15 November 2013

Nerd Rant: PlayStation 4, Next-Gen Consoles, Launch Days

And so the next-gen console holiday blitz begins, the mud already flinging! In this case, there have been articles coming out by the hundreds of dozens about some of the hiccups (or downright dead-on-arrival-ness) of certain PS4 consoles. Well, I am here to pick a bone with a few select groups of people on video-game consoles, launch days, and in particular, the PlayStation 4.

Turns out some people got faulty PS4s pre-launch. These were special units which were given as prizes, either through the Taco Bell contest or other means. Also turns out these were more or less very early models that still had some hiccups in them and isolated incidents that were to be expected of early models. However, many of these winners turned to the Interwebs to complain and bigger news sites took notice, making the news spread like wildfire.

Then the fanboys came out of the woodwork.

Xbox fanboys sneered and recalled how PlayStation consoles have always been crap while PlayStation fanboys ruffled some jimmies and said due karma was coming and then the bickering started. Meanwhile, PC gamers look on with a chuckle in their throats.

How is it that people still think a huge launch on the caliber of a new PlayStation will go off without a hitch? We're talking serious globalized, multi-billion dollar company level logistics and production here. Do you know how to flawlessly take a next gen console from idea to tangible product without any bugs or malfunctions on launch day? And I mean zero complications. None, nadda, zilch, while also manufacturing millions of units. Well?

Before there's any name calling, let me explain something about myself. I have no secret affiliation with any console or gaming platform. I've played on Xbox, Wii, PlayStation, PC...Hell, I've even experienced the Ouya in person. With that said, I've personally owned a PS1 (the original one, before the redesign), PS2, and I still have my backwards compatible 60GB PlayStation 3 still chugging away. But I like all sorts of games. In fact, I'm saving up my money for a Steam Machine and skipping out on the bigger name next-gen consoles (even when I've been seriously tempted by the Wii U). My favorite game in the entire universe is a PC title, Age of Empires II. And man, have there been issues along the way.

"Nothing can go wrong on launch day!"

Speaking of, I remember Ouya having some serious launch problems, too. Reviews were very mixed about its hardware and software as well as its library of games. PC Mag even gave it a two out of five stars. There were some people who never even got their launch day Ouya. Talk about a headache!

And let's not forget the huge Red Ring of Death fiasco Microsoft experienced with the Xbox 360 and the warranty extensions that had to be made. The debacle was so wide spread and caught on so much with the media that the Red Ring of Death became its very own meme. Microsoft even said they took precautions with the Xbox One to make sure it doesn't happen again.

But there are people who still enjoy their launch consoles, flaws and all. Want to know the secret? Of course you do.

Buying a launch day product is more than just being "first" to most people, it is also an investment. They are investing in a future that will give way to more games, improvements to the software and hardware, and improvements to their overall experience, be it a gaming or something else. Someone has to pave the way in terms of very new technology and that road is nowhere near being smooth. How else do we learn, adapt, and fix newly arising issues? And because of this, an understanding needs to be established. There are risks when it comes to new technology, just like how there are risks when it comes to other types of investments.

Once you understand that while also not being afraid to tinker a bit when things go wrong, then you're free to enjoy and reap the benefits. Patience, kiddies.

Though technology has made some serious leaps in what it can do, troubleshooting is still a very real aspect that needs to be conducted even in 2013. It will continue to be a part of the production process until we devise some way where bugs can no longer exist in technology. And now I can hear the evil cackling of some mad genius after making that statement.

With all of that said, I know the pain of faulty technology and just how frustrating it can be. I cannot even begin to tell you the rage I felt with the horrible, long and tedious process of my recent iPhone (no SIM card, software was buggy as soon as the phone was turned on, etc.). Or the pain I experienced when my PS3 refused to connect to the Internet right out of the box and the time I took to tinker until it finally worked. And I paid for those things, too--I didn't get to win them. But I lived. The world didn't collapse and the sky is very much still intact.


  1. OMG...I didn't think I'd meet anyone besides Mark that loves AOE (yes, he calls it AOE). He was soo bummed when he couldn't get the newer version to download correctly on the laptop I got him last year. He still talks about how much he loves that game. Can you recommend any similar ones?

    1. Heck yeah! If he likes the city building aspect of AOE then I would recommend the Sierra series, they have games called Pharaoh (with a Cleopatra expansion), Zeus, and Emperor (Ancient China). There is also the Stronghold series and Majesty, which is a building game set in a fantasy land. There was another fantasy based one that had Elvish and other fantasy race armies...I think it was called Warlords? Most of these games run on Windows 98, haha, but they are classics!


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