I was talking to an old friend a few days ago. After getting all caught up, being the gaming geeks that we are, the topic turned to games. My friend was a proud new owner of an Xbox One, and I was genuinely curious as to what he thought about it. The conversation went something like this:
“…yeah, and it works as a DVR too!”
“That’s cool, but what’s your favorite game for the Xbox One?”
And the new Kinect is so much better than the old one!”
“Cool, but what games do you have?”
“And I can record footage from my Wii U with it!”
“That’s nice, but do you have ANY games?”
“Did I mention that I can turn it off with my voice?”
This got me thinking, when did game systems get so many unnecessary additions? Yeah, some of the addons, such as Netflix and YouTube support on modern consoles are nice features, but when will the non-game addons end? There are already numerous articles about how features like Kinect are only wanted by a small minority of gamers, but forced on all. To be fair, similar things were said about the Wii’s remotes which were also a forced addition, but seemed to be adopted as a norm for better or for worse.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s nice that game consoles are gaining non-gaming features, but how far is too far? It’s hard to say, but I think we might be there…
So what was the last pure gaming console? What system dared to ignore entertainment features in favor of a pure gaming machine? What system supported only simple game controllers, while the competition offered remotes to go with their DVD features? What system was confident enough to support a carrying handle?
While the competition was boasting features such as DVD playback, online gameplay via subscriptions, and a hard drive for DLC and ripped music, the Gamecube was no more complicated than any of the classic systems before it. You put a game in the machine, plug in the controller, and turn it on. No online profiles to mess with, no email verifications, no always on DRM. It’s designed to do one thing, and that’s to provide the best entertainment via excellent games.
For more reading on Gamecube, I highly recommend this article from Dromble.