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Five next-gen issues


The next generation of video game consoles is upon us.  As developers walk away from the Wii U while it hemorrhages money, Microsoft and Sony have prepared a more traditional evolution of their respective consoles.  Both systems offer similar technological advancements, as well as a variety of new features — some better than others.  With such little information available, it is pointless to try to measure which console will be superior.  Therefore, I will detail the five biggest issues I have with both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One.

  1. No backwards compatibility: Yes, I know the seventh generation of consoles hasn’t been the greatest for backwards compatibility, but the PS3 originally had the feature and the Xbox 360 covers a decent part of the Xbox library.  While most video game enthusiasts won’t need to worry about this, I can definitely see this being an issue for someone trying to get into gaming.  It’s not the most important feature, but it’s that extra bit of effort that would add value to the total package.
  2. Social features: Not an issue, but a very strong focus that I feel Microsoft and Sony should tone down.  I am realistic, and I understand why Microsoft and Sony both want to boast these features.  But do we need a dedicated “Share” button?  I’m not dropping $400 or more on another Facebook machine, I want to play video games.  Which leads to my next point…
  3. Not enough games: E3 is around the corner, so I hope Sony and Microsoft make me eat these words.  The official announcements for both consoles featured very few games overall.  And what little they did show consisted of either games which were already announced or trailers that served no purpose beyond being pretty.  The actual games need to take priority if either company wants to sell their console.
  4. Online: An internet connection should never be a requirement for something to work.  We don’t live in a world where everyone universally has access to a connection, even if it seems that way.  Consumers have nothing to gain from always-online requirements, and they shouldn’t stand for them.
  5. Motion controls: Between Kinect and the glowing blue strip on the PS4 controller, motion control is here to stay for the eighth generation.  It almost always feels forced unless it is a game based around it.  It is a gimmick, and with luck it won’t overstay its welcome.

Nintendo launches Wii Mini in Canada

Wii Mini

Starting Nov. 30, Walmart stores in Canada began selling the Nintendo Wii Mini, a $99 alternative to the normal Wii.  Along with the price cut, the Wii Mini does not support online features and cannot play Game Cube games.  It is only available in Canada at this point.

I can already hear the cries of children who will be getting this instead of the other recently released Nintendo console.  However, despite that possible mishap, this honestly is a great alternative for parents who don’t want to worry about their kids messing around online.  Why it is a Canada-exclusive system until after Christmas?  Who knows, but I think it’s safe to say the Wii U will cover their non-Canadian bases.

A (belated) Happy Birthday

On Nov. 16, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto celebrated his 60th birthday.  Miyamoto is responsible for various classic game franchises, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong.

For my seventh birthday, I recall my favorite gift being a copy of Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy Color.  I spent countless hours with the game, giving it more attention than anything else.  This was long before I knew who Miyamoto was, let alone that I shared a birthday with the video game icon.  Here’s to us, and our forty-year difference.

Official Playstation Magazine closes

According to Game Informer, Playstation: The Official Magazine will be ending production with their Holiday 2012 issue.  The magazine’s publisher, Future US, also announced the closing of Nintendo Power in August, with the last issue coming out this December.

As an avid fan of print journalism, it pains me to see so many video game publications biting the dust.  There’s not much to say on the subject, but this post goes out to all the print journalists, gaming or otherwise.