With the announcement of the next generation console, the Nintendo Wii U, and Sony’s Playstation Vita, now seems like as good a time as any to take a serious look at today’s current consoles; specifically, the Wii, the Playstation 3, and the Xbox 360. In my opinion, when you really take a good look at today’s major gaming consoles, they prove themselves to be the weakest generation of video gaming thus far, especially when one stops to consider how advanced technology is now.
As far as technology is concerned, today’s big 3 consoles are far ahead of any predecessor, I don’t think anyone can deny that. However, even with the backing of top shelf tech, today’s library of video games, for all three consoles, lacks any real innovation or originality. Proof of this can be seen in any poll asking what games people consider to be the best they’ve ever played. Top contenders in these “best game ever” polls almost always include classic titles such as Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VII, and other older games, while very few, if any, modern games ever find their way onto these polls. This fact seems to be evidence enough to prove that today’s video games simply aren’t as good as older games, but why? I believe that there are several reasons for this phenomenon; however one reason would the consoles themselves.
The Nintendo Wii would be the most obvious example of a game-limiting console. As soon as Nintendo announced plans for a console driven primarily by motion controls, many third-party game companies became skeptical. While there’s no doubt that such a move was innovative, it posed a major problem to developers. By making their console drastically different from the others, Nintendo also made it difficult to for companies to publish games that could make proper use of the consoles eccentric controls.
Next up is the Xbox 360, my least favorite of today’s consoles. In my opinion, this console has two qualities that encourage low quality games. First is the Xbox live service. While this does indeed promote online gaming, most games that utilize this service tend to hinge on it. One-player/offline modes are often neglected, while online modes receive nearly all of the developer’s attention. This, in turn, leads to games with poor storylines and game play, that can’t be enjoyed unless you have access to Xbox live. Secondly, I feel that the Microsoft Kinect has inhibited game production. I say this primarily because, ever since the release of the Kinect, Microsoft has focused almost all of its effort into making games that work with it.
The only problem the Playstation 3 has presented to developers, which is nearly non-existent now, is that it’s extremely high price after release made it the least desired of the three consoles, thus leading to unwillingness in third parties to release games for it. I believe that these factors , and others unrelated to the consoles themselves, have led to a decrease in the quality of today’s video games. Hopefully future gaming consoles will lead to better games, but if this generation is indicative of what’s to come, the future seems bleak for gamers.