Gaming Console Generation 9 Bares All
Gaming Console Generation 9 will go down as the most unique in gaming history. The launches of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, and S, came at a unique time. Like almost everything that happened post-COVID, the launches were unique.
Supply issues were a big problem and only recently have been rectified. Even though the consoles launched in 2020, it would take two years before they became readily available to the average consumer. Anyone that missed out on the initial shipments would either have to wait or shell out ridiculous money to scalpers. No launch for a generation of consoles has been as hard struck.
Supply issues not only made consoles hard to come by, but it prolonged the transition from the previous generation. It’s midyear 2023 and only now are Sony and Microsoft making the break from supporting games to run on their previous gen consoles. COVID had a big impact on the gaming industry, too. Game development is difficult under the best of circumstances. To develop games for new hardware platforms is always an extra challenge. Add the unexpected double whammy of team members being split up and doing their work in isolation.
Gen 9 Games
No Gen 9 games for either console were available in 2020. It took until June 2021 for Sony to release the first PS5 only title – Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. But that was the only PS5 only game to be released so far. This year only the DLC for Horizon Forbidden required a PS5 to play.
On the Xbox side, first party games were even scarcer. No new games at all in 2022. There were still games on both consoles, of course. Good games too. Just not next gen.
Another thing hung over the gaming world that cast a pall over it, the MS acquisition deal. Whichever side of the fence you lean against, the recent details that came out during the FTC hearings were sobering. We’ve all known for quite a while that video-games have been big business. Publicly, videogame companies projected a friendly facade. They presented themselves as congenial competitors in one of the best marketplaces possible. A friendly facade ripped away by the revelations that have come out of the FTC.
There are big dollars at stake here. AAA games command budgets that rival block buster movies. Each company is out to ruthlessly acquire whatever tactically competitive edge they can find. This all plays into the fracturing of the gamer base into console specific camps.
Gen 9 Good Stuff
All of this has pulled away the curtains on any romantic or naïve notions we have possessed. The ninth generation of consoles brought us many quality of life improvements. Things such as faster load times, better gaming experiences, haptic feedback, VR, and the promise of greater things to come. We can also play the best version of previous games.
Not all the changes are welcome or pleasant. However, there is still joy and entertainment possible in gaming. Casual gamers remain unaware of the current dynamics or drama going on in the gaming industry. For hardcore gamers the task is harder. Any gamer who watches YouTube videos has to wade through a lot of noise and negativity to wade through. Yet, not is all lost.
Good Games Above All
There is still the rush of enjoyment that a well-executed game can bring. The reactions to Elden Ring and The Tears of the Kingdom are proof of this. The outpouring of happiness and excitement of games such as these bypass the sobering realities of the industry.
Take heart. The joy of gaming is still there.
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