Seriously, Console Wars Are Pointless

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Seriously, Console Wars Are Pointless

Forget about consoles, Yahtzee wants us to concentrate on the games.

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One thing that gives me hope is the recent trend of Android-powered gaming devices like the Archos Gamepad, the Wikipad, the Ouya and Project Shield. None of these are console-killers at the moment, but if any of them manage to get some third-party support they'll represent an important step on the road towards standardized gaming hardware.

Valve's console project also seems promising, if the rumours of it basically being a pre-configured Linux PC running Steam's Big Picture mode are true, but we'll have to wait for more details on that.

The closest thing we have right now to this is PC gaming, but it still suffers from not being an easy thing to break into if you're new to games, both from a price standpoint and a complexity standpoint. Once some of these rumored pseudo-console computers like the Ouya and the gamestick and the Xwhatever that the Escapist just had an article about start becoming more than tantalizing promises we may start seeing a move in this direction.

The Piston look very promising for this end actually. A slight link from pc to console.

You don't want an end to the consol war, you want an end to consol exclusives.

DVS BSTrD:
You don't want an end to the consol war, you want an end to consol exclusives.

Wrong. That was him trying to make a point about how it would be if Publishers were only that: Publishers. And competed by making good games and good controls. not With exclusives and all the other bullshit they FORCE on us.

And it's *Console.

An analogy might be only buying books from Harper Collins because its paper stock is better than that used by Transworld. Never mind the pesky words, feel the delivery medium!

l3o2828:

DVS BSTrD:
You don't want an end to the consol war, you want an end to consol exclusives.

Wrong. That was him trying to make a point about how it would be if Publishers were only that: Publishers. And competed by making good games and good controls. not With exclusives and all the other bullshit they FORCE on us.

And it's *Console.

But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.

And thanks my spell check sucks.

Hmmm, can't say I'd particularly enjoy having candy-canes coming out of my palm.

DVS BSTrD:

l3o2828:

DVS BSTrD:
You don't want an end to the consol war, you want an end to consol exclusives.

Wrong. That was him trying to make a point about how it would be if Publishers were only that: Publishers. And competed by making good games and good controls. not With exclusives and all the other bullshit they FORCE on us.

And it's *Console.

But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.

And thanks my spell check sucks.

Have you read this article or not?
Yahtzee has been explaining that he thinks the behaviour of publishers and such is more like a War, rather than a competition, and we as the costumers are the ones who are getting fucked the most.
And i completly agree with him.
Now, do me a favour and read it again, and read it for reals now before commenting. If you don't agree that's fine, but you are ignoring several of his points.

Well, at least the PS2 being abandoned (and not sent to fiery torment) means that the PS3 won't be abandoned. I've been planning on getting a PS3 this year, since PSPlus is a good deal as opposed to Xbox Live Gold.

Oh, I'm just playing into their hands. All of their hands, in fact. What about the poor family with only one television with members who want to try different experiences? What if the older son wants to play Gears of War, the younger daughter wants to play Little Big Planet, and the parents want to play Mario together? Too bad, they can't, because only one console can fit in their budget or even their living room. THAT, my fellow readers, is why this console war should end.

Righteous Edison burn, sweet ending! ^^

The ideal world where the consoles just serve the games has always been PC.
Now I am not calling PC gaming "ideal"... It costs friggin' tons, for one.
But at least it has all the emulators, free/Indie games and backwards compatibility you want.

The news about Valve's new box probably came to late for your article, so that's obviously for next week's column!
Plus talk Ouya and that new 2 inch USB stick in a controller thing too!

Xman490:
Well, at least the PS2 being abandoned (and not sent to fiery torment) means that the PS3 won't be abandoned. I've been planning on getting a PS3 this year, since PSPlus is a good deal as opposed to Xbox Live Gold.

Oh, I'm just playing into their hands. All of their hands, in fact. What about the poor family with only one television with members who want to try different experiences? What if the older son wants to play Gears of War, the younger daughter wants to play Little Big Planet, and the parents want to play Mario together? Too bad, they can't, because only one console can fit in their budget or even their living room. THAT, my fellow readers, is why this console war should end.

But... if a poor family can only afford one TV, why would they waste money on buying a gaming console to begin with?

DVS BSTrD:
And it's *Console.

But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.[/quote]

I don't know, maybe you're too young to remember the Beta/VHS format war, but surely you remember the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war? Both left a lot of people with useless devices and media, but were relatively short-lived and ultimately a universal standard won out. Meanwhile consoles continue this ridiculous format war almost a decade past the point when it was still relevant.

People who consume content just want to consume content. If they have a movie they want their friends to see, they want to be able to bring it to their friends' houses without having to check for device compatibility. The existence of a universal standard has not ended hardware competition in the DVD or Blu-ray player market, so why should video games be any different?

Falseprophet:

DVS BSTrD:
And it's *Console.

But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.

I don't know, maybe you're too young to remember the Beta/VHS format war, but surely you remember the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war? Both left a lot of people with useless devices and media, but were relatively short-lived and ultimately a universal standard won out. Meanwhile consoles continue this ridiculous format war almost a decade past the point when it was still relevant.

People who consume content just want to consume content. If they have a movie they want their friends to see, they want to be able to bring it to their friends' houses without having to check for device compatibility. The existence of a universal standard has not ended hardware competition in the DVD or Blu-ray player market, so why should video games be any different?

Agreed. It would be nice to play L4D with my friend who has a Mac (I've got it on Xbox) or Mass Effect 3 (which I have on Xbox) with my other friend who has it on PS3.

A better world...

The thing he seems to fail to take into account is that consoles AREN'T merely little computers equal in power and function. There are SIGNIFICANT hardware structure variations between them, and while some ports go seamlessly, others do not.

Try playing Skyrim on PS3. Then play it on Xbox.

Falseprophet:

I don't know, maybe you're too young to remember the Beta/VHS format war, but surely you remember the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war? Both left a lot of people with useless devices and media, but were relatively short-lived and ultimately a universal standard won out. Meanwhile consoles continue this ridiculous format war almost a decade past the point when it was still relevant.

People who consume content just want to consume content. If they have a movie they want their friends to see, they want to be able to bring it to their friends' houses without having to check for device compatibility. The existence of a universal standard has not ended hardware competition in the DVD or Blu-ray player market, so why should video games be any different?

I like that idea a lot more than what is happening now, and it seems more plausible than Yahtzee's parallel candy-cane hands world. They can still have their consoles, but any game can be played on any console. No more exclusive titles, no more compatibility issues. Just different online services, I guess.

It seems strange that Yahtzee doesn't think that the PS2's technical barriers were a problem. It had an asymmetric processor arrangement similar to the PS3's cell chip. Its graphics card was like little else on the market. (Closest is the Matrox Parhelia, which was the card that killed Matrox as a gaming contender. Lots of layers of textures and effects, not much geometry pushing power.)

If anything, it was more exotic and harder to use than the PS3's architecture. The PS2 succeeded despite difficulties of developers in extracting its power. The Xbox and Dreamcast were both much simpler to develop for, and the gamecube was marginally easier (aside from the quaint memory model.)

I'm okay with the market as it is right now, though I would like a box that in 10 years time can play all my 360 games on my TV. Maybe I'll need to rig up a PC with an emulator or something.

valves piston may help here basicly PC gaming for dummies.

inb4 people start throwing around system specs.

Sadly, the war is only going to become more intense as Sony and Microsoft roll out their new consoles, each rumored to have it's own unique way to screw over pre-owned users. Now we do not know for sure if these new consoles will actually do it - Sony and Microsoft have gone out of their way to say they don't want to eliminate consumer choice - but I don't trust either company. They are ALWAYS limiting consumer choice, with each new system. Backwards-compatability got fucked over in the extreme by both consoles, and even the friendly Nintendo system eventually took out the ability to play GameCube titles. That is one example, but their are many others.

I hate to say this, but I may just get a Wii U and leave it at that. So far, it seems like Nintendo has done right by the machine, although I usually buy all consoles. I'm going to wait a bit longer before I make that judgement, but if Sony and Microsoft take away my ability to trade in my old games to buy new ones, I'll throw my lot in exclusively with Nintendo this time. Never thought I'd say that...

AdamRhodes:

Falseprophet:

I don't know, maybe you're too young to remember the Beta/VHS format war, but surely you remember the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war? Both left a lot of people with useless devices and media, but were relatively short-lived and ultimately a universal standard won out. Meanwhile consoles continue this ridiculous format war almost a decade past the point when it was still relevant.

People who consume content just want to consume content. If they have a movie they want their friends to see, they want to be able to bring it to their friends' houses without having to check for device compatibility. The existence of a universal standard has not ended hardware competition in the DVD or Blu-ray player market, so why should video games be any different?

I like that idea a lot more than what is happening now, and it seems more plausible than Yahtzee's parallel candy-cane hands world. They can still have their consoles, but any game can be played on any console. No more exclusive titles, no more compatibility issues. Just different online services, I guess.

The problem with exclusives is that they are incredibly powerful tools, I mean, they work as killer apps and especially in the tech world, a killer app can make or break a company.

So if the consoles have different online services like you said the first thing companies would do is to put a ton of exclusive things so eventually you buy the hardware for the online exclusives.

In other news, didn't the 3DO have various version by Panasonic and Samsung and other companies? How did that work when the console was out?

EDIT: Well technically the PC can allow you to 99% of all games ever made but it's kind of illegal to do so. Also the Phone market is kind of heading that way what with the Android, the only problem there is Apple as always.

I guess my only concern is how would they manage price? pc gaming hardware is notoriously expensive. the only reason consoles aren't is subsidized pricing. if its a standard setup and no one is guaranteed returns on their investment who would be willing to take a hit for affordable gaming? i can buy all 3 consoles for the price of a decent gaming rig. in this system i spend less money... so why would i want to 'standardize'?

ex275w:

AdamRhodes:
snip

The problem with exclusives is that they are incredibly powerful tools, I mean, they work as killer apps and especially in the tech world, a killer app can make or break a company.

So if the consoles have different online services like you said the first thing companies would do is to put a ton of exclusive things so eventually you buy the hardware for the online exclusives.

I'm fine with that. I just don't want to have to buy a PS3 because I kinda want to try out Uncharted and Infamous.

DVS BSTrD:

l3o2828:

DVS BSTrD:
You don't want an end to the consol war, you want an end to consol exclusives.

Wrong. That was him trying to make a point about how it would be if Publishers were only that: Publishers. And competed by making good games and good controls. not With exclusives and all the other bullshit they FORCE on us.

And it's *Console.

But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.

And thanks my spell check sucks.

The problem is, there isn't a true competition. I wouldn't even call it a war. It is more like a hostage situation. Most people probably don't even consider the capabilities of the consoles (I assume, most people couldn't distinguish which console is more powerful, even if there were a difference), they consider which games they can play with it. There can only be a real competition if you can buy any game for any console, then only the quality of the hardware would count.

The one week Yahtzee actually reads the forum thread responses and he doesn't make so much as a token mention of the technical issues that would prevent a future system from "playing any game made in the last 20 years". There's a reason the only console games people play on PCs are the ones old enough to have hardware emulators.

AdamRhodes:

ex275w:

AdamRhodes:
snip

The problem with exclusives is that they are incredibly powerful tools, I mean, they work as killer apps and especially in the tech world, a killer app can make or break a company.

So if the consoles have different online services like you said the first thing companies would do is to put a ton of exclusive things so eventually you buy the hardware for the online exclusives.

I'm fine with that. I just don't want to have to buy a PS3 because I kinda want to try out Uncharted and Infamous.

The problem is that the Sony box would have Uncharted and Infamous in their online store and Nintendo would have Zelda on their online store. In the end only games like Barbie's Horse Adventures would be playable on the Nintendo and Sony DVD Player.

Scow2:
The thing he seems to fail to take into account is that consoles AREN'T merely little computers equal in power and function. There are SIGNIFICANT hardware structure variations between them, and while some ports go seamlessly, others do not.

Try playing Skyrim on PS3. Then play it on Xbox.

That has almost nothing to do with the two consoles being unequal in power and almost everything to do with Bethesda being one of the worst game developers of all time.

Furthermore, the thing you seem to fail to take into account is that in Yahtzee's proposed world, there's no such things as ports in the first place. There will be no "try playing Skyrim on PS3, then play it on 360" because there will just be one standard and the game will either work or not work. Seriously man, you should actually read and understand the article before you reply next time.

Also, side note, play Skyrim on PC, not 360 or PS3. Good grief.

Neonsilver:

DVS BSTrD:

l3o2828:

Wrong. That was him trying to make a point about how it would be if Publishers were only that: Publishers. And competed by making good games and good controls. not With exclusives and all the other bullshit they FORCE on us.

And it's *Console.

But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.

And thanks my spell check sucks.

The problem is, there isn't a true competition. I wouldn't even call it a war. It is more like a hostage situation. Most people probably don't even consider the capabilities of the consoles (I assume, most people couldn't distinguish which console is more powerful, even if there were a difference), they consider which games they can play with it. There can only be a real competition if you can buy any game for any console, then only the quality of the hardware would count.

Now thats an interesting way to put the situation with gaming consoles. And it fits quite well. But, I have to wonder, all gaming consoles were to be designed so any game could be played on any console, than what would actually determine which console to buy?

Neonsilver:

DVS BSTrD:

l3o2828:

Wrong. That was him trying to make a point about how it would be if Publishers were only that: Publishers. And competed by making good games and good controls. not With exclusives and all the other bullshit they FORCE on us.

And it's *Console.

But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.

And thanks my spell check sucks.

The problem is, there isn't a true competition. I wouldn't even call it a war. It is more like a hostage situation. Most people probably don't even consider the capabilities of the consoles (I assume, most people couldn't distinguish which console is more powerful, even if there were a difference), they consider which games they can play with it. There can only be a real competition if you can buy any game for any console, then only the quality of the hardware would count.

Here really is the problem, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are holding the new Zelda, God of War and Halo hostage and the ransom is to buy a specific system. The worst part is that with the advancement of technology it's getting worse. Apple and their products have shown that people do put up with Draconian hardware restrictions and DRM if you can convince them that they need your product.

The only solution I can see is to have a universal gaming OS that can run the Unreal Engine, Cryengine, Frostbite, Unity, Game Maker, RPG Maker, XNA, Havok, Source and other engines and Frameworks and license it to game developers and manufacture consoles that can efficiently run those engines. Of course this will never happen, as much as I wish it would.

I wonder if the 90s are going to come back in the way of "add-ons", where if you want to play a game from the previous generation, you have to plug in a module that plays that game.

WanderingFool:

Now thats an interesting way to put the situation with gaming consoles. And it fits quite well. But, I have to wonder, all gaming consoles were to be designed so any game could be played on any console, than what would actually determine which console to buy?

I wouldn't design the hardware to allow any game to be played, but the software, the OS of the system. If Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo could agree what functions the OS has to provide for the games and if they would stick to it they could sell consoles which are compatible to each other. It would still be possible to get "exclusives" but only by providing the most powerful hardware and getting a game developed that needs the power.
Even special hardware like the wiimote could be included with a patch.

mjc0961:

Scow2:
The thing he seems to fail to take into account is that consoles AREN'T merely little computers equal in power and function. There are SIGNIFICANT hardware structure variations between them, and while some ports go seamlessly, others do not.

Try playing Skyrim on PS3. Then play it on Xbox.

That has almost nothing to do with the two consoles being unequal in power and almost everything to do with Bethesda being one of the worst game developers of all time.

Furthermore, the thing you seem to fail to take into account is that in Yahtzee's proposed world, there's no such things as ports in the first place. There will be no "try playing Skyrim on PS3, then play it on 360" because there will just be one standard and the game will either work or not work. Seriously man, you should actually read and understand the article before you reply next time.

Also, side note, play Skyrim on PC, not 360 or PS3. Good grief.

But Yahtzee's world is an unrealistic one, where Gaming Platforms are nebulous magic boxes, all of the same capability and identical structure. Maybe he wants that, but standardization of hardware and architecture leads to stagnation as well.

I brought up the Skyrim PS3/Xbox thing as a demonstration of how hardware architecture changes how a game can be ported or not. Bethesda's a company that can't figure out what the hell is with the split memory. However, other companies can use the PS3's exotic architecture to exceed what the console's specifications would seem to indicate possible.

Some people like the standardization of format - but that standardization also comes with losses in innovation, as everything's forced to conform to the same system with its own inherent strengths and weaknesses. But, gamers have become completely divorced from and ignorant of the underlying electronic architecture (Hardware and firmware) that operates the software they take for granted.

DVS BSTrD:
But as long as there are different console options, they ARE going to be competing with one another. That's what drives them to create better hardware. Without competition, quality stagnates.

When I buy a console/handheld, I buy them for the potential games I can get from them - but these games are now being hoarded up in exclusives to consoles that it might as well act like a monopoly.

The debacle with "Bayonetta 2" is a good example. Some people still have mixed opinion on whether the Wii U is a good console, yet some people still have a love for the technically nude witch kicking demon/angel/whatever butt. If they want to play the sequel, they would have to get a console that might not be appealing to them, and it may not have any games they might not like.

I say playing Uncharted on Xbox would be terrible, mainly because I love how Uncharted's grenade throwing mechanics work well with dualshock.

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