Considering the amazing number of devices most of us have access to these days, including smartphones, tablets, consoles, set top boxes, and computers, I'd be curious to know how everyone goes about playing. Do you stick to a handful of devices (and if so, which ones) or do you like to sample from everything that you own? What if you're like me and also have a collection of vintage platforms to choose from as well? There's a point where you have "option paralysis," of course, where you have so many gaming options to choose from that you tend not to play much of anything. Have you reached that point?
As for me, I find my habits fluctuate greatly. One week I might be on a vintage platform kick, while another I might exclusively game on my tablet or PC, while another still I might pick a recent console. Other times I want to play multiple things on multiple systems and end up not being able to choose or be limited by real world demands on my time (or energy), despite my enthusiasm otherwise. I suspect this will get worse as the two latest consoles get released this November and interest in the previous generation of systems wanes and we have to start making decisions about what to do with these now "legacy" consoles. Of course, that's to say nothing of things like low cost Android devices and even the upcoming "Steam Box," which will add further options (and confusion) to the mix. All these choices are truly both exciting and overwhelming.
So, what's YOUR plan of action?
Bill, in a lot of ways I think I am quite similar to you as I seem to go through phases where I focus on a specific system, era or game type or even a particular game and stick to that for a while. While my system collection isn't as vast as yours it is sometimes a little overwhelming. I just go with my instinct and there are also times when I don't want to touch a controller, keyboard or joystick for quite a while.
For me there are still a lot of games I have sitting on the shelves ancient, old and current gen that I still have to sample and play through so I am more inclined to wait out the next gen race for a bit. I did jump on the bandwagon and got a WiiU and I am sticking with that and supporting that for a bit. I wasn't happy by the whole DRM thing Microsoft thought of first and the market clearly wasn't ready for it. So they adapted. The gap between Sony and Microsoft clearly is diminishing and Indie developers aren't facing huge costs to be able to publish on Xbox live and update their apps anymore so that is a good thing. Android gaming has captured my attention, the new SteamOS may be interesting who knows what will happen. Interesting times and a lot of competition. As an early adopter I probably won't be able to stay away long from the new stuff and it usually ends up in the home after I bleed some hard earned cash. I will keep you guys posted of course ;)
Well said, Mark. It's difficult for guys like us to stay away from the new stuff even though we already have more games than we can play in a lifetime. By the time SteamOS hits in 2014, we'll be buried in an avalanche of competing platforms the likes of which we haven't seen since the "wild west" of computers and consoles in the early 1980s when it seemed liked dozens of companies were vying for our attention (and there probably were literally dozens).
I sold my pc and bought wii u, because i was bored from uniformity of pc games and wiiu gamepad is fantastic tool for browsing internet, so now i have wii u, psp and ps2 on which i play mostly arcade conversions and sega megadrive and atari 2600 collections. Sorry for my english.
That's pretty fascinating that you'd use a Wii U for that instead of a tablet, but I suppose it's a reasonable Web surfer. I have two Wii U's, but rarely use either of them, honestly. There just haven't been any compelling games for my tastes as of yet, and I've been dissapointed in the ones I was expecting to like (Tank! Tank! Tank! and Lego City Undercover). My daughters do enjoy playing Scribblenauts quite a bit, though (but of course, they also play it on a bunch of other platforms too).
I also find it fascinating that you'd call PC games "uniform," as I'd argue outside of motion/camera gaming, it has perhaps the most diverse library out there.
Yes, pc has a lot of games, but these days there are mostly indie games, multiplatform ports like fps and few exclusivities, like rts and simulators. If you want to play old pc games you have to use keyboard or mouse with them and that is pretty uncomfortable for me sitting in front of my monitor with hands on my desk. Every bigger game needs so much time to play it, so i found console gaming especially nintendo wiiu as best for me, but it depends on user of course. And these nintendo games has so good live feeling and sense of humour, its refreshing in opposide of big projects with boring serious story. And i found one very important thing-if you play on hdtv, you need those with lov inputlag, this thing can ruin your game experience.
I am going to ramble on a bit here (and maybe even rave a bit too). I am also going to be deliberately provocative. So please excuse me.
I believe that for the most part, we are now playing video games in a non-optimal - almost crippled - way - and the real crime is - games are being designed for this way of consuming them - continuing to deliver a watered down experience. It's akin to eating sweets/candy with the wrapper still on - AND - I would go as far to say that it divisive - and playing its part in the inaccurate mainstream perception of gamers as something not entirely wholesome.
The whole WW2/FPS/gore thing has its role to play too - but is a red herring - and it only exists because of the pit created by consoles and now handhelds that for the most part - encourage lone gaming and encourage the development of the lone gamer - online or not.
Games were born in the arcade (in pubs to be more accurate) - the first successful one was two player only remember, required one hand for compatibilty with being in a bar , and was a social device.
Anyone remember when some arcade cabinets had 2nd monitors on the top for spectators? I do. I can remember the old 2 player shooter Boot Hill having that - it attracted crowds. Dragon's Lair had it too - though that was for different reasons. Even single player gaming in the arcade wasn't a solitary exercise - the thrill of showing your skills, or coming across someone who was skilled in one your favourites was great - and youtube is a poor substitute.
I can remember tips and tricks that seemed to just become common knowledge - the photo finish bonus in track & field, ufo hunting in Asteroids - they became known without any need for the world wide web. Social gaming.
Single player gaming is valid of course - but when arcades died and gaming went into the home, the secondary, poorer home experience (which still has some merit when proper gaming as I'd call it isn't available) became the only option - and gaming is all the poorer for it.
Arcade gaming and it's even more thrilling cousin, the same room competition (witness the atmosphere at the likes of EVO or the Classic Tetris Championship - thankfully it hasn't gone away) is real gaming. Anything else is second best.
I have organised small work-based competitions and younger gamers, xbox live veterans, step up and their hands shake. I know some who actually can't do it - can't perform in front of a crowd - sounds a bit like sport to me.
This sort of event is a rarity in gaming and gamers - to their shame - have allowed this to happen. If gaming was physical - and standing at a cabinet can be, or being in a room of a dozen of more jeering people (loads more at EVO), can be - and if gaming can bring it's own level of intensity,and if it was presented so that non-gamers could experience it - I honestly believe more would do it - and we would all benefit from it.
There are assholes in gaming - and they are at soccer,football,basketball matches too.
Arcade and tournament gaming needs local competitive - head to head games that can be enjoyed by spectators. They need to be accessible yet deep enough for experts - and they are few and far between.SFII(and its modern ilk) Virtua Tennis, Tank, Tetris are some examples - and THEY and associated events where physical presence is required should be the mainstream - not cussing, paying-in immature louts online - nor lonely Bejeweled playing 40 somethings.
They, and those games, have their place - but they should be the 2nd choice experience - something to tide one over until an opportunity to experience the real thing comes along - which should be as regular as more traditional pastimes....think golf would be as popular if it was played online? We shouldn't let technology get in the way of experiencing real gaming.
How on Earth have we arrived where we are? Modern experiences are good.....good enough. No passion, no social scene, less skill. It looks good for corporate balance books and looks good to those who like technology more than games.
Sadly it's a long road back - EVO shows the way. This is a call to arms. Get out there and organise events - bring real gaming back.