We Really, Really Don't Need New Consoles

Jun 11, 2009
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UrinalDook said:
You. You should post more.

grumpymooselion said:
I remember it very well. I also remember that the Original Xbox never made back its money, and that as successful as the 360 seemed at first its hardware issues kept it from ever being first to the extent that PS3 now has more sales in the latest numbers
The latest numbers that are coming at the end of the longest console generation in the history of the medium?

I love the PS3, but the fact that it did as well as it did this generation was an amazement, and it's been in second place most of the way. Don't discount the 360's legacy.

OT:

Personally, while I do hope that losses (probably a crash) will be good for the console industry, I'll be sad to see it go. At least the Playstation brand, anyway. The PS3, as clunky and as neglected by Sony as it was, was the home to some truly great games that just wouldn't have been the same on a keyboard or a PC. I don't care how compatible the PC is with gamepads: Uncharted, Infamous, and God of War simply wouldn't have been the same.

Just . . . I'm being sentimental, I know. I want companies to learn from their mistakes and stop the self-destructive business practices that got them here in the first place. If that takes a market crash, I'm fully prepared to weather it.

But damn, man. I just wish it hadn't come to this.
 

grumpymooselion

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The next console I buy better plug me into it directly, Matrix style, to actually experience and feel the gameplay. :p

PS4 and Xbox another one, as well as the Wii U, aren't going to cut it for me.
 

Casual Shinji

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What it all boils down to, I don't know.

But what I do know is that this is the first new console generation that I'm dreading. The bad is just starting to outweigh the good for me.
 

Clovus

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Callate said:
But, much as I love my PC, I don't feel unfettered optimism in that area, either. The PC seems to be getting more exclusive games and more games developed for it cross-media this year than ever, and that's great. But Windows 8 suggests a disturbing trend of Microsoft trying to create a more closed market in which they can maintain a greater control in the hopes of creating a space where they have the kind of presence that Google and Apple enjoy today. And neither Google nor Apple seems like its about to re-create the combination of power and open development in their platforms that Microsoft seems in a hurry to squander. I'm no more in a hurry to do all my gaming on a Android or Apple tablet than Yahtzee is to shelve all his PS3 and XBox 360 libraries.
Yeah, there are two hopeful endgames there. Either Microsoft doens't make Windows 9 a closed market or Valve somehow actually manage to kickstart Linux gaming. As much as I would like it to happen, the latter seems unlikely. However, even if it only serves a small market, if Linux gaming does grow greatly that might be the thing that gets Microsoft to wise up and do everything the can to actually support PC gaming.

In the end, no company can stop the PC from being open. If MS does try it, I think the combined efforts of the internet and MS's partners will find a solution.

Or not and maybe I'll start reading more ...
 

Grach

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Mahoshonen said:
Great article, Yahtzee, one that explains easily many of the reasons why neither the PS4 or XBox 3-Online Supertree are of any interest to me. It does leave out the biggest reason for my apathy, one that would understandably not occur to you given your job as a reviewer: I have such a massive backlog of games from this genreation that I am in no rush to grab the next game console. Especially one that has zero backwards compatability.
He kinda touched on that you know, the whole "why have a new console generation with zero games and backwards compatibility if you have almost a decade worth of games on cheaper consoles" thing he talked about.

I don't really care for consoles to be honest. To me it started to go downhill when the ability to simply plop in a game and play it was lost. Wasn't that one of the main strengths of consoles? That if your dad had to do a spreadsheet or design something on the PC you could just grab the SNES and play Super Metroid or Super Mario World instead. Now they're all some kind of hybrid between a PC and a DVD/Blu-ray reader, so what's the point? Besides, mobile phones games are going to get larger I think, laptops are getting more and more powerful and USB's being, well, universal (so you can plug pretty much any controller and have it work), I really don't see the point on the ongoing console wars. Looks more like a opening for bile between fans rather than an improvement on gaming.
 

RJ Dalton

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And this is ultimately the reason why PC gaming will never die. Consoles might go under, but PCs are multi-purpose machines that can also handle games. Even if the console market crashes, you'll still have use for computers that you won't have for consoles, thus someone will always be able to make PC games.

At this point, I don't care if the console market crashes. I've got a PS2 and a healthy library of games and there are still used stores around here that sell PS2 and PS1 games. If the console market crashes, I'm set until something comes along to revive it.
 

Darkslayersparda

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Consoles are still good for now .in terms of graphics just look at god of war III . right now developers need to focus more on smoothing out there games. one example that comes to mind is skyrim ,its lore in the books don't reflect the real world .(off topic) Fps games need more variety in gameplay . hack and slashes are a good source , god of war focuses on quick responses overpowering enemies while dmc(classic) is suited for style and continues combat
 

SethADrekin

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Let's start out by saying Nintendo Wii U's performance is more or Less, On Par at the moment. Monthly sales are lower than usual, but total Sales are ahead of the last generation, Wii Aside. You can't really expect another Wii.

Honestly, I think you hit the nail on the Head with your arguments against the PS4 and Xbox. Triple A Game Development is on the verge of Collapse. There is no way to sustain the cost of development on the Current Gens capabilities. Trying to push these consoles' Next Gen to their limits will mean a Hit with turn a small profit and a flop will fold a company. Every other negative you pointed out has me Glad I opted in to the Wii U.

Nintendo is doing just about everything you recommended. They are lowering Development Costs and trying to Pull the Industry back from the Competitions obsession with the Pinnacle of Graphics Technology. This next gen will not be noticeably better to the average person anyway. Where Sony is trying to build an on console Facebook, Nintendo is focusing on new ways to play. Let us not forget, they are also fully backward compatible, not just the games either.

I think where you have missed your mark insisting we do not need a new Gen. Let's face it, the Gameplay on PS3 and 360 is well beyond Stale. People have long since gotten over the Wiis Motion Control Craze. Kinect and Move were a total fail. Most importantly, the Games, which were good when they came out, are now on Sequel number three, four, five and, in Call of Duties Case, Eight. Most of these Sequels have seen little if any gameplay evolution and are more or less re-skinned versions of their predecessors.

We desperately need a new console generation. A Generation that Focuses on new and innovative gameplay. Not the Highest End Possible Graphics and Social Media integration. I think, if anyone, Nintendo has seen the Path forward. Touch Screen Controls are not new, but they are new to Console Quality Gaming. The Big Name Developers, the EAs and Activisions, are a lost cause. Nintendo is right not to beg them for Support. Nintendo is targeting the Next Generation of Innovative Developers. They are going for the Indies. Of course it is going to start out slow. It will most likely be a blood bath of Failed Indie after Failed Indie, but some of them will make it. With success comes money and with money comes Higher Quality games. When they start work on the Project of their Dreams, they will remember that it was Nintendo that helped them Break into the Console Market. It is Nintendo that will let them make and publish the games they love at a reasonable cost with all the gameplay mechanics they could hope for.

Nintendo doesn't require Developers to use it's "Gimmicky" controllers. They even made the Pro Controller just for the Big Companies to use on ports. But in the End, no matter what kind of game you want to make, Nintendo has the Technology you need to bring it to a massive audience, on a unified platform, at a reasonable price.
 

Fappy

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Thanks Yahtzee, you reminded me that I need to give my PC a look-over pretty soon to see if there's anything that needs upgrading.
 

GonzoGamer

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What do you expect?
The console developers saw a generation of gamers who are willing to "deal with" RROD and a monthly fee for online. I'm not saying the ps3 was too much better but if your consumers are willing to deal with defective products, you can bet a whole bunch of the dbags on the board of directors are going to want and see what else the consumer is willing to deal with so they can squeeze out a few more coins.
 

UrinalDook

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grumpymooselion said:
I
I remember it very well. I also remember that the Original Xbox never made back its money, and that as successful as the 360 seemed at first its hardware issues kept it from ever being first to the extent that PS3 now has more sales in the latest numbers I've read, you know, the PC3 that everyone considered last for most of this generation. There's something to be said for staying power, and the 360 has proven that it doesn't have it. The original Xbox was a brick, it was ugly and though it had arguably the most power of its generation it did the worst.

Power means nothing, and when your first console didn't make its money back, and you're already putting out the 360, I see problems. When the 360 can't manage to outlast the disaster that was the PS3 (seriously, the PS3 was behind this entire generation, the fact that it's suddenly outpacing the 360 is disturbing because that usually doesn't happen - the last two generations have showed me firmly that the guy in last usually stays in last), I see problems. When your employees don't see the big deal about always online consoles, I see a problem. When Halo is no longer in the hands of Bungie, and the new studio handling Halo has proven themselves incompetent, and Bungie have gone multiplatform with their new game, I see a problem.
Nice work missing my point. It matters not what the state of the Halo franchise is now (and frankly, your accusations that 343 are incompetent are staggeringly opinion based). It doesn't necessarily even matter about the success of the console either. The argument presented is that new hardware is not enough, that we need quality games to go with it and actually do something with that hardware.

I used Halo because it's an example of a game no one saw coming. Sure, it had interest when it was announced as part of the launch line up but I don't think anyone expected the rather generic sounding sci-fi shooter debuting as an exclusive for an underestimated console to be as huge a success as it was. My point is simply that we don't know what's around the corner. We don't know that all this talk of 'always online' and lack of backwards compatibility is absolutely going to prevent fresh ideas from kicking the industry up the butt and back into action.

I also don't buy any of your arguments about either console as a failed return on investment or this concept of 'staying power'. Raw numbers may seem to paint both Xboxes as a loss, but don't even try and pretend you know how Microsoft manages its money. I mean, the consoles are manufactured at a loss! Unless you can quote me figures on how well MS subsidises Xbox production on licensing and similar fees paid to them by other companies for using their system, I will remain skeptical about any unsubstantiated claims you have for me about how current Xbox sales are a precursor to poor game development in the next generation.

Do4600 said:
Remember when the AAA market was totally unsustainable and the only games that could turn a profit were Call of Duty, Halo and anything made by a single college student in their dorm? And then a new console forced developers into a completely alien set of hardware that tripled the standards of the most costly elements to program for? And then do you remember that those companies couldn't afford to take chances like the ones that led to Halo?
No. Because that hasn't happened yet. Naysaying don't make it so. All I'm calling for is more of wait and see attitude. If the next gen does prove impossible to develop for, if 'alien hardware' (seriously, wtf is that?) really does 'triple programming costs' (not what you said, but I think what you were implying), if no dev studio 'takes chances' and we're left with a horrible grey clones of games for the next ten years, then by all means come gloat at me.

These dire predictions just have no real basis other than scraps of journalistic fear mongering from around the internet of all things. Also, this.

Clovus said:
What's really weird about this argument is that the majority of AAA games are already being created with the high res assets that are needed for the future consoles. Just look at the PC versions of those games. They're already at 1080p and higher resolutions, 3D and multiple monitor support, better physics, and high res textures. And a good part of this work isn't even extra work. It's not like artists sit around creating artwork for games that run at 720P. They create super high res textures that are then compressed to various levels for the consoles and different PC settings.
That specifically, but everything else in that post is good too. More people should listen to this guy.

Professor Lupin Madblood said:
UrinalDook said:
You. You should post more.
Thanks :). One tries, but adamantly fence-sitting really chafes after a couple of posts.
 

synobal

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DVS BSTrD said:
I'd actually like to see the AAA Game industry hit that iceberg. Their business models are Toxic to the industry as a whole. I'm sick of seeing perfectly good games break the ruin of their creators because their development process was so bloated (no to mention executive compensation) that there is no way for them to make a decent return or meet the publisher's ludicrous sales goals. The sooner this cancer stops setting trends and sucking the life out of studios the better.
Pretty much this, the AAA industry really hasn't been doing to well. As a rule I really think it's doomed. Also Nintendo for the love of god get some new IPs. I really feel sorry for developers who are forced to churn out mario game after mario game or zelda etc etc
 

StriderShinryu

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I really need to watch out for this mystical creature that appears from the ether and devours your previous gen hardware the moment you buy something new. It's odd because I own still working hardware and games dating back to the Intellivision and I've never seen it.

I'm sorry, but backwards compatibility is not that big of a deal. Sure, it's a nice convenience, but it's far from a game breaking issue. Just keep using your old console for your old games if you really want to play them that badly. Then, in a few months at most, when you're probably not playing the old console much at all, disconnect it but keep it handy. Non-existent problem solved.
 

kazriko

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Argh. I'm so sick of this argument.

They're building the PS4 around the idea of making it easier and cheaper for developers to make games for the console. If they don't participate in some sort of ill-advised graphical arms race in gaming, then the PS4 should make the entire thing more profitable for developers. The models and textures are pretty darn good on PS3, the hardware just isn't powerful enough to do them justice, so you get texture popin and shoddy framerates on so many games. The cramped memory is also a massive issue.

I think all around the PS4 shouldn't increase costs for the majority of developers on it. It'll only increase costs for those idiotic studios that think they have to bump the models and textures up until the new consoles bog down to 25fps and completely run out of memory again.

Games like Borderlands 2 and Rage are already at next-gen levels of graphical fidelity, they're just having trouble trying to run on hardware that's been around way longer than it should have.
 

TheMadDoctorsCat

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FloodOne said:
I have a decent gaming PC, and it's filled with plenty of great titles. But the PC market doesn't supply me with some of my favorite genres, i.e. JRPGs, fighting games, hack and slash and sports titles.

Sure, I can play some great WRPGs and some stellar FPS titles, but that's not enough for me, and I cannot subsist solely on indie titles. These days, you sound like too much of a bitter old man for me to take seriously anymore.
I agree with you and Yahtzee both. I'd love to see some of those games be ported to PCs, or developed for them. But I haven't been a console gamer for a long time now and I wouldn't get one of the new generation for exactly the reason Yahtzee says. What's the point? It's an investment in games that may never even be developed.
 

EstrogenicMuscle

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Well, it's better than Yahtzee rattling off against jRPGs or Nintendo. Oh wait, this counts off as rattling off against Nintendo, I think.

Though in this case the Wii U kind of deserves it. It has been fairly terrible the past few months. I do have hope it might pick up.

I agree with the sentiment that the "AAA" industry is bloated. Honestly, the indie section of the video games industry anywhere is the healthiest right now. The West, or Europe and American and other colonies of Europe and their games, are being pretty dominated by basically overly large budget games about guns. Square Enix and Capcom as well seem to be losing money chasing this audience.

And for Japan, the most prominent in game development outside of the West, is having many of its own struggles. Attempting to cope with new technologies has sunk a lot of franchises and genres. Japanese RPGs have moved to handhelds because most have given up attempting to make a Japanese RPG on demanding consoles. And when done console jRPGs usually take up few of the resources actually provided by consoles.

And Devil May Cry is dying. And Castlevania. And Mega Man. And Final Fantasy has crashed and burned. And it is reflective of both the East and West having different kinds of failings when adapting to new technology.

I kind of like the fact that this is happening. I want the AAA industry to burn up and shrivel into something else. If this new console generation can help kill off the problems in the gaming culture quicker, all the better. I hope that this generation can help many developers and publishers to give up chasing graphics.
FloodOne said:
I have a decent gaming PC, and it's filled with plenty of great titles. But the PC market doesn't supply me with some of my favorite genres, i.e. JRPGs, fighting games, hack and slash and sports titles.
And that's why I'm a console gamer and have always been one. Around the time of the SNES there were some nice PC titles. Point and click adventures. Scorched earth. But they never gave such an impressive experience as what the SNES offered at the time.

And even then I liked a lot of the PC genres than a lot of the stuff that dominates the PC now like first person shooters. I'll take point and click adventure games over a first person shooter any day.

I'm becoming a little more of a PC gamer due to that changing. The PC is starting to get more and more console friendly titles. There are several JRPGs and Fighting games now coming to the PC. When the console is doing well, PC genres tend to migrate to consoles. When the PC is doing well, console genres tend to migrate to the PC. I think that is what is happening right now and will continue to happen as I don't perceive consoles killing off interest in PC gaming this generation.

Again, I'm not a PC gamer primarily because I tend to prefer console gaming genres. But that is all changing as the PC is getting more games in those genres that I care about.

I will say one thing. This is the first time I have truly not been excited for a new console generation in my life. And had no other incentive to buy a new incentive whatsoever to buy a console other than Japanese exclusives like RPGs. There's undoubtedly going to be some Konami, Bandai Namco, Gust, Grasshopper, Atlus, Nippon Ichi, or Arc System Works game that is not for the PC and I just have to play.
 

1nfinite_Cros5

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Well-said, Yahtzee.

I've been a console gamer all my life and I am also investing in PC gaming as a safe-guard for enjoyment next generation. I need it to fall back onto in the case that the probable 2nd Video Game Crash happens and the whole industry spends months, if not years, re-evaluating its system.

That said, I'm still hopeful with the PS4. I'm waiting to see what they show at E3 and anything else before launch. If they can fix the backwards-compatibility problem and smoothing over the social system on the platform so it seems less intrusive then I might get it. Same with the Durango. If it isn't always-online and has the right library at launch, I might feel like getting one.
 

castlewise

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Eh. I don't know if this will the the "last" traditional console generation or not. I do know that people will continue to have computational hardware hooked up to their TV which plays games. Maybe the big three will make consoles so attractive that all of the developers will come back. Maybe the Steam box will take over and everyone will have tiny modular pc'esq boxes. Who knows! In the long run I'm not sure it matters, and in the short run its not like my feelings, or even Yahtzie's feelings, have any impact.
 

Colt47

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Yeah, the problem isn't the new generation coming around as much as the reason for why it is coming around, which is to just continue the current console industry trend. Sony at least is admitting they need more than shooters on their console, but at the same time they don't understand at all why some people like myself bought into the playstation brand to begin with. The Playstation was good because it had games for a whole variety of niche crowds: from JRPGs and Action Adventure games, to sports, 2d side scrollers, fighting games, and racing titles. And it did this with reasonable prices and a market that was accepting of used game sales.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is increasingly converting their 360 into a front for commercialization and advertising while adding services that seem to be based around some kind of early frat house stereotype. A pizza ordering app? Do they think the average 360 player does nothing but plays Sports and Shooters while eating junk food on Friday nights, screaming into a microphone? (Now that I think about it they might be right on one or two of those aspects...)

The 360 still doesn't compete with a devoted movie/online streaming box in either price or functionality, it can't compete with even a moderately built PC from Dell for gaming, and it has one of the most useless peripherals ever deployed simply because they thought they could get in on the Wii motion crowd AFTER the Wii motion crowd had their fun and were moving on. On top of which they got the gall to try and force subs when advertising is everywhere, even with Gold Membership.