As we get deeper into the life cycle of the latest generation of game consoles, the last generation is slowly becoming a distant memory for some. However, the old systems surprisingly still have a lot of life in them. Games are still being made, and player counts are respectable despite the affordability of the newer consoles.
Developers are still making games for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, albeit usually as lower quality ports of next gen titles, especially most any AAA game in recent memory. Battlefield Hardline, Destiny, and many other popular titles have seen cross-gen releases and good support from the developers post-launch. It certainly is nice to see the community still using these systems and playing new games on them, even if some do it without choice, due to financials or whatever reason.
Some games have even been last-gen exclusive, like Borderlands the Pre-Sequel and Assassins Creed Rogue. Both of these games were strong, AAA quality titles that new gen players didn’t get to experience (although Borderlands is now on next gen consoles with the Handsome Collection.)
However, all of this has not driven me to go back to my old systems for anything other than nostalgia. The new systems have enough games in their libraries and content to please the masses that I haven’t felt the pull like I did when the next gen was new. I don’t know when, but I know that soon these old friends will become nothing but dust collectors, no longer played and maybe even sold. It makes me sad, since I’ve had them for about a third of my life, and they have served me well. My big old PS3 classic especially has been a rock, never breaking or needing anything other than a new hard drive. The 360 is another story, I’ve had 4 different units in my life, but they all worked well until the end. They both remain on my shelf today, but no longer plugged in. I keep them around for collection’s sake, more than anything.
The Xbox 360 and PS3 generation was the generation that, in my opinion, made the video game industry the most popular and profitable entertainment industry. It was on the backs of these systems that games became more than just for kids, and grew up into mature artistic experiences. Sure, they may not have been the best systems ever, or the most loved, but they were important and fantastic none the less.
When the time comes to finally lay these systems to rest for everyone, it will be bittersweet. It will be good to see the focus shift fully to the current system families, and some great games will develop. Yet, then they stop making the games and the last gen systems will end their retail run and become relics of a bygone age, and I will be truly sad to see them go. The last generation of consoles was a great run, and saw the launch of tons of fantastic games and franchises. I will definitely be sad to see it finally die, but I’m glad to see that it is going out fighting.