Regardless of what happens in the industry I will be a gamer until the day I die, so don't take this title the wrong way. In no way have I given up on gaming. The fact of the matter is that over the past year or two the direction of gaming has been in question, as we begin to see newer and smaller devices capable of pulling off results similar to the consoles we have come to love.
But the tablets aren't why I've slowly gone off gaming this year, even though it's safe to say tablets are stealing the value away from game consoles. So, below is a detailed list on why I've almost completely fallen out of love with game consoles in 2012.
When it comes to blockbuster titles and announcements in 2012, I look at the list and see nothing but the same rehashed products that we've been playing for the past six years. The only game I remember really enjoying on console this year was Max Payne 3, besides that I honestly cannot remember one other game that came out this year which blew me away.
Shoot me for this statement if you must, but the Playstation 3 has long been my preferred gaming platform this generation. However even Sony are letting me down this year content wise. Not only are they giving us a Little Big Planet Karting game that completely voids the ModNation I.P, but they are also boasting gaming collections for old games that everybody should have by now. Like really, who is going to play Killzone 1 in 2012?.. Not only that, but why hype up a collection of games which is comprised of two games? (InFamous Collection) - The InFamous collection is something that shouldn't even be announced, you should just find it whilst browsing your retail store of choice.
Microsoft aren't getting off the hook here either, because they have yet to give me a reason to turn on my Xbox 360 again, which hasn't been switched on since May. Halo 4 is coming out soon, and that's cool. But it's still Halo.
Lack of Innovation
This goes hand in hand with repetition, as lack of innovation can be seen as a reason for the repetition to occur. Right now we are in a transitional stage where many companies are focusing on the future, with new platforms on the horizon. When this happens it staggers the innovation we see in the current cycle, and that is exactly what's happening right now.
We are either seeing the same I.P's being rehashed, or I.P's from the past being brought back and given a makeover to make it stand up against games in this generation. And while it's always great to see a Max Payne or a Hitman make a comeback, it's a very short lived thing if they are only just as good as the newer I.P's that have been established. I want to see each game offer something new and fresh. I understand that there's some things that should just be standard in every shooter, RPG or sports game; but at the same time I want to be shown something different that I have to keep coming back to that game to experience.
I can't really blame Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo for the lack of innovation, as they have definitely worked hard to ensure that the tools are there for developers to work their magic on. They have provided peripherals such as Playstation Move, Kinect and the Wii U tablet to give more options to both gamers and developers. Therefor I believe the blame lies with the publishers and developers.
Companies Shifting Their Focus
Mobile platforms have opened up new revenue streams for game developers, which means publishers are dedicating teams to focus on specific areas. Not only that but new consoles are already in development, which means publishers/developers are likely already wrapping their head around the new dev kits. So basically we shouldn't be expecting any major upgrades to these current gaming engines until the next generation arrives.
Hardware Reaching Its Limits
Game installs are getting bigger, and patches are becoming more frequent. All of this is discouraging me more and more to purchase a game for my console. Every time I buy a new game for my Playstation 3 I am forced to delete some old data before I can even begin to play my game. Combine the time it takes to go through my data and delete items, with the time it takes to download the latest patch and then finally install the game and you're looking at a whole hour before I even get to start playing.
I'm aware I can just buy a new hard drive, but I don't feel like I should have to. This was never a problem earlier in the generation, so it just proves that these current consoles are quickly reaching their limits.
More Value With PC Gaming
PC gaming isn't for everybody, and not everybody is computer savvy. But if you're not turned off by the keyboard and mouse then you could be saving tons of my by getting into PC gaming.
Sure you may have to invest some money into getting a decent PC (I recommend building one), but once you have your computer ready to go, the amount of money you'll save on gaming is crazy. Often times I'll find new releases for £10+ cheaper on PC than on consoles. Not only that but the sales you see on digital distribution services such as Steam are so much of a steal that it feels like pirating.
Also games like Guild Wars 2 have managed to hold my attention for much longer than your average console game. I could honestly still see myself playing this game months from now, and the same cannot be said for any console game I've played this year.
There are also hundreds of free-to-play games for PC, which my colleague David Jagneaux will be highlighting in his new Free-to-play series, so keep a look out.
Let us hear you're thoughts on console gaming in 2012.