The Upcoming (And Pointless) Console War

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I love how quick people in this thread are to make sweeping generalizations about the state of the industry and the behavior of the public. Time and time again, it is proven to me that forum posters are not consultants, economists, analysts, or anything else.

Do4600:
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.

Eh. That's why you design the interfaces with large controls that are easy to aim at. And since video game GUIs already are, needing to be easily readable on a screen ten feet away and all, I don't see any issue.

Yahtzee:

I found it a little wearying to see comments on my ZombiU review to the effect that my distaste for the Wii U was "inevitable". I wouldn't have thought so.

Considering that you've been blasting the Wii U ever since it made its debut at E3, and have been blasting Nintendo since forever.... yeah, it kind of was.

I didn't like the Wii because all that faffing about with motion controls was detrimental to functional gameplay,

Except with games like Metroid Prime Corruption where it actually improved on the gameplay, and actually did something better than other console shooters could, ie- having first-person aiming that doesn't suck, and actually somewhat approximates the accuracy of M&K controls. It doesn't exactly require much faffing about to aim a remote where you want to shoot, unless you consider every Lightgun game ever made a disaster of flailing limbs.

Having two screens to play with can only be justified if both screens are used synchronously. It makes sense on the DS because the screens are right next to each other and there's a dearth of screen real estate on a handheld, but my living room TV is very big and lots of stuff can fit on it.

Bully for you. My living room TV isn't all that big, and a lot of games tend to look quite cluttered and cramped on it because of all the HUD crap thrown onto it. Have you seen the HUD for Battlefield 3? A messier collection of maps and info I have yet to see. If the Wii U controller can be used for something even as simple as decluttering the utter mess that has become the Shooter HUD screen, then I'll be thankful. Being able to go through inventories and menus and keyboards without having to wrestle with D-pads and bumpers is another plus. Being able to play directly on my controller while someone else watches the TV is a third.

There you go: three direct benefits that can arise from having a touchscreen controller, none of which require any touch-screen gameplay gimmickry, and all of which would make gaming more enjoyable for the likes of me, who can't afford 40" HD monstrosities. That's just off the top of my head.

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.

You mean the same dual analog sticks that were initially derided as a gimmick, and a rip-off of what Nintendo was doing with the N64 controller? Those dual analog sticks?

Also, you memory is failing you. The PS1 didn't launch around dual analog sticks. The original controller had only a D-Pad, face buttons and shoulder buttons. It wasn't until Nintendo launched the N64 later on, and showed what games could do with analogue sticks, that Sony decided to release their own analogue stick controller to try and get in on the action. So in essence, they didn't launch the PS1 around analogue controls at all, they just did exactly the same thing as they then did with the PS Move two generations on.

As for the rest of the article: It would be nice if there was one console format for developers to work with. It's not going to happen though. Microsoft and Sony make their money in gaming from the license fees developers/publishers pay them for every sale of a game on their consoles. You're essentially asking Microsoft and Sony to voluntarily stop making the money they do off games, and to make consoles at a loss out of the kindness of their hearts.

The only way this could forseeably happen is if Sony and Microsoft decided to focus on selling their hardware at a profit. If that were to happen, though, then you can forget about there being anything other than the most incremental technology upgrades from now on. The only reason Microsoft and Sony made the leaps in technology they did this generation was because they thought they would make the money back from royalties. If they can't get those, then say goodbye to anything other than the most anaemic, half-hearted upgrades for new consoles.

As for the ranting about how difficult it is for new and indie developers to get onto the console scene: yeah, it is pretty shitty when Microsoft and Sony both charge exhorbitant costs just to get your game out there. But you know what? There is a console that allows indie developers to put up their games onto the online marketplace at a low cost, charge whatever they want, make sales whenever they want, patch and update their games without cost, and generally give them as much freedom as you could hope for. A lot of indie developers are coming out and saying it's like Steam for consoles. It's the eShop, on the Wii Uand 3DS. But oh wait, the Wii U isn't a real console, so that can't be true... le sigh.

RJ Dalton got a warning for saying 'viva la revulicion' WTSF moderators that's weak it looks so pretentious for giving him/her a warning for that. You call that spam it clearly isn't just a little joke and you're now not letting people have jokes on the forum as well then you're being a bad website if the columnists like Yahtzee can do it so can we right? Where is the equality. This forum is all about equality that is what you try to promote here but in my eyes the forum is not that equal as you're not giving people the option to speak freely and making them abide by the rules and in english let there be no rules for a man or woman to speak freely in a fair tone and there words be fairly judged what you just did their is bureaucratic nonesense.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Having two screens to play with can only be justified if both screens are used synchronously. It makes sense on the DS because the screens are right next to each other and there's a dearth of screen real estate on a handheld, but my living room TV is very big and lots of stuff can fit on it.

Bully for you. My living room TV isn't all that big, and a lot of games tend to look quite cluttered and cramped on it because of all the HUD crap thrown onto it. Have you seen the HUD for Battlefield 3? A messier collection of maps and info I have yet to see. If the Wii U controller can be used for something even as simple as decluttering the utter mess that has become the Shooter HUD screen, then I'll be thankful. Being able to go through inventories and menus and keyboards without having to wrestle with D-pads and bumpers is another plus. Being able to play directly on my controller while someone else watches the TV is a third.

There you go: three direct benefits that can arise from having a touchscreen controller, none of which require any touch-screen gameplay gimmickry, and all of which would make gaming more enjoyable for the likes of me, who can't afford 40" HD monstrosities. That's just off the top of my head.

I envision people going back and forth on this one depending on their home set up. The primary use of the screen seems to be focused more around a means for kids to play games while the parents are watching TV. Other uses for the device are kind of an after thought. It's still not as much of a dead end as core handheld gaming is and is continuing to be, with lesser versions of mainstream console titles continuing to be ported to them just to give them a facsimile of a game library. However, it's probably a feature that will exist solely in this coming generation of consoles and then cease to be, much like the Dreamcast.

Yahtzee is demonstrably wrong this time. The so-called 'video game crash' of 1983 was due to non-exclusivity. Consoles aren't viably sold at a price that covers their manufacture. What subsidizes that manufacture is software. In 1983 Ataris and Colecolovisions and whatever elses all had the same Pong, PacMan, Q-bert and no reason to buy any particular console. Hence, each one failed to stay profitable and the concept of home videogames nearly took one in the face. Shigeru Miyamoto's work allowed an NES to exist: a console with exclusive content. Nintendo became a powerhouse as the only place to get Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc.

If Yahtzee's thesis was that the future can get away from this with leaps in tech and market (cloud computing giving access to games via a service and access devices become interchangable, for example) then fine. But MS is only in the console business to make sure other companies don't make that money (in the same way Google docs is a free service from a search engine/advertising company). MS has no vested interest in stopping the console war, neither does Sony and Nintendo remains the only company in any hope of a position to win one (regularly going after yet-to-be gamers, in house great-not-just-good properties). To ask for a console and NOT a console war is kinda stupid.

Even this Steam Box is just a leap down the same road. Valve will make money from Half-Life 3 to cover any other endeavor and giving developers a direct line to customers for a cut is a profitable and respectable service. Linux plus a free install of the Steam service allowing it to go home brew kicks other console makers in the teeth. EA getting jacked on Origin, X-Box/PS? being undersold and out-manuevered...all that helps not only customers but Valve in the long run. But companies still need a reason for a customer to make the choice to purchase their particular device instead of another to maintain the growth of capabilities of consoles. Even if not every experiment agrees with every customer (Wii controls for some people apparently).

I'm just saying, if you read the whole first page and then skip to the second page's conclusion, you get a big WTF... just saying.

I must admit. The touch screen on the Wii U is the part I'm least excited for.

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