Maybe I'm drunk on my own hairy boobs, but back in the day every console offered something different. You could tell a Mega Drive game from a SNES game just by thrusting your eyes at it.
Likewise the PSOne, and PS2. Even the PS3 and Xbox 360 felt different from one another – at least at the start, before they started playing "Anything You Can Do..". A new generation of hardware traditionally meant some sort of quantum stride in terms of the games we’d get, and the experiences on offer.
This time, there has been only an incremental, somewhat ladylike, step up from the last generation. Yeah, Tomb Raider: The Beginning looks a bit better on the Xbox One and PS4 than it did on their last-gen equivalents, but if all we’re getting for the price of upgrading is wavier ponytails I’m not sure it has been worth it.
Of course, we’re still only in the second swell of games for the new machines – it always takes time for developers to really tease the juice out of an unfamiliar "lemon" – but thus far all I can really see is that we’re now able to get more NPCs on screen at any one time.
The graphics in Dead Rising 3 weren't better as such. There were just more of them being thrown at the screen. We call this phenomenon "George Lucas Syndrome" (ha ha).
Plus, I’m not wholly convinced that a higher resolution and framerate, while welcome on paper at least, is always beneficial. Certainly, the graphics in the PS4 remaster of The Last of Us impressed me somewhat less than they did on the PS3, because – thanks to the “better” hardware – it now looks more like a game.
This has been coming for some years, admittedly, but whereas once there was an argument for owning more than one console, now I’m not so sure. At least, there’s no point owning a PS4 and an Xbox One. There’s probably enough quality, distinct stuff on the Wii U to throw it onto your shopping list, but that’ll come down to whether you want to play baby games while being forced to hold an ugly portable television from the 1990s (joke)
It seems a bit weird that we've strolled fully nude into an era when your preference for a games console comes down to which user interface you'd rather wrap your limbs around, and whether or not you want to watch a Halo TV series.
I actually think it’s a shame that the Kinect is so universally hated. It would’ve given the Xbox One something that set it apart (well, arguably it did – but for all the wrong reasons: “Xbox – hear me roar! Xbox, please hear me roar. Xbox...? Right. I'm unplugging you. Stupid waste of money. I hate you. I'm going to stay with my mother.”).
There was outcry about the next Tomb Raider game being a temporary Xbox One exclusive, but those people really need to shut their fat faces: exclusivity looks like the only logical way forwards for the Big Three. Of course, Nintendo has that issue of exclusives sewn up like a recently investigated corpse – it’s part of the company’s culture.
Infamous: Second Son and The Last of Us Remastered are the big ones so far this year on the PS4. Microsoft has fared a little better with Titanfall (brilliant, but weirdly overlooked), Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Sunset Overdrive - the ranting frat boy's Jet Set Radio - being the standouts. Perhaps tellingly, both those lists have re-releases in them.
Next year we’re looking at the likes of The Order: 1886 and Uncharted 4 dropping on PS4, and Crackdown, Halo 5 and Fable Legends hitting the Xbox One – with the Wii U leading the way in saucy promises (new Zelda, new Star Fox, Captain Toad, and Mario Maker joining the likes of Bayonetta 2, Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, ZombiU, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8).
So, in short... this: I dunno.
I suppose I was just expecting more. Many of the big games for the Christmas season are multi-generation releases.
I don't really want to have spent four hundred quid on a brand new console to play Call of Duty: Advance Warfare knowing I could've played it - and it not look particularly different from a next gen version - on my old hardware. I guess I feel a bit cheated.
When I first got an Xbox 360, do you know what game really impressed me? King Kong. Alright, it wasn't exactly a classic, but there was stuff happening on screen which made me feel I'd done the right thing in upgrading. I remember marvelling at the muddy puddles in the jungle and thinking "Yeah - this is what the next generation is all about; you wouldn't have got that on the Xbox".
If a game as terrible as King Kong can convince me of a new generation's worth, when one as lovely as Far Cry 4 cannot, you have to wonder if something has gone a bit awry.
We appear to have entered into an era of iPhone-style gaming hardware releases, where it's difficult to see a compelling reason to throw your old console at a tramp. They're going to force us to eventually, of course - because they'll stop selling the Xbox 360 and PS3 sooner or later, in a bid to lock us all in to what they want.
Until then... I remain to be unconvinced that this generation hasn't happened too soon. It's like a primordial fish has evolved a pair lungs before it had a way to crawl out of the sea. Good going, idiot.
Please do not making me speak in das fake German accent, ja? Das is grossen