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June 12, 2013 |

Console generation eight

So here's a brief interlude to focus on what's been happening the last few days with E3 and the eighth generation of video game consoles. The Wii U has already been released, the Xbox One is coming in November, and PlayStation 4 will be also be arriving sometime around Christmas.

My opinion? Firstly, I'd stick with the PS4 or Wii U; getting an Xbox One is like paying half a thousand bucks to a spy (i.e. Microsoft) to listen in on the politically unimportant goings-on in your home. You can turn the Kinect on when it's "off" by saying "Kinect on"...which means it's never really off at all, and is always listening. I'll make sure no one I ever visit has one, and if they do, I'll be asking them to unplug the system before I come over. :P

That said, I likely won't be buying any of these consoles. I'm a bona fide PC gamer now, mostly because the newest consoles are acting like gamers should be thankful for features that have been around since the beginning of gaming (being able to share used games, having little or no DRM, not needing an Internet connection to play, etc.). It's fantastic to hear that Sony is opening their doors to independent game developers by allowing them to release their games on the PlayStation 4 in a far less intensive process than ever before...but of course, the Xbox One is moving in the complete opposite direction, basically requiring you to have a full game studio to ever make a game on their console. This video sums up how I feel: it both pokes fun at how Xbox One is restricting rather than enabling gamers, and also how this generation is glorifying things like used game sharing that have been around for quite awhile.

Despite my lack of preference for any of the consoles this generation (as I never root for a console, but instead, the games that come out for it), I'm most happy about new Mario games coming from Nintendo and learning that Sony is allowing indie games to be released on the PlayStation. As an indie developer myself, and given the strength of the indie market nowadays, I can say that that's definitely a step in the right direction!

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