Looking Back: The Current Generation Nears Its End



Looking
Back:
The
Current
Generation
Nears
Its
End


by



Louis
Bedigian


 




The
closer
we
get
to
seeing
what’s
next,
the
closer
we
get
to
shutting
the
door
on
what
has
become
the
most
remarkable
gaming
era. 



 


 


I
remember
the
wait. 
I
remember
the
weather. 
I
remember
the
hockey
game
that
preceded
it,
a
game
where
I
sat
in
the
second
row
and
watched
the


Red
Wings

defeat
another
team. 
I
remember
the
essay
that
I
wrote
afterwards,
the
essay
that
compared
my
emotion
to
the
feeling
of
being
stuck
on a
lifeboat
after
the
Titanic
sank.


 


All
good
things
must
come
to
an
end. 
The
long-running
Star
Wars
saga
comes
to a
close
on
May
19th. 
blink-182
recently
announced
that
they
were
going
on
an
"indefinite
hiatus." 
Acclaim
no
longer
has
the
opportunity
to
release
Turok
10 –
or
bring
us a
sequel
to
the
highly
underrated
extreme
sports
game
Aggressive
Inline.


 


What
we
once
knew,
what
we
once
loved,
no
longer
exists. 
Although
we
have
much
to
look
forward
to,
the
beginning
of
our
next
gaming
generation,
the
closer
we
get
to
seeing
what’s
next,
the
closer
we
get
to
shutting
the
door
on
what
has
become
the
most
remarkable
gaming
era. 
It
may
not
have
had
the
most
innovation,
but
it
spawned
more
single-
and
multiplayer
success
stories
than
any
generation
before
it. 
Had
it
not
been
for
Halo
and
Halo
2,
we
would
remember
this
time
as
the
PlayStation
2
era. 
Thanks
to
Sony’s
domination,
that’s
essentially
what
it
became.


 


October
26th,
2000
turned
out
to
be
quite
an
adventurous
day. 
The
hockey
game
prevented
me
from
getting
to
Target
until
after
midnight

by
that
time
there
were
already
more
than
15
people
in
line. 
(If
memory
serves
right,
I
was
#17.) 
There
were
several
people
behind
me
and
only
two
of
them
walked
away
with
a
PS2. 
At
the
time
we
didn’t
know
any
of
this. 
We
didn’t
know
who
would
get
one,
or
even
how
many
consoles
the
store
had.


 


We
didn’t
find
out
till
they
handed
out
tickets
30
minutes
before
the
doors
opened. 
I
was
literally
afraid. 
It
sounds
crazy
to
think
of
myself
as
being
fearful
of
not
getting
a
new
game
console,
but
this
was
PlayStation
2,
the
sequel
to
the
greatest
console
ever
made. 
As
crazy
as
that
feeling
was,
I
had
it. 
And
when
I
think
of
all
the
memories
that
would
be
made
later
on
because
of
it,
I
understand
why.


 


The
excessive
lines
for
PS2
struck
fear
in
anyone
hoping
to
get
an
Xbox
or
GameCube. 
No
one
cared
about
those
consoles
at
the
time

this
was
the
year
2000,
remember? 
Xbox
was
just
a
bunch
of
tech
demos. 
GameCube
hadn’t
been
fully
unveiled. 
It
was
all
about
PS2. 
Again,
Halo
aside,
that’s
what
it’s
always
been
about.


 


 


No
one
could
have
predicted
that


Metal
Gear
Solid
2

would
receive
huge
competition
from
(and
eventually
be
beaten
by)


Grand
Theft
Auto
3
.


 


 




Fun
Fact:

Jimmy
Eat
World
released
their
fifth
album,
Futures,
last
October. 
On
the
title
track,
Jim
says
he’s
"always
believed
in
futures,"
and
that
he
hoped
“for
better
in
November." 
Clearly
he
could
have
been
talking
about
the
2004
Presidential
Election,
but
I
think
it’s
more
likely
that
he
was
expressing
his
hope
for
a
PlayStation
3
unveiling,
don’t
you?
🙂


 


2001
brought
big
surprises
from
everyone. 
Rockstar
turned
out
to
be a
rockstar
with
the
release
of
their
breakthrough
driving
game
Grand
Theft
Auto
3. 
The
game
sold
more
copies
than
most
rockstars
sold
of
their
latest
record. 
It
was
big,
bold,
beautiful,
controversial,
revolutionary,
and
an
absolute
joy
to
play. 
I
can’t
imagine
where
PS2
would
be
today
without
it.


 


I
still
laugh
(as
many
of
you
probably
do)
at
the
fact
that
I
spent
more
time
playing
the
demo
of
Metal
Gear
Solid
2
than
I
did
actually
playing
the
final
game. 
Like
the
first
MGS,
the
demo
was
the
perfect
video
game
trailer. 
So
perfect
that
the
final
product
couldn’t
possibly
live
up
to
what
we
had
already
experienced,
at
least
not
entirely.


 


In
October
2001,
I
got
the
chance
to
play
all
the
GameCube
launch
titles
before
they
hit
the
shelves. 
At
that
time
I
wasn’t
too
excited
for
the
console
— I
wasn’t
even
certain
that
I’d
buy
it. 
But
I
always
get
excited
about
playing
games
early,
so I
knew
I
had
to
go.


 


Unbelievably,
the
game
that
looked
like
kiddie
crap
turned
out
to
be
the
game
that
hooked
me
the
most:
Pikmin. 
Challenging,
unique,
and
full
of
surprises,
the
two
Pikmin
kiosks
were
played
(by
the
same
group
of
people)
all
night. 
Those
who
got
the
controller
could
not
and
would
not
put
it
down,
preventing
others
from
trying
GameCube’s
best
launch
title.


 


That
did
it
— I
had
to
have
a
GameCube.


 


The
Xbox
wait
was
considerably
colder
than
the
PS2
wait
(and
lonelier
– no
one
showed
up
till
morning!). 
Waiting
for
GameCube
proved
to
be
most
painful
(it
was
cold
and
snowy),
but
since
I
was
waiting
for
my
cousin,
he
helped
by
sending
hot
chocolate
and
Macaroni
&
Cheese.


 


The
wait
for
all
three
consoles,
although
not
entirely
necessary,
proved
to
be
worth
it. 
I’ll
never
forget
the
joy
I
just
had
beating
Resident
Evil
4
for
the
first
time. 
I’ll
never
forget
the
first
time
me
and
my
friends
delved
into
Halo
2. 
I’ll
never
forget
the
many,
many
times
I
beat
the
first
Onimusha. 


 


Resident
Evil
4:
an
unforgettable
classic. 


 


I’ll
never
forget
the
hundreds
of
hours
I
spent
playing
Tekken
Tag
Tournament,
especially
the
day
I
beat
my
friends
without
even
looking
at
the
screen. 
(I
had
just
met
my
friend
Ellen,
and
we
were
talking
about
things
gamers
don’t
usually
discuss

the
real
world. 
I
turned
to
her,
continued
talking,
and
let
my
hands
control
the
game
to
victory. 
I
don’t
think
either
of
us
will
ever
forget
the
look
on
Craig’s
face. 
Total
disbelief.)


 


I’ll
never
forget
the
music
of
Final
Fantasy
X,
or
the
puzzles
of
ICO. 
I’ll
forever
cherish
the
moments
I
spent
playing
NFL
Street
Vol.
1
with
my
cousin. 
There
are
dozens,
if
not
hundreds
of
moments
I
could
mention
that
are
forever
etched
into
my
brain.


 




Fun
Fact:

When
battling
for
long
hours
or
leveling
up,
even
the
best
music
can
get
annoying. 
The
next
time
you’re
playing
Final
Fantasy
X,
try
listening
to
Our
Lady
Peace’s
"Spiritual
Machines." 
You’ll
be
surprised
by
how
well
the
two
go
together.


 


As
eager
as I
am
for
what’s
to
come,
a
part
of
me
wants
to
hold
onto
what
we
have
for
just
a
little
bit
longer.


 


What
memories
will
be
made
in
the
next
six
years? 
Gamers
can
expect
RPGs
to
return
in
full
force. 
It
might
not
happen
overnight,
but
once
Hironobu
Sakaguchi’s
game
hits
Xbox
2,
expect
big
sales
and
a
million
clones
to
follow. 
Some
of
these
clones
will
ultimately
turn
out
to
be
unique,
enjoyable
games,
hopefully
bringing
the
genre
back
to
its
glory
days.


 


Expect
Bungie
to
take
its
time
with


Halo
3
.


 


Expect
Nintendo
to
release
a
touch
screen-type
device
for
their
next
console

maybe
not
at
launch,
but
at
some
point.


 


Expect
Rockstar
to
do
something
shocking
with
the


Grand
Theft
Auto

series.


 


 


Will
Liberty
City
finally
go
online?


 


 


Expect
Sony
to
push
PSP-to-PS3
connectivity
more
severely
than
Nintendo
pushed
GBA-to-GameCube
connectivity.


 


Expect
Rare
to
continue
down
the
path
they’ve
always
taken,
one
that’s
filled
with
delays,
but
a
few
spectacular
games. 
(Conker
will
surprise
everyone. 
It’s
entirely
different
from
the
Nintendo
64
version.)


 


Don’t
expect
to
see
Dual-Shock
3. 
(Rumors
say
Sony
is
designing
a
new
controller
for
PS3. 
All
signs
indicate
that
this
is
true.)


 


Don’t
expect
to
see
all
three
game
consoles
launch
in
the
same
year
(it’s
a
dream
that
isn’t
likely
to
happen).


 


Don’t
expect
to
see
an
arcade
revival
as
many
had
hoped.


 

The
next
generation
is
going
to
be
amazing,
but
I’m
no
longer
in a
hurry
to
get
there. 
There
are
still
a
lot
of
memories
to
be
made
with
what
we
have,
and
I’m
not
about
to
let
them
slip
by.

 

Hey
Craig,
you
want
a
rematch?
🙂