Will the Next Generation of Consoles Even Turn On?
All three major video game companies are poised and ready to unleash their new entertainments at a public more than willing to throw all of their cash at them. Nintendo’s coming out of the gate first with the Wii U, which is essentially a Sega Pico, followed by Microsoft and Sony with their next-gen offerings in the coming years. We’ve seen games from this upcoming generation: Nintendo’s got Nintendoland, Nintendoland, and Nintendoland (also Pikmin), we’ve seen demos of Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313 which were essentially running on top-of-the-line computer equipment, and Epic just showcased their newest iteration in Unreal (which I don’t even have a joke for because that shit is badass). But the one thing no one has addressed is bothering me the most: will this shit fucking work when I take it home and turn it on?
Every console launch nowadays seems plagued with problems. The PSP had dead pixels like an acne-scarred James Woods and the square button fit so snugly in the system that it got stuck when you pressed it. The DS Lite would snap in half if you looked at it funny. I’ve been through two red-ringed Xbox 360s, and a green-light-of-deathed PS3. Microsoft threw fucktons of dollars at the problem in a unique display of charity to its users, allowing those with broken hardware to go through a 2 month process to call up Microsoft, send in their Xbox, wait two weeks to get it back, realize their new Xbox is also broken, mail it back, get the next one, and repeat ad nauseum, at least until the program ran out and you were forced to buy a new system. And apparently the PS Vita burns hands.
This isn’t even a new thing. Original Xboxes would catch on fire if you played too long, and every Playstation 2 ever would stop reading those weird blue discs, keeping gamers from their copies of Frequency (all five of you(I was one of them)). My friend resorted to duct taping the shit out his discs just to get them to read properly.
Other than having to blow into the carts to make the games actually work, I could buy an NES that’s as old as I am and still get it to work. I could walk into a Gamestop and have an over 1 in 2 chance that my Xbox 360 won’t even turn on properly. The cartridge problems from the NES came from old technology. We didn’t know any better yet. The Xbox and PS3 represent the (until the next generation finally limps into view, anyway) pinnacle of home gaming entertainment (except for PCs, which is always $300 away from being the top-of-the-line(every six months)), designed by some of the most talented Technomancers this side of Shadowrun (and Microsoft(zing(I kid, Microsoft is also talented(But seriously, “Bing it” isn’t going to be a thing, so just stop)))). Why do I get this horrible feeling in my gut that my WiiU Gamepad is going to shoot black ink into my eye when I turn it on, or my Xbox 1080 or whatever it is will create a crater where my apartment used to be?
Seriously, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, guys, listen. Test the shit out of your systems. Test them again. Make sure they work. Check that they won’t grind my discs into dust, that they have enough wrist straps on the controllers so they don’t fly out of my Cheetoh-and-cocaine-stained hands when I fling them violently, that they will do what I spent all the money I could be spending to send my kid to college bought. Delay shit if you have to. Would you rather take the effort to make sure it works the first time and have a bunch of angry nerds on your hands, or release a broken product that you then have to fix, deal with tons of bad press over a shoddy product, and have a bunch of angry nerds on your hands?
Fuck it. I’d buy another one anyway if mine broke. You guys know us too well.