Editorial: Mobile Connectivity Doesn't Inspire Confidence
Mobile device connectivity for console games is sneaking up on us. This is yet another one of the upcoming changes I don't think I can get behind along with pseudo-social everythingness.
I'd like to present to you a quote from a recent interview with Final Fantasy XV director Tetsuya Nomura on the solution for a problem that doesn't exist:
“I want to think about how to connect with mobile devices. The timing is perfect and PlayStation 4 is well equipped to connect with other devices. And what we’re doing is also in agreement with this possibility. I think in this day and age it’s difficult to sit in front of your TV for long periods of time, and there should be some way to connect with the world of Final Fantasy XV when you’re out as well.”
Really? Have we actually reached the point where we can't even sit in front of our damned television sets long enough to enjoy the games we buy? Is society so completely bereft of attention spans longer than a gnat's that we now have to constantly be jockeying with our cell phones and tablets as well as the controller to fully experience our video games?
Nomura isn't alone, other developers have confirmed integration with mobile devices with their flagship franchises. Tom Clancy's The Division will use the feature. Hideo Kojima has discussed mission creation for The Phantom Pain using tablets. Dead Rising 3 will let you call in air strikes with your phone.
Don't get me wrong, I've got no problem with adding features to a game that uses the latest technology. Some folks might even like having an integrated mini-game with them on the go, but some things about this just concern me.
For one, I consider this all to be extraneous and expensive additions to games that already cost too much to make and have enough release day bugs as it is. For another, everywhere I look I see gaming experiences that were once very well contained being spread thinly. They are spread across DLC, across platforms, across stopgap sequels, across a vague sense of “freedom,” across online multiplayer. I'm not sure I can bear another fracture in the core gaming experience.
Finally, I'm sick to death of phones and tablets interrupting daily experiences as it is. I need to have mine around to stay relevant in what I do just like a lot of you, but I'm already interrupted in my gaming enough as it is.
People will say “If you don't like it, don't use it,” but it's not that simple right? If you want a platinum trophy these days you have to play online, if you want to do well or see the whole story you have to buy DLC, and if you want to experience all of your game in the future you will probably have to constantly pause it and pick up your phone to mess around with some confusing application because apparently people can't sit in place for more than five minutes doing one thing.
9/25/2013 David D. Nelson