I was reading a digital verses physical argument on a popular gaming website that I frequent the other day. Since I am taking some business classes at school I thought I would write up a whole perspective on what I think was not best for the consumer but best for business because what is best for business usually ends up benefiting the consumer down the road anyways. I won’t get into that argument instead I wanted to use that as a lead up into something else entirely, but somewhat related.
Recently Nintendo announced they are shutting down the WiFi Connect, the online service that is required to play Nintendo DS and Wii games on the internet. It got me to thinking how often this must happen. Now I am all for having digital copies of my media, I prefer to have everything in one place on one device it’s convenient. What I don’t like is the Cloud, or streaming or digital stores. I don’t buy many movies on iTunes or any of the other services but I do rip my own DVD’s to my hard drive and have them available at the click of a mouse instead of having to shuffle all those discs around. I like having a big collection of DVD cases on the shelf too but there comes a time when its just simpler to put it all on a hard drive and be done with it.
The most current gaming console I own in a Playstation 3. Part of that is because Nintendo lost my interest when they came out at E3 and made a big fuss about Wii Fit and forgot that there were real gamers out there buying their machine too. I won’t dig up all the reasons I ended up hating the stupid Wii and getting out of console gaming for nearly five years as a result. Instead I will present my reasons for wanting to get a new gaming system and what each one I am interested in has to offer.
I am not going to do the whole bullet point list instead I am just going to tackle this head on. Let me be frank, I am a gamer not a fanboy. I got a Playstation and an N64 on the exact same day and I have been gaming on my PC since the Atari 1200 days. I got a Sega Genesis for my 12th birthday after going through a long period of being an NES kid. That is not to say I don’t have my biases or preferences just that I am not a cheerleader for a company and their product, if it is a good product I buy it if not I move onto something else. So far the PS3 has been a pretty good machine and it inspired me to go back and buy a used PS2 and revisit some games I missed being a GameCube gamer back in the day.
As always I am not in the position to buy every gaming machine around so I have to decide which one to get first and which one to wait to hit the clearance bin. As much as I grew to despite the Wii it did have a good start and some worth while hits sprinkled around all the crap. Due to that and my long history of Nintendo gaming I always have to put their newest console on my want list even if it falls off sooner or latter.
As of right now the Wii U is appealing to me because it does have a few good games, Super Mario 3D World looks amazing, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze has me replaying all the old DK games, New Super Mario Bros U and New Super Luigi U both look like fun games I could play and unlike most Nintendo fans I haven’t cared for Legend of Zelda in years but Hyrule Warriors has me seriously interested in the franchise again, imaging a Zelda game that keeps the fun parts (the world, the combat, the characters) and removes the boring stuff (the cut scenes you can’t skip, the endless side quests, the running in circles back tracking to every last place just to find that one small detail you missed), and there are two pretty good looking Sonic the Hedgehog games one that is out and one that will be here next year. The problem is that’s pretty much it, besides a few decent Wii games I might pick up for the backwards compatibility, there is nothing else to get excited about on Wii U. I am not interested in another Mario Kart, I liked the SNES one and played a couple others here and there but I was never big fan anyways. I hate Mario sports games (or sports games in general) and so those are not interesting to me. I liked Smash Bros. Melee but the stuff I liked about it has not been carried over to the newer ones so there is no reason to get excited about that. Not to mention I prefer *real* fighting games which despite what the Nintendo faithful claim Smash is *not* a real fighting game. Everything else on Wii U can be found elsewhere or isn’t worth paying what they are asking for. Right now Wii U needs to come down at least $100 bucks before I will consider it and still needs a few more games. I have no interest in Bayonetta 2 as I never liked the first one that much. What does that leave me X? No thanks not interested when I could play the vastly superior Lost Planet games already.
What about getting a PS4? Well I am still interested in this machine even though the launch hype has died down some. What makes me interested in the PS4 is simple, despite their difficulties getting PS3 off the ground they still managed to end up having the best games around three console generations in a row. My interest in PS4 isn’t so much what is out now as it is the potential. I know that eventually there will be a new Castlevania game, a new Mortal Kombat, a new Street Fighter, a new Final Fantasy, a new… the list goes on and on of new games that I expect will make their way onto PS4, games that I thoroughly enjoyed on PS3. I also am still somewhat interested in some of the games that have been announced, despite being fewer of them than on Wii U, the few there are at least have me more interested than just reliving the past, again. One thing Sony does best is pushing the envelope and giving gamers *new* experiences mixed with sequels of the games we grew up with. Nintendo is a one trick pony, its all Nostalgia all day long with them. BUT if you actually compare side by side, Playstation has more vintage and classic games than Nintendo. I am not trying to bash Nintendo but go back to NES and all the best franchises not made by Nintendo turn up in new iterations on Sony machines not Nintendo machines. In fact on pure nostalgia Sony beats Nintendo every time, Mario and Donkey Kong is about all Nintendo has for classic franchises still going, Zelda is floating around but that series is such a mess I can’t even pretend to get excited for a new Zelda game anymore. Just a quick browse on the Sony PS4 website I already see plenty of games to really get excited about, not to mention I am still dying to get my hands on Watch Dogs and let’s be honest even if I get a Wii U I won’t be playing that game on that console. While I do like the media features of Playstation to me those are just extras not even a deciding factor for me. Still Sony sold more consoles in three months than Nintendo did in a little over a year, to me that says which one is going to get the support and as a gamer I go where the games are and Wii U is seriously lacking in games right now.
Then there is the Steam Machine. Now here is where I am really torn. I want to get a new dedicated gaming console that much is sure, and I am in desperate need to upgrade my severely outdated gaming PC. A Steam Machine kind of sorta kill two birds with one stone. It is both a super powerful gaming PC and a dedicated gaming console. I already have Steam on my PC which I enjoy very much. The library of games is second to none. Now I do still have a PS3 which I will keep getting games for and eventually PS Now once it launches, if it turns out worth getting anyways. Some would say get a gaming console and a PC or just get all of them but as money is an issue I can’t do that. I DO need to get a new PC anyways so that money is not coming out of my gaming fund but if I get a Steam Machine and it satisfies my console needs that is just more money for games and less spent on getting two new machines. Also it has the same advantages as gaming PC’s already enjoy, minus one minor detail but that’s not important to my decision.
Before I wrap this up let me say Xbox is not now nor has it ever been an option for me. I don’t play online competitive games and I don’t care for Halo one bit and the best games on Xbox are also on PC, at least with PS4 there are console exclusives with Xbox its pretty much all on PC anyways with a few rare exceptions that aren’t usually compelling enough to me to justify the machine. Since I game on the PC anyways my consoles are usually for the games I can’t get on PC which usually forces me to get Nintendo and PS both. After the mess that was Wii I am reluctant to ever buy a new Nintendo machine ever again. So far I have never been burned with Sony so there is one more reason to remain excited for the latest and greatest gaming machine from Sony.
In the end I will likely get a Wii U down the road used and pick up a PS4 either this year for my birthday or for Christmas if not sooner. I am still in the market for a new portable gaming device as well but that is an entirely different article. This is not an evaluation of the gaming market and this is not a what you should buy, this is just my personal views on which gaming device I am considering. I wish I could just buy them all but at a consumer on a limited budget I have to try to be practical. Also as a gamer I can’t just sit back and keep replaying old NES games on my emulators either.