July is officially the worst month to be a console gamer

by Gaetano 'Xbot' Prestia 12 Comments 8 Likes 1,485 Views 08/07/2014 Back to Xbox One articles Xbox One

Last night I spent five hours playing a game on my iPad. Five. Hours. So bad was my addiction to Civilization Revolution 2 that I lost track of time (read: forgot) and left my girlfriend waiting in the cold at the train station. I’m an awful boyfriend but, evidently, a really good Civ player, so I think it balances out.

There’s a reason why I dedicated so much time to my iPad, and it’s not only because the game I was playing was so addictive: it’s also because, as a console gamer, there’s nothing to play.

That’s not to say iPad games broadly don’t demand that sort of attention -- there’s many a great strategy and puzzle game available on tablet platforms that can easily help you pass the time -- but I think it’s quite telling when I use my new consoles so sparingly right smack bang in the middle of the coldest time of the year in Melbourne.

So, why is there traditionally a mid-year lull? The US summer period is the “blockbuster” time for Hollywood, so then why not the same for the games industry?

Obviously it’s because publishers want their biggest and best games out around the Christmas period, but that makes life hard for all of us console peasants with nothing to play. Valve knows exactly how to tap into this downtime by making every single game that no one will ever play so affordable that the sales are impossible to pass up.

This is also the time that EB Games hyperventilates and vomits red “SALE” signs all over store fronts … actually, no, that’s every month of the year ...

It’s clear that July is, strangely, the time to spend money on anything to entertain yourself, because you know there aren’t those one or two blockbuster games you can spend your cash on.

After I’d paid near $20 on Civ Rev 2, I had a little rant about the price. People mostly countered that I was paying for a good product that will provide me with the entertainment needed to justify the price, which makes sense. It was an argument that certainly put me in my place.

Previously, I’d never contemplated paying so much for an iPad game, and while the final product is certainly a little on the “light” side and no where near as complex or engaging as the full PC Civ experience, it was different and satisfying enough to tide me over until what will probably be my next purchase in Metro: Redux, which is, ironically, a remake: we’ll need to wait until Destiny in September for pre-Christmas shenanigans to kick off.

I’m not sure if the fact I’ve committed so much of my time to a mobile game is a good indication of the industry’s transition over the past few years, for better or worse. What it’s shown me, however, is that even in light of such a dry period for console gamers -- an audience so demanding of the AAA blockbuster game -- a smaller mobile game can be equally as satisfying as the bombastic, multi-million dollar AAA game. Maybe it’s just a matter of stepping outside the console bubble every now and then!

What games will you be playing during the console dry season?

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July is officially the worst month to be a console gamer Comments

  • 1wiierdguy 8012 XP 08/07/2014
    Nearly every month is July for us Wii U owners. :*(
  • Tano 334476 XP 08/07/2014

    @1wiierdguy said: Nearly every month is July for us Wii U owners.



    And yet Wii U has probably had the best year of all consoles :P
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  • 1wiierdguy 8012 XP 08/07/2014

    @Tano said:

    @1wiierdguy said: Nearly every month is July for us Wii U owners.


    And yet Wii U has probably had the best year of all consoles


    DK was Feb, MK8 was June, the next big game is what? Bayonetta 2 in Oct. Even though the quality is great 3 big games in 10 months is abysmal.
  • Neverlate 354 XP 08/07/2014

    Tano said:

    @1wiierdguy said: Nearly every month is July for us Wii U owners.


    And yet Wii U has probably had the best year of all consoles


    Really do tell please as I fail to see the same as you, I see only DK and that wasn't mindblowing either and Mario Kart 8 is way over rated and very boring after the 1st 30 mins
  • Tano 334476 XP 08/07/2014

    @Neverlate said:

    Tano said:

    @1wiierdguy said: Nearly every month is July for us Wii U owners.


    And yet Wii U has probably had the best year of all consoles


    Really do tell please as I fail to see the same as you, I see only DK and that wasn't mindblowing either and Mario Kart 8 is way over rated and very boring after the 1st 30 mins



    Hmm, you're right, the year hasn't been great, but of all three of the newer consoles I think it's the best as far as software goes. That my opinion though
    X_X (*)
  • K4ZMA 384278 XP 08/07/2014
    Ah yes, time for me to catch up on games from 2-7 years ago.
  • kangle4 25082 XP 08/07/2014
    Pokémon Trading Card Game GBC is coming to the 3ds E-shop :)
  • Tsunamo 74323 XP 08/07/2014
    Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, Ratchet Trilogy Vita, Oddworld New'n'Tasty, The Last of Us PS4 and the Destiny Beta make this a fine month for me.
  • sjt333 228108 XP 08/07/2014

    Tsunamo said: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, Ratchet Trilogy Vita, Oddworld New'n'Tasty, The Last of Us PS4 and the Destiny Beta make this a fine month for me.


    new oddworld is finally coming out? sweet!
  • stonecold 32409 XP 08/07/2014
    Gives me time to save up for massive sept-oct releases :)
  • Hugo 5592 XP 08/07/2014

    stonecold said: Gives me time to save up for massive sept-oct releases



    Agree 100% there's at least 6 games I need to save for a break is needed! Dusted off Real Racing 3 on Android
  • Tano 334476 XP 09/07/2014

    @Hugo said:

    stonecold said: Gives me time to save up for massive sept-oct releases


    Agree 100% there's at least 6 games I need to save for a break is needed! Dusted off Real Racing 3 on Android



    Casual!

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