Discover more from Dancing Monkeys
No Content for Old Men, Until Now
The new consoles have launched. And the games on them launch very, very quickly indeed.
Yesterday evening, for the first time that I can remember in what must be a decade or maybe more, my wife and I chose to play a video game on the PS5. It was Mortal Kombat X, and she absolutely trashed me, after I had invited her to play with some trash talk. She trashed me, my trash talk, and my hands in a brutal exhibition of button-bashing.
Why is this important? Well, if you might recall, one of the grounds of complaint about there being “No Content for Old Men” was that it takes too long to get into a game. I won’t bore you with the detail, but consoles were getting very slow to load stuff up. Now that the online aspect of these devices has matured sufficiently, and now that super fast SSD storage is the order of the day, the time to get into a game is limited only by the number of frustratingly pointless questions you’re asked before you can start. Mortal Combat X is particularly egregious in that respect, forcing me to click through what felt like a dozen pages before we could get to a simple two-player battle. Two controllers are connected to the device, it should offer a quick two-player battle as an immediate option, how hard can that be?
Still, it’s good when I’m no longer complaining about the time it takes to get into a game. This afternoon, after absolutely smashing my working day and even getting a run in, I booted up Doom Eternal on my Xbox Series X. I was the one holding the Xbox up! While I was faffing around with my telly trying to switch inputs, the Xbox was already up, with Doom Eternal showing as the default and once I hit X, OK, troll, I meant A haha, I was into the game pretty much instantly. The overhead to mindless fun has gone. I am the limiting factor.
The only thing that now remains is all the other stuff I’ve been complaining about. But this is a great start. I thought I was over consoles. I’m not. This generation is the real deal and is getting me back into gaming as a first class citizen of my entertainment world.
Congratulations to everyone at PlayStation and Xbox, to launch a new generation of gaming devices is hard enough at the best of times, never mind when much of their respective workforces can’t even be in close proximity to one another.
Is Doom Eternal going to keep me satisfied? Is Astrobot’s Playroom, one of the most delightful games I’ve ever experienced going to keep me happy for the whole generation? Not quite, but these devices are now good enough that new possibilities will open up for sharpening the experience, and I’m hoping, making experiences that are accessible, enjoyable and delightful for everyone.
I’m relieved to discover that I’m not too old for games, not even the current crop, but I know there is much work to be done, and I sincerely hope to be part of it in some small way.
If you want to hear more on this subject, watch out for the next episode of Remaster.