The Upcoming (And Pointless) Console War

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Rogue 09:
The removal of competition means stagnation. I know you probably don't get that is socialist Aussie-town, but over here in America we've learned that we can only improve when someone else sets the standards. Well... everyone but dirty hippies. But we'll be dealing with them soon...

socalist aussie-town?

........what?

There is still room for one more big innovation when it comes to console controls - a mouse that you can plug into consoles.
There is absolutely no reason why they can't do this with a firmware update, the connectors these days are all USB (especially with XBox, a Microsoft product)...but it seems that one of the rules of console wars is "don't do what PC's do, because PC gamers are elitist fucks who don't know anything about game controls".

A console is nothing more than a standardized, trimmed-down PC, so there is no reason why it shouldn't be able to accept all control schemes. Nobody can tell me with a straight face that they invented ROCK BAND which involves plugging in 5 massively different controllers, and they can't get a MOUSE working for those who enjoy first person shooters? You know, just as an option for the people who like that cup of tea?

Nintendo can go to fucking town with their arbitrary controllers for all I care, Mario/Zelda/Metroid fans will ensure Nintendo stay in business even if their next console was nothing more than a toaster + pocket calculator held together with shoelaces.

But I care deeply for Microsoft/Sony, can we trust them with making some good decisions with consoles now that Kinect/Move bullshit has finally blown over?

Foolproof:
Yes, try to end a competition war by adding another party to it. Because that always works so very well.

You clearly don't have any idea what Yatzee is saying. He isn't saying add another party he's saying create an industry standardized format instead of every game needing authorization to run on certain consoles. In essence any game can run on any console, just like with DVD players or CD players.

The only problem I see with this is it discourages people from expanding outside whatever the industry standard becomes.

I'll use Microsoft as an example:
If you're Microsoft and you produce the XBox, and only games made for the XBox which you create and/or authorize can run on it, then when you decide to put out the new shiny XBox 360 you can simply stop producing/authorizing XBox games so that people who own XBox's have no choice but to upgrade if they want to play the new titles. Since you control the market you can force people to switch when you upgrade hardware.

However, if there's a standardized format that you don't control, then companies will be able to keep producing games that run on the XBox's format without your consent. Sure, you can put out the superior XBox 360 and hope people adopt it, but people will have little incentive to since XBox games will still be coming out that run on the system they already own. Then in turn rather than make games solely for a new console only a few people have bought, developers would prefer to continue making XBox games which already have a large market base. And with the XBox still getting full support gamers in turn have less reason to buy the new console. Thus it forms a cycle that's hard to break out of.

This is pretty much why Bluray has had so much trouble taking over for DVD.

Sure, the new XBox 360 format might catch on eventually, but it'll be slow and thus Microsoft will be discouraged from making new consoles or anything that requires new hardware like the Kinect if adoption is so sluggish. Thus new hardware will be made less frequently and progress and innovation is stifled.

Silly Yahtzee, Nintendo are for kids!

Aaron Sylvester:
Nintendo can go to fucking town with their arbitrary controllers for all I care, Mario/Zelda/Metroid fans will ensure Nintendo stay in business even if their next console was nothing more than a toaster + pocket calculator held together with shoelaces.

Bullshit, we "Mario/Zelda/Metroid fans" hold Nintendo to higher standards than anyone else. Nobody reacts more critically to a company when they screw up than their fanbase.

When people were complaining about the Mass Effect 3 Endings who do you think made the biggest fuss about it?

Who do you think is the most angry by all the things George Lucas has done to Star Wars? Trekkies?

When Metroid Other M came out and completely fucked up Samus' character who do you think was the most pissed off? Me! I was, nobody was as annoyed as me. Okay, fine, maybe a few people were but not many. Because I'm a Metroid fan. And if the next Metroid game looks like it'll be just as bad, I won't just avoid buying it, I'll tell other people not to buy it as well. I might even protest it.

Say whatever the fuck you want about Nintendo, they've made mistakes, but don't insult their fanbase by making us out to be some sort of brainwashed horde incapable of rational thought or honest judgement. We know what we like and we know why we like it. I can tell you what makes Majora's Mask better than Ocarina of Time and why Skyward Sword is the worst 3D Zeldas, and it's not because Nintendo told me so.

Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest.

(btw, I can count how many combined Metroid AND Zelda games came out for the Wii on one hand. Compare that to a series like Call of Duty, or Halo, or even fucking Sonic. I WISH Nintendo would throw us a bone more often. It's really just Mario that you should be complaining about.)

Vault101:

Rogue 09:
The removal of competition means stagnation. I know you probably don't get that is socialist Aussie-town, but over here in America we've learned that we can only improve when someone else sets the standards. Well... everyone but dirty hippies. But we'll be dealing with them soon...

socalist aussie-town?

........what?

Aw, geez. You take a fifteen minute nap and when you wake up your nation has gone under a complete political upheaval. Well, better go order some of those official hats.

Vault101:

Rogue 09:
The removal of competition means stagnation. I know you probably don't get that is socialist Aussie-town, but over here in America we've learned that we can only improve when someone else sets the standards. Well... everyone but dirty hippies. But we'll be dealing with them soon...

socalist aussie-town?

........what?

Haven't you heard? Everywhere outside of 'Murica is socialist*-heathen-land! Except for the middle-east, where it's terrorist-heathen-land!

*Note how 'Socialist' is used as a euphemism for 'Communist', as people using that word as an insult haven't a clue (and/or don't care) what it actually means.

Actually it looks like any game that doesn't have specific touch screen features will just declare that being able to play without the TV on is its Wii U feature. Mario doesn't do anything with the touch screen unless you go into the specific game mode for that and I haven't seen any touch screen support in Warriors Orochi 3 (though IMO the touch screen stuff in Samurai Warriors Chronicles was a good thing, in Orochi you switch between your characters tag-team style and need to run everywhere yourself, in SWC you could order your characters to move to all the places you may want to be and then just switch to the one who's in the right spot, you spend quite a lot of time just running somewhere in Orochi).

My only offense taken is the implication that the latest COD is better than Cave Story.

I don't get it.
What's wrong about a mouse for consoles that doesn't need a solid surface?
Sounds like a solid goal to me.

That's all motion controls try to be (once they get their shit together) and resident evil 4 on the wii vs the one on the ps2 should be enough to prove that they're onto something here.

They just need to give up on that wiggle bullshit and realize that, hey, we could put, you know, games like penumbra and amnesia on home consoles now.
The main problems is that they try to do a million things at the same time with motion controls just because they can.

Once they stop badly emulating button presses and know when to and when not to utilize motion controls, console gaming will be better.
I give it 10 years.

OlasDAlmighty:

Foolproof:
Yes, try to end a competition war by adding another party to it. Because that always works so very well.

You clearly don't have any idea what Yatzee is saying. He isn't saying add another party he's saying create an industry standardized format instead of every game needing authorization to run on certain consoles. In essence any game can run on any console, just like with DVD players or CD players.

The only problem I see with this is it discourages people from expanding outside whatever the industry standard becomes.

I'll use Microsoft as an example:
If you're Microsoft and you produce the XBox, and only games made for the XBox which you create and/or authorize can run on it, then when you decide to put out the new shiny XBox 360 you can simply stop producing/authorizing XBox games so that people who own XBox's have no choice but to upgrade if they want to play the new titles. Since you control the market you can force people to switch when you upgrade hardware.

However, if there's a standardized format that you don't control, then companies will be able to keep producing games that run on the XBox's format without your consent. Sure, you can put out the superior XBox 360 and hope people adopt it, but people will have little incentive to since XBox games will still be coming out that run on the system they already own. Then in turn rather than make games solely for a new console only a few people have bought, developers would prefer to continue making XBox games which already have a large market base. And with the XBox still getting full support gamers in turn have less reason to buy the new console. Thus it forms a cycle that's hard to break out of.

This is pretty much why Bluray has had so much trouble taking over for DVD.

Sure, the new XBox 360 format might catch on eventually, but it'll be slow and thus Microsoft will be discouraged from making new consoles or anything that requires new hardware like the Kinect if adoption is so sluggish. Thus new hardware will be made less frequently and progress and innovation is stifled.

I think the XBox is not the right example to compare it to a industry standard. Windows would be a better example, a developer can make a game for windows and ignore (to some degree) the hardware below the OS. It doesn't matter who made the hardware. As long as the developer tells the consumer what the minimum hardware requirements the game needs it should run without a problem (in theory).
The hardware improvements can be done a little more fluid instead of buying a complete new system when the developers tell you to.
The biggest problem would be that things like motion controls or any other "exotic" hardware has a hard time to get sold or getting software for it released.

I don't want to say that PC is better than consoles, but the consoles should try to emulate the upsides of PC's.

Yahtzee finding other peoples opinions of him wearying was "inevitable"! :D

maybe the fact people knew you would dislike the wii u has something to do with the fact that in your e3 videos you said you disliked the wii u.

Mr.Tea:

*Note how 'Socialist' is used as a euphemism for 'Communist', as people using that word as an insult haven't a clue (and/or don't care) what it actually means.

And "communism" merely means "further to the left than the American Tea Party," which is virtually meaningless.

themilo504:
maybe the fact people knew you would dislike the wii u has something to do with the fact that in your e3 videos you said you disliked the wii u.

People weren't saying that, though. They were saying "of course Yahtzee hates it, no surprise...He hates EVERYTHING Nintendo does!"

OlasDAlmighty:

The only problem I see with this is it discourages people from expanding outside whatever the industry standard becomes.

That might not be a bad thing, though. The consumer tends not to want most of the enhancements that have been thrown their way. There's a reason the Compact Disc has been the standard physical format for so long, and why MP3 is pretty much THE format for audio.

Now, my question is this: Do you think the same standard would hold true to gaming?

Compact Discs are where they are because the CD is perfect for almost all intents and purposes for Audio purposes. People were slow to adopt new video formats in part because there was little necessity, due to the standard televisions at various points. DVD needed to see the death of VHS to succeeded, and now people are slow to adopt a new format in part because they pushed the industry standard beyond what the consumer was ready to embrace.

Gamers do, however, want newer and shinier things. PC gamers already buy new hardware all the time. Not the "you have to upgrade every three weeks lol" stuff, but there is an upgrade cycle involved. There aren't, strictly speaking, platform exclusives on the PC. There are no games designed to be exclusive to Dell or Sony or Acer hardware. While compatability is not always assured, there aren't really Intel or AMD exclusive titles, either. Nor NVidia or GeForce exclusive titles. People still manage to put out new technology and make a business out of it without a proprietary console. Yeah, you deal with people on the lagging edge of the gaming world, but they don't rule the roost.

Using your Microsoft example, why wouldn't gamers want to get more power? Yes, if there's an open standard some people will keep using the old system, but eventually people are going to want more. developers will probably want to use the new standards sooner rather than later, and so you're going to see games developed for them primarily.

The PS2 would be the best argument against this, and it's always been somewhat of an anomaly. It doesn't hurt that Sony's successor was expensive and hard to code for.

without getting into the PC vs Console issue which is developing here, I'd like to throw out a few points which I've noticed historically - 'cos I'm an old fucker and was around from the beginning...

When I was a kid, Our consoles were the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair Spectrum. You could buy games for them which were sold through publishing channels very analogous to the channels today - in fact there's a pretty incredible catalogue of games out there for both systems.

However, the best part was, you could learn Basic and program them yourselves.
This lead to an entire generation of kids who got interested in programming. Some of which started their own games companies and make games today. These people wouldn't perhaps have done so if they hadn't experience the love of creating their own games at an early age.
That generation is in their 40s now... where's the next one?

I certainly owe my entire IT career to those humble beginnings.

Kids can't create games on the XBox or Playstation. You HAVE to get them from specific authorizes outlets.
Kids can't make anything on the XBox and take it to their mates and play it or share it in the cloud.. Their own graphics, their own stories.

I guess there's Minecraft, but you can't develop games with that.

If it was possible to self publish Unity games on the XBox and the Playstation and allow people to share their creations with select friends, then this could spur a second wave of youngsters interested in software development. hell, content providers could even make a fortune building assets for people to use in their games, all from the console.

It's possible with a PC, but not every house has one. They might have an iPad or a console though.

How about instead of bickering as to who's got the best console, we start changing things so that people can create on a console too.

Microsoft, Sony, you need new young talent.. it's in your interest to make this happen!

The Random One:

As for the situation the consoles find themselves in, I'll tell you a joke.

Once upon a time, two hunters were huting on a forest. At night, they heard a noise, and when they came out of their tent, they saw a lion charging down towards them! One of the hunters started sprinting, but then he realizes the other has stopped to put on his shoes.

"Are you dumb?", he asks. "Why are you wasting time putting on your shoes? With or without shoes, you ain't gonna run faster than the lion!"

"I don't need to run faster than the lion", the other replies. "I only need to run faster than you."

If Nintendo continuously takes the money from Mario and Zelda fans, Microsoft continuously takes the money from people who like big showy games full of sound and fury about shooting men or stabbing orc-men. There's no room for actual improvement, just doing what the other one is doing but better, because they don't need to outrun the lion.

The only way there'll be actual improvement (and not 'boy, last generation's graphics were almost lifelike, but this generation's graphics look even more almost lifelike if you have a top quality TV and one of the ten best looking games of a given year!' fake improvement we usually see) is by allowing anyone, anywhere, to contribute to the medium of games, so we have stories and mechanics that vary and don't borrow heavily from a twenty-year-old vocabulary. The closest thing we have to that today is the PC, but it's set up so that an old PC can't run newer games even if they aren't the big showy things (there are amateur 2D games that require state-of-the-art video cards because of the tools used) and there isn't a centralized hub to distribute them (Steam essentially works like a console since you need their obscure permission to sell stuff on their site, and more independent distributors like Desura and IndieCity don't have the penetration necessary for this kind of revolution). But the excitement for the Ouya (even if not the actual product) and the small but steady growth of amateur games (GameMaker and Unity, simple as they are, are at the top end of this) show that the path ahead is slowly being forged.

Your argument seems to assume that they are immune from the lion and that they aren't in direct competition. They really are in competition, but with different niches to do it. What the niche marketing is in this metaphor is different kinds of shoes. They try to use their idea of best equipment (their niche) and outrun the lion. The question is which shoe is best? Will one prevail because their shoes are more durable and reliable or will both die because of their self-imposed inflexibility and fear prevents them from jumping up into the trees?

Also, the attitude of modern developers is pretty much the same; you have to beg to be a part of us and give us all your money because you are dirt and criminals and you deserve this. Don't you dare use another piece of technology! You have to prove your loyalty!

BOW DOWN! BOW DOWN TO US!

Or more realistically; pathetic, money-grabbing shitbrains that keep getting proven completely right by the market. They will both escape the lions because they have trained their dogs to jump into the lion's mouth, thus granting them immunity. You'd think with all the shit they pull off people would get tired, but time and time again people have proven that they will do what the company wants them to do, complain and then go back to what they were doing. The tactics will not change because they remain profitable. They remain profitable because the market makes them profitable. It isn't the company's fault that they are doing what the market lets them get away with.

You know, Yahtzee, that on PSN the full titles and the download only titles sit right next to each other on the new releases list... Ultimately once they drop off that list, they go to different sublists, but upon release they're all nice and equal. Even PS Minis end up on the new releases screen with the rest.

Of course, on Vita, there's a separate PS Mobile section, but that's just because PSM titles are barely curated at all.

I dunno. To me, the touchscreen's biggest upside is that it's a touchscreen. You can now design "mouse-driven" menus and interface elements into console games. Which, as Ioa points out, is a function the Wiimote was also capable of performing, if a bit clumsily. When someone comes up with a way to point your own finger at a screen ten feet away and click and drag and swipe with the efficiency and accuracy of a touchscreen, then we can look back and laugh at the days when we had to use a second screen. I remember Robin Walker saying that the main reason they stopped pursuing updates to the console versions of Team Fortress 2 was that they didn't want to have to cater their loadout menus and such to systems that could only operate via arrow buttons.

Of course, this likely means nothing if Microsoft and Sony don't bother to follow suit and any cross-platform games will still have to use controller-friendly menus for compatibility's sake.

And as for that part about Nintendo requiring every WiiU game to have some stupid touchpad gimmick: Do they? I assumed they had learned their lesson with the Wii and left it up to the developers' discretion; that's why the touchpad also has the full complement of standard analog controls. I haven't delved into their certification guidelines, so I don't know for sure. Is there anyone who has?

This is what I've been saying for years. PC gaming is the way forward and it doesn't have to cost the earth!

I built a gaming rig for a friend for about 350, he uses an xbox controller with it and it sits behind his TV.

This is probably slightly more than a next gen console would cost, however it can do so much more and steam games are a fraction of the cost of console ones.

Thammuz:

Except the systems should be entirely irrelevant. Unless you're an electronics engineer or you work for sony/microsoft why should you care about the system? You should care about the service and the games, neither of which benefit from the competition between the systems, because they're insular. Live is for the Xbox and the PSN is for sony's products, which means that if you own the console, you use that system, which is the very opposite of competition (Which is why companies are rebelling against win 8's marketplace restrictions).

What everyone would benefit from would be an environment where the consoles worked on a standard, like yahtzee suggested, and i will tell you why:

You would get a market where the consoles had to compete on the hardware, customer care and additional service, instead of hoarding licenses and basically using games as marketing tools, contrast with the home movie industry.

Which would make you free to purchase the system on its own merits, rather than the games it comes with, and switch platform whenever you like without losing all you purchased.

I thought there must be a financial reason this system has stayed the way it is, besides "don't fix what isn't broken" (and all the console makers are making billions so I doubt they'd call the system broken). I've been trying to figure it out and I think you hit it: if they don't inter-operate then people get locked in. What company doesn't want a captive customer base?

OlasDAlmighty:

Aaron Sylvester:
Nintendo can go to fucking town with their arbitrary controllers for all I care, Mario/Zelda/Metroid fans will ensure Nintendo stay in business even if their next console was nothing more than a toaster + pocket calculator held together with shoelaces.

Bullshit, we "Mario/Zelda/Metroid fans" hold Nintendo to higher standards than anyone else. Nobody reacts more critically to a company when they screw up than their fanbase.

You have a point, but the fanbase of Nintendo or Sony or whoever are also the only ones outside the company likely to defend them, and probably more vigorously and vehemently than anyone else.

OlasDAlmighty:
Say whatever the fuck you want about Nintendo, they've made mistakes, but don't insult their fanbase by making us out to be some sort of brainwashed horde incapable of rational thought or honest judgement. We know what we like and we know why we like it. I can tell you what makes Majora's Mask better than Ocarina of Time and why Skyward Sword is the worst 3D Zeldas, and it's not because Nintendo told me so.

Again, you have a point, but this wouldn't pop up if some people didn't act like that (and there are enough of them that they can't realistically all be trolls).

OlasDAlmighty:

(btw, I can count how many combined Metroid AND Zelda games came out for the Wii on one hand. Compare that to a series like Call of Duty, or Halo, or even fucking Sonic. I WISH Nintendo would throw us a bone more often. It's really just Mario that you should be complaining about.)

I don't think there was a Call of Duty game for the Wii and I know there wasn't a Halo game for it. I'm sure that's not the comparison you're trying to make, but I don't know what comparison you are trying to make.

Actually, I think the best way to play games is with a Sword Art Online style full dive virtual reality (minus the mad scientist and actual death). unfortunately, we don't have that technology yet. which is why I somewhat agree, these gimmicks and crap are just cheap knockoffs.

Once again, Yahtzee's missed the point of motion controls like a buggy whip maker misses the point of an automobile. Yeah, if you're playing a game designed for the standard hunch-back controls with motion controls you're gonna have a crappy experience. Standard controls are really good at measuring precise timing and, to a lesser extent, fine motor accuracy.

Motion controls aren't. They're good for reading strength of motion and directional change on multiple axes. When you play a game that's designed with that in mind -- like Wii Sports Resort's frisbee or bowling games -- which even Yahtzee was unable to pan in his review of the game -- they do great. So to start off with a premise that there's nowhere to go in hardware based UI is simply wrong in the first place. There's actually a hell of a long way to go.. which is part of the problem we're having with them. Yeah, the first automobiles were noisy, unreliable, expensive, slow, and a lot more effort than a typical cart with horse.. but looking at those first attempts and concluding from them that there's never be any use for them simply isn't good thinking.

To go on from that though to suggest that consoles have everything to lose if they keep exclusivity is beyond wrong and well into loony bin territory. One has to remember that where the console makers make their money is in the licensing. Microsoft makes money on any Xbox game sold. Sony makes money on any Playstation game sold. How long does anybody think they could continue to charge those fees if the game format and coding had a standard? Get rid of those, and suddenly MS and Sony can't sell their hardware at a loss any more. Now the cost for your "standard" console goes up a couple hundred dollars to be in the realm of a mid-range gaming PC -- which is all it is at that point -- and which is why Valve's steambox won't be flying very far either -- it still requires a mid-range gaming PC, and part of the reasons consoles sell well (and why the initial Wii sold so well) is because they typically cost less, supported by that exclusivity.

Maybe after another couple hardware generations when the price of creating a console falls to the point that hobbyists can do it, then we'll see a push for a standardized format -- which will force the big guys to jump in on that as well. Until then though.. I don't think so. And of course, that's assuming they don't go further with the UI.

Steve the Pocket:
I dunno. To me, the touchscreen's biggest upside is that it's a touchscreen. You can now design "mouse-driven" menus and interface elements into console games. Which, as Ioa points out, is a function the Wiimote was also capable of performing, if a bit clumsily. When someone comes up with a way to point your own finger at a screen ten feet away and click and drag and swipe with the efficiency and accuracy of a touchscreen, then we can look back and laugh at the days when we had to use a second screen.

Touchscreens just plain aren't a replacement for a mouse. Case in point, laptops with touchpad mice, sure they work, but they are nowhere near as efficient at a physical mouse, which is why so many people have usb travel mice for their laptops. Touchscreens are just not accurate, there's a reason the touchpad keyboard on so many Android phones read the movement of your finger over the keyboard and attempt to figure out what your trying to type rather than having you type it out on the touchscreen.

Even if we do have a way to point with our fingers and manipulate menus we're still going to be blocking huge parts of the screen with our hands and arms unless the screen is right in front of our eyes or is three dimensional. I just think that we're going backwards as far as control is concerned, there is no more efficient way of controlling a two dimensional UI than with a device that can only move in two dimensions, that's the problem with motion sensing controls like the Kinect. The problem with touch screen is essentially that the cursor, which is my finger, is about 80 times larger than the single pixel point at the tip of my mouse cursor, it's like throwing a hundred darts taped together at a dart board and trying to figure out which one to count for points, so the software has to try and figure out which part of my finger I'm trying to use as the cursor tip. The only way for a touch screen to be accurate is when you use a stylus, and if the touch screen is in the controller like the DS and you want to use the buttons as well you have to switch between the two.

My personal opinion is that the backpack and map on the touchpad isn't the same thing as clicking a button to get a inventory onto the big screen even if the game continues IRL.

About re-inventing the wheel... I don't think anyone is trying to do that, just evolve it, like people do with the wheel all the time :P
sorry, just had to

And I hope you soon get to play the multiplayer in NintendoLand, Luigis Mansion, Mario Chase and Animal farm are superb, I've played with my family a few rounds and now I'm having 7 friends over in an hour or so and we'll play tonight, waiting for some really competetive gaming xD

OlasDAlmighty:

Skyward Sword is the worst 3D Zeldas,

I agree on Majoras Mask being the best Zelda but why was Skyward sword the worst (of 3D) according to you?
I think it was a good game, and I am not looking for a flame wars I just have not gotten to discuss Skyward enough during the year and want more opinions on it.
So please, hit me :)

"If there's to be new hardware, around which you intend to base the whole console, it needs to be the kind of thing that improves gaming universally, like dual analog sticks on the PlayStation 1."

All I can think of is something like Skuf/scuf controller where the face buttons are mapped underneath the controller

Maybe move both left and right thumbsticks to high position and have D-pad and face-buttons homogenised into one block that EITHER thumb can access.

The thing about Xbox 360's left-thumbstick being high is either the right or left thumb can reach the D-pad. Which is handy for games where items are activated via d-pad then you can either continue moving or continue aiming while accessing equipment. I think that could go for the other side as well.

Though the most important improvements could be in general quality. The buttons could do with being much crisper, compare the click on a gaming mouse with the RB button on Xbox 360.

Thumbsticks could do with both adjustable sensitivity, range and resistance. Why there aren't square-housing for console thumbsticks, I don't know. What I mean by that is the way these logitech thumbsticks housings:

image

Notice how the housing for the thumbsticks is square rather than round?

That's useful for when y-axis is acceleration and X-axis is turning, then you can have full left lock AND full acceleration at the same time. With rounded corners you are "pushed down" when you have stick fully "forward" and push left and same for other directions. It should make no difference for FPS games.

So it's a whole load of little improvements.

But still will all struggle to keep up with what is typically capable with mouse aim. Playing soldier in TF2 with a thumbstick for aiming sucks ass, but with a mouse it's practical to have a completely different kind of play.

You can approach native mouse-capability with combination of factors like with a much longer thumbstick arm (FPS-freek extensions) combined with on-the-fly sensitivity changing buttons. But trying to match the 1:1 precision of mouse, well there will always be that gulf between console gameplay and PC gameplay.

Sylocat:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
New year, new industry. One where Call of Duty stands next to Cave Story on the same list, with no judgment and equality for all. Think on it.

Well, except on lists measuring a game's QUALITY...

I know this will hurt you, but Call of Duty is a QUALITY game. Sure, the gameplay is stagnant as hell, but (at least with Black Ops II) it isn't a bad game. If you want to look at a BAD First-Person Shooter, go look at Diakatana, Metal of Honour: Warfighter. One released years ago and the other released recently. Both were poorly made and show what a real bad game is.

Do4600:

Steve the Pocket:
I dunno. To me, the touchscreen's biggest upside is that it's a touchscreen. You can now design "mouse-driven" menus and interface elements into console games. Which, as Ioa points out, is a function the Wiimote was also capable of performing, if a bit clumsily. When someone comes up with a way to point your own finger at a screen ten feet away and click and drag and swipe with the efficiency and accuracy of a touchscreen, then we can look back and laugh at the days when we had to use a second screen.

Touchscreens just plain aren't a replacement for a mouse. Case in point, laptops with touchpad mice, sure they work, but they are nowhere near as efficient at a physical mouse, which is why so many people have usb travel mice for their laptops. Touchscreens are just not accurate, there's a reason the touchpad keyboard on so many Android phones read the movement of your finger over the keyboard and attempt to figure out what your trying to type rather than having you type it out on the touchscreen.

Even if we do have a way to point with our fingers and manipulate menus we're still going to be blocking huge parts of the screen with our hands and arms unless the screen is right in front of our eyes or is three dimensional. I just think that we're going backwards as far as control is concerned, there is no more efficient way of controlling a two dimensional UI than with a device that can only move in two dimensions, that's the problem with motion sensing controls like the Kinect. The problem with touch screen is essentially that the cursor, which is my finger, is about 80 times larger than the single pixel point at the tip of my mouse cursor, it's like throwing a hundred darts taped together at a dart board and trying to figure out which one to count for points, so the software has to try and figure out which part of my finger I'm trying to use as the cursor tip. The only way for a touch screen to be accurate is when you use a stylus, and if the touch screen is in the controller like the DS and you want to use the buttons as well you have to switch between the two.

Yep, touchscreens are not an upgrade to the mouse, they are an upgrade over tiny miniature keyboards used on older smartphones.

They proliferated within the limitations of small portable media devices (including phones) where you needed maximum screen area on small devices yet intuitive and flexible controls. Touchscreen works pretty well FOR A BLOODY SMART PHONE! It's not a technological silver bullet for all interfaces, it's a new technology for a very particular niche.

It doesn't work with a 12-17 inch screen laptop which has plenty of room for a full size keyboard at a suitable angle to the screen. Keyboards are great for extended and accurate typing.

The touchpad on a keyboard is actually in SOME cases more useful for typing by how I can keep my hands in position and move the cursor and lick with my thumb(s). But the mouse is always appreciated when I am not typing. This iMac idea of having a touchpad TO THE RIGHT of the keyboard is pointless. The main advantage of a touchpad is having it right below the space bar to be used by thumbs while fingers are in "home position".

The WiiU I find to be very much a Gimmick. As a touchscreen it is not very useful as from the holding position where you can use thumbsticks and face-buttons the thumbs cannot reach to critical parts of touchscreen. You need to completely let go of one half of the controller to touch it, and it's a resistive touchscreen so you really want to use the stylus if you want accurate and reliable interaction.

The touchpad just seems to be there for the sake of it... anything to distract from how this is nothing but a match for the PS3/360 only 7 years too late and about 50% too expensive and with far too meagre a library of games.

WiiU is not "Next-Gen" any more than Wii was "current gen" with the PS3.

Nintnedo doesn't seem to want to give the customers what they want, they USED to do that, follow trends amongst gamers and deliver it to them with N64 and Gamecube. Touchscreen on our gamepad was not what we wanted and now we have it isn't not what we want. We want higher

There are many titles which are tied down to certain platforms, that I would be delighted to sample, but won't because of the attached "dongle tax" - Journey comes to mind, as a recent example.

Now; I don't mind if a developer limits their market due to non-ubiquity of one absolutely vital hardware/infrastructure requirement or other, nor if they stick with one platform because they haven't got the resources to support others, or even if they are just too lazy, or do it out of some misguided brand loyalty -- heck, I could handle even petty spite.

However; When they think no higher of their own art, than to take money to not have people play their game, as opposed to wanting to see it enjoyed by as many players as possible...

The touchscreen-plus-big-screen setup has precisely one function, and that's local multiplayer. There's a lot of potential in the concept of one player having exclusively access to an additional screen, and while I haven't had much of a chance to try them out myself, I'm assured that the local multiplayer games in Nintendoland can be quite the larf and a harf. Actually one application that occurred to me was co-op sniping: one player could act as the spotter, highlighting targets on the big screen using a Wiimote like a laser pointer, while the other player uses the touchscreen as the scoped view and follows their directions.

I would personally love to break away from split screen. It's one of the only things that bother me about shooter co-op. It's why I prefer to send my friend home and have them get online on their own system, so we can play Borderlands over the internet rather than have them sit on the couch next to me and deal with having only half a screen.

Guffe:

OlasDAlmighty:

Skyward Sword is the worst 3D Zeldas,

I agree on Majoras Mask being the best Zelda but why was Skyward sword the worst (of 3D) according to you?
I think it was a good game, and I am not looking for a flame wars I just have not gotten to discuss Skyward enough during the year and want more opinions on it.
So please, hit me :)

I'm not OlasDAlmighty, but I have this opinion (Skyward Sword is the worst 3D Zelda game), because it felt "stripped down". Skyward Sword has it's good points, it had a pretty good story, a creepy villain, Zelda and Link felt like they actually had a relationship...

But the world is where the game falls short, it's segmented into a few giant sections that you'll find yourself treking through over and over again, and I didn't find any of them to be particularly entertaining enough for me to revisit them. They also don't feel connected to each other, so the world doesn't feel as "epic".

The sky is a particular disappointment, I loved the controls of flying and I wanted to explore all the sky, like I did with the ocean in Windwaker, but unlike Windwaker where the ocean is full of things to discover, the sky in Skyward Sword is empty with the exception of some mini games. Also, like everything else in Skyward Sword, it felt shrinked down, not vast, like I imagine the sky is supposed to feel.

Really well descrpited the wii u specially concerning the local mplayer.
It was the one thing that caught my attention.being able to shoot online at Cd with a buddy with one tv-console and do not forget without an online fee was instant and superb
otherwise yes icant see it becoming more than a gimmick or a draw tablet for maps etc

Kwil:
Once again, Yahtzee's missed the point of motion controls like a buggy whip maker misses the point of an automobile. Yeah, if you're playing a game designed for the standard hunch-back controls with motion controls you're gonna have a crappy experience. Standard controls are really good at measuring precise timing and, to a lesser extent, fine motor accuracy.

Motion controls aren't. They're good for reading strength of motion and directional change on multiple axes. When you play a game that's designed with that in mind -- like Wii Sports Resort's frisbee or bowling games -- which even Yahtzee was unable to pan in his review of the game -- they do great. So to start off with a premise that there's nowhere to go in hardware based UI is simply wrong in the first place. There's actually a hell of a long way to go.. which is part of the problem we're having with them. Yeah, the first automobiles were noisy, unreliable, expensive, slow, and a lot more effort than a typical cart with horse.. but looking at those first attempts and concluding from them that there's never be any use for them simply isn't good thinking.

To go on from that though to suggest that consoles have everything to lose if they keep exclusivity is beyond wrong and well into loony bin territory. One has to remember that where the console makers make their money is in the licensing. Microsoft makes money on any Xbox game sold. Sony makes money on any Playstation game sold. How long does anybody think they could continue to charge those fees if the game format and coding had a standard? Get rid of those, and suddenly MS and Sony can't sell their hardware at a loss any more. Now the cost for your "standard" console goes up a couple hundred dollars to be in the realm of a mid-range gaming PC -- which is all it is at that point -- and which is why Valve's steambox won't be flying very far either -- it still requires a mid-range gaming PC, and part of the reasons consoles sell well (and why the initial Wii sold so well) is because they typically cost less, supported by that exclusivity.

Maybe after another couple hardware generations when the price of creating a console falls to the point that hobbyists can do it, then we'll see a push for a standardized format -- which will force the big guys to jump in on that as well. Until then though.. I don't think so. And of course, that's assuming they don't go further with the UI.

I have to agree, and it's not just Yahtzee that seems to miss the point of motion controls. Game developers also seem to miss the point of motion controls by continuously creating games based in the old paradigm of the D-pad controller and trying to map that scheme to "waggles" of a motion controller. It's simply the wrong approach and wrong design.

In my opinion, if we go by Yahtzee's opinion, gaming is doomed to stagnation. There are some game designs and ways of experiencing gaming, especially in a multi-player scenario, that simply do not work as well with a single TV and the D-pad controller. If no attempt is made to go beyond this paradigm, then you are forever prohibited from an entire realm of innovation that requires breaking free of that paradigm.

Yahtzee's opinion feels similar to statements like "If man was meant to fly, God would have given him wings" or "If it could be done, they would have done it already". They're statements born of extreme cynicism (or lacking vision) that distorts reality every bit as much as naivety.

ADDENDUM: I have to add that, in my opinion, the real console war pointlessness is gamers arguing, like religious zealots, over which console is the better and whether console or PC is better. Different people have different tastes, desires, and needs and will pick the one that suits them best. Wasting time dick-waving about which system is objectively the best choice for all is nothing more than insecure people trying to justify themselves. Pick what you like, play what you like; all else be damned, and afford others the latitude to do the same.

Eclipse Dragon:

The sky is a particular disappointment, I loved the controls of flying and I wanted to explore all the sky, like I did with the ocean in Windwaker, but unlike Windwaker where the ocean is full of things to discover, the sky in Skyward Sword is empty with the exception of some mini games. Also, like everything else in Skyward Sword, it felt shrinked down, not vast, like I imagine the sky is supposed to feel.

That is the problem right there.

Zelda fans have grown up, they are thinking bigger and are bolder... but Nintendo hasn't.

Nintendo seems to be living in Never Never Land where the children are in a perpetual state of infancy, they sold games to kids and they were very good at that, they made great games for kids but those kids are grown up now and Nintendo are wondering where the kids are?

They can't make a Zelda game fit for fans without discarding their goal of having something suitable for children. I don't mean violence, hell, we all know kids are totally fine with violence. I'm talking about "epic bigness" that's too much for a kid to take in, it'll just seem empty and boring to them.

This is why I think Nintendo has to let go of Zelda. Nintendo can keep wii-sports resort and all that crap but Zelda, it's clear they have to let this one go free to where it belongs. Like how Lucas was ruined by Star Wars, maybe it's time just to give it to someone else, ANYONE else, to let it go where it's original creators cannot take it.

Treblaine:

Eclipse Dragon:

The sky is a particular disappointment, I loved the controls of flying and I wanted to explore all the sky, like I did with the ocean in Windwaker, but unlike Windwaker where the ocean is full of things to discover, the sky in Skyward Sword is empty with the exception of some mini games. Also, like everything else in Skyward Sword, it felt shrinked down, not vast, like I imagine the sky is supposed to feel.

That is the problem right there.

Zelda fans have grown up, they are thinking bigger and are bolder... but Nintendo hasn't.

Nintendo seems to be living in Never Never Land where the children are in a perpetual state of infancy, they sold games to kids and they were very good at that, they made great games for kids but those kids are grown up now and Nintendo are wondering where the kids are?

They can't make a Zelda game fit for fans without discarding their goal of having something suitable for children. I don't mean violence, hell, we all know kids are totally fine with violence. I'm talking about "epic bigness" that's too much for a kid to take in, it'll just seem empty and boring to them.

But I didn't have this problem with Twilight Princess, and even going back and playing Windwaker. It's mainly just Skyward Sword that I felt this way.

Eclipse Dragon:

Treblaine:

Eclipse Dragon:

The sky is a particular disappointment, I loved the controls of flying and I wanted to explore all the sky, like I did with the ocean in Windwaker, but unlike Windwaker where the ocean is full of things to discover, the sky in Skyward Sword is empty with the exception of some mini games. Also, like everything else in Skyward Sword, it felt shrinked down, not vast, like I imagine the sky is supposed to feel.

That is the problem right there.

Zelda fans have grown up, they are thinking bigger and are bolder... but Nintendo hasn't.

Nintendo seems to be living in Never Never Land where the children are in a perpetual state of infancy, they sold games to kids and they were very good at that, they made great games for kids but those kids are grown up now and Nintendo are wondering where the kids are?

They can't make a Zelda game fit for fans without discarding their goal of having something suitable for children. I don't mean violence, hell, we all know kids are totally fine with violence. I'm talking about "epic bigness" that's too much for a kid to take in, it'll just seem empty and boring to them.

But I didn't have this problem with Twilight Princess, and even going back and playing Windwaker. It's mainly just Skyward Sword that I felt this way.

Well that was the Gamecube generation (even TP)... where Nintendo got spanked. Hell they didn't do all that well with N64 vs PS1.

They made so much money on Wii by distancing from their fanbase and pandering with shallow gimmicks to a much wider (but disloyal) audience. A huge mistake I think but the way capitalism works is it's more important to make as much money as you ever possibly can in every quarter than to guarantee a steady stream from loyal fans.

I think that Nintendo has just lost it's sense of vision with their goal of maximising breadth of shallow appeal. And their attraction to gimmicks like having a sky-world for Hyrule just for the sake of avoiding having a Hyrule field. They may have missed that it's easy to have a lot of stuff populate a water-world but a sky-world less so, so would inevitably feel empty and therefore journeys couldn't be too long and hence make the world seem small.

But Nintendo I think had the problem of listening to it's detractors. Wind Waker was criticised by some for overly long journey times, but they took that criticism without considering the praise for the sense of scale of the world that came FROM the long journeys.

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