GBAtemp Exclusive The Hybrid Era

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by chavosaur, May 9, 2017.

  1. Yes - I only have either the Nintendo Wii U/Switch, only a PS4, only an Xbox One, or only a PC

  2. No, I have some mix of the above.

  1. chavosaur

    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

    Mar 11, 2012
    United States
    Huntersville, NC

    I think it’s safe to say we’ve spent most of our gaming lives on this train barreling towards improvement in gaming. It’s always been about the next big upgrade and the era of something. The 8-bit, the 3D era, the HD era, and the weird place we exist in now that I’ve begun to dub the “Hybrid era.”

    The hybrid era consists of the current platforms we have to work with. We have the PlayStation 4 and its many physical forms of pro and slim that play games in slightly different ways. On the other side, we have the Xbox One that has been struggling to keep to the standard Sony has edged them out on for the past four years or so. And in the middle, we have Nintendo, fresh out the gate with something that, to most people, they don’t consider in the same league or playing the same competitive game.

    Outside of the consoles in this hybrid era, we also have the lukewarm beginnings of VR that people can’t seem to latch onto, and the ever-advancing race to power in the PC realm. A race that Sony and Microsoft seem keen to join in on as of late.

    An interesting mashup of ideas that are slightly similar yet at the same time manage to be completely different from each other. The progress towards power is high with Sony and Microsoft, yet Nintendo seems to prefer to cash in on the games make the hardware mantra. Not to say that Sony isn’t killing it with software either, as evidenced by the vast amount of 2017 games already in contention for game of the year, but I digress.

    What I find fascinating about the hybrid era are the common ideas and differences that come together to make unique and exciting content that is no longer available on a single platform. It’s an age that I feel began with the Wii console's introduction.


    I’ve heard the seventh generation of consoles be dubbed the Wii60 era, as everyone played a majority of their games on a 360 console when Microsoft dominated the early years of the generation, and still needed their Nintendo fix with the Wii. If you owned only the Wii, you missed out on some of the most impactful first and third party games in decades. If you didn’t own the Wii, the same could be said for some of Nintendo’s finer first party offerings.

    It’s a weird yet new socially accepted concept. The competition used to be all about a one-sided war. You either went all in on Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft. The Wii began the notion of Nintendo being too underpowered for third parties to keep up, so you needed another platform if you still cared enough to want to play those properties. The same concept carried over as the Wii U, PS4 and One rolled out, albeit to a lesser extent.

    The Wii U was quite obviously unable to survive on only its first party support, and the competition managed to swallow the market around it. The minority of individuals that did happen to own one, however, still tended to have a PS4 or One to get the full generational experience.

    The saying of owning Nintendo to play Nintendo had never been truer, but the hidden point remains that owning Nintendo meant missing out on the full spectrum of games. Some people are content with this to this day, yet others were left feeling empty and left out of the race altogether.

    While this may seem to target Nintendo in particular, this isn’t the intention. Because the same shenanigans are being pulled on the console platform completely, and on the PC platform to boot.


    The hybrid era has brought us to this marketing war zone where timed exclusivity and, “better on ours,” ideas are rampant. Some games come to Sony first, or third parties stay on Sony and never make it over to other consoles or PC. PC users find themselves continually being shafted by timed exclusives on the PS4 and Xbox One that they won’t get to see for months if not years, or even at all. I mean, Red Dead Redemption never made its way to PC and the second doesn’t look likely to either. And GTA V took almost a year and a half to make its debut on PC finally!

    Xbox One has nearly killed individual franchises, (ala Rise of The Tomb Raider,) thanks to their timed exclusivity to keep the games from the competition for as long as possible to sell hardware.

    And what makes all of this marketing is interesting, is how well it’s working. Looking at the signatures of the replies to this article alone will show you some people that have shared platforms now. To most of us, it’s become the only way to feel like we’re getting the full buffet of games and not getting stuck in the corner with the salad bar meal deal.


    I have a PC, a Nintendo Switch and a PS4 for this generation. The Switch is to play the Nintendo games I want to play. The PS4 will let me play the JRPG’s and Sony exclusives I want to play that I’ll never see on Switch or PC. The PC is to play all the third-party games that aren’t locked to Sony or Nintendo’s console to their full potential. Each console serves an overall purpose that contributes to the full hybrid generation I play games on.

    I think the argument could be made that Sony has the healthiest balance of all the console platforms at the moment. They have shafted the competition in every possible way to secure incredible exclusives both first and third party. The people who grew up Nintendo could never leave behind the allegiance to Zelda and Mario they grew up with. They also have a hard time leaving behind all the other titles they’ll never see on their console thanks to Nintendo’s lack of power.

    You could also argue this mentality of hybrid platforms goes back to the beginning of gaming, but I don’t see it that way. There was a balance of third parties that attempted to contribute to all the platforms up until the seventh generation.


    You can recall the days of seeing the new Need for Speed game on GameCube, Xbox, and PS2. The sports games were all platform. The weird movie tie-in games went to each system. The third parties catered to each property they could to make the most money on each platform.

    This led to the fight for strong exclusives and power that separated the generations in ways that forced you to think you needed to go all in on one platform.

    The incentive now is to cater to where the money is most likely to be, even if that means alienating separate userbases. An incentive that has forced the hand of many gamers to spread out to experience everything they want to play.

    The hybrid era is something I’ve come to accept as normal now. As much as I have love Nintendo, I could never see them actively trying to play the game of the competition. I think they are resigned to doing their own thing, meaning I’ll continue to buy into their platform for their games and seek out the other games on other platforms. Sony and Microsoft will keep butting heads and gobble up anything they can use against the other. PC users can be content with the third parties they do get to play and wait for the, “console exclusive first’s,” to eventually make their way to the platform.

    I don’t see this era indeed fading in the future either. The market competition offers no hope for that kind of change. I think we’ll continue to see an uglier battle of divided franchises among platforms that continues to make it difficult to stick to one company. And I find that incredibly ironic in a lot of ways as well.

    Because a majority of us aren’t sticking to a single company anymore.
  2. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    Choosing is losing. Sticking to one platform narrows down your horizons and prevents you from experiencing everything gaming has to offer. I have all three current gens (all four? Does the Wii U still count?) and I'm quite happy. The PS4 Pro is my primary gaming machine, the other two are there for exclusive games and features that I can't get on PlayStation. I've done the same with last gen, the gen before it and I apply the same philosophy to handhelds. Ideally you'd only need one machine to sort out all of your gaming needs, however the industry leans towards an anti-consumer model and lures users with exclusive software caged on a specific platform rather than with the merits of the actual system, so I don't really have a choice. Not that I would do any different if I could own all games on one platform as I'm a collector, but I do understand that my approach is unusual.
  3. Darkyose

    Darkyose Mysterious

    Jan 26, 2016
    United States
    Home Alone Somewhere.
    There should be a poll with "I don't have any consoles of this generation.".
    HaloEffect17, codezer0, Korma and 7 others like this.
  4. Chizko

    Chizko GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 24, 2015
    ???? ??? ???
    PC and Nintendo, maybe Scorpio. You need more than one experience of gaming.
  5. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

    Nov 6, 2002
    Proud to be Portuguese but I am in USA.
    We have PS4, PS3, and maybe Nintendo Switch this fall (After E3 for 3rd party supporting 100 percent, hopefully).
  6. jaeman109

    jaeman109 GBAtemp Regular

    Feb 15, 2017
    United States
    I have a PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, and a 3DS, as well as a PC.
    (Technically the PlayStations are my dad's but I can play on em if I want)
    I only actually play on the Nintendo consoles simply because I'm not into AAA shooters and racing games...
    Other than Splatoon and Mario Kart.
  7. Hayleia

    Hayleia GBAtemp Maniac

    Feb 26, 2015
    There should also be an option for people who "own a PC and ONE console from this generation" because what I read from this poll right now is just that 4 people don't have a PC or only have that, not that 86.7% of gbatemp plays games on several platforms...
    Last edited by Hayleia, May 9, 2017
  8. Yepi69

    Yepi69 Jill-sandwiched

    Nov 29, 2010
    Behind you
    I'm with you on that, recently bought a PS4 Slim and I've playing non stop, well either that or my n3ds xl with super smash bros.
    Either way.
  9. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

    Feb 28, 2010
    The Forge
    *cough* The 360 did well in the States, but if I remember correctly, not so well in Europe/PAL region or Japan. *cough*

    As for consoles, the typical PS3+Wii changed to PS4+WiiU (+PC since adult life and moneyz). I did buy a 360 between generations for the exclusives and may do the same this time around too for the Xbox One. Switch may be my next tablet hybrid replacing my Nexus 7, but so far the game library is marginal to warrant a purchase (literally Zelda now and Odyssey in holidays as new games for me, still missing a browser AFAIK). But the major surprise this gen has been that PC/Steam sales have gone down the drain in comparison to PS4/X1 sales. Seriously, even multiplat games can be found cheap on digital sales, while the second hand market is live and kicking. PC second hand is quite dead and best deals are somewhat limited to bundle sites..
  10. invaderyoyo

    invaderyoyo invader

    Mar 17, 2014
    United States
    Southern California
    I don't see it. You've always had to buy multiple consoles to play all the games. I've always bought every Sony and Nintendo console. I also had had a Genesis at one point.

    Nothing's changed for me. I haven't bought a Switch, but I'll probably get one when the revised version pops up. Or when the Switch SMT is released.

    Been thinking about getting a good PC, but I think I'm only gonna end up using it for CAD.
  11. B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N

    B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N オンライン翻訳者が悪い

    Jun 7, 2016
    United States
    Interesting article.

    There is one category of games you're missing though, and that would be the PC Exclusives. These are the games that, for whatever reason, couldn't make it on to a console in at way, shape, or form.

    Admittedly, this type of game is becoming rarer thanks to better access to dev kits, but they still exist. When I talk about games in this category, I'm mainly talking about games that are either too customizable to make it on console (games like M.U.G.E.N and GMod), fangames that couldn't be released due to licenses (I realize there's a stigma against fangames within the gaming community, but there are some damn good ones out there, like Sonic Time Twisted, Megaman Unlimited, and AM2R), or just games made in an engine not supported on console's (like most RPG Maker games. And Undertale).

    In all honesty, I can't decide whether the decentralization of gaming is a good or bad thing. While it's nice to see harming as not a monolithic entity, it's annoying to have to shell out more money just to play the games you want. Persona 5 looks cool, but I'm in no position to get a PS4. I really want to play BOTW, but I can't get a Switch. It can be downright frustrating at times.
  12. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Stand tall or don't stand at all.

    Being broke as you like that means not at all. In a way it is like being a kid again and getting little bits and pieces of gaming when visiting friends and family.
  13. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    Regarding the 360 it really depends on who you ask. I can confirm that the UK was 360-landia, both games and consoles continue to sell even today. By 2013 the 360 outsold not only the PS3, but even the Wii.
    Skelletonike likes this.
  14. eduall

    eduall GBAtemp Regular

    May 29, 2014
    only wii, psp, ds and poor PC
  15. darkshadow1997

    darkshadow1997 GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    United States
    I have a psp,ps1,ps2,3ds,nintendo wii,wii U and gamecube,gameboy advance, snes and nes (my fathers) and dreamcast as well a Pc. I play all types of games but some are only available to another console.
  16. tbb043

    tbb043 Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    United States
    By who? Normally it's called the PS360 era, with Wii, due to it's novelty and much lower power (and lack of HD) often as sort of a separate thing.
    Supster131 likes this.
  17. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo WiiUaboo

    Feb 13, 2015
    Bought a WiiU in november 2015 just for Xenoblade X, bought and "acquired" other games just as an afterthought...

    As a consumer voting with my wallet, I can't ethically support a business model based on self-destructing games (relying more and more on online as a key feature, yet requiring servers [with the required software for running one not publicly available] which may be retired at any time), an order of magnitude more so now that every console brand demands money for running said servers!

    If server costs were really an issue, they could have let people run their own free servers (with a hoped side effect of reducing cheating on the official server too in the process)
  18. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

    Dec 26, 2013
    United States
    Spiraling Out
    In regards to the current gen I've got my high-end PC and Switch. Costs quickly get out of control if you buy every single console, not to mention it's unnecessary to have so many devices with the same use cases. PC has better pricing on software by a mile, but at least with Switch I feel I'm getting more value out of every purchase because of the portable aspect.
  19. Reecey

    Reecey Mario 64 (favorite game of all time)

    Mar 7, 2010
    At Home :)
    @chavosaur excellent topic, hats off to you I loved it! I actually read all of this and it is so true what you say, especially liked this part it made me smile "The people who grew up Nintendo could never leave behind the allegiance to Zelda and Mario they grew up with. They also have a hard time leaving behind all the other titles they’ll never see on their console thanks to Nintendo’s lack of power." that is probably my biggest let down with using Xbox & Sony, that was spot on! I do have an XboxOne but to me it just feels wrong using it and I'm like "ergh no, don't touch it!" that's why it is still in its box somewhere.
    Last edited by Reecey, May 9, 2017
    chavosaur likes this.
  20. Saiyan Lusitano

    Saiyan Lusitano GBAtemp Guru

    Oct 29, 2015
    It's kind of funny seeing the first image where it's the Switch x PS4 x Xbox One despite that the Switch is technically a 9th generation console against 8th generation, and technically it's also inferior to PS4/XO. I mean, I don't really care too much about how powerful a console is (it's a console, after all) but Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft always need to make sure the games that run on their systems perform at an optimised performance.

    The perfect-ish mix is Switch + PS4 or Switch + PC. Xbox just slips by completely due to the fact they lack exclusives to make their console a must own (yes, they have a few exclusives but it's either Forza, Halo or Gears -- Don't forget they cancelled Scalebound).