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One Big Rant: Consoles anno 2013

So this is how it's going to be huh ? 2 Years ago I made a dutch blog article on a site I regularly visit. The very fear that I expressed there was laughed away and look where we are now. The new consoles are presented, and more than ever, they are drifting further and further away to the point that they don't have the right to be called "game consoles" anymore. They become digiboxes and glorified videorecorders/internet players for your tv and still are crippled in this regard compared to what you can do with the PC. Oh and by the way you can also play next generation games on it but get this: 90% of these games are going to be available on PC and the other 2 consoles. Does it make any sense to buy a console like that ? It raises some problems for those people who are really into gameing.

Why ? Let me explain.

I'm proud to use the oldest cliché in the book right now. Back in the old days, things were better: because it's true! 20 years ago, I could buy a SNES game and think that it was exclusive. Most of the games were exclusives for their respective consoles. The games that were spanning multiple console releases were usually games derrived from movies such as aliens, turtles, terminator, James bond. And you know what ? It was COOL that you could play all of them on different platforms because they also were remarkably different. Consoles were different in tech and requirements so the game makers usually made entirely different games based on the same franchise.

Rightnow, they all are on about how development of games should be unified and developers get more efficient in just cloning the exact same game for each next gen console available. So what is the result of this ? About 90% of the games market consists of games available for all 3 consoles. Those consoles cost $300+ each. The "uniqueness" of the console is mainly becoming pretense. Publishers/Manufacturers try to tell you that the marginal amount of real exclusives they have and the "exclusively on our console before anyone else" should be a reason for any consumer with a healthy mind to lay down money for it. Then they top this travesty off by saying that you'll receive this or that exclusive DLC if you buy this or that console.

If I look at the console marked as it's being presented today, I see utter wasteful pluralism dressed up as "cool features" that go astray. Fart while you are playing call of duty and your background wallpaper will change to a beautiful forest on the fly while you are looking are sports results while you are skyping to your friends while you flap your hands around to bring up the next tv station you want to choose when you close the game.

Really ? I would even like to go as far as saying these consoles are an encouragement for highly undesired home economics situation, where the kids are nagging for console x but then find out that they can't play that ONE game which is "only" availalbe for console Y, but both consoles aren't even about the games anymore but all about forcing an artificially created tourettes-livingroom mentality that nobody needs and just costed you +$600 as a parent why ? Because that ONE game is not available for the console you bought and you need to buy a second box to satisfy the need for exclusivity.

Not only do they forcefeed irrelevant readymade TV UI shizzle on the masses, you need the right subscription from the right provider to get it all working. It's especially even more worse in areas where all these plans can't be unfolded because of the difference in ideas that different countries have with their TV/home entertainment markets. In various countries you'll not even be able to enjoy all the "connect and share" hoola because cable companies are monopolizing all of their OWN subscription based boxes onto the market.

So if you have a digital tv subscription and you want to play a console game, you pay money for one AND on top of it all you pay money for a console that you can't even use for 50% even if you wanted to. What if your kid wans that other cool game about survivng another zombie apocalypse which is only available on the PS4 ? Then you have this diahrea of boxes in front of your tv that cost you about $1000 and half of it is only going to be used for playing that smathering of exclusive games, and for the rest ? Where does all that wasted money serve it's purpose ? Hype!

I can just sum it up like this. Console builders now want a perverted market where they don't care about being unique and exclusive, but more about artificial buzzfeatures and temporal exclusivity just to up their sales figures, but it doesn't bring any substantial feeling of identity to any specific console.

If you wan't exclusivity, play handheld games on the device that is uesful to you: your phone. Your nintendo handheld is unique because games have to be uniquly designed for that platform and are usually new stories. This gives me the nostalgia of the 90s. For the rest ? Really: those games that are being degraded to work on consoles, I play them on my friggin pc, alt tab and talk with my friends on facebook (oh wait, I can take my I phone for that which is a useful device for me because I bought it as my one and only mobile phone that I can use to also see my location on the map if i'm in a new area I've not been before. You know It's cheaper this way, not to mention that those are time tested platforms that are build and have evolved for doing just these useful things.

The rest is just indoctrination and useless pluralism. Are you going to build a house with 2 bathrooms where in one bathroom is one exclusive design closet ? No, You would want that design closet in your FIRST bathroom. Consoles cater to a mindless market of buy buy buy, brag brag brag, buzz buzz buzz.

Talking about bathrooms, you know when I will buy a console ? When I can remotely flush my toilet, activate my microwave, turn on /off the lights and if it cooks my dinner also, because then I at last have a central station for all of this and that would be useful beyond playing games :P