Thursday, 12 January 2017

Consoles are no longer consoles anymore.

By Sam Coles:

Console gaming is something I’ve stuck with for the past 15+ years due to the fact the convenience of the plug and play nature. However that convenience has dwindled since late 2012 with the annoyance of waiting for updates and installs to finish.

Back in the day PC’s use to be a royal pain in the neck to game on before the period of Steam where everything was at your fingertips, so if you wanted patch a game you had to wait for the company to produce a file or floppy disk if you go further back to 90’s with a patch. The consoles back then had the advantage because when you bought one you could take it out of the box, hook it up to the TV, put the game in and it would start with a loading screen or two but you were straight into the game with no installs or updates.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 was the step into online gaming with consoles and this wasn’t a problem it was fantastic that games could evolve from standard local multiplayer to global multiplayer were you can make friends from all over the world. This was also great as well as they could fix minor problems and bugs with games with small patches, these were mostly harmless as they were generally between 1-10 MB at most. However once we got towards 2012 the patches started to get bigger and some games started to come with mandatory installs which resulted in console gamers waiting rather than playing. Then as the 7th console generation came to a close in 2013 games came with installs due to the hardware being stretched where they couldn’t stream the data from the disc alone.

The Xbox One and PS4 released in November of 2013 which like any gamer I was super excited, I didn’t get the two consoles until 2014 and I was super excited. However as I got the consoles an ugly reality cropped its head up with the huge patches as game developers realised that they could produce a low effort release at launch where they could fix the problems later. We had infamous launches such as Battlefield 4 not working where it took DICE nearly a year to fix, along with Halo The Master Chief Collection which came with a massive 22 GB patch, but the game still didn’t work properly. This is where the plug and play nature of consoles for consoles died and I understand that games are now bigger and require the horse power and other things to run them but it is persuading me to get a gaming PC and leave consoles.

As of now we have these mid generation consoles which add a bit of extra power due to the fact the consoles were under powered when they were released, this is where these companies have forgotten the reason why people buy consoles because when you buy a console you have a fixed piece of hardware for at least 5 years and then you move on to the next one. These “new” consoles are dumb in my opinion because these specs are what the Xbox One and PS4 should have been when they originally released these damage controlling consoles really show the state of gaming on consoles.

Reading this you probably think I hate the Xbox One and PS4 and that is not true, I like them I’ve played some fantastic games on the systems I’m just merely highlighting the issues that they have, you can like something and still critique it that’s what makes us human.

This was a short editorial about how consoles aren’t really consoles anymore they’re trying to be PC’s and inferior PC’s at best. Honestly I might just give up on future consoles and move to PC gaming as the parts are getting cheaper and they are easy to assemble. Who knows maybe things will get better but it’s not looking good at the moment.

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