Despite my cheap attempt at scare tactics, I’m sure most of you got through yesterday’s post completely unscathed.
I’m also assuming anyone who took my advice and checked out Steam’s Halloween sale, also suffered slight damage. I’m assuming it was right around the wallet portion of the body, but many have you may have also forgotten to eat, due to the incredible excess of Steam provides.
I didn’t think that of all the horrors we would be facing this Halloween, this little fiasco was going to get so much attention. A couple of points about this stand out to me as interesting. Firstly, I find it fascinating that most gamers have found more interest in talking about CoD than playing the game, a phenomena I’ve noticed for some time. I know CoD has a ridiculous fan base, staggering even, but that doesn’t change my perception. With basic observatory skills and plentiful circumstantial evidence, I’ve found in many gaming circles, it’s been more fun to gossip about our Call of Duty than to actually engage in any Modern Warfare.
Secondly, even after the oddity that is the joy of talking about vs actually playing Call of Duty, I didn’t think an annually released series that was on the down slope of popularity, was going to represent the most engaging experience during the launches of the Xbox One and PS4. I get why it does, the discrepancy between both the X1 and PS4 versions of Ghosts, alert even the least techy savvy of gamers, that Microsoft may not have been completely honest in their comparisons of the X1 to the PS4. With previous attempts at clouding the judgement of gamers with obscured information, this late circle jerk involving the resolutions of the Xbox One version of Ghosts, is somehow a surprise to onlookers.
This type of story, I think, only becomes a story when people try to not make it a story…which then makes it a story. Had MS just been up front about an inferior multi platform launch title ( if only by visual standards), everyone would have just been like “yeah, that makes sense”. Instead, and like most of this year, MS decided to try to explain the situation, while simultaneously trying to swallow a brick in front of a live audience, with the hope no one would notice when they started choking to death.
Or, possibly, to distract us from the real pain.
So yes, a story about nothing, became a story about something, due to the power of disavowal alone. Microsoft will do Microsoft things, however, which really shouldn’t surprise us, at the end of the day. I will play a slight devil’s advocate here for a moment, in mentioning that perhaps, the PS4 version of the game was being developed first, or was the preferred platform of choice. This doesn’t really give MS a pass at all, but gives us some appropriate context to the situation. If nothing else, Sony was either more open or generous about dev kits, or that the PS4 architecture is easier to work with, a lesson likely learned from the hard times of comprehending the cell processor in the PS3.
Whatever the case may be, if Sony was easier to work with, on any level, and more likely on a software level, then we may have the reverse situation coming into the 8th gen of consoles, where the PS4 is the focal point of initial development for console software. This would represent a change of pace fromthe 7th gen, where many multi plats were developed on 360 hardware, then ported to either PS3 or PC.
So, even after the obvious hardware differences, and the possibility the PS4 being easier to work with, we still had MS try to pull a fast one, when nothing quick had to happen at all. This whole situation is very telling, however, to what ends up making headlines in the video game world. An industry that is suppose to represent the newest form of interactivity, and we all end up shouting at each other over which version of the same game will look better. Well, I’ll just save everyone the time, and tell you which platform Call of Duty: Ghosts will look best on.
I won’t take the east way out with a more than true joke, I know the issue here lies within Microsoft’s transparency and the fascination between two consoles that were largely considered comparable. I however feel like I can’t shake this sense of irony. We all poo poo CoD for being dominating in an industry that deserves far more class, yet we discuss it and the most trivial affairs on a regular basis. Despite observing deeper issues related to the discussion, I’m sure a grand majority were legitimately obsessed with the differences in the tech, Microsoft’s misgivings aside, and despite obvious warning signs of the predictable visual discrepancies.
If we really want to shift topical focus, and start putting the magnifying glass on things that really matter in gaming, in pushing the industry forward, then all we have to do is ignore the evil staring us in the face.
Sometimes, making something powerful is as easy as not mentioning it’s name.
Let’s all avoid forcing anyone into needing more rope.