We Really, Really Don't Need New Consoles

ResonanceSD

Guild Warrior
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Dec 14, 2009
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This is probably not the article that AAA game developers wanted. But by god, it's the article that they deserve. And need. READ IT, YOU CLOWNS.

Uriel-238 said:
usher an era where linux is taken seriously as a game platform

and then perhaps we can all fly to work on our Ferrari brand pigs.
 

ellieallegro

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None of the new consoles appeal to me in the slightest but I guess I'm no longer their demo. What to do with all this disposable income...
 

PrototypeC

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Terramax said:
Seriously, my last glimmer of hope was that at least Yahtzee was clever than this. Obviously I can't even rely on him anymore.
So it's not just that you disagree with his opinion... it's that you've decided that he (and everyone who agrees with him) is an idiot.

The Playstation 3 has, and has had, terrible backwards compatibility. I don't mean running PS2 games (which the majority still do not do), I mean the tiny selection of last-gen games they bothered to re-integrate on PSN. For purchase, of course, because who doesn't want to pay for a game they probably already own, and even if they didn't is ten or more years old? If I had any faith in Sony I'd say they've learned from this and the PS4 will do better... but I don't have any faith in them. I'd have to be naive to have faith with no proof.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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mike1921 said:
Eh, I wouldn't go that far, ps1 games, at least the 3d ones were pretty damned ugly.
And I really don't care.

Is it really? People are able to do pretty cool optimization trickery when working with consoles because everyone has the same hardware, which is why our current consoles survived so long on like half a GB on RAM.
It's also how we ended up with problems like "shitty PC ports."

Even with optimisation, there's still a fairly large disparity that develops between console and PC. It's not like this is a problem that only started recently.

All of my hardware is at least 4 years old and it was never at the absolute cutting edge yet I still seem to be able to run most games on high.
Which you owe to console "stagnation." I know people lack a sense of perspective, but the stabilisation of the PC as a platform in terms of hardware owes itself largely to the last gen of consoles.

I think you're missing the forest for the trees here.

But if you want to support a platform that boasts to be slightly more powerful than my three year old PC and will still be slightly more powerful when that PC is a decade old, go for it. The problem is, we're essentially trading one bottleneck for another. And if consoles take a hit on this (which they might), you can kiss that standardisation that's kept things relatively stable buh-bye.
 

Korten12

Now I want ma...!
Aug 26, 2009
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Yeah let's get rid of consoles! I can't wait for the day where there is AMD and Nvidia exclusives! Woooooooo! I mean we already got cases where games don't run well on one or the other, but we need to take the next step!

:/ I don't people realize how good competition is for the industry... It's more than you think.
 

Colt47

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Terramax said:
This has got to be the first time I've genuinely disagree with Yahtzee here. Backwards compatibility is NOT a must. New consoles are NOT extensions of previous ones. Or at least, if they're worth buying, they shouldn't be. They should be machines that integrate new ideas that were not previously possible, or thought of. CONSOLES ARE NOT PCS! Backwards compatibility is just an added sweetener.

And anyways, with games available for download these days, it's highly unlikely that Sony (and MS) are NOT going to find a way of bringing previous console's games to their latest hardware at some point.

Seriously, my last glimmer of hope was that at least Yahtzee was clever than this. Obviously I can't even rely on him anymore.
I wouldn't go that far, Yahtzee has some good points in his article. I agree with you that backwards compatibility is not a must in Sony's case, as they are rectifying (kind of back peddling on) a problem they had created themselves with the PS3 cell architecture, so they have a pretty good excuse for the lack of PS3 compatibility. Now PS2 compatibility is a problem: We've had good emulation of the PS2 for a while now, and even though it runs a bit slower than the hardware version, it would still be able to play 90% of the ps2 library with ease. The only reason Sony has to not have PS2 backwards compatibility is to shoehorn more people into buying HD remakes of older games. This wouldn't be a problem if they did this for more than a dart board full of mega hits.
 

Voltano

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The argument about backwards compatibility is very good here, Yahtzee. Though I suspect another reason why consoles are made is to thwart piracy.

Piracy does happen with console games, but its harder to do versus PC games. The games are specifically designed for hardware that is standard for each machine that emulation is difficult. Emulating previous games before the PlayStation 1 era is simple these days, though I believe you run into some trouble getting the games to look right and move at perfect 30 FPS with the PlayStation 1 generation and upwards. I also believe motion controls play into this.

A game made on the Super Nintendo is easy to emulate since it uses a gamepad. You can get one real cheap these days and emulation of a Super Nintendo game is easy with the variety of free software made by fans. But emulating a Wii game is more tricky as the sensor needs to be emulated for the game to properly play. This means that the only way to play the game is on the original hardware it originates from. Copying the video game off the console DVD is easy; playing the game somewhere else than the target console is a pain in the butt to solve.

It's only a theory of mine and I doubt anyone would want to play any motion control games in the near future. But with the constant push for online features and motion controls on consoles to keep players hooked to that device only, as Yahtzee puts it, makes me suspect there is more to this theory.
 

mike1921

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Zachary Amaranth said:
mike1921 said:
Eh, I wouldn't go that far, ps1 games, at least the 3d ones were pretty damned ugly.
And I really don't care.
Then why do you apparently have a $300 graphics card? Why do you seem worried about PC specification stagnation?
Is it really? People are able to do pretty cool optimization trickery when working with consoles because everyone has the same hardware, which is why our current consoles survived so long on like half a GB on RAM.
It's also how we ended up with problems like "shitty PC ports."

Even with optimisation, there's still a fairly large disparity that develops between console and PC. It's not like this is a problem that only started recently.
The disparity is something that grows over time. The problem isn't the console it's the console life span. At the very least the new generation should have started 2 years ago
All of my hardware is at least 4 years old and it was never at the absolute cutting edge yet I still seem to be able to run most games on high.
Which you owe to console "stagnation." I know people lack a sense of perspective, but the stabilisation of the PC as a platform in terms of hardware owes itself largely to the last gen of consoles.

I think you're missing the forest for the trees here.

But if you want to support a platform that boasts to be slightly more powerful than my three year old PC and will still be slightly more powerful when that PC is a decade old, go for it. The problem is, we're essentially trading one bottleneck for another. And if consoles take a hit on this (which they might), you can kiss that standardisation that's kept things relatively stable buh-bye.
I want to support a platform that will have my favorite games on it because japan doesn't seem to like developing serious games for PC. If the PS4 has persona and an exclusive tales of game I will buy it. Also: of course you're trading one bottleneck for another, and that's why it's important that our generations don't drag on like this last one did.
 

Aardvaarkman

I am the one who eats ants!
Jul 14, 2011
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PrototypeC said:
The PC will, if the trend of shutting down indie platforms continues, be the only place to get non-AAA games.
Huh? What trend?

It's actually the opposite - Xbox and PS3 are carrying an increasing number of indie games, and if not indie, a bunch of smaller "arty" or otherwise interesting games that you can't get on PC (such as Flower, Journey, etc). The console landscape is not the unvaried AAA landscape that you make it out to be.

Indie games never used to exist on consoles in previous generations. There's never been a better time for for indie games on consoles, what with the Playstation Store and Xbox Live meaning that smaller developers don't have to release physical discs or cartridges. And that's not even mentioning the huge market for indie games on iPad/iPhone etc, which probably dwarfs sales of indie games on PCs.
 
Apr 24, 2008
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Don't think I'm buying this.

I can't help but notice how sparsely populated current gen game worlds are. If you want to have more than a few characters on screen the trade-off is that they're inevitably going to have very poor AI... Poor AI is one of Yahtzee's most frequent complaints, if I recall correctly.

I don't think that the new consoles have to have crazy-high-fidelity graphics either(though it would be nice) for it to feel worthwhile. Small visual touches that current consoles can't handle actually do amount to more immersive game-worlds. The example in the forefront of mind is the Arkham Batman games. The extra visual frills you get on PC don't sound like much on paper, details like newspapers and leaves blowing around... I actually found these things very cool. It fleshed out the environment a little. It suddenly felt less spartan.

So, uh... yeh. Bring on new hardware.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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jowell24 said:
Talking about graphics, someone earlier mentioned a good point that a PC with the equivalent specs of a PS3 would not compare in graphical fidelity and performance because of the high level of optimisation that developers have achieved with the console.
That's not necessarily true at launch. Optimisation tends to be a learned process. Now, eventually the comparable console will outperform, but there's the issue of technology likely having progressed at that point.

The same approach must be taken with the PS4 even though it is of PC-architecture that the level of performance and graphics will increase as developers become more experienced and can improve optimisation of the closed-hardware. Developing for PC can have the problem of under-optimisation of people's hardware because of the wide variety of rigs and this is how the consoles have just managed to keep up with PCs after PCs surpassed them many years ago. I'm sure that the next-gen consoles will be able to provide a gaming experience that will keep the market with PCs competitive. Without consoles or some form of competition, innovation and improvement will retard eventually.
Actually, the primary reason things tend to be under-optimised is because consoles are used as the lead. You find this problem greatly diminished, possibly even non-existent when the PC is the primary platform. The same can actually be said of cross-platform issues with consoles. the 360 usually out-performed the PS3 early on because it was the lead console. Burnout Paradise was an exception, developed with the PS3 as the lead, and it shows.

Backwards compatibility is not a viable business option for Sony at the moment and the reasons are self-explantory.
Except if people don't adopt the new console because of a lack of games....

In fact, it's "self-explanatory" that they might not be able to afford NOT including BC.

Go buy a PS3 super slim after the PS4 comes out and the price will likely be sub £100 or at least that number which would be less than the amount Sony would likely have you pay for a PS4 with backwards compatibility or even better, just keep your current PS3 (It's not that hard)
It's not that hard, but it sort of begs the question as to why one would bother with the PS4 with a limited launch window. This is one of the big problems with the Wii-U right now, and part of the thesis of the article written. Additionally, you're being overly optimistic about pricing.

Never like to get involved in gaming politics but I didn't like the way some people are just arguing without fair judgement or proper consideration of information.
Glass houses.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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TheAsterite said:
And for people screaming about backwards compatibility: NES -> SNES -> N64 -> Gamecube -- none of these were backwards compatible with each other.
It's almost like times have changed.
 

TheAsterite

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Zachary Amaranth said:
TheAsterite said:
And for people screaming about backwards compatibility: NES -> SNES -> N64 -> Gamecube -- none of these were backwards compatible with each other.
It's almost like times have changed.
It's almost as if people that are entitled are just screaming for features that just make the console cost more money.
 

WarpZone

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"Gaming's future lies in non-exclusivity, reasonable costs, unrestricted development and access to games from the entire history of the medium. All of which are anathema to the console industry as it stands but are fueling an increasingly healthy and invigorating PC and mobile/tablet scene."

True only until Apple and Microsoft decide to lock down their respective OSes. After all, the closed Mobile markets where you need to apply for a developer's license and you're not allowed to publish anything the corporate overlords don't like have proven much more profitable than that nasty old PC scene.

I fully expect them to keep taking more and more control away from PC users, until PC is just another console. I then expect everyone to finally switch to Linux, and for there to be a huge industry crash like the one about to hit Consoles.

But hey. It's not like WE matter. WE'RE not the target demo. The target demo is 5 million people per game, all of whom have money to burn and no common sense. And don't read Metacritic or own smartphones. In spite of having money to burn.

Man, if only that demographic actually EXISTED, Consoles would be totally solvent!
 

TheAsterite

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WarpZone said:
True only until Apple and Microsoft decide to lock down their respective OSes. After all, the closed Mobile markets where you need to apply for a developer's license and you're not allowed to publish anything the corporate overlords don't like have proven much more profitable than that nasty old PC scene.
Cause, you know, there's no such thing as linux and OpenGL.
 

Drummodino

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Jan 2, 2011
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Reyold said:
drummodino said:
I've been an avid console gamer my whole life but now for the first time I have a (fairly) high quality gaming pc and I'm not going back, even for my beloved infamous series. Everything I hear about these new consoles just makes me not want them even more.
That's pretty much me at this point (except the gaming PC, but my Macbook has been sufficient so far). A good portion of my current library is on my Mac, and I'm only keeping the two consoles I have (Wii and PS3) until I finish all of my games on them. I won't be investing in next-gen consoles anytime soon, if ever.
It does seem to be the only option at the moment doesn't it. The only thing that the new consoles will have that pc won't is the exclusives, and there just aren't enough to justify it.
 

Madmanonfire

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Zachary Amaranth said:
TheAsterite said:
And for people screaming about backwards compatibility: NES -> SNES -> N64 -> Gamecube -- none of these were backwards compatible with each other.
It's almost like times have changed.
More like people were spoiled with BC enough to make it feel like a necessity in future gaming platforms, when it's really not.

We need new consoles. This 7 year gen has pretty much shown what it's capable of and we need a new generation of new experiences, and the WiiU is already doing a fairly good job with its gamepad while still young. When all of the new consoles have been released and lived for a few years, I'm sure they'll all be enjoyable platforms to game on. And as long as the multitude of console exclusives exist, sticking to PC (or any one console for that matter) will not give you the ultimate gaming experience.

So, I disagree with Yahtzee.
 

Steve the Pocket

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El Portero said:
Welcome to the glorious PC master race, Yahtzee. We saved a chair for you.
You do realize that he's the one who coined that term in the first place, right? He doesn't need your damned chair because he's been sitting in his own reserved spot since before you probably even joined. Hell, if it weren't for his obvious long-standing interest in Nintendo games, I'd assume he never even touched a console before the PS2 era. And given that he said he played Super Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker before Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, that may still be true.
 

Aardvaarkman

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Jul 14, 2011
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Zachary Amaranth said:
jowell24 said:
Talking about graphics, someone earlier mentioned a good point that a PC with the equivalent specs of a PS3 would not compare in graphical fidelity and performance because of the high level of optimisation that developers have achieved with the console.
That's not necessarily true at launch. Optimisation tends to be a learned process. Now, eventually the comparable console will outperform, but there's the issue of technology likely having progressed at that point.
That is true to a degree - but there's a much simpler explanation. PC games are run on a machine that is also running a full desktop Operating System - typically Windows, which is notorious for consuming resources. And therein lies the problem. If you just want to play games, why do you need this massive OS running in the background? It's just sitting there wasting resources. And it's another thing to maintain and patch and deal with conflicts in.

This also relates to the comments above saying "yeah, but the consoles also have problems like RROD or Yellow Light of Death" too. Sure, but those are much more limited in number, and easier to diagnose, and usually well-known. And the solution is simple - you take it back to the vendor who is responsible.

On a general-purpose PC, the problems can be much more complex, and really difficult to track down - even for an experienced technician. It could be a configuration file somewhere, a driver somewhere, a bad chipset somewhere else. Which is why the solution to so many PC problems is basically "nuke it from orbit and start again." And PCs are made from so many different vendors' components, you often get the "pass the buck game" - where the software make blames the hardware maker, and vice-versa. Where the application vendor blames the problem on Windows, and Microsoft blames the problem on the software vendor. Multiply that by graphics card vendors blaming motherboard vendors, and vice-versa.

It's a total mess. It is not at all uncommon for a customer with PC problems to be thrown back-and-forth between multiple companies for support. With consoles, those variables are much more limited and controlled.
 

mike1921

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TheAsterite said:
Zachary Amaranth said:
TheAsterite said:
And for people screaming about backwards compatibility: NES -> SNES -> N64 -> Gamecube -- none of these were backwards compatible with each other.
It's almost like times have changed.
It's almost as if people that are entitled are just screaming for features that just make the console cost more money.
"Entitled"? Really? We're asking for a feature in a product, we're the customers we get to set whatever expectations we want for a feature. Backwards compatibility is a major bonus to anyone who buys the console and smooths out the early adoption period. If you have the predecessor console now you can trade it in and don't need to deal with the hastle of the multiple devices (TV's have limited ports, living rooms have limited space, the less consoles I need to set up at any one point the better), if you don't than buying that one device gives you a much bigger library which is pretty important if there are any series that you play that have been exclusive to that line of consoles.