So, Playstation 4 Pro has been revealed... yay. Stupid name by the way.
Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One Scorpio (I guess the name is still being worked out) have a number of people frothing at the mouth. They can't wait to part with their gold and purchase the very symbols of what is wrong with gaming today.
Now, I understand that new products will always generate some level of buzz, hype, anticipation, etc.but actually read comments about these unnecessary devices. People discussing teraflops as though they actually know what they are and what they do. Numbers being thrown around like we're in a mathletics competition. Acronyms and abbreviations and brand names and buzzwords are all flying about as visual fidelity is, once again, at the forefront of discussion.
Fanboy arguments about power, and how Scorpio is better than Pro but Pro isn't trying to compete with Scorpio, and neither are next gen but fanboys from one group are calling one next gen in order to separate and protect the other while the other group of fanboys calls them out on it. Congratulations.
Feel proud of the fact that all of this hype, and the speed at which you throw money at these devices, proves that all the market can do is judge a book (or in this case a game) by its cover (or in this case by its visuals).
Notice that no one is talking about better games? Nope. Everyone is implying epic experiences because 4K and framerate. Right. Because we all know that graphics determine a great game.
Interestingly, I wonder if No Man's Sky becomes a better and more complete game in PS4 Pro mode. Hmmm. Is The Last of Us' story better told in 4K? Do you like Nathan Drake as a character more because Uncharted 4 is rendered at 60 FPS instead of 30?
We have games that are broken, unfinished, and lacking content. We see proof that people don't even finish games anymore. We see example after example of consumer gouging and money making schemes to prop up bloated development and marketing budgets. We see games that sell millions being considered market failures. And yet, these things will not change. They will not get any better, nor will they even be addressed.
Why? Because of you, dear graphics whore. Yes, you who read this, read the term graphics whore, and took immediate offense and/or began a defense argument. You who complain about graphical downgrades immediately and buy the most shallow games because they look amazing and then complain that the game was only 6 hours long or somehow boring. You, whose first words when hearing that Watch Dogs 2 exists were "in before downgrades." You, who criticized Fallout 4 for supposedly being graphically ugly. You, who count how many pixels are in what resolution, or how many frames are shown per second. You are the problem.
You have shown Microsoft and Sony that all you care about is how good a game looks, which makes them (as well as third party developers) spend obscene amounts of time and money on hardware and software designed to push fidelity over everything else. This creates a necessary evil of cutting corners, massive day one patches, ridiculous DLC/pre-order/microtransaction schemes to recoup development costs, and the actual substance of games either being ridiculously streamlined, cut up and resold, or flat and short and shallow.
And then we get to see how none of that goes away, or gets better. We also get to see anti-consumerism flourish and grow. Why? Why not? Why should the industry even care when you consistently show that the first and most important thing you care about is resolution and framerate and photorealism?
For the past few weeks I haven't even turned on my PS4. There's nothing I want to play. Nothing. Indies are more shallow than the Triple A games, but that at least is excusable. And the Triple A games that are worth playing don't start really releasing until next year. At least for me anyway.
So, instead, I've been playing PS2 games. Star Ocean 3, Suikoden V, Final Fantasy XII, Shadow Hearts 2, and soon SSX Tricky. All of those games are fun in different ways. Some have better stories than anything you'll find today, with few exceptions. Some have more entertaining gameplay. Some have incredible characters.
If a Triple A studio focused on any of those previous qualities, and released a game today that had "PS2 graphics" as a result, said developer would be blasted online. Absolutely hammered for daring to not make a game where you can see the protagonist's pores rendered in 4K. And that mentality is reinforced by the rabid frothing at the mouth for mid-gen, overpriced, chipset swaps that will not provide better games, just marginally better looking games.
Where is this passion for substance? Why is all of this energy that goes into blasting allegedly graphically unimpressive games, and hyping iterative consoles, not pointed at a development studio like Bethesda and demanding that they stop dumbing down their games. Or all of the studios that announce their games way too early and end up having to delay them?
Oh sure, you might get some action when it's someone like Activision, EA, or Ubisoft but that's only because of their more prominent presence in news, but just like any internet outrage, it's a flash in a pan.
So once again, I say congratulations. You're getting your marginal upgrades and paying hundreds of dollars for something that will be obsolete in 2 or so years. Your games will look slightly better, but they won't actually BE any better, and I hope you have no expectations that they will be. Sony and Microsoft know what you want. Grfx, Grfx, and more Grfx. I'm sure one of these days someone will sell a piece of software on consoles that's nothing more than settings bars for $80 and it will have the highest user rating ever seen on metacritic, with a $50 Season Pass that includes bar extensions, and microtransactions that will give your bars bars so you can set graphical settings while you set graphical settings. Enjoy.