I feel old saying this, but... back in my day things used to be a lot more simple. As a kid in the 90's when my parents bought me a game for the PS1, N64, or PS2 all I had to do was pop it in the system and play. There were no multi gigabyte installs, huge patch downloads, or any of this new-age nonsense. Games were shipped complete, and you didn't have to worry about buying an unfinished game.
Things have changed a lot since that time. These days we've become used to buying games that have significant issues at launch, only to be corrected with patches in the coming months. We're used to requiring a stable internet connection, even for single player games. We're also used to being pushed to spend more money after we've already forked out $59.99.
There are very few upsides and a ton of frustrating downsides to this. Yes, you can expect a game that you like to become even better after launch, with added content and features, but also have to deal with a whole bunch of technological problems.
Such was the case this week when millions of people around the globe were introduced to new gaming consoles, whether it be the Switch, PS4, or Xbox One. While each has offered their own experience, they've all had one thing in common: huge updates and slow downloads that make you want to punch yourself in the throat.
There are so many people being added to each network that the servers just can't keep up. It's as if they've been invaded by some kind of virtual military, unable to keep composure as millions of digital swords pierce their armor.
Due to this, you now have a large population of people who want to play their brand new console, yet have 17+ hour mandatory downloads to complete before being able to play. Instead of this being a week where people can relax, their patience is being tested to the absolute max.
As you can probably imagine, quite a few of them have taken to social media to release their frustration, as seen below:
For the first time in a month I sit down to play a little Xbox, but noooo can't do that there is a system update required. I'm trying to play a 3 year old game offline, just met me play— Tom (@tom_norwood) December 15, 2017
@PlayStation @Sony it’s a good job there wasn’t a child waiting to play a game today!! Bloody ridiculous selling a game to go with a games system that needs a 3 hr update before you can actually play it #somejoke #stupidity #whatclowncameupwiththatidea pic.twitter.com/u4nkCn8nvP— Roger Barkley (@tinturholsteins) December 25, 2017
Turn on Xbox. Update console. Install game. Game needs update. pic.twitter.com/SA5KLYR56T— Zach Schwochow (@ZachConvictions) December 26, 2017
#Christmas in 1987: Get a #Nintendo, spend the day playing games— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) December 25, 2017
Christmas in 2017: Get a #NintendoSwitch, install mandatory system patches but Internet is down. Try to add credit card NO GO, start games needs patches too TOTAL FAILURE KIDS SCREAMING CHRISTMAS RUINED MOM WTF
Kids excited to play new Xbox. Takes 2 hours to update its system and the game that was just released last week. Allllllllllllllllrighty then.— Bob (@SweetChutney) December 25, 2017
While I personally didn't have to deal with updating a new console this year, I did have a problem of my own last weekend. A huge update for Gran Turismo Sport was released, which notably added a single-player campaign to the game. It was actually a big deal, and reason enough for me to be excited. Yet, upon completing a massive download, I encountered nasty errors. These errors effectively made the game unplayable.
As we would later come to find out, Sony's anti-DDoS protocols were mistakenly blocking connections to their Gran Turismo servers as they thought the incredible surge of traffic was an attack from Lizard Squad. The end result was more than 24 hours of the game being completely unplayable, including the offline single-player mode since it requires a connection for saves. Nice!
We might have amazing graphics, consumer grade virtual reality, and so many game releases every month that it's impossible to keep up, but even then I miss when things were more simple. Why does everything have to be so complicated?