8 New Year’s gaming resolutions for 2014

A new year has begun, the holidays are behind us, and hopefully many of you received the console of your choice as a gift. Whether it be an Xbox One, Wii U, PS4 or even a last generation console. Maybe you even received a gaming PC or built one yourself. Either way, 2014 brings with it the promise of more gaming and entertainment no matter what platform you choose.

So with a new year upon us and a lot of incredible games coming our way, what is your New Year’s gaming resolution for 2014? How are you planning on spending the next year as a gamer? Below are some of my New Year’s gaming resolutions. I’m sure some of them will be the same as yours and hopefully they’ll be realized in this year.

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1. Play more video games

This should be the number one New Year’s gaming resolution for everyone. The reason being is the more video games we buy and play, the healthier the industry will be. I myself have been guilty of playing less and less video games in the past few years for a couple of reasons.

Less money to buy all the games I wanted

With a new baby at the time, all my money went to her. Not to mention I owned multiple systems for gaming. PC, 360, PS3, handhelds, and more. That’s a lot of games to buy in order to support each system. Gamefly became my good friend at this point.

Less time to play video games

That whole baby thing played a big part. At one point, sleep became more important to me than playing video games. Plus I was going to college at the time as well.

I was really burnt out on last-gen

This was a major factor for me in not playing as many video games as I’d like. For one, the last few years of the previous console generation was not pleasant. We kept getting yearly iterations of the same franchises. Motion gaming became the focus of the industry. And the console hardware was showing its age.

I had my last-gen consoles since coming back from Iraq in 2006. That’s a long time to own gaming hardware. I was ready for something new by the time 2011 was ending. Luckily I had my gaming laptop and could experience better versions of multiplatform games like Bioshock Infinite, Devil May Cry, Tomb Raider, and Skyrim.

A lack of quality RPG’s

Lost Odyssey video game for Xbox 360Toward the end of the last generation console lifecycle we saw far more shooters and motion gaming shovelware and far less quality RPG’s. For the longest I was hoping for a Lost Odyssey sequel last generation. I really enjoyed the first Mass Effect because it was more RPG than shooter compared to the sequels. Tales of Vesperia was great and I loved Final Fantasy 13. Skyrim was incredible and Fallout 3 was a lot of fun.

Still, it seemed that RPG’s were not very much in demand and that developers weren’t profiting from them like the good old days. The past few E3’s I’d sit in anticipation hoping that RPG’s would make their triumphant return. Unfortunately, it was a show full of shooters, sequels of sequels and motion controls.

The problem was that towards the end of the Xbox 360 and PS3’s lifecycles, RPG’s became far and few. I love RPG’s and games like Darksiders 2 and Borderlands 2 helped to keep me going. But traditional role playing games like Lost Odyssey were sorely missing.

I know many of you have your reasons for not playing as many video games as you wish you could. And many of you did have the opportunity to play a lot of video games in the past few years. But I learned that as you get older, get married, have kids, earn a degree, have a job, start traveling, and whatever else it is that occupies your time, video games fall further down the priority list.

2014 promises to take us to places that exceed our imagination. It will provide us with adventures, gameplay, and graphics that make our gaming souls feel reinvigorated again with games such as:

All the games mentioned above will deliver incredible experiences. The great thing is that the majority of them are role playing games and MMO’s. RPG’s and MMO’s will take a considerable amount of time to complete and will offer us deeper gameplay, captivating stories, open-world exploration, and none of them are yearly iterations! What a breath of fresh air.

The Elder Scrolls Online, which is promising new content every four to six weeks after launch, will require you to have a regular gaming schedule to keep up with everything. Bungie’s Destiny is set to be a 10 year project so you can imagine how much time you’ll be sinking into the Destiny franchise.

These are games that you’ll be heavily invested in and will be quality RPG’s delivered at the beginning of the new consoles’ lifecycle! Who would have thought?

My New Year’s gaming resolution is to play as many of these games as possible. Since I’m running a gaming website I’m hoping to have the luxury of mixing work with pleasure. And since the little one will be going off to school soon, that leaves more free time to play.

2. Try social media with gaming

I hate social media. Twitter and Facebook are worthless to me. I do enjoy chatting with people on Google Plus as the community on there is more about conversation and less about posting worthless dribble.

So imagine how I felt when the new consoles were implementing social media aspects in gaming even more so than last generation.

I do enjoy maintaining my website fan pages. I was happy when the What is PlayStation 4 Facebook Fan Page crossed 1,000 likes.

And FYI, none of the +1’s, Likes or Twitter Followers on this site are fake/purchased. I know it’s a temptation for a lot of website owners to pad their social media numbers with fake followers. But it looks weird when you have 100,000 twitter followers, 1,000,000,000,000 Facebook Likes and only 2 Google Plus followers.

One of the best ways to tell if a website padded their social media numbers is to look at the engagement on their website. It’s very suspicious when a gaming website has 10,000 Facebook and Twitter followers and none of their content pages has any Likes. And there is little to no comments on their pages. And nobody on Twitter retweets their content. Just a simple observation like this is all it takes.

A lot of companies and individuals pad their social numbers to get readers like you to want to follow them because their numbers are so large. I makes since because you’re more inclined to follow IGN than my website because they have a huge social media presence, receive a ton of comments, and a lot of followers.

So what does a small website like mine do? Purchase a lot of Twitter and Facebook followers and display it for all to see. Instead of my Twitter counter showing 4 followers, it says 22,000. And visitors will see that impressive number and want to join just out of impulse.

So with all that in mind, and the new consoles upping the Friends limit, will social media begin to matter even more in the new generation? Will people start padding their Xbox One and PS4 Friends list or pay to have their Achievements/Trophies boosted? Will gaming social media fall victim to the same fate as regular social sites?

The marrying of social media and gaming is strengthening and we’re only seeing a glimpse. Will it be a good or bad marriage? Nobody knows yet. But Twitch could be a strong indicator.

Social media and game sharing with the PS4Look at how successful Twitch became with the PS4’s launch. But some of the popular videos that made headlines were nothing special. One couple fell asleep on Twitch while live streaming, a guy demonstrated that he could play with virtual robots on the floor, and a husband undressed his wife when she was passed out.

The last situation I read about because the Huffington Post linked to my PlayRoom article. I followed the link in my Google Webmaster Tools to the article about the couple on Twitch that got drunk, the wife passed out and the husband undressed her while streaming live.

So this is what social media is going to be about with gaming? The same lame social media junk we already get? Am I going to find Twitch is full of people masturbating every time I jump into a live stream (Think South Park, Season 14, Ep. 4 “You have 0 friends” )? Am I going to start receiving Friends request from my Great Aunt wanting help with setting up Kinect? Are people going to message me what they are eating at the moment with an attached picture to show? Will I get a ton of Selfies? How about a bunch of inspirational quotes in my PS4 or Xbox One activity feed?

No, of course not. At least I hope not. At least Twitch has been really good so far on PS4. I love watching other gamers’ clips from Upload Studio on my Xbox One. I’ve heard nothing but good things regarding Miiverse. And surprisingly, all the social media features on the new consoles kind of take a back seat to everything else.

I do like that I can see my friends’ activities on my Xbox One and PS4. I love racing against other people’s Drivatars. I’ve been frequently messaging with someone named bromm98 on PS4 ever since I got the day one PS4. I have no idea who he is! But we talk gaming and Destiny and it’s very enjoyable.

So I’m thinking that as time goes on and games like Destiny and The Division release, I’ll be more inclined to use social media features on Xbox One and PS4. It’s obvious that throughout this year both consoles will continually evolve their online services. I think streaming raids from Destiny and gameplay from The Witcher 3 will be something I’d like to do.

Since my New Year’s gaming resolution is to try social media with gaming, I might start posting videos to Facebook and YouTube and gameplay screenshots to Twitter. You never know.

3. Own more video game consoles

Nintendo WiiU and Nintendo 3DSThis is a New Year’s gaming resolution that I’d like to work on. I currently own a PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, and an Alienware gaming laptop. As of right now there are two video game systems I’d like to purchase.

The first being the Wii U. I’m very interested in playing Super Mario 3D World, the new Smash Bros., Zelda Wind Waker, and other Nintendo exclusives.

The other game system I’d like to own is the Nintendo 3DS. I’m not a big Nintendo fan but from what I’ve been seeing from around the web, the 3DS has accumulated a very good gaming library. By owning the 3DS and the Wii U this year, I’d be able to make my first resolution of playing more games a reality.

One of the other consoles I’d like to purchase would be the Steam Box. Valve’s Steam Machines have me highly intrigued because they seem to bridge the gap between having the convenience of a console with the flexibility and power of a PC right in your living room.

4. Collect more games

The last few years I found myself trading all my games in to GameStop in order to purchase more games. The problem was that at some point in time I would get the urge to play a game I traded in. This happened a lot. As part of my New Year’s Resolution for gaming, I’d like to collect more physical games. You know, build up a decent game library for this generation. As long as I can afford to buy games, I’ll have no need to trade them in.

I’d like to be able to hold on to the games that matter the most. Even though I won’t be playing them, I’ll at least have the option to have them readily available if I get that desire to revisit them again.

5. Build up a large digital library of video games

Downloading video games to my PS4 and Xbox One is great. I love that games are available as a digital download when they release. It’s extremely convenient and not having to change out discs to play games is fantastic.

I’ve already started building up my digital library of video games. To me, Steam is such a great service and having my games in a digital format works out for the better. So having the opportunity to do the same with my PS4 and Xbox One games makes the new generation that much more convenient.

So how could I build up my digital library of video games and collect physical games as well? I’m not trying to be a video game collector. I’d just like to retain any physical copies I buy instead of trading them in all the time.

If I build up a decent collection of physical games then so be it. But I’m not collecting them as a hobby. I just want to have them at the ready when they are needed. And my digital library will consist of a lot of indie titles that you can’t buy as a physical copy.

I’m not interested in buying a digital and physical copy of the same game just to have both versions either. In some situations I might get a physical copy of a collector’s edition for a video game. That’s something I’d like to hold on to. If I’m not in the mood to drive to GameStop or have the patience for my games to be delivered through Amazon, then I’ll just download the game. It’s always great to have options.

6. Finish more video games

A lot of times we all get bored with games and never finish them. Less than 30% of gamers that played GTA 4 have finished it. Red Dead Redemption had only 10% of gamers who played it finish the final mission. No matter the numbers and statistics it’s quite clear that with a lot of really good games, there is a large amount of people who don’t finish the games.

Percent of gamers completing campaignsI’m very guilty of this. Tales of Vesperia was one of my favorite role playing games last generation. I got to the last boss and never finished the game. I don’t remember why but I know that I somehow got sidetracked and so much time had passed that I didn’t want to play through the game again when I came back to it. I played Red Dead Redemption and liked it a lot. Didn’t even come close to finishing it. GTA 4? Played many hours of it. Didn’t finish it.

It seems that unless the game is absolutely incredible to me, I won’t finish it. The first Mass Effect I finished 3 times. Batman Arkham Asylum I beat twice. Completed Lost Odyssey and loved it. Beat God of War 3 a couple of times. Finished Final Fantasy 13, Borderlands, Halo ODST, Halo Reach, Halo 4, beat Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2 more than once, Uncharted 1 & 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, and many other games.

One of the problems I had was that newer games I wanted to play would come out and I would slowly drift away from my current game and not want to return. I would just go from game to game never completing them and would only return to games I really wanted to beat badly enough. Some games I would just finish because I could not stop playing them. At other times there would be a games drought and I would find myself returning to games I previously didn’t finish and I would complete them.

In many of these situations the problem was no matter how good the game was, I would get bored of playing it. And when last-gen console fatigue had set in, it was really hard for me to care about playing the games when my gaming Laptop had games that looked and played so much better.

With a lot of quality games releasing in 2014, I really want to finish the majority of them. I’ve played a bunch of MMO’s in my time and not once…ever have I done an end game raid. I played DC Universe Online on PS3 to level cap. Never did a raid! This year, with EQ Next, Elder Scrolls Online, and especially Destiny, I want to do raids.

So far with the current generation, the only games I’ve finished is Ryse, Peggle 2 and Resogun. At least it’s a start.

7. Buy more gaming accessories

The only accessory I bought last generation was a rechargeable battery kit for my 360 controller and an adapter to use the 360 controller with my PC. I see all these gaming accessories that people use to enhance their experience and I ask myself Why not me too? Well, money is always a factor. And paying $100+ for a gaming headset I’d barely use back then wasn’t my idea of enhancing my gaming experience.

What I would like to own is a racing wheel for Forza 5. I’ve always played all Forza games with a controller and would see comments on the web about how great it was to use the racing wheel accessory. I want to make 2014 the year that I get one. As well as a high quality gaming headset. And when a game like Star Citizen comes out, I’d like to play it with a flight simulation controller instead of mouse and keyboard.

Another thing I’d like to add is a comfortable gaming chair. I’ve never really been a gaming accessory person but I know that game accessories for PC, PS4, and Xbox one would greatly add to the overall gaming experience. This is something that I think I would really enjoy. Just having a great gaming setup for both consoles and PC could make a world of difference.

8. Give the new Kinect a second chance

The first Kinect was pretty much trash. I bought it, tried it for a while, and came to the conclusion that the only real purpose it served was for video chatting with people. With the new Kinect for the Xbox One, I can honestly say it’s much better. Will I use it for gaming? No, not at this point. I have no interest to use it for gaming.

Where I will give it a chance is for the voice commands to navigate menus, Skype video chat, and fitness software.

I was really happy to see that a couple of P90X workouts were included in Xbox Fitness. I think that the Kinect and PS4 Eye could provide an enhanced experience when it comes to fitness.

My non-gaming New Year’s resolution is to continue working out and getting into the best shape of my life before summer. If Kinect can contribute to that, then I’m willing to give it another chance. Who knows, maybe it’ll become a much more useful addition to the living room than last generation.

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