Why I Haven’t Been Playing Last-Gen Games Much Anymore

Why I Haven’t Been Playing Last-Gen Games Much Anymore

Now that the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U are all out, you’d think it’s the perfect time to dive into games on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Games on those systems are typically cheaper and there are a ton of worthwhile titles released for them already, many of which are already in our backlogs, just waiting for us to tackle them. It’s the sort of situation that should make waiting for the PS4 and Xbox One to fill up with must-buy titles less painful for all of us early adopters… except that’s not actually what is happening.

Confession: I haven’t played too many games on my new systems just yet. Mostly, I’ve been playing Titanfall. While that’s enough to keep me somewhat busy, many of the titles that I’m interested in buying — like the recently released Dark Souls II — tend to be on last-gen consoles. But here’s the thing, though: playing on last-gen consoles presents a number of problems.

Some of these problems are silly and almost a product of being lazy: I don’t currently have the right setup or enough space to account for all of these systems to be out and hooked up at once, and if the game is being released on current consoles it’d probably look better on those systems than my older ones. Mostly, though, the prospect of playing a game that I can’t easily stream on a console isn’t appealing — and while I knew that I was looking forward to having the option, I had no idea streaming would become so important that it would dictate what I do or do not play. And, yes, I’m aware that PC gaming accounts for a lot of these problems — but streaming on that platform isn’t as easy as it is on consoles. I need to be able to broadcast my games to people, and I need to be able to do it without much hassle — and on this front, both last-gen games and PC games don’t deliver. Plus, there’s always that whole thing about having console friends who aren’t PC gamers — I have more of those than I do PC buddies.

Gaming becomes a thing I can easily share, a thing anyone with an Internet connection can enjoy with me.

The need to stream reminds me a little bit of having the compulsion to tweet or digitally document things that happen in my life — funny moments, quotes from friends, occasionally insightful things. Twitch, the program both consoles use to stream games, has become another Facebook, another Twitter, another Instagram — it presents me with another avenue to be ‘social.’ I like knowing that I’m constantly sharing what I’m experiencing while gaming. Admittedly, it’s a bit egotistical: I want people to know about my awesome kill/death ratio, I want them to see my SKILLZ or whatever, I want to have witnesses that I can point to when I tell stories about neat things that happened when I was holding a controller. Heck, I don’t even mind having people see the more embarrassing moments, too — the whole idea is to be entertaining, right? Plus, the rising popularity of YouTube and streaming stars makes me occasionally (but not seriously) think, hey, that could be me, too.

I know, I know. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I can’t keep from thinking about it in this way lately. Judging from the huge number of people streaming on both systems, I’m guessing I’m not the only one that’s being seduced by the possibility of having a streaming audience, either. It’s not all bad, though. Streaming means I can connect with more people, means gaming doesn’t have to be this lonely, detached thing that happens when I seclude myself from the world. Gaming becomes a thing I can easily share, a thing anyone with an Internet connection can enjoy with me. I like that, I like knowing I have another way to connect with people. Screw that this situation might give people an easy way to fear-monger about what social media does to us.

Eventually, this strange next-gen/last gen limbo pass. I’ll have enough streamable games on next-gen consoles to keep me busy, and last-gen titles won’t be as alluring as the newer, shinier toys I can play with. But for now, while we’re in between the space where last-gen still feels current and current-gen still feels like it’s finding its footing, it’s something that I can’t help but think about.

I’m curious though: For those of you that have both current-gen consoles and last-gen consoles, how are you deciding what games to buy for them?


  • FF X HD. Fable HD. Drakengard.

    Already got all the current gen game that I want.

  • But, for those of us who aren’t streaming gameplay data? We don’t give a shit about what you’re outputting. Back when I used facebook, as soon as ppl started filling my feed with that crap, I would block them. Life’s too short to care about how others are wasting their time that day.

  • I can’t be stuffed with old gen either. Mainly because they are so old I got sick of then years ago

  • If a game has coop, I’ll buy on whatever platform friends have it on. Otherwise it’s on whichever platform offers technological superiority (or cheapest price if multiplatform versions are identical)

  • So essentially your ego and need for an audience (Her words) are what’s preventing you from playing last gen games, with the setup issue being a convenient self-justification not to? I’m currently still enjoying last-gen games immensely (my Pile ‘o Shame can attest to that) and will for quite some time. I’ve tried streaming once or twice but Australian upload speeds suck and limit you to low quality, plus the HDCP on the PS3 is annoying to work around if you don’t want to spend money on splitters and such.

    That said, I’m really looking forward to streaming on the PS4 (mainly for friends), and the removal of HDCP means I can use my existing hardware. However, there are just no compelling games for it and graphics aren’t a huge motivator for me. There are a bunch of really nice indie games coming out for it, but they’re not worth the cost.

    • My pile of shame is also big. I’m just thankful that I don’t have a dedicated gaming PC, because I’m sure my pile of shame would be over 500 games, while currently it’s about 30. Not including the PS2 games I never finished though D:

  • I grow tired of hearing people say they don’t have the room to setup multiple consoles at once. Just put away the one you’re not playing with anymore! It can’t take more than five minutes to do so.

  • I seriously don’t understand this huge jump in game broadcasting. What’s the appeal in watching someone else play unless it’s a howto to improve your own gaming? I’d rather play than watch. Surely this has to hit saturation point pretty quickly.

    • Why do people watch TV? Why not just go outside and do those things?

      Same kinda reasons. Entertainment, unable to do so (i know plenty of mates who watch streams in their breaks at work and what not). Its just a way to keep up to date with other people playing your favourite games, see what they’re doing ,and how they play. Its still learning, but with less lessons, and more entertainment.

      • Yes, why not go out and solve a murder with the multi-national squad of your choice instead of watching it on tv?

        It’s a bad analogy, mate. You watch TV mostly for the non-interactive story element. A game is ALL interactive. Watching a game literally defeats the purpose of it being a game.

        • The defining characteristic of a game is that it’s interactive… but it isn’t it’s purpose. It’s purpose is primarily fun(some exceptions include skill training, fitness, and money). It’s like the defining characteristic of a job is that it involves work… and the purpose of work is money.

          So reasons for watching a stream include:

          Story: e.g. Walking Dead/Back to the Future(Telltale games), Dragons Lair, Resident Evil. You could be a fan of WD/BTTF and not a gamer and just want to see the story. If the story is the only thing that interests you, you could satisfy that with a stream without spending any money on the game.

          Things you may not personally encounter in a game. Watch some UMvC3 or MvC2 tournaments… you may have no clue how to play, but it can be downright entertaining to watch others go at it. A real life example is football. Football is a game, which you could play yourself… but it might be more entertaining to watch the best players from different states go at it. You may hate football idk, it’s just an example.

          Companionship/Nostalgia. Resident Evil 1 is a good example. You could have beaten RE1… and not feel like playing it again plus all the inconvenience/expense of setting it up. Or you could watch someone run through the hallway with the dogs coming through the windows, and ppl furiously typing up comments/jokes/stories.

          Improve your gameplay. Self explanatory, and I’m sure there are heaps more, but TLDR material.

        • You watch TV shows to watch other people doing things… you watch streams to watch people doing things.

          You need to get your head out of your ass and realise TV and Streaming are both very similar forms of entertainment. When you can’t be a professional player in a video game, you can watch someone who is, and be entertained by that.

          When you can’t solve crime because your a paperboy, you watch TV shows about solving crime.

          Holy… hell…

          EDIT: I don’t own a playstation. I watched an entire stream of The Last of Us, with no commentary except in the loading screens / silent bits (and in combat), where he was essentially roleplaying as the main character. I feel I got almost the same entertainment value out of that game as I would of had I went and bought a PS3, and the game, and played it myself. I saved myself money, time, and still enjoyed myself with a game I wasn’t playing.

          Streaming isn’t a forced thing, but it sure as hell is a viable form of entertainment, the millions of people watching and wanting to make youtube videos or twitch channels can vouch for that.

  • Sorry, but your first world problems were way too much reading.

    As a side note, I just got done playing MoH and thoroughly enjoyed the single player campaign. Oh and then there’s GTA:V that I still haven’t played yet.

  • So wait… you’re not playing last-gen games because it’s harder to have other people watch you play it? Holy fuck, that has got to be the worst reason I have ever heard. Are you playing games to play games or to get attention???

  • So streaming is the new selfie?

    Thank you for convincing me not to buy next gen for the next 3 years.

  • Damn clickbait article got me. Title should be revised: “I Don’t Play Last-Gen Cos I Can’t Stream”.

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