The Next Next Generation

When the Playstation 3 launched it cost as much as a car, the controllers didn’t have rumble, and the system used power at a rate of 1.21 jigawatts/hour.  And there were no games ready for the system that anybody anywhere cared about.

The XBOX 360 launched as a white box that had no functionality — you even had to pay extra for the motorized tray add-on.  Oh, and 2/3 of all 360’s die horrible deaths from internal melting.  Two of mine did, and I’m not going back for the third.

Now we finally have the next generation consoles we should have had at launch.  Everything you need to actually play video-games is now built in to the 360, and the Playstation 3 only costs as much as a large Starbuck’s coffee.  The operating systems for both can finally be considered “acceptable,” and neither is very likely to implode into a black hole anymore.

(P.S. Microsoft, take a pointer from Sony’s design and put the air intake vents of the FRONT of your system so that your console doesn’t just recycle hot exhaust if there’s so much as a wall withing ten feet of the damn thing to block air-flow.)

Which raises an important question: what the fuck happened between the last generation and the “next” generation?

Remember Nintendo’s Nintendo?  Remember how the first Nintendo system to roll off the assembly line was the same as the last ever made?  Remember how when you bought a video game system you could reasonably expect it to work?

And this isn’t limited to systems.  Games are frequently pushed out the door with known bugs.  Remember when you paid for a video game and you got home and you opened the video game package and put the game into your game system and then actually played the fucking game?  Now it’s assumed that before you actually play the game you’ll have to download a patch so that the game won’t summon poltergeist into your home.

Yes, games are more complex now.  Yes, the corporate structure of game development requires unforgiving deadlines (unless you’re Polyphony) in order to maintain profit margins.  But we shouldn’t have to put up with this bullshit.  I mean, imagine if, say, your phone was sold to you with a known issue that made it nearly useless as a phone.  Or if your car was sold to you with a known issue that turned it into maniacal battering-ram without any notice.  Would consumers put up with that?  Would people continue to purchase such products by the millions?

Fuck.  What was my point?

Right, as far as I’m concerned next generation gaming consoles only actually arrived this year.  That’s four years after the mainstream media mistakenly reported the first coming of the next generation.  Four years.  Four years after launch, we finally have the consoles that should have been.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sit in front of my TV and fondle my Driving Force GT Racing Wheel while I wait for Gran Turismo 5 to get here.  And I swear to god, if I have to download a day-one patch I’m going to burn down Japan.


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2 Responses to “The Next Next Generation”

  1. Gil Says:

    Totally agree. My “next” gen PS3 is still burning 1.21 Gigawatts of power and that’s in stand by mode. I don’t understand why systems get rolled out before all the bugs are fixed. The biggest problem is that people still buy the faulty product. I’m one of them unfortunately.

    Oh and my buddy is STILL waiting for GT5. I’m seriously doubting their announced release date. Didn’t they already release it? Oh my bad, they decided that it was taking longer than expected so they released a piece of GT5 with the title Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. So damn sad I tell ya.

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