Going Gold: Console War, What is It Good For?

Going Gold: Console War, What is It Good For?

The self-destructive boom-and-bust cycle of video game console wars is something the games industry needs to move beyond.

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And They keep saying PC gaming is dieing. From reading this, it looks to be the other way around. except for Nintendo. But Thats all I have ever used was my PC and the latest Nintendo console.

There is the wonderful prospect of me being able to afford an Xbox 360 and not keep begging my friends to let me play theirs. What would they even use the enhanced processing power and hard drive in a new gen for anyways? Bigger installations? More blur effects?

Games on PS2 & Xbox still seem pretty good even if theyre supposed to be "obsolete." That I think is the reason that of the main consoles only the Wii is showing any real success; because its the only one that really offered anything new. The wii, even if it is only the controllers, offers something different & comes complete with a much more family friendly marketing campaign. The Ps3 & 360 meanwhile are just pumped up versions of their predecessors: marketted towards the same people who owned the old models; many of whome probably didnt feel what they were playing was outdated & obsolete. The fact that their machines are expensive, noisey, space consuming power hogs doesnt help their cause either.

Great article, and I agree: consoles shouldn't be trying to out-do each other purely on hardware, but should be focusing on the thing that matters, games.

Sigh. Yeah, and the whole industry should have stopped at the Famicom, I assume? A lot of finger wagging and lamenting about keeping up with the Joneses, but no suggestions of any better way to run things.

The sales winner is NOT the winner of the generation. The PS2 won not because of HW sales. It won because of HW sales AND over 1000 titles. That's the environment that the 3rd parties want. It took 3 years for everyone to get used to the PS2. It then took another 3 years to create the library that defines that platform's true broad appeal. SingStar didn't even happen until Sony was making money on every console sold.

You're calling the end of the current cycle WAY to early. Sit down, son. These things take a while.

I tell you who it's good for: us. We should be warmongers trying to encourage as much competition among the console companys as possible. It would be worse for us if they all just specialized in one thing and would then have a monopoly in that particular style of gaming and entertainment.

Actually, MS has little to no debt and cash sitting. So MS is in great shape to lose money on consoles if it puts them in a position to be the long term leader in the console market.

Well, in a perfect world consoles would only need to change generation every 10-15 years. We don't really need graphics better then Crysis do we? Let everybody reach that standard and then cool it.

I would rather se Microsoft and Sony invest the "next-gen console" money into their game studios.

I play titles, not hardware. Sure, it's nice to have a bunch of horsepower under the hood and developers can do some nifty stuff with all that sophisticated gadgetry... but they need to focus on design, not relearning how to code for the hardware every title or two. And, as noted many times elsewhere, the higher-resolution graphics are placing an enormous burden on art departments and greatly increasing production costs.

What we need is more "developer-friendly" horsepower in platforms, something that adds to what studios can do without forcing them into retraining their tech department and doubling the art department staffing requirements every five years. That, I'm afraid, is a long time away.

-- Steve

Anton P. Nym:
I play titles, not hardware. Sure, it's nice to have a bunch of horsepower under the hood and developers can do some nifty stuff with all that sophisticated gadgetry... but they need to focus on design, not relearning how to code for the hardware every title or two. And, as noted many times elsewhere, the higher-resolution graphics are placing an enormous burden on art departments and greatly increasing production costs.

What we need is more "developer-friendly" horsepower in platforms, something that adds to what studios can do without forcing them into retraining their tech department and doubling the art department staffing requirements every five years. That, I'm afraid, is a long time away.

-- Steve

I wholeheartedly agree! The amount of money spent on a game is not what makes it fun. It's the people behind that game. The easier it is for them to work with a system, the more inventive and polished their game can be.

Stuff that makes me curious is coming on the PS3. L.A. Noire, Heavy Rain, those consoles have lot to offer, notably with different controllers, before we move to a new era of more physics and ten layers of textures and effects per polygon.

I'm also very happy in how the PS2 still remains a valuated purchase.

okay, so this is the industry as i see it.
from the start it was kinda redundant for microsoft to even attempt the console market except for the greed factor (oh wait, this is microsoft i'm talking about...), as any wal-mart or gamestop now stocks pc controllers similar to most console controllers and any perusal through a thrift store's electronic section will unveil outdated wannabe sega genesis controllers for the pc. but during this war it seems to me nintendo finally did what it hasn't done since super nintendo: dominate the market. like that one dude days, we're only 3 years into this war and the average shelf-life of a console is anywhere between 5 and 10 years if they do it right. from my vantage point it looks like sony is trying to force people to buy all the ps2s and psps in existence before they unveil the awesome power that is the ps3's full range of capabilities, including being on the market ten years from now. by that point microsoft will be marketing their new xbox that no doubt offers similar controllers to the wii, which will have at that point let go of their assholery (e.g. ssbb2.5 featuring members of the mario tennis audience as unlockables) and get back to releasing games of the calibre that made them great (there would be no metal gear solid series had snake not made his entry via the nes, same goes for the ff series). here's how it's gonna break down:
-sony's 3rd system will begrudgingly die out 2015-ish with an ass of titles that revolutionize the way we look at gaming
-nintendo will release game after game that seems to say "i fuckin told you so" with updates that don't turn your controller into a steeringwheel but instead make you say things like "holy fuck! did you just see that! save! save! i gotta try that again!" like in the days of yore
-microsoft will still be plugging along and instead assume nintendo's current role as the massmarket soup dujour specializing in all the crap that people that buy games (remember us?) are sick of.

as a guy who at one point owned nintendo's shame (the gamecube) TWICE over a span of 8 years, it boils down to what i said the second time i bought one: i already have a cd player and a way to watch movies, how about a game that doesn't make me want to throw the god damn joystick at the screen in frustration? (which is easier with the wii controllers, and possibly more harmful, but whatever). that said, now that the hype is seemingly dying down i'm gonna fix my girlfriend's ps2 and original xbox so we can mod the shit out of them and cave into the 7th gen's bs and get -drumroll- a wii until a few years from now when i can pick up a fully loaded, non-buggy ps3 for the cost of what a new psp costs now.

The zero punctuation video on the Console wars sums up this entire thread.
Waste of Space.

Awesome article. I'm just waiting for the day when consoles operate in the same way as dvd players. get a game off the shelf, stick it in your console of choice, and play away. Using the same basic technology across the board doesn't seem to have hut the dvd player market. Monopoly my arse.

 

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