I can’t do it; I can’t bite my tongue any longer. The last couple of days have seen the unveiling of the new iPhone 7 from Apple, and the last few years have seen a rise in the remake, the remaster and the reboot. It seems that, largely, what isn’t an affluent display of greed is a gross exercise in laziness. I want to understand why we as consumers continue to allow things of this nature to continue, because I feel that if we do not fail to continue as we are currently, we may end up destroying the industries which we so fervently enjoy.
I’m gonna start off with technology, as it’s the more current subject, more specifically the recent iPhone announcement that boasts a whole host of updated features and gizmos. You could have wireless headphones, a better camera, more RAM and a larger base storage capacity than previous iPhones… all you have to do is sacrifice a little bit more of common sense and eventually a lot more of your money. It seems to me that Apple stand out as one of the larger offenders that capitalise upon what I have yet to discern as either a lack of willingness to fight or as pure blind ignorance to the fact that companies like Apple are slowly beginning to segregate their products more and more, creating a technological disharmony that is becoming more and more detrimental to the average user on the streets. Let’s break it down, shall we: Sure, Apple have done a fine job in creating a powerful and competitive phone, but they’ve also removed the conventional 3.5mm headphone jack in place for their own wireless headphones. Now, if you’re like me, music is deeply important, and by extension, sound quality is therefore important too, and I can personally testify that I would take a pair of wired Bose or Sennheiser headphones over a measly pair of (£120) wireless earphones. Alas, this option has been taken away from me in place of a pair of earphones that I am likely to lose and subsequently replace. Then guess what? I can’t even charge my iPhone while I listen to music! What if I want to plug it into a speaker that requires a 3.5mm jack? Sorry, I’m afraid you’ll have to purchase another adapter for simultaneous listening/charging capabilities which is an extra £35. So let’s summarise, the cheapest iPhone 7 you can buy is £600, coupled with the extra adapter and airpods (which do not come in the bundle) takes you up to £755.
Our next stop on the name and shame tour veers into the world of gaming, making a beeline for my pet hate in the contemporary gaming industry; remakes and reboots. I realise the creative process is a very difficult one, and often you have deadlines that you need to stick to, but it just seems like you’re betraying your fans and demonstrating how little passion you have for your industry when you step out onto a stage and say “Here’s exactly the same game but with updated graphics” (I’m looking at you, Naughty Dog). Now one or two is fine, hell one or two is great, and I can remember seeing the announcement for the Silent Hill remaster but it’s gotten to the point now where every other new release title is 15 years old. What does that say about gaming at this point in history? What does that say about you, the person on the street who falls prey to the nostalgia bomb dropped every other month or so? It’s depressing to think that game companies can pick an IP out of a hat, repackage it, and then rinse and repeat to devastating effect.
Why do we continue to let this happen? Why are we content to simply fork out the extra money for what the next in what is a blatant line of cash grabs? Because they certainly won’t stop until they see a decline in sales, and maybe not even then. The only way that we are ever going to see a change in this behaviour is if we develop some sense, and perhaps a little courage to simply say ‘no’ to these companies whose idea of ‘innovation’ is whatever allows them to condescendingly slap you in the face and steal your wallet.