Tapping my foot here.


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Why Do People Insist On Misusing "Generation"?

One of the biggest trends I see is whether or not the Wii U is considered "next-gen/generation" ; and this is a particularly frustrating discussion and not necessarily because of the conception that the Wii U is an underpowered machine. Considering the current lineup of games, there really isn't anything to disprove this notion so it's understandable why many gamers believe the Wii U is about on par with a 360 or a PS3. I personally don't believe that, but that is not what this blog post is about.

Whether or not you believe the Wii U is underpowered is pretty much irrelevant to the word's definition; you cannot accurately state that it is to be considered last generation. It simply is not the correct way to use the terminology and here is why.

A generation is simply a relative from an older or younger era. Take yourself for example; you are someone's child. Your mother and father are from an older generation, while you are from a younger one. This, in a way, applies to technology made be different companies.

For example, the NES is Nintendo's first game console (and arguably the start of the third game generation). The SNES is part of generation four, Nintendo's "next generation" console at the time. Fast forward to generation seven where we have the Wii. Despite its lack of power, I don't remember many people saying how it was "last-gen" or questioning what generation it was a part of. With the Wii U, we see many online commenters and even news articles from various game related news websites and blogs constantly ask the question "is the Wii U next-gen."

Considering that the Wii U comes a generation after the Wii, the answer is simply yes. The Wii U obviously is not as powerful as its upcoming Sony/Microsoft brethren, but that doesn't justify misusing this term. It is still categorically a part of generation eight.

It also causes chronological confusion (shout out to AVGN), as it creates a divide with people and how they interpret the eight generation of consoles. The divide in itself is unnecessary.

You can call the Wii U weak, underpowered, whatever; that's perfectly fine. But you cannot accurately refer to its as "last/previous-gen". Perhaps in a specific context, but the truth is the word is simply being used incorrectly in that instance. The Wii was last gen, as the Gamecube was the generation before that and so on. Regardless, the term generation is a term that speaks only about time or a stage in time, not about power or ability.

Valenka3804d ago

In my opinion, I think it's petty to discuss terminology in such a serious light. It's not that big of a deal - most if not all gamers know what is what. The term "next-generation" speaks of technological advances from the current generation, whether it be of video game consoles or computers, for instance. People misuse a lot of terminology, but it doesn't need to be treated as such an ordeal.

PopRocks3593804d ago

Call it a pet peeve. I think it's petty to remove something from its intended category for something as trivial as specs. Besides, if there is a correct way to address something, I would prefer to use that particular way. It's not like slang where it can simply be a different word that means the same thing; it's a word being used in a context that is incorrect.

SilentNegotiator3804d ago (Edited 3804d ago )

"Generations" are agreed upon by the general gaming community. It's not like the big three get together and delegate what is 7th/8th/9th/etc.

Wii U went traditional with it's controller this time, but put a touchscreen in the middle. It plays 95% 720p, much like the 7th gen HD systems. Surprise, surprise, some people would call that last gen.

Not that anyone ever means it LITERALLY anyway. You know that they're just commenting on it being behind on the times. Which only bothers you because you act as though you were an official PR person of Nintendo.

PopRocks3593804d ago (Edited 3804d ago )

So you've added "straw grasping" to "removing context," have you?

Give me a break. It would be the same with any type of hardware. The Ouya is more or less going to be considered a generation eight console due to its timing despite having specs comparable to a 360. But naturally you turn this into pro-Nintendo bias since you are virtually incapable to come up with an argument that doesn't involve attacking the person to whom you're replying. But hey, what else is new?

SilentNegotiator3804d ago (Edited 3804d ago )

There are lots of people that don't think that Ouya will even make it a year. I'm sure more people consider it 7th gen than you're assuming.

But you're the utmost authority, you tell us, generation delegate.

"But naturally you turn this into pro-Nintendo bias"

If the shoes fit. You only make these pro-Nintendo articles tri-weekly or so.

ZombieNinjaPanda3804d ago

"Generations are agreed upon by the gaming community"

What are you, high? Generations are not agreed upon by the gaming community.

Donnieboi3803d ago (Edited 3803d ago )

How about this:

Next-Gen = All consoles that are within a certain timeline/generation (ex: Wii U, PS4, 720 will be considered the same gen, so people don't confuse the word "generation" which has been used widely by many to mean either Technology, or Cannon-release/consecutive release for a console within a "generation").

AND THEN, we should make a NEW term for when people are actually talking about TECHNOLOGICAL leaps that they expect for a generation. A leap that is standard between most of the consoles (since what they have in common technologically will effect their 3rd party support/ability to handle high-tech 3rd party ports (not just mere cross-generational tech ports--they have to be able to create games of a graphical fidelity that it cannot be cross-generational without serious compromise to the last-gen version of the port).

I propose calling this "Next-Tech". That way we can differentiate what people mean when they use Next-Gen out of context. Just say Next-Tech. Use it long enough, and the term just might catch on.

So let's re-review:

Next Gen = all consoles to release at the same relative time in their respective console makers cycle.

Next-Tech (or Next-gen-tech) = making an average in power between the most powerful systems that are capable of handling the most high-tech graphics, memory (RAM) etc, and determining which systems can be considered to be powerful enough to produce games of a high enough technological prowess that they cannot be cross-generational without substantial compromise. IF any systems fail to be a substantial enough of a technological leap to be able to handle the kind of ports that the average of the most powerful systems can put out, then people can use the term "Next-Gen-Tech/Next-Tech& amp; amp; amp; quot; as a word to debate on TECHNOLOGICAL terms, instead of mere canonical generational terms.

EDIT: I hope this makes sense. I tried to convey as best as I could what I meant. I'm hungry and gotta get breakfast now before I go to campus. Let's sharpen up our vocabulary so that we can have meaningful conversations. Let us make 2 different words so that people can have this discussion intelligently, instead of pretending that we don't know that the word has been used interchangeably (whether right or wrong) for both Tech and next-in-line console cycle.

zerocrossing3803d ago

I can see where you're both coming from, the Wii U as it stands now is comparatively behind in regard to what we know about the PS4/next box, but it still is in fact an 8Th generation console simply because it is Nintendo next console after the original WI.

I don't honestly even know why people need to argue about it, the only ones that seem to be calling the WI U "last gen" are those who have been bashing Nintendo for years now anyway so that hardly gives them much credibility.

admiralvic3803d ago

I've had people debate me on this subject and they constantly claim that the system needs to be X% better than the last generation. In either case it also bothers me. Not because I care what generation they think the Wii U belongs, I mean feel free to claim the PS2 has more power...It just makes no sense to assume that power defines which generation it falls in. Like saying the 3DS is last generation and the Vita is this generation, since the Vita is just THAT much more powerful.

PopRocks3593803d ago (Edited 3803d ago )


"I'm sure more people consider it 7th gen than you're assuming."

Just because it may or may not be the general consensus doesn't mean it's necessarily accurate or true. But then this is coming from the same snag who believes the majority's opinion validates denying rights to gay people.

"You only make these pro-Nintendo articles tri-weekly or so."

So you're going 'BAAWWWW' because a Nintendo fan makes a blog every now and again that's pro-Nintendo. Cry me a river?

SilentNegotiator3803d ago (Edited 3803d ago )

"every now and again" that's "pro-Nintendo"?

No, you write damage control blogs every week, not just "pro-Nintendo"

Every 2 or 3 days, it's a blog downplaying the importance of power, Nintendo is a victim, No E3 conference is a good thing, etc. That isn't "pro-Nintendo", that's pro-damage-control.

"this is coming from the same snag who believes the majority's opinion validates denying rights to gay people"
OOOOOOOOOOHHHH, it all makes sense now. That's why you hate me so much. Because I said that a restriction on everyone isn't an exclusion on anyone and that the majority opinion is important to a society. I'm sorry that my non-partisan thoughts on democracy affected you so much and that you played straight the into polarized 21st century's idea that if you're not "for it, you're against it" and thus want "babies to die" or "homosexuals to be denied basic human rights" or whatever other political cartoon level of depth idea that results. Your astuteness clearly isn't bound to the video game world, but also to holding a grudge on anyone that doesn't pick a side and has the audacity to suggest that the side you disagree with might have its own merits.

PopRocks3593802d ago (Edited 3802d ago )


"That isn't "pro-Nintendo", that's pro-damage-control."

You couldn't be more off base if you had jumped off a helicopter pad twenty stories high.

The last actively pro-Nintendo/"damage control" blog I wrote was the "No Respect... No Respect At All" post which was well over a month ago. The only other even remotely pro Nintendo articles were a defense of Mario's growing game count, a parody, and two more or less neutral blogs suggesting that I have no idea how Nintendo's E3 presentation can pan out, be it good or bad and that Nintendo needs to start marketing the Wii U and releasing more games pronto. All the others have been on other topics entirely.

But hey, like with Root, with you it's a brick wall. Expecting you to acknowledge any sort of middle ground steps I've taken is like expecting you to keep the context in check.

"OOOOOOOOOOHHHH, it all makes sense now. That's why you hate me so much."

See this is what I'm talking about. Frankly I don't care if you're just sheep-like or if you are a raging homophobe. In both instances my problem is with the notion that "because the majority thinks x then it must be A-OK".

I also find your snide replies to be annoying. Fair trade since you seem to get your undies in a wad anytime I make a remotely defensive comment/blog about Nintendo whether or not I'm talking about subjective opinions or bringing up facts. There are people on this site I used to argue with who are not even a quarter as inimical as you are.

Honestly, do yourself a favor and come up with a better argument than "BAW YOU LIKE NINTENDO BAW." Yeah, I like Nintendo games a lot. And?

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3802d ago
arbitor3653804d ago (Edited 3804d ago )

no one is misusing the term "next gen." the term has multiple contexts and we all know the context it is being used in, when talking about the wii u and its hardware.

in fact, the term has always been primarily used to denote substantial advances in technology, much more so than their chronology. the whole

"wii u is next gen because it came out around the same time as the PS4 and xbox720"

is just an obvious and desperate attempt to distract from topic at hand. it is hairsplitting at its best.

Nicaragua3803d ago

Each generation refers to the number of consoles since console gaming started, but there is also an expectation of a certain level of technology with each new generation.

If ford released a new car which was powered by a 1920's coal fired steam boiler and only went 4mph, then no matter what bullshit ford would spin around it then its not a next gen car - certainly not by anyone's expectation of what a next gen car should be.

So the WiiU is literally next generation but its capabilities are not.

Ingram3803d ago (Edited 3803d ago )

Once upon a time, there was this conservative, right wing politician.

He felt like he was losing touch with people, but still had a loyal fanbase.

He was determined, however, to get with the times.

Did he change his speech? his ideological background? his attitude?, not at all: He decided to wear shades and hawaian shirts, and use some "youngster gibberish" in his party meetings.

"He hasn't changed at all" -some people pointed out-

"Whaddaya mean I'm not hip?"-he replied to himself-

"It's 2013 and I'm not wearing any tie, therefore I am indeed a cool new man, hear me lol, le meme, etcetera. I am progressive, you young ignorant whippersnappers, can't you see how modern I am?"-he said on a press note-

"Yeah!, he's a politic from the future, totally a New Breed of politic, absolutely different and new; acknowledge his sheer coolness! why won't you? WHY WON'T YOU?"-said his most ardent supporters-

And then they all made a worldwide tour together, trying to convince ignorant people, since they were all so wrong saying he was the same old ***t, they all ahd the sacred responsibility of opening everyone's eyes.
It had to be done, blogs!, tantrums!, opinion pieces!; "our politic has changed! can't you see, people? he's different now and, *oh drama*, not enough people are referring to him as a "next gen" politician; you should all care about this terminologic nuance, again, and again, and again, and again: SEE, NOW, ACKNOWLEDGE HIS STATUS".

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