E3, The Next Generation Of Consoles And My Apathy



The PS3 was released in 2006. I bought mine, second hand, last summer. To say I am a late adopter is an understatement. I am a casual gamer at best, and usually during the summer months when 1) there isn't anything on TV, and 2) I'm on holidays. It takes a lot to get me to sit down, day after day, for long stretches, to play a game all the way through (it's happened twice in the last year, with Lollipop Chainsaw, and recently with the Saints Row games).

But I've always been a loyal console gamer. Atari, Nintendo, SuperNES, 64, then I made the jump to the Playstation, and the PS2. And they all did what I wanted them to do: play games. That's all I wanted from them. Buy a game, put it in the machine, play it, turn it off, rinse, repeat. If I wanted to play with someone else (which I rarely did) I invited a friend over. Or popped the cartridge in my pocket and hustled myself over to their house (a SuperNES buddy of mine and I had no duplicate games between us, making the arrangement equally beneficial). And I've still got each and every one of those consoles, in fine working order. And if I'm really itching to sit down and play a game, I'm more likely to load Super Mario Bros. 3 then any of the Uncharted titles.

What pushed me over the edge, what broke me down and convinced me to finally get a PS3 was what always turns my head: Batman. I wanted very much so to play the Arkham games, and it really was worth it. Not worth the whole price of a new system mind, but what I got mine for previously played was what I considered acceptable. That was as much as I was willing to put into it, and marked the first time I've bought a second hand system. Second hand games, I've been buying since I picked up Donkey Kong Country 2 at half off. They're as much a part of gaming as the actual gaming. Wait long enough, I've always said, and everything is $20. Be it at HMV or Best Buy into the discount bin, be it after being rebranded a "classic," or be it at EB with a yellow sticker. I've never been one to run out and buy a game on release day, having the self restraint to wait the months out until depreciation kicks in, a tactic that comes in handy now, having to wait a year or more for the "Game of the Year" or "Complete" editions, which include DLC on disc (my collection is about half and half in terms of bought second hand or initial).

My PS3 isn't connected to the internet, nor will it ever be. If I sit down to play the game, I don't care how many trophy's I have compared to my neighbour, or how my melee skills match up against some kid in Kuala Lumpur. And I don't appreciate the fact that, thanks to DLCs, the games I'm buying are essentially incomplete games. I could give two fat tuffs about skins or vehicle packs, but actual game play, additional levels (or in the case of Mass Effect, endings), that is tantamount to kidnapping. That the Catwoman levels, intrinsic to the game, weren't included on the Arkham City disc, is borderline criminal. For what I want out of the experience, I'm just as happy to pop a game into my PS2 then anything. And thanks to second hand shops, there is a backlog of games I've never played that are only getting cheaper.

So I won't be buying a PS4. And as E3 gets ramped up, and we actually start to hear details about the system over the next few days, I'll have my check list out, as I did for the X-Box One, about all the things the system is focusing on that aren't gaming, and are making me less and less interested in the whole gaming industry. The companies making these systems are doing their level best to alienate long term loyal customers like me, in favour of making the machines capable of doing every damned thing as easily and seamlessly as possible, except play games, which will be a nightmare to sort out, despite the fact that it's the thing that should be the primary focus of the machine. Will I be missing out on some stuff? Sure. Not right now, as developers are still cranking out games of the PS3, and will be at least until next year. But I'll have to pass on the third proper Arkham game (not the prequel). And any follow-ups to Tomb Raider. But if Sony is going to expect (as Microsoft has) me to do anything other then just plug the system (any system) into the wall and put the game (any game) in, then they have vastly misunderstood how much I want them to have my money.

So, I'll be doing as Yahtzee suggests, and not taking part in the new generation. Unless of course Sony surprises us, and announces this week that they are reasonable people and the system won't be a $400 corporal punishment session, in which case I might pick one up. In four or five years.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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