The Xbox One, the PS4, and One Idiot’s Opinion Concerning What Other Idiots Should Do

By Kyle B. Stiff

 The small part of the internet that isn’t devoted to masturbation is on fire with nerd outrage over the new Xbox One! Of course we know that this outrage can only result in people waiting in lines overnight, freezing their asses off in an attempt to throw their money at the new gaming system as soon as possible (while complaining the whole time). But don’t worry: A guy who’s self-deluded enough to consider himself the actual “voice of reason” on the internet has come up with a plan on what to do with that outrage, and yes, it involves saving money and playing a ton of awesome video games, so you better take your socks off for this one because they’re going to get knocked off otherwise.

xbox lol

First off, the Xbox One is out of touch with its era. The PlayStation 4, or the 4Play as Sony is calling it, might make the same mistake as well. The mistake goes kind of like this: A lot of us grew up in an era when technology in general, and gaming in particular, sucked balls. My first gaming system, the Intellivision, had over one million games, but each of those games was a variation on the theme that you were a poor person trapped in a maze built by wealthy psychopaths who were hunting you for sport. Both you and the hunters were displayed as dots on the screen. There was no way to win any of these games; you could only try to survive by running for your life for as long as possible. Me, and plenty of other old people, played these games for hours on end, and we hated every minute of it.

So we always dreamed of a better future. The NES was a lot better, but let’s face it – Mario sucked balls, too. The first Mario game was a new experience and had lots of great features, but it was in no way superior to reading a book while taking a good shit. As each new, upgraded system came out, we got more and more excited because games got so much cooler. We even dreamed of a day when we would someday walk into our room and say, “Computer, load program: Mass Effect,” and then a hologram of Garrus Vakarian would appear and say, “Hey there USER: YOUR REAL NAME, are you ready to hunt some bad guys?!” He would then toss us a futuristic assault rifle and we would proceed to kill monsters that looked eerily similar to the bully who was serial-raping us at school.

Good luck masturbating with this thing looking at you.

Good luck masturbating with this thing looking at you.

But the future isn’t really like that, is it? The shocking thing is that we’re living in the future right now. And I’m not trying to be cynical about it, either. Games have reached an amazing peak! They look good, they’re fun, and the controls aren’t endlessly frustrating. There’s a (somewhat) decent balance between big studios with access to mountains of money making blockbuster titles and games made by loners or small groups with the tools to make something decent on the cheap. Tech-wise, shit isn’t going to get any better than it is now. This might sound ridiculous, but unless tons of money and energy are pumped into the development of a new type of technology on the scale of another Manhattan Project, you’re not going to see anything that will shatter your paradigms. Sorry graphics-whores! Holo-games need money, and it’s a sad fact that the real world is falling apart. We’re running out of resources and nations are going bankrupt and corporations are seeing profits only because they use sweat shops and tax-avoidance loopholes. We’re dreaming of colonizing Mars when we couldn’t even return to the Moon if we had to do it to save our species. We may be forced to be satisfied with games staying much the same as they are now… and that’s fine with me.

And that’s why it seems strange to me that the Xbox One is trying to get us all so excited. First off, I’ve been around long enough to know that the fancier systems never work as expected in the first year. All you guys standing in line to buy this shit on the day it comes out are going to end up writing a lot of angry letters (or “tweets” as we say in the future) because there’s going to be problems. Increased complexity equals increased horseshit hassles; that’s the truth about technology.

"Oh hey man. Oh nothin' much, I was just playing a game until you skyped me and interrupted the fun I was having, no big deal man."

“Oh hey man. Oh nothin’ much, I was just playing a game until you skyped me and interrupted the fun I was having, no big deal man.”

I’ve heard a lot about the Xbox One responding to voice commands, and let me tell you right now – there is no better way to get your console to come on than an “on” button which responds to your finger. Pushing a button with your God-given appendage is some next-level bleeding-edge tech that cannot be topped. In fact, this may be a lie, but I’m going to go out on a limb and state, for the record, that saying to your Xbox One, “Xbox, turn on,” will not result in your game system booting up with any greater efficiency than saying any other random phrase. The question, “Have you cleaned the litterbox?” followed by the response, “Not this week, no,” will just as often result in your Xbox One booting up, finding a problem with its internet connection, and playing the last anal fisting video you stored on its massive hard drive. Really, creating any machine that responds to voice commands is a sad attempt at creating a fantastic future-world that simply cannot exist. As long as you have a finger and are capable of using it, then a simple on/off button interface is a technological peak that is seemingly unimpressive only because it is so quietly and so confidently devoid of pretension.

There’s also this: Those new game systems are going to be cheaper, work better, and have less annoying functions (like always-on internet connections) in a year or two after they launch. It’s a cold, hard fact that every Xbox 360 sold during the initial launch ended up showing the “red ring of RROD of death” moments before their smoking innards spilled out the ass-end in a convulsing, slimy heap. Fast forward ten years or so, and you can now drop kick an Xbox 360 after slamming it against the wall and it will still play Call of Madden multiplayer without even being online. Surely you live in poverty deep enough that you can wait a year or two before helping these technophiliac cocksuckers make their next yacht payment? It’s not like your current system sucks; you have a huge backlist of games you could be playing while waiting for the new systems to get their kinks worked out AND develop a decent library of games.

I don't know what this is but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it won't work as well as a traditional controller with buttons on it.

I don’t know what this is but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it won’t work as well as a traditional controller with buttons on it.

Don’t believe me? Christ, are you serious!? A lot of you fans of J-RPGs have over one hundred Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games that are vastly superior to Final Fantasy which you haven’t even tried out yet. Own a DS? Play Infinite Space. It’ll blow your mind and haunt your soul for years. Play Mass Effect or Assassin’s Creed if you’ve been living in a cave and have somehow missed them. If you’re the proud owner of a PS3, you’re one lucky bastard who has access to a heap of amazing exclusives that the rest of us fucking idiots will never be able to play: Journey, the HD version of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the Uncharted games, Infamous, and the annoying yet ridiculously fun Valkyria Chronicles. There’s also a shit-ton of Monster Hunter games that are soul-destroying time sinks that are so fun they can ruin healthy relationships and have the added benefit of being filled with annoying Japanese “quirks” you can point and laugh at.

Now, I know you’ve got your own backlog list of games that you’re working on, so let me give you a tip: Cross off every “open-world” game on there. You’ve already played enough of them. Whenever someone throws around the term “gamer’s fatigue”, it always has to do with some shitty over-hyped sandbox game that had an amazing trailer but which is never all that fun. The beginning is usually pretty boring (anyone remember the beginning of Red Dead Redemption?), the middle is packed with fetch quests, and the end is never all that good because the studios always forget to hire real writers to write them.

xbox one

So that’s what this idiot thinks. What do the rest of you idiots think? Is saving the money you don’t really have just a strange sub-culture that has absolutely no relevance in this amazing future-world of voice-activated horseshit? Note that you can leave a comment by saying aloud, “Kyle’s blog, activate program: LEAVE A COMMENT.” When your computer responds, “HELLO FRIEND, WHAT USERNAME PLEASE DO YOU USING?” then simply state your full name and this blog will automatically give you a funny and culturally relevant username with a 69 on the end for added comedic value. Please contact your network administrator if you experience any difficulties.

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Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

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14 responses to “The Xbox One, the PS4, and One Idiot’s Opinion Concerning What Other Idiots Should Do

  1. YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THE GAME “CALL OF HATERS: CYNICAL OPS,” I THINK YOU’D REALLY LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH SNAP

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    • Shit Frank, that’s the same thing Dave Halverson said to me after he somehow found out I was writing this article, wrote me a pissy email saying that he wouldn’t print it, and then a few minutes later my bank sent me a message saying that all my money had been stolen by a mysterious hacker known only as XxxSONICROX_OLD_SKOOL_PLATFORMING_HAAAAIII69xxX.

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  2. Hey Kyle! thanks for a very interesting article. I was disappointed by the reveal as well… I think they couldn´t pick a worse name for the new xbox (what will the next one be? xbox-two? :D). Also showing just sports and kinect stuff was a letdown (not to mention that all the tv stuff is unavailable in my country..). I agree with you about the buttons – I prefer them over any voice or move commands. I want to play games when sitting and holding a controller. Btw, are you a fan of SMT universe too? 🙂 I think I´ll stick with my ps2 and pc for long time…

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    • Yes, I really dig those Shin Megami Tensei games! The only problem is that I got into them too late in life! Now I’m old and spend all my time writing and worrying about money. I wish… from the bottom of my heart I wish that a person from the future had approached the child-version of Kyle B. Stiff and said to him, “You like those Final Fantasy games, do you? Well here’s the thing, kid. Only a couple of them are worth a damn. As you get older the Final Fantasy games are going to go in a weird direction. Childish themes, goofy characters, button-mashing combat – and you’re going to spend a lot of time wishing it didn’t have to be that way. So why don’t you try these Shin Megami Tensei games? They have strange and engaging themes, the characters are interesting, and you can’t beat them by mashing buttons.” Then the mysterious stranger would leave after giving the child-version of Kyle something to do with his vast hoard of extra time.

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  3. Not only will I wait until the new box has a decent selection of games, I’ll go so far as to wait until the first ones start to hit the discount racks in the department stores. That should be about three years. This will make all the games everyone else considers old and outdated new and exciting to me. It’s always funny when you tell your friends about this great new game you just played that they beat three years ago.

    I’ve read and reviewed the Demon World books, and keep looking for the next one. Your blog is excellent, and entertaining. I wish more authors would find something better to do on their blogs than whine about how busy they are and how life just shit all over them. Keep up the good work, it’s appreciated.

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    • Hey Brian, of course I remember your kind (and well-written) reviews for Demonworld!

      It’s always great to hear from another video game fan who doesn’t feel the need to own the newest system on day one AND still complain about it. I’m rubbing my hands together wondering how cheap PS3s will be a year from now. Rubbing them together, I tell you…

      Also, good point on authors bitching and moaning. There’s a saying that the only soldier you have to worry about is the one that’s not complaining, but it could equally said about authors, too. If they’re not complaining, then that just means they’re in the middle of writing a blog post about how the publishing industry is rigged… they’re still complaining, you just haven’t had the misfortune of hearing it yet. My age might have something to do with my lack of complaining. I’m 34 years old, but lucky enough to have the body of a physically-fit pre-teen goblin. I’m sure I used to bitch and moan all the time back in the day; ironically, my stories didn’t deserve to be published back then. I think it’s true that you have to put in at least ten years just to master the basics. Raw ability and full-frontal unprofessionalism are two sides of the same annoying coin. Also, even though I still worry about money all the time, Amazon has really changed the whole deal for me. No matter what my wallet looks like by the end of the month, I’m extremely lucky for the outlet Amazon has given me. I no longer have to worry about whether or not some publisher or agent “gets” li’l Wodi and his journey. I don’t have to worry that the series will get axed around book two or three because the first one wasn’t a best-seller. I can just ply my trade, accept my decent amount of funds from a small fan-base, and concentrate on the next book.

      About that next book. Ah! So sorry about the delay. Thing is, I was trying my best to get some hardcopies out there. It’s turned out to be a much more complicated process than I thought. Fear not, book six will be available… someday. I’m not going to give any dates, though, for fear of further disappointing everyone. Still, just the other day someone was telling me that George R. R. Martin was taking three years in-between a couple of his Game of Thrones books. What the heck? He must’ve been peelin’ so many bills that it wore out his fingers! I can promise you and everyone else, right here and now, that I would never take more than a year between books unless I’m in the hospital having my body repaired from undergoing something indescribably awful.

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    • sorry dumb comment.as usual. 2 bad PLAY went under cause you be working at a video game publication like Kotaku or somebody , not writin’ blogs. And delete my comments pls

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      • Believe it or not, I’m grateful to no longer be workin’ for Play or GameFan anymore. Dave Halverson still owes me money which I will never, ever see. Meanwhile Amazon always lines my coffers with Spanish doubloons on time every time. There really is nothing more boss than being your own boss. Plus I can write whatever crazy thing grabs my fancy. Anytime I worked within someone else’s paradigm, the vast majority of my ideas would get shut down. The guys who run the show are always old farts convinced that publishing on the internet still takes up “space”, and that “space” is very, very limited.

        That being said, yeah, it would be nice if a couple of video game publications would be like, “This guy’s crazy, but he’s not Jeff Dahmer crazy. Let’s give him a little section in our respected periodical, which just so happens to pay on time every time… just like good ol’ Amazon!” But I would never, NEVER approach anyone like that ever again. It’s just too much hassle. They’d have me reviewing awful Japanese RPGs made for children and pressuring me not to make fun of it and the check would be perpetually in “in the mail” limbo.

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    • Notice that the techno-smack running through his veins has changed his perceptions and given him “tunnel vision” such that the big-screen TV appears comically tiny.

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