Oversaturation & The Nostalgia Effect
I keep noticing a lot of posts on various forums of people bashing some of the next-gen graphics and gameplay that we've been privy to thus far.
I look at some of these teaser videos and gameplay demos and wonder how the hell anyone could look at this and say they're not impressed. The only possible reason I can come up with is that gamers of the latter generation have become oversaturated with the latest and greatest technology.
From the standpoint of an old school gamer (I started back in 1981 on an Atari 2600 at the age of 5), to see the level of ingenuity and realism that games are achieving these days is staggering to the mind. We have games that cover hundreds, if not thousands, of virtual square miles, all of it packed to bursting with unbelievable levels of detail.
Maybe it's like an old Vietnam veteran that's just killed too many people for death to impress or even stir him anymore. We've seen gaming come to such heights, that those gamers born in the last 15 to 20 years aren't impressed with what's coming down the pipe anymore.
Or possibly, it's simply lamenting the passing of what they were used to.
Anyone who has played World of Warcraft has seen this. You always have those players in the chat going on about the "good old days" of vanilla. To hear them tell it, WoW was just simply better back when it first started up. Well, just to be clear, that's nostalgia talking. WoW wasn't that good in the beginning. BUT, with the coming of newer updates, expansions, optimizations, and so forth, it improved dramatically (at least up til Cataclysm), but it'll never be the same for those that played back in the beginning.
The same can be said for Call of Duty. Sure, it's the same gameplay, the same engine, and the same premise. But whether you're willing to admit it or not, the game has improved with every iteration. It's just that players who got in on the ground floor look back at CoD and fondly remember the hours of fun they had playing with their friends back then. To them the newer games are a joke. But to someone who has never played a single one of them, picking up the newest version is like the greatest thing ever.
Like I said, it's all about becoming oversaturated in the latest, greatest thing, and when you've constantly seen the cutting edge, it starts to look a little dull. Whether it be the next-gen console, or the next chapter in a franchise, people always seem to want something more, when what they had before was less, and they were happy with it.
Sometimes I think gamers need to take a day or 2 to go back and play some of the older titles, just to see how far we've come and be impressed all over again. Or to at least realize that 40 man Onyxia really wasn't so much epic as it was frustrating.
Just my take.