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The Future of Gaming is in the Past

retrovgs

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.

Working on some Longplays

Been doing a lot of longplay vids lately. Posting some of my more favorite ones below. Anyone interested in doing some co-op longplays, drop me a line and come be a part time member of the Squad.

 




Looking to Purchase Video Games

Plans have been set in motion.

The great buying has begun.

I want your games.

Consoles, games, controllers, etc. With box, without box.

Contact me with what you have and I might be interested in purchasing it.

OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console

At first I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the OUYA, but it’s starting to look like a pretty legit system. What’s OUYA? So glad you asked.  It’s a console in the making that breaks away from “The Big 3”, using an android based, digital download format, that will be playable on your TV.

I’m still a little conflicted though. I suppose it really depends on where the video game market goes and how well they execute their format. Will this be a commercial success? I really don’t know. But I wouldn’t necessarily want it to be either. A “commercial success” can often feel soulless and cheapened. It also kind of feels like they’re trying to sell us something that we already have. It runs on android. If I really wanted to I could hook up my android tablet to my TV and a controller to that. Granted not all games could work this way, but this is one of their main boasts. Well I can already do this. I’m also not the biggest fan of digital download. I prefer to own a physical item. If they’re going to be selling console class gaming, I’m sure they’ll be more expensive than your typical app store game. And then you’re locked in. No returning it, no selling it when you’re done, no lending it out to a friend.

On the other hand, Brian Fargo is absolutely right. Console gaming is where REAL games are (I totally agree. I’ll be the first person to tell you iPhone games are trash), however, you need to be a big name to make any sort of money. Actually forget that. You need to be a big name to even be considered for making a game for a console. Unless your game is going to make $4mil in it’s opening week, EA and Activision don’t want to know you. And this is why I most certainly will be getting an OUYA. Indie developers of all kinds will have easy access to releasing their games on the OUYA format. And since it’s a console you play on your TV with a controller, not a clumsy, on-screen, touch-sensitive pad, it will feel more like a real gaming experience.

Most recently OnLive and more importantly, Square Enix have jumped on board. That was the moment I was sold (trying so hard not to be a Square Enix fanboy). I had already put my backing into the project, but it was when I got this news that I no longer felt like it might have been an iffy decision. They’ll have available at launch, a remake of Final Fantasy III. Not the American III, which is really VI. But the one that was only released on the Japanese Famicom and had the DS remake back in 2009. Don’t expect a straight port either. Apparently it will be a full HD console remake from the ground up.

You don’t have much more time to get in on the ground floor. They have about a week left for backers to get on board. It’s only $99 for the console and a controller when it releases. They’re already well over their goal, so this is happening. The OUYA could very well change the face of the console gaming market. We’ll see what happens.

OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console  <—– The OUYA Kickstarter page

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