I could be wrong, but I might have never played so many games, or sunk so much time into gaming as I have this past year. Even going back to the N64 days where I was religiously playing GoldenEye and Mario Kart 64...
But this got me wondering why.
Is it the quality of the games?
Is it the consoles?
Do I somehow actually have more time on my hands as an adult than I did as a child who blatantly lied about doing homework in order to spend more time gaming? Not likely!
The Nintendo Switch has been a game-changer for me. But the on-the-go console experience of the Switch wouldn't be enough on its own. The quality of games and their focus has been driving me to play more and more.
I was then asking myself what this 'generation' (for lack of a better descriptor) will be remembered for.
I believe we're in the 'generation' of scale.
AAA Games like Zelda, Witcher 3, Horizon and Assassins Creed (to name but a few) have really pushed the scale of the game worlds. Not just in landmass size, but how much there is to interact with and do within those huge game worlds.
Games like Rocket League, GTA: Online, Overwatch, PUBG and Fortnite are pushing the limits of online gaming and especially what we as consumers expect from them. The fact these games continue to delivery exciting and engaging content is joyous. From the perceived simplicity of Rocket League (lies! its brutally tough!) to the Everlasting Gobstopper that is GTA
Indie games are bigger, more experimental and cutting edge than ever. The Witness, Golf Story, Shovel Knight, Steamworld Dig 2 are all incredible games
VR is highlighting the literal scale of enemies and landscape we play in.
The Shadow of Mordor + War games delivered their Nemesis system, which pushes enemy scale in a whole new direction.
Just looking at the PlayStation games alone...
Dreams appears to have massive scope and potential.
The size of the on-screen enemies in God of War range from "normal" to huge.
The amount of enemies on screen at once in Days Gone in incredible.
The Uncharted and Last of Us games are superb examples of intimate gameplay moments within grand game worlds.
Then there's the hardware itself.
PS4 is on track to be one of (if not THE) most successful consoles ever.
On top of that Xbox is selling well. Both consoles have stronger versions that are seeing success.
On the flip side, we're seeing a brilliant comeback from Nintendo with the Switch. A console that is unequivocally 'weaker' than the others on the market. But the versatility of the machine, partnered with the support it's getting from audiences and game creators is working wonderfully.
There is an actual, scale-able console generation with huge pros on either side of the scale. Portability and good quality games/graphics from the Switch and then 4K graphics, incredible game fidelity from Xbox and Playstation.
It is truly a glorious time to be a gamer because there are so many options for whatever your tastes might be.