When did console gaming jump the shark?

General and high profile video game topics.
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Re: When did console gaming jump the shark?

Postby jon » December 7th, 2015, 10:19 pm

It is fairly obvious, in my opinion, that it all started with the PS1. A lot of companies stopped making games, almost like they were forced out of business. I can see how the big money of Sony and Microsoft really shaped things. Companies like Accolade went out of business. The number of computer game developers dropped substantially too. Longtime stalwarts like Sierra were forced out of business too. It sucked because what made video games cool was there were different choices. Sega and Nintendo were different. If you wanted to play computer games, they were different than the consoles. I remember not caring as much about video games at that point because the PS1 took over the industry. By 1997 I'd basically had enough with the status quo. In addition to the home market being so flawed, as I mentioned there were fewer and fewer computer games, and they were usually just games ported from the home market. I think after 1994-1995, everything's just gotten worse in regards to the number of options.

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Re: When did console gaming jump the shark?

Postby bluenote » December 8th, 2015, 10:56 am

I don't see how gaming "jumped the shark" at all. In relation to tv shows, jumping the shark is when there is a ridiculous premise/storyline that is often introduced at the peak of the show and the show declines rapidly after that.

I don't see how this applies to gaming at all. Gaming right now is completely different than it was decades ago, but I don't see how it's jumped the shark. You can get full fledge triple a games, along with classic style 2d games that you can download for 5 bucks and old Nintendo games from the Wii U.

Basically the games for PS4 and xBone are much better versions of games that the PS1 era introduced.

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Re: When did console gaming jump the shark?

Postby jon » December 10th, 2015, 12:36 pm

I was shocked that the N64 got outsold 3 to 1 by the PS1. If you would have told me that back when all the rage was the upcoming "Ultra 64", which was supposed to be amazing, I wouldn't have believed it. And that's when Nintendo, the last true game company, got relegated to the sidelines. Sure there was the freak success with the Wii, but besides that it's been all downhill for them. By 2000 the Sega was dead and the N64 was a certified failure. With Atari out of the equation, the companies that specialized in games were either marginalized or out of the business.

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Re: When did console gaming jump the shark?

Postby Voor » December 10th, 2015, 1:57 pm

Yeah, the jumping the shark expression is weird in this case....though I suppose you could argue that gaming got absurd when people started making a living off of playing games online for others to watch--YouTube, live streams, etc. but even then.....

Games evolve, and it's a fine line before they become too real that nobody enjoys them. For instance, everyone loves the realism of modern FPS, but having your health automatically restore if you avoid fire for a while is ULTRA unrealistic. Of course, everyone would hate it if you died in one hit, just as you probably would in real life. So, a game will often contradict itself. But no big deal....it's a game.

Sports games also have issues. Most people will tell you that the best years for sports games was in the 8 and 16 bit eras. Sure, they have some realism nowadays that wasn't possible then, but it doesn't translate to more fun.

You could say that NFL Blitz was a way to spice up the tired football game format, and it "jumped the shark" with all kinds of absurdity, but I think that's one of the best games. So, again, less realistic = more fun.

So maybe you just need a different expression.


I just changed my mind. I know when gaming jumped the shark. It was when you started seeing commercial and trailers that looked liked big budget Hollywood movies.

That's when (for me).


Re: When did console gaming jump the shark?

Postby NX17 » December 10th, 2015, 1:58 pm

I stopped playing seriously in like 2004 or so, nowadays I'll just pick up a system if I really want to play something or am fine playing PC games. I think that's really around the time it "jumped the shark" so to speak, because that's when the mid-tier games and publishers started to evaporate. Acclaim, Midway, THQ, among others have all went bust. Then companies like SEGA and Capcom have scaled back what they make considerably anymore, only focusing on a handful of titles.

There's very little diversity or competition between games now. I remember in the N64/PSONE era you cold go out and see 5, 6 different baseball games to choose from. Now there's one. For only one console. You had a variety of games at the top of the charts. You could have Tony Hawk, Mario, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, etc. It could vary a ton month to month and you hide a wide range of genres that were supported. Now its all variations of action/shooters. First person shooter. Third person open world shooter. Third person open world action. Etc, etc ,etc.

You basically have 5 or 6 third parties now running almost EVERYTHING and it's the same genres over and over. So many games have been squeezed out of existence.

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Re: When did console gaming jump the shark?

Postby PinMike8666 » December 10th, 2015, 4:28 pm

Personally, I feel gaming hasn't quite jumped the shark yet, despite there not being much difference between the PS4 and Xbox One's library; this feels like a repeat of the last generation as Nintendo has the most exclusive software between the three major consoles, the retail lineup of games not differing between Sony and Microsoft, and most of the retail multi-platform games being available on PC, but despite all that, there are still many games for anyone to enjoy regardless of what console you have.

My personal preference this generation is PC as it shares the majority of Xbox One and PS4 libraries and some really solid indie games being available on it. My console of choice is the Wii U as it offers more that just Nintendo's 1st Party games, which I feel Nintendo hasn't quite fizzled out yet in that department; the idea of being able to play Bayonetta 1 & 2 on a Nintendo console is pretty awesome, especially since there are unlockable exclusives in the Wii U version of Bayonetta 1. It's also the only console designed to have backwards compatibility in mind with all games being playable on it, even the digital games.

I think the true turning point for jumping the shark for me would be all the best Japanese companies completely abandoning all gaming aside from mobile, in addition to indie developers quitting; while Japan hasn't been churning out as much as other regions, I think they still make great games more than once in a blue moon and indie game design is getting better. Konami is the first to pull the trigger on that.

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