A new wave of home consoles is upon us. Last year, Nintendo’s successor to the Wii launched in the form of the Wii U. Tomorrow, the Playstation 4 is launching. Next week, the XBox One, this is the third console in the XBox lineup not to be confused with the original XBox, is launching. Yet, I find myself not at all excited about these new consoles.
Despite the best efforts of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to wow me with the new shiny, I simply can’t muster up any real excitement for these consoles. Yes, the Wii U is the first high definition console from Nintendo. Yes the PS4 and the XBox One are more powerful and can display bigger and brighter explosions on my TV set. Yet, there is something that they lack. Something that they just can’t compete with.
I am talking games. No. This isn’t some diatribe about lackluster or limited launch lineups. I am familiar with the whole console life cycle thing. I know that as consoles age they get more and better games. Yet, therein lies the rub. The existing libraries of the current and even past consoles are so incredibly large that it would be impossible for any one person to play them all before the next generation of consoles launch.
Let’s take a look at my current game library. I own games going all the way back to the NES. I have games for the NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1, PS2, PS3, Wii, Gameboy, Gameboy Advanced, DS, Ouya, and a whole slew of PC games. I haven’t played over half of my entire collection and have completed even fewer. About 5 years ago, I pulled about 20 games from my collections and set a goal to play them all that year. I got to play 3 of those to completion that year.
And that isn’t even counting the games I don’t own that I want to own. Just take a look at my Amazon wishlists for the Wii, PS3 and Handhelds. (By the way, if anyone wants to buy me anything from those lists, I won’t complain) And those games are mostly RPGs that I want. There are plenty of other games in other genre’s that I still want to buy and play.
With all these games available for me to play right now, or to buy when I have time and money, why would I want to invest in a new game console? It would simply add to the list of games I own and haven’t played or the list of games I want but haven’t purchased. As time moves forward and as gaming moves on, this problem will simply get worse and worse. There will be more games than I can shake a stick at and the incentive to invest in new gaming hardware will be weaker and weaker.
So as I sit here surrounded by a proverbial mountain of games that I have not played but want to play, games that already exist and are available for purchase, I see no reason to get excited about buying any more game consoles that will be certain to exacerbate that problem.