The Law of Diminishing Returns

The Law of Diminishing Returns

The 360's recently reached milestone - selling more units than its predecessor - highlights a problem within the games industry. It's always been about more effort for less gain.

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I can't help but comment on the point about the better design of the 360. Yes, it looks better, but it certainly feels a whole lot more fragile. I felt like I could bludgeon a cow to death with an Xbox original and still be able to sit down and play it, but the 360 seems like if I look at it the wrong way it's going to shatter.

meatloaf231:
I can't help but comment on the point about the better design of the 360. Yes, it looks better, but it certainly feels a whole lot more fragile. I felt like I could bludgeon a cow to death with an Xbox original and still be able to sit down and play it, but the 360 seems like if I look at it the wrong way it's going to shatter.

I agree. Also, that 25 million unit number might be off a little because of people having to rebuy their consoles. I don't know if it was a problem with the original, but I have had to buy a second console because my disk drive crapped out on me right after the warranty ran out. I ended up buying a new arcade and then plugging in my old hard drive instead of paying the $100 for a fixed, but still used xbox 360.

with the 360 same happened with me ... I got a second one but now they have 3 years warranty and a new chip ("jasper" I think)

Still what the articles mentions ... I think it is because the industry took a wrong turn and got stuck in "a better console is a console with a better hardware"

I doubt we will see much change in How powerful game consoles are ... the incentive should go in releasing the games faster ... do I really need single animated snow flakes when I am walking around the world of my new RPG? must the skyscraper on the background of my racing track be full of detail? Do I need to see the sweat on the tennis player across the field?

Well NO ... I mean if they told me it was in the game I would get hyped but it would no make it more entertaining and I think game developers need to remember that they are in the entertainment business.

Even if you take games as art (which I think some may aspire too) what is the final goal of a game?

I think the PS2 did open new markets, but people are just happy with the PS2, they need more games and not another console cause the games they play on the PS2 are entertaining enough and the ones on the PS3 or 360 add little to it, or not enough for them to get a new console.

Although the currently economy does take a tole on the gaming industry (e.g. EA and the loss of so many jobs) work in reducing the amount of time and people it takes to make a game is where the big names should focus (IMO)...

I enjoyed watching DVDs on my PS2 and enjoy it even more in my 360 cause I've got the remote (I know I could have gotten one for the PS2 but I thought it was ugly) ... I like how the 360 looks in my living room as well as my PS2 (second version) and I am not sure if I'll buy into the next generation of consoles yet to come ... I might even get a PS3 in the future but as consoles go I think I am satisfied.

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hasone2:
360 charges for online play. End of story. That is a reason for many core gamers and casual gamers + the exclusive titles on playstation. I think more people might buy the PS3 if it didn't have the blu-ray which makes it cost more. The mass of gamers do not want to pay for something they don't need. The HDDVD format is now a dead technology, therefore the 360 is only a cheap gaming alternative with a fanboy limited library and thirst for coins. Red ring of death, crap. As you said, they are probably selling lots of 360s to the same people who bought the original xbox. Sony again messed up by not making the PS3 backwards compatible on all models and that certainly played a roll in slumping sales along with high price and a blu-ray player, and wireless six axis controller with no rumble! The Law of Diminishing Returns.

...and in the blue corner!

and on another note nice way to make your first post...

hasone2:
360 charges for online play. End of story. That is a reason for many core gamers and casual gamers + the exclusive titles on playstation. I think more people might buy the PS3 if it didn't have the blu-ray which makes it cost more. The mass of gamers do not want to pay for something they don't need. The HDDVD format is now a dead technology, therefore the 360 is only a cheap gaming alternative with a fanboy limited library and thirst for coins. Red ring of death, crap. As you said, they are probably selling lots of 360s to the same people who bought the original xbox. Sony again messed up by not making the PS3 backwards compatible on all models and that certainly played a roll in slumping sales along with high price and a blu-ray player, and wireless six axis controller with no rumble! The Law of Diminishing Returns.

All consoles would sell more if they didn't have expensive features. What do you mean "the 360 is only a cheap gaming alternative with a fanboy limited library"? The 360 has a larger library than the PS3 and you have no way of proving that the PS3's library is also not fanboy based.

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I like the 360 controller. I bought one with a Windows Wireless receiever to play game ports from the 360 on my PC. Assassin's Creed, DeadSpace, Mass Effect, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3. I just don't want to buy the console.

Several reasons why. I already have a PS3 and a Wii which never get used very frequently. The Wii hasn't been used since Smash Bros Brawl came out. and I occassionally use the PS3 for Bluray or to play the 3 games I own for it, GTAIV, SW Force Unleashed and LBP. My 4th title will be RE5 next year.
So I just don't use consoles that much.

secondly, I don't like the idea of paying extra money for game mods. I know I can't resist if something really good is coming out, so why risk it, I'll just stay on PC where that sort of thing will remain free.

Third, out of all of the consoles, the 360 has a bad rep for dieing for no reason. Theres no way I would buy a new replacement console if my old one died. Upgrade, yes, replace with same thing, no. Thats the awesome thing about PC gaming, if something breaks, or gets too far obsolete, you can just upgrade it.

Lastly, like I said before, a lot of the games that I like to play are multiplatform, exclusive to PS3, PC or Wii, theres almost nothing good that is exclusive to 360 only, so all of my bases are covered. The 360 exclusive that I might be interested in, like Halo3 or GoW2, would be better suited to mouse and keyboard controls, I wouldn't want to play them on a console anyway.

Sony released the PS3 when games we're still being developed as PS2 exclusives. I personally think the current generation came too soon, & still offers too little for their price tags to consumers. The Wii is perhaps the exception. But since when most people talk about generation leaps they talk about hardware & graphic upgrades, the Wii seems to be this strange oddity that just took the Gamecube, did something genuinely different (however unused its innovative aspects are by developers) with it & made Nintendo cool again.

Oh & for what its worth. I still have & use my PS2 & Xbox. I can still buy current release games on the PS2 for 1/2 the price they are on next gen consoles. The graphics downgrade doesnt bug me in the slightest. Both my consoles are also at least 5years old now & have proved more reliable than the 3 x360's i've owned (one died altogether, one's CD tray had to be replaced, one works but thats probably coz it never gets used). When I compare games made for this generation to those made for the last one, more often than not they make me get the old consoles out so I can play them.

Am I the only one in love with state of the art graphics on an HD display. I can agree that if you don't have an HDTV then the return you get from a ps360 may be small. But for me even playing superstardust hd, a game I could play for free online in an uglier form, is more fun on my ps3 because it looks better on a big widescreen HDTV. I like shiny graphics, and I think it adds to the experience. Its why I prefer MGS4 over MGS2. It's why I'd rather play Halo3 over Halo2. Mario Galaxy over Mario 64. not gameplay, but graphics.

I don't think the point of the article was to start a pissing match about which console is best. Christian is describing how it now takes 3x as much money and a lot more time to make a game that is highly similar to the equivalent game from the prior generation. How can this kind of business model continue?

First i would like to say that it was a really interesting article.

The problem i think is that you can't expect every gamer to throw away their old console and upgrade every 3 years, same thing can be seen with cars, i am sure that the new Lexus is better in every way than my shitty old piece of rust Citroen GTX but i don't upgrade. I think the problem is that the things are released to often now, hell i can barley remember if the next COD is number 5,6 or 7. With more consoles on the market released more frequently available to more people of course the sales will not increase exponentially. People are (@ least here in the west) consuming many times the materials they actually need and with a slowing economy and a more environmental thinking it is only logical that ppl will consume less.

I guess the law of diminishing returns applies very well here, but there are always exceptions. Blizzard is a great example, the more money, time and resources they invest, the bigger they return is, with only one game they went from just another game studio to the most well known and respected/envied game company on the planet.

I don't know what the solution is, maybe one needs to look at the focus. All these articles about sales and numbers and $$, that can't be good for us as consumers. None of them, Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo are focusing on how many interesting and different new games they have, what they seem to focus on is what they can turn into a franchise and suck it dry.

And again, I present Blizzard, on the outside, it appears they are doing the same thing. using only 3 IPs for the last # of years, but instead of leaving just an empty shell of a game that once was, every new iteration gives the feeling of more than it once was, while staying familiar.

I'm not implying that Blizzard has all the answers, but they obviously have some.

And how much better is your Spartacus copy going to look when it comes out for Blu-Ray than the DVD version of it?

Sorry, I definately agree that this generation of systems came out years early, and the respective movie companies aren't convincing me to turn over my 300+ DVD library into BR. Why should I spend ridiculous amounts of money in order to get a small increase in graphics quality?

One of the big selling features of Blu-Ray is the amount of memory it can hold. So why in the hell am I buying 1 movie per disk on Blue-Ray??? Why is for example, the Star Wars Collection 1-6 not showing up on one disk (Phantom Menace is around 8 Gigs in 1080p rather than 700 megs for conventional)? Why are they not giving me a deal for movies that I have purchased in DVD?

There is no incentive beyond "shiney graphics" for me to turn my collection into Blu-Ray. Why aren't they more affordably priced, either as single movies or as a collection? Why does it seem to me that they are raising the prices of DVD movies rather than lowering the price of Blu-Ray to convince people to buy the other? Why does it also seem to me that they are lowering the quality of DVD movies artificially in order to produce a better quality difference comparison between the two? Give me some sort of reason to upgrade. Space is one, except I can't save any space when it's still one movie per disk. Convenience and compatability is another. Why can I still not put my own damn movies on my computer? That just means that I will have to do it illegally.

Video Games are starting to do the same thing. Why can't I put my copies of Playstation games on my PS3 Hard Drive? Why am I having to purchase the same exact game again just to get it virtually?

The Entertainment Industry as a whole needs to get their collective heads out of their asses and start to work for people rather than just for money, or they will die. They are shooting themselves in the feet. They just need more people to stop being collectively stupid about being ripped off. What happened to businesses working to please their customers, because it seems the whole practice of taking pride in your work has died. I haven't seen it in a commercial product for a very long time now. Not since everything turned to nickle-and-dime profit making...

There's my rant for the morning. :)

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