My parents bought me a PlayStation 4 for my birthday last week. It was a wonderful surprise, but owning a new console makes me more aware of a crucial problem facing gamers (though it's a good one to have): Great games are releasing faster than most fans can play them.
This is true even if you only have one video game console, but if you have two or, God help you, three, it's almost impossible to keep up with the exponentially increasing slew of amazing video games—a stream that won't slow down anytime soon.
Most gamers have a backlog, which is a catalog of games they didn't have the time, money or interest to buy at release but hope to one day get around to playing. I just took a look at my backlog, and it includes more than 60 games. Some of them stretch back to the days of the PlayStation 2, which hasn't been a prominent gaming system for a decade.
Great games are launching more and more frequently, and that only further burdens gamers' backlogs. Traditionally, the year's best games would launch from fall through the end of the year so companies could benefit from holiday sales. That gave gamers time from January through the summer to tackle the previous year's games they didn't immediately get to play.
But for 2017, I can count at least 10 notable games releasing before the end of March alone. Ten! Who has time to play all of them and still hope to chip away at their backlogs?
It's awesome that gamers have so many—too many—options, but it's a bittersweet feeling. It means busy adults such as myself will soon have to start choosing which games interest them the most and leave the others behind, knowing it will be next to impossible to play them all in a single lifetime. It's disappointing, but that's the reality we're facing.
What makes that choice it even harder is owning several systems.
I now own an Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4 (plus an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from the last console generation). That means I have more gaming options than ever. My backlog of PlayStation 3 and 4 games alone includes more than 20 titles.
I want to get the most out of my PlayStation 4, but I know there's almost no chance I'll be able to experience every exclusive game for the system. There's just too many on top of the games I want to play for other consoles. I hardly ever touched my PlayStation 3 when I bought it five or six years ago because so many awesome games were coming out on the Xbox 360.
I feel lucky to live in an era where games are rapidly maturing. Games keep taking huge strides in graphical fidelity, storytelling, control, action, multiplayer and almost every other category you can think of. And more people are making games now than ever before. Fans have an almost endless stream of continuously flowing games to sink their teeth into, but the growing industry means even the most dedicated gamers will miss out on some gems.
It's now that game reviews become critically important to inform fans which titles aren't only amazing but cater to certain gamers' specific tastes. I know I'll do my best here in my reviews to let my readers know which games are worth paying attention to.
I can already tell that, just like last year, it's going to be a lot of them.