E3 and the console wars.

So E3 dawned upon us and every company is making their bid to take the lions’ share of the market with promises of exclusive new games and remakes of old ones. As I’ve grown older my excitement over these announcements has somewhat diminished overall. It might be due to my age or maybe it’s simply I’ve matured past the point where if I wanted a console I could literally go buy it on the spot. But, it seems like nowadays everyone else is out there focusing on the so called “console wars” and it is simply the most idiotic reason for a discussion considering these companies don’t give a care in the world for us.

You heard me right, I hate the console wars, they’re simply a marketing ploy by the companies to have the fan-base fighting amongst each other. Nothing gets more publicity than a bunch of geeks defending their product it is a marketing scheme that has been used in everything from oppression to fear mongering. Don’t believe me? Read this article: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-powerful-people-trick-you-into-hating-underdogs/ (after you finish with this of course) it just might open your eyes to reality. Listen if you love your gaming console and are willing to go on a limb to defend it then kudos to you, your passion is something to admire. However, couldn’t that passion go towards something more constructive? I’m sure that hidden talents lie within all of us. Just because they aren’t openly apparent does not mean they aren’t present deep inside. Perhaps we just need to step outside our comfort zone and explore our surroundings better.

Do understand that no matter who “wins” E3 (bear in mind you can’t win at something which is not actively a competition and this is an expo) we lose. Why do we lose? For one our wallets will suffer and these companies will continue to exist and exert their underhanded tactics such as day-one DLC and on-disc locked content, store-specific pre-order bonuses (in order to maximize gains from you having to buy the ones you didn’t get), peripherals which nobody wanted *cough* Kinect *cough* Wii U tablet *Cough* Ouya (fully aware this was an attempt at a console) *cough* Fallout 4 second screen that isn’t gimmicky *cough*.  A lot of fans don’t actually want these things and they keep shoving them down our throats. I’m not fond of these marketing ploys, yet I fall victim to them all the time. I’m actually trying to complete the Amiibo collection without resorting to scalpers, for the sake of future value (I see them as an investment when I’m 50), and I’m fully aware they are a gimmick. But, we all have a guilty pleasure and I guess little plastic figurines are mine. Companies are basically mining us for funds just like we’re pawns in a much larger game.

I guess that playing on a PC has changed my perspective on console wars. I mostly keep to indie titles and I will probably blog about those in the future. The open platform, the indie market, cheaper games, and an amazing modding community have all opened my eyes to the opportunities presented by this magnificent gaming console. Not to mention the amazing summer sales (kudos to you Gabe Newell you lovable overweight bastard). Steam is an amazing platform as well and despite some minefields (looking at you paid for mods) they have it pretty well sorted out. However, not all that shines is gold, and the PC master race is no different. We have people argue about specifics all the time, and believe me it’s not cheap to afford a new rig if you’re unfamiliar with building computers. What you save in games you actually spend upfront for a computer that will last about as much as the same generation of consoles currently out there (perhaps even less if you can’t update consistently). We also have the unfortunate side-effect of certain games not being optimized for PC and unless you have a specific graphics card you can’t play properly on a game. Not to mention compatibility issues with sound cards and other types of hardware which will seem like a nightmare to inexperienced users. However, this is definitely the console of my choice and I love my rig to death.

I consider the Wii U as a side-console which is used for the exclusives and party titles and playing with friends as well as guest. But, will I defend Nintendo when they screw up? Hell no! The Wii U was a terrible name for a console and it pains me to see people mistake for a peripheral. The games, however not so much. Nintendo has produced some of the most amazing titles for this console and for some reason that is beyond my comprehension it just doesn’t seem to fly off the shelf (somebody at marketing really screwed up). Smash Brothers 4 just keeps getting more incredible with each new character, and now we’re getting “Earthbound Beginnings” too! I’m glad to have had the opportunity to played the original SNES Earthbound in the virtual console. The E3 Nintendo Direct event last year was also impressive, and I can’t wait for tomorrow for that same reason. Bayonetta 2 came with Bayonetta, Pikmin 3 was incredible albeit short, Hyrule Warriors was extremely enjoyable despite the lack of online co-op (which frankly needed to be there), I played over 600 hours of MH3U, MK8 was so enjoyable I also had to buy the DLC for it so I could race as villager. But, if you notice there is a distinct lack of third-party titles there (which again my PC is for) and that is a huge detriment to consumers everywhere looking for next years Call of Duty (also beyond my reasoning seeing as yearly releases are annoying). Finally I end on a high-note with Splatoon this game is amazingly fun. I love how colorful and enjoyable the matches are, and despite the lack of voice-chat (seriously what the hell Nintendo) it is so much fun to play even when the ranked matches make me angry. Good job Nintendo your latest newest IP has been magnificent, and I’m impressed. Their future lineup is looking amazing still, and I hope your sales continue to pick-up Nintendo since I’m totally buying the new Zelda game when it comes out (and that thing looks amazing).

PS4, what can I say about you that hasn’t already been said? You’ve won the console war thus far and didn’t even have any titles to your name. It truly goes to show what a little underhandedness can do to bolster sales when you do the opposite of what your competition did the day you both announced them.  You’re getting Final Fantasy 7 remade despite Square-Enix claiming that they wouldn’t remake it until they finally had another Final Fantasy title reach it’s level of critical acclaim and I’m not sure they did. It sucks having to swallow your pride sometimes doesn’t it Square-Enix? The PS4 is a powerful beast of a console, and while most of it’s titles are on other consoles (Yes, I know Last of Us is a Playstation Exclusive, but it was in the PS3 for goodness sake). But, hey Infamous Second Son was truly good and they’re also getting KH3. Their presentation is superb and the practical lock-down on the RPG market ensures a healthy share of sales from hardcore gamers. Sony has done the impossible and mostly learned their lesson from last generation in which their pricing and lack of justification proved to be their downfall. It seems like other companies might want to take a page from Sony’s book this time around and learn what they did wrong to fix it instead of simply throwing more money at it hoping to make it go away. A little side-note Shenmue 3 is a PS4/PC semi-exclusive FOR THE WIN!

Finally we go into Microsoft and the Xbox One.  The Xbox One has been a roller coaster ride from the beginning, they have however caved into the demands of the fans and that demands a solid level of praise. I’m so happy that the console is becoming backward compatible since I was waiting for this event to happen in order for me to even consider buying the One. However, the Kinect was an unnecessary piece of trash that nobody wanted and you forced on us (this did not work out in your favor). It goes to show that when gamers actually band together with their wallets people listen.  I love the new announcement for the Rare Replay pack and it truly harkens back to a golden age of gaming where platforms games reigned supreme. The new controller looks slick and I’m hoping to try it out one day too. But, it’s presentation was mostly the same old FPS or third-person or over the shoulder view games. I’m frankly getting sick of this type of game. I hated Mass Effect 3 for plenty of reasons (primarily that 3 color ending), but the game went from an RPG shooter to more Gears of Effect as the series went on.  But, again I end on a high note. Thank you Microsoft for listening to your fans and eliminating the Kinect and making your console backwards compatible you did something I also never thought would be done and heard our cries.

So gamers! People! Casual Fans! Listen to my cries! Let’s band together against the practices we don’t like! We shouldn’t be victims to this kind of torture anymore! We have to finally put our foot down and say no! We don’t want early access releases that never go into a full release! We don’t want day one DLC for anything! We don’t need gimmicks and peripherals which we won’t use for the most part at all! Yearly releases???? More like Expansion packs with new skins and extra chapters! All this is unnecessary we want solid games, made with love and care instead of beta testing for you! The fiasco with Battlefield 4? This shouldn’t be happening to us. Sims 4 bare-bone release? We already played multiple expansions of 3!!!! We want full games, our 60 to 80 dollar purchase to be worth every penny. If we aren’t getting a 1 hour to 1 dollar ratio on our games then at the bare-minimum make us feel like our money went towards something truly good. Something that is genuine with a truly well done effort! Instead of these screwed-up releases year after year in order to meet a release date. We’re tired, we’re done. But, first we need to put our wallets where our mouths are.

This article is copyright of the original writer.


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