I'm sorry. I know I'm just stating the obvious, and I'll probably catch a lot of flak for being an aging gamer in an era that features electronic interactive experiences the likes of which we didn't dare dream of a quarter-century ago. But you have to understand: I am excited every time a game like Killzone 2 comes down the pike, and in no way do I believe games were "better" on the Atari or Nintendo. Obviously, that's just not true. But I'm in one of these phases where I think the entire industry is suffering from a minor identity crisis.

Firmware updates (some of which brick systems). Photo lists. Movies. Wallpaper. Themes. Online access. Online multiplayer. Online store. Online everything . Console/handheld connectivity. Playable demos. Virtual interactive communities. Avatars. Stat-tracking. Trophies. Achievements. Motion-sensing. Exercise. Friends lists. Messages, e-mail, updates. Patches. Touch-screen. Stylus. Resolution settings. Backwards compatibility. Media compatibility. Flash drives. Hard drives. Wi-Fi. …'sigh'

These aren't bad things. Technically speaking, they're all advancements and improvements, and many of them allow us to experience video games in a way never before deemed possible. But sometimes, I just yearn for the days when a console was a console and a game was a game. I don't particularly like the idea that every single game has a new update the week after it's released. I don't really like the firmware updates that consist of features I'll never use. I don't really care if my console can make me a sandwich and read me a story. I have it to play games , and while I remain firmly convinced that – thankfully – software still drives this industry, I'm starting to wonder when the "gadgetry" approach will start to encroach on the game dominion. I'd rather not have the major manufacturing companies think that we value sortable photo galleries over awesome games. To be perfectly honest, I'd be willing to sacrifice a great many next-gen features for any number of new games.

And that's the point: the games aren't replaceable. Without them, it really doesn't matter what your console can "do." They will quickly become uninteresting to gamers , and while that's fine in the case of the Wii (it's just a gadget that plays Flash games and caters mostly to NON-gamers, anyway)…but it's not fine in the case of the PS3 and 360. We need to keep pushing forward, and it's really not going to happen with more hardware options; it's going to happen with killer software. The good news is that the killer software is already here and more is coming, but I'm just a little concerned. This rant may only be founded in baseless nostalgia, but I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who sees the beginnings of an identity crisis (especially in the handheld realm). Games. It's what I'm in this for. What about you ?

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Skatejimmy5
Skatejimmy5
11 years ago

I'm also all for the games. I don't need movie downloads, photo galleries nor themes. Although, I like the additions of multiplayer and trophies, but they're just bonuses.

crapreviews
crapreviews
11 years ago

The online game store and movie store is fine with me. But the whole picture thing, and all that i don't need on a gaming system.

SynerG
SynerG
11 years ago

I have a PS3, no 360, and I love the features that I have with it. I have my music on there, and I love how it plays Blu-ray movies. So in a sense, I do love the features that it has…however, like you said, it is about the games, and without good games, a system will usually die out. That's what they're sole purpose should be, and that's how it ought to be.

However, I do like the ability for publishers to patch there games on consoles now. In the past, you would buy a game, and it might be really good, but there were a few things that couldn't be fixed at first, so you were stuck with those problems. Now, thankfully, those things can be fixed via updates, something the PC has been able to do for eternity. I am thankful for that at least, but yes, please keep the games coming!

SPS3
SPS3
11 years ago

I like all of the tech advances they offer thru downloads, but I'd rather see a bigger push in the development of games with better graphics, innovation, features & so forth.

city96
city96
11 years ago

Games sell the console but the consoles will still always have good games. its a cycle.

people buy console.
console has good games
advancement in tech
more people buy
more money
the better the games get

the gaming industry is worth billions now


Last edited by city96 on 1/27/2009 1:20:47 PM

K ASH
K ASH
11 years ago

Console = games for me but i dont the added multimedia features. I think why sony made the super photo slide is because of the native japanese culture of taking a gazillion fotos & the fact that ps3 are in living rooms over. But they should add more game oriented updates like letting us ingame pic & editing them.

whooka
whooka
11 years ago

I'm kind of with you on this one though I do like the inclusion of the Bluray player on the PS3 as i didn't have to spend money seperately on one and I love leeching the 1080p/AVCHDs but beyond that most of the features noted in the article I'd rather have my laptop handle as it's definitely more reliable, easier to backup, easier to add codecs for certain media types, a helluva alot easier to cruise the web, etc, etc. With my laptop attached to my LCD TV via a VGA cable there's no reason to fill up the limited space on my PS3 with various media and deal with streaming a media server, etc. While I see where the console manufacturs are headed with this, I think it's a bit late with the price of PCs getting so cheap but I suppose they think some people will opt for a game console rather then a PC (or additional, newer PC to add to their home for media purposes) if they can get it all in one but I agree that game consoles should focus on games (though the bluray feature comes along with games being published on bluray media so that makes sense)the rest of the stuff leave to the machines that have been specifically developed to handle the tasks (i.e. PCs, MACs, etc).

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
11 years ago

Well, I'm a gadget freak, so I love all the added features and stuff. And I've got plenty of games, so…it's all good! Hell, I swear, I still have PS3 games that I either haven't played at all, or have only played a little bit.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Love the new avatar Troy 🙂

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

Hilarious!

Troy Powers
Troy Powers
11 years ago

Hey, what better to portray a young black man's love of video games than "Two Happy Negoes on a Hardwood Floor?"

I'd frame this photo and hang it on my wall if I could. 😀

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

Is that what the piece is called now? I think it's a wonderful name. Bring it to San Fran I am sure we can find a gallery that will give you a butt load of cash to hang it there and stand in front of it.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Yes, San Fran would do. Now, don't be hanging it around your bedroom. Those brothers look like they might be more than just brothers, if you know what I mean. Cuz, you might send yo lady the wrong message!

PS3_Wizard
PS3_Wizard
11 years ago

haven't you had that avatar for awhile now?

pavlovic
pavlovic
11 years ago

One think that I can't stand is this "ability" that the developers have to patch or update the games. It's great that they can fix the games, but this "ability" let them ship incomplete games (Socom anyone?)

I would love to see a game that it's complete and ran trough the beta testing phase and it is really ready to ship.

For the multimedia capabilities, I only use the BD player, as I did with the PS2's dvd playback capability. Photos, music, videos or any multimedia is on my VAIO multimedia center hooked up up to my TV.

So, my consoles are for playing games, no more, no less

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

If you're going to complain about developers not making sure their games are fixed before they release them, you might want to check your post for errors before you post it.

Just saying.

pavlovic
pavlovic
11 years ago

I'm not getting paid for writing my comments. And English is not my language. So shut up.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Couldn't agree more. The thing I admired about the PS2/360 is they where game consoles FIRST. I think Sony went away a bit on the PS3 to try and push bluray more but they are fixing that with some nice titles coming.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I think Sony just underestimated the stupidity of people, I still feel PS3 is a games first system but they certainly tried to use it as a Trojan Horse to get Blu-ray out there AND get PS3 sales. But the basic dummies at best buy who didn't want to play games but wanted blu-ray went ahead and paid $1000 for a standalone player when they could have gotten a PS3 (The opposite of what Sony hoped would happen)

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

They used the PS3 to flagship a new tech but I don't think they went out of their way to detour from the console being for games they just want it to be about more than games. They want it to be a whole media outlet which is good and bad at the same time really. On one hand you get the whole package in one unit and you can forgo buying a console a blu-ray player a dvd player and a laptop. On the other hand not many people want to do that here in the US. Japan maybe but here people love to have lots of stuff so they can say well that they have lots of stuff. What I feel they did very right was give us options and they are expanding on that and to say they did not focus on games is a fallacy. They did have decent games in the beginning but not very many people knew what to do with the tech they were given. With that slow developer adoption behind us for the most part we are seeing games really shine now. Sony detract from gaming with the PS3? Not really. Sony too ambitious with the PS3? Maybe a little bit but the gamble is proving to pay off now so its ok. Microsoft made a gamble in the beginning with their system too let us not forget. It was pushed out the door a bit too fast and did in fact come back to bite them and now they have lost a lot of money and looks like they have had to do a bit of belt tightening with the lay off of a large section of their Game Studios.

TheUglyBassist
TheUglyBassist
11 years ago

The PS2 is, in my opinion, the best console to date. I got started with SOCOM 2 and just kept finding more and more games to play from there.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Yeah I get what your saying.

I wasn't implying that Sony abanded the gaming world. Just that they put a lil more into bluray at the start.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Derr, I like my multimedia sh*t but the point here is very clear, are we gamers or are we multimedia-ers? I suppose this is just gaming systems catching up with the rest of the insane world of technology. Frankly I don't need TV on my PC either, I don't need Internet on my damn phone (I have the ability to go out and not check my email)

See, every device is trying to do everything, we learned some time ago that internet, phone, tv, and recording technology would all merge and they are, but should gaming do the same? Will I one day have to choose between a Sony SuperMedia Centre or a Microsoft XCentre Solution instead of a game console? I certainly hope not. Things are getting too incestuous.

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

God I hope you are wrong about the SuperMedia Centre and the XCenter Solution but for some reason I think you have had a moment of clairvoyance. I can definitely see it happening and that is a frightening concept.

I mean look at what google wants to do with the GDrive.

Kangasfwa
Kangasfwa
11 years ago

Sony is just trying to live up their "center of the media center" slogan for PS3. A lot of these firmware updates make sense when you consider the applications. Would you rather show everyone your vacation pictures while hunched over a computer screen or on your couch looking at your hdtv via your PS3?

I'm not worried about an "identity crisis" for consoles, developers make games, not manufacturers. The PS3 is a game console that can do other things that make it more appealing mainstream. Instead of having to buy a blu-ray player and dvr you could just buy the PS3.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
11 years ago

I'm all for the experience. I love getting sucked into great storylines, and if a 7.1 reciever and a 1080P 46" TV help that along, then I'm all for it. Yes, a game console is first and foremost a game console, but since Sony implemented all these other great features in their console, why not take advantage of them?

After all, isn't the big TV and amazing audio part of the gaming experience?

And about all the other things… its a double edged sword. I still play Super Stardust HD. It's one of the only games I have that can be beat in less than an hour. It's easy to get hooked, the gameplay is the bread and butter(no storyline), it's addicting and looks really good. It's also only available online. So I'll trade the never-ending updates, installs, patches and connection issues for great little gems like this.

The way I see it, every litte update, whether it effects the games we play or not, is advancing the industry. I honestly don't think that the gaming division of these big companies is going to put the gadgetry ahead of the games, because it's not what the consumer wants.

If the PS3 was really just a glorified blu-ray player, it wouldn't have sold half of what it has to this point. Sony must know that the 120,000,000 people who bought PS2 bought it to play games, they're not going to ignore their past audience by putting games second to gadgets and little extras.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Depends
I have to partially agree that they gotta keep their focus on games. And that's where most of the focus is anyway.

But what I don't like is when they give us features and EXPECT everyone to just love these features.

PSHOME is one of those features which I think Sony expected too much from. It's a great networking feature and will be super awesome when they start opening more spaces(Street Fighter space!!!!).

^But the point is that they should not expect everyone to be on that 24/7 if at all.

But yeah I do miss the days when consoles were games only. Just because you got to hang out with TRUE gamers who loved games.

It all comes down to making v-games completely mainstream(anyone can play it). Or keeping it hardcore(with a minority of casuals).

I prefer hardcore ANY DAY.

I have a Wii and it's a 50/50 thing. The good 50 is the Virtua Console and the few good games. The other 50 is all the crappy casual games.

bamf
bamf
11 years ago

For me as long as PS3 is a game console first, I don't mind all the extra features. Its not like a car where you pay extra for added features biult in. But no-one will complain if those added features in a car come for free.
And aren't we all on a buzz when we hear of a new major firmware update?

What I like about the PS3 is that it can be the media device in your living room next to the TV. If you are playing a game and then you want to watch a digital movie, there is no need to set up and turn on your PC or laptop. Just exit the game and find your movie off your HDD on your PS3. Play your music or check out your photographs with friends is a doddle. With having a digital surrond sound system to compliment your setup. ou just wouldn't have your laptop setup like this, a laptop is kinda more private.


Last edited by bamf on 1/27/2009 2:33:37 PM

faraga
faraga
11 years ago

i like the music (cd or hdd) and video (dvd or hdd) GAMING especially, that's why i bought my ps3
use the webbrowser regullary
never used blu-ray movies yet
but that's just cuz i lack an hd tv
i use mediaserver stuff, friend list, sometimes use photo stuff, it'll read photo's off a cd-rom if you'd want it to

now all i want is some bc so i can play my ps2 games since my ps2 is dead

played a game of chess @ Home today, but i lost-.-


Last edited by faraga on 1/27/2009 3:07:18 PM

LightShow
LightShow
11 years ago

i liked what the gcube did with the GBA, especially in Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (which was a good game!) and Wind Waker. I've always kinda hoped that someone would do something similar for the PS3 and the PSP…

just my personal tastes is all.

Zorigo
Zorigo
11 years ago

this is one of the most stupid things you've evcer written. yes you're good, but i like the option of all this stuff. while i love good ol single player, everything else is an added bonus. and i like bonuses.

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

This is an opinion piece. How is anyone stupid for writing an opinion piece? I don't think it was ever stated that the bonuses should be removed just that it should not be the main focus.

Opinions are like a$$holes and you're being an opinion right now.

EDIT: I am not trying to bash you but don't jump the gun and call anyone stupid for having an opinion about the features around today everyone is entitled to their own view point.


Last edited by coverton341 on 1/27/2009 3:35:10 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Obviously, you're very young. Obviously, you're not old enough to understand this piece…which is the disclaimer I specifically put at the start.

ThePoetRazel
ThePoetRazel
11 years ago

Ben, please don't dismiss this person's opinion just because he is young. Ever heard of Mozart?
Instead, dismiss him because his comment displays a lack of intellect.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I'm dismissing him because he's young. …you'll know why when you're older.

KevinCairo
KevinCairo
11 years ago

He didn't call Ben stupid. Since when was it wrong to have an opinion about an opinion? Sure, stupid is a rude word, but it's not as much an insult as it is a disagreement.

ThePoetRazel
ThePoetRazel
11 years ago

The error of youth is inexperience, while the error of age is arrogance.
Maybe you'll understand that when you are older. 😉

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

I highly doubt the likes of Mozart would've responded in such a juvenile tone.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

And what about the combination of "inexperience" and "arrogance"?

ThePoetRazel
ThePoetRazel
11 years ago

Arrogance and inexperience combined? I think that's called "George Bush"

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Junior and Senior.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

…but not Ben. He's kool.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

I feel like a victorian ninny, right now. Where is my wig?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Inexperience is assuming the experienced are arrogant.

😉

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Jeeby Jedi, Jeeby Jedi!!!

ThePoetRazel
ThePoetRazel
11 years ago

And arrogance is believe that one's own experience is the sole requirement to be correct.
Geez, this could go on forever. lol

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

To percieve truth can only be done by experiencing it yourself 😉

Veritas Vincit
Veritas Vincit
11 years ago

Did anybody see that the new firmware 2.6 is bricking ps3's??

http://www.ps3center.net/news/2224/sonys-ps3-firmware-update-crashing-systems/

Arkhon
Arkhon
11 years ago

Not to brag or anything, but that's where Microsoft's experience with online infrastructures and operating systems pays off with the Xbox 360's firmware updates.

ThePoetRazel
ThePoetRazel
11 years ago

Good point Arkhon. Shame you can't say the same about Microsoft's skill with hardware huh?