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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Aggie Arcade: Your weekly dose of video games

Video Games: The Next Generation

We have now arrived at the biggest month in video games in about seven or eight years. In just one week Sony will release the PlayStation 4, and Microsoft will follow suit on Nov. 22 with the Xbox One. Let’s just say the next few weeks will be simultaneously hectic and thrilling.

I find myself surprised by the lack of enthusiasm from a large part of the video game community. I’ve been reading about people canceling pre-orders due to underwhelming launch lineups and rumored interface issues on the Xbox One. But what about the childlike enthusiasm that comes from owning the coolest new piece of technology?

As for the launch lineup, it’s far less dire than some make it out to be. Let’s not forget that Perfect Dark Zero and Resistance: Fall of Man were the big-name launch titles for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively. Even at the time they were merely serviceable games, and the ensuing years have not treated them well. I doubt we’ll feel the same way about the PS4’s Killzone: Shadow Fall or the Xbox One’s Dead Rising 3 in a few years.

But I’m also excited about some of the community features that Microsoft and Sony are pushing forward with the Xbox One and PS4. I love the idea of pressing the “share” button on the PS4 controller in order to upload a quick gameplay video if I destroy a boss or solve an incredibly difficult puzzle in record time. Additionally, on day one users will be able to stream through the console’s Twitch integration. As someone who streams regularly, I couldn’t be happier with the inclusion of that feature.

I freely admit that a lot of the appeal of new consoles is the potential for greatness more so than immediate results. When I first get the PS4 I’ll probably play the thing 24/7 before I get burned out. At that point it may collect dust for a month or two while I wait for more games to come out. Eventually we’ll get to a point in which both consoles feature large and diverse video game libraries, but that takes time. As they say, patience is a virtue.

The release of these consoles will also add fuel to the Sony vs. Microsoft debate, but I honestly don’t care who comes out on top this holiday season. I only pre-ordered the PS4, but the most important thing is a sense of competition. That brings out the best in both companies and in turn rewards the video game audience.

In the meantime, I’m going to obsessively read about these new consoles while I impatiently wait for my PS4 to arrive. I hope to provide some early impressions of the new console in the next edition of the Aggie Arcade.

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