How Gaming Conventions Should Be (Opinion)

Gamescon took place earlier this week in Cologne, Germany and during Microsoft/Sony’s press conferences I realized that I’m sick of watching these things only to be utterly disappointed in each presentation. Don’t get me wrong, the software and the games look so beautiful but it’s so much more than that. We’re getting played with using savvy word games, and being toyed with like experiments from major corporations. Hipster talk, I know, but stay with me.

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Platforms should focus on exclusives.

The internet went in an uproar when Xbox announced that the new Tomb Raider game would be an “exclusive”, only to retract that statement 24 hours later saying it’s only a timed run on the Xbox first and will be available on other platforms eventually. Then Sony went on to showcase some beautiful looking IPs, with little-to-no mention of the word “exclusive”. This makes the battle of the consoles more confusing than it should be.

I strongly believe that these systems should focus strictly on their exclusive games, and let a third presentation carry on for multi-platform games. This is what the consumer / gaming community needs. Every year the line of exclusives get blurred more and more. The whole point of these presentation is to sell more consoles with hype of their system, not just games for both coming down the pipeline. I’m aware that Microsoft really started this because they struggled to pick up exclusives at the launch but let’s put a nail in that coffin right now. Xbox One has so much more going on than just games, and both consoles should be talking about their future; with or without the games only they offer.

We’re in a generation of gaming that is so much more than games. It’s how you connect with friends, and the whole experience should be a big selling point for these consoles. As an Xbox user, I know what Xbox is offering as far as monthly updates, listening to user feedback, and everything else. As a consumer, I want to know what Sony is offering besides Playstation TV. Are they listening to feedback? Are they providing updates on a regular basis? Are they supporting external hard drives? I have no idea, because instead of talking about their system they talked about games the whole time. Games that will most likely be on Xbox too.

End The Console War

Xbox started the blurred exclusive line while Playstation is keeping their dukes up. None of this is good for the gamer, or the community in general and it needs to end now. Sony spent their first 4-5 minutes of the conference bragging about sales, resolution, and really nothing else. This is becoming a major trend in Playstation’s marketing. I’m not saying this style of marketing doesn’t work, or that it isn’t even informative (“I’m A Mac” anyone?); I’m just saying that it’s obvious Playstation is winning the race, and their focal point of bragging is beyond twisted. Let’s quit saying “we’re the best” and explain why you’re claiming to be the best.

Before the Xbox One was launched, they were working on a family share plan that let players share digital games, and it’s something are finally starting to believe they want. When they were working out the kinks, rumors were strong of Digital Rights Management (DRM) being more bad than it was good. Of course, to launch something like digital sharing, there needed to be DRM but the internet hadn’t figured that out yet. While these rumors were high, and Xbox was staying quiet until they had it all worked out, Playstation attacked Microsoft’s politics, giving voice to these rumors. Instead of going ahead with the sharing program, Xbox listened to the huge uproar of confused internet users and canned the whole program entirely. This ruined the future of console gaming for everybody.

You know that political ads that attack their opponent with stretched truths? That’s what Playsation is doing. While Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox) says “Good job Sony” after every conference, Sony goes to Twitter to attack Xbox over nothing. This is extremely hurtful to the gaming community. Yes, competition is everything, but attacking ideas before they’re even planned is how will we never move forward into the future.

Conclusion

I wanted to cover more topics here, but I’m satisfied with these two. These are the huge things that are killing our community. Gamers need to quit eating up the drama, and stand up for themselves. Do you want to buy a console based on games they showed during a conference, or do you want to buy a console for the exclusive games they offer? Do you want the future? Or do you want two companies that are focused on bringing back the 90’s era of gaming where nothing is digital, nothing is maintained, and ideas are never brought to fruition?

Both companies are killing our future. Don’t blame Sony. Don’t blame Xbox. Blame the community. We’re the ones allowing this to happen.