Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Playstation (and clarification on why I went Xbox)

Usually I put colorful meme's in my posts but there are none that don't disparage Xbox, and therefore there will be none. My first Playstation was bought for me by my mother, it was back when the first Playstation around 1996-97. I was incredibly psyched when she brought it home, and even more psyched by the copy of Resident Evil 2 that she brought home with it. The Playstation was different than the consoles I had owned prior to it, in the sense that the graphics (at the time) were amazing and it had discs and not cartridges. I played the living hell out of Resident Evil which of course was followed by, Crash Bandicoot, Jet Moto, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, and Tomb Raider.  I may have spent more time on my Playstation than paying attention in School, usually because I was thinking about getting home to play it. You should pay attention in school, it's at least advisable. But, this console bridged me from enjoying games being a gamer.

For some reason during the next console cycle I went with the ill-fated Gamecube over the Playstation 2. The decision had a lot to do with the Resident Evil exclusivity deal, which eventually fell through and went over to the Playstation 2 anyways. But, I stuck with my decision, and I played on my brothers Playstation 2, especially when GTA: Vice City came out. I thought about seriously purchasing a PS2, but the price just wasn't right, when they released the slimmer model I once again thought about it, but was then quickly informed that due to the compact design and tiny fans, that the console generated immense heat, and the miniature fans couldn't keep up and would fry the motherboard, so I gave up on my hopes of PS2.

As the next consoles were announced I found myself most excited about what the next phase of Playstation would be, Microsoft didn't really impress me with the first Xbox and I expected very little from what would be the 360. But, E3 rolled around and here is this high-gloss weird looking console, with it's boomerang controller, and it's $499-$599 pricing structure that completely turned me off. But, I thought with a price tag like that there has to be great games, and then there were none. I was flabbergasted, it was as if either Sony had become too big for it's own good, or had completely forgotten how to launch a console.

On the other side of the coin here was Microsoft with the Xbox 360 which was not only cheaper, but seemed to have a better selection of games, and I was excited about upcoming games like Halo 3 and Gears of War, so I was sold on the 360. I really held a lot of disdain for the PS3 for a long while into last gen, mainly because everyone whom I met that had a PS3 would just down talk me for having a 360. Their arguments were all trivial and at the time did not matter at all to me. The common ones were "it has a bigger hard drive" (at the time I wasn't downloading digital content all that much, so I really didn't care about how big my HDD was. Having said that I do now.), or "it has a blu-ray drive" (I was still using a rear projection tv and I was too broke to upgrade so I didn't even have an HD TV, so, why should I care. I now have an HD TV with 3D, so of course the 3D Blu-ray feature is more important to me now), or "it has an internet browser" (I have a computer, I don't need it, when Xbox introduced it I still didn't use it.), and the ever famous "you don't have to pay to play online!" (everyone I had talked to said that multiplayer on Playstation was crap anyways, and now you have to pay for it anyways.). No matter how much people demeaned my decision I stuck by it, I was a proud Xbox supporter.

You couldn't have paid me to play on PS3, and then Rockstar announced the Playstation exclusive Agent (which has been absolutely non-existant ever since.), Uncharted began winning crazy amounts of awards, and the final nails in the coffin were the announcements of The Last Of Us and Beyond: Two Souls. Alright, I was sold, I wanted one just so I could play The Last of Us. I began looking on craigslist due to the still unreasonable price of PS3, and considering I was trying to buy one for mainly 2 games I just couldn't justify spending retail for it. As I researched I became more certain that it was a smart move, especially when I learned about PS+ and the Instant Game Collection. Finally I lucked out and managed to pick up a 160GB Super Slim for a whole $85, and that is where the happiness and woe began.

When I got it home the only controller he gave me was a wireless aftermarket Logitech wireless controller, which I didn't mind until I went to set it up for the first time. He had whiped the hard drive, including the system files, which required me to find the files online transfer them to my PS3, then I found out that you are required to have a wired controller, so I had to go out and buy a PS3 branded controller only to find out, it doesn't come with a USB charge cable, and they don't sell any, so I had to go to radio shack to buy one. After all that, the happiness came in, my first experience with the Instant Game Collection landed me Battlefield 3, Xcom: Enemy Unknown, Uncharted 3, and Little Big Planet: Karting. I felt like it was amazing that Sony just handed me 4 triple A games for the price of my membership, and then the annoyance of Sony's install policy left me feeling incredibly annoyed. The games one by one downloaded and then installed, all of which took forever, and caused it to actually take up more room on my HDD than it actually appears to. Navigation on the PS3 was also a nightmare, I still to this day can't figure out what half of the tabs on my PS3 actually do. That last one is probably just me, and there are probably more people whom find them useful, but it's just way more than I could possibly want.

I began buying games for my PS3 only to find that while I enjoyed the single-player experiences of games like Uncharted, Killzone, Resistance, and The Last of Us, the multiplayer portion was absolute garbage, like the tacked on multiplayer in games like Tomb Raider almost. I understood why multiplayer was free on the PS3, because there wasn't a single experience on PS3 outside of third party that was worth experiencing. Playstation exclusives are games that have potential and come up just short. I still haven't completed Killzone 3, or Uncharted 1 or 3. I don't understand what it is about them but for the most part they just aren't compelling enough to keep me playing. The Last of Us, Beyond and Heavy Rain (which both could have been helped by using less of the Six-Axis) were amazing experiences, especially when it comes to The Last of Us, but when there are only 3 games that really blow me away I can't really say that the PS3 is the wonderful machine everyone seems to believe it is.

As the Next-Gen approached I decided I would reserve my judgment for who was offering the games that most called to me. The reveals left me no more decided than I was before, but the Sony crowd was already sounding the death bell, it was quite frankly annoying, like that guy in the multiplayer lobby that just talks shit the whole time and uses cheap tactics to pad his K/D, but has the audacity to call it skill. Then came E3, of course Xbox touted a new Halo, but also introduced Titanfall, Quantum Break, Ryse, Dead Rising 3, and Sunset Overdrive. I was waiting for Sony's announcement, especially with the Xbox One's $499 price tag, Sony came in with a lower price at $399, and proceeded to spend the rest of their briefing bashing Xbox, the only game that made me bat an eyelash was The Order, it is still the only game that I am curious about on the PS4.

But, with my mind clearly made up on picking up an Xbox One, I was still very excited and interested when my friend brought his PS4 over, he brought Battlefield 4 with him and so for a quick comparison I popped my 360 copy in and we played a few rounds of multiplayer. Once we switched over to the PS4 it was clear that my 360 copy looked like muddy garbage in comparison. The lighting effects, the smooth framerate, and the way the gun shined was just amazing. I was in love, but only momentarily, once we stopped playing and I started trying to navigate the PS4 I was once again frustrated and quickly handed the controller over. I can't complain enough about the UI on the PS3 and PS4, I'm sure a lot of people prefer it, but I really don't like it.

But, what really puts me off from the PS4 is the audience it has, I'm sorry I know that between the Sony, Microsoft, and PC crowds that most people come off as arrogant asses but none seem to spew quite as much hate speech as the crowd that has surrounded and supported Sony. You can't say anything bad about Sony without everyone downvoting your comment until it disappears, it's absolutely ridiculous. Common things that straight up annoy me, the IGC for PS4 has been utter crap, defend it if you wish but it really hasn't offered up anything worth downloading even for free (not that GWG has come out strong on the One, but PS4 hasn't really been as great as people make it out to be.). The fact that while they were bashing the Xbox One and it's policies they managed to slip in that it will be mandatory to have PS+ to play online, and not a single person even mentioned it, they just pulled a Microsoft, and everyone applauds them for it. There were barely any worthwhile announcements at E3, while Xbox made their entire show about games, but everyone made it out like Sony blew them out of the water, just because of Uncharted 4. Now, there has been an announcement that the new EA Access program isn't good for their user base, a program that gives users access to EA's entire console catalog on Xbox One (and well what would have been PS4), plus a 10% discount, and 5 days early access on future titles. I figured people would be upset, at least the people who don't rally against EA in some unfounded righteous cause, but the usual happened, a number of people applauding Sony for their "upstanding morals", and anytime someone commented that they would have at least liked to have had a choice had there comments downvoted, one such comment was even voted so low that it was deleted. I see it constantly, graphical comparison articles are filled with PS4 fanboys degrading anyone who says "I can't tell the difference", that's not even a statement that supports one console or another, but if you aren't on the PS4 bandwagon you are apparently an idiot.

Will I get a PS4? Yeah eventually I will, when there is more of a library to pick from, and a price drop. But, am I rushing out to join the mob with the mice and pitchforks? No. As a matter of fact here is a perfect example and it just happened this morning, it perfectly outlines my love/hate relationship with my Playstation. During a recent sale I managed to get Batman: Arkham Origins for $8, that is a hell of a deal, better than anything in the recent XBL sale. I went to install it and was prompted that there wasn't enough space to do it, so I deleted the Install data for Watch_Dogs, I was up to 16GB the download is apparently 15.1GB, so I try again, no luck, so I deleted Payday 2, and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, now I'm up to 20GB of free space. I navigate back to the download tab, hit download, and get the same message, now I'm really frustrated, I go to my Game Data Tab and deleted Saints Row IV's install data, now I'm up to 26GB of free space, I go back to download it, and still insufficient space. WHAT THE FUCK?! This has annoyed me from the beginning, the Playstation lies about how much space things take up, and how much room you actually have. I have PS+ which comes with cloud storage, but only for saves, I can plug an external HDD into it (with a convoluted file folder system) but once again I can only put saves on it. Which in turn makes the IGC a constant annoyance of deleting and installing and then deleting more than what you had to previously for one game. Why it can't just work like the Xbox, if it says 12GB install, it downloads and installs 12GB, and it does it at the same time, not download the entire file, then install and expand the files in a separate step.

I love my PS3 for the most part, and I don't hate anyone for loving their console. I dislike the ignorance that comes with it, it's universal lately, and it's sad. I love video games, it doesn't matter what console they are on, and I will always choose based on the games that interest me. The Xbox One and the 360 definitely haven't been perfect, and there are tons of room for improvement on both, but the PS4 and PS3 are nowhere near perfect, and Sony is definitely has the ability to be like a mean kid with a big stick, but they know what they are doing, they release games people want to play and I commend them for the things they do right, but I believe that they need to use a little humility when they fuck something up and not just throw free shit at people and call it even. It's a wonderful and competitive market and it's better when we all get along. So, to my Playstation I love you and loathe you all at the same time.