The Price Is Not Right

The Price Is Not Right

Let's look at current generation console prices to date, in U.S. dollars. Nintendo's Wii rings up at about $250. Microsoft's Xbox 360's three flavors include the $300 Core pack, the $400 Premium edition, and the $480 Elite. Sony's PlayStation 3 is available in $500 and $600 options. All other things being equal, the Wii's price is obviously the most attractive, which might explain why it's outselling the 360 by about 2-to-1, and the PS3 by about 4-to-1.

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This is like trying to compare a £2 watch with one that is £100. The cheaper watch is definatly going to sell more but does that mean that people will only pay £2 for any watch? Of course not!

The only thing that Nintendo has done is avoid trying to target the same market as Sony and Microsoft because they know they can not compete. As they are targeting a totally different market with a differant product how on earth can you compare them on the number being sold?

An interesting point of view, but I think that it would be far more likely that as gaming expands it is going to break down into the same rough market distribution we find in almost every other market I can think of off the top of my head.

You have the elite - cream of the crop - best of the best - In our current generation I suppose Both the PS3 and the Xbox360 are arguing for it (at least in the console world) Yet neither come close to the cost of maintaining a truly cutting edge system.. The PC. High End new PCs will easily dwarf the cost of any console, or even all 3 big players and even include a high def tv to play them on along with several games. It's THAT big of a difference.

Next down we'll find the midrange value, this is generally going to be the price point on the curve where discerning buyers will get the most value for their dollar. (When value matters - this is key) Nintendo Wii is trying to fit in here, I think it's falling short in some ways and succeeding admirably in others. In the Computer market there are PCs built by dell that you can buy for 400 with a monitor, and the fit here too. They're perfectly fine, but don't pretend it's a gaming rig.

At the bottom end we'll find the lower end stuff, PC's that are bought used come here, as do at the moment in the videogame chain the handheld items. This is NOT to say that we can't find great value at these price points. But in general I expect a market to show a 50+% jump each time you go up a step. So 50% of all market users will be on the bottom, 75% in the bottom 2, 82.5% in three, so on, and 50% I pulled out of nowhere, but it gives you an idea of the distribution I'm trying to show.

Example -> Restaurants
Most people dine out. Most people do not dine out at restaurants that normally cost $1000 for a meal. Very few dine out at 100$ a meal. There are more who will dine out at $50,25, all the way down till you hit fast food, and It's no suprise to anyone that McDonalds still has a long line.

Example -> Games
Given that the crowd we are looking at are all gamers. Most gamers do not spend $20,000 on gaming in any given year. Very few spend $10,000 on gaming. Even less as we go down until we hit your lowest end games. I don't think the DS is your fast food, I think it's probably the handheld games in toy isles, possibly the cell phone games.

Now that I've rambled a bit, The real point I'm making is that a lesser price is certainly going to affect sale numbers. Much more telling about value is how far a product will sell beyond it's normal range. This requires defining at what spot in that range a product is. How well the Wii sells to gamers who normally play cell phone games only, or weren't even gamers before, and how well it sells to the person who still buys a 10,000 dollar computer every year are very telling signs of it's value. I think the only semi-accurate graph I could envision to compare sales to value is one where you saw how well a product sold on a graph where the purchases are adjusted by their cost relative to the buyer's income. related graphs would be the buyer's normal expenditures in that area, and comparable products with the same customers.

At the end of all this speculation and number crunching I would argue you could find a "best value". But it would all mean nothing to you if you didn't like the product. That started as my 2 cents and got way out of hand.

Here are inflation-adjusted and unadjusted graphs showing the prices of consoles throughout history. The most immediately obvious thing I note is that no console with an inflation-adjusted base MSRP above US$400 has met with major market success since the Atari 2600. In real terms, no console with an unadjusted base MSRP above US$300 has met with major market success. When you draw the US$300 line on the unadjusted graph, look at what drops out: Atari 5200, Neo Geo, CD-i, Saturn, and PlayStation3.

I suspect that's part of the reason for the existence of the Xbox 360 Core System at US$299.

Ajar:
The most immediately obvious thing I note is that no console with an inflation-adjusted base MSRP above US$400 has met with major market success since the Atari 2600. In real terms, no console with an unadjusted base MSRP above US$300 has met with major market success. When you draw the US$300 line on the unadjusted graph, look at what drops out: Atari 5200, Neo Geo, CD-i, Saturn, and PlayStation3.

I think it might also be prudent to consider which consoles faired poorly that were too far below the adjusted lines. I imagine like most things, a sweet spot will exist.

Can anyone take these figures and adjust them for console sales? possibly with a break down of per year since launch as a second graph?

Why is the Wii considered risk-averse? They went in the opposite direction of the next-gen console trend and thats risk-averse? They could have fallen flat on their faces with their "gimmick" but it has been working so far.

Also, saying the game play lacks depth isn't founded either. It's a new controller and developers will have to get used to that; deep game play will come with time. If you have only played Wii Sports I can understand your gripe, but thats not the only type of game available for the console. The whole "take in the general feeling for the console" thing that seems so popular just doesn't speak to the actual situation. Are there a good bit of shallow games? Sure. However, there are deeper games. I don't sit around and play every title that comes out, I don't have the time or the money, but I find the ones I do think I will like and I buy them. The Wii has supplied me with enough game play depth that I've seen nothing to complain about.

The console is not the games, and you need to find the games you like within the console(s) you have. The Wii has a lot of family friendly titles, but to boil it down to "a kid's toy" is marketing propaganda, and it doesn't have a place in the minds of intelligent gamers.

I think the 360 is a lot of fun too, and, though my experience with the PS3 has been in store only, the PS3 is pretty neat. All the consoles look fun, and they are mostly similar and offer mostly similar experiences. I really don't think the average (or even the most hardcore gamer) will notice a big difference in Wii game play in relation to 360 game play. The cosmetics are the real concern for developers it seems. Besides the looks, there was nothing really spectacular about Gears of War, sorry to say. It's definitely fun, but its not ground breaking in anyway, and exists mostly as a time filler while we wait for Halo 3. There are a few games on each I really want to try, but that doesn't make one a "hardcore gamer's machine" and another a "casual gamer's machine". Find the kinds of games you want on the console you have, buy another console if you can afford it. I'll probably save up for a 360 because it has a good list of upcoming titles (BioShock, Mass Effect to name a couple). I don't, however believe that the console does a specific genre or style better, it just has a couple of titles that interest me (same goes for my Wii and, though I will probably never own one, the PS3).

I like the low price point for the Wii. You don't need tons of power to make great games. It really bothers me that to play Age of Conan I'll have to buy a brand new computer to get it to run smoothly. Is it really necessary to force me into new hardware (and this time, with a new OS) every year? That is why the PC console market has been in decline. Four thousand dollars for a rig that actually plays the games as they are meant to be played is outrageous. Something tells me the game itself will be same-old MMO experience with a couple of changes, I don't want to have to upgrade around another game again for no good reason.

Games are finally getting something they've desperately needed: a broad price spectrum.

TomBeraha:

Ajar:
The most immediately obvious thing I note is that no console with an inflation-adjusted base MSRP above US$400 has met with major market success since the Atari 2600. In real terms, no console with an unadjusted base MSRP above US$300 has met with major market success. When you draw the US$300 line on the unadjusted graph, look at what drops out: Atari 5200, Neo Geo, CD-i, Saturn, and PlayStation3.

I think it might also be prudent to consider which consoles faired poorly that were too far below the adjusted lines. I imagine like most things, a sweet spot will exist.

That could definitely be useful to look at, yeah.

TomBeraha:
Can anyone take these figures and adjust them for console sales? possibly with a break down of per year since launch as a second graph?

I could do both, I just need some time. I may have time to do it tomorrow night.

Don't agree with the comparisons of Wii to McDonalds, or the idea that Wii's success is only coming from people who normally don't buy consoles. I'm a fairly serious gamer myself. Own an expensive gaming PC, Xbox 360, PS2 and a Wii. Games to me are about immersion, and this is where Wii won me over. Mimicking swinging a bat or sword and having the mediorce graphically drawn representation on my TV do exactly that, feels more real than pushing R2+X and watching a much more advance image on screen. This is why the Wii is getting significantly more playtime than the Xbox360. Only the PC gets more time from me, which I can place the blame squarely on one addictive online game.

Okay, Tom, I made a rough first pass with console sales figures that I could find with some quick Googling.

Worldwide Sales vs. Base MSRP (Not Adjusted for Inflation)
Worldwide Sales vs. Base MSRP (Adjusted for Inflation)

I didn't label the consoles, but I used the list from my earlier Curmudgeon link and found sales estimates for as many as I could. Obviously the 105 and 118 million ones are the PS and PS2, respectively; 61 million is the NES.

Thanks a lot for doing that Ajar!

Both graphs seem to suggest that any correlation between price and sales would be incidental at best to me. If you notice in actual cost (not adjusted) we have consoles that faired extremely well and extremely poorly all at the same price. Even with adjustments for inflation to try and rid the bias of time we still see consoles which outperform others at very close price by several hundred percent. This would lead me to suggest that perceived value is a much more likely indicator. Which is a fancy way of saying the one that people thought was the best for the money (or worth it) is the one they got. Shocking, I'm sure.

Cygni - I wasn't trying to compare the Wii to McDonalds, I was trying to compare the video game market to the restaurant market. I still think this comparison fits. Even in my example I though I was suggesting that cell phone games and possibly Popcap were your McDonalds or your Taco Bell. This isn't to say that either restaurant is a bad restaurant, or that Popcap games aren't awesomely fun. What I was trying to show was that as a item is more accessible price wise the more likely it will be bought buy it's neighboring segments if it has a high perceived value.

All those graphs suggest to me is that there's not enough data.

Bongo Bill:
Games are finally getting something they've desperately needed: a broad price spectrum.

Definitely !

But wait... is that good for us ? Where by "us" I mean hardcore gamers. Without the mass market unwittingly subsidising our favourite products are they suddenly going to become way more expensive, or even vanish entirely ? (Is Clover Studios already a casualty of this process ?)

Bongo Bill:
All those graphs suggest to me is that there's not enough data.

I'd expand on that somewhat: there isn't enough data to reliably separate price from the myriad other factors that influence a decision to buy a game console.

Dom Camus:
But wait... is that good for us ? Where by "us" I mean hardcore gamers. Without the mass market unwittingly subsidising our favourite products are they suddenly going to become way more expensive, or even vanish entirely ? (Is Clover Studios already a casualty of this process ?)

Clover Studios is a casualty of a broad price spectrum not existing in software, or at least not in all directions. When every game is fifty dollars, you have to sell X00,000 copies to make it back. What if only X0,000 people want it? Too bad, the game won't get made. What if you're one of those X0,000, and you want to play it so bad that you'd pay more than the $50 to get it? Currently, there's no real way to do this. If you sell the game for $100, though, the game might get made, and most of those X0,000 get to play it - and nobody has to pander to the X00,000.

(Disclaimer: all the numbers in the preceding paragraph were made up)

A broad price spectrum means that niche titles get marked up instead of getting canceled. Surely, after all, there are games you've heard about that, if you could, you'd pay more than retail price if it meant the difference between being released and being axed.

Not that any of this is relevant to this discussion; software already has games worth less than the normal amount, whereas all hardware has is products worth more than the mode. The Wii is ensuring that all three consoles have substantially different prices, by being the one with the broadest appeal. In this case, the PS3 and the 360 are the niche products.

THIS IS LONG,if tis too long and to ranty please remove it,I apologize for the long windedness,but its how my brain farts..LOL
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Nowadays dev houses are a dime a dozen collected, divided up and watered down due to the demands of the market or the new "owners" and only seem to be worth anything when they try and sale a game (Bioshock for instance not bad but heavily mainstreamed).

Sadly Devs being chewed up and spat out is due to the publishers who have all the power more often than not, then you have mega dev houses and conglomerates stifling creativity even more, I dunno I might be gettign old and bitter but I see the game industry as neo hollywood where fun and options in gameplay is like class and style for hollywood a fond memory, but I digress lets get to the topic at hand.

From what I have said above you should get a feeling on some of my opinions lets give a not so quick run off on what I think of the current systems and where they are going,lets start with the Revolution....er piss?...no wait WII LOL
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WII
I kid I kid I like the WII the most, price and innovation is a good match however I see holes in its success like lack of full innovation in giving the user full control over the wii mote and numb chuck and let you config it to any GC or VC game as well as give more polished control over the WII control system prehaps its the casual gamer focus that has stifled its innovation I would like to see more VC games and a 40$ price drop, sorry its just 10$ for a game I have or had is just a bit OTT no VC game should be more than 5$ of course I am the type of gamer they are not aiming to market to, hell I am not the kind of gamer the market markets too >>, personal issues aside the WII is a solid console the graphics are good enough the games will mostly likely take up the PS2s range of titles (a ton of mediocre games and few hits) while the PS3 will retain 70% of its PS"X" titles the WII will undercut the 360 and PS3 via price and that availability to consumers ontop of profits from unit sale fill nins warchest so the coming dev jump to the PS3 in 2-4 years will not hurt them and yes the PS3 will have its day unless MS can somehow win Asia, so for now the WII is king until a rival can get his "full" console into the 350 minus range.

The WII has the games Nintendo based/Japaneses devs/3rd party and a few multi console titles its pretty much taken up the PS2's gauntlet.
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360
Playing fast and lose with "price" and quality control has gone long and well to make MS the console to beat even with rampant hardware issues and coming disc space issues and mandatory need for HDD caching games the 360 is the winner for high end gaming, despite its "upgrading" issues the elite>HDMI units this year>64NM chip units later this year it makes the PS3 production changes seem simple.

If that was all confusing you're not alone welcome to the 7th generation of gaming, the 360 had a rocky start dead BWC, iffy launch titles and then overheating issues, by the end of the year the MS should have a handle on the hardware issues but a new trouble is raising and that is space issues, PGR is the frist game to have almost 2 different versions for each system and in a couple years this will only get worse MS needs to drop the core and spam out cheap HDD kits to make the core unit a distance memory, its bad enough MS misjudged the media content they started to sale on it that makes the 20GB units cry(teen+ money=rent crap on LIVE) the 360 is moving to a fully solid hardware and software base even tho its virtually still stuck in the same niche the Xbox was of US PC style gaming if it would not steal so many PC titles and make a better effort to get Japaneses devs aboard it would go longer to expand its niche.

The 360's foundation is deep and MS wont back down so it will switch from 2nd to 3rd wheel in a full scale console war this is due to the general niche the 360 falls in of
PC/PC style/multi console games.
I see issues coming up over space, if MS would drop the core and let devs fully dev for a HDD based 360 I see the 360 doing well, the longer they wait on this and multi disc games the more damage will rack up over the years.
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PS3

Let me start off by saying this games or no games if sony had the balls to launch the PS3 at 400-480 on launch thats the 60GB unit they would have gained 2 billion in debt(would make the current 5 billion in all)but they would have pushed BR ahead of HDVD to a point where HDVD might could not catch up as well as make a solid foundation for the PS3 but of course thats wishful thinking adding to that fiction Sony thinking the PS3 is doing well that the clearance price on the older better 60GB units was a great idea as well as the upping the price back to 600, I am sorry but sony has 2 clear choices lower the units to 350-450 gain some debt but put consoles in houses and make profit off PSN and games the only other choice is go the arrogant high price elitist route this "could" work there are plenty of sheeple out there willing to pay for it but will it be worth being 3-6 million unit sales behind the others...I am sure their investors will like that..."we are not losing money...not making it either..." LOL

(Yes there is more)

There is 1 hidden option I have discovered (being crazy lets you think up crazy stuff)...

Sony could be biding its time until MGS and FF are out and then hit with a 100-200$ price drop this would both maximize and minimize their losses however its unlike sony to step away from tis price points without being forced to, Sony games department reminds me of sega "we can not do no wrong,whoops we are closing our console development", however Sony has more cash flow and can keep the PS3 in production and sale them at 600+ and not fair well but will their ego cave in after another year or 2 with poor sales....I do not know,all I know is they do not wish to lower the price of the units because they think they still have rep left from the PS2.

The PS3 also has another major issue to deal with besides price and sales and that is optimization, while some games run great on the PS3 some run poorly from my best estimates a steady flow of "optimized" titles wont come for 10-20 months leaving the PS3 even more weakened.

I might have not have mentioned the removal of the PS2 EE chip reduces the BWC to the PSX/PS2 by 30-40% but adds more filtering options I hope they advance the emulation with speed and save states(wishful thinking I know) the BWC issues is a annoyance as much as the 360s if not more Sony pioneered it for christ sake and now they are backing out of it to save a few million sony just dose not udnerstand that their arrogant views over DRM, user rights ,price and options are not to be dismissed...

oh ya the PS3 is a decent BR player so I here LOL

the PS3 has the Japaneses devs (but only some)/ multi console titles
the main issue with the PS3 production cost the total opposite of the PS2's cheap to produce for setup.

The PS3 is a mix of the N64 with a touch of the DC sony is goign to have to work hard to regain its seat in the throne room and they are to busy trying to over throw the kingdom instead of showing they are a good leader.

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In final (do I ever shut up? :P)
The 360 and the PS3 chose a entertainment center approach that only adds to production costs, while the 360 went to market early first its clearly its niche was not enough to make it number 1 in a full scale console war its hardware might not stand up well to 3 more years of gaming without new "updated" systems,if MS would offer a free update or 100$ exchange that would not be a bad idea but where things are headed they need the HDD and multi discs.
The PS3 jsut needs a price drop the rest will follow after that,if they do not it will alg behind the 360 in world wide revenue, hell Sony would do well to lower world wide price to no more than 600USD and drop the PS3 to 500 even that would raise its numbers be a million or 2.
The WII cant do wrong even tho I think it can do better (I want a DS/GBA adapter for it dammit,I hate handhelds),the WII is basically the PS2 reborn without 2 or 3 lead titles but it will make up for "hollywood protection level titles" with fun and simple titles hardcore gamers might have already seen but it will thrill and awe the casual set for 2-3 years to come.

Notes:I suck at grammar so no smarmy comments dammit :P
I also ranted to much I realized that now LOL
and yse I am full of hot air >>

wanna rant at me go here LOL
http://www.gamepoliticsforums.com/member.php?u=8

Well,for me,the biggest problem is,once you hit the 600 dollar mark on consoles,you're not just competing with consoles anymore. You're now competing with PCs. At 600 bucks,with a little knowledge,you can put together a pretty good PC from scratch that will play all the latest games as well as all the old games,and emulate or run older console games. In addition,it'll play DVDs,hook up to the internet without training wheels,and offer a variety of interface options,from mouse and keyboard to standard controllers to whatever the hell you can find. It also offers player made content without limits,movies,music,games,all of which are NOT available on even the most expensive console.

In other words,would you rather have a console that can just play games or would you rather have a computer that you can use for business or pleasure on a much wider scale? I'm sure the Xbox plays a mean game of DOA Beach Volleyball,but you won't find the nude patch for it on the Xbox Live marketplace. And most hardcore gamers and tech heads know this. So when a console hits the PC price range,their competition gets a LOT broader and a LOT better. So much so it's nearly impossible to compete at all.

Check around. For 600 bucks,you can get a laptop that'll run rings around the Xbox 360 with no assembly required. So how can they justify the cost? They can't. They have to keep it below the PC price line or they're doomed to be compared to a system that offers so much customization,it's not even funny. And I'm not alone on this. The most common complaint I hear about the high price of the Xbox 360 or PS3 is "I could get a pretty good comp for that price". Something to think about.

The argument does not make sense because essentially everything that a computer can do the ps3 can do (Just install Linux on it and off you go more or less, it's not perfect at the moment but it is getting theree as people learn how to optimise the Linux kernel and various programs for the Cell.) Therefore you could argue that the PS3 IS indeed a computer; further more consoles really have always been computers although they have been more like embedded systems for most of their existence. In addition there is nothing, and I mean nothing stopping the consoles of this generation (or even last generation in all likelyhood.) from supporting mods like pc games do. UT3 will make this readily apparent for the PS3 at the least.

The ps3 was never once over priced and neither was the 360 at the time either.

Shadow,you just said why the PC is better. The PS3 is "not perfect but getting there". On the other hand,I could get a PC that works now. And it's not just an OS,it's functionality. I hate to tell you this,but not all Windows games work on Linux,so that's a cut back right there. That's what keeps Windows going,practically *everything* is written to run on it and while Linux programmers are trying to catch up,and more power to them,the fact is,if you want to run something *now*,Windows is largely your best bet.

And while the new consoles might be good at downloading and running mods,it can't make them very well. Then there's the arguement of how well you can get around on the interweb on a console. I haven't tried it myself,but I can't help but think lacking a keyboard and mouse isn't going to help it along.

So given the choice between a "sort of like a computer" and "an actual computer",I'm gonna go with the actual one,thanks.

That's funny why is the pc gaming industry inundated with exactly one real genre? Yes the PC is so much better yet there is effectively no variety in the types of games on the pc. Do you know why that is? It's because the control interfaces for computers suck ass for anything other than shooters. When was the last time you saw a fighting game on the pc save the odd port?

Now lets go back to shooters you ever notice how quite a few of these shooters spam the keyboard with various functions? What is this obsession with use buttons and the like that could easily be collapsed onto say the the reload or fire buttons? Why has the gameplay not changed in any discernable fashion since Doom?(You can say this about any genre it is just extreme in first person shooters.) My suspicion is that the keyboard ended up creating a situation where the developers ended up thinking far less about comfort while playing and more about adding functions to buttons. Ironically this has actually caused these games to stagnate in terms of gameplay. We are only now starting to see games with realistic cover mechanics after probably more than ten years of the genre being around..wth is that?

Oh and you should understand that:

1. The Windows running on your desktop is a general purpose operating system, it is not in any real way geared towards gaming. This is part of why you often see requirements for pc versions of games that are maybe two times higher than what consoles have. The pc game developers have to account for the far higher ram requirements of Windows not to mention the simple fact that people are quite likely to have other programs not related to the game at all running in the background even after they kill all the system hogs. General purpose operating systems tend to suck performance wise when you need to maximize performance for a given task. This is why people get paid to make operating systems for digital audio players, phones etc.

2.The ps3 and the 360 both support using mouse/keyboard right out of the box. I use my Bluetooth keyboard under the ps3 interface whenever I need to type something like a name etc. I also cannot think of a reason why either console could not be made to allow keyboard/mouse use for any and all games.

Quite frankly even if I decided to build a gaiming rig with the thing running Windows I would have to be periodically scanning the drives for viruses and spyware and I would not want to have said antivirus/anti spyware software even installed on the machine because those things just eat resources not to mention precious disc space I should be using for games. In the end it just becomes a hassle with very little gain on my part.

shadow skill:
That's funny why is the pc gaming industry inundated with exactly one real genre? Yes the PC is so much better yet there is effectively no variety in the types of games on the pc. Do you know why that is? It's because the control interfaces for computers suck ass for anything other than shooters. When was the last time you saw a fighting game on the pc save the odd port?

This is a problem of standardized controllers. Keyboard and mouse come by default. Joypads and joysticks don't, though there's a profusion of them on the PC, a wide variety of designs, and in fact probably more on the PC than for any console.

But it's extremely hard to force new controllers on the PC. There are attempts, notably to provide sort of more ergonomic mini-keyboards.

Maybe we could see a controller which would be a mini-keyboard, with an analog stick at the center, or off-axis, controlled with the middle or index finger: there'd be a mini-glove for the tip of your middle or index finger, ontop of the analog stick, for you to slide your finger into. That way, you would move around with a stick, but you'd still use your other four fingers to press buttons.

Although the evolution in player movement would be noticable, in the end, you wouldn't cut it in the number of buttons.

Now lets go back to shooters you ever notice how quite a few of these shooters spam the keyboard with various functions? What is this obsession with use buttons and the like that could easily be collapsed onto say the the reload or fire buttons? Why has the gameplay not changed in any discernable fashion since Doom?(You can say this about any genre it is just extreme in first person shooters.) My suspicion is that the keyboard ended up creating a situation where the developers ended up thinking far less about comfort while playing and more about adding functions to buttons. Ironically this has actually caused these games to stagnate in terms of gameplay. We are only now starting to see games with realistic cover mechanics after probably more than ten years of the genre being around..wth is that?

Is that much of a problem to see prone only now? Just look it how long it took for beat'em ups to evolve.
Besides, you can't complain both about the piling of new functions, and their slow introduction. You can't get both.

You find that stagnation on consoles as well. Still the same joypad, with a few modifications. It even seems that for some games, there are not enough buttons and combinations available.

Oh and you should understand that:

1. The Windows running on your desktop is a general purpose operating system, it is not in any real way geared towards gaming. This is part of why you often see requirements for pc versions of games that are maybe two times higher than what consoles have. The pc game developers have to account for the far higher ram requirements of Windows not to mention the simple fact that people are quite likely to have other programs not related to the game at all running in the background even after they kill all the system hogs. General purpose operating systems tend to suck performance wise when you need to maximize performance for a given task. This is why people get paid to make operating systems for digital audio players, phones etc.

There's still vista for games coming in. But globally, it has the advantage that you get a working machine and a gaming machine all in one, and it's evolutive. Your console is stuck, not the PC.

2. The ps3 and the 360 both support using mouse/keyboard right out of the box. I use my Bluetooth keyboard under the ps3 interface whenever I need to type something like a name etc. I also cannot think of a reason why either console could not be made to allow keyboard/mouse use for any and all games.

Again, it's an issue of standardized controllers. Do you see many console players using a keyboard and a mouse?

Quite frankly even if I decided to build a gaiming rig with the thing running Windows I would have to be periodically scanning the drives for viruses and spyware and I would not want to have said antivirus/anti spyware software even installed on the machine because those things just eat resources not to mention precious disc space I should be using for games. In the end it just becomes a hassle with very little gain on my part.

What's your point exactly? If you don't like the advantages of PC, stay on consoles. As simple as that.
I like both systems, they have pros and cons. Just deal with it.

My point was and is that the PS3 especially is in no real way inferior to a pc of the same price. If you read the post before my last one that should become clear.

How does this address the fact that niether console is prevented by thier own technology (as far as I can tell.) from allowing people to use a keyboard or mouse for any game. It's a matter of the manufacturer writing the software properly period.

Keep in mind that on a pc with an OS like Vista which has a minimum memory requirement of around 512mb in order for it to function any game has to at least be mindful of that minimum. What this ends up meaning is that pretty much all modern pc games will end up having inflated requirements because of the operating system itself. In short the OS is actually a bit of a bottleneck. Now if you had the opprotunity to do so you could probably cut down a great deal of the memory usage by tuning the OS to the hardware which would mean in principle that you as a consumer would have to spend LESS on upgrades over time because developers again in principle could do far more with less powerful hardware.

This supposed advantage of the pc (It's potential for vastly superior capabilities.) actually isn't that much of an advantage at all, its more like a side effect of the fact that the platform was not really built with gaming in mind it actually results in a weaker game because of the OS bottleneck and the need to account for varying configurations. I shudder to think of what would could be done if developers were able to make a high end rig with say 2gigs of ram and tune everything down to the OS for it and then make a game.

Any way you slice it the keyboard itself which is not meant for gaming ends up limiting pc games more than typical controller does for a console. I know I sure as all hell do not want to use a controller to do text entry.

What's your point exactly? If you don't like the advantages of PC, stay on consoles. As simple as that.

I like both systems, they have pros and cons. Just deal with it.

Just what is yours?

My point was and is that the PS3 especially is in no real way inferior to a pc of the same price. If you read the post before my last one that should become clear.

It's also pretty clear that the console is not even one year old, and as I said, not evolutive. In two years, the PS3 may get that traditional Sony's shot in the arm, but that's not going to make a difference against the PCs which will be out in two years or more.

How does this address the fact that niether console is prevented by thier own technology (as far as I can tell.) from allowing people to use a keyboard or mouse for any game. It's a matter of the manufacturer writing the software properly period.

If there is one manufacturer that could actually enforce new controllers with its computers, it's Apple, and thus do what Nintendo did: incorporate a not so new controller as the main controller for its machine.

Unfortunately, games are not the high ground on this machine, and Apple seems to follow Nintendo's train of thought, as less buttons the better, but to the extreme.

Thus, by default, we end with this:

image

Which can be used with those:

image

And so you still need to pull out more key combinations on this:

image

Which is stupid.

Keep in mind that on a pc with an OS like Vista which has a minimum memory requirement of around 512mb in order for it to function any game has to at least be mindful of that minimum. What this ends up meaning is that pretty much all modern pc games will end up having inflated requirements because of the operating system itself. In short the OS is actually a bit of a bottleneck. Now if you had the opprotunity to do so you could probably cut down a great deal of the memory usage by tuning the OS to the hardware which would mean in principle that you as a consumer would have to spend LESS on upgrades over time because developers again in principle could do far more with less powerful hardware.

Because making the OS isolated on a bit of hardware you'd switch on and off would make it less expensive, and less memory hungry?

What you're looking for is a machine which is a PC and a console, all in one, where you can switch between the two on booting.

That is absurd. Just get a console. By your very admission, the OS will still require memory. So why force a PC into a game machine when it's obviously way simpler to actually buy a machine purely dedicated to games?

Besides, the OS is hardly the major fault in the increase of power requirements. I can play both Quake 3 and Quake Wars on my old cranky machine. Quake 3 runs smoothly at full details. Quake Wars... bots don't even get their share out of the chipset to do most simple things, and it makes Quake 3 look next-gen in comparison.
Yet, the OS has not changed a yota. Still good old stable XP.

An OS needs to mature. Right now, Vista is highly unstable. Been trying it on a couple of high tech machines, and it's just not there yet. XP is doing more than fine.

Now, in two years, when the OS will be finely rounded, the machines will be, again, much more powerful. Vista, sure, requires more memory, or at least more room, but you have to consider that it's also meant to work with much more powerful machines, which will all have at least two cores.
512 Mb for RAM will be even below accepted low end gaming configurations. It already is. I have 1Gb, and it's hardly enough for new games.

Consoles' OSes are hardly getting any better. Their requirements grow as well.

This supposed advantage of the pc (It's potential for vastly superior capabilities.) actually isn't that much of an advantage at all, its more like a side effect of the fact that the platform was not really built with gaming in mind it actually results in a weaker game because of the OS bottleneck and the need to account for varying configurations.

I don't see the legitimate reason behind that rant. PC = multitask. That is its advantage. Why the rage?
If you don't care about multitask machines, buy a console.
This way, the money you'll save when buying a less powerful PC (because games and other 3D applications are mainly what requires power) will be well invested into a VCS. Pardon. A PS3.

It can't be more obvious, really.

Just what is yours?

I don't know. I just sort of v'been reading some guy saying that he doesn't fancy PCs cause they do plenty of things, and are not 100% game machines. Duh.
Safe retreading old console versus PC grounds, I don't see what's new in that.

So what you are telling me is that a general purpose operating system is better than an embedded one in terms of overall performance when the embedded operating system is built from the ground up for the same task? That's rich!

shadow skill:
So what you are telling me is that a general purpose operating system is better than an embedded one in terms of overall performance when the embedded operating system is built from the ground up for the same task? That's rich!

I think it would have to depend on your definition of "overall performance" and "better". The former being pretty vague, and the latter being very subjective. Depending on your definition of those two things, we're either looking at a straw man, or, alternatively, your caving in to Arbre's point. I actually think they're sort of equivalent, if you're looking from the correct angle.

Yes, a single-purpose machine is probably going to outperform a multi-purpose machine, all else being equal, but ONLY at the purpose for which the single-purpose machine has been developed. At everything else, the multi-purpose machine is going to destroy.

PCs, given enough power, can do many, many things, and do them very well. They are not as efficient at playing games as a 360 (which, due to specialization, can get similar results out of lesser hardware), but the 360 isn't exactly the best word processor/internet browser/media creation device.

People with a need for multiple tasks in their lives have a choice between purchasing dedicated, optimized hardware for each of their tasks, or they can invest (potentially less total) in a single multi-purpose machine to fulfill all of their needs. I see nothing wrong with this. I also don't see a solid "better" or "worse", just something that may be better for one person, and not for another.

And going back to the performance issue: Due to their excess hardware, and despite their inefficiencies, the high-end of PCs outperform consoles 4 years out of 5. (Every year except launch, in a 5 year console cycle). You might argue that consoles provide the better value compared to that high-end PC, but that all depends on who you are, how much cash you have to burn, and how cutting edge you like to be. It doesn't undo the point: PCs may be inefficient (due to their general, multi-tasking nature), but they are still powerful enough for it to be somewhat irrelevant.

shadow skill:
So what you are telling me is that a general purpose operating system is better than an embedded one in terms of overall performance when the embedded operating system is built from the ground up for the same task? That's rich!

I'm sorry, I just can't attempt a reply, considering that I'm unsure about the interpretation of certain of your words.
My point is that I both like game machines and multitask machines, both are necessary and fine... voilą.
:)

Guys,this all started with me and kind of transferred to you. I will now attempt to explain what was said.

I started with the statement that at 600 bucks,you can get a fairly good PC,with the stipulation that you would probably have to know where to shop and how to put a PC together yourself,thus saving labor costs and getting the most for your money. In other words,someone who knew what they were doing could buy,assemble,and optimize a PC so that it would run games better than a console. It wouldn't be high end tech,but it would be good for several years and out perform consoles in the same price range.

Skill's point is that because consoles are dedicated game machines,they offer better performance and gameplay experiences. I disagree with this point as every game that I've played that was on consoles and PCs usually played better on PC,with the exception of games that were poorly translated and buggy. See Spider-Man 2.

The only advantage a console really has over a PC is that it's simple and easy to set up and play. As such,high price consoles like the PS3 only appeal to people who want a hard core gaming experience but don't want to fiddle with building their own PC and prebuilts are ALWAYS more expensive than "do it yourself" jobs. Additionally,they're almost always loaded down with software that decreases performance while not actually doing anything. See "anti-virus software" which is usually worse for a system's performance than the actual viruses more often than not.

So,wedged between the casual gamers who can't justify spending 600 bucks on a gaming system and the hardcore gamers who know how to build a PC or would rather spend a little extra for something more versitale,the 600 dollar price point really is a poor place to put a system.

the wii is doing well because it is attracting an audience that isn't frugal with their money...

idiot consumers and non gamers...

but to be honest, the wii hardware is selling at a 10-1 ration with their software... these people are buying wiis for the hype, but then not purchasing any games because they don't actually play games, because again, they aren't gamers.

they play wii sports, and then they never touch the wii again, which is why the top selling wii game last month was wii play, and extra controller... the top selling game was an... accessory...

this extra controller also happened to sell out metroid prime 3 corruption in it's opening month.... the wii's second best game.

ultimately, nintendo will make massive cash because the people buying the wii don't realize it's a repackaged gamecube... i mean, it's amazing that a gamecube is selling for 50$ more now then it sold for back in 2001, 6 years ago.

... but alas, i did once love nintendo. metroid prime 1, ocarina of time, majora's mask, windwaker, super smash brothers 64...

i still hate them for the crappy mp2, mp3 and twilight princess though... massive disappointments in my eyes.

as for the one click mac mouse...

why if i have 5 fingers on my right hand, can i not have more than one button on my mouse?

psychotically deluded apple loyalty creates psychotically flawed products... like the one click mouse, for instance.

The one button mouse really isn't flawed its just archaic.

One can consider that archaism to be a flaw, especially now.

Yeah,but in a lot of ways,being horribly outdated is a flaw. For example,I tend to look at FPS games as outdated if they don't allow movement options like dodge and/or sprint. Having at least one or the other at least says "we're not completely behind",but having both does wonders for my opinion of a game.

It doesn't help there's no reason for it. I mean,every PC mouse I know of has at least 2 buttons. So why can't Apple do it? Indeed,why have a special mouse just for Apple comps? Why not just let them use PC mice? Only answer I can think of is they're big assholes.

I'm only going to base my opinion on a current purchase I'm considering, and that's Kinect.

I wonder who else thinks my way, in that I don't really think it's up to me to consider how much research and development went into it, and how expensive the technology is to produce.

The only way I can reasonably put a price I'm happy to pay on Kinect, is how enjoyable the games are, and how much value it'll add to my future gaming. For now, I'm not willing to pay £100 for what is effectively a bespoke games controller, I wouldn't pay it for a steering wheel or flight stick or dance mat, and I'm not paying it for a camera, despite knowing how advanced it is.

If some piece of software comes along and makes Kinect a must have piece of gaming fun, then I'll revise my opinion, but for now I'm looking at about £60 for a good condition preowned one, considering that I believe many people bought it and then stuck it in the cupboard after a week or so, like a sandwich toaster or exercise bike.

 

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