The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
"We don't need no beta testing. We don't need no bad controls."
When I was a
child, my parents impressed upon me the importance of finishing what you
started. Giving a homemade gift that was either halfassed or not
completed was considered the height of rudeness. And as an adult, I
fully stand by this idea.
Which is why
I've been somewhat nonplussed by the problems that unfinished technology
seems to bring to the gaming (and technology in general) market. When I
was younger, one's hard earned money was to be spent on the highest
quality product for the best price that lasts the longest.
Quality, value pricing, and longevity. It's like the Triforce of great technology!
the Game Boy/Game Boy Color and SNES might have been considered
"ancient" by our current standards of gaming, the majority of games that
came out worked. When you pressed the button to jump, the character
jumped. The direction pad made the character move in the direction it
was supposed to. And the console? It had a good long run to the point
that by the end of the console's lifetime, developers were pretty
comfortable with making games for it.
other console that really felt the same way was the Playstation 2, which
beyond the SNES, is basically the King of Consoles.
I SAID CONSOLES! CONSOLES! NOT COSMOS!
According to Wikipedia:
"The PS2 is the best-selling console of all time, having reached over 150 million units sold as of January 31, 2011.
This milestone was reached 10 years and 11 months after the system was
released in Japan on March 4, 2000. Further, Sony said it had 10,828
titles available for the system and that 1.52 billion PS2 titles had
been sold since launch.
In late 2009, with developers creating new games and the console still
selling steadily a decade after its original release, Sony stated that
the life cycle of the PlayStation 2 will continue until demand ceases. The console was succeeded by the PlayStation 3 in 2006."
Yes, you heard them right. PS2 games were still being made, 3 years
after the release of PS3 and there are a couple titles that are STILL
being made, even though we have PS3.
Someone forgot to tell this to technology companies.
today, we have so many products and each one seems to have a faster and
faster level of obsolescence with the obligatory gigantic price tag, and
for what? A product that promises to "improve" later on? So what is it
with the madness of developing products that seem to be eternally
"beta" (or below?) in quality?
Sarah Perez of Read Write Web has some thoughts on the subject:
"The everyday consumer doesn't buy a product based on its "potential."
They buy based on what works, what they can afford and what they're
told is good.
Sadly, there's no way around the fact that companies have to rush to
ship in order to have a chance at catching up to Apple's already
dramatic lead here, but it's also the very thing that's causing these
products to either fail, stagnate, or just barely hang on as the
companies quickly try to ramp up behind-the-scenes.
Wouldn't it be great to see something finished, polished, complete, perfect and downright disruptive,
from someone else besides Apple? I'd welcome the change, but even as
Windows Phone-using, Android-loving, PlayBook-testing, iPad-owning
gadget fan, I don't believe that day has arrived yet. What we have
instead is a lot of spaghetti thrown against a wall, and some that will
What will your next gadget be? Choose wisely, you have a lot of money riding on that bet."
This does not just apply to tablets, unfortunately. When the XBOX360
first came out, for example, there was a huge problem-THEY PUT THE
PROCESSING UNIT NEXT TO THE HEAT SYNC. And unfortunately, this led to
the aptly-name "Red Ring Of Death."
....and then everyone died...well, not really, just the XBOX, but no one was really surprised about THAT one.
I don't know
if I mentioned this, but when my husband first got his white XBOX 360,
it red-ringed after maybe a month. The replacement lasted about 6
months. And it kept going on like that every so often and long before
his "extra warranty" would run out, he'd be back, replacing it for
another one. Finally, he got so annoyed, that he ended up trading his
360 in for the newer version, and so far, it's been pretty good, because
they finally MOVED THE DANG HEAT SYNC.
This is the
kind of thing that keeps making me really afraid about the next
generation of consoles and handhelds. Remember when they released the
"free sleeve grips and wrist straps" because people were throwing
Wiimotes through their windows and TV screen? Remember when they
created the Wii Motion Plus and then decided to make you pay 30 or more
bucks PER CONTROLLER to make it do what it WAS SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN IT
I mean, we're
already seeing this with the Wii U and the 3DS. Technology that
generally comes out an exorbitant price but looks somewhat half-done and
within a couple of months the lackluster sales show it for what it
really is-a lot of glitz without very much substance (kind of like all
those processed foods they keep trying to sell us at the store). Sure,
we get a lot of publicity and people buzzing about it on their Facebook
pages, but generally the reality is less than expected. And the worst
part? The price tag goes up and up, suckering people into buying
inferior products that really aren't much better than prototypes and
All work and no gaming makes Jack want to TAKE AN AXE TO HIS CONSOLE AND THE JERKWAD WHO SOLD IT TO HIM!!!!
about the PS3 hacktastic month of fail? Even though we've been on the
internet for years and know pretty dang well about the fact that once
you put something online, it's vulnerable to attacks by nasty hackers,
apparently Sony did not take this into consideration when they developed
their console to hook up to a network and go online. And that's not
even beginning to talk about how much of an energy hog the PS3 is on
your monthly PG&E bill. According to the PG&E guy who came over
awhile back as part of PG&E's program to lower low-income
properties monthly energy expenses, you can run an XBOX and a Wii for
hours without a significant spike in your energy bill, but a PS3 will
quadruple your energy expenditure if you leave it on for just a couple
hours. Imagine my shock when I heard that!
cares if your PS3 was rendered almost as useless as a paperweight?
Well, at least your energy bill was only 20 bucks that month! It's the
small things, really.
When the DS
first came out, I thought, "Ok, that's kind of cool," but I still waited
a number of years because I knew it wasn't ready yet. Then the DS Lite
came out and I was in love with the simple shape and ease of use that
it inspired in the gamer. That and the brighter screen sealed my
purchase (it helped that they were doing a limited edition Zelda
release). The truth be told, Nintendo took the DS and basically did what
they forgot to do for the Wii. They started out simple without any
bells and whistles (take a look at the graceful simplicity of launch
titles like Polarium, for example), but they WORKED and gosh darn it but
they were FUN. Of course, as games continued to be released, they
found ways to put touch screen integration into the game in a more
seamless way (remember Okamiden, Hotel Dusk and Elite Beat Agents? each
of these games were perfectly matched for the DS's touch screen).
Toad is watching you.....as you frivolously spend your money on crap.
When the DSi came out, I was basically like, ".....Seriously guys?"
The DSi is
basically the 3DS prototype, only without the 3D. It feels and acts a
lot like a prototype too (the only reason I know this is because I had
one for a short time- it was turned in by a coworker who found it on the
ground at the park and I figured out where the kid who owned it went to
school because of all the pictures in the system, and then was able to
return it to the school to the principal, who recognized the pictures
and called the kid's mom so that she could come pick it up). While
there is access to the DSWare store and the camera editing abilities,
generally these are apps that are done far better by most Apple
products. Once again, Nintendo is trying too hard to tack on random
stuff to "match up" with other technology markets that are releasing
polished, finished products, and it shows.
Apparently, if you look at 3DS screens too long, your face will stick this way.
And the 3DS
so far has not really interested me, because other than being really
expensive and generally having more expensive games that I generally
won't even play in 3D ANYWAY, there is really no reason to get it.
Ocarina of Time, you say? I have it right here, on the N64, where it works just fine.
Link to the
Past, you say? My SNES is still plugging along, and it's only a little
younger than *I* am-that's pretty dang impressive for a piece of
Oh, what? Tetris? You see, I stil have my GBA SP, and I can play Gameboy and GBA games whenever I want.
there are games that I'd love to play for DS that have not been
localized yet, and my seething resentment at the fact that Nintendo
seems to love to shut down production on pretty much every previous
incarnation of their console/handhelds once they jump to something new
and more lucrative, but that's for another blog.
conclusion, I guess what I'm trying to say here is that in regards to
crappy beta BS and unfinished prototype designs being sold as "finished
products," my answer is a resounding
As for my
belief that companies have the capacity to understand this fact and
decide to work on creating more quality products (including both
console, handheld and software) that are fully finished before releasing
them to the public, I say:
And honestly? I think it's up to us, the gamers and gaming fans, who need to take a stand and say,
"NO MORE BS UNFINISHED PRODUCTS AT BS HIGH PRICES!"
Of course, if you want to give me your beta prototype for free, I'm totally up for that. ;)
So, any thoughts, gripes, complaints, rants, or nods of agreement?
I await your responses as always! :)