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With the recent rumor about the possible next generation of PlayStation, I have come to the conclusion that if many of the mainstream companies that produce games/systems don’t shape up soon, they should just abandon ship.
Let me start by referencing this rumor. I am a hardcore PlayStation girl, always have been. I owned the original PS1, the PS2, and have played the PS3 multiple times. PS1 was all right, not really good or bad; really sleek, easy controller design, though (which has been a pretty stable point for PlayStation). PS2′s were beautiful, introducing backwards compatibility that everyone came to adore, and allowing for games like Kingdom Hearts (1&2), the Jak series, and Ratchet & Clank to come in and steal our hearts. The original PS3 had so much potential, saving the backwards compatibility while allowing Blu-ray, online play, and all new co-op options. Sure, they overheated sometimes, but nothing a good ventilated area couldn’t handle. But the newer, “better” versions? I just don’t know how to feel. On the one hand, they still have Blu-ray, allow for the free online game play, and the games still have gorgeous graphics (hello, Little Big Planet rocks my world); but no backwards compatibility? Yes, free online gameplay; no one told me free came with so much lag and loading time. Sure, everyone’s experience is different; most of the time it isn’t so bad, but still. Now with this rumor, I just feel sick. Why make the mistake of keeping away one of the main things, again, that many fans loved: backwards compatibility. It just seems wrong. I can’t stress it enough. No used games? Are you kidding me? That is going to kill the gaming industry on its own, especially if others follow. I’m sorry, but I love used games because I personally don’t have $60 I can drop every time a game interests me. It’s just not in my pocketbook’s future.
Second up, Microsoft. Most everyone I meet is pro-Xbox; but the Xbox consoles are not without their own set of flaws. The original Xbox was all right, again not good or bad; clunky design, but it ran well with decent graphics, and it was also the first to have a built-in hard disc drive. Pretty impressive. But the Xbox 360 was just ok for me. Graphics-wise, it’s a pretty gorgeous system. Tomb Raider: Underworld made me feel like I was really underwater or in the tropics, Dead Space 1 & 2 scared the shit out of me because the monsters were just that gruesome (in the dark was way worse). But you have to pay for Xbox Live, which, although offers a more stable internet than PlayStation most of the time, is just another thing to pay for. The controllers pretty much follow the original Xbox and are still just as clunky in my hands. The big one: no backwards compatibility with original Xbox games. And, in general, there aren’t many interesting titles that are exclusively for the Xbox 360. Most games nowadays are made for PlayStation, Microsoft, and even Nintendo. So, I honestly haven’t jumped on board that bandwagon just yet.
Finally, Nintendo. This is honestly the only company that gives me hope for the future. It has been a stable, consistent system for many generations. Almost everyone I know owned an NES. Legend of Zelda and Metroid are just as popular and well-known now as they were when they came about; and of course, Mario and Donkey Kong (for which there is no need to elaborate). Then the SNES and the N64 came about, continuing the impressive work. Each system gave new, exciting games, good graphics, and very few drawbacks (sure, you had to blow in the cartridges sometimes, but who didn’t?). The Game Cube was also very impressive, but I think it was the first system that had any real problems (discs not spinning, lid not closing), but those mainly came about from poor ownership. While their “floor” systems, I’ll call them, were taking the world by storm, so were their handheld ones. The Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, DS-light, and finally the 3DS are all still just as popular and used as ever. Sure, PlayStation has tried (and been semi-successful) with handhelds, but no one played a PSP or PS Vita when they were kids. Nintendo has also managed some backwards compatibility in a fair amount of its systems, even allowing for some of its handle held games to be linked to their “floor” consoles. With good graphics and a healthy respect for the fan base, I feel Nintendo is doing really well, and I only hope that PlayStation (aka Sony as I know some of you will point out) and Microsoft will follow its lead.