Why the Next Gen will be another Golden Age of Gamingon November 14, 2013 at 8:00 am
I think the vast majority of gamers would call the 16-bit age of gaming the best era of gaming. Some of that might be blind nostalgia, but I can’t refute it, myself. That period was SO GOOD for our hobby. There was tons of innovation and refinement. The graphics not only hold up, but still look good.
There is a huge cornucopia of classics that come from this time, many that are still regarded as the best in their franchises, like “Super Metroid” or “Final Fantasy VI”.
Hardcore fanaticism was at its peak during this time, as well. You were either on Team Mario or Team Sonic and you had to defend your choice by using the made up jargon you heard on commercials.
“Well, the Super Nintendo has Mode-7, which scales environ…”
“Fuck you. Blast Processing.”
“But, the Super Nintendo has a larger color palette than the Genesis and…”
“Blast Processing, bro.”
“But, what about the superior audio…”
“Hold on! Shh…do you hear that?”
“It’s the sound of the Blast Processing of my Genesis making your Super PRETENDO its bitch! Fuck yeah!”
Word for word, that was a real conversation that was occurring between 8-year olds on every single playground at the time.
It was this magic era where technology met design met true competition, and gamers came out on top. No generation before or since was ever the same… until now.
We are at the cusp of a gaming generation that is going to rival the 16-bit era.
I know, you might be thinking that the Wii U hasn’t exactly been the strongest representative for our new generation. Also, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One aren’t even OUT yet, so why would I be making such baseless assumptions?
Well, because I CAN, and I’m recognizing some interesting tells. Things that aren’t immediately obvious, but have the potential to be signs for what’s to come.
People, we’re about to drown in gaming awesomeness.
First, let’s get the most evident reason out of the way. There are two consoles that aren’t even out yet that are already in a full blown console war, with diehard fans to back either one up. And, just like between our beloved SNES and Genesis, one of them is perceived to be better in every single way, while the other is the scrappy underdog.
Sure, we already have the Wii U, and it’s fine. We’re going to see some neat stuff out of it, so let’s liken it to the Turbografx-16 or the Neo-Geo. It’s the wild card. Though, I don’t think Nintendo is going fade away into obscurity, it’s just not going to dominate the way it did the previous generation with the Wii.
I already see the parallels between the console war of our current generation and the great Nintendo/Sega war. While people may not be using made up marketing terms, people are throwing words and phrases out there, with no real understanding of what they might mean for their overall gaming experience.
They often speak of the PS4’s DDR5 ram versus the DDR3 present in the One or the fact that the One is struggling to run a lot of games at 1080p, while the PS4 isn’t currently having any issues. These are real facts, but the average gamer throws them out there because it’s something that they heard. If Sony had named their architecture “Steampunk Cannon Computing”, everyone would still be using it like it meant something to them. That’s how you know we’re onto something epic!
More importantly, Sony dropped the gauntlet, smacked Microsoft in the face, and took this war to the streets, unifying gamers behind its more consumer-friendly policies. Yes, Microsoft ended up taking back almost EVERYTHING that was anti-consumer about the One, but the damage was already done. Everyone has already rallied behind Sony because they feel they’re being represented by a company that understands the business of games better and will produce a product that will serve gamers better over the years.
Sony has earned gamer trust… and that puts them squarely in the lead. The inequality of the situation means the competition should be more fierce, which will hopefully result in better games.
Of course, Microsoft needs to stay in the race for this to occur. It’s been reported that they’ve taken billions in losses from the Xbox division, so let’s hope they don’t pull a Sega and drop out of the console business early.