A Lack Of Great Games Is Damaging Next-Gen Consoles
There are two things that every video gaming platform needs in order to succeed. The first is fantastic hardware capable of running cutting-edge games not just now but also in the future. The second is an incredible range of games to play on that hardware. The latest Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation don’t have any concerns regarding the first of those requirements. Both are incredible machines, capable of far more than their predecessors and perfectly suited to this new era of 4K and virtual-reality gaming. The PlayStation appears to have a slight edge on the Xbox at this early stage, but there isn’t much in it. Both of them are powerful consoles that represent gaming ingenuity at its finest.
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Where both of them fall down, though – at least at the time of writing – is in the lack of genuinely great games available for either platform. Since the day the consoles were launched, this has been a noticeable issue but didn’t receive much media attention within those first few frantic weeks because the consoles themselves were so tricky to get hold of. Although that situation has gradually been improving with re-stocks, both machines are still selling out the moment that stock appears and will probably continue doing so for several months. As more and more gamers finally get their hands on their expensive new toys, though, they’re finding out to their disappointment that there isn’t much to play on them.
At the time of writing, the biggest games on the PlayStation 5 are “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” and the latest version of “Call of Duty.” That isn’t a surprise. Both were planned as launch games, and both have been just as popular as was anticipated. The ‘updated’ version of “Spider-Man” is also popular, but in truth, that’s just a polished, next-gen version of a game that already existed. “Cyberpunk 2077” is also selling in big numbers, but that’s a game that was designed for the previous generation of consoles. While it might be true that it appears to be too much for the past-gen consoles, pushing their hardware so hard that it results in a series of glitches, but it still isn’t a PS5 game in the truest sense of the world. For all the talk about major games being available on the day of launch, not much has materialized. As of right now, the biggest benefit of having a PlayStation 5 is that it plays PlayStation 4 games faster and smoother than their native console.
We appreciate that modern blockbuster video games take a long time to design and build. It isn’t like online slots websites, where dozens of new games are released every week. We mention online slots websites such as UKSlotGames, though, because a platform that operates in a similar manner to them might become an existential threat to the latest consoles if more games don’t appear soon. Google Stadia has been noted for its similarity to the way that casino websites offer online slots because they don’t require any hardware to be installed in order for games to run, and the games are streamed through the internet. Through a Stadia account, gamers can play both the latest PS5 and Xbox Series X games along with PS4 and Xbox One games without paying five hundred dollars for the privilege. The more success Google has with “Stadia,” the less attractive the new consoles will appear to be as a purchase.
Even allowing for the fact that it takes a long time to build new games, we can’t help but feel that more should have been available when the new consoles went live. The world’s biggest game development companies have had access to “dev kits” for several months, so they can’t argue that they didn’t have the opportunity to get to grips with the new hardware or software until now. Instead, the new consoles might have become victims of the recent trend of making games last for longer rather than building new ones. New content is still being released for “Grand Theft Auto 5” seven years after it was launched. “Street Fighter 5” is also still getting new downloadable content almost five years on from its release date. Sony probably hoped that they might be able to pair their console with the brand-new sixth versions of both games. Instead, they’re waiting for Rockstar and Capcom to call time on their existing creations.
Another game that Sony probably hoped would be ready by now is the eighth Resident Evil game, “Resident Evil: Village,” but Capcom appears to be dragging its heels with that creation, too. They’re yet to commit to a release date for it other than promising it will become available for players at some point in early 2023. This is a pain for console manufacturers, who usually like to bundle a variety of games with their new consoles in the hope that they’ll entice players to part with their money. While they’re still able to do this with the games we’ve mentioned above, and also with the latest NBA and FIFA Soccer games, they don’t have the usual all-star range to call upon to help them with their marketing.
Perhaps we’re looking at this the wrong way. Maybe a new console should be looked at as a long-term purchase rather than something we should expect to be able to pick up and have fun with on the day we receive it. Based on how long the last generation stuck around for, it’s probably fair to assume that the new consoles will be the standard until 2027 and might even be the last of their kind if, as expected, streaming has become the default way of playing by that time. Just because there aren’t many great games available right now doesn’t mean that there won’t be great games to play in a few months’ time, and by this time next year, things will look very different indeed. We still think the consoles are likely to represent value for money in the fullness of time. If you’re frantically checking the latest news sources to find out if and where you might be able to get your hands on one in the near future, though, remember that the first games you’ll play on it are likely to be the very same games you’re playing right now.