Half Life 3. Steambox exclusive. Do it, Valve. Oh please, do it. Not because I want to play the game. Not because I'm interested in the console. But because things have gotten so stale - so predictable - over the past generation that I need something big now to rattle me awake.
You know what I mean, don't you Valve? Things are so boring now. Announcement then screenshots then trailers then launch. Since when did marketing become such an exact science? Where did all the Daikatanas go? The GTA 2s? Where's the fun in it now?
The game industry is such a well-oiled, well-maintained machine these days and everyone markets their product the same way. It took a few years, but publishers have the knack for it now. Those that didn't catch on - that didn't learn precisely what kind of products would sell and precisely how to sell them - died out. Look at the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Almost exactly the same specs, launching in the same month of the same year. And they're both bound to be hits. Companies know what they're doing now. It's not like the eighties and nineties, when game companies were starting up, run by people with no business experience. It's corporate. They're people paid lots of money to make sure everything runs smoothly.
I'm sure Valve's no different. I'm sure you didn't get to where you are without a lot of good business sense. But at least you're prepared to shake things up. At least you're forward-thinking enough to do something different. Granted, you're in a comfortable position - you can take a hit if things go wrong - but, you know, so are Sony and Microsoft and those companies just seem to be repeating themselves.
So please, please Valve. Half Life 3. Steambox exclusive.
Videogames have become a computational, formulaic world where what works before usually works again. If someone doesn't throw a spanner in the works - doesn't test what happens when you pull a lever right down instead of half-way - I'm going to give up. I don't want to sound all Howard Beale, Valve; I don't expect anyone to care. But seriously, I've almost had it with videogames. BioShock Infinite was meant to change things but it was rubbish. GTA 5, as well, was a load of tut.
Am I getting older or are the games getting worse? Or are the games just staying the same? While I've been growing up, have mainstream sensibilities simply not budged an inch? I think it's that one, Valve, and now I need you, you and your Steambox, to rattle some cages.
Doomed to homogeneity
It's not that I expect Half Life 3 to move the world - like your other Half Life games, I imagine it's going to mainly be about shooting aliens with guns. And it's not that I care about the financial or business or whatever implications of the Steambox. If you change the console market, then, big whoop - it's kind of a boring market to be honest with you.
I just need something - anything - to be different; to prove that videogames aren't, even at this early stage in their development, doomed to homogeneity. Half Life 3. Steambox exclusive. You wouldn't just be launching a good new game, or an interesting new console - you'd be proving that videogame companies can still make bold moves; can still shake the earth every now and then. It wouldn't be an unexpected move, but boy, would it be a ballsy one. It'd be different. It'd be clever. It'd be memorable.
And those three things - difference, cleverness and significance - are sadly, pervasively missing from mainstream videogames at the moment. So Half Life 3. Steambox exclusive. For originality's sake, for my sake, please Valve, do it. Do it.