Over the last weekend I have been struck by the worst sinus infection of my life. I NEVER get sick, but somehow this one has stuck with me for at least four days now. At times I felt like Mario mistook my head for a Goomba that wouldn’t die, stomping on it continuously. Needless to say, I had a lot of time to think as I consumed Cold medications and zombified on the couch.
I thought a lot about the weird PS4 announcement, and how they failed to show us an actual, playable, console. I thought about the race for Microsoft to secure an April announcement for the “720”. Thoughts also lingered about the somewhat confusing launch of the Wii U.
Before I continue, let me preface by saying I love ALL consoles. I have around 45 in my collection from the original pong, commodore 64, and up to the Wii U (if anyone wants, I can show my collection one day-just let me know in the comments). With that said, I do not wish anything bad on any console.
Now, I will focus on Nintendo since we are a Nintendo centric site.
Nintendo is an icon. There is no doubt that they were essential in the rise of gaming. The Atari was great, but many of their games were what I would compare to as today’s mobile games. They were something that would pass the time, but not necessarily meant to spend hours on (although I did as a child). Nintendo, with the help of Sega’s rivalry, changed that. Together they forged the way for memorable characters such as Mario, epic adventures such as Final Fantasy, unconventional heroes such as Samus Aran, and even a hint of weirdness such as the game Taboo. Nonetheless, they set the stage for today.
With the Sega/Nintendo Rivalry over, as finalized (in my eyes) by the integration of Sonic into Super Smash Bros. Brawl, we now see the battle has morphed into a three way grudge match. In one corner, we have the defending champion constantly surprising the masses with innovative punches and re-imagined counter attacks (such as the evolution of the power glove into the Wii controllers we see today). In the other corners we see Sony and Microsoft. Since they are fairly newcomers to the sport, they gain a lot of fans and endorsements rather quickly. The band wagons fill to the brim, causing the fight to spill over into the crowds.
As stated previously, I like all consoles. However, I feel that the non-Nintendo fans tend to be a bit one sided. The following is an actual conversation I overheard from a couple employees at work.
EMPLOYEE 1: Dude, you should buy an Xbox 360, it is the best.
EMPLOYEE 2: No way, PS3, all the way! I don’t want to play against babies every time I play online and the graphics are better.
EMPLOYEE 1: But XBOX Live is way better. PS3 sucks because it doesn’t even have Live
EMPLOYEE 2: Who cares, it has a blue ray and HD.
That is pretty much the whole conversation, and it started because both wanted to play Black Ops…and did I mention that one was in his early 20’s and the other early 30’s? They didn’t care about the other games on the console, or the Kinect, or PS Move, or anything else. One cared about Xbox live, the other cared about better graphics. Sadly, this seems to be the norm.
What about content?
In reality, content is what makes a console successful. Without it, why make the console to begin with. What sets Nintendo apart is the abundance of content that is exclusive to the company. Sure we can bring up Mario, Link, Samus, etc… but I believe they have not even begun to tap the forgotten talent such as Lolo, Bub and Bob, and Mike Jones. There is literally a large catalog of characters waiting to be resurrected. Now think of Sony and Microsoft…can you name one exclusive character, within ten seconds, that could carry the console?
Well, me neither. However, one thing the two have done very well is to convince the third party developers to create games for their consoles. With DLC, pre-order bonuses, and various other “perks” for buying on their consoles, Sony and Microsoft have successfully taken the industry in another direction, catering to the fanboys(girls). Although I would prefer if a title was exclusive to one console, I totally understand that in today’s gaming world it is not the best decision. That would be like saying that only Walmart can carry coke products, and only Target can sell Pepsi, while all other retailers sell RC Cola. Financially, and fundamentally, it is just ridiculous. So, they spread the wealth. However, Walmart can still sell its own brand of soda, without allowing others to do so, and still be very profitable.
I will apologize if my analogies are strange, as previously stated I consumed mass quantities of cold medicines over the weekend…I think some might still be lingering.
Now, onto the next gen consoles. Many have questioned Nintendo’s lack of “urgency” in releasing games on the Wii U. I believe that they are playing it safe, and should be. Sony showed us some very impressive stuff during their reveal. Microsoft will do the same during theirs, hopefully capped off with an actual console. Nintendo can not guess at the final product of the two consoles, so they need to save their best cards until the official launches. What could be worse that playing all of your aces up front, then have nothing left when your opponents lay down their hands later in the game?
Basically, if everything came out at once, we would buy it , play it, beat it, leaving games such as this to be our only hope against the new consoles…
So, in conclusion I have to say that there is a place in the world for the PS4, Wii U, Next Gen Xbox, and even the ouya. I not only welcome them all, but feel that it is essential that they are all players in the game. Without the competition, innovation would be slow, and our games might get stale.
What are your thoughts, should I rethink this when the meds wear off, or did I find some clarity through my headfog?