So I was just listening to the newest Hotspot episode where Jeffs goes on a rant about how it's embarrassing that you can still choose between performance and graphics on the next gen consoles.
This leads to a longer discussion which once again ends on their overall dismissive attitude towards the consoles and basically asking why you would even buy them. An attitude that been prevalent in the whole crew (and Bakalar) for months now.
I realize the crew is primarily PC gamers now and Covid probably only enhanced this, since they are becoming more and more like streamers.. But it still seems pretty out of touch with what the consoles are actually offering.
Let's look at their primary points against the new consoles:
- "They are going to be too expensive." Before prices were revealed this was one of the biggest ones on the podcasts. They (especially Brad if I remember correctly) were pretty clearly alluding to that these consoles would have to be at least $600 and nobody was going to buy them with Covid looming. Now when the prices were revealed to be much lower the argument disappeared, but the attitude remained.
- "Just build a gaming PC instead." With one of their main points being that people don't have money of a new console because of the current economic situation, this just seems insane to me. On a recent Beastcast Bakalar even argued that a 3070 card at $500 is better value than a new console, which is just crazy. The fact of the matter is, compared to last generation the stuff you get in the new consoles is amazingly good value compared to if you had to build a comparable PC from scratch. There is a lot of breakdowns online (this is one of the easiest ones to follow), but the general consensus is that it would cost you at least $1.200 to build a PC equivalent to a PS5 and even more for an Xbox Series X. The value should be clear for anyone that actually looks at the specs. If we compare this to last generation, building an PS4 like PC cost you around $600-700. There is a good breakdown here, where they build a much stronger PC and if you remove Windows it is $692. And even with the value being much less, consoles still did great last generation.
- "There is nothing to play on them." First of all, isn't that every non-Nintendo console launch? Didn't stop consoles before. Second of all, while I guess this might be true for Xbox, PS5 is launching with Demon's Souls, a highly anticipated game that looks amazing and unless something goes completely wrong, will be both a big critical and commercial success. And it also has Miles Morales the "sequel" to the fastest selling PS4 game of all time. But since that's cross-gen I guess it doesn't count.
- "Not enough people own 4K TV's." Brad said that 4K adoption has been slower than anticipated on the Hotspot and I gotta say, I really can't find anything to back this up. On the contrary, 4K adoption seems quite fast and though we don't have up to date numbers, it sounds like it's around 50% in the USA now (here's] some data about global shipments). You could also argue, that new consoles will probably be one of the biggest factors getting people to replace their old TV's. And if you are buying a new TV at this point, with 90% certainty it's going to be 4K. Besides 4K I also think build in SSD's will mean a much bigger leap in technology and gameplay this generation than between PS3 to PS4. Which will probably lead to bigger sales yet again, but that remains to be seen of course.
Sorry for the long rant, this is just something that has annoyed me for some time and I needed to get of my chest. I don't mind the crew being more PC gamers, but I just wish they actually thought a bit outside their own bobble and realized what the consoles are offering. Hearing the same dismissive rants just gets tiring.
In these Covid times I think it's fair to say a lot of people are sitting at home needing entertainment. New consoles offer that and for a much smaller price than a PC. I wish the crew at least acknowledged some of that, instead of constantly being all doom and gloom. GB had many of the same feelings when we were going into the last generation and look how that went.
So this thread kinda blew up.. After a lot of discussion and confusion, it became clear to me, that this OP is not articulating my thoughts and points well enough. So here’s an appendix in even more bullet points, to try and make that clear.
First of all, what I’m NOT trying to argue here:
- Consoles are better than PCs. This is a thread about GB’s coverage, not a console wars argument. Everybody should game on whatever they want and there are luckily a wide range of options out there.
- GB should be more excited for new consoles. I realize this can look counterintuitive against the thread title, but I do not feel that GB’s personalities should force excitement for new consoles on a personal level, that’s not what I’m asking.
- They should agree with me. I have been a GB fan for over 10 years, there have been plenty of times where I have disagreed wildly with the crew, as most of you probably has as well. I don’t mind that, it’s part of the experience in some ways and I don’t mind not having the same opinion as them. And I don’t expect them to either change their mind or their content. This is just my opinion about what is being put out.
Then what the hell are you trying to say, I hear you shout? Well, how about some more bullet points:
- Hours of constant dismissive agreement isn’t an interesting discussion. Simply put, the collective attitude of the crew towards these new consoles can be summed down to “Why would anyone buy these now?”, which I think lacks a lot of nuance and quickly becomes tiring to listen to. New console releases are some of the biggest events in the industry, but in spite of hours on content of the subject I have found GB‘s discussions here have rarely strayed from that attitude. Even when console prices were revealed to be quite a bit lower than the $600 speculated multiple times by GB, it was barely talked about. Even if they don’t feel this way themselves, simply for the sake of discussion I feel like GB would benefit a lot of someone took on a Devil’s Advocate kinda role from time to time. In the past this has often been Vinny, but even he isn’t really doing that with these new consoles.
- There are plenty of good arguments to be made for next gen consoles. This is the crux of the original OP. Of course if someone is to play Devil’s Advocat you need some arguments to work with. I’m not saying the GB crew should be swayed by these arguments, but it would be a lot more interesting to at least have the discussion and hear Jeff and co. compare value in the box, look at launch titles vs last gen, etc. What we get instead is an overall highly dismissive attitude, that everyone in the room agrees on which, to me at least, doesn’t lead to a lot of interesting discussion. If they believe so strongly in it, at least talk more in depth about why. Not saying someone should bring a spreadsheet, but I wish they were more willing to challenge each other, especially around big events like a console launch. The attitude towards next gen in general also seems a bit out of touch to me, when people are at the same time going crazy over preorders among other things, but time will tell on that front.
That hopefully makes things clearer. You might disagree with what I’m putting out here and that’s totally fine, but at least we should agree on what we are actually talking about.