Last week, two things happened. On Thursday, Xbox gave its full-throated pitch for the Xbox Series X. On Saturday, I turned 28. As I move ever closer towards my impending doom and recent events make me grapple with my own mortality on a daily basis, I keep coming back to this one thought:
Am I too old for the hype cycle?
I look back to how excited I was as a 13-year-old for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. I remember pouring over copies of GamePro and Official Xbox Magazine to see the latest HD images of Perfect Dark Zero and Burnout Revenge, my excitement mounting day by day. After being relatively satisfied with the mushy faces and OK textures of Playstation 2 games, ya boy was amazed at how realistic everything looks.
Fast forward to 2013: ya’ boy is 20 -years -old watching E3 with the homies and losing, his, mind at the reveal of a new Star Wars Battlefront. I remember being floored by the epic announce trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I damn near broke down crying when they revealed Final Fantasy Versus XIII was now Final Fantasy XV.
The graphics! The gameplay! Final Fantasy! This console generation had everything.
Again, I was pretty impressed with what the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 could do at that point. You can’t tell me that Halo 4 and The Last of Us weren’t the most gorgeous swan songs the generation could’ve asked for. Despite that, I was still excited and hyped for what was to come.
I don’t know if it’s age or simply my tastes changing but both the PS5 and Xbox Series X gameplay reveals have left me feeling, in the words of Robin, whelmed. I’m not amazed by anything I’ve seen but I’m also not disappointed.
In June, Playstation held its conference revealing the design of the Playstation 5 and the games expected to launch with it. It started heavy with the reveal of Spider-Man: Miles Morales but, aside from an interesting looking new game from Square-Enix and Horizon: Forbidden West, nothing was really that memorable.
The feeling I was left with after both conferences was, “Well, those are video games.”
Don’t get me wrong, Spider-Man: Miles Morales looks cool, Halo Infinite looks to be alright on a gameplay level and I’m curious as to what the new Fable is going to be like. I just don’t see anything that’s wowed me. I know I’m still capable of wonder; Ghosts of Tsushima has left me floored with its gorgeous landscapes and solid gameplay.
There’s just something missing with these announcements.
I’ve played so much throughout my life and, at this point, I’m desperate for something new. Graphics don’t wow me so much as unique art styles these days. I’m finding it hard to be that excited for the sixth iteration of a franchise I’ve been playing since I was a child. The fact that my decision to probably buy an Xbox is rooted in the value proposition of Game Pass as opposed to any one game makes me feel old as hell.
I don’t know, y’all. Does this console generation just seem to be coming in with a whimper or have I just become an old head reminiscing about how gaming used to be back in the day?