Highly Tempered Expectations


In the span of not too long, we had the first “full” Nintendo Direct in a while, and soon we’ll have the Sony Direct, and then a Pokémon-specific Direct. I’ll just say this, I don’t really look forward to much coming out of these in general. Call it skepticism on the gaming industry on average, I’m not sure that games can go much further if they’re asking for raw graphics power. Especially since the same chips that power those graphics are in high demand for doing something other than graphics, so getting the hardware to fulfill those looks is going to be very difficult for possibly years, at least. I feel like I last-minute lucked out on getting my gaming PC together before it really hit, and I wasn’t even after a raytracing card.

I was however expecting Sony to announce something regarding VR on the PS5 aside from the existing PS4 backwards-compatible method, because that “trend” has yet to die out. I really feel like VR is a way forward to further game concepts, it just needs to be more accessible. Ideally more accessible than having to tie the whole VR experience to a social media account for advertising purposes, or otherwise needing to hack the HMD to defy that. I just wonder if this new PS5 experience will require the new hardware for the games or if there will be some degree of backwards compatibility with the old headset. Not sure it would allow a mix and match for those wanting to keep the old headset but use the new controllers that might even have joysticks this time.

The Nintendo Direct was very much a Nintendo Direct, between mentioning games that just came out, full-priced re-releases, a bunch of ports, DLC for existing games, an actual new game being announced, and of course another sword user for Smash. Still no Chibi-Robo N-Sane Trilogy, or anything Metroid or F-Zero of course. The inability to crank out games in a traditional office setting seems to be hitting hard there as well.

As far as the fresh consoles that just came out for the 5 people who could actually get one and aren’t working with cartels to fund drug operations by selling the rest, everything feels way pushed back. They really wanted to launch for last Christmas without being ready, ending up with a few launch-type titles each. As interesting of a console that the Saturn is, it’s not the best idea to follow in that launch strategy. If it ends up being mostly sports games for the current year’s AAA launch schedule for those consoles, it’ll be pretty apparent which specific Saturn marketing schedule they’re following.

Before I was considering waiting for the Sexbox to drop in price and come out with some neat exclusives before getting one to play Xbone games as well, but I just ended up going with a regular Xbone. I’m just not sure I see much going on there anyway that I’d need a new console for once again, as I’ve gotten all my recent consoles secondhand anyway. I don’t regret getting the Xbone either, as I’ve gotten more use out of it than just playing Rare Replay and watching Netflix thanks to the cheap Game Pass trial thing, as well as still somehow having access to a bunch of previously owned games on the system. If I can manage to figure out how to get games to download through Windows 10 apps, I could even play a couple things with the mouse and keyboard before that expires.

If plans are to release more Xbox and PlayStation things on PC, that would be great to see. The problem there though is bringing the console wars to PC. For whatever reason games will now often just randomly be exclusive to a launcher and storefront, probably usually because of bribery, or to pull a possible larger cut of sales, even if those sales are far lower because nobody has really heard of the store. Mainly I’ve gotten tired of the whole exclusive hold on everything, also why I don’t feel like getting any more consoles, in addition to running out of room for them at the moment. Even baseball games have only been on PlayStation until plans changed recently for Sony to be a bit more open on what platforms their games show up on, at least eventually. I’m not a baseball fan by any means, but it was weird how effectively a whole professional sport was a single console exclusive for so long.

Whatever fancy raytraced games Sony is going to mention today, we’ll see if they end up on PS4, and maybe on more than one store on PC as well. At least the latest Spider-Man has a PS4 version, but not sure the one after will. Also, given the seemingly increasingly bad idea that it was to try making a Harry Potter game in current year, it would be funny to see them blow a chunk of their Direct on that. If it’s just showing random sports games, then that’s really just par for the course. At least on Nintendo Directs, the main sports publishers seem to have largely given up on the system so that frees up more space for random indie stuff. 2K could try to squeeze one last game on there if they can make one stable enough.

Of course, the Pokémon Direct is the last in the lineup. They still have plans for the year with its 25th anniversary of the franchise, including having Post Malone sing a Blowfish song and something about Katy Perry. If whenever that compilation album comes out, possibly by October, I’m reviewing it in my usual style. It’s a shame that we can’t expect anything from Daft Punk on there. I’ll admit I was slightly relieved to find out that they only broke up in a time when usually hearing about someone you haven’t heard about in a while is usually because they died. They still do have quite a back catalog I need to explore more. Also given certain events regarding a compilation box set, I don’t think we’ll be getting a Polkamon 2. I don’t anticipate much for the Direct though, but possible it’ll have more news about that MOBA that everyone loves to hate. Less likely to have news about a fully new game, or even a remake, but maybe they’ll throw that in. What I’m sure about, though, is it’ll take about half of the allotted time for a retrospective of the series.