The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
In previous console generation transitions I was not an
active participant. During the showdown
between the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 in 2005/2006 I was an architecture
college student spending my days and nights in studio drawing plans, building
balsa wood models, and super gluing my fingers together. The price alone, $300-$400 for the Xbox 360
or $400-$600 for the Playstation 3, at launch was not a possible purchase for
me. Instead I purchased a Playstation 2
rationalizing that I also needed a DVD player for the much more comfortable
price point of around $100. My initial
purchase of a Playstation 2, a memory card, and a couple of games was sustained
well into the current generation with buying used games from the Playstation 2's
extensive gaming library.
Who is holding onto their current consoles through the new console releases? And their teeth?
Nowadays, the console changeover faces the ongoing
digitization of games requiring continuing online support for simple playability
and a market with more challengers leaves me curious at the legacy of the soon
to be old consoles. Besides those of us
holding onto our current consoles, what are those who purchase the current
generation in cheap bundles actually buying?
Look ma! I am famous!
In early September 2013 Microsoft announced that the Xbox
360 would receive at least 3 years of support by Microsoft following the
release of the Xbox One and I was relieved.
I simply wanted access to my gaming library. With gaming digitization I remain unsure
which of my disc based games, single and multi-player, will play without server
access as well as whether or not my digital purchases will play after Microsoft
shuts down Xbox 360 support. With the
upcoming releases of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 I discounted new current
generation exclusives. In my mind, the
remaining big franchises such as Bioshock Infinite and Grand Theft Auto V
signaled the end of current generation only releases.
Additionally, after both consoles announced no backwards
compatibility due to changes in the hardware architecture my mind gave no
further thought to the strength of console exclusive games for the Xbox 360 or
the Playstation 3. I envisioned
Microsoft and Sony laying down their current generation gaming library in the
pursuit of next generation. Therefore,
the "future" for those of us who are not early adopters would be cross
Smack talk makes the console war fun and this smack talk includes a VCR reference.
Within two weeks of the proclamation that the Xbox 360 would
be supported into 2016, Microsoft's Fable Anniversary was delayed from a fall
2013 release to an indeterminate 2014 dates.
Without the game's release, the Xbox 360 has no console exclusives this
fall. Reading that the delay is
potentially indicative of Microsoft not supporting the Xbox 360 similar to the
rapid abandonment of the original Xbox upon the Xbox 360's release surprised
me. Surely console exclusives matter little when the entire company is working
towards a new console release I reasoned.
Yet, for fall 2013 the Playstation 3 already released Kingdom Hearts 1.5
HD and the just released Beyond: Two Souls was highly anticipated.
I realized that I did not expect further games solely for my
Xbox 360 only that Microsoft kept the lights on. After all Xbox Live continued for the
original Xbox until 2010. Still, coupled
with Microsoft's announcement of 360 support was the claim that the 360 would be
home to another 100 new games. Sure, many
of the Xbox One's highly touted games are cross generation releases, including the
behemoth Titanfall. While cross
generation releases are in line with my expectations whether or not any of the
100 new titles, besides the now delayed Fable Anniversary, are console
exclusives is highly questionable.
Still, I wondered, does it matter?
Is this the future? Or a future frustration?
All the while, Valve's recent announcements of Valve
essentially invading the living room with SteamOS, the Steam machine, and the
Steam controller continues to diversify the upcoming console generation. With more platforms than ever for gaming,
Valve stepped into the television based console fight. While Microsoft lost the "always (or at least
once every 24 hours) online" fight, Valve is the digitization of gaming.
We never know what will catch on in the next generation.
The Steam machine is not about game development. The games already exist in a massive gaming
library separated largely by console exclusives. In fact, Valve's announcements leave me
wondering if Valve has any employees available with so much hardware and
software in development for game design (I kid...maybe). The entire purpose of the new peripherals is the
transfer, the epitome of backwards compatibility, of PC gaming to the living
room television with a variety of machine configurations running the SteamOS
and available to play with a gaming controller rather than a keyboard and
mouse. Games yesterday, today, and
tomorrow are presumably available with the Steam machine awaiting only proof
that the system works. Following such a
PC transition, all games would be digital.
The Steam brand is strong and the definition of modern day PC gaming but
the demise of Steam is the demise of your gaming library. Remember when Dell and Gateway dominated the
Valve's announcements offer more questions than
answers. Will the Steam Machine begin a
Linux revolution? Are all new games released
playable on a Steam machine without checking the minimum requirements to run
The dichotomy of the console approached snagged in my brain. Traditional consoles created a new machine
with the express (mostly) purpose of playing video games but unable to play the
games of its precursor. Valve picks up
an entire gaming library and is dropping those games in the living room
promising the PC gaming library playable by a console controller on the living
Choices for us all! Now we just need enough dollars so that we are not faced with such difficult decisions!
Valve potentially moved the concept of video game legacy
from a death clock countdown of the gaming hardware to until the developers
turn off the servers. The gaming systems
remain separated by gaming libraries with the Steam machine bridging the
console generation gap but not playing Sony and Microsoft's exclusives. The Xbox 360 may be largely out of contention
for high profile gaming exclusives but with DLC announced for the one million
players of State Of Decay, the audience is there ready to play the games built
only for the system, for now. We will see what games the companies bring to us in both the current and new generations.
For anyone who reads my posts, forgive the 2 week unexpected
hiatus. Other than the usual in schedule
craziness I began assisting GI ex-intern Josh Straub with writing for his
website regarding accessibility in gaming, dagersystem.com. Certainly check out the site, we post news
daily with features and reviews weekly!
Meanwhile, I am back to juggling my schedule to fit in my goal of 52
blogs in roughly 52 weeks with about 4 months of writing to go.
Are console exclusives a primary concern for you when
choosing which console to buy?
What is your favorite console exclusive this year? Or this generation?
What is your prediction for the Steam machine?