The Future of Gaming is in the Past
Recently an article came up in my feed called, “The 20 Greatest Things About to happen to Your PS4.” http://www.gamespot.com/gallery/the-20-greatest-things-about-to-happen-to-your-ps4/2900-197/
Granted there were about 3 or 4 games on that list that I am genuinely excited about (the Final Fantasy VII Remake is not one of them, just in case there was any confusion). But it made me realize how completely ho-hum I feel about this current console cycle. A few of my friends have talked about how both the PS4 and the Xbox One have been big wastes of money and I’m almost always an optimist about the potential gaming consoles can have, but this is it? We should totally be in full swing of a new console cycle and I can’t get excited for more than just a few games?
I still play my old cartridge games way more than any of this next gen stuff. Luckily, there has been a huge influx if indie-developed, retro-style games released as of late. However, they always feel like they take backseat to their high profile cousins. I miss the majesty of opening a new game. Yes it’s friggin majestic! I miss not having to install a game for a half hour before I can play it. I miss not having another 15 minutes of updates and then a 5 minute loading screen thereafter. I MISS INSTRUCTION MANUALS! If you’re going to make me wait 30 minutes to play the game I just got, at least give me a manual to read while I take a dump and wait.
Some months ago I heard about the Retro Video Game System; Something I thought was a joke based on the name alone. Turns out it’s a thing that’s actually happening and they’re going to be starting up a Kickstarter campaign in September. What is Retro VGS you ask? Retro VGS is a full cartridge based console with brand new games being developed for it that the big publishers hopefully will be keeping their hands off of. I’ll repeat that again: Brand new game IPs produced in cart format.
At first I was a little skeptical, and still am to be honest. There are 3 things I can see as hurdles for this system really gaining traction.
1) I’m still worried about price. Not of the console itself, but the games. Cart games cost more to physically manufacture than disc games. But we’ll see. I’m sure they know that in order to be relevant, they can’t have restrictive pricing.
2) Retro and cart gaming is really a niche market. I’m not sure I see this really gaining mainstream success. Even those that consider themselves retro gamers tend to download and emulate the software.
3) It’s modeled after the Jaguar. To be more specific, they actually acquired the tooling from Atari for both the console and the game shells. This saved money and explains why it looks this way. But modelling it after a failed system is like asking a known sex offender to babysit for you – it might turn out OK, but why take that risk?
Either way, I’m super excited for this console. There’s already been a handful of games announced and it’s even going to get a pack-in game – another long dead tradition. Barring an absurdly Neo-Geo-like price tag, there’s nothing that would keep me from hopping on the Kickstarter campaign. The only way to get one of the custom colored consoles mind you. You can head to the official web page here: http://www.retrovgs.com/ to check out the systems specs and get a look at some of the games planned.