It’s ranting time, kids, because this old man is about to start complaining about how things used to be better. But instead of a strongly worded letter, it’s in the form of a strongly worded blog post. And it’s not about how music used to be better, oh no. I’m pissed off about the state of video game consoles.
Remember a time when you turned on a console, popped in a game, and started playing? That was the great advantage of consoles versus computers. Sure, computers had better graphics, more elaborate gameplay and other goodies but you needed to master the entire keyboard and ensure you had the correct video card, memory, and more. For consoles, if it was a game for the PS2, you just needed to make sure you had a PS2. Game on!
For Christmas, the missus and I bought ourselves an Xbox One as a present for each other. We’re not avid video gamers, it’s just something we enjoy a bit more recreationally. Her more than me. I like the idea behind playing video games but could count the number I’ve finished on one hand plus a severed finger. Xbox has been my poison of choice and I’ve now owned all three version of Microsoft’s entries to the console wars. I was very happy with the original Xbox, I enjoyed the Xbox 360… and it ends there.
In the two months since hooking it up, I’ve had to repeatedly postpone playing because of upgrades. Big upgrades in the hundreds of megs, significant upgrades. See the photo above as the most recent example. Even one for the controller. The controller? Has an upgrade? Seriously?!! The games are constantly being upgraded too and that’s not including the essential online access needed to play. The first game we bought was Star Wars Battlefront, a long-awaited sequel to perhaps two of my favourite games of all time. Nope, not this time. All the battles require online play.
The kicker is that this alone is not enough to warrant my disappointment because if I still lived in town or back in Ottawa and had access to high speed internet, maybe this wouldn’t get to me as much. We live out in the country and our internet is poor. It’s something we’re working on. Netflix is tricky and any significant download requires leaving a computer running overnight. So I do want to stipulate this rant probably would not exist in blog form were it not for our internet drought. Yet it does exacerbate the problem and turns yet another night I wanted to play Dragon Age: Inquisition into a night of flipping back and forth to watch a progress bar’s status. And when you forget to leave the controller on, eventually the whole unit shuts down and you have to start over again. Play without Xbox Live? Sure, would love to. But it goes back to logging in to a game’s servers every time you want to play and it’s not an option when you skip these big upgrades.
I get that I’m in the minority on this because we’re in single digit percentages when it comes to slow-mo internet. It’s something I’m hoping will change this summer. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m not impressed with this turn of events. I just want to play the damn game. The occasional update every now and then was fine – that’s how it worked on the 360 and I could live with that. This is getting to the point of overbearing and no matter what your counterpoint to my opinion, this one fact trumps all your efforts.
The controller needs a fucking upgrade?!!