Opinion: I Want Next-gen Experiences Over Ports

Last year the world was promised the ‘Next Generation’ of gaming in all it’s glory. Yes it was glorious; console launches were extravagant and had the crowds comparable to Woodstock. The brand new console smell, the excited jitters and speechless awe as you booted up for the first time. There truly is no better feeling than learing the ropes of what’s going to be your base of operations for the foreseeable future.

After the routine account log-in, time zone settings and internet access, the only logical thing to do next was play a game on your gaming console right? Sure why not? No matter what new console you indulged in you were guaranteed the option of a few console specific exclusives and a few multi-platform and cross-generation games that were all released within a small time period. A perfectly acceptable launch method in gaming.

‘Next Gen’ is certainly here and can now be referred to as the current generation in theory. Unfortunately for gamers who were expecting the arrival of the glories promised, ‘Next Gen’ has quickly become ‘Port Gen’. A flurry of previous generation games have been ported over to the new and improved generation of consoles.

It’s safe to assume that developers knew about this new generation of consoles, years before we ever heard about them. By that time this was old news for them. Providing potentially years of development time for developers to deliver a unique and interesting game for everyone to enjoy. Now I know that it is only early days and companies have to provide something to keep gamers buying their consoles, but does that really excuse the cheap cash-in ports that we are seeing in the wake of such a new and exciting era in gaming?! Previously released games are being marketed as revamped, definitive and complete editions set for release on the ‘Next Generation’. What do they contain that makes them so special? Little more than a respray over the visuals, a few gameplay changes to allow for new features on systems or controllers and all the previously released downloadable content.

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Are all these features really worth your hard earned bananas, for the second time? Particular games are releasing for just as much as they did a year ago! $70-$80 is a lot of money to dish out twice!

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Granted there has to be a way for corporations to make money to continue or begin their (hopefully) new projects. But is cheap shotting our wallets the right way to go about it? Just in the last few months there has been the announcement of ports to the next generation after already seeing huge successes on their original launch platforms. Sorry Sony, I’m not directing this just at you, but I understand your library more than anyone else’s. Off the top of my head I have pulled these few examples. Dead Nation, Flow, Flower, Escape Plan, Guacameelee, Hotline Miami, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Diablo 3, Injustice , Rayman Legends, Sound Shapes, Stealth Inc., Tomb Raider, Trine 2 and the recently rumoured The Last of Us

Like I said that was just from my barely competent memory as it is. These few titles are prime examples of ‘Port Gen’ at its finest. I really hope that it is companies providing opportunities for gamers who may have missed out on their original release to experience what the fuss is about but I feel quite pessimistic that this isn’t the situation. More likely than not it is simply a revenue raising stunt, funding future projects or trying to keep companies afloat. Nonetheless the damage has been done. Myself as a gamer and i’m positive that other gamers worldwide have sighed in agony at the announcement of another re-release rather than the captivating arrival of something new. Perhaps this trend is just time filler until more new exciting arrivals are announced. E3 is just around the corner; hopefully some successful reveals there will finally open the flood gates unleashing ‘Next Gen’ as anticipated and quashing the concept of ‘Port Gen’.