Last time on phantomrachie presents: I was highlighting how much of a console fan I am and why it is weird for me to have no idea when or even if I’ll get a next gen console.
Now let me tell you why:
Last summer I built, or more specifically my boyfriend built, a gaming PC.
This PC, combined with Steam and an adaptor that allows me to use my Xbox Controller, has changed the way I game.
I used to only play games I was pretty sure I’d like, because they were so dammed expensive. Now I just put something on my wish list and wait until it gets cheap enough for me to try it out. This is how I got to play Papers Please and the Stanley Parable.
Also, Mods have opened up even games I had played to death on the Xbox, such as Dragon Age and Skyrim.
Even though I have found a new love in PC gaming, there is still a place in my heart for consoles.
Some truly enjoyable games never made it to the PC, Ratchet and Clank for example ,and, some games are better on a console.
I LOVE the Mass Effect series and so I bought it for my PC hoping to mod it, but it is poorly optimised for the PC (at least, the first one is) There are few mods for it, so I still fire up the old Xbox to continue my never ending journey with Shepard rather than slogging through on PC.
So, my new PC doesn’t fully explain my indecision over the next gen consoles.
My thoughts divide into 3 categories; Games, Graphical Upgrades and Features.
The launch line up for all three consoles was terrible and months later it hasn’t gotten much better;
The Wii U’s launch titles were; games already out on the Xbox and PS3, sports games and shovelware.
Only months later did a Mario game come out. There is still no sign of a release date for a Zelda game or Mario Cart. Metroid and any of the other Nintendo staples are not even on the horizon.
The Xbox One’s weren’t much better; some racing games and a sports game and the new instalments of some overlong franchises.
The PS4’s line up was almost identical to the Xbox One’s apart from Knack and Killzone and I’m not sure Killzone counts as it is Sony’s version of Battlefield.
Looking into the future the games situation doesn’t seem to be getting much better.
I was excited for Watchdogs but after the last trailer, I’m not so sure anymore and the rest of the games I’m interested in will either be on PC or are not enough of a reason to buy a ~400 Euro console.
So perhaps I’m better off waiting until more games are out before I make my decision.
Quite frankly, the graphical upgrades the Xbox One and PS4 provide don’t seem like a big deal.
Look, I’m aware that all console gens start out with games that don’t utilise the hardware. Mass Effect is the perfect example of this.
Compare ME 1 to ME 3, the differences are startling and they were released on the same console. HOWEVER, there was a significant graphical upgrade between the Xbox and the Xbox 360 and the jump between the PS2 and the PS3 was even more obvious.
I look at the graphics on the Xbox One & PS4 and I think: it looks like a high-end Xbox 360 or PS3 game.
Over time I’m sure the differences will becomes more apparent, but for now I just don’t see it.
The Wii U is currently the only console content to be a gaming console while the Xbox One and PS4 fight to be a weird PC.
The Xbox One wants to be your media centre.
It has music, Netflix, YouTube, social media and oh yes, games. While this might make sense for people who want to hook up their Xbox in the living room and make it their media hub, it makes no sense for me.
I’ve got an Apple T.V. which also has music, Netflix and YouTube and it cost me 100 EURO. It’s hooked up in my living room so my housemate or boyfriend can watch Netflix while I play games in a room we’ve colourfully named the ‘War Room’ (all of our PCs and consoles are there). This means that me playing games doesn’t hog the media hub for someone who wants to watch T.V.
The PS4 on the other hand wants to be a PC for gamers who like to share and stream content.
- You have to install your games but it takes longer than it takes to download a game from Steam.
- You can stream your gameplay but you can’t edit it like you could on a regular PC.
- You can share your videos online but only with sites the PS4 decides.
Basically what I’m saying is: a PC is a better version of a PS4.
While these features may be of interest to some people, I’m not that into them.
As the Xbox One and PS4 become more and more PC-like and less and less like gaming consoles; why buy them when I have a PC with more functionality that can be upgraded.
The Wii U seems to be focused on games which would be great……if Nintendo would release any bloody games.
At least all its features seem to be based around trying to enhance the gaming experience rather than its role as a media hub.
Looks like I’ll have to wait for a bit longer. Until Nintendo release some games or until Sony and Microsoft update their consoles with some gaming features.
It might be a long wait.