Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gaming Tuesday- Next Generation of Consoles

It's been a while right? I've been skipping out on doing this post for months, because I haven't had the desire to do it. So, a quick recap since the last time I've done this.

I passed 30,000 gamer score. It's very exciting for me, because that's what I call my "e-penis"*.

I missed playing a lot of the big games that came out near the end of 2011. I've really tightened my purse strings. I played Saint's Row the Third, Modern Warfare 3, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

A Super Late 2011 Wrap-up

In terms of 2011 games, I would say my Favorite was Saint's Row. I missed out on Arkham City, which I think I will really enjoy once I get around to it. L.A. Noire was disappointing to me based on the quality of gameplay I expect from Rockstar. There were amazing graphics in that game, but it just don't quite have what I like to see from an open world game. It was just too linear. Also, another thing really hurt was the game being on multiple discs on 360.

Modern Warfare 3 and Assassin's Creed both were great games, but they didn't quite do it for me. Call of Duty's campaign was even more over the top than Black Ops' was. It was nice to have the story wrapped up, but I really didn't have a fucking clue how to follow the story. The multiplayer was interesting and fun, but I just am so CoD fatigued that it just didn't offer enough for me to stick with it.

Assassin's Creed felt like a bit of a let down after how fantastic Brotherhood was. I'm not sure exactly how to quantify my feelings about. The gameplay was fine. The story wasn't as good, but it certainly wasn't a bad either. It just felt like such a rehash. I'm fine with sticking with what works, but I just didn't feel any progression in this game. It kind of just seemed like an annual money grab.

Saint's Row the Third was exactly what I expected it to be. It didn't try to be something it's not. It's fun. It's silly. It's easy. Lots of explosions. Lots of ridiculous weapons. Dick punches. Over the top and unabashed about it. It was just so enjoyable to play and stress free.

Next-Gen Consoles

There have been lots of leaks and rumors about the next generation of consoles; many alarmist stories about DRM and the crusade against used game sales. I don't exactly understand why the video game companies have such an issue with Gamestop really, but they do and it may be enough of a carrot to them to start developing an a new console.

I'm not sure what exactly they're going to look like. I feel like the Playstation 4 leaks are more likely than the Xbox 720 leaks. However, I think both Sony and Microsoft didn't want to release next gen consoles until 2015, but it seems Sony trying to recover from the fiasco with PSN last year and their inability to compete with Microsoft in this round of consoles is causing them to push for something sooner. If there is any credibility to the 720 rumors, which I kind of doubt, it seems like Microsoft is pushing up in response to Sony to keep their edge.

I kind of have the feeling that Sony and Microsoft are on different paths. I think Sony is looking at a future with Blu-ray and Microsoft looking at digital distribution. Putting Blu-ray into a console was the PS3's crowning achievement and I suspect the next Sony console will improve on that with better internal memory.

Microsoft on the other hand seems to be refining the means of having a console that is disc-drive free. The introduction of Games-on-Demand and cloud storage to the 360 makes it a disc drive unnecessary except to play the newest titles. With that said, if Microsoft are indeed pushing up the 720 it would almost have to have a disc-drive, because I don't think the digital distribution is quite robust enough yet to be the only means to gameplay and if a 720 has a disc drive it would have to be Blu-ray. There is no doubt that HD-DVD was the wrong horse to bet on and the 360's lack of readable disc space was made clear by L.A. Noire last year.

I am a big proponent of digital distribution. There are some issues with DRM that will need to be sorted out, but I think would be a great future for video games. The lack of discs or a disc drive are two more pieces of hardware that one wouldn't have to worry about failing. It also is really convenient. I've started using Games-on-Demand recently and love it. Things are kind of over priced right now, but I feel like that would correct itself if there were new releases on there and the means of downloading was more efficient.

If I was braver, I would proclaim, "Physical media is dead." I'm not quite that brave yet, but I definitely think it's on it's death bed.

One thing I definitely believe that has come from the rumors is that an internet connection is probably going to be required to play the next generation consoles. It is unfortunate, but the nature of digital distribution and the prospect of piracy are going to make the manufacturers want an account to tie individuals to and a way to track them easily.

No one cares about Nintendo. Shut up and go play your Wii.

Thanks for reading



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