We Really, Really Don't Need New Consoles

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Zachary Amaranth:

jowell24:

Talking about graphics, someone earlier mentioned a good point that a PC with the equivalent specs of a PS3 would not compare in graphical fidelity and performance because of the high level of optimisation that developers have achieved with the console.

That's not necessarily true at launch. Optimisation tends to be a learned process. Now, eventually the comparable console will outperform, but there's the issue of technology likely having progressed at that point.

The same approach must be taken with the PS4 even though it is of PC-architecture that the level of performance and graphics will increase as developers become more experienced and can improve optimisation of the closed-hardware. Developing for PC can have the problem of under-optimisation of people's hardware because of the wide variety of rigs and this is how the consoles have just managed to keep up with PCs after PCs surpassed them many years ago. I'm sure that the next-gen consoles will be able to provide a gaming experience that will keep the market with PCs competitive. Without consoles or some form of competition, innovation and improvement will retard eventually.

Actually, the primary reason things tend to be under-optimised is because consoles are used as the lead. You find this problem greatly diminished, possibly even non-existent when the PC is the primary platform. The same can actually be said of cross-platform issues with consoles. the 360 usually out-performed the PS3 early on because it was the lead console. Burnout Paradise was an exception, developed with the PS3 as the lead, and it shows.

Backwards compatibility is not a viable business option for Sony at the moment and the reasons are self-explantory.

Except if people don't adopt the new console because of a lack of games....

In fact, it's "self-explanatory" that they might not be able to afford NOT including BC.

Go buy a PS3 super slim after the PS4 comes out and the price will likely be sub 100 or at least that number which would be less than the amount Sony would likely have you pay for a PS4 with backwards compatibility or even better, just keep your current PS3 (It's not that hard)

It's not that hard, but it sort of begs the question as to why one would bother with the PS4 with a limited launch window. This is one of the big problems with the Wii-U right now, and part of the thesis of the article written. Additionally, you're being overly optimistic about pricing.

Improper use of words on my part. I wanted to say that at current pricing of the PS3 (as cheap as 130 in the UK) I can expect the price of the console to drop after the release of the PS4 to around 100 which I think would be cheaper than the price Sony would have the consumer pay for added backwards compatibility.

Never like to get involved in gaming politics but I didn't like the way some people are just arguing without fair judgement or proper consideration of information.

Glass houses.

There have been articles quoting Sony staff saying they won't make the sae mistake with the PS4 as they did with the PS3 in terms of pricing so and I predict Sony to deliver on having a range of games based on the current support for the new consoles shown by developers. I think it's Mark Cerny who said in an article that the PS4 WILL have a stronger launch line-up (not necessarily more though which can be just as important)

Shouldn't have even put that sentence in. As you can see from my profile I rarely post on the Escapist or any other internet forums and observe from a distance instead.

"And I, for one, am not going to burn all my photos just because you invented a shiny new photo album that only holds photos of an approved shape and format."

A lot of times I agree with you. However, on this point not only are you wrong, your point is fucking retarded. Why can't the old system be treated the same way as when you run out of room in your old photo album? Put on the shelf until you want to play with it again.

It's really lazy to continue harping on backward-compatibility when so many gamers don't even use it. We always want the next thing. New phones, TV's, clothes, furniture etc. Some of those things we can and do use again. And when we need to put on a shirt that is three years old, we go to the closet and put it on. Old consoles can be the same way. BC is nice, but it's an arrogant, simple-minded thing to get bent out of shape over, as though you're owed this luxury. And when it comes down to it, that's all it is.

Until virtual reality similar to such as SAO or .hack//sign is available, no new consoles please.

Clovus:

A lack of foresight? So, Sony should have realized that they might lose backwards compatability on a system that is almost 10 years old? So, therefore they shouldn't have bothered trying to engineer a game specific processor? What company do you not find "worrisome"? Did you write off Nintendo when they created the Virtual Boy? Did you given up on Microsoft just because the first XBox wasn't that great? So, yeah, Sony cannot magically see into the future. I don't think you'll be consuming much if you only buy things from companies with psychic ablities.

Spare me the lame facetiousness, please. I find it annoying.

I just happen to consider future-proofing products of culture like games somewhat important. Not only because it is a nice service for a costumer like me to be able get more bang for my buck, but future generations should be able to experience retro gaming too. If the only available substitute is a "sub-par experience" as you called it in your first reply, that might make the enjoyment part kind of hard.

"And why do we need a new console generation? It's just a gimmicky controller with more buttons; why the hell would I need more than A and B? Press C to shit your trousers? Better graphics? Bollocks to that. If a game like Final Fantasy can tell a complex story in 8-bits, what the hell is better graphics going to do for the story? Allow me to see his zits coming in when he hits puberty? They don't even allow for backwards compatibility; who the fuck would ditch their massive library of perfectly capable games for some obscenely expensive piece of equipment with almost no games? Console gaming might very well be dead."

-Yahtzee, if he was a game critic in 1988.

El Portero:
Also, I'm not entirely sure what the order of Nintendo games he's played has to do with his opinion on PC gaming.

The gist of it was that it sounded like he had never owned a Nintendo console before the GameCube. Which would be consistent with the theory that he had never owned a console at all before that generation. I realize it came off as a bit of a non-sequitur the way I put it.

irishda:
"And why do we need a new console generation? It's just a gimmicky controller with more buttons; why the hell would I need more than A and B? Press C to shit your trousers? Better graphics? Bollocks to that. If a game like Final Fantasy can tell a complex story in 8-bits, what the hell is better graphics going to do for the story? Allow me to see his zits coming in when he hits puberty? They don't even allow for backwards compatibility; who the fuck would ditch their massive library of perfectly capable games for some obscenely expensive piece of equipment with almost no games? Console gaming might very well be dead."

-Yahtzee, if he was a game critic in 1988.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that in this generation, gamers were introduced into digital content - which won't be available on the next generation due to the lack of backwards compatibility. All of those digital copies and DLC won't be accessible from the new consoles, and we know that it's only a matter of time (two years is my guess) before Microsoft and Sony will close the current XBL and PSN networks in favor of the new ones that will be used with the new consoles.

One of the reasons that I'm a PC gamer because of the PC's backwards-compatibility.

rob_simple:

That isn't the same thing, but at least you managed to be both rude and incredibly hostile while missing the point. Mario and Sonic were mascots for their respective consoles, it's quite different from exclusives. Also, just for the record, I got a Mega Drive because that's what my parents bought me; my best friend had a SNES because that's what his parents bought him. It had nothing to do with exclusives or brand loyalty, it was just down to whichever advert we saw on the television first, and what Toys R Us still had in stock two weeks before Christmas. You're applying modern-day consumer psychology to what was an entirely different market twenty years ago.

Today 'exclusive' has become a dirty word for third-party developers picking allegiances between three companies when multi-platform releases make much more sense; financially and from the point of view of the consumer. You'll still never find Mario on a non-Nintendo console, though, because he's a Nintendo character. See the difference?

There are no exclusive games that would sway me, today, because they ultimately all play pretty much the same as something else you'll find on a competing console, and that's the real problem with mainstream gaming: it's become a dull, homogenised mass because publishers think that copying the winner instead of coming up with something different is the best strategy.

So you can find, say, a Ratchet and Clank game with the same care and attention that Insomniac puts into it on the 360? Please point me in that direction.

I too could quote Jim mindlessly while missing the whole point. Also it's spelled homogenized, escapist has a spell checker and you couldn't be bothered to right click it and correct it? Talk about lazy.

So you don't count Mario only being on a Nintendo system as exclusive? Yeah OK, keep talking nonsense.

A lot of people are going to lose a lot of money. Who in their right mind will even consider buying the new consoles coming out? Most of us are too broke right now for that kind of money burning activity. Goodbye PS4 and goodbye Xbox Super Online Fun Time Mega Derp 9000, the stillborn console gen.

Current PC gaming is still a joke filled with bad, bad games (maybe Torment will actually be good, finger's crossed). Me, I'm perfectly fine with the hundreds of actually good games I get on older consoles instead. Already got enough good games to last me a lifetime, so the new generation can bumble around as much as it wants.

These days, the only time to buy a console is at the end of its lifetime, when you can just snatch the new games for cheap. :)

It never will. You've resigned yourself to being the main demographic of the AAA console industry. A faithful consumer who is unable to enjoy anything else but the stuff you're already comfortable with. And let's be honest here, if inFamous had been released to the PC, it wouldn't be on your list and you'd still be telling me that PC games hold no interest for you.

That's nonsense. PC games are very homogenous, whereas console games are far more varied. That is why a lot of people prefer consoles.

You whining about trple AAA is stupid there, because most people who prefer consoles are actually *not* usually thinking of AAA games as good. AAA gaming is really just PC gaming, and can be done better on a PC.

The real issue the PC platform has is creative bancruptcy. I played PC games when they weren't same-y nonsense, and actually had heart and character. Today, you can only find that in the Indy game scene. Incredipede is a good example.

Years ago, that was PC mainstream :/ Nowadays PC mainsteam is just the same kind of games that look the same, have the same characters and play the same. Diversity in PC gaming has been shot outside of a few indy game studios.

(Correction: Not just Torment to look forward to, Transistor as well!)

Phaeton99:
When one considers the harbingers, this looks not unlike the lead-up to an industry implosion on par with the console crash of 1983

It's completely unlike the console crash of 1983. In 1983, games were simply not an accepted mainstream activity like they are now. And people were reluctant to bring these electronic devices into their homes. They needed a good excuse like "we can use a home computer to do our taxes" or "a computer will help Billy do his homework." And that's how home computers took the lead from consoles.

Those conditions simply don;t exist anymore. We're surrounded by electronic gadgets, gaming is a normal pastime enjoyed by all ages, and people already use computers at work, and don't necessarily want to keep using them when they get home. Any comparison to the 80s console crash shows a real lack of understanding of history and context.

Doom972:
The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that in this generation, gamers were introduced into digital content

That's so incredibly wrong. Gamers have always been using digital content. The cartridges on an Atari 2600 were digital.

Doom972:
... and we know that it's only a matter of time (two years is my guess) before Microsoft and Sony will close the current XBL and PSN networks in favor of the new ones that will be used with the new consoles.

How do we know that? What's your source for this information?

How do you know they won't merge the current online systems into the new ones? People have mentioned in this thread that they will lose their trophies, achievements, etc. That seems a little ridiculous - it's a minimal amount of data, why wouldn't they just import this into your new account? It would cost almost nothing, and encourage customer loyalty.

Having a new console doesn't mean they have to shut down their old networks or make the new ones incompatible with older systems.

Agreed Yahtzee, I hate how the consoles are really trying to compete with the PC yet they don't realize it that its better. When I get a new PC fuck consoles forever and there stupid creators.

TheAsterite:
Also it's spelled homogenized, escapist has a spell checker...

Actually, "homogenised" is how it's spelt outside of the US. It's not a misspelling.

I'm also pretty sure that The Escapist website itself does not have a spell checker - that's a function of your browser, and it uses the dictionary that you choose in preferences. So, if you use a UK or Australian English dictionary (for example) "homogenized" will be underlined as incorrect, but "homogenised" will not be.

TheAsterite:

So you can find, say, a Ratchet and Clank game with the same care and attention that Insomniac puts into it on the 360? Please point me in that direction.

I too could quote Jim mindlessly while missing the whole point. Also it's spelled homogenized, escapist has a spell checker and you couldn't be bothered to right click it and correct it? Talk about lazy.

So you don't count Mario only being on a Nintendo system as exclusive? Yeah OK, keep talking nonsense.

Uh huh, and you might have had a point before the Ratchet and Clank games became dull paint-by-numbers shadows of their former selves with needless forced multiplayer gimmicks.

Also, maybe in America that's how it's spelled, but as a general rule of thumb I find that the British spelling always replaces the 'z' with and 's'; I ignore the spellchecker on my browser because it's an American dictionary. Good job picking me up on my spelling though -two hundred-odd words and I spelled one wrong, god I'm such a pig- that is absolutely not the last bastion of a man with no leg left to stand on.

Also, who is Jim? You need to be more specific if you're going to accuse me of mindlessly parroting the words of someone I don't know anything about.

Of course Mario is an exclusive, I was just pointing out that your whole Mario vs. Sonic argument didn't equate to modern day exclusives because it's a completely different market. Mario vs. Sonic was more about marketing than actual games; both companies were trying to appeal to kids more with their mascots by putting them in cartoons and on every piece of merchandise they could. Nowadays exclusives largely don't matter, because the majority of them, like Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy, ultimately end up on all the consoles, and the ones that don't are all pretty samey, anyway, (can't play Killzone? Doesn't matter, there's any number of dull, repetitive shooters on the PC and 360.)

Essentially the entire premise of your argument is built on a foundation of sand, and I think you know it as you've resorted to insulting users who call you out or pulling them up on their spelling.

j1015:
"And I, for one, am not going to burn all my photos just because you invented a shiny new photo album that only holds photos of an approved shape and format."

A lot of times I agree with you. However, on this point not only are you wrong, your point is fucking retarded. Why can't the old system be treated the same way as when you run out of room in your old photo album? Put on the shelf until you want to play with it again.

It's really lazy to continue harping on backward-compatibility when so many gamers don't even use it. We always want the next thing. New phones, TV's, clothes, furniture etc. Some of those things we can and do use again. And when we need to put on a shirt that is three years old, we go to the closet and put it on. Old consoles can be the same way. BC is nice, but it's an arrogant, simple-minded thing to get bent out of shape over, as though you're owed this luxury. And when it comes down to it, that's all it is.

As the consumer, we have a right to make demands of a product. I shouldn't have to dig out my old console and hook it all up to the telly every time I want to play a game that I could just as easily put in my new console and run. If they spent less time putting R&D into all the useless social media bells and whistles that no one wanted or asked for, then they would probably have found a reliable way to emulate games on the PS4 right back to the PSX. But then that would cut into that precious revenue stream they've got going on the PSN; charging up to 8 for fifteen year old games, some of which we already own but can't play because they removed backward compatibility from the PS3.

When it comes to electronics, less should always be more. That's why I don't need to carry my phone, MP3 player and Gameboy with me when I go out anymore: I have all three on my iPhone. New products are supposed to streamline the service, not lump us with another giant box every five or six years, until our houses start to resemble one of those computer rooms from the 70's.

You're right it's a luxury item, but when it's a luxury item I'm spending upwards of three-hundred quid on, you better believe I'm entitled to bitch and moan when they jettison genuinely good features in favour of shit no one cares about.

rob_simple:
As the consumer, we have a right to make demands of a product.

But you don't have the right to receive the things you "demand" unless it's an explicit feature that's not working as promised, or other faulty merchandise covered by consumer protection laws. Companies aren't obliged to give you what you want, just as you are not obliged to give them your money.

Well, I can't really argue with that, considering I've been spending a lot of time with a PS1 & an NDS. The polygon graphics that turned me off to 3D gaming in the late 90s are beckoning to me like a topless red-haired siren, or a basket of fluffy kittens. I'm quite sick of realism & I want bright colors & cartoony models now.

Aardvaarkman:

rob_simple:
As the consumer, we have a right to make demands of a product.

But you don't have the right to receive the things you "demand" unless it's an explicit feature that's not working as promised, or other faulty merchandise covered by consumer protection laws. Companies aren't obliged to give you what you want, just as you are not obliged to give them your money.

True, but it is the company's purpose to give it's customers what they want, or else lose sales. I won't be buying a PS4 when it comes out, possibly ever, because I don't want to lose my entire PS3 game library, (I know I'd still have it but having to set up my console up every time I want to play one game is more hassle than it's worth,) in exchange for...what? A slightly more powerful machine? Games on the PS3 already look amazing, the worlds are already massive; there is absolutely nothing a hardware upgrade could do for me.

I know it sounds stupid to say I won't buy a new console just because I can't play old games on it, but it's rapidly becoming a crucial feature given that we've seen next to nothing regarding next-gen launch titles, as Sony and Microsoft both seem more interested in who can have the shiniest graphics or the most processing power (while the PC sits quietly in the corner, smirking and lighting a cigar) while they all forget that gaming is supposed to be about the games, not the hardware specs.

I appreciate that I am not reflective of every gamer out there, but I know there are a lot of us who would be more likely to buy a PS4 if BC was an option, and who give less than a shit about social media integration or whatever else they're currently trailing to attract the Farmville market.

If you ask me, Sony's decision to abandon BC is only going to harm them in the long run as more people decide to stick with the massive game library they've already got at their disposal, instead of spunking five hundred quid on a new machine that has five games (the majority of which are sequels) to it's name.

TL;DR: I'm not owed anything, but it's in the company's best interests to keep the consumer on-side unless they want to continue hemorrhaging money.

Aardvaarkman:

But you don't have the right to receive the things you "demand" unless it's an explicit feature that's not working as promised, or other faulty merchandise covered by consumer protection laws. Companies aren't obliged to give you what you want, just as you are not obliged to give them your money.

While that's completely true, I think the relationship between the consumer and producer is changing.
In the last console generation, game companies have started making demands of the consumer; more than just an exchange of money for a game.

Origin and Steam both request access to your computer (Origin legally demands access to your entire hard drive, since it's so vaguely defined). Targeted advertisements are appearing on Xbox Live. The threat of Always-Online is growing stronger each year, and the biggest companies want to turn gaming into a service.

Some of those demands are getting a bit "personal". If companies want to move closer to consumers (for whatever reason) via their products and services, it's not unreasonable to expect an elevated consumer response; be it "entitled" or otherwise.

Aardvaarkman:

Doom972:
The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that in this generation, gamers were introduced into digital content

That's so incredibly wrong. Gamers have always been using digital content. The cartridges on an Atari 2600 were digital.

Doom972:
... and we know that it's only a matter of time (two years is my guess) before Microsoft and Sony will close the current XBL and PSN networks in favor of the new ones that will be used with the new consoles.

How do we know that? What's your source for this information?

How do you know they won't merge the current online systems into the new ones? People have mentioned in this thread that they will lose their trophies, achievements, etc. That seems a little ridiculous - it's a minimal amount of data, why wouldn't they just import this into your new account? It would cost almost nothing, and encourage customer loyalty.

Having a new console doesn't mean they have to shut down their old networks or make the new ones incompatible with older systems.

I was talking about digital copies of games and DLC - not the other stuff you mentioned. As for the current networks being closed in favor of new ones - I might be wrong, but that's not the main issue anyway. If you'd like to think that it won't happen, I won't argue about it.

Gorfias:

Not sure why the venom not at PS3, just the 360. The PS3 has 256 Meg of RAM. Hey, I love the PS3, and have 2 in two different room (I'm a family man with kids). But its pretty accepted that cross platform game released concurrently on both systems (and that is most games) perform just a little bit better on the 360.

That's a fair point. I didn't say anything about my ps3 because I didn't know the specs and I haven't played enough games to justify the rant, so I picked the easier target (what with it's outdated disc format, it's piss-poor tiny HDD, it's budget PC specs, and low-res crappy graphics-I-don't-care-how-shiny-UT3's-Engine-makes-textures-to-hide-the-imperfections).

If we can just get one more solid console from both parties that does 60 frames at 1080p with thousands of on-screen elements, FXAA, pixel-perfect vanishing-point draw distances, and split second processing there won't be a graphical necessity for 10 years this time, maybe forever.

I have to admit, after going on 8 years, there's nothing they can introduce on the PS3 regarding graphics that is going to excite me. They've pretty much hit the envelope and they've done a great job on both systems.

Agreed. Now that you've exposed those spec elements for the ps3 I've gotta agree it's time they take to this next and hopefully final tier of power specs.

I have plenty to play on the PS3 so, if you want to get my attention about upcoming console games, it's going to have to be on a new console. For me, it is time. But there is more competition than ever before and this really may be their last hurrah. As much was written about the Vita. In a land of Tegra 2 phones and tablets, it is unnecessary, but if Sony is going to take a try at it, they did a pretty good job. And this may be true of consoles. A few nuts like me may move up, but 10 years from now, you'll download better games directly to your TV set. For now, you may forgo improved graphics and do things like build a gaming PC, get the $100 Ouya or Gamestick, heck, phones that connect to a TV and a wireless controller.

Yeah competition is getting more horizontal and going much wider than deeper these past 3 years and onward. Haven't played many tablet games yet, but I hope to change that soon enough. I really wanna expand my horizons beyond "Triple AAA library only."

I just hope they don't screw up with "always online" type stuff. They can scare me away. I'm already discounting the 360 next due to the rumors. I hope they are untrue.

If the negative press was enough to get that small fry Orth fired from Microsoft, there's almost no chance of Always Online.

As for forgoing great graphics and just going for great, innovative games, while I do have an Android phone, I have to admit the 3DS is very tempting.

Especially with the XL's larger screen and the pointless 3D turned off. I've always wanted to play the Phoenix Wright series.

rob_simple:
True, but it is the company's purpose to give it's customers what they want, or else lose sales.

Not really. A company's purpose is to make money. There are plenty of companies that do that by persuading people that they want their product, even if it's not really what they want. There are entire industries built on false wants disguised as needs.

Hell, there are entire companies that aren't even customer-facing. There are companies that make products which are sold because of regulatory requirements, etc., not because they are desired products. Does anybody really want to have their car serviced by a mechanic? No, but it's something that has to be done, or your car will die.

Games on the PS3 already look amazing, the worlds are already massive; there is absolutely nothing a hardware upgrade could do for me

I'd appreciate faster loading times, and would especially appreciate a better use interface than the wretched thing that is currently on the PS3. But, yeah, I'm not running out to buy a PS4 until a compelling reason comes along.

Doom972:
I was talking about digital copies of games and DLC - not the other stuff you mentioned.

But when have copies of games not been digital? That's my entire point. Why are you talking about "digital games" as something new, when the medium has always been digital?

As for the current networks being closed in favor of new ones - I might be wrong, but that's not the main issue anyway. If you'd like to think that it won't happen, I won't argue about it.

I don't know if it it will or will not happen. But you stated "we all know" as if this was common knowledge, and we have any idea of what the companies plan to do with their online networks.

Aardvaarkman:

rob_simple:
True, but it is the company's purpose to give it's customers what they want, or else lose sales.

Not really. A company's purpose is to make money. There are plenty of companies that do that by persuading people that they want their product, even if it's not really what they want. There are entire industries built on false wants disguised as needs.

Hell, there are entire companies that aren't even customer-facing. There are companies that make products which are sold because of regulatory requirements, etc., not because they are desired products. Does anybody really want to have their car serviced by a mechanic? No, but it's something that has to be done, or your car will die.

You can't apply the same psychology to different markets like that. In terms of luxury items, I think there was a time when what you are saying was true, but consumers are becoming more and more informed on their purchasing decisions, and companies aren't doing nearly enough to keep up; especially in the gaming world.

Even as recent as the PS2, they used to get away with releasing games that flat-out didn't work; it was a common occurrence and we just had to roll over and let it happen. Now we're starting to see real shit storms with things like Aliens: Colonial Marines marketing deception, Sim City's busted always-online DRM and the Mass Effect 3 ending scandal. Of course you could argue in some cases that the results we see are only small, and also that the complaints aren't always justified, but as consumers, gamers have made it clear they're not afraid to say what they want and what they don't.

Game companies can continue to ignore that of course, they can continue to do what they want and they'll still manage to wring money out of a good wedge of their customers, but that is only going to work up to a point. You only have to look at the number of publishers/developers declaring losses or shutting down altogether to see that there's a big change coming, and the AAA industry has no one to blame but itself.

It's pretty much exactly the same thing that happened with the music industry: for years stores like HMV charged exorbitant fees for CD's because we had no choice but to pay them for what we wanted. There were no real alternatives until Napster came along and changed everything, because suddenly we didn't have to bend to their whim.

Then, just like with major game companies blaming the used game market today, the music industry blamed a lack of morals in the general public as the reason no one was buying CD's for ridiculously inflated prices anymore, willfully ignoring all the success places like the iTunes store were having by charging reasonable prices for goods.

I can see the same thing happening with AAA gaming: the industry is going to collapse in on itself eventually, and then all the indie developers, the little guys who still remember that gaming is about the games, will pop up and start reaping the benefits held by respecting your customers and giving them what they want at fair prices.

Personally, I'm looking forward to it.

Triality:

I didn't say anything about my ps3 because I didn't know the specs and I haven't played enough games to justify the rant, so I picked the easier target (what with it's outdated disc format, it's piss-poor tiny HDD, it's budget PC specs, and low-res crappy graphics-I-don't-care-how-shiny-UT3's-Engine-makes-textures-to-hide-the-imperfections).

Yikes! My 360 died last fall after over 6 years of service. I forgot so much bad about it! I limped along with a 20 Gig HD that the operating system took about 10 Gig of to start with (I put a non-proprietary 500 Gig in my fat PS3). And Bluray has been terrific vs. 360 DVD. And I paid $100 for a wireless device and $60 a year for onlive. Now that I think of it, I'm glad it's dead!!!! Forces me to focus on things like Uncharted 3.

The tablets have been amazing and cheap. Most of the games are on par with simple 360 arcade stuff. Lot of it is free, a lot of it cost under $5. And some of it looks almost AAA for $5ish.

Can't say anything regarding the next Xbox since I haven't been keeping track.

As for the PS4, based on developer quotes, I believe it's fairly well received. Developers will welcome the increase in capabilities - more processing power and a ton more RAM means it's easier on their programmers. Sony also appears to have learned from the PS3. The PS4 will be a lot easier to program for, having a PC-like architecture - if not better as it has unified memory.

As for art, I think that will plateau by itself sooner or later and we don't need to worry too much about it. I mean the movie industry hasn't gone broke now has it. The industry will hit an equilibrium with regards to production cost. The bean counters working for the likes of EA aren't stupid.

Aardvaarkman:

Doom972:
I was talking about digital copies of games and DLC - not the other stuff you mentioned.

But when have copies of games not been digital? That's my entire point. Why are you talking about "digital games" as something new, when the medium has always been digital?

By digital, I meant download-only. As in, games that you buy through a service like XBL and PSN and download them to your console. I hope that my point about DLC was obvious.

As for the current networks being closed in favor of new ones - I might be wrong, but that's not the main issue anyway. If you'd like to think that it won't happen, I won't argue about it.

I don't know if it it will or will not happen. But you stated "we all know" as if this was common knowledge, and we have any idea of what the companies plan to do with their online networks.[/quote]

It seems obvious to me. If it doesn't seem obvious to you, I won't argue with you about it.

I do love the constant refrains of "Just keep the old console too" or "No-one's forcing you to buy the new one". Imagine the same situation in the 80's with music.

In the beginning was tape (well okay it wasn't but bear with me) then came CD and now mp3, but imagine if the music you owned on tape couldn't be transferred to CD and was never released in that format. Imagine the jump to mp3 in exactly the same way.

Oh well you just don't buy the new CD/mp3 player. Great except you won't be able to play any new music at all and the only music you can play are your frozen-at-that-point collection.

Well just keep your old tape/CD player and use that for one type. Great until the hardware breaks; oops sorry we don't stock/repair/make those any more.

The new consoles aren't upgrades, they're not additions; they're replacements. Who's asking for a replacement? I'm not; are you?

zefiris:

The real issue the PC platform has is creative bancruptcy. I played PC games when they weren't same-y nonsense, and actually had heart and character. Today, you can only find that in the Indy game scene. Incredipede is a good example.

Years ago, that was PC mainstream :/ Nowadays PC mainsteam is just the same kind of games that look the same, have the same characters and play the same. Diversity in PC gaming has been shot outside of a few indy game studios.

Wat.

Are you arguing that the PC has less diversity? How?

The only genres in my experience the PC doesn't have much games in is fighting games and JRPGs. (And many big fighting games have started to release on PC)

Consoles on the other hand have practically ZERO strategy games, simulator games (Racing/flying games for example are very arcady on consoles, mainly due to lack of buttons.) , MMOs (Those that have tried usually suck), MOBAs etc. The latter two especially are a huge demographic these days.

Also, I'm pretty sure the indie scene is alot stronger on PC, seeing as theres not nearly as many hurdles to jump when publishing your game on PC, instead of dedicated services like PSN or Xbox live.

Blachman201:

Clovus:

A lack of foresight? So, Sony should have realized that they might lose backwards compatability on a system that is almost 10 years old? So, therefore they shouldn't have bothered trying to engineer a game specific processor? What company do you not find "worrisome"? Did you write off Nintendo when they created the Virtual Boy? Did you given up on Microsoft just because the first XBox wasn't that great? So, yeah, Sony cannot magically see into the future. I don't think you'll be consuming much if you only buy things from companies with psychic ablities.

Spare me the lame facetiousness, please. I find it annoying.

I just happen to consider future-proofing products of culture like games somewhat important. Not only because it is a nice service for a costumer like me to be able get more bang for my buck, but future generations should be able to experience retro gaming too. If the only available substitute is a "sub-par experience" as you called it in your first reply, that might make the enjoyment part kind of hard.

I'm gonna' just keep writing the way I write regardless of you finding it annoying. Sorry.

I don't think there's any problem with "future-proofing" until someone makes a console that cannot be emulated. Do you want all game consoles to somehow have backwards compatability for all previous generations? That just seems untenable. It's not that hard to find the last generations console, and beyound that I think you are asking for too much.

Even if backwards compatability is included, it's often not that great even without the complications of a streamed system like Gaikai. For example, I found playing Gamecube games on the Wii to not be a great experience. It was cool that the Wii could do that, but I wouldn't consider that future proofing.

Anyway, the main reason I replied originally was that I was unsure why you thought Sony specifically was something to be worried about. But, it sounds like you have a general problem with how the console market works. Did you also not want PCs to move from 32 to 64 bit since that would cause some problems with older titles? Technology has to keep moving forward. Backwards compatability and future proofing cannot be the main consideration, which they would have to be to achieve what you seem to want.

I'm just done with the console market. I really thought that having my purchases tied to an account would mean that I would get to keep them until Sony went out of business and shut down their servers.

But no. Not even my downloadable indie titles will work. That is ridiculous. I'm not buying a new console for several hundred dollars when I have plenty of games that I haven't even played yet on my old one.

I'm leaning towards the PC more and more. I'm done with this crap. If I want my JRPG or Nintendo fix I have my 3DS. I don't need a console. I just need someone to loan me $600 so I can build a decent gaming rig.

Clovus:

Blachman201:

Clovus:

A lack of foresight? So, Sony should have realized that they might lose backwards compatability on a system that is almost 10 years old? So, therefore they shouldn't have bothered trying to engineer a game specific processor? What company do you not find "worrisome"? Did you write off Nintendo when they created the Virtual Boy? Did you given up on Microsoft just because the first XBox wasn't that great? So, yeah, Sony cannot magically see into the future. I don't think you'll be consuming much if you only buy things from companies with psychic ablities.

Spare me the lame facetiousness, please. I find it annoying.

I just happen to consider future-proofing products of culture like games somewhat important. Not only because it is a nice service for a costumer like me to be able get more bang for my buck, but future generations should be able to experience retro gaming too. If the only available substitute is a "sub-par experience" as you called it in your first reply, that might make the enjoyment part kind of hard.

I'm gonna' just keep writing the way I write regardless of you finding it annoying. Sorry.

I don't think there's any problem with "future-proofing" until someone makes a console that cannot be emulated. Do you want all game consoles to somehow have backwards compatability for all previous generations? That just seems untenable. It's not that hard to find the last generations console, and beyound that I think you are asking for too much.

Even if backwards compatability is included, it's often not that great even without the complications of a streamed system like Gaikai. For example, I found playing Gamecube games on the Wii to not be a great experience. It was cool that the Wii could do that, but I wouldn't consider that future proofing.

Anyway, the main reason I replied originally was that I was unsure why you thought Sony specifically was something to be worried about. But, it sounds like you have a general problem with how the console market works. Did you also not want PCs to move from 32 to 64 bit since that would cause some problems with older titles? Technology has to keep moving forward. Backwards compatability and future proofing cannot be the main consideration, which they would have to be to achieve what you seem to want.

Why the hell would a console not be able to be emulated. Also, it doesn't seem untenable to me for one console to be able to emulate the others. I can emulate the PS1 on a 2 MB program, why the hell can't the PS4 at least do that?

You found playing gamecube games on wii not to be a great experience? What the hell does that even mean? Why would something like gaikai make it better?

It's future-proofing by increasing the amount of machines which can play a given game, since hardware dies eventually and any console has a limited supply. Quite frankly I think it's a moot point because consoles can be emulated eventually and digitally seems to be the only way to hold them from the abyss forever though.

Backwards compatibility isn't really about future-proofing though it's about a smooth transition and making one console an absolute upgrade of the previous one.I have used my own PS2 more times while owning a PS3 than I have used the PS3 in that same time period, and every time I used the PS2 I was frustrated. It has a broken disk drive that works on start-up like 1/15 times, and there was the hastle of moving it around every time I wanted to play a game. Normally if an appliance breaks and there's an upgraded version of it (and new consoles should be upgrades) I should be able to just buy/use the upgrade. Using your 64-32 bit example: In what scenario should I go out and buy a computer/OS that uses 32-bit (barring me being poor), because if I had neither the PS2 would just be a better buy than the PS3, even after it's been out for 8 years and even if they were the same price. Also: How much harder would the transition to 64-bit have been if every game made before the transition was now unplayable on any modern day PC? Don't act like this is just "some problems with older titles", that's absolutely ridiculous.

schmulki:
In the past year, I don't know if I've turned on my 360 more than 2 times, my PS3 is used exclusively as a Blu Ray player.

Also, and this is a bit off-topic, I know, but the other answer is tabletop gaming. Many board/card games are just more fan-friendly and more fun than video games right now.

I agree with every single thing you've said, but definitely had to single out these two bits to share my current situation. My PS3 is now solely used as a blu-ray player / netflix box to play stuff in the background of our gameroom while me and my family, or group of friends, play Arkham Horror + expansions. Way more fun than any mutiplayer video game I've played in a long freaking time.

As the first poster on this mentioned, it's come full circle for me, my intro to video gaming came with a Magnavox Odyssey system and a bit later an NES, but I first really got into gaming when I built a 486DX2 PC (god I used to love me some TIE Fighter). For years, despite owning and playing SNES/Genesis/PS1/PS2/Xbox they were second-string to the PC gaming scene for me. At somepoint during the life cycle of the PS2 though, when they were really hitting their stride, at about the same point PC hardware seemed be taking a great leap forward and invalidating most of my current setup, I switched to consoles, and had fun with it for a bit- until the introduction of the ship-now-patch-later model to console games. Once you didn't have to ship a complete, tested, approved product- I saw a shit storm a' blowing. At that point, some of the small frustrations of PC gaming that had built up over the years didn't look that much different than what was going on in the console world. And then my Xbox red-ringed. Then my PS3 YLOD'ed. Then my current PC had a motherboard failure.

Guess which one of them I bothered fixing, because it was cheap and I could do it myself, and could be reasonably assured that it was really fixed?

*This Post now enchanted with Resist Fire* ...then again it was just after that when I realized I was getting a bit older and had enough things around the house to be constantly tinkering with and I deal with computer/server problems all day, so I just bought an Alienware Aurora R3 with an outstanding warranty and discount from dell through work, lol. Couldn't be happier, does what I want, and at least one of my consoles can be used as a netflix box without having to renew a paywall.

mike1921:
Why the hell would a console not be able to be emulated. Also, it doesn't seem untenable to me for one console to be able to emulate the others. I can emulate the PS1 on a 2 MB program, why the hell can't the PS4 at least do that?

That as my point. We don't need "future proofing" since consoles can be emulated. There's not much of a chance for a game to simply become unplayable just because a current console won't play it.

Yeah, I don't see any reason a PS4 can't emulate a PS1. I guess they don't build that in because they'd rather sell you a version of the game on PSN. Now, the PS4 probably has zero chance of emulating the PS3.

You found playing gamecube games on wii not to be a great experience? What the hell does that even mean? Why would something like gaikai make it better?

I should have left that out. I just didn't enjoy it. I don't think Gaikai would make things better really. Maybe it's just because the built in emulation of the Wii was a bit off sometimes. I remember enjoying NES emulators. I'll admit that I didn't make much sense here.

It's future-proofing by increasing the amount of machines which can play a given game, since hardware dies eventually and any console has a limited supply. Quite frankly I think it's a moot point because consoles can be emulated eventually and digitally seems to be the only way to hold them from the abyss forever though.

Yeah, I agree with this.

Backwards compatibility isn't really about future-proofing though it's about a smooth transition and making one console an absolute upgrade of the previous one.

Yeah, I agree with this. I was only talking about future proofing because the other guy mentioned it.

I have used my own PS2 more times while owning a PS3 than I have used the PS3 in that same time period, and every time I used the PS2 I was frustrated. It has a broken disk drive that works on start-up like 1/15 times, and there was the hastle of moving it around every time I wanted to play a game. Normally if an appliance breaks and there's an upgraded version of it (and new consoles should be upgrades) I should be able to just buy/use the upgrade. Using your 64-32 bit example: In what scenario should I go out and buy a computer/OS that uses 32-bit (barring me being poor), because if I had neither the PS2 would just be a better buy than the PS3, even after it's been out for 8 years and even if they were the same price. Also: How much harder would the transition to 64-bit have been if every game made before the transition was now unplayable on any modern day PC? Don't act like this is just "some problems with older titles", that's absolutely ridiculous.

I'm pretty sure the 32-bit to 64-bit (and some of the OS upgrades) made a few older PC titles harder to play.

I'm not saying that this just has to do with older titles - why the quotation marks? If backwards compatability can be achieved, I think that's absolutely fantastic. But, wouldn't you agree that especially with the PS4, it would be very difficult to achieve it since the architecture is comletely different? They'd pretty much have to include a Cell processor in the PS4. That's a pretty signficant extra cost to just achieve backwards compatability.

Lots of people enjoy playing older games (I just bought KOTOR II, for example), but they aren't in the majority. You will still be able to get a PS3 with little difficulty for years to play those titles. After that, you'll be able to emulate them. That's not an ideal solution - an ideal solution would be using the PS4 to play them. But, achieving that particular solution has little chance of being a good return on investment for Sony. Clearly that was the case with the Emotion engine. Sony dropped that, and apparently have learned from that experience that it's not worth the extra cost. Every extra cost drives the product's price up - and pricing was a huge problem for Sony last time. I don't think it's crazy for them to try and avoid that this time around.

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