Hard Vs Soft(ware)

Not sure why, gamers, but the industry is absolutely fixated on hardware. Developers of consoles, rather than focusing on the things that, you know, sell the hardware – are looking to that next model.

What the hell is going on?

When did we get so far away from what actually sells hardware, to obsessing over it. I get the “scene” as it is, for the “Master Race” crowd. Constantly looking for that new piece that is going to take your games from ULTRA settings to ULTRA + Infinity (or whatever it is they’re striving for in their quest for gaming dominance). And, while I have zero desire to find myself among their ranks – I get it. If I, or we (the royal we) had the opportunity to optimise our consoles, simply by being able to pick up an upgrade or two as the hardware starts to show it’s age, I don’t doubt that many of us would do it. I bought a 4K TV, and the quality is there. Is it perfect? No. So what am I doing? Hiring professionals to calibrate it for me.

So, I get it. But really guys – let’s take a step back here.

What’s all the buzz in 2015? Virtual reality. I’m banging my head against the wall trying to knock loose some semblance of why it is they (Sony, Microsoft and [for some reason] Facebook) think that’s what everyone wants.

Remember this:

That went over super well right? Bueller?

The craziest part: There are game developers, trying to throw their ring into the hat by designing their own VR helmet to use with their own game. (I said I wouldn’t talk about it, didn’t say I wouldn’t allude and link. You know, all sly like. Like this.)

So, I guess, we’re all supposed to buy multiple VR sets? Yea. Wake me when we have the holo-deck Geordi.

What’s worse than this trend, though, is Nintendo. I think that should be the new N word. Frankly, they’re getting me to the point where I almost revile that more.

Here’s a company, who for multiple decades, smashed the competition. They basically put Sega out of business. Blow for blow they beat out the competition for time immemorial. But now they’re focused on making these niche products that are supposed to coax the dollars out  of our wallets and into theirs. Now, I’m not going to sit here and lay the proverbial smack-down on Nintendo. I just don’t get it.

They have pumped out more versions of the same hand-held devices over the course of each generation, than I care to remember (or count for that matter). They’re so entranced by being a hardware developer, that they’ve completely forgotten to properly support their systems with, you know, the games that you buy the systems for. How many 3DS’ do we really need? Oh, you added the C-Stick, well, no problem. Here’s another couple hundred dollars and I’ll just go ahead and direct-mail my original 3DS (or 3DSXL for all that it matters) to the Smithsonian for their display of relic technologies of yesteryear.

Meanwhile, the Wii U has yet to see a proper Zelda or any really compelling first party software (save for re-hashes like Mario Kart and Smash Bros) and the claim-to-fame of the 3DS is remastered Zelda and Pokemon from the 90’s.

Here’s a crazy thought everyone: Just make some games.

Take a moment industry. I’m sure I threw you for a loop there.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that companies have vision, are willing to take risks and are looking to the future of technology. But what puts asses in the seats is the big show: The games. What they’re presented on – be it monitor, 4K TV or some sort of VR headset, at the end of the day, make the games the fans want. Keep funding those studios like Ninja Theory and Hello Games and Media Molecule. Show us what you can do with the soft tech.

– The Ego


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