Looking Forward, 2016: Sony Always Wins

On this blog (and in life) I’ve resisted gaming on modern consoles. Until now the Wii has been my limit, my only concession to contemporary gaming. But I’ve noticed that I’m slowly running out of games on the previous-generation platforms I own. Those wells aren’t completely dry yet, of course! (I’m currently writing another post detailing just some of the many unplayed games in my backlog.) Still, it is increasingly rare for me to purchase a PS2 or Wii game in a shop, as I now own the majority of games that appeal to me!

Honestly, writing this all out paints a rather tragic picture, but really nothing could be further from the truth. Once I’d settled on “upgrading” to more recent hardware, the situation became less “Disaster: Day of Crisis”, and more “Endless Ocean”. After all, there’s nothing a nerd like myself enjoys more than fussing at length over the tiniest, stupidest, least significant details.

Me wrestling with

Me wrestling with the consoles of generations past.

Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U. Those were the three main candidates. You might be wondering why I didn’t include the PS4 and Xbox One, but to be honest nothing I’ve heard about these consoles appeals to me – two years in and “next-gen” barely seems to be off the ground, plus no backwards compatibility…? Not for me. For the past few weeks then I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of each of the three candidates, so I’m going to share some of my thoughts with you all now. I hope they won’t be too dull given we’ve already established, Sony Always Wins.

I ruled out the 360 pretty early on. The advantage the 360 has is its exclusive downloadable games. Radiant Silvergun by Treasure and innumerable Cave shmups are available for download, as well as the Metroid-like Shadow Complex, which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. The downside is that other than those downloadable titles, the 360 doesn’t have much in the way of compelling retail exclusives. I enjoyed the original Halo but I can live without its sequels, and same with the Gears of War series. There are the Fable games plus Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, which look decent, and finally a few JRPGs, notably Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, both of which are from Mistwalker (the same fine folks that brought us The Last Story on Wii). These are all well and fine but nothing I’m dying to play.

Dewy's Adventure was the final nail in the coffin telling me it was time to move on...

Dewy’s Adventure was a sign – time to upgrade…

Let’s turn to the Wii U. I can completely understand the Dreamcast comparisons that the Wii U garners. From everything I’ve seen and read, it is obvious that the Wii U has a small library stuffed with gems from Nintendo and a few select third party developers: Bayonetta, Mario 3D World, Smash Bros., Pikmin 3, and Hyrule Warriors are proof enough of that. I intend to pick one up, just not right now. (I’m also holding out hope that the next Nintendo console, the NX, will be backwards compatible with Wii U.)

Why PS3 then? Well on top of a huge, exciting library of modern games ripe for exploration, the biggest draws for me personally are the PS1/PS2 classics available for download via PSN. Surprise surprise, it all comes down to the availability of old games! Some things may change… but they never change really.

The Last of Us, Stein;Gate, Siren Blood Curse,

The Last of Us, Steins;Gate, Siren Blood Curse, Disgaea, Valkyria Chronicles…

So getting back to those old games, the selection of PS1 classics that have accumulated over the years, particularly on the North American PSN store, is very exciting for a European gamer such as myself. Games like Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Final Fantasy Tactics and many more that never made it to Europe are available for a pittance, not to mention some tough-to-procure PS2 games for download too. The original Katamari Damacy, the ever-illusive Project Zero (aka Fatal Frame) 2, and Gradius V, the latter of which currently sells for just $5. Holy crap. Also, since I once happened upon a PSP being given away on the street (no, really!), I can play PS1 games, both download and disc titles, remotely on it. And that’s neat. Sony Always Wins.

So what do you reckon? Am I making the right choice by picking the PS3 over a current generation console? Are there compelling reasons to get a 360 over a PS3? Drop a comment below and let me know.

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15 comments

  1. themancalledscott

    Simply put, nope. Wrong choice. 😛 I found the PS3 to have been an underwhelming console when compared to the PSOne and PS2. And personally, I preferred both the Wii and the 360 (and now Wii U). I know that, because we’re on the internet, we’re all supposed to act like everything Sony does is gold, The Last of Us is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and all of the hyped games deliver on their promises, but I think the PS3 lacked the kind of library of classics that the PS2 had. Uncharted’s fun, The Last of Us is good (if maybe a bit overhyped),and Ni no Kuni is one of my favorite games. But really, I don’t have a lot of stand out memories of the PS3.

    Granted, the PS store with all the PSOne classics is a huge bonus. But I don’t know, the original library never stuck with me like the PS1 or PS2. Personally, I’d say go with a Wii U, but I know I’m just about the only person out there who would say that.

    • veryverygaming

      I feel like my expectations are sufficiently low that I’m not expecting a PS1 or PS2 repeat with the PS3. What it does have is a fairly interesting library with a variety of stuff to check out. The exclusives for all of the newer consoles are rather limited but I’m not really in it for the exclusives – I’ve barely touched any game released after 2007 on a PC or console that isn’t the Wii. So whether it’s 360 or PS3 I won’t exactly be bored! My interest in the exclusives for PS3 just slightly edges out those on 360, from my uninformed perspective anyway.

      As for Wii U, it is a tempting proposition. Really, if I hadn’t rinsed the original Wii’s library it would be a no-brainer, just because of the backwards compatibility. Plus the Virtual Console, WiiWare, etc, there’s a lot of meaty stuff there. Like I said in the post, I do want to get round to it at some point… but I feel OK holding out for a while yet. By the way, what do you reckon the chances are that the NX will be backwards compatible with the Wii U (assuming NX is a home console)?

      • themancalledscott

        If NX is a home console, I’d think it’s a safe bet to assume it will be backwards compatible, considering that’s an area Nintendo has really excelled at for years now (Wii U’s lack of GameCube support aside).

  2. Red Metal

    The PS3 was a good investment for me because by the time I got it, I didn’t have an Xbox 360 and so buying it gave me access to the best cross-platform games. I also never had any of the previous PlayStation consoles, so getting to play classics from those eras was quite the benefit. Another reason I got it was because I had gotten hooked on the Metal Gear series and wanted to see how it would continue.

    I think the lack of backwards compatibility was a bad decision from the onset. All it does is inconvenience consumers for no good reason. Then again, it seems like the AAA industry has been making quite a lot of less-than-stellar decisions lately. Maybe that’s why so many people have been looking at indie games. Indeed, the scene has become much stronger – being able to stand toe-to-toe with, and sometimes even surpass, AAA efforts on an increasingly regular basis.

    • veryverygaming

      Oh wow, there are so many fantastic PS1 and 2 games, I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like being chucked in at the deep end with a PS3! Where did you begin? Definitely agree with you on the recent AAA/indie division. The former industry seems interested solely in marketing to young men, which gives indie scene the opportunity to capitalise with all sorts of other people. Minecraft must be one of the best examples of that in practice.

  3. Sir Gaulian

    You know what? There is no wrong choice here. Providing you don’t buy into the sort of vitriolic nonsense only possible on the Internet, and play games you want to play, every console has enough worthwhile stuff to cater to everyone’s taste. Back your decision and you’ll have a great time!

    The PS3 has some real doozies, so can’t wait to start reading about your next-ish-gen exploits!

    • veryverygaming

      It’s so true, given the sheer breadth of games available on these platforms, you really can’t go wrong. I wasn’t looking to fan the flames of console warz with this post, it just turned out that way 😛 FYI that post you did on your fave games of 2015 helped push me toward the PS3. I’d never heard of Steins;Gate, but on your recommendation I can’t wait to check it out.

  4. moresleepneeded

    It is interesting how the benefits of each console has changed recently. Consumers used to only have to be concerned with the games which can be bought on a console, if it was portable and the quality of graphics. In recent years, consoles seem to be expected to allow the player to download extra content, backwards compatibility, allow internet connectivity, along with the player looking at the games available and quality of graphics. I would have probably selected the Wii U because I am more familiar with Nintendo franchises (such as Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mario, etc.) and because of cost. I have always felt that PlayStation and X-Box games have less solid franchises and more horror and shooter games (which may not be true). There are less series of games I would be excited to continue. I would enjoy continuing the Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid series, but not much else, personally. I have heard there is a James Bond game available on Next Gen consoles which uses levels from a lot of the films, which I have always thought would be a good idea since playing Goldeneye 64. I did enjoy the first Fable game, so it much be interesting to try the later games.

    • veryverygaming

      Oh absolutely, the complexity of picking a console these days is way beyond what it once was! (Coincidentally, I’m writing a post right now on this very topic.) Personally, I’m not interested in getting a multimedia device – that’s one of the reasons I’ve always liked Nintendo’s philosophy of putting games first. I’d say we have fairly similar taste in games though, and like you I’m generally inclined towards Nintendo’s output. The Wii U is tempting for that reason, but at the same time I’ve had some great experiences since branching out of Nintendo-only territory. I’ve certainly enjoyed discovering Sega consoles in recent years, as this blog proves!

      Out of interest, do you have any more recent consoles? I’d have expected with your love of Tomb Raider, that you might own some newer consoles.

      • moresleepneeded

        I do not own any consoles more recent than the Wii. This is mainly because modern consoles are more expensive. I am interested in the newer Tomb Raider games (they look good and I am interested what the new stories are like), but I have never had the opportunity to play them. What particular games have you enjoyed outside of Nintendo games?

        • veryverygaming

          Well there are tons of Sega games like NiGHTS, Panzer Dragoon, Jet Set Radio… outside of Sega stuff I also really like horror games like Silent Hill, Resident Evil and the Project Zero series. Really other than RE there aren’t a whole lot of series I like that have thrived on the more modern consoles. There was a Silent Hill game but I don’t think it was supposed to be very good. With the PS3 it’s really about trying out experiences and franchises that are new to me. There are so many I’ve never played: Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Bayonetta and so on.

          Cost is a factor for me too. Still, these days you can pick up a PS3 or 360 for somewhere in the £50-80 range, and most games cost less than £10 second hand, so it’s less expensive than you might think 🙂

          • moresleepneeded

            I do think those games look interesting. Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted look good, with the player finding ways of reaching places by climbing and performing acrobatic moves.

  5. Particlebit

    I’d definitely put the PS3 over the 360, and it’s hard for me to compare to the wiiu since I’m still new to that system. PS3 has some very good games, mostly single player, and has all the jrpgs (along with vita)

    • veryverygaming

      It’s a shame there aren’t more local multiplayer games out there these days. I think it’s unfortunate it’s got out of style as I’m not generally into playing games online. Anyway, thanks for the input! I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the Wii U as you explore more of its games.

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