Saturday, December 17, 2016

Kicking and Screaming

Christmas is fast approaching, and I still have shopping to do. I'm not just talking about gifts for my family, either... I'm putting away a little extra cash to get something special for myself at the end of the year. The logical thing to do would be to finally step into the current generation of consoles with an Xbox One or a Playstation 4, but there's just one problem.

I... um, don't really want either of them.

Now I realize that the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have reached the end of their respective life cycles. Third party support for the two systems has been dwindled to nothing in the past year, and the only thing that's keeping them relevant in 2016 is the huge back catalog of titles available on Xbox Live and PSN. 

On the other hand, it's been three years since their successors was released, and I still can't think of many compelling reasons to buy either of them. The Playstation 4 has Street Fighter V and King of Fighters XIV, along with a handful of games that probably run better on it than the Vita. What it doesn't have is backward compatibility with the past three generations of Playstation systems, aside from a few Playstation 2 classics... far fewer than what's currently available on the Playstation 3.

From the makers of "Who Gives a Damn,"
comes "Really, Why Are We Still Doing This?"
The Xbox One does have backward compatibility with a growing number of Xbox 360 titles, but I have to imagine they run better on the Xbox 360 I already own. Past that, what does this system have to offer me? Killer Instinct, a remake of one of the B-list fighting games of the 1990s? The critically underwhelming Sunset Overdrive? A whole bunch of first-person military shooters I wouldn't touch with a ten foot howitzer? It's hard for me to give a damn about this machine and its library, even with the long (long, loooong) awaited Cuphead coming next year.

Add to that my increasingly dusty Wii U and I just can't muster much excitement for this generation of consoles. I'd like to have the same rabid anticipation I had for the Sega Genesis in the early 1990s, or the Dreamcast at the turn of the century, or the Xbox 360 in 2006, but the enthusiasm just isn't there. Considering that we're already three years into this cycle with two stopgap consoles planned in the near future, I don't think I'll ever find it.

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