Damn, these are weird times. I’m currently waiting for numbers to go up on a news website as the US election plays out its special brand of spectacle and lunacy. Meanwhile, the UK has gone into a second lockdown, and I’m trapped in another time loop for a month, doing the same things every day without change, aside from the occasional miserable trip to the supermarket. And, oh yeah, some new consoles are coming out. Next week, in fact. Huh.
What a strange time to be launching a console. For a start, you can’t actually go and buy one from a game shop. That’s in the UK, at least. All non-essential shops are now closed, so the only option is to get them online. Or possibly from a supermarket while being scowled at for buying non-essential goods.
No big launch day parties, none of the traditional media shots of people queuing outside stores to be the first to get their mitts on a shiny new next-generation console. And hardly anyone has even had a chance to play on these things, thanks to the lack of any gaming events for the past six months. It seems so odd the next generation launches in a week, and yet with such little fanfare. Relatively speaking.
And then there’s the fact that neither platform has any launch games of note. I expect this wasn’t the plan. COVID-19 has caused so many delays this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the launch line ups were originally much fuller to start with. We already know that Halo Infinite was meant to be a launch title and that slipped – I wonder what other games were originally meant to hit the launch date?
I feel oddly removed from it all, even though I write about video games for a living. Well, partly. But I’ve actually been so busy with work recently that I haven’t even had time to play any games. November and December are always my busiest months as a freelancer, but it’s been particularly crazy this year. After the work dried up in March, it’s come back with a vengeance, like everyone is desperately trying to make up for lost time.
All that means I don’t even have the spare bandwidth to enjoy a new console right now, even if I could afford one. And I imagine that splashing out on a PS5 or Xbox Series X may be a bit beyond many people’s budgets right now, after a tumultuous year for finances.
Actually, I already have a massive backlog of review code that I’m trying to get through, but between work and childcare there’s just no room to fit in video games. Paradise Killer has been sat on my hard drive for weeks, and I’ve heard it’s brilliant. Hades is on there, too. And Pendragon, and Partisans 1941… Maybe I’ll have time to get through them all at Christmas. I know it’s churlish to complain about getting too many free games, but it’s just another symptom of the general feeling of being overwhelmed. Everything is a Bit Much right now.
But hey, new consoles, eh? That’s cool. I hope I get to play them some day. Maybe I could get some mates round.
Do you remember when you could get mates round? That was fun, wasn’t it?