Before buying a new game…

How do you make a decision about what new game to buy? There are many things that can be considered. Sometimes cheap price is something that triggers this process. The game might be a sequel to some other great game that you have some pleasant experiences with. It might be your favorite game of your childhood if you are thinking about getting your hands on a retro game. Sometimes this leads to thoughts about buying some retro gaming console or even a brand new PS5 or Xbox Series X. But we are talking here about how to make good choices when buying a new game.

You can buy the game as a physical copy or as a download. When I am making my choice I usually check out some video with some gameplay. Then I check what other customers that have already bought and played the game are saying about it. I usually also skim through some reviews. Good places to find these are Metacritic and/or Gamereactor. I somewhat follow two Finnish gaming magazines that are called “Pelaaja” and “Pelit”. Some of the most important web shops that you can buy your game as a digital copy are Steam and GOG (“Good Old Games”).

Usually I also take to consideration how long will it take to finish the game. There is a reliable website for that purpose. It is called “How Long To Beat”. You can find the time for beating a game that can be an old retro game or a new game. Members of the site can add the time that took to beat a game. There is also an estimation of how long would it take to complete the game in all of its content (“completionist”).

I like flee markets because you don’t have to make so sharp decisions on what game are you going to buy. The price is usually low. If I’m going to spend 60 euros to a game I have to make a smart decision. I want to know if the game is worth the money. If I really like the game there is a chance that I could buy a special collectors edition of the game that would cost a bit more. It’s cool to have big decorative gaming pieces comparable to old PC releases that came with a big box. One example of this kind of a release is Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2 which had a skateboarding deck included with its collectors edition (that was actually sold out by the time I was making my order of this game).

What makes gaming so addictive?

There are many things that you can have an addiction on. Drugs, such as nicotine, coffeine or heroin, are addictive. But there can be more behind an addiction than just pure chemistry. Fast learning and seeking of reward are some things that are present as you play a video game. Basically what happens as you are playing is that you just concentrate on the game. If we analyze what is happening physically is that you are just pressing the buttons at right time. The controller takes your input and forms a reaction based on your actions.

This is very different from working in real life. In real life you are dealing with your senses and reacting on what you see and hear or feel. Think about it. It is very different to for example carve a piece of wood with a real knife than to do that in a game. How this effects a young person who is growing up and is just beginning to form to become an adult is actually very interesting. There are different phases in growing up and it seems there is something very special about this part of it. I’m talking about persons that are aged between 14 to 16.

How did I became addicted in gaming? Do I play too much? Should I limit the time I spend on playing these games? These are good questions and in my opinion need to be given a thought. We as adults can analyze this but I think a child that is very addicted to some game might not just get the picture. Today there is already limitations created to control what kind of content is presented to for example persons under the age of 16.

You have to have some vision inside gaming to set limits to these young players. And maybe they are themselves somewhat responsible for how they spend their time. Gaming industry should have some responsibility in this matter also. I think they have so much resources that they can have a real research about these issues. All in all I think that we all, gamers and non-gamers, specialists and hobbyists, should have a good conversation as things are not so one sided.

What to expect from PS5?

Sony is releasing their next gaming console, PS5, some day later this year. It contains very fast SSD hard drive that has capacity of 825 GB. Although this is much more than PS4 had when it was released this brings to mind that you may havet to upgrade the hard drive to install more games.

When PS4 was released it had 500 GB of hard disk space. Many users upgraded their disks to for example 2 TB which makes it four times bigger. If you install games that take 50 GB space each you have room for ten games. So after upgrading you have space for 40 games. There will probably be also external hard drives available to purchase.

How powerful is this device going to be? For optical media it has a newer before seen format, in gaming, that is Ultra HD Blu-ray and one disc has more capacity than one PS4s Blu-ray. CPU included is 8-core AMD Zen 2 with variable frequency. PS5 has 16 GB of GDDR6 SDRAM and Custom AMD RDNA 2 as a graphics processing unit. It is clear that you could build more powerful personal computer but PS5s price is still not yet certain.

What about games? Will PS5 have games that are not released on any other competing gaming platforms? These PS5 games are already confirmed: The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Watch Dogs: Legion, Gods and Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Outriders and Godfall (which is the first game released on PS5).

We are waiting and already there has been a decrease in sales of PS4 and Xbox One systems as people are saving their money to the next generation of gaming consoles. Also backwards compatibility will include most of PS4 games. We are not going to see PS5 to support earlier consoles games which is a little bit sad.

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