It Doesn't Matter
Some people would say that something important happened in the gaming world over the weekend. Judging by the amount of articles about a certain gaming topic and the amount of comments across many sites on such articles, those people would be right. However, when considering this, one must first consider the difference between an event and activity.
An event is when something happens. It doesn't have to be awesome or epic. In fact, it can be as banal as eating a bowl of cereal, watching a movie, or crossing a street. It can also be as exciting as man landing on the moon, a polio vaccine being discovered, or the Berlin Wall being brought down. For the most part, the amount of discussion made by people in regards to an event is directly proportionate to the importance of that event. This amount of discussion is what I mean by activity. Typically, the more important an event, the higher the activity.
The world of gaming is a special case. The importance of an event does not dictate the activity resultant to it. The activity after an event DEFINES the importance of that event.
This weekend is a perfect example.
As many people know, on Friday, an article was released that stated the PS4 would allow less than the original 7GB of RAM previously thought to be allocated to games - somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5GB. On Saturday, another article came out, revising the total to somewhere between 5 and 6GB. Also on Saturday, Sony made a statement that explained RAM distribution fell into several categories, but offered nothing as to specifics of what each category would receive. On Sunday, another source stated that the article from Friday was untrue, but again would not reveal anything specific concerning any breakdown of RAM. Now to be completely honest, I'm not sure that I am getting any of this right in terms of the timeline or details.
And it doesn't matter. But more on that in a little while.
Needless to say, from the time the first article was posted, there was an explosion of activity from commenters. The usual fanboys from both sides came out in full regalia - attacking and defending with their normal tactics of misdirection and hate. The logical people came out too, albeit to less self-decreed fanfare - questioning the information and processing what each new development could mean. There were also many of the normal crowd participating - whether actively engaged in the discussion or merely watching everything play out. And finally, there were the trolls - cheerful to have a topic controversial enough to emerge from under their bridges and bait people into anger with their ways. It was basically a normal couple of days, but on a larger scale.
And after all of the back and forth - all of the cross words and changed stances and questions and everything that came with all of this news, where are we? What do we actually know? Why did any of this matter? As I stated in the opening of this piece, based on the activity of this weekend, one might say that there was an important event that occurred. However, is that true? What, if anything happened?
The only solid and official news relative to the PS4's RAM this weekend was Sony's nonspecific statement regarding the distribution of it. Everything else was rumor, conjecture, extrapolation, and opinion. We still do not have any idea how many GB of RAM Sony allocates to games. And we will not know this until either Sony tells us themselves, a developer violates their non-disclosure agreement, or the console is actually released. That's right - just about everything that was discussed on the topic this weekend was irrelevant. And, as I said before, it doesn't matter.
In fact, it won't matter when we know it either.
As gamers, we play games, we talk about games, we read about games, we look forward to games, and basically, we live games. As a gamer, I can tell you that there is no better feeling than popping a new game into a console and seeing that title screen - begging you, daring you, wanting you to press start. The worlds that we get to experience are those that others will not. We can be anybody, do anything, and go anywhere. We can become heroes, villains, and everything in between. We can hang out with friends and bring them along with us on our journeys. We can play.
But somewhere along the way, we lost some of our kind. Instead of enjoying the journey, they got hung up on the vessel. They only look at specs and resolutions and frames per second and things that, quite frankly, are not as important as the games themselves. And then they tell us that we make bad decisions and consequently aren't having as much fun as they are. These are the people that care about Sony's allocated RAM - not because of what the value actually is, but because of what the value is in relation to another console. Why does that relative value, whether you're on one side or another, dictate how much enjoyment you will get out of whichever console you choose?
There is no reason because it doesn't matter.
What does matter is that in a few months, we're going to get our hands on brand new toys. We're going to officially be in the next generation. We're going to go to even cooler places than we did before. It's going to be exciting, awe-inspiring, amazing and I can't wait to have all of the fun that I'm going to have. And you will too. And at that moment when we pop that disc in and see "press start" on our screen, will any of us care about how much better or worse it will look on somebody else's? Will our experience be more positive or negative than some guy down the street who bought a different console? Will anyone care about that one weekend where nobody knew how much RAM the PS4 allowed for games? No, because at that moment, it doesn't matter. None of that matters. The only thing that will matter is the game that we are playing and how great newness feels.
It would be a good thing if we could remember that, even when new becomes old.