Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hey, the new Playstation is ... zzz

I own a Playstation 2 and a Playstation 3. I don't think I'll be buying in to this new generation, for several reasons:

1. Steam.

Steam has spoiled me for inexpensive, convenient gaming options. The thought of paying $60 for a new game fills me with pain; with Steam, I can wait a while and eventually pay $30, or $20, or $10. Plus I don't have to go out to GameStop or wherever. I click a few buttons and download the game. And if I have to reinstall my PC, or get a new PC, I don't have to dig for the old game boxes to reinstall a game. I just reinstall Steam and tell it to send me the games I already own.

2. The games I want are on the PC.

I'm not excited about Dragon Age 3 or Mass Effect 5 or Call of Duty 74 or whatever. I'm excited about Shadowrun Returns, and Project Eternity, and Clockwork Empires, and Starbound, and Star Citizen. These games aren't going to show up on the consoles.

3. Backward compatibility.

If I get a new PC next year, I expect to be able to run all my old games on it. If I get a PS4, I'm not going to be able to run my PS3 games on it. Current word is that they won't support backward compatibility "at launch". Odds are that means "never". If I want to play my PS2 and PS3 and PS4 games, I'd have to have three different consoles hooked up to the PC, with all of their individual controllers and so forth. No, thanks.

4. I'm going to have a PC anyway.

I use my PC at home for programming, writing, art, e-mail, building content for my tabletop roleplaying sessions, and a bunch of other things. I don't need to pay another $500 so that I can go play games on the couch.

5. There are cheaper ways to stream Netflix.

Pretty much the only thing my PS3 gets used for these days is streaming videos (see point 1 above). I don't need to get a PS4 to do that. I can keep the PS3 around, or repurpose an old PC, or hook up any one of a number of cheap boxes that support streaming.

I'm probably not getting out of console gaming completely --  I've got my eye on one of these -- but I think that I'll be able to get my gaming fix without chasing whatever high-priced gaming appliance Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo is trying to sell me.