The assassination of video game consoles by the cowards Xbox and PS5 – Reader’s Feature


Are they headed for an early grave? (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

A reader is furious with Sony and Microsoft for their approach to the current video games crisis and predicts the death of game consoles.

I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading this week, with the news coming out of GDC (Game Developers Conference) where it turns out the hot topics were ‘What is going on with Xbox?’ and ‘What’s the point of the PS5 Pro?’ Admittedly, that is what most gamers have been wondering lately but I was kind of hoping that the people making our games had more of a grasp of what’s going on. But then given how clueless the heads of Xbox and PlayStation are, that’s not a surprise.

As far as I know there isn’t a head of PlayStation at the moment, while the head of Xbox is Phil Spencer, who has spent 10 years endlessly talking about and promising things that never happen. It’d almost be funny, if between them the two companies hadn’t sacked thousands of people – actual developers who make the games we enjoy – while still collecting their fat pay checks and company bonuses.

We’re already past the point of blaming people though, because now we have a new reality to deal with: one in which Xbox thinks exclusives are evil and PlayStation is convinced live service games are the future. Both of which are baffling conclusions based on absolutely nothing, but which are not only going to dominate the future of gaming but, I believe, lead to the early death of console gaming.

I don’t want to spend too long going over how stupid these ideas are, because I think it’s evident to anyone with half a brain. But in terms of exclusives, Xbox is clearly only saying that because they want an excuse for making all their games multiformat (only a month after saying they wouldn’t do that). There’s also probably some PlayStation envy in there too, because the idea that Xbox exclusives are having any impact on the games industry, one way or the other, is kind of ludicrous.

As for Sony, it’s madness that instead of just lowering the budgets on games, in order to stop spending $300 million on each one, they’re just not going to bother at all and are going to make live service games instead. A style of game that has such a low success rate I dread to think what’s going to happen to each studio whose game is not a hit.

Not only are both companies panicking but their response to the situation is making it 10 times worse. Xbox consoles aren’t selling in Europe? Oh, well let’s just make all our games – which clearly they weren’t interested in anyway multiformat – thereby giving them even less reason to buy an Xbox.

Single-player games are getting too expensive to make for Sony? Let’s just not make single-player games anymore! Problem solved. Oh, and now our growth is slowing down? Well, it can’t have anything to do with us stopping making the games people like, so let’s just double-down and purposefully make exactly the opposite of those games. And, for an extra bonus, let’s take so long about it that it looks like we’ve decided to give up gaming entirely and go live in a cave.

If I sound overly sarcastic it’s because I’m angry. These companies are laying off thousands of people as if it’s just a statistic on a spreadsheet and they’re abandoning all the things that people have enjoyed about gaming for decades, in favour of appeasing investors and looking for a short-term solution.

I don’t think console gaming will survive this. Xbox is clearly going to go multiformat very soon, probably by the end of the year, and nobody’s going to buy a portable Xbox or whatever their next gen console is. For years there’s been next to no reason for anyone not already in the Xbox ecosystem to jump in and now they’re going to have to contend with the stench of failure that’s going to linger around them.

For Sony, they’re going to throw as many live service games against the wall as they can, until they can just sit back and make money from microtransactions and battle passes. At that point they won’t need their own hardware, they can just release them on PC and mobile.

And at that point consoles will die… except for Nintendo. I’ve never been much of a Nintendo fan before, but the last few years have given me increasing respect for the company. Not least because they’ve done the one thing Xbox and PlayStation should of: shut up and make the games people want. (And they haven’t laid anyone off.)

They’re not necessarily the games I want, and I have my doubts about how much they can fill the void left by Xbox and PlayStation, but at least they plan for the future and aren’t into knee jerk reactions. I wish the Switch 2 well, because outside of that I think the next few years are going to be very rough for console gamers.

By reader Ollie

Is Switch 2 the last hope? (Picture: Salvo Lo Cascio and Riccardo Cambò Breccia)

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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