All About DreFullCircle
The state of gaming is good right now and it will be perfect once the Playstation Vita launches. With the Wii U on the horizon, the other Big Two will surely be dropping hints as to the futures of their respective brands. Microsoft will spill a few beans on the Xbox Part 3 (patent pending) and Sony may hint as to the direction of the PS4. All three have already wasted their time and money. We do not need a fresh crop of platforms and I shall do my best to explain why I think so.
Firstly, the current prices of consoles and handhelds is where it should be to widen the audience to those still clutching their PS2's. At $250, the once outrageously priced PS3 can now be considered one of the cheaper ways to introduce a Bluray player to the average home. The Xbox and Wii are neck-and-neck for entry-level current gaming. Even the 3DS is $80 cheaper a few months after lawet, it can still be profitable. Such progress is not possible knowing newer tech is going to divert assets.
Secondly, the potential for handheld-home console synergy is heading into its prime. With the launch of the 3DS and future Vita launch, both Nintendo and Sony have comparable graphical horsepower between their portables and boxes. Download play and swappable saves can extend a title's staying power. This revenue stream cannot be ignored or underdeveloped. "Next-gen" would cause a lopsided edge in visuals, causing a disconnect with consumers. PSP to PS3 is an example.
At the end of the day, people are always demanding the next big thing. Console makers will cater to that and thrive off of the hype leading up to launches. It's good for business, but as the above reasons show, it may leave unturned a great movement for gaming.
I've been way behind on my console updates. Since my 360 update, I've purchased a replacement PSP (R.I.P. White Dark Vader 2000), a Wii, a replacement DS, two Playstation 3's (60 gig and Slim), Move, Kinect, and the subject of this entry, Nintendo's new "Let's make crap look like it's in a box" handheld, the 3DS. I purchased it at launch, which, like the Kinect, was actually not as crazy as normal launches. I was in and out like I bought a bag of taco Dorito's. The ony title I cared enough to buy was Super Street Fighter IV. Next came the ride home, which seemed longer than usual, as fresh purchases tend to have that effect.
Upon arrival at home, I broke out my 3DS and SSFIV and played a quick match. Boy, was it the bee's knee's. Mind you, this is coming from the guy who only saw 3D on DVD's, Blu-Ray's, and Super Bowl commercials. It blew me away. The "sweet spot" wasn't hard for me to find. Just ask your woman. I loved how it looked like there were tiny people kicking each other's assets of digital nature in a window for my amusement. Next up came the Mii maker, and AR games/cards, which were cool, especially Face Raiders. All in all, a cool, albiet title-short launch. It really did suck not to have the eShop, browser, and other touted features. Still waiting for that update...
Which brings me to now, post launch. I purchased Madden, just to see football in 3D and never bothered much with it again. I purchased Splinter Cell, mainy to see Chaos Theory (which it isn't) in 3D and never bothered much with it again. Today, DOA: Dimensions came out, but retailers must not know because I couldn't find it anywhere. I doubt it sold out because the 3DS software isn't exacty doing big numbers. Actually, I woud be playing DOA right now if i found it, which led to me buying some original DS games, then playing SOCOM Confrontation and writing this article while I wait for the waaaay too long mandatory install. So thanks, lazy retailers for rekindling my blogging.
The 3DS is a promising platform. The graphics are on par with the Wii and the 3D effect isn't as bad as the wussy weak-eyed would have you believe. The slider is like second nature. I even alternate its use mid-game. The AR games, as well as planned uses of the functionality are also a major plus. Also, playing old DS games that made me wish the patform had an anaog stick to play are now leagues more playable with the nub of the 3DS. I think you guys are smart enough to see I'm trying to note some positives before a LONG list of cons, so let me not waste any more time.
The games and software simply is not there. There isn't any excuse. I bought one game at launch for a reason that was not financial by any means. Nothing besides a portable version of a game I already had appealed to me. I paid $270 for the handheld and would have paid more had the software been there. Screw the "launch window. I'll take graphically better extensions of DS titles over nothing. Online is also mostly absent. The exclusion in Madden was unforgivable. In order for Nintendo to thrive, it has to address these issues or else it's Team Whatever The Next PSP Is Called.
Almost exactly a year after buying my PSP, I've finally entered the next (current) generation of gaming with my spankin' new 360. I had almost lost faith in Microsoft's console brand after the lackuster support of the original Xbox, which could still produce hit games if the less powerful PS2 can keep cranking out games. I was even contemplating switching my brand loyalty to Playstation and getting a PS3 instead, but after much thought and debate, I've decided to stick it out with the Green Giant. With this console generation predicted to last until 2013, that would put the 360 roughly mid-way into it's cycle. With four years left, give or take, Microsoft still has plenty of time to right wrongs comitted just one short console cycle ago.
For starters, we Xbox 360 owners DO NOT need to be included in the "casual gamer" craze that the Wii has inspired. That includes the upcoming "Project Natal." Wii-type games in 1080p are still Wii-type games. Please utilize the feature mapping in ways that are more complex than ping-pong. The potential for the technology is unlimited, so why waste it making more of the same? The "Burnout" demo was dope, as it involved seperate movements (steering and pedals) without any controller in sight. That is what we want.
Second, keep the exclusives coming. The GTA expansions, as well as exclusive retail titles, keep consumers leaning toward the 360. Multiplatform games seem to look better on the 360, so why not take it a step further and monopolize the license? If MGS4 landed on the 360 instead of the PS3, that would have been a death blow to Sony. It's almost guaranteed that former Playstation-only titles such as Tekken and Final Fantasy will sell better on the 360. I'd advise Microsoft to use these as reasons to slap on "Only On Xbox" sticker on the box art.
Third, multiplayer on Xbox Live needs to be free. Sony has offered no-charge multiplayer since the PS2, So M'soft should follow suit. They already make a killing off of DLC and XBLA, so a little customer appreciation would be... appreciated. Hell, even the Wii, DS, and PSP have free multiplayer, so XBL Gold seems greedy.
Enough of the faults. The House that Bill Built is making improvements. The aformentioned exclusives are added incentive to "go green." The new Xbox Experience is leagues better than the old "blades." The graphics are finally deserving of the title of "next gen." Games from 2007 and earlier were as visually appealing as the later batch of Xbox games. developers are finally coming into their groove. As of now, Microsoft has the better console. Both the Wii and PS3 are in desperate need of a price drop. Three years is long enough for the Wii to have the same price tag, and 100 bucks off of the current price will get the PS3 in more homes. If you want a good balance of features and value, currently the 360 is where it's at.
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