Death of a Next-Gen Gamer
When the news of the latest consoles broke I was one of the happiest people on earth. I consider myself one of the second generation of gamers. I wasn’t there for the Magnavox Odyssey (1972) or the Phillips Odyssey (1976). But I was around for the rest, the Ataris, the Amigas, the Sega Master System and Nintendo Entertainment System (Nes).
From the age of four I remember opening a package on Christmas day and seeing the original Gameboy and that was it. I missed the rest of Christmas it passed by in a blur as my head was buried in Tetris and Mario and thus my life began as a gamer.
Unfortunately I didn’t count on the entire price of the new consoles, at the moment I can easily be considered poor. I have very little money and it doesn’t look like this will change soon, so the thought of shelling out £429 for the X-Box 1 or even £349 for the Playstation 4 is a big ask. Especially if you consider each game is looking to go for around £54.99.
At first I thought this wouldn’t be a problem, second-hand games become quite cheap after a while, but if developers get their way this will no longer be an option. I then had the notion of renting a game, maybe from Blockbuster whilst it still stays open. But then the same problem arises, it will be impossible to rent games just like it will be difficult/nigh on impossible to get second-hand games.
So, distraught at the thought of being unable to join in the gaming revolution for the first time in my life, I decided instead to go backwards. I believe a lot more people will do the same thing. Whilst I have the X-Box, the Dreamcast and PS2, there are so many games I haven’t played on them. If you go to Computer Exchange or even eBay you can find an abundance of these games for anywhere from £0.50p to £12 if it’s a good or rare game.
Even at £12 you could still buy 4 great games for PS2 or X-Box for the price of a single game on the next-gen console.
When the first computer was made, it was believed that they would eventually become so big and so powerful, that only the rich and powerful would be able to afford them. And yet, 72 years later they have come down in price and availability. Whereas consoles appear to be rising in price with each generation, as do the games and the controllers.
My question has become, why am I spending over £470 or £400 for a console and one game. When, on my laptop I have a plethora of new independent games, Game Dev Tycoon ($7.99*), Amnesia: The Dark Descent (£12.99) or even Bastion (£11.49).
Who are Sony and Microsoft really aiming their new products at? It can’t be the students, the poor or even the casual gamer. It seems to me they are aiming their products at the rich, but I can see parents around Christmas time selling some of their stuff just to make their child happy on Christmas day even though they can’t really afford it. And in todays economy, a double-dip recession with no end in sight, this could be a dangerous situation to be in.
*Price from Greenheart Game Website