How exciting! Two brand new next gen consoles to choose from – but what do you go for? The Sony Brick Station 4 or the Microsoft Underpowered TV Box? Hmm. Sorry folks, but for the moment I’m going to have to plump for neither. This is a weird feeling for me. It’s not that I’ve ever had a problem with PC Gaming (in fact, some of my favourite Retro Games originate on the PC,) but I’ve always just had a little more affinity for consoles. From the convenience of being able to drop straight into a game within 30 seconds of pressing the power button, to the prevalence of “Pick Up ‘N Play” titles, I’ve just always felt more in tune with the box under the tele.
Over the last generation though things have gotten a bit strange: While Consoles have spent the last view years becoming increasingly pc-like (mainly thanks to all of those long installation times and patch downloads,) the growth of steam has effortlessly streamlined the PC game buying/running process. Even more confusingly, game libraries are merging too. Strategy games and hardcore simulations are less prevalent no the PC, while consoles are becoming a relatively platformed and arcade-free zone (aside from Sonic and Mario, of course.) You can even use a 360 controller on the PC. Blimey. Still though, with all that said, I’m still essentially a console gamer. Chances are that, even with this merging of worlds, I would have turned up and paid my money If someone had produced a half-decent offering. Sadly, Microsoft and Sony both decided to take the mick.
Microsoft are, of course, the obvious target. Ridiculous DRM nonsense aside, its incomprehensible that they have essentially crippled their console as a game machine in order to include a load of pointless media functions that no one actually asked for. Especially when they haven’t even got them to work. Sorry guys, taking 2 seconds to press my TV’s “source” button was not a problem I wanted anyone to fix. In fact, not only do I not consider it a problem, but I consider it much less of a problem then having to blurt out ridiculous titles like “play Batman Arkham Origins: Game of the Year Edition” every time I wanted to play a sodding game.
Microsoft were out of the running months ago then, but sadly Sony decided to let us down to. You see, the problem with letting the convenience genie out of the bottle is that it’s very hard to force it back in again. The PS3 is a fantastic media streaming device and – in any household where the demand for Peppa Pig is strong – an essential piece of kit. If you’re trying to sell me a £400 replacement which doesn’t really offer anything new, you should at least replicate everything I already have. I really don’t care that you have movie and music stores to entice me to. So then, with the two big players out the of the way, where next? Wii U?