WARNING: Angry Rant to Follow
The console died with the last generation of gaming systems (in my opinion). Playstation 3, XBOX 360, and Wii all have built in hard drives, allowing for downloadable content, firmware updates, software updates, etc. They are basically computers with a “standard” set of hardware that have console controllers. It’s like buying a crappy Compaq laptop at the store. You are for the most part required to update your firmware as updates come along, and for some games you are required to install the latest patches to play online.
So think about this, the generation of systems before that (Gamecube, PS2, XBOX) were straight consoles that could not be updated or modified (easily) by the user. This means when you purchased a game, you purchased the final packaged version of that game.
About 2 years ago my wife bought me a PS3. I’m mostly a casual gamer, but I am currently living outside of the United States, so while new games are available, they are considered imports and are not only more expensive, but the value of new games rarely drops. A few years ago God of War 3 cost $70 new at the store. This means that I exclusively buy games of the Playstation Network and download them to my console. I also don’t like buying games new because it’s really hard for me to justify spending $60+ on a brand new game that I may hate in the end, so I usually wait til games go on sale.
Now that the foundation is laid, let me get back to my original point. PS3 and PS4, and their Microsoft and Nintendo counterparts, being so similar to computers in essence means that companies can sell you incomplete or damaged games online, and in some cases without warranty.
Last year I purchased Red Dead Redemption on sale. It was a decent game. It wasn’t as good as Grand Theft Auto 4, it had a moderate amount of what I would call “bugs,” but mostly shoddy animations, etc. But it was playable, and since it’s such a huge endeavor (and I’m a Rockstar fanboy) I can overlook some of the not so polished mechanics and enjoy the game. Mind you, Red Dead Redemption was almost 4 years old at the time I was playing it. The game was good enough for me to want to play the obligatory zombie DLC Undead Nightmare, so after shelling out a few more dollars and waiting some hours to download and install the game, I was ready to dive in.
Undead Nightmare did not work.
You start the game, and during the opening cutscene every character is either invisible or has been replaced with the prostitute character model, and when you start the game your wife who’s been turned into a zombie is for some reason replaced by a cougar and is impossible to catch and continue the game.
After a few hours online doing research, I found that this is a known bug caused by a game update for Red Dead Redemption. I was able to play the game, but I had to delete, re-download and reinstall Red Dead Redemption (an 8gb game), avoid the update, and then play Undead Nightmare. All this work to play a fairly shitty DLC campaign that wasn’t worth the money I paid for it. Rockstar basically said that they weren’t going to take the time to fix this game breaking bug, meaning you bought the game and it’s technically fucking broken, so boo on you.
Recently I purchased (on sale cause I’m poor, shut up) Rayman: Origins. I was captivated by the art style, and the nostalgic gameplay was very charming. For half of the game I really enjoyed it. And then came the bug encounter. There are a series of side missions that you unlock where you chase a treasure chest through a level, basically running non-stop avoiding various pitfalls until you reach the end of the stage. At the end of the stage you are to jump between 2 pillars and finally glide down to reach the end of the level, however a glitch causes the camera not to follow you and you die almost every time, inhibiting you from completing the stage.
How to Actually Get Around the Rayman: Origins Skull Teeth Glitch
Many people have said that the way to get around this glitch is to let go of the direction joystick and only press the jump button. This is not necessarily true.
The real way to pass this glitch is to QUICKLY press the jump button. DO NOT hold the jump button to try and gain more height. I watched 3 or 4 videos telling you to just let go of the direction while you jump, and I still died, so all those people can suck it.
I cannot tell you how many times I replayed this level. I almost destroyed my TV several times out of rage.
The bottom line is there should be some kind of accountability in these situations. Rockstar is a gigantic corporation that makes blockbuster games, yet if they don’t feel like fixing a ridiculously inconvenient error then they don’t have to? Rayman I’m guessing is an indie game, although I’m not sure what the criteria is for being an indie game anymore since it was published by Ubisoft.
Corporations are allowed to sell incomplete software for hundreds of dollars and issue updates. Now the gaming industry is following suit. While I maintain that the console is dead by a technicality, I can only wonder if consoles will truly disappear in the coming generations.