New Console Generation Brings Fear

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New Console Generation Brings Fear

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A new generation of consoles is approaching, and you should be afraid. Very afraid.

Responses to the mostly hypothetical upcoming generation of game consoles has been mixed. Some developers, like Epic, are wetting themselves in anticipation of more powerful hardware to play with. Others, like industry veteran and perpetual grump, David Jaffe, have responded with the verbal equivalent of the shrug. Doublesix CEO, James Brooksby, has noticed another response; fear.

"Having come back from GDC I saw excitement and fear in equal measure, I saw dismay and triumph," he said at the Westminister Media Forum. " A step to the next generation of classical consoles seems to have fear in a lot of peoples' eyes."

While Brooksby doesn't expect development costs to rise as dramatically as they did during the last generation, he still expects publishers are less likely to take chances on smaller, less established development teams.

"It still seems pretty scary for a lot of people, for developers and publishers alike," he said. "I think people will stick to proven development houses or in-house development which is going to be a challenge for the game development industry in the UK, and will probably mean there's going to be less people around of that scale."

Doublesix is a small, UK-based developer responsible for a couple of standout download-only games including Burn Zombie Burn and the fantastically titled South park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! Naturally he had a few kind words for digital distribution.

"People are excited by all the new ways in which they can make, distribute, and monetize their games. We're almost spoilt for choice," he added. "Even though digital distribution is much heralded as the way forward, if you follow this route it's clear to many that these markets have changed and change very quickly.

"The migration and demographics changes of the consumers to pastures new are occurring. Perhaps it's the tipping point or where we are in the console cycle, but certainly gamers are moving around because they have so many options."

It seems clear that indie games, at least those that don't have the words "mine" or "craft" in the title, seem to fare far better on the PC or iOS than on consoles. One pertinent example is Cthulhu Saves The World, which managed to sell more in one week on Steam than it did in one year on the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.

"As a company we need to look hard at where our audience has gone," said Brooksby. "Some of the excitement around small developers creating innovative games and reaping lots of rewards - on console that will be the exception rather than the rule. We're going to see more of those stories on smartphones, tablets, and the trusty old PC."

Source: GameIndustry.biz

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I know I'm afraid. Afraid for my poor, poor wallet. I can't even begin to imagine how much new consoles would cost when they first come out.

Plus there's the whole thing with digital distribution. I'm still iffy on that; with the industry in its current state, going digital only puts way too much power in the hands of the publishers.

Still, can't stop progress. Eventually this generation will fizzle out, we'll have to see what comes next.

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The indie scene on PC is flourishing, let the consoles burn for all I care. Then all those delicious exclusives can be enjoyed by a greater audience and won't be held back by archaic hardware.

RatRace123:
I know I'm afraid. Afraid for my poor, poor wallet. I can't even begin to imagine how much new consoles would cost when they first come out.

Plus there's the whole thing with digital distribution. I'm still iffy on that; with the industry in its current state, going digital only puts way too much power in the hands of the publishers.

Still, can't stop progress. Eventually this generation will fizzle out, we'll have to see what comes next.

But consoles and online passes are totally open amirite?

People letting shit like day 0 DLC get a free pass have resulted in too much power for publishers.

Seeing as how so many devs WANT:
Always on DRM
Online Passes
DLC that should have been in the damn game
Digital only distribution - with no price cut to match
ect
ect

I'll probably end up skipping the Xbox720/PS4/WiiU2 if that crap happens.

Gaming is a HOBBY, and I'll be damned if I'm going to be treated like a criminal by companies that want MY money.

Screw them.

May the weak perish swiftly.
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Naughty Dog has explicitly said a new console cycle scares them. And from the way they describe the last switch, I can understand why that is.

DVS BSTrD:
May the weak perish swiftly.
image

Obvious troll is extremely obvious.

OT: This has a wait and see feel to me. Could it go wrong?: yes. Will it?: Only God knows.

The thing about indie games is that since their games require very little as far as system specs go, anyone can play them whether you have a console or some piece of shit PC. It's no wonder that indie does better on PC, since there are more computers than consoles in the world. I think we were all expecting indie games to move to mobile platforms as well since smart phones are becoming more common.

For the record John, that image of the clown is terrifying.

GTX 680 benchmarks and reviews released today. Guess how much the PC gamer market gives a damn about consoles finally improving specs?

Did you guess "not even slightly"? well you're correct!

I'm loving what is happening through Kickstarter for PC, Mac and Linux gamers at the moment. Especially Brian Fargo's recent 'Kick it forwards' proposal.

Medium developers with a solid reputation get funded by fans - those developers hold back 5% of any profits made and use it to help out smaller developers on Kickstarter who are either too risky for ordinary gamers to back or simply havn't managed to get enough exposure to reach their Kickstarter targets.

So big publishers and consoles can just dissapear as far as I'm concerned, I'm way too tired all of their 0 day dlc, online passes and rip-off-the-customer BS.

My worry is about what was enunciated at the beginning of the article: the fact that publishers are gonna take even less risks. They're already cutting off and dumbing down the market a lot as of now. I can't see that with a good eye

Matthew94:

But consoles and online passes are totally open amirite?

People letting shit like day 0 DLC get a free pass have resulted in too much power for publishers.

Online passes suck ass. They're a tool used to punish the "evils" of used games sales, as is day 0 DLC, usually. I'm more concerned about publishers keeping all of that horrid stuff, but also adding in the additional suckage of them being able to control your game and making it unplayable if you're not hooked up to the internet or if you do something that pisses them off.

Busard:
My worry is about what was enunciated at the beginning of the article: the fact that publishers are gonna take even less risks. They're already cutting off and dumbing down the market a lot as of now. I can't see that with a good eye

Yet another reason for PC gaming =D

"Our market isn't *completely* full of homogenized crap"
-unlikely marketing tag for Steam

Cool i suppose, the 360 is getting a bit ridiculous now. It fucking chugs whenever I put in anything recent, runs perfectly but damn does it make some noise. Which is far better than can be said for my laptop at any rate. Epic menu screen lag FTW!

Also if the next Xbox has that touchscreen controller thing, depending on how it's implemented I'll either have to rage or be really fucking hyped. Hopefully the latter, if they've learned from that kinect thing that no physical feedback kills any immersion for 99.9% of people. Full touchscreen would be a bit silly, but hey if I could shortcut certain specials to a touchscreen in UMVC3 my playing would improve so, so much.

One button Ace Attorney... My life would be complete

And if Sony charges the same type of price on launch for the PS4 (i.e. double the price of the 360 if I remember correctly) then they can fuck right off.

I don't think anyone can argue successfully that throwing new consoles out there can be a bad thing. (unless they throw "fuckin' casuals!" in there.) It'll shut up all those people whining about PCs being held back... At least for a week or so until the next new graphics card comes out.

Wait that guy made Burn Zombie Burn? Didn't the PC port of that kinda suck? Or was that some other zombie shooter... There're so many these days. As for his statement, well, he is aware that there are truly terrible/uninspired Indie games too right? Just saiyan...

Well, I'm interested how powerful their new hardware will be, some console ports are so horribly optimized I'm baffled sometimes; nothing should run on 10-20 FPS while only using 15% of my VGA capacity. I really hope they'll get their act together this time.

P.s.: Damn you Captcha for "shoulder of Orion", off to watch Blade Runner.

The Wykydtron:
At least for a week or so until the next new graphics card comes out.

Too late, that was today =D

GTX 680 ^_^

Honestly I care less about the power of the consoles chips and more about the quality of their games. The one doesn't really lead to the other.

Yeah, I expect to move over to PC gaming once the new console generation comes out. It's not too uncommon for what is otherwise an exclusive to also come out for PC, and it allows me to easier avoid the rat race going on with consoles.

Als, not to quibble, but

Grey Carter:
anticipation of more hardware powerful hardware to play with.

I think ^^ is a typo. Otherwise, a great article! And props for the clown picture.

Captcha - funny farm
Huh. Anyone else getting the sense that Captcha is starting to develop a sense of humor? I for one welcome out new robot overlord.pleasedon'teatme

D6 are also the guys who couldn't figure out multiplayer for their latest game, right? I loved Burn Zombie Burn, But AZMD is a stale and ultimately poor entry into the marketplace.

Making a good game could be a bigger challenge than being indie.

The way indie games on consoles are handled is another issue. It just really seemed weird seeing them brought into this specifically.

DVS BSTrD:
May the weak perish swiftly.
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I thought Wii had something, man!

Tanis:
Seeing as how so many devs WANT:
Always on DRM
Online Passes
DLC that should have been in the damn game
Digital only distribution - with no price cut to match
ect
ect

I'll probably end up skipping the Xbox720/PS4/WiiU2 if that crap happens.

Gaming is a HOBBY, and I'll be damned if I'm going to be treated like a criminal by companies that want MY money.

Screw them.

Your cynicism impresses me, but I expect I'll end up caving and buying another console eventually.

However, I mainly commented here to tell you that it's 'etc', not ect - remember that it's short for etcetera (from the latin "et cetera", meaning 'and the rest')

If indie games are where it's at, then Microsoft and Sony don't need new consoles. They need to pull their heads out of their fourth points of contact and make XBL/PSN more indie-friendly. 2/3 of the pages on the 360 UI have ads, and plenty of them are for non-game media like movies. The Indie section is hidden away, and it's currently clogged with mostly garbage and/or blatant imitations of successful games. Rework the payment structure to further incentivize devs to sell games other than just on Steam, and promote the heck out of truly quality indie titles. As long as MS and Sony are picky about the highest quality games getting front-page marketing (not just the games with the most downloads), such a shining pedestal for devs to compete for could raise the overall bar of quality over time.

The segregation of Indies/Minis doesn't help to encourage high quality, either. On Steam, $5 titles are displayed right next to the latest $60 release. Currently the Indy and Minis sections of XBL/PSN translate to "most likely not even worth the $1-2 price". It was there that I found Steam-front-pager Beat Hazard among multiple Minecraft clones and Baby Maker Extreme. True gems get buried, and turds flourish as long as they're not polished any less than the ones surrounding them. Let's see how many Trials imitations are posted after they'd have to compete right next to the real thing... :-}

The Wykydtron:
Hopefully the latter, if they've learned from that kinect thing that no physical feedback kills any immersion for 99.9% of people.

Yes, which is especially good to note given the lack of immersive games before physical feedback was invented.

I don't see indie games a make or break thing. But, I do see the new innovations and new game play ideas heading that way.

Grey Carter:
One pertinent example is Cthulhu Saves The World, which managed to sell more in one week on Steam than it did in one year on the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.

I'd argue that this might be due to the Indie marketplace being unavailable outside NA.

Eikoandmog:

Grey Carter:
One pertinent example is Cthulhu Saves The World, which managed to sell more in one week on Steam than it did in one year on the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.

I'd argue that this might be due to the Indie marketplace being unavailable outside NA.

It's there in the UK, I dunno if it's different in NA but in the UK it's fucking impossible to find, but it is there.

My PC is most likely already more than capable of handling any next-gen game, and that's before any immanent upgrade (Which will still be cheaper than a new console, most likely).
Still, prettier games are always nice, and the possibility of something brand new and exciting is always just a little bit higher with the new console releases.

EDIT: And as for all the "indie" studios content to toss out rehashes of the top-down wave shooters, the market will be better if they fall by the wayside. Stick the competent coders onto more promising projects.

elvor0:

Eikoandmog:

Grey Carter:
One pertinent example is Cthulhu Saves The World, which managed to sell more in one week on Steam than it did in one year on the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace.

I'd argue that this might be due to the Indie marketplace being unavailable outside NA.

It's there in the UK, I dunno if it's different in NA but in the UK it's fucking impossible to find, but it is there.

Hm, couldn't find it on the Australian dashboard but maybe I didn't look hard enough.
(Oddly appropriate captcha: Make a bee-line.)

NvrPhazed:

DVS BSTrD:
May the weak perish swiftly.
image

Obvious troll is extremely obvious.

OT: This has a wait and see feel to me. Could it go wrong?: yes. Will it?: Only God knows.

yea, those poor gamers who fell for the Wii's trolling.

Moment of silence for those lost to the motion control craze.

OT: I think the next series of consoles will be more digital download tuned, but still have an option for disks. I mean, look at the consoles now, they have built in wifi receivers. Its only natural to think that trend will continue to the next generation. I only hope though that if an emphasis on digital download is put on the next consoles, that hard drives get a boost to capacity. Here's hoping for at the least a 1 Tb. console hard drive.

*Comes into thread expecting PC Gaming circle jerk* Never change, PC Gamers...

But honestly, the 360 and PS3 haven't really given me much incentive to get their successors. And the rumors are just making me feel stronger about that. Between the WiiU and just getting an upgraded laptop I plan on getting in the upcoming months, I won't need either.

Instead of buying the next console generation, I'll probably spend my money making sure my PC is up to spec.

Eikoandmog:

elvor0:

Eikoandmog:

I'd argue that this might be due to the Indie marketplace being unavailable outside NA.

It's there in the UK, I dunno if it's different in NA but in the UK it's fucking impossible to find, but it is there.

Hm, couldn't find it on the Australian dashboard but maybe I didn't look hard enough.
(Oddly appropriate captcha: Make a bee-line.)

Yeah it's hidden among sub catagories, I remember finding it once, but no luck any other time.

I don't think I am interested in the next console gen. I don't even think I am interested in gaming on PC. Lately, it's all handhelds and I can't even bring myself to play a console or PC game.

I do love console games playable on handhelds though.

ResonanceSD:

The Wykydtron:
At least for a week or so until the next new graphics card comes out.

Too late, that was today =D

GTX 680 ^_^

Too bad they use PCIe 3.0, I would need to replace a whole board. Just gonna wait for the 500's drop in price and snatch 2 580's or 590's.

Waaghpowa:

ResonanceSD:

The Wykydtron:
At least for a week or so until the next new graphics card comes out.

Too late, that was today =D

GTX 680 ^_^

Too bad they use PCIe 3.0, I would need to replace a whole board. Just gonna wait for the 500's drop in price and snatch 2 580's or 590's.

I got two GTX 580's =D $1000 in two pieces of awesome.

Z-series motherboards coming out soon, when IB launches, it's RIG TIME. For someone else.

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