Console Wars, Failure Rates and E3

Console Wars, Failure Rates and E3

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With the shiny, new, "invite only" E3 about a week away and sales, manufacturing and other various numbers streaming in, now is as good a time as any to take another look at the state of the industry.

For starters, and this is not purely fanboy nonsense, the PS3 is in trouble. The good news for Sony? So is the Xbox 360.

Although the bloggernet is abuzz over the mysterious, black invitation being sent out to "top" men by Sony (rumor has it, it's about Killzone), the bare bones fact is it's really hard to find anyone presenting at the event who has something interesting to say about the PS3. Other than Sony, that is, and the jury is still out on whether or not what they have to say is interesting.

EA was kind enough to provide a list of games they'd be showing and/or willing to talk about at their various E3 booths, and not counting PC games (which give Microsoft an edge anyway) there isn't a single Sony exclusive on the list. Microsoft, by contrast, has one (Skate) and Nintendo has three. A number of the most eagerly anticipated games on EA's list are cross platform, between the Xbox 360 and PS3, but if you're looking to play Mercenaries 2 for example, and you don't already own a PS3, which console would you buy?

The bad news for Microsoft is in spite of the laudable Marketplace effort, and a pocketful of exclusives, the answer isn't an easy "Xbox 360."A confusing array of different models and accessories may not have dampened the initial acceptance rate of the console, but it didn't help either. And the introduction of a third model, the Elite, has only muddied the waters. To make matters worse, rumors of a higher than average failure rate for the console continue to plague Microsoft, who has yet to set the record straight by confirming or denying them. Bad juju.

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Yet in spite of all of Sony's PR blunders and Microsoft's concerted effort to blow their market lead, the real story, still, is the Wii. From exclusives to sales figures to equipment failures to manufacturing overages, the Wii is still the headline; Microsoft and Sony, although their difficulties are mounting, are subheadings.

The Wii is now outselling the PS3 in Japan by 6-to-1. And although practically no one is buying the machine, Sony is proud to announce that manufacturing has come fully online. I know we're all tired of wondering what they're smoking in Sonyland, but when they bus me out to Culver City for their E3 press conference, maybe I'll finally get to find out. And if they have extra, I'll bring some home. Nintendo, on the other hand, has been making Wiis as fast as they can for months, and no, you still can't find any.

Even the flap over Manhunt was colored by the fact the game, as brutal as it is, was made even more so by the groundbreaking control scheme of the Wii. Which reminds me of that game you play with children, pointing to their toes saying, "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home ...": Nintendo's little piggy went "Wii Wii Wii" all the way to the bank.

Each generation of consoles has brought us closer to the promised day on which gaming consoles would more closely resemble PC gaming machines. Last generation brought us close enough to that dream that I was bale to forsake my aging top-of-the-line rig and I haven't looked back. The Xbox 360 and PS3, however, have blown the distinction between PC and console wide open, offering, in some cases, even better experiences than those to be had on the PC. That more developers are making their games with the console audience in mind and porting to the PC is a symptom of this trend, not a cause.

But the closer the consoles get to looking and handling like their PC cousins, the closer they come to sharing PC gaming's irrelevance. The Xbox 360 and the PS3 are each fantastic machines in their own right. I can't get enough of my 360, in fact, and am considering buying a second. From playing DVDs to Xbox Live games to downloading videos and the like, I've simply never owned as versatile a machine, outside of a PC.

Still, the Wii is a better gaming machine. Case in point: A woman who'd never played a videogame in her life visited my home recently. I'm sure you know at least one person like her (if you have a mother, that is). This is a woman who's never heard of Halo and probably only knows Pac-Man from the T-shirts - in the '80s. Yet she'd heard about the Wii - and wanted to play it.

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Although she had never picked up a game controller in her life, she'd been bowling a time or two and asked to play Wii Bowling. There were three of us playing that night, two game writers and her. She kicked both of our asses. She'd never played a videogame, but she knew how to bowl, and the Wii made playing a bowling game as intuitive (and responsive) as bowling with a real ball, minus the 16 or so pounds of weight to throw around.

It's part of our mission here at The Escapist to help introduce games to those who don't already know the joy to be had in playing them, to explore the methods of play in all forms and expand our understanding of escapism. We've always said gaming won't become an accepted medium until everyone who has a Monopoloy, Clue or a deck of cards in their closet also has a game machine. The Wii is that machine. Welcome to the future.

Next week in Santa Monica, there will be a lot of companies showing a lot of products. Expect the most exciting to be playable on a Nintendo console. When was the last time anyone said that?

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Russ Pitts is an Associate Editor for The Escapist. His currently unnamed, yet critically unrecognized column appears every Monday at The Escapist Daily. He also blogs at www.falsegravity.com.

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Suggesting that PC gaming has become irrelevant suggests that you just aren't looking at the figures. There's no question that the console market is more accessible and easier to get into than PC gaming, and their sales figures reflect that. But the total size of the pie is growing too, so while PC gaming might represent a smaller portion, that market is still growing. Blizzard and Take-Two - both big supporters of the PC platform - will each post more than a billion in revenue this year, with WoW's userbase at over 8 million players now.

Consoles still deliver better bang for buck than a low end PC of similar price - but not by much, and that margin continues to shrink with the years. The trend for the last few generations has been for bleeding-edge consoles to outperform PC gaming machines only for a few months - a year at the most - before PC rigs blow them out of the water. This will continue to be the case.

PC gaming isn't going anywhere. As long as we all use PCs, there will continue to be a massive market for their games. It may be seen as something of a niche by the console fanboys, but it's a niche in the same way that the Marianas Trench is.

I'm inclined to agree with you that the PC gaming market isn't going anywhere. I'm a member of a market that has long been derided as a doomed niche: I'm a Mac user. People have been crying "Apple is doomed" for as long as I've been following the computer industry, and yet, somehow, Apple is both still here and still making money from its Macintosh division.

There's a difference, I think, between being a niche market and being irrelevant. Compared to console gaming, I do think that PC gaming as we've historically thought of it -- that is, bleeding-edge graphically gorgeous titles like Crysis -- is now and will continue to be a niche. Gone are the days when everyone and their brother played Doom. Now that a lot of people aren't buying new desktops every three years and are instead either buying notebooks or sticking with their desktops for longer, the games that are most successful on the PC platform are the ones that can run on older hardware. Games like World of WarCraft, which while popular is also not very graphically intensive... and even more so, the blooming casual games market, both web-based and downloadable. Bejeweled, for example.

Also, I think Russ' example of EA is generally on point but slightly misleading. EA are particularly known for releasing their games on every platform they possibly can to maximize their return on development investments. I agree that there will be more crossplatform games (as a percentage) between the 360 and PS3 this generation than there were between last generation's consoles, and I think there will be a lot of time-based exclusivity as well -- like how MGS2 and MGS3 ultimately came to the GameCube and Xbox, respectively, in the last generation. However, EA as a developer largely ignores Japan, which is likely to be at least a reasonable-sized market for PS3 games once its big JRPG exclusives start to come out.

It's also important to consider the principal reason behind the Wii's perponderance of exclusives: its control scheme. Even if the Wii were a relatively unsuccessful console, it would still have more exclusives as a percentage of games relased for the platform than either of the other two consoles, simply because if you're making a Wii game it makes sense to design around the Wiimote rather than grafting it on after the fact. The Wii's success means more games are likely be made for it, sure, though it seemed to be in a bit of a drought before the recent Mario Party 8 release.

Overall I agree that of the current-generation consoles, the Wii is clearly the one that's breaking through into the mainstream most successfully. However, I'm not convinced that this inherently makes it "a better gaming machine." I suppose that depends on one's definition of "better."

El_Castro:
Suggesting that PC gaming has become irrelevant suggests that you just aren't looking at the figures...

Yeah, that statement pretty much said to me that Russ doesn't know what he's talking about - at least on the PC front. Or at the very least his experience with PC gaming is not anything like mine. After being a PC gamer for many many years I finally broke down a few weeks ago and bought an Xbox 360 (my first console since my dad bought me an Intellivision in 1980). I still can't find my beloved simulation games for the console (Silent Hunter III and IV are not offered on any console) and the control system for the games is simply not as intuitive as a mouse and keyboard. Add to that the fact that I can't play 95% of the console games that I have purchased (Just Cause, Fight Night Round 3, Dead Rising etc.) when my 4 year-old daughter is around (because the TV screen is very big and attractive to her and the games are just too scary or violent) and I have a situation in which my Xbox ends up sitting unused while I go back to playing games like KotOR, Star Wars Battlefront, Rome: Total War and Silent Hunter IV, or just surfing the net (as I am now) on my old PC.

All of this means that, after a gamer gets into his 30s and 40s the PC has significant advantages over consoles that are not even outweighed by the consoles' inexpensiveness. I mean if it means that I can't even play my console games when I want to, a $500 console is just a complete waste of money. I never have that problem with PC games - the PC screen is so small that my daughter rarely gets interested in what's going on on the screen, plus I have a set of controllers (joystick, throttle, racing wheel, gamepad), that don't need updating whenever Microsoft or Sony want to hit me up for another $500 game system. All-in-all, the PC is the gaming medium of choice for the older gamer and while that may not be an issue in the short run, in the long run the smart money has to be on the PC.

As for the Wii being a better gaming machine, that may be so, but I think my wife put it best when she said that playing a tennis game on the Wii looked as tiring as playing the sport in real life. If we wanted to expend that level of energy we'd be outside playing the game for real.

I think the three of you have valid points, but you're all missing mine. I'm not suggesting people aren't playing PC games - or even that I'm not - but PC gaming, like it or not, has always been and will remain a niche concern. And the majority of console games, in spite of the industry's huge growth, are also a niche concern.

They may not be irrelevant to you (or me) but larger picture, considering the majority of the population, what games you play matters as little (if not less) than what brand of cream you take with your coffee.

The Wii, on the other hand, has blown the door wide open, and has introduced gaming to a whole new segment of the population. The Wii has made people who would never play a videogame otherwise, care about videogames. It has gone, in other words, mainstream.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate, I suppose, but speaking as one who's been banging at that door for decades, trying to spread the word that games are awesome, I think it's an incredibly good thing. The games the new folks who join the party play may not be the same games we play, or will play, but that they're playing is, in and of itself, a good thing.

Russ Pitts:
They may not be irrelevant to you (or me) but larger picture, considering the majority of the population, what games you play matters as little (if not less) than what brand of cream you take with your coffee.

I think this is what I disagree with. As I said before, being niche is not the same as being irrelevant. Apple was just the most obvious example that came to mind, since even before the iPod and iTunes they had mindshare much larger than their marketshare.

Similarly, I think niche works can filter out into the broader public consciousness. The successful Prince of Persia: Sands of Time seemed, to me at least, to be taking visual and design cues from the critically acclaimed but largely unsuccessful ICO. Writers of "great literature" may not be widely read by the mainstream, but I think their works are read by and influence those who write the books that are read by the mainstream. The same goes for cinema.

I think that the Wii will, over its lifetime, expose the mainstream to many of the design and gameplay tropes popularized by the games that many of us "niche" gamers consider classics. Geometry Wars Galaxies comes to mind. In this way, the niche market remains relevant and influential.

I also disagree with what I've quoted on another level: the mainstream definitely cares about what games we play insofar as they consider those games overly violent. Whether that's another barrier the Wii can break down remains to be seen.

Russ Pitts:
The Wii has made people who would never play a videogame otherwise, care about videogames. It has gone, in other words, mainstream.

I agree with this for the North American market and possibly the European market, but I don't think it quite holds in the Japanese market. I think The Escapist has run at least one piece about what a cultural watershed moment Final Fantasy VII seems to have been over there.

To reiterate/sum up:

Russ Pitts:
The Wii, on the other hand, has blown the door wide open, and has introduced gaming to a whole new segment of the population. The Wii has made people who would never play a videogame otherwise, care about videogames. It has gone, in other words, mainstream.

I definitely agree with this. What I disagree with is the suggestion that this renders the niche market irrelevant.

Russ Pitts:
The Wii, on the other hand, has blown the door wide open, and has introduced gaming to a whole new segment of the population. The Wii has made people who would never play a videogame otherwise, care about videogames. It has gone, in other words, mainstream.

Not for my wife. As I said before she finds the Wii annoying and she's not exactly a gamer. So there's at least one person in the mainstream who, far from being turned onto gaming by the Wii, is actually turned off by it. Plus, she thinks the name is laughable - a 'wii' is hardly something the average self-conscious person wants to own. I mean could they have thought up a gayer name for a console?

Somehow I think there's a bit of bias involved here. Do you, by any chance, own (and like) the Wii?

Beery:
[quote=Russ Pitts]Not for my wife. As I said before she finds the Wii annoying and she's not exactly a gamer.

Well, far be it from me to suggest your wife isn't necessarily representative of the mainstream population, Beery, but you should probably open your mind to the possibility. The Wii has been out for over six months, and there are still shortages. This has never happened before. It is significant.

Am I biased? I dunno. I own a Wii, and I enjoy it, but I use my PC and my Xbox 360 far more frequently. But I recognize that the Wii has far more to offer the average person as a gaming device than either of the two new consoles, or the PC. I can also recognize that neither the 360 nor the PS3 are selling out the day they restock. That's not bias, that's just observation.

Now then, as to being in a niche meaning one is instantly irrelevant, it's possible I overstepped there, but not by much. Investors, journalists, developers and moms are all seeing the same picture I'm seeing: the Wii is a monster. Expect a great deal of money to be thrown at that device in the coming months. From all sectors.

[Edit: Beaten to it by Russ.]

Russ Pitts:

Now then, as to being in a niche meaning one is instantly irrelevant, it's possible I overstepped there, but not by much. Investors, journalists, developers and moms are all seeing the same picture I'm seeing: the Wii is a monster. Expect a great deal of money to be thrown at that device in the coming months. From all sectors.

I think it's a valid concern. Everyone *did* have a copy of "Monopoloy, Clue or a deck of cards in their closet" and even so a niche boardgaming company like Avalon Hill got sold off for scrap value, and most of the other companies in that niche either went out of business or wound up consolidating their product lines. Hard-core board gaming wound up pretty irrelevant because it wound up a niche--I don't think it's too crazy to look at PC gaming and see the same thing. In fact, it reminds me a lot of what happened in board gaming: a couple of big franchises with a long history continued to do great while the retail space shrunk down to a fraction of the real estate those games used to take up.

The Wii certainly is a trojan horse. The question is: who are the Greeks here and who are the Trojans? Is the Wii the draw that brings the mainstream into hardcore gaming, or is the Wii the draw that brings the publishers of hardcore gaming into the race for the next "Bejewled," "Minesweeper," or "Tetris"? It's a bit scary, but: how many publishers are putting out complex hardcore video games right now simply because hardcore gamers are the only people to sell games to, and if the casual market opens up will jump ship just to take a shot at that bigger market?

Another update: Chris Kohler over at GameLife did a nice examination of exclusives lost or not pursued by Sony for this round of the console war. It's interesting.

http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/07/sonys-lost-excl.html

Beery:
As for the Wii being a better gaming machine, that may be so, but I think my wife put it best when she said that playing a tennis game on the Wii looked as tiring as playing the sport in real life. If we wanted to expend that level of energy we'd be outside playing the game for real.

I play both tennis and wii tennis. Believe me when I say the two are only similar on the surface, and hardly even at that.
1. Playing tennis involves finding people to play with, a court, the correct equipment and changing your clothes. If its night time or raining your in even more trouble. Wii tennis takes 2 minutes to get up and running and you can play against the AI or even someone that would be completely useless on a real court.
2. The level of energy expended is nowhere near the same. For starters you don't run anywhere in the wii version. The wii remote is far less heavy than a real tennis racquet and anyone who's played the wii game knows your going to be more succesful using small more deliberate motions that full swings.
3. When was the last time you tried to play tennis drunk at a party?

To be honest I prefer the real game by a long shot, but to discard wii tennis the way you have is short sighted.

Cheeze_Pavilion:
The Wii certainly is a trojan horse. The question is: who are the Greeks here and who are the Trojans? Is the Wii the draw that brings the mainstream into hardcore gaming, or is the Wii the draw that brings the publishers of hardcore gaming into the race for the next "Bejewled," "Minesweeper," or "Tetris"? It's a bit scary, but: how many publishers are putting out complex hardcore video games right now simply because hardcore gamers are the only people to sell games to, and if the casual market opens up will jump ship just to take a shot at that bigger market?

This is what scares me the most. If you look at the wii's game library there are very few proper hardcore titles that aren't either remakes of gamecube/ps2 titles or shoddy downgrades of 360/ps3 titles. Yet there seems to be more mini-game fests appearing by the day. The recent news about nintendo and project hammer is even more concerning.

I have no worries that the hardcore market is here to stay, it became a multi billion dollar industry on its own and those gamers aren't going anywhere. I'm just not convinced that the recent influx of mass market is as good a thing as everyone keeps saying it is.

Goofonian:

This is what scares me the most. If you look at the wii's game library there are very few proper hardcore titles that aren't either remakes of gamecube/ps2 titles or shoddy downgrades of 360/ps3 titles. Yet there seems to be more mini-game fests appearing by the day. The recent news about nintendo and project hammer is even more concerning.

I agree--I wonder if the Wii will turn out to actually be a 'console' at all, the way people think the iPhone is really an ultra portable computer being marketed as a phone. At some point, will it be more accurate to classify the Wii in the category of games like _The VCR Quarterback Game_ or _Scene It!_ or a PS2 someone only bought for _Guitar Hero_ or _Singstar_ or _DDR_? In other words, not really something someone uses to play *video* games on, but rather, a piece of technology they use to play games that involve using their tv?

I hope not--in fact, maybe the Virtual Console is *exactly* what is needed to turn casual gamers into hardcore gamers: I think someone wrote an article on here about that, about how the learning curve goes up with each generation of games.

It'll be interesting to see exactly what Nintendo was talking about when it said the Wii was part of the 'Blue Waters' strategy: did they mean they were going after the so-far ignored causal gamers, or did it mean they were getting out of the console race to create a new category, something between an XBox or PlayStation on the one hand, and on the other, one of those joysticks you plug into a TV that has a bunch of old arcade games loaded inside?

To Russ,

Looks like your "irrelevant" comment innocently kicked some hazardous snowball down the hill. :)

The Wii being big doesn't make the PC niche being irrelevant. It is still relevant as long as it strikes the said niche, and that, it does fairly well.
Until people play console like we play PC, the PC will still have its own charm and advantages.
The desktop position, likely more immersive to some than sitting in your sofa 3-5 meters away from your screen, easier to survey (nod to Beery's post), coupled to very specific controllers which reveal the excellence of genres like FPS and RTS, has little chances to fade away for the times to come.
Plus it seems that the niche has turned out to be particularily important in South Korea, and still growing.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate, I suppose, but speaking as one who's been banging at that door for decades, trying to spread the word that games are awesome, I think it's an incredibly good thing. The games the new folks who join the party play may not be the same games we play, or will play, but that they're playing is, in and of itself, a good thing.

But what games are we talking about really?
Since the Eyetoy/Wii style games is something relatively new to the living room environment, it can only refer to hardcorer games.
Are your Wii friends now playing those games which fueled your gaming experience for the last decades?
I doubt so.

In agreement with Cheeze_P's latest point, I see the Wii as a casual arcade style activity for the moment, and I don't see many plans to really change that.

Without the charm of arcades.

More. The Wii may lead the market, and more consoles sold would mean more sales, more iterations of the same Wii game. Which will look big on your weekly charts. There's no point denying the mainstream locomotive status the Wii harbours now.
But what kind of games are we talking about?

Will the Wii work as good as it does now when it will require more personnal involvment on the part of the player, because of a more intelligent and mature story, more controversial subjects?
Will those happy fans of Wii Play and whatever copy of Everybody's Cup of Tea will line up to play a sort of Deus Ex on the Wii?

One way I think the console can really work well is with kids and edutainment. Pointing a fairly intruitive and simple controller at the screen, any kid can do that.
Maybe it could steal the PC's edumarket there...

Being more mainstream, the Wii has the potential to open the casual gamer to more stylized games, less frivolous products, but do they even care?
The Wii is probably more of a very first step. But certainly not the only one.
When gamers will have plenty of babies, when 99.99% of politicians will share a past of gamers, to varying degrees, the days of the Wii will be long gone, but I suspect that people will be ready to consider more immersive experiences, probably because it won't be as asocial to do so, as it looks to be right now. The culture and minds will be vastly different, so people will be less reticent to try new things.
At this point, I don't think any entertainment-machine centric and conceptual war will be as "relevant" as it seems to be nowadays, when frontiers and functionalities will probably be so blurred.

There are probably many consumers who would love to own a machine that's halfway between a PC and a console, a sort of easy-PC, but better thought.

As for the Virtual Console, maybe it could help casual gamers catch up with 20 years of gaming history. That said, there's a slight paradox here. The games will likely be old and older, and it wasn't a surprise that the older the games, the more difficult. The mroe unforgiving, should I say. Which is the antithesis, thus far, of the casual gaming.

But there's also a plethora of easier games, still as old, and it's possible that the casual gamers will aim at products which are bit less dated, and which may look slightly better than PacMan 1.0.

Huh, what was the topic, again?

Arbre:
Huh, what was the topic, again?

Cheese fries.

This whole business with Sony being in trouble over the PS3. Whether it matters depends on whether we are shareholders or gamers. I know it's func to be a fanboy from time to time, but in reality when any game loses exclusivity that's good for gamers.

The PS3 as a business venture has issues. As a gamer I'm more interested in waiting to see how the games for it turn out.

The Wii as a business venture looks really successful. As a gamer I'm not actually interested in anything it offers. For me this isn't so much the future of consoles as something which ought to have been a peripheral (like Eye Toy). Has it made gaming mainstream? No. Because gaming was already mainstream. Has it interested some people who didn't care about existing games? Yes. That is in itself a good thing, but has about as much relevance to "console wars" as Brain Training on the DS, which has achieved the same.

For me the real story of this generation at the moment is the scary ways in which the various factions are trying to get more and more money out of gamers. Episodic content, expensive downloadable level packs and trivial expansions, XBox's Live's monthly fees, MMORPG monthly fees... The Wii's doing well in Japan, as is the PS2. Could it be something to do with price?

Arbre:
To Russ,

Looks like your "irrelevant" comment innocently kicked some hazardous snowball down the hill.

This tends to happen. I should wear smaller shoes.

The PC market is not quite what it was,I might be mixing sentiment over the new games with the overall market but its a fact that the PC market is the 2nd choice of the industry and most multi system titles are throughly watered down to be "console friendly".
While a staple segment of the overall gaming industry the PC has seen better days and is heading into a long uncomfortable summer, but I am sure its not changed much from 5 years ago when gaming went console focused....
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The 360 despite its issues is a solid contender,however without breaking into Asia or bringing their devs aboard in numbers they will only be a niche system, the whole stealing PCs games and over all style of "PC style" gaming is not helping them either, they need more diversity in their line up and the only real way to do that is to undercut production costs and get asain devs to come in and work on or port games on the cheap for them that is,MS will have to pay though the nose to alleviate production and localizing costs altho I wish MS would skip localizing and go right translating,I am so tired of super bad localizing jobs that lower standards to market to a winder audience...give me a solid JP voice track with solid translation and a option for crappy dub'd voice work and I would be happy to spend 50 on a mediocre game...

Anyway MS needs to drop the core spam out cheap HDD units let devs focus on making HDD enabled games and maybe they can start using multi disc games...its going to rough on the 360 in the coming years as more games take PGRs approach and make very different version of the same game for both systems.
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Sony is broken they can not tell what it is they want to do and they refuse to lower the price on their beast in order to regain the market share they have lost, I guess they can wait it out and then drop the price when FF and MSG hits that would be logical and the best way to manage losses but cripes if they keep this up they will remain 3-6 million unit sales behind the others and I doubt their ego could handle it.

Besides price and configuration issues the PS3 has issues with code optimization making only 1/3 rd of the games run better than their PC/360 counter parts and even other PS3 games,the PS3 is in for a long run as games come more optimizations will be come standard but thats not for 15-30 months, prehaps sony is waiting until they have confidence in their line up to lower the price...who knows sony is bad about user rights and being nice to their fans.

Theres not much I can say about the WII that everyone should already know its doing great its practically picked up the gauntlet the PS2 passed on personally I would like to see more use options in controls but I guess the casual focus distracts from further innovation,I also think the VC games cost to much as much at 60% to much and I would like to see a GBA/DS adapter for it,I hate handhelds but like their games....

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If Sony launched the PS3 at 400-480 and took losses head on I think not only would they have secured their throne but the Hdef disc market as well as it is now sony will have to go below 620USD world wide and 500USD in the US in order to get the PS3 to sale once it hits 450 it could easily replace the WII in 3+ years, since that is when the steam should be running out.

So MS was on top since it was the only and now the WII is replacing it because of price and games that leaves the PS3 to get over itself and offer to date below its class in order to win the populace over, hell this is more interesting than the 7th generation of games themselfs!

Dom Camus:
This whole business with Sony being in trouble over the PS3. Whether it matters depends on whether we are shareholders or gamers. I know it's func to be a fanboy from time to time, but in reality when any game loses exclusivity that's good for gamers.

The PS3 as a business venture has issues. As a gamer I'm more interested in waiting to see how the games for it turn out.

The Wii as a business venture looks really successful. As a gamer I'm not actually interested in anything it offers. For me this isn't so much the future of consoles as something which ought to have been a peripheral (like Eye Toy). Has it made gaming mainstream? No. Because gaming was already mainstream. Has it interested some people who didn't care about existing games? Yes. That is in itself a good thing, but has about as much relevance to "console wars" as Brain Training on the DS, which has achieved the same.

For me the real story of this generation at the moment is the scary ways in which the various factions are trying to get more and more money out of gamers. Episodic content, expensive downloadable level packs and trivial expansions, XBox's Live's monthly fees, MMORPG monthly fees... The Wii's doing well in Japan, as is the PS2. Could it be something to do with price?

Just a quick comment(for me :P),I think gaming went mainstream IE to market itself to the uber casual gamers and not a mix of casual and hardcore in of 2002-2004,while not the first(Unreal 2) to use a simplified gun and run scheme but DOOM 3 in my mind was the start of the "dev based hard core exstream lets market this to all the wrong people" type of marketing that has damage gaming in my eyes, I think RTCW was the last ID project that was a game and not some movie variant there of.

Doom 3 is to much mood and setting and it winds up falling onto itself as a DOOM game or a FPS theres no secrets or exploring a level, it boils down to a corridor shooter in the dark it might look pretty but thats it, and what the saddest thing is Q4 from the makers of Jedi knight 2-3 was just as sad,sure the levels were more open but the over all approach was just sad since JK2-3 was nicely designed games and Q4 is the apitymy of a gun and run shooter.

I dunno I might be growing old and bitter but the gameplay of DOOM 3 and others is taking us back 10 years....

My point if I did not make it was gaming was not always about the mass market merely herding the niche as best they can now they are out to gain everything they can and lost focus on whats important.

Well for one, I didn't mind the old school gameplay. It still rules when done on coop, and the setting is so strong, that I prefer such games with a very solid identity, rather than games like Unreal which are just ideas from everywhere more or less else properly agglomerated together.

Arbre:
Well for one, I didn't mind the old school gameplay. It still rules when done on coop, and the setting is so strong, that I prefer such games with a very solid identity, rather than games like Unreal which are just ideas from everywhere more or less else properly agglomerated together.

Unreal 1 was very nice ,2 was "underneath the underneath"/ ,03 laughable,04 a make up to the mistake and delay of making 03 incorrectly.

the setting of D3 devoured the game without the level design to back up the gameplay it simply failed to be a good game IMO.Been playing though Doom on doomsdayHQ and damn its got some great level design,all D3 and q4 need is slightly larger levels and most stashes secrets to be the games they should be but as they widdle away at "expendable" extras like level design and fun gameplay.
I also been review all the 94-96 ID games and damn I miss secret counters and maps in newer games...is it such a crime to know if I completed a level or not...*sigh*

I forgot to mention E3 in my posts, it seems E3 has gone from a all dev extravaganza to a top list of devs and even some of them are snubbing it,E3 needs to fin a middle ground between the exstreams...

I feel like I'm living in a bubble here in New Zealand, where the PS3 sold more units in its first day than the Wii had up to that point from its release months previously. And I really struggle to find games for my nintendo ds, because even major gaming stores only stock 5 or 6 titles
:-(

Russ Pitts:
Console Wars, Failure Rates and E3

Case in point: A woman who'd never played a videogame in her life visited my home recently. I'm sure you know at least one person like her (if you have a mother, that is).

Permalink

I'll have you know my mum was addicted to wolfenstien 3d - in a scary way.

Nobodies15:
I feel like I'm living in a bubble here in New Zealand, where the PS3 sold more units in its first day than the Wii had up to that point from its release months previously. And I really struggle to find games for my nintendo ds, because even major gaming stores only stock 5 or 6 titles
:-(

Russ Pitts:
Console Wars, Failure Rates and E3

Case in point: A woman who'd never played a videogame in her life visited my home recently. I'm sure you know at least one person like her (if you have a mother, that is).

Permalink

I'll have you know my mum was addicted to wolfenstien 3d - in a scary way.

My mom when she was living loved games and buged me to play them all the time,Doom,duke,blood heck FPS,s RPGs not so found of small hard to see RTS games but just about everythign else, she could handle the 2D Zelda's and loved bomber man ^^ and RPGs.

ZippyDSMlee:

Arbre:
Well for one, I didn't mind the old school gameplay. It still rules when done on coop, and the setting is so strong, that I prefer such games with a very solid identity, rather than games like Unreal which are just ideas from everywhere more or less else properly agglomerated together.

Unreal 1 was very nice ,2 was "underneath the underneath"/ ,03 laughable,04 a make up to the mistake and delay of making 03 incorrectly.

the setting of D3 devoured the game without the level design to back up the gameplay it simply failed to be a good game IMO.Been playing though Doom on doomsdayHQ and damn its got some great level design,all D3 and q4 need is slightly larger levels and most stashes secrets to be the games they should be but as they widdle away at "expendable" extras like level design and fun gameplay.
I also been review all the 94-96 ID games and damn I miss secret counters and maps in newer games...is it such a crime to know if I completed a level or not...*sigh*

Well, I actually loved the Doom 3 level design, on all aspects. It really felt like a credible futuristic base, with its kind of old town, and the newer and shinier upper city levels. I found it very adequate for the mood.

Slightly open from times to times, and mostly cramped inside, like a submarine washed upon a mountain, because Mars is a nasty place outside.
As for Hell, plain enough for an american and doom style rendition of this dimension.
Besides, the texture art was really good. Plenty of details.

That's also what always made me love id instead of Epic. I noticed that Epic was more about using lots of brushes, 3D models to give a level more detail, more volume, but inspecting them revealed from time to time that the texture job on them was hardly jaw dropping, often found being bland hues of repetitive and untilable concrete or metal materials pasted upon very complex, say messy masses of polygons, while id was more about all the job done with intricate textures.

I don't mind claustrophobic environments, nevermind if it's a corridor sim. :)

 

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