I don’t know if you’ve heard, but 2020 has been kinda bad. Shocking, I know.
It didn’t start off that way though, at least not for me. Well, we DID have a blizzard so bad it was dubbed “Snowmageddon” where I live, but after that things started to look up after a rough 2019. Months of unemployment ended when I landed a brand new job earlier this year, and a good paying one at that. My mind swam with the possibilities of what I could do with all of this extra money that was going to be coming my way.
And then COVID-19 came to Canada while I was in the middle of training and it’s only now that there are talks of me heading back to work.
I’m lucky that in Canada we were taken care of via a program called CERB, or Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, that guaranteed many citizens, including myself, $2,000 a month to live on for a bulk of this year. Initially it was set to run out at the start of the summer as many returned to work, but the government of this country extended it to the end of September. I’ve been putting away as much money as I can to live on for the rest of the year, but there have been many nights where I’ve laid in bed wondering how I’m going to pay for groceries, or in the worst case scenario if I’m going to have to vacate my apartment and move home to try and save every dollar I can.
There are people who are in much dire circumstances than myself, but the point I’m ultimately trying to make is that it’s really hard to get excited for new consoles this year. How was I to get hyped for finding several hundred new dollars for a console when I had far more important things to worry about? Outside of the DS Lite and the 3DS, I’ve never had the money to buy a brand new console at launch, but I’ve always dreamed of being among those excited to bring home the next generation of video game technology, even if history has proved time and time again that there normally isn’t that many must play games out of the gate. This desire to be the first in line goes all the way back to me thumbing through buyers guides as a teenager, or watching The 1up Show episodes that counted down the launches of the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii when I was a broke university student. I wore the pages of magazines out staring holes into screenshots of software I wanted to play, and lived vicariously through the staff of Ziff Davis as they conversed about the new hardware.
I resigned myself to missing out on the PS5/Xbox Series X launch later this year and I was okay with that. That is, until Sony revealed that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was coming to PS5 this holiday season. I was excited don’t get me wrong, but not as much as I wanted to be and especially not as those who have been bugging Sony for a price and release date for months. I selfishly wanted either the PS5 or Miles Morales to get delayed because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to afford to play it. I was fine waiting on nearly every other major console because the games I really wanted to play normally arrived in year two, with the exception of maybe The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but that came to GameCube. This was a new Spider-Man game though, and needless to say if I was on firmer financial footing, I would have been right there with everyone else tweeting at Sony asking for a release date like so many others. But instead I feared being left out of the conversation because there was no way, as much I hoped for the opposite, that a PS5 was coming into my apartment in 2020.
Like Twilight Princess from fourteen years ago – let that sink in a minute – I don’t have to worry about that anymore because Miles Morales is officially coming to PlayStation 4. Sony stands to make big money either way as Miles Morales will assuredly appease those who want to trace rays while everyone else can play on what they already own. $50 is a lot of money to many in 2020, especially as the holidays approach, but it’s a heck of a lot less than $400-$500 with the additional cost of a new game. Plus, as Miles Morales will upgrade itself when played on a PS5, it’s an investment for the future for those who adopt a PS5 in the forthcoming months and years. PS4 owners may not get the best version of Miles Morales, but they also won’t have to avoid social media for fear of story spoilers or feel the depression that’s inherent with being a have not.
That’s something you can’t put a price tag on.