One of the most frustrating things we gamers have to deal with is the idea of delays.
Game delays. Console delays. ANNOUNCEMENT DELAYS (hashtag not bitter about NX at all). It happens all of the time in our beloved industry.
I am of the opinion that release dates are shared too early. Developers should keep their cards close to their chest until they are almost ready to play them. It would sure cut down on fan disappointment; that feeling of annoyance and dread when a game you have been looking forward to was about to come out and then gets pushed back into the next year.
This pattern is not going to change any time soon. In fact, most gaming companies are announcing their games ever further ahead of time now: two, three, four, or even five years ahead of when the actual launch ends up taking place.
Game delays are something that we have to learn to deal with.
However, we should not just learn to tolerate these situations, but actually look to the bright side. There are a number of upshots to having release dates moved, and we are going to take a look at each one of them:
Longer to Save Up
As much as we might like to say that gaming is a necessity, we both know that it’s a luxury. Gaming isn’t the cheapest of hobbies, with consoles requiring a considerable chunk of change to purchase and each game being the better half of a Benjamin.
There is a long list of things that my money has to be used for in life before it funnels out into video games. My 3DS and my Wii U often gets what’s left after the more essential things.
NX originally looked like it was slated for holiday 2016… now picture what your finances would look like if you had a brand new console to buy in November. I know that I would have had to make some tough calls earlier in the year if that were the case. Now we have an extra three months to save up, and that should help us have the ability to pad the launch experience with a nice little collection of launch games to take home as well. And with NX coming out after Christmas (and my Birthday in January!) we will have that sweet extra gift cash to apply toward it as well. We’re in good shape.
See, that feels kind of nice, doesn’t it?
Time to Play Backlog
We’ve discussed the finances that come into consideration around the topic of game release delays, but you know what an even more precious and expensive commodity is, more so than money itself?
That would be your time. There’s a fixed amount that you are allotted in a day, a week, a year, and even in your lifetime. We can never buy back the time that we’ve spent.
Game delays keep us a little less busy. We get to take our time, slow down, and enjoy some things that we’ve missed. Nintendo must have one of the most expansive libraries of any publisher out there, and many of us who even call ourselves Nintendo fans have only scratched the surface in many areas of their catalog.
When the game release calendar is sparse for Nintendo, it’s like an invitation from an old friend to come back and enjoy some of those titles that you missed when they first came out. For me, it would be a lot of the Gameboy/Color/Advance library as well as the SNES. I really need to go back and get an education on the 16-bit era games – the rest of the home consoles I have pretty well buttoned up. This “lackluster” holiday lineup from Nintendo should afford me the opportunity to do that!
And hey – if the game is new to you, what’s really the difference?
The Games Get Better
Delays don’t happen just to annoy you. Nintendo probably hates them even more than you yourself. They don’t want to redo release dates and let their fans down. It’s always a tough call.
Games are delayed only when they need it. The developers determine that the experience you would be getting on launch day would not live up to their standards, and they hold it back.
Think of all the respect you have for Nintendo. Think of their reputation. They put out wonderful experiences; polished pieces of software that perform well and rarely get patched. (Note: The same can’t be said for many others in the industry.) If they were to never delay games when the tough calls needed to be made, we would not think of Nintendo and their games the same way that we do today.
You can bet that the time between the original release date and the actual launch are spent with employees working overtime into the evenings and weekends. There’s no twiddling of thumbs happening. Longer development cycles mean more paychecks have to be written before any return on investment or profit is collected. Nintendo takes development time very seriously and does what is best for us – their fans.
We Get to Learn a Little Thing Called Patience
It’s really good for us. Our world tells us to enjoy instant gratification – stream things instantly, get all of our stuff on demand… But game delays are contrary to that mentality. They tell us to wait. Waiting is something that our parents could tell us a lot about – they had to experience it on the daily. Waiting in lines, waiting for movies to come out on VHS to watch them, etc. And they didn’t have cellphones to occupy them during their periods of waiting, either.
If you can become the kind of person that doesn’t get upset about video game delays, you will be a happier person. You can apply that patience to many areas of your life, and you will glean better enjoyment from your days.
It Pays Off in the End
We already talked about game quality above. Here, I’m talking about the actual feeling you get when you come home with the game. If everything went smoothly all the time and games came out exactly when they were initially expected to, we would almost have things too easy.
I was hyped for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but each time Sakurai had to extend the wait, it heightened my anticipation even more. That game was delayed like two or three times, substantially, and it made my desire grow. Finally getting to release day and getting my hands on that game felt like I had already won some sort of battle before I even took the wrapper off.
There are plenty of good reasons that video games are delayed, and there are an equal amount of benefits that we get to experience on the receiving end as gamers. So sit back, enjoy the slower holiday season… play some old games, and cheer on Nintendo, because they’re working hard for us!