Lately, gamers have been bombarded by tons of press and magazine articles and the like about the next generation of consoles. And exactly what we should (or shouldn’t … or even maybe) expect about the games that will be right around the corner at launch date. So much misinformation has come out that most of us have gone to I-No-Longer-Give-A-Flying-Shit-Land. About 60% of us play games on the PC, so that’s a no-brainer about how we’re going to game in the future anyway.
But I’ve taken the liberty (or had the liberty taken of me) to look into these mythical beasts of the next generation to see what can be seen. Let’s be honest – they truly are mysterious entities of the kind of that Schrodinger imagined when he put cats in boxes and introduced decaying isotopes as a poison trigger. What exactly are we looking at here? Can the manufactures be trusted? Is that crazy looking contraption only worthy of Rube Goldberg the real deal or some hallucination created by the architect as he huffed glue fumes in the tiny little closet office he was given because architects are never given enough space to do anything in today’s world?
So without further ado, let’s start with the first console of the new age that came out way ahead of the others because Nintendo suffers from Release Tourette Syndrome.
NINTENDO WII U
We don’t actually have to guess what the Wii U – which sounds suspiciously like Nintendo’s attempt at trolling every gamer ever – is about, because it’s already out. Which is a shame, because it’s clear that Nintendo should have taken more time to think about what they wanted everyone to consider their next generation console instead of rushing it out the door like some drunken uncle trying to impress his friends with his mentally deficient cousin. “Oh but he can do math!” the uncle cries, forgetting that normally everyone else who is slightly intelligent can do math, “Seriously, long division and all that!”
So what we have here is last generation’s console only slightly spiffed up to support slightly better graphics and processing power, but is still the same ol’ box that glows so brightly in a dark room when you have something going on with your account that it wakes you up and keeps you awake until you turn it on to see WTF is so important. It also had a humungous controller that has it’s own screen, because … two screens are better than one? Didn’t we already do this with the GameCube and the Nintendo Gameboy Advance systems? Because that worked oh-so-wonderfully and that held up like a steel bridge under a constant shower of acid rain.
It also didn’t help that the Wii U only had like two games at launch that anyone cared about, and that most of the games that came out afterwards were like a second thought and a realization that “Hey, maybe we can squeeze the slowly dying Nintendo fan base for just a little more money before they all disappear!” Electronic Farts flopped around on whether to even make games for the Wii U, that’s how bad it was.
Final Word on the Wii U
Some games it does well, some it does not. You can play games while other people are hogging the TV to watch Netflix on the XBox 360. At least we know what it looks like, because Nintendo can hold back releasing a game like a dog can hold back peeing on the carpet when it gets overly excited.
SONY PLAYSTATION 4
If any of you read gaming magazines or go to gaming sites, you’ll know that the Playstation 4 has like the most hype for a system we haven’t even gotten a glimpse at yet. Seriously – no one knows WTF the new game console looks like because not even Sony knows what it looks like. Let’s be honest – and this is going to just make Sony fans mad – there is no Playstation 4 to look at because Sony likes to blow smoke up our arses until they know exactly what the new XBox is going to look and play like. Because Sony is that bloke in the back of the pub that likes to wait for everyone else to whip it out before coming up and saying, “BUT MINE IS MORE **** THAN YOURS!”
The only real thing we know is what the damn controller looks like. Which to me, looks like a disaster waiting to happen.
Seriously, all we have is a nebulous bunch of specs for the PS4. It does this, maybe it does this, maybe it has this CPU power, maybe it will do this on the Internet. Maybe it will drunken dial your ex-girlfriend for you when you start sobbing like a bitch because you miss her so much but you should have paid more attention to her instead of your stupid game of Killzone 2. What we do know is that it won’t be backwards compatible, it won’t even have a disk drive because everything will be downloadable from the Internet. Awesome, since we trust Sony to protect our information like they did when those kids hacked into the Sony PS Network and stole all our credit card info.
As far as I know, the PS4 might just cook your toast for you.
All I know is that it will play games like Destiny, Resident Evil: Devoted to Crap, and Final Fantasy Eleventy. And they’ll probably look good, like they would on my new computer.
Final Word on the PS4
We don’t know what it looks like or exactly what it might do. We do have an idea about what games are coming out for it, and that it will be a Facebook/YouTube social machine. And that it’s controller looks massively overdone. I might still buy one, though, just to play Bungie’s new gaming drug (Goddamn drug pushers.)
MICROSOFT XBOX ONE
Because we all were guessing pretty decent titles for the new console, Microsoft went back and officially named it the most confusing thing they could think of. The first XBox was just XBox, the second XBox was the 360, and now the third XBox is the Xbox One. Right. Sounds totally legit. JFC.
Unlike Sony, we have seen the future of the new XBox. And it is as black and squarish as … say … the PS3 and the 360. Innovation has never been Microsoft’s strong point, as anyone using Windows 8 will tell you. So we have this big black box and it’s big black Kinect camera device and these big black controllers. Shown against a big black backdrop so it’s incredibly hard to see these fucking things.
Unlike Sony, who told us straight up what they know their machine will or won’t do without showing us a picture of the machine itself, Microsoft has shown us the machine but won’t exactly tell us what it does or give us good specs. Instead, they seem to make a lot of statements that they end up retracting or clarifying later when the Internet lets out a giant roar of disapproval. As if this machine was being built as they talk about it on gaming sites. Look, if you want to crowdsource a gaming console, we have a place to do that called KICKSTARTER. Jesus, Microsoft. Also, what is with this no backwards compatibility thing? Is it the new in-thing to do?
The thing that seems to be bugging people the most is that the Kinect camera thing will always be on. Watching you and taking notes. Maybe video taping you shagging your girlfriend awkwardly on the couch and sending it back to Microsoft so the executives can have a good laugh. Maybe making sure you are doing your taxes on time and not spending 30 hours a week playing HALO 9000. Or whatever. But it will do one thing very well (as we learned from the weaksauce presentation):
YOU CAN WATCH TV ON YOUR TV.
And the reason they did this is because young people have no idea that the previous generation used to watch TV via the airwaves. That networks sent out these large signals across the sky and we picked them up by antenna to watch them. Everything is always via Internet for the new generation, so why not re-introduce them to watching TV like everyone else used to watch TV? It’s all about the big TV networks. With less commercials, of course. We wouldn’t want the big networks to die off because no one watches TV anymore, right?
Final Word on the XBox One
You can watch TV on your TV and basically chat with your friends via the creepy Kinect camera. You may also be able to play some games. We’re not sure about that. Microsoft retracted their original statement that it will play games and now it “might” play games. It’s a huge ominous black box in your entertainment center. I’ll probably buy one two years after it comes out when it’s on sale for Labor Day or Memorial Day or President’s Day. Whatever.
Everyone’s getting so worked up about the next generation of consoles. I say we just sit back and wait since we have no clue whether the Wii U is going to be the best system or not. The hype is so bad that you can cut it with a knife. So instead of being glued to your computers watching this entire war go by, how about you play some games on Steam? Or are you going to bitch about that too, since apparently Steam is trying to shoehorn independent game designers into just publishing through Steam?
Welcome to the new frontier.
- Nate “EmCeeKhan” Baumbach (@emceekhan)