We were all reminded today that no one knows what console generation we’re in when a promotional blurb for the EA-published Wild Hearts stated that it was coming to “gen 5 consoles.”
Initially, Wild Hearts’ official website stated that it will “be available on gen 5 consoles and PC,” which meant PS5, Xbox Series X, and S, as well as the customary combination of Steam, Epic, and the EA app. Since then, a generic “consoles and PC” was used in place of the original message, but the internet never forgets.
The lesson that everyone eventually must learn—that console generations are made up and the numbers don’t matter—seems to have been rapidly understood by EA. For years, the concept of console generations has been used to describe the significant breakthrough between, for example, the PlayStation and the PS2. There is a problem because there is no true standard for numbering generations. The Magnavox Odyssey and home Pong consoles make up the first generation, while the Xbox Series X and PS5 make up the ninth generation if people know how the generations should be numbered.
The strange thing about all of this is that there isn’t an interpretation where the PS5 and Xbox Series X are considered “gen 5 consoles.” I suppose EA can’t technically be wrong here if this was all made up by Wikipedia editors – please enjoy the discussion on the talk page about whether the Switch is eighth and ninth gen.
I have spent the entire day attempting to understand this generational math. Is it because the PS5 generation has mostly ignored the 2D-centric console generations that came before it? That’s a rather random place to stop! The problem arises when you start talking about generations, even though all of the stopping places are arbitrary and none of this matters.
Anyway, on February 17, Wild Hearts will be released. It’s a Monster Hunter clone from Koei Tecmo with smaller parties than Monster Hunter.