Fall 2014: New Generation Console Not Needed - LetMeGetToACheckpoint Blog - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

Fall 2014: New Generation Console Not Needed

The Xbox One and the Playstation 4 are nearly a year old. Following the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Evolve came away with the "Best In Show" and the accompanying buzz as the fall 2014 "it" game that will usher in "next generation" gaming as it releases only on the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. The field is largely clear for Evolve this fall because the other anticipated Xbox One/Playstation 4 games - Batman: Arkham Knight, The Elder Scrolls Online, Dying Light, and The Division - are now delayed.

One of the most anticipated games is a cross generation release. It may not look as pretty but its playable on the old console generation.

But not only are cross generation games continuing to release into the fall 2014 but so are games only for the last console generation. What is the current state of console gaming? Are we (console gamers) playing the latest technology or are we largely sticking with our well-beloved consoles? For all of the talk about the most amazing games coming to the Xbox One and Playstation 4, the continued support for the last console generation helps us delay that $400-$500 console upgrade for at least one more fall rush.

The Borderlands Franchise

Want to keep up with the Borderlands series? Keep your Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. 

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launches this fall a year after the Xbox One and Playstation 4 but the game, an AAA title, is an Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (plus PC) game only. Additionally, the frantic shooter is receiving the storytelling treatment by Telltale Games in Tales From The Borderlands and again the game is Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (plus iOS and PC) only. Tales From The Borderlands is slated to release sometime in 2014 (or beyond given Telltale Games' history with deadlines).  

In fact, Randy Pitchford of Gearbox was explicit in his explanation that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was a last generation only game if only solely based on mathematics. He quotes 150 million installed Playstation 3's and Xbox 360's whereas the installation base of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One is less than the copies sold of Borderlands 2. Therefore, Gearbox is focused on making a last generation game albeit with recently reported consideration on a current generation port in the future.

The story is canon and  not announced for the Xbox One or Playstation 4. 

Meanwhile, Telltale Games' take on the chaotic co-op shooter is an interesting new way to explore a game's lore outside of the base game. Similar to the books, comics, and movies for popular games that may or may not be known for the narrative such as Halo and Gears of War.

I am curious at how a game known for its co-op shooting translates into a story driven game. 

The screenshots released so far of Tales From The Borderlands is indicative of Telltale Games' now expected gameplay. Screens show cell shaded art with conversational options that includes a timer. Game Informer's latest preview in issue 255 mentions more action based gameplay than past Telltale Games' titles but such content is an unknown as Telltale Games' last foray into shooting in The Walking Dead, Season 1 was arguably the worst content of the game.

Additionally, the story will be canon. My Telltale Games save files kept me glad of my Xbox 360 for continuing my original journey in The Walking Dead. Thus far, the only games announced for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 are both seasons of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.

Despite any future port of the Borderlands franchise to the Xbox One or Playstation 4 in the fall 2014 the series continues and expands on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 giving Borderlands fans a reason to not trade in their consoles just yet.

Dark Souls 2 DLC

If you thought that you beat Dark Souls 2, think again. 

Dark Souls 2 is a March 2014 release of a game exclusive to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (plus PC). The game launched to much critical and commercial acclaim as well as left more than a few gamers (including my brother) saddened that Xbox 360's and Playstation 3's were already traded in for their console upgrade.

March may be an eternity ago in gaming time as the fall approaches but From Software knows how to retain relevance. A three part DLC series, "The Lost Crowns," for Dark Souls 2 will release one by one over three consecutive months - in July (The Crown of the Sunken King), August (The Crown of the Old Iron King), and September (The Crown of the Ivory King). The DLC launching individually for three months with content that's assumingly difficult to complete provides a competitive reason to keep the last generation plugged in for Dark Souls 2 fans. At $9.99 each or $24.99 for the season pass even the cost is competitive and affordable.

Reinvigorating a previously released game is the purpose of DLC. A game that only months ago that was at the center of attention and was forgotten within the buzz of newer games. Now leading up to the year's hottest releases Dark Souls 2 gives its players a reason to return for three consecutive months.

A Playstation 4 is needed to keep up with the spiritual successor to Dark Souls which in turn is a spiritual successor to Demon's Souls. 

Time may be limited for Dark Souls 2 fans to play on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 because From Software's Bloodborne, a spiritual successor to the Dark Souls series that is a Playstation 4 exclusive, is slated for a 2015 release. But 2014 belongs to Dark Souls 2 which is playable only on the last console generation.  

Titanfall and Destiny

Giant Titans, parkour and AI bots are also available on the Xbox 360. 

Titanfall and Destiny are games with backstories as interesting as the games. Titanfall by Respawn is built by the original creators of the Call of Duty franchise who left the series under less than friendly circumstances. Only to resurface after a legal battle that spanned years with a new first person shooter that combines the FPS genre with parkour while using Microsoft's famed Azure servers for cutting edge matchmaking and AI bots added to each match.

Destiny is by the designers of Halo, an Xbox flagship franchise that has strong Sony ties giving the Playstation brand exclusive and timed content. Destiny is a space adventure by the developers who defined gaming in space while combining the MMO and FPS genres and bringing the experience to the consoles without even a PC option (yet).  

The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 can also handle Destiny. Do you think the old console generation editions will be delayed as per Titanfall's launch?

For Titanfall and Destiny, the studios' narratives contributed to a buzz around the studios' first released game that rivals the buzz around any other game. The games are making headlines and are heralded as the next best thing in video game innovation. Does the growing frenzy around Destiny's beta feel familiar? I distinctly remember beta key giveaways for Titanfall taking over Twitter until the beta became open. Destiny's beta just opened a little more from a beta only available for preordered copies with 3 beta keys provided per code to allow players to bring along their friends without beta access.  

Both games are cross generation releases. The much hyped features of the "next generation" are playable on the older consoles. If we want in on day one for the game experiences of the year, we don't have to upgrade our consoles. In fact, Destiny has publicly spoken to its commitment for porting characters between the console generations (the feature doesn't currently exist).

These controllers aren't particularly needed for one more gaming fall. 

So far this fall, the majority of the acclaimed games are cross generation releases - Madden NFL 15, Destiny, NHL 15, FIFA 15, Alien: Isolation, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, NBA 2K15, Battlefield Hardline, The Evil Within, WWE 2K15, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Far Cry 4. The Xbox One and Playstation 4 only games who are battling for establishing the threshold of next generation gaming are - Evolve, Driveclub, Assassin's Creed Unity, Sunset Overdrive, and The Crew.

The only cross generation game I would definitively avoid is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor given the announcement that its much discussed Nemesis system will be heavily scaled down on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 port. But a similar difference in features hasn't been in previous cross generation games or announced for upcoming games.

Looking at the fall schedule, with a handful of the upcoming games current generation only and the majority being cross generation games with mostly identical features, only a coat of paint difference, holding onto my Xbox 360 isn't keeping me from the latest games (for now).

Have you upgraded your console? If not, are you purposefully waiting? If so, are you happy with the upgrade?

Do you buy cross generation console games for the "old" generation?

What game are you most looking forward to this fall?  

 

 

comments