As should be apparent by yesterday’s post, I am finally, with only a few days left, a proud PS4 owner. As this happened completely without any planning on my part, it’s been a long wait to the next payday. Every day I come home and the PS4 whispers sweet nothings in my general direction, to which I have no valid response. In what is the definition of a first world problem, I have this snazzy new console and nothing to play on it.
I figured it was good a time as any to revisit my old friend, the PSN store. This reunion was short lived when I realized that nothing about that experience has really improved over the previous generation, still full of insultingly priced games presented in the worst manner possible. I then went on to explore some of the new features of the hardware, like this Playstation NOW service that I keep hearing nothing about. A free 7 day trial was available for me to stream a cornucopia of PS3 titles, which was about number 779 on the list of things I want to do with a PS4, but beggars can’t be choosers, as the saying goes.
Props to Sony, the streaming works surprisingly, especially considering how infamously slow their online services tend to be. After only a few seconds of waiting, I was playing whatever random game I happened my cursor upon. Having so many titles available a la carte is both a blessing and a curse, though, encouraging one to try a lot of stuff that they wouldn’t have otherwise spent money on but also making those experiences as low risk and disposable as possible. It’s no different than the first time I loaded up an NES emulator and proceeded to play the entire library in an afternoon, all in 20-30 second chunks. You don’t feel a compulsion to spend too much time with a game since there’s always something else to try.
In fairness, I’ve also played just about everything that I’ve ever wanted to on the PS3, baring a few random downloadables here and there. Tokyo Jungle was one that I always wanted to try but never enough of a want to plop down any money for it. I figured that I was in prime position to give it the attention that it deserved, knowing that if I was underwhelmed, there were a half-dozen anime fighters for me to fall back on. Shockingly, playing as a murderous Pomeranian in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo actually kept my attention for a time. I loathe the survival genre as a rule, but when you have to a fight a “gazelle boss” to claim a section of street that you want to mate on, I tend to forgive a lot. That said, I don’t regret not buying it. Games like this are perfect for a service like NOW since they don’t have to justify the price on their own but still add a needed bit of variety when John Q Gamer has mainlined all 37 God of War games. Selfishly, as someone with a passion for game preservation, I also want this trend to continue so that otherwise forgotten games can continue to have a life beyond their system of origin. I don’t want to live in a future where someone can’t play Journey because it’s locked away on an inaccessible server somewhere. Part of that fight is also making sure that the lesser-known and absurd survive as well. We must keep the memory of the Pomeranian warrior alive.