PSPGo and stay there.

Carnival gamesYet again the technology companies are pushing the technology that we didn't want or even ask for. PSPGo has been creating some headlines with some rolling their eyes and others heralding the dawn of the package-less game. Like they did with mobile games. And all those other times.

If you are anything like us, you have some severe reservations about it all. One of them being that the average person who plays games doesn't buy games mags, they don't even know about metacritic, they probably don't follow gaming blogs, the still go to the high street to buy their games and they probably haven't even taken their console online and if they have they probably have not downloaded any games let alone check the new releases every week. This is the average gamer. These are the people that saw the Wii soar to the heady heights. This is not your average forum lurker. This is not your average office of game journos. This is why many many great games perform underwhelmingly in the charts and this is why obscure or bad games occasionally pop up on the charts (before ONM stopped publishing the UK Nintendo charts the GBA and Gamecube charts each week were hilarious). A lot of people who play games still walk into a shop and buy something they see there. Presumably Games companies pay a lot of money for their new game to be pride of place in the store for the week it is released (hence those "top 10" displays in GAME. Top ten what is never actually made clear. It doesn't seem to reflect quality it seems to be the top ten new games that came out in the last two days). So everyone gets short changed. For the casual gamers they end up picking up a load of shit games and missing out on the greats (If I have to recommend No More Heroes, Zack and Wiki, Lost Winds, Kudo or 1vs 100 to another friend I'm gonna start charging commission). For the hardcore gamers it means they keep getting new products and peripherals pushed on them before the old formats are even redundant. PSPGo, PS3 Slimline, DSi and to a certain extent the original DS and the Wii are all examples. This would be fine if gamers were given an option and old formats were still supported for longer than two seconds. But go into a game shop today, this vary day and I'll bet you won't find any decent GBA, Gamecube, PS2 or Xbox games despite the fact that these formats are still good for it and in some cases still supported by the current gen. This is insanity people. Insanity. The current crop of games are not the best games. This isn't true for many other forms of media. You can go and buy books and films that are decades old. Yes, the language or the cinematography may have dated but they are still bloody good books and films. Classics if you will. And the people who own the rights to such things are still turning a profit on them years after they first came out.

I will point out that I'm not anti-PSPGo per se but it's not as if the PSP has a great catalogue of games as it is. Couldn't the PSPGo have waited for a couple of years. Until the PSP was actually good? Launching the PSPGo now is clearly for one purpose, to get all you morons to buy another PSP for a high price. Can't get more people to buy into PSP? Then get all the people who already have one to buy another one oh and all the games again. It's new, it's shiny. You want one, you have to have one otherwise people will point and laugh at you for your original PSP. Oh we're also going to be discontinuing some of the support for the older formats dontcha know? Yeah that new game, sorry it's DSi only now. Oh we're ditching backwards compatibility. Oh and the whole time we're going to bitch about the second hand games market despite it being the only way you can actually get copies of some of the classic games.

Yes this is ranty. Yes this isn't the first time I've argued all of the above points and sadly the games industry struggled through the recession proving that if they want to sell you a new thing, you are going to buy it. People who work in the games industry are expected to burn out quickly and then start all again come the next quarter rather than sitting back for a bit and enjoying the profits. This month's EDGE interview with David Jaffe on God of War exemplifies all of this.
By spending more time bigging up games for a longer time after release and by communicating with retailers that there's easier money to be made by stocking the good games regardless of age I believe that gaming would be accessible to and taken more seriously by more people, gaming culture can develop beyond a hyper focus on next week's releases and getting the quick buck for new things. For the people who work on games careers can be a bit more stable, reputations can be sustained and the all-too familiar tale of great companies starting, shining, burning up and then leaving the creators of some of the greatest examples of interactive media of all time penniless, bitter and fading into obscurity would be nothing but history.

Read some of this for more. It isn't de facto evidence to prove all the claims I've made but it is food for thought.

We only buy new when times are good

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