Early in the morning.
No Fallout 4. No Just Cause 3. No Star Wars: Battlefront. Not even a whiff of Rainbow Six Siege. Nor any poor ports of any other current blockbusters. What's a last-gen action gamer to do this Christmas aside from hope for a console upgrade? We've had Metal Gear, yes, but it really feels like slim pickings at present on the shelves of game shops.
First off we've got a version of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, without its campaign mode. Certainly following suit with other big hitting multiplayer-only titles by offering just the multiplayer element and zombies seems fair cop, but it's difficult to wean an audience off of having a campaign mode yet still paying a £40 RRP. Psychologically it will always feel like you're getting less for more. Indeed, we ARE getting less. That's partly what stops me taking the plunge in that regard.
Then we've got Minecraft: Story Mode. A thoroughly good spin-off from the phenomenon, yes, but not anywhere as exciting as its creative and free-spirited older brother which is still enough of juggernaut to be hitting the Wii U this week. And both aren't exactly the kind of pulse-pounding action you can enjoy late into the night once the Christmas relatives have gone home and you've packed away Just Dance.
What else is there? DLC for Battlefield 4, yes, but it doesn't have the same sense of anticipation as buying/receiving a totally new game at Christmas time. And in terms of the future, if you believe the statistics pushed out about MGSV: The Phantom Pain, us last-gen gamers represented a mere 5% of the sales in that example. Why would developers and publishers deliberately want to chase lower sales? I am starting to think that, were it not for the publicised fallout between Kojima and Konami and the (forced?) release of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, we might not have even seen a PS3/360 version of MGSV.
"Just buy a new console!" I hear you cry. They're only £269 now! Tempting, yes, but not quite a bargain. Especially when all I see are remakes, remasters and re-releases on the shelves. Prettier versions of key games like GTA V are simply not enough.
In terms of last-gen support at retail, Ubisoft are to be applauded. Square Enix too. Releasing bundles of games from Assassin's Creed or pairs of games in one £20 retail release is good for the consumer and good for business. They feel new and it echoes the boxset mentality of film and TV releases, and again allows those late to the party, console-wise or those missing instalments in a game series to catch up. Used games are also the friend of the last-gen gamer only just buying the second console from the previous generation.
What's my point? I just wish that in the year Kojima Productions (the old one) shipped an acceptably performing version of their game despite the lower slice of the sales cake, why other publishers couldn't do the same with their key IPs for one final year.
In reality I'm just bitter I cannot yet enjoy Just Cause 3.