Like Adam over at render, I seriously considered picking up a new PSTwo so I could play Katamari Damacy. He took the plunge but I have resisted. With such a HUGE library, I know I am missing out on a lot of good games. But I don’t have an unlimited gaming budget, something has to give. So I doubt I’ll ever pick up a PS2, which means I probably won’t experience some of those great games. With respect to Katamari Damacy, though, I feel a little vindicated after I read this! It looks possible that we might get Katamari on the Gamecube. Excellent news.
It got me thinking about the life span of a video game console. The PS2 is going on five years old and the Gamecube and Xbox are both going on four years old. Safe to say they’re all in their prime. And the games (like Katamari Damacy) show it. In the past year we’ve had the fantastic Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube, GTA and KD for the PS2, and Halo 2 and the game I’m currently playing, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory for the Xbox. I still think there is a lot of life left in this generation of consoles.
My reasoning for this? Look at all the praise God of War is getting. Here’s a game that by all accounts is fabulous, looks and plays great, and is simply a fun game to play. On a console that many people deride as being outdated and underpowered. It looks like there’s a lot of good gaming left in the “tired” PS2.
Resident Evil 4 is another fantastic game. It looks silky smooth and gives hour upon hour of fun. I’ll say it again, the Gamecube is in its prime. Developers are flexing its muscles and beautiful things are made. Beautiful things are on the horizon.
Splinter Cell: CT is my final example. Its looks are breathtaking and it is a riot to play (especially the Co-op campaign). The admitted champion of the processing power, the Xbox has a lot more to give (points to Jade Empire and Forza). So I’ve been thinking about the future of the Xbox and the advent of the Xbox 360 (which everyone knows is rumored to be released this year). I had feared that the Xbox would be tossed aside in favor of the new machine until I read this.
I’m glad that Nintendo and Sony are waiting another year before the release of their next generation of consoles but I think Microsoft is making a BIG mistake getting out of the gates so fast. There is still so much life left in the Xbox. This announcement of “support” to the current Xbox means the new Xbox will most likely not have backwards compatibility. I know Sony had a lot of success with the PSOne after the PS2 was released but they already had sold like a trillion PS1s anyway so they could afford to support two generations of consoles. I don’t think Microsoft can. With production costs soaring, I find it very hard to believe a developer and publisher will spend the money to develop a game for an older machine when the promise of big bucks developing for the 360 is staring them in the face. I just don’t see it happening. Sure, EA will be able to churn out their craptastic sports games on any platform they want, but don’t expect to see the heavy hitters one the Xbox once the 360 is out. That’s a shame.
Things will become clearer after E3, but as things stands now I think Microsoft may be making a big mistake.