Technical Mistakes from Gaming’s Past
With the release of the first wave of VR Tech having just occurred I am testing my self-control and not immediately heading to the shops and putting one on layby. The reason I am keeping my hands firmly away from my wallet is I have been bitten by new technology in the past. I have been caught by the hype train and lashed out on a piece of tech that ended up collecting dust in a corner more than once in my long gaming career. So with this in mind, I thought I would look back at some of my biggest regrets, impulse purchases and out and out bad buys.
Xbox 360 Kinect
Upon its initial announcement I could have sworn that Kinect was the next big thing. The super step up from the Wii and Playstation 3’s wonky imprecise motion controls, the Kinect was going to allow me to be entertained like never before. So upon release, I was first in line to grab this supposed technological marvel. Boy was I wrong. Apart from a couple of good nights with Dance Central there really wasn’t anything to entertain anyone. Also, the much-touted movement and voice control features were poorly implemented and led to frustration as opposed to the “Minority Report” style future I envisaged. Perhaps the really killer for me though was the sheer amount of space required to operate the Kinect. Due to the fact my lounge room wasn’t the size of a basketball court, it was always a chore to play any Kinect games at all. The Kinect got an upgrade with the Xbox One which was slightly more useful for console controls (like voice commands and QR Code scanning) but once again it failed to take off. Sadly my 360 Kinect now is little more than an ugly dust collecting paperweight.
Thankfully I didn’t buy this one, it was a gift, yet somehow I still feel cheated. The Wii Fit was supposed to get me into peak physical condition but about the only exercise I ever got with it was jumping around like a loony after I had stubbed my toe on it for the 14th time. Nintendo sold a squillion of these things yet I have a feeling that they became dust collectors quicker than just about any piece of tech ever. In fact, the Wii fit (and the added height pieces) got more use in my house by my wife trying to reach the top shelf in the pantry then it did as a piece of fitness equipment. A great idea from Nintendo that was poorly supported and left to die a slow painful death.
This one is a little tough. I love my Vita but I can’t help mourn the lack of support for this cracking little handheld from Sony. The Vita never sold well because there weren’t any system selling games for it and there wasn’t any system selling games on it because the Vita never sold well. It was a vicious circle that Sony could have stopped by simply biting the bullet and creating some games. As much as I loved the indie offerings (it is a great indie machine) it really needed some big titles to push the system. Where was the Infamous, Ratchet and Clank or God of War game for the system? Things started pretty will with an Uncharted title but from there support almost dried up. The last big Sony developed game was Killzone: Mercenary and that was over 2 years ago. Since then the Vita has been hung out to dry and as a result, it has never gotten the use it deserves.
Guitar Hero 2015
The most recent regret for me is the latest in the long-running plastic guitar franchise. The new guitar and playing method wasn’t bad but it failed to recapture the fun of the old games. The biggest problem with the entire thing is that the game completely forgot why Guitar Hero was fun. It was about rock star fantasies, playing big arena rock songs with massive solos. It was not about playing Katy Perry or Mumford and Sons. Don’t get me wrong those musicians do a great job but their style is not suited to a Guitar Hero game. To top things off there was the great GH TV idea that allowed players to play along with film clips but to do so micro-transactions were involved and there was no way to purchase the song out right. You basically had to play each time you wanted to play. For these reasons this Guitar will not be worn out over many parties, it will be banished forever into the garage of gaming past.
HD – DVD
Ahh, this one kind of speaks for its self. To be fair I purchased this for cheap once the format war had already been lost. I managed to grab the HD DVD player and a whole heap of HD DVDs for about $100. At the time, I thought it was a steal but now I am full of regret. “Why?” I hear you ask. Well now my 360 has been banished to the spare room I have nothing to play these HD DVDs on anymore so I am forced to buy some of my family’s favourite movies again. The first four Harry Potters, Top Gun and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang are just some of the movies I now need to repurchase so I can once again enjoy them in my lounge room. In the end, all I have done is cost myself a fair amount of extra money.
These are just some of the tech mistakes I have made over the years. Looking at it, is there any wonder a TARDIS is high on my wish list. If only to help myself avoid these gaming tech mistakes. Hopefully, VR isn’t one of these technological misses but I am holding off this time, just in case. I would hate to be stuck with another chunky piece of tech in my Garage, I am seriously running out of room.