Ah yes! The king is back! G4TV is returning from the video game media grave in 2021. A huge announcement and a shocking reveal of the former televised hotspot for video games. Many great memories I cherished as a kid and teenager watching Attack of the Show and X-Play are now in the works to come back. I am honestly excited. Before I grew familiar with the all-powerful internet, G4TV was my number one go-to for all things gaming. This channel was where I was exposed to video games journalism at a very young age. It is also part of my inspiration for going into the video game media industry today. I grew up watching G4TV (formally Tech TV) because it was awesome. There were so many colorful personalities and appealing shows to watch.
There were the staples like Attack of the Show and X-Play, but there were other great shows such as Ninja Warrior, Battlebots, Arena, Cheat!, and Cinamatech. G4TV was just different, and it appealed to a particular crowd that didn’t shy away from their video game nerdiness. While many of my friends were talking about the drama unfolding on the Jersey Shore, I was thinking about who will be reaching the top of Mount Midoriyama. Before IGN and Gamespot dominated the gaming media world today, we had Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb talking to us about the newest game releases hitting the market. I feel like the channel didn’t go out with a bang as it became a hub for Cops and Cheaters reruns late in its lifecycle.
Now, G4TV is set to return in 2021. I believe there are some great ideas to consider to make the channel great again.
Bring Back The Classics and Some New Shows
G4TV was an excellent source for gaming and technology news, reviews, and updates. The staple shows were Attack of the Show and X-Play. Attack of the Show was a show that highlighted trending news in pop culture and media. It was a run of the mill show with hosts Kevin Periera and Olivia Munn showcasing technology, celebrity interviews, and complete wackiness. It was a segment that emphasized humor and comedy while also being informative and knowledgeable. While Periera and Munn were a one-two punch for ATOS, Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb became a complete combo with X-Play. X-Play was a show that discussed the latest trends in gaming. X-Play delivered news, previews, and reviews for upcoming games. It was something you would see on the internet today, except there was a 30-minute runtime hosted every Wednesday with commercials.
That being said, you should expect those two shows to make their return. The other shows like Cheat!, Cinamatech, and Ninja Warrior are questionable but are possible for a return. However, there is the option to make completely new shows instead. In the world of gaming, the possibilities are endless. If Youtube taught us anything, its that there are many ways to innovate gaming outside of talk shows. I would suggest a show based on animation or possibly a Survivor-esque show that pits gamers against each other every week to win the ultimate prize. I am just brainstorming ideas, but having new shows will be beneficial in covering the timeslots.
All Gaming Channel
An “all gaming channel” would truly define G4TV as a primary hotspot for gaming. In contrast, X-Play is a show that is dedicated to this topic alone. However, it’s only 30 minutes long, 22 minutes if you don’t count commercials. That’s not enough to cover an entire day’s worth of gaming. While Cheat!, Arena, and Cinamatech could round out a couple of additional hours for gaming, it’s still not enough. So what is the solution? G4TV has an opportunity to reach out to all major gaming outlets. We are talking about IGN, Gamespot, Rooster Teeth, Funhaus, and Kinda Funny. These outlets can bring a ton of talent and unique personalities. Let’s also factor in YouTube and streaming outlets that can potentially have their own show or segments.
Essentially this becomes a centralized gaming hub channel that is dedicated only to gaming—allowing every major gaming outlet to have a piece of G4 pie. Of course, the channel could do reruns to expand the timeslots areas as well. If not, then G4TV can go the route of Cartoon Network by introducing a Toonami or Adult Swim concept. This could be used to air some classic or current anime shows or western cartoons to round out the day.
A Digital Only Channel Service?
Another method G4TV could utilize potentially being a digital-only channel service. Meaning it won’t be offered on television anymore. The channel would essentially become a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. That is not necessarily a bad idea. If anything, it could be completely free while only offering a premium, or no ads included paid service. This would be excellent for the channel, offering potential space for more shows or ideas. There could be conflicts with Rooster Teeth because their content is on VRV currently. Other than that, the possibilities are endless.
Another excellent reason for a digital-only approach is delivering news faster than televised. IGN, for example, does have an IGN Show on Disney XD. However, honestly, if I wanted to see what’s going on in gaming, I would go to their website instead. I believe TV is dying, and streaming is the future. Attack of the Show was never an issue because new episodes were live or broadcast recently to stay relevant with the current news. However, X-Play was aired once a week (every Wednesday). That’s a problem because there is always a new game release or news coming every day. If anything, X-Play could be daily like AOTS with a live feed on the G4TV service. There is simply no point in bringing it to television only if the gaming news and updates are faster on the internet.
Returning Faces and Bring In New Ones
The personalities that surround the G4 channel are plentiful. You had Kevin Periera, who is an outstanding host with wit and humor as well as Olivia Munn that gave a ton of personality and charm. I would love to see Olivia Munn return, as there are talks to bring her back to the channel. However, her role could be easily replaced. In this day of age, there are plenty of internet personalities that can fill her position. Potentially, this would range from game media personalities like Alanah Pearce, Naomi Kyle, and Sydnee Goodman to YouTubers like iJustine. I am not downplaying Munn at all because she essentially set the standard for today’s woman of gaming. However, her name is more prominent than what it once was. Now she is in Marvel movies and primetime TV shows.
I say this because there is room for more personalities that may not have the same fame as her. Give some attention to some new figures in the games media industry. Through gaming outlets, Youtube, and Twitch alone, there are plenty of unique personalities there that can be hosts for many G4TV shows. There is room for diversity amongst hosts as well because the industry has it’s own range of races, genders, and cultures that need to be heard in gaming.
Overall, I look forward to G4TV’s return in 2021, whether it be on television or digital service. I will be tuning in like I was when I was a kid and teenager—always preparing for the latest news and updates from the world of gaming and beyond. Just leave out the Cops and Cheaters reruns, please.