Review of the generation, part 2 – Reader’s Feature

A reader concludes his look back at the current generation of consoles, including the best and worst trends and his hopes for the future.

Since this current generation is coming to a close I thought I’d give my views on the generation as a whole and some of my hopes for the next generation.


The Good

The graphics. At first it didn’t seem like a massive jump from the last generation but if you look at, say, Red Dead Redemption 2 compared with GTA 5, or even the remastered version, the differences are obvious. Even older games like Batman: Arkham Knight look amazing.

The games. The first few years were a bit barren but the last few years have produced some great games and this year could be one of the best still. Personally, I am looking forward to The Last Of Us Part 2, Resident Evil 3, and hopefully, if some of the rumours are true, maybe even a new Batman game or a sequel to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

Innovation. Really, if we are honest, most of the time whichever console you choose, especially when it comes to PlayStation and Xbox, there isn’t much difference. However, now it seems there is actually real choice. For those interested in VR then Sony is obviously the front runner. More interested in gaming on a budget, then Game Pass offers a variety of titles for good value. If being able to enjoy gaming on the move is more your thing then the Switch would be the obvious choice.

Value. Video games, in some ways, haven’t caught up with other forms of media. Whereas 10 years or so ago people would still shell out £10 a time for the latest CD or DVD, now many people enjoy access to hundreds of films and unlimited music for less than a tenner a month. Up until recently though a game would still cost up to £50. Game Pass and PS Now have started to offer real value for money and an alternative to those gaming on a limited budget.

Consoles. From a personal point of view through a combination of saving, dumb luck (managed to get a Switch with a mobile phone upgrade) and birthday/Xmas gifts I’ve managed to obtain an Xbox One S, PlayStation 4 slim, and the Switch – as well as PlayStation VR. Gone are the days of having envy over a game you don’t have the system for.

The Bad

Game delays and reduced output. It seems like nearly every AAA game this generation has had a delay. Red Dead Redemption 2, Batman: Arkham Knight, and Uncharted 4, to name a few. Not only that but major studios such as Rockstar have produced far less games than the previous generation. For example, last generation from Rockstar we ha two GTAs, Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club, Max Payne, and L.A. Noire. This generation only the single game.

Games as a service. Part of the lack of output from certain games companies is the introduction of games as a service. I’m all for continued support of older titles but not at the expense of continuing development and innovation. Personally I very rarely play online and would much rather play single-player games.

Loot boxes and microtransactions. It seems like every game these days tries to incorporate this into the game. I feel if you have spent £50 on a game then you shouldn’t be asked to fork over more money. Some of the items in question are ridiculous. Frankly, I’ve never felt inclined to spend any money on cosmetic items or extra items but in my mind these should be no more than a quid or two.

Digital games. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely against digital games rather than physical copies. I’ve picked up the occasional bargain myself. It’s just that most of the time the prices are ridiculous. The amount of times I’ve bought some second-hand games in a shop I’ve gone home and out of interest had a look at the online prices and found they are double or sometimes triple the price.

Cut scenes and game length. Currently I am playing Breath Of The Wild. I’ve already sunk a number of hours into the game and have only completed like a fifth of the shrines and uncovered half the map. Who knows if I will ever complete it. These days it seems it’s a competition to see who has the longest game. Sometimes less is more. Also, at times I get frustrated with cut scenes. An engaging narrative is great but not when it constantly interrupts the flow of gameplay.

My hopes for the future

A stellar launch line-up. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as far as I can tell, didn’t have many great games to start with. Look at Nintendo with the Switch on the other hand, with Breath Of The Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Splatoon 2 within the first six to nine months of launch. Please Sony and Microsoft, give us some games near to launch to get excited about.

Continued Support for PS Now/Game Pass. I think this will be the case for Microsoft and they will continue to expand Game Pass and release Xbox exclusives from day one on the service. However, hopefully Sony will also continue to make PS Now a must have service.

More VR games. Recently I bought a PlayStation VR headset and it is great when playing certain games. However, I don’t think anything I’ve played has matched up to Astro Bot. More must-have games need to be released to keep people interested.

More incentive to go digital. As much as I don’t like it, we are moving towards digital-only gaming, with less emphasis on physical games. For me there need to be more incentives for the consumer. Loyalty schemes such as buy so many games and get the next free or perhaps buy a certain game and get the sequel for a discounted price, etc. are ways to do this.

Also, new releases should be cheaper. There’s no costs of producing a disc and case, no middle man i.e. game shops. No loss from trade-in, etc. Yet these savings are never passed to the consumer. If anything, new releases can be £10 to £20 more expensive on PS store/Xbox online.

By reader matc7884

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.

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