The end of 2013 has seen the release of the latest generation of console gaming. The Playstation 4 and Xbox One (I still chuckle at that name, sorry Microsoft, it’s just a silly name for your third console regardless of all of it’s extra ‘all in one’ features) were released with unprecedented hype and expectation. We’ve seen scenes reminiscent of Dawn of the Dead with shoppers mobbing stores worldwide in an effort to get their hands on the shiny new consoles. Personally I find it very uncomfortable to watch some of the scenes that have played out, and I consider myself a lifelong gamer.

But I’m sitting here and thinking, why? Why are people clamouring for new consoles that to my eyes don’t actually have any games that are worth playing yet? Why do people care so much? Sure, both the PS4 and Xbox One have the latest iterations of Call of Duty and Battlefield. They both have the latest sports games and each has one or two exclusive launch games, such as Killzone: Shadowfall. But none of these games are exactly what I’d call “next gen”. If I wanted to play COD or Battlefield, there’s a heap of those on PS3 that I haven’t played yet. Or hell, I’d just play Call of Duty 4. A game that was released over six years ago and has yet to be topped. But that’s a story for another article.


Still the most shocking moment in any military FPS that I’ve played.


I count myself as a rather serious gamer. I love open world games like GTA, FPS’s like Call of Duty and Western RPG games such as Baldur’s Gate. I enjoy strategy and horror games. I’ve owned practically every platform from the last twenty or so years.  There’s not a major game series out there that I haven’t played at some point. I watch trailers and Let’s Play videos. I read articles online. But I just don’t care about these new consoles yet and I know exactly why: because I am a gamer. I love playing new and exciting video games. I’m not rushing for a PS4 because there’s no bloody games out there that are actually ‘next gen’ yet.


Oooh. Shiny.


Oh sure the new games might look pretty but the likes of Killzone, Call of Duty, Battlefield, FIFA, NBA etc haven’t changed anything up. They’ve just got a new lick of paint on top. It’s the same kind of FPS that we’ve all been playing since the early 2000’s and even before: ultra immersive shooters with a veneer of ‘realism’. Nothing ever changes in these games any more. Sports games explain themselves and get a pass, how much can you really change up something based on a real sport?

Obviously the consoles have only just been released. Is it really fair to expect revolutionary games right off the bat? Well. Yes. Actually it is pretty fair. When the PS2 released we saw games such as TimeSplitters and Tekken Tag Tournament. Games that pushed the boundaries of their genre and vastly improved on what had came before them. In short order we had games such as Metal Gear Solid 2, Grand Theft Auto III and Gran Turismo 3. When the Xbox released we saw Halo: Combat Evolved. With the PS3 and 360 we swiftly saw the birth of the HD console games, as well as a massive explosion in the popularity of games outside of their core fanbase with the Wii as well as the rise of an independent industry that had full support from the publishers which lead to beautiful games such as Journey. What do these new launch games promise exactly? Sadly it just seems to be more of the same that we saw in the last generations. Nothing game changing.


Yes. Videogames are art,


But there is hope on the horizon. There are a clutch of games in development that to me define the idea of progress. Games that look absolutely brilliant. Very few games in the past have excited me as much as a few of these games I’m talking about. These games are: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Watch_Dogs, The Evil Within, Infamous: Second Son, Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Elder Scrolls Online.


This is what I think of when I hear “next gen”.

Until those games, and other games that make me feel the same way I do about them are released, I have very little interest in this new generation of consoles.


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