have never regretted my purchase, nor have I ever seriously taken anybody’s prediction that Nintendo was already TKO’d when the system just came out, literally 8 months ago. Nintendo has been in the business longer than Sony and Microsoft put together, and they didn’t become successful from having a enormous selection of mature-rated titles or a fully interactive online gaming community. They always come out swinging with their exclusive and creative titles that no other company can replicate. And I have no doubts that 8 months from now, the state of the Wii U will be at a much more prominent status than it has been placed in now.

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Sadly, ever since E3 2013, the fanboy rants have been growing to sizes of yesteryear. With Microsoft’s announced DRM policy (and its reversal), it gave Nintendo and Sony untold amounts of ammunition that is waning at a too-slow rate. I say this because once the Fall hits, all three crowds of extremist gamers will have to rant and rave. They will roar about a piece of cheaply-made plastic manufactured in China on an assembly line. They will then give reasons as to why they “hate” (yes, hate) the other company. I have said it many times before, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony DO NOT CARE WHETHER YOU LIVE OR DIE. They do not care whether you make your rent this month, or hospital bills, or lose your job. Mircosoft/Sony/Nintendo exec’s do not scour the internet messaging you on Facebook, asking “how is the family” and “how your old aunt with the heart condition doing”. They do not care about you. Their business is to generate a maximum profit each year by releasing content people that will flock to stores to buy. And there is nothing wrong with that; it’s business, pure and simple. However, when you hear this sort of “hero worship” or “company loyalty” among the gaming community, I can’t help but laugh and feel sad at the same time for them.

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I still today can’t figure out where this hate comes from. Whether some people simply can’t afford to buy multiple systems, and must create an imaginary world of hate in order to compensate for their tight income, I don’t know. All these years later and it’s still a great mystery as to why gamers/nerds/gaming journalists continue to spew hate and lunacy towards the X1, PS4, or the Wii U and all past-gen consoles. What is this passion and anger that comes from a subject so inconsequential in our everyday world? The subject after all is video games; it can’t be more infantile than that. I am 25 years old and I love playing video games and writing about my feelings on them, and the market as a whole too. However, even I realize that no matter how mainstream gaming becomes, it will always be looked on as an adolescent hobby where the only true facts are that money is spent in vast amounts each year by the consumer.

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The hate doesn’t have to be there this time, the rivalry should not be in our minds and spewing out. We are not sitting high above in an office working as an executive at any of these companies, we are merely a purchaser of their manufactured goods. And of course if you are someone who just prefers one over the other for specific reasons, that’s perfectly normal and acceptable obviously. Technology can be amazing at times, and in gaming, I do not think anybody should have the right or provocation to become enraged or angered by another piece of technology that nobody is forcing you to buy or not. I am a gamer and I love to game because it is a terrific pastime for me. I chose to purchase all three consoles because I work multiple jobs and monetary reasons would allow me to. More importantly, I chose to purchase all three because I can never see limiting myself to one or two, if not all three. If they all seem exciting in different aspects, and are all offering unique experiences in their own way, then why not?

  • Mr. Opposite

    Thank you for this wonderful, completely hate-free, non-fanboy, non-biased article from someone who clearly doesn’t want to use up his spare time writing about how everyone else is wrong and he is totally right, and totally doesn’t want to have anything to do with fueling the ‘console wars’ and totally minds his own business. Truly, thank you!

  • Blade Runner

    I would like to share with you a letter I just recently wrote.
    For me, I just hope this is not the start of the game crash of the 80’s. I was around for that and it was not pretty. I see a lot of the similar things happening today. We the Gameinformer, N4G, IGN, and Gamespot fans are just but a small part of the gaming world. If you think differently then you my friend are delusional. Today’s market is all about smartphones, ipads, and tablets, free to play games and mobile gaming. That is what is making the money now. Go around the office and ask anyone what the price of the new PS4 is or the Xbox One. Now ask them if they have played Angry Birds or Candy Crush. 8 times out of 10 they will have no idea about price but will know all about AB or CC. That my gaming friends is the power of the micro transaction games taking over and the air coming out the console market.
    Me, I hope there are enough of us hardcore gamers left to support the Xbox One and the PS4. And for MS and Sony to continue to invest huge amounts of capitol in. Other wise one of our beloved systems will fail and the other will follow suit due to lack of competition. Remember competition drives innovation and better games. But then again maybe this is why MS is, in a way hedging its bet making a multifunctional entertainment system instead of a dedicated game console like the PS4.

    Regards
    David

    • Guest

      Yep, MS is making the better All-in-One device with multiple functionalities that will please a whole lot larger target audience. The PS4 will be a niche device.

      • Carl

        The problem is that it’s markedly less powerful and actually does very little that the PS4 doesn’t – yes, the interactive swipe and voice controls seem cool, but they aren’t really what I would call a selling feature. Both let users interact with social media, share output, surf the internet, stream videos etc etc. In many ways, the PS4 is superior in that online features such as access to Netflix is in the free section of the PSN whilst it is hidden behind a pay wall on the One.

        The One’s only real stand out feature is that it lets you watch TV. And to be honest, that seems more like a gimmick. If I want to watch TV, I press the channel change button on my remote control and it automatically switches from HDMI input to my digital TV feed. I don’t need a console to do that.

        The one is trying to be a true Jack of all trades device, but in the process it is looking to be a master of none. The PS4 is focused on gaming with features like Netflix thrown in as an afterthought.

  • Jaxon Holden

    Oh, if only everyone were as rational as you, good sir. And for the record, I too have wondered to myself where all the hate comes from. And I think you’re right. People who can’t afford to buy all three consoles would rather convince themselves the others suck, thus justifying their lack of purchase, than admit they’re missing out on an awesome piece of kit and a top tier lineup. People hate to admit it when there’s fun to be had and they’re not included. Fanboys are like high school nerds who, after not being invited to the party, gossip amongst themselves telling everyone how the party sucks anyways, and who would want to go to such a lame event anyways.

    • Carl

      I don’t think the other consoles ‘suck’, just that they aren’t for me 🙂

  • authoriselitistprick

    unlike you most people can’t spend 1000s of dollars on three separate consoles. Whats it like not to know the value of a dollar.

    • Guest

      Remember Ken Kutaragi? Get an extra job you lazy pauperbum!

      • Carl

        Personally, I already work 44 hours a week, nightshift. I don’t have time for another job – and if I did, I wouldn’t have any time left to play the consoles I had taken the extra job to afford!

  • R17

    First of all, I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to read my article and going a step further, and commenting. It gives me a tremendous feeling to have readers thoroughly become passionate about my work. I would now like the to take a brief moment to respond to each of you.

    @9a2c85497813da381ccbcb696609c758:disqus I still am not sure if you truly read my article in its entirety or not based on your comment. If you in fact did, then there seems to be a severe disconnect from your comprehension of the article, and the actual facts that are written out. You stated my article was “non-fanboy” but it seems you were being sarcastic, you also stated I was “non-biased” which I believe was also sarcasm. It seems you believe that this article somehow is about me being a fanboy and also biased at that, which go hand in hand usually. Forgive me for saying this, but I cannot help but find this very interesting, if not humorous because this entire article was about my disgust for the masses that pledge to fanboy scripture and raging biases which promote hate. You also claimed that I supposedly feel “everybody else is wrong, and I’m right”. I never stated anywhere that this particular subject, to which I have a great affection for is describing the entire gaming population as a whole. This discussion was based on a rather small group of individuals whose power comes from their tiny fingers on keyboards, via social media. Lastly you stated that you feel, I am somehow “fueling” console wars. This was in fact the biggest clue as to you’re disconnect between comprehending the main theme, and interpreting it. I had written this article in such a “Black & White” manner that nothing here is subtle, everything is very direct and blunt. How you ever came to the conclusion that anywhere in this 1,700+ word article has even a hint of fueling a console fight is beyond any understanding by me. Thank you truly, for attempting to read it, I am sorry you didn’t understand the message clearly. Regardless, Game on!

  • Carl

    Yeah, I wish I could afford the better part of £1000 for 3 consoles, oh what it must be like to light fat cigars with £50 notes. Well, I have made my choice, based on multiple factors: price, specs (there is a greater difference than you casually dismiss, probably greater than in the current generation), launch games, previous experience (the last time I bought a console I was faced with a choice: spend over £100 more or buy a console that, at the time, was plagued with technical issues. I chose the more expensive option because I was buying something to game on, not ship to the manufacturer repeatedly) and, quite frankly, the attitude displayed towards the consumer by the companies.

    Although you are right that, at the end of the day, all 3 major console makers are concerned about the bottom line how they reach that line is very different: Microsoft’s overall attitude has been very disparaging and contemptuous towards consumers, basically saying “We’re the boss, you’re the skivvy. Deal. With. It.”. Sony and Nintendo have adopted a more friendly approach – no one is under any illusion that they are seeking a profit, but they have presented their products in a far more appealing and welcoming manner, one that entices consumers to part with their money. Nintendo is saying “Look! Link! Mario! Just like your childhood, but MORE!” and Sony is saying “Look! Pretty! Freedom to do what you want with games! Hey, look, give us £3.33 a month and we’ll let you download AAA titles!”. It’s a carrot versus stick approach: Microsoft chose the stick, the others the carrot.

  • Guest

    $0ny PauperStation4 buyers will still be filthy bums and N4Gtards, just like this gen.

    • Carl

      1) thanks for making the authors point.
      2) how odd it is that xbox fanboys are mocking the PS4 for being ‘cheap’ this time, when they were the same people mocking the PS3 at launch for being ‘expensive’. How I love the smell of hypocrisy on a summers day…

      This gen I based my decision, as I described below, on several factors and those same factors hold true with the next gen. PS4 has the more interesting title line up for me: DC Universe Online, Drive Club, Killzone, The Order, Infamous second son – and Knack looks cool too

  • ragnathebloodedge

    This gen. Was too Much on FPS OVERSATURATION and that OverSaturation NEEDS to End.

  • GamingIzPowerful

    Guys I think everybody is tending to go off target here and prove the author’s point! Its clear the Ps3 lagged behind this generation despite Sony’s best efforts and I say that knowing full well, that I love my PS3. I could never see owning an Xbox but not from any hate at all! However this next generation @Carl we have to amdit I see alot of anger already coming from Sony people who have been let down last generation whether we admit it or not. Please dont start coming up with all sort of reasons why you hate the new Xbox or whatever else. Just game with what we have and be happy 🙂

    • Carl

      I don’t hate it – I don’t hate any console. I have explained my choice, the reasons behind it and – just as the author did – stated that MS made some errors in their reveal. It’s not being hateful to point out the simple fact that MS attempted to use a stick (but has had to swap it) with the One and Nintendo and Sony started out with a carrot from the beginning. I admit it’s a slight over-simplification of something as deeply complex as revealing and launching a new product designed to compete head to head with two others, but it is appropriate nonetheless.

      I also said that the PS4 launch window games are more appealing to me and I made clear that that was simply For Me, not that it applied to all. For those who love Halo, the One – especially now that MS have been forced into a frankly embarrassing and deeply shaming u-turn regarding several controversial policies – will be the choice for them.

      I did not say that the One is rubbish or anything similar. I think you are reading a lot more into my post than is actually there, I have no idea why.

  • Bowser435XL

    Im sorry but I noticed that @disqus_zln0hGO9OT:disqus mentioned the Xbox One is

    “markedly less powerful” than the PS4. Not sure if Markedly is a word, but that’s for another time. I cant help but notice that most people on this forum do not have facts anywhere in there arguments and are clearly fan boys from both Microsoft and Sony! Carl did you know that the spec sheet for the Xbox One is not the final numbers, and neither is the spec sheet for the PS4. Those were rough estimates that both companies stated will change come the fall. Also the Xbox One’s GPU will be increased over time thanks to the power of cloud. In lamen’s terms, you will see increased visual power annually as technology improves, without having to buy a new console. Microsoft is future proofing their system, smart move. PS4 also has cloud capabilities but Sony has yet to comment as to whether they put this technology in their new Box as well. Bottom line whether its Nintendo bashing or now the all new Xbox bashing, it all perfectly plays right into this author’s hands. Good Job fella’s

    • Carl

      I was talking simply what is in the box – and the spec’s are unlikely to change significantly now since both products are deep into mass production at this stage. The whole cloud thing is an unknown quantity and not reliable as it based on internet connectivity, which not all will possess, so including it into the One’s computing power figures is ultimately futile precisely because it’s an unknowable element. It could add 5% or 50% and is not reliable – what if a developer creates a game that relies on a 40% computing increase via cloud but a user doesn’t have an internet connection? That game either runs in a substantially inferior manner or not all.

      Cloud processing is a Nice Idea but is simply not suitable for gaming yet, imo – background online functions, sure. But running a game? I have serious doubts. I also doubt that Sony will use the cloud for game processing, given the raw power they’ve crammed into the system (which is also extremely future proof), they are likely to use it in connection with their announced play as you download feature and similar functions. We shall simply have to wait and see. Maybe they will utilize it in that manner in the future, who knows.

      I’m not ‘bashing’ the xbox but rather airing concerns that to me are far too significant for me to consider buying one, especially as I have a limited amount of disposable income. The higher price along with all online features being hidden behind a pay wall are other issues as well. I don’t play online games much, but I do stream videos on a regular basis. As such, being forced to pay to access free online TV resources like the BBC iPlayer or 4OD is rather unappealing to say the least.

      Oh and ‘markedly’ certainly is a real word: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/markedly Second definition – 2. Clearly defined and evident; noticeable

      As for Nintendo, I was skeptical about the WiiU but I got to play the new Mario game two weeks ago in Cologne and loved it. I may get one in a year or two lol

      • Bowser435XL

        The specs can and will change, games that are in production will not be affected by these numbers, as this is for future titles post launch. And it’s rumored that the cloud can possibly do 25%-50% better as the years go on, which is extraordinary. I feel you on the income though it is a tough to make a purchase of that magnitude. I purchased the PS3 back in 2006 and it killed me for months, while there was a drought on good games. Thankfully we got Uncharted in 2007 and I was enthralled! As for users with no internet connection in 2013 going into 2014 Im sorry but I’ve never met anyone in the tri-state area of NY/NJ/CT or anywhere else for that matter who doesn’t not have some form of internet in their homes. And if they dont, chances are they probably aren’t worrying about the gaming consoles or video games in general. Im not happy that Sony is now choosing to charge us to play games online 🙁 that was rather disappointing. However I am going to buy the PS4 just at a later date. I just have to purchase the Xbox One first because the launch line up is too stellar not too. Im getting Killer Instinct for FREE which looks cool and very
        and brutal. The you have Ryse, Dead Rising 3, and Forza 5! Plus I have Quantum Break coming early next year. Once the PS4 kicks into high gear with first party exclusives I’ll definitely throw my money there as well. For the moment though this fall Sony just has a price difference in its corner and nothing more sadly. I have complete confidence they will get better by early 2014 though.

        • Carl

          Neither Ryse, Dead Rising (more of the same, from what I saw – and I LOVE zombie stuff) nor Forza made me go ‘oooh’. The only interesting game was Quantum Break and even that seems better in concept than what we’ve seen so far – they were really pushing the idea that the live-acton blended seamlessly into the game and it just doesn’t, it’s still clearly different. The closest ever, for sure, but still visibly different. It’s the weakest launch line up of any console in over a decade. One ‘ooh’ game is a really poor showing. The PS4 has The Order, Killzone, Infamous, Drive Club, Knack, DC Universe – a far superior launch window line up by anyone’s standards.

          There are millions with unreliable internet – the most obvious example being Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. It also denied flexibility – a simple example, moving home: Internet is, for most people, the final part of moving. But moving is a strenuous, exhausting process and I know I’d want to relax at the end of the day with a good gaming session. The reason for the negative reaction is not about being online most of the time, but being FORCED to do so. It’s taking away a users freedom, their ability to choose and that was what led to the massive backlash.

          Sony are easily in the stronger position with technology, price, games and, most importantly, public perception. There is no doubt that the One will sell well, but it’s definitely the underdog this time around.

          As for putting online play within the PSplus package for the PS4, it’s a not entirely unexpected move. I do applaud them for not placing all online functionality behind the pay wall. But I’m not happy about it.

          • Argus9

            It’s still too early to say which console is more future-proofed, but we know Sony and MS have a plan in place to ensure their new consoles remain viable down the line. Xbox One will use Cloud technology to offload some of the processing workload, potentially expanding the amount of power the console can use as long as bandwidth holds. Mark Cerny has said, on the other hand, that each component in the PS4 is specifically customized to work optimally with each other, ensuring developers will be able to squeeze every drop of performance out of the console on the whole.

            Both methods look promising, but only time will tell how successful each will be.

  • DroidHeadNote

    Carl, Bowser435XL

    Guys listen to their credit, Microsoft listened to consumer backlash, and criticism from the media and analysts, and a few days later the company reversed those
    policies, making offline a viable option for the Xbox One, and removing the
    digital sharing in favor of traditional disc-sharing and a standard used games
    policy.They even explained that the family sharing plan they had envisioned might come back if they could find a way to make it work, and admitted that they
    botched communicating their vision for the Xbox One to consumers.

    Microsoft even said “One of the things I think we learned was that we didn’t talk enough,” “and we were incomplete in a lot of how using the system would work. Because we weren’t participating in the conversation in a deep enough way, it got us sort of off cycle about how we talk about our program. I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons. And I think it’s something that you’re going to see a lot more from us, frankly, is engaging more with the community. I think it’s the number one thing I’d want to do if I went back, was have the conversation more open and more complete.”

    Of course, as with all these messaging problems, the Xbox One fiasco goes deeper than a failure of communication. Microsoft failed to understand what many of its core customers expected, and went ahead with their plans full steam until it was almost too late.

    But unlike certain other messaging screw-ups in the video game industry,
    Microsoft has quickly in corporate terms shifted course and gone about trying
    to repair the damage. This isn’t an easy task at this point, but there’s no
    question in my mind that they’ve made the right decision both in the policy
    reversal and in their messaging shift. The “outrage won’t last forever, and
    once both systems are out and people realize that the Xbox One isn’t evil
    incarnate, it should start to sell well if it lands a price drop and some great
    exclusive titles.” But a price change may or may not come, and “great exclusive
    titles” need to be truly compelling to move a brand-new system regardless if its a PS4 or Xbox One.

    Between awesome article Gamersxtreme!!

  • Guest

    Carl is the picture of the crybaby, that’s for sure.

  • The-Idealist

    Just a really well written article, from a clearly intellectual mind. You guys sure can write with passion. Major Kudos!

  • PierreSinger213

    @Carl My God, I found this fanastatic article here which is the profound opposite of everything you find today related to the PS4 Xbox One and Wii U. But you sir @Carl please to let it go. We understand you have a great affection for all things SONY, and all others are below you no matter what. After taking up this poor sites whole bottom page with you’re one track minded views and body that has seemed to come right off of that picture above “Anatomy of a FanBoy”. It is wonderful that you are thoroughly in love with all things Sony, but please take a breather and realize you are proving the articles thesis.