|On second thoughts…I don’t want flying cars or jet packs. I hated The Jetsons!|
Netflix suffers less limitations than regular television. You can choose when you want to watch, on what device you want to watch it and choose to any number of available season or episodes. When it comes to video games, there are some people who believe the industry will head in the same direction. I disagree.
And furthermore, as I personally prefer to own a hard copy, I genuinely hope this will not become a reality.
Call me a hypocrite for having Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify accounts but the television, film and music industries are very different to the games industry because they are all arguably well suited for streaming. When it comes to games, unless it’s episodic (like Telltale Games The Walking Dead series), downloading or streaming just feels odd and cumbersome – especially if, like me, you suffer a really crappy Internet connection.
|Telltale Games The Walking Dead|
In the beginning, games were meant to be played for five to ten minutes at a time…or for as long as the amount of coins you had in your pocket lasted of course. As they evolved they became more sophisticated, with better game engines and improved graphics, story and gameplay. Soon, games lost their arcade roots and morphed into pursuits that required more than ten minutes to navigate vast, sprawling worlds and detailed narratives that require hours and hours of investment.
|Michael Thomasson, the Guinness World Record holder for biggest video game collection (Image: via Kotaku)|
When you think about it, there is absolutely no reason to own a special edition of a game title. The additional cost gives you a few extra weapons, a level or two, maybe a soundtrack, if it’s really swanky, a plastic statuette – but how often do you play with said extra weapons or explore additional levels?
Not enough to warrant the cost, I imagine.
But we like it because a) it’s a pretty trophy on a shelf and b) because it’s limited and games have taught us to be covetous of rare items.
Without those things, we will come to associate gaming with other mediums like television; something we turn on, play straight away and take for granted. It would become disposable. Gamers will evolve into people who want short bursts of entertainment or a whole game series in one go. We’ll shun lengthy games with decent game engines that take slightly longer to run, we’ll want nothing but quick, drop-in, drop-out gaming between Netflix series’ marathons.
|Xbox SmartGlass – for people who can simultaneously look at THREE SCREENS!|
It’s not just Microsoft either, this year at E3 Sony announced that PlayStation TV will now be available in all countries and home to lots of original programming, with consoles desperate to cash in on the success of Netflix and Amazon originals, I can foresee their focus eventually moving away from games and into TV tie-ins and like good little gamers we’ll accept it because hell, we just love television!
Yes, that’s right. I am pulling a “Skynet” on you. I am officially forewarning you. If you do not wake from your apathy and continue to shrug your shoulders and mutter “Meh, downloading is the same as going to a shop”, mark my words, you will usher in the apocalypse!
I appreciate that. But seriously, it’s little things like this that wipe out entire console companies and all we’ll have left is crappy Facebook trite like Candy Crush Saga or bloody Farmville.
Is that what you want?
Endless digital farms…as far as the eye can see?
Consider yourselves warned.