Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
War of the Consoles: Who Will Survive?

By Silent Chris in Culture
Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:50:39 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

It's a fact that's been proven time and time again: the video gaming market can't support three consoles. It's not like the movie or television industry, where you can have multiple companies with similar fare and they each have part of the pie. With game consoles, someone has to die. Neo-Geo did it. Turbo Grafx-16 did it. Jaguar did it. Dreamcast did it.

You've just plunked down close to $200-300 for a system. That's not chump change. How do you know which will last, and who will be snuffed?


ADVERTISEMENT
Sponsor: rusty
This space intentionally left blank
...because it's waiting for your ad. So why are you still reading this? Come on, get going. Read the story, and then get an ad. Alright stop it. I'm not going to say anything else. Now you're just being silly. STOP LOOKING AT ME! I'm done!
comments (24)
active | buy ad
ADVERTISEMENT
Given the current dire situations news sites are painting, (MSNBC laments poor international Xbox sales; GameSpot goes into the GameCube drought; and an Xbox press release makes the initial PlayStation 2 figures harder to swallow) it's easy to get caught up in biased numbers. Each news source spins the tale a slightly different way. Months ago, press groups were overjoyed when close to 200 games were being released. The way they act now, you'd think all three companies got sucked into a black hole.

There are clear numbers that delineate basic facts, however. That's what matters:

Sony has the greatest market share. Combine many PlayStation 2 units with the (incredibly workhorse-like) PlayStation units and you get numbers in the tens of millions. However, outside of third-party titles (like the Final Fantasy series and anything coming out of Activision/Rockstar Games), Sony doesn't sell too many of their own in-house games. Money is being lost, and Sony knows it.

Nintendo doesn't have that problem. They have the largest children demographic, and also have sold a good majority of their next generation systems. Titles are lagging now, however, and the situation is beginning to look eerily similar to the Nintendo 64 title drought. The reason for that was (supposedly) the proprietary cartridge format which deterred developers. The proprietary mini-DVD format (with only 1.5 GB of space) may be having the same effect.

Microsoft is having a difficult time coming to terms with how hard international markets are to break into. North America sales have been phenomenal, and far beyond their original expectations. The launch titles have also been better than expected. However, Japanese sales look very bleak. Also, much like the situation with Linux and Windows, Europeans look at alternatives. They aren't swayed by the same advertising as North America.

Like three brawlers in a street fight, two will gang up on the other to eliminate it, or at least eliminate it as viable competition. At this point, it looks like Sony and Microsoft will beat up on Nintendo. There are several reasons:

1.) Demographics: Nintendo nurtures the younger gamer, the other systems pick them up later. Years ago, people thought Sony would fail because (the theory went) Nintendo would hold onto adult gamers. That simply hasn't happened. Sony has picked up the 18-24 male set almost immediately. Microsoft, additionally, has begun to grab a foothold of that set and aren't letting go. The younger generations is diminishing. They may buy more games initially, but their parents are the ones laying down the plastic. When the kids start laying down their own plastic, like the PlayStation generation has, they tend to buy more "adult" titles and a console geared towards them.

2.) Money: Nintendo is a gaming powerhouse with multiple development teams and tight product licensing agreements. Yet, it absolutely pales in comparison to Sony and Microsoft financially. Sony is solid and diversified: consumer electronics, movies, music, computers - if the PlayStation were to fail tomorrow Sony would continue. Microsoft is a bit more tenuous, but they have a domineering market in computer software and strong footholds in hardware and some consumer electronics like WebTV. Similarly, if the billion dollars spent on Xbox gets them nowhere, they will continue to have a strong bottom line tomorrow.

3.) Intangibles: Online - Microsoft and Sony have definite online strategies. Microsoft's connectivity comes standard. Sony has plans but optional equipment. Nintendo has nothing to show and has a history of failed peripherals. Licensing - Nintendo licenses have notoriously been the most expensive to obtain. This is why most 3rd-party GameCube titles continue to be priced around $50-60, while Microsoft titles stay at $50 and PlayStation 2's drop to $40 and below.Development - Xbox developers have been pleasantly surprised on the ease of porting to the DirectX platform. PlayStation 2's parallel processing initially caused trouble, but is now beginning to be understood and appreciated (if not slowly), thanks to the one-year leadtime. GameCube is using a proprietary ATI core, with functions like Dolby Digital having to be emulated by the software.

In the end, Sony will dominate sales. Microsoft will buckle slightly, but stick in it for the long haul. If they can score backwards compatibility with Xbox 2, they may steal a large percentage from Sony in the next console war. Nintendo will wait to the last possible minute to release their successor to GameCube, and will rely on sales of the Game Boy Advance. In the end, the king for so many years may fall from the throne.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
The winner of this round of the console wars?
o GameCube 19%
o PlayStation 2 69%
o Xbox 11%

Votes: 88
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o MSNBC
o GameSpot
o Xbox
o Also by Silent Chris


Display: Sort:
War of the Consoles: Who Will Survive? | 78 comments (70 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Some more analysis (3.66 / 3) (#1)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:08:03 PM EST

Nerdshoe provides some analysis of the various consoles (in Flash format) here.

Survival (3.66 / 3) (#6)
by jmzero on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:17:44 PM EST

I think all 3 consoles have the potential to survive.

Previous consoles have failed but I think their failure had more to do with specific shortcomings than overall crowding (eg. games for the Neo-Geo were $300 dollars - a little hard to sell).

Certainly the popularity of one system can be a detriment to sales of another, but I think the current crop of consoles are differentiated enough to each remain viable.

Then again, a few strong exclusive titles can really tip the sales figures. For example, look at the sales of the Super Nintendo right after the release of Street Fighter II. If the marketplace dynamic is really going to change, I think that's what would do it.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
Another "intangible", gameplay: (4.00 / 5) (#7)
by roam on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:20:27 PM EST

While I think Sony has a lot of great games out (GTA3, gran turismo, metal gear)... I bet on GameCube (and bought one) because I've always though Nintendo's games were the most fun to play... 8bit, 16bit, 64bit (yes I think so), have always had superior games in the "fun" department...

I bought a dreamcast when they first came out, I thought it would be a fun console with some good games... really the only game I played more than a couple times was DOA and maybe soul calibur.

Although the gamecube doesn't have the largest selection now (they have some great games though), I think things like mario, zelda, metroid, etc. will be the games I'll really enjoy playing.


___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


Subjective (4.33 / 3) (#24)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:32:30 PM EST

I find gameplay to be so subjective that it's hard to quantify in a debate like this. What makes a good game? Good characters? Catering to the demographic? Nice pictures? Each system would win the gameplay argument then.

[ Parent ]
Dreamcast games (none / 0) (#77)
by toganet on Wed Apr 17, 2002 at 12:12:55 PM EST

If you had a Dreamcast, and didn't play Shenmue, you didn't have a Dreamcast.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
Wow (4.30 / 13) (#8)
by trhurler on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:21:18 PM EST

You have a future as a Gartner analyst. You just spewed out a big ass mound of text telling us nothing.

First off, Nintendo hasn't been on any "throne" in years; Sony has dominated for as long as most of Nintendo's current customers can remember.

Second, Microsoft has lost more money on Xbox than Sony has lost on Playstation, expressed in both absolute terms and as a percentage of annual revenues. Their advertising alone has probably cost them what Sony has lost. You, however, merely state the obvious: Sony has lost some money.

Third, you ignore a crucial fact: in order to beat up on Nintendo, the other two have to have kids titles that kids actually want. To put it bluntly, this isn't happening. Kids like the sports titles, and they like the games meant for older people, but their parents don't want to buy gory shooters for them and the sports games alone cannot support a console.

Simply put, it looks like the market CAN sustain three consoles for the short term, because neither Sony nor Microsoft is going to back down anytime soon(they're loaded with cash, and are huge compared to their investments in console gaming, so they don't have to care about profits in the short to mid term,) and Nintendo has the games little kids want, which can sustain them for at least the short term, as it has been doing forever now.

The thing about truisms like "you can't have three successfull consoles" is that there are always reasons they're true when they're true, and the people saying these things don't always understand those reasons; the end result is that all too often they say these things and just keep saying them and sooner or later they're NOT true anymore.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

To be honest (4.20 / 5) (#23)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:30:33 PM EST

Your arguments sound more like a rabid Nintendo fan's ranting than actual logic.

First off, Nintendo hasn't been on any "throne" in years; Sony has dominated for as long as most of Nintendo's current customers can remember. - Current market reports dictate Nintendo still holds a commanding lead in software sales and name recognition. They hold a virtual monopoly on handheld hardware. They have immense name recognition: parents still say their kids "are going to play Nintendo" not "video games".

Second, Microsoft has lost more money on Xbox than Sony has lost on Playstation, expressed in both absolute terms and as a percentage of annual revenues. Their advertising alone has probably cost them what Sony has lost. You, however, merely state the obvious: Sony has lost some money. - Not true, or at least, not accurate. No one has exact numbers on the amount either company has lost. People take their budgets and subtract sales respectively. Sony had massive advertising losses when they first released the PlayStation (much like Microsoft's current situation with the Xbox). The only difference is that Sony made decent in-roads in the North American market, while Microsoft is struggling to get into Japan. Part of that is good old nationalistic sentiment. Regardless, it's safe to say that both companies have lost a good deal so far (and Sony has gained much of it back). Will Microsoft?

Third, you ignore a crucial fact: in order to beat up on Nintendo, the other two have to have kids titles that kids actually want. To put it bluntly, this isn't happening. Kids like the sports titles, and they like the games meant for older people, but their parents don't want to buy gory shooters for them and the sports games alone cannot support a console. - Not necessarily. Parents still ignore ratings on games; I've routinely seen parents buy games like Grand Theft Auto 3 and Halo for 13 year-olds. You don't beat up the third street brawler by becoming it - you beat it up by becoming what it is lacking.

Simply put, it looks like the market CAN sustain three consoles for the short term, because neither Sony nor Microsoft is going to back down anytime soon(they're loaded with cash, and are huge compared to their investments in console gaming, so they don't have to care about profits in the short to mid term,) and Nintendo has the games little kids want, which can sustain them for at least the short term, as it has been doing forever now. - I agree that all three can last in the short term. Will the losses internationally be so huge that Microsoft never makes an Xbox 2?(As Bill Gates is parodied in the Simpsons: "I didn't get this rich by writing a lot of checks"). Will there be another system from a consumer company that overtakes the market like the PlayStation 2? Can Nintendo finally get rid of its kiddie image, while still amassing massive profits with its franchises? It's debatable.

The thing about truisms like "you can't have three successfull consoles" is that there are always reasons they're true when they're true, and the people saying these things don't always understand those reasons; the end result is that all too often they say these things and just keep saying them and sooner or later they're NOT true anymore. - After 20 years of gaming, the truisms have held. Perhaps they will become "not true" anymore, but the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if it's one system that ends up dominating them all in 20 years.

[ Parent ]

That's odd (4.20 / 5) (#30)
by trhurler on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:56:25 PM EST

Your arguments sound more like a rabid Nintendo fan's ranting than actual logic.
I haven't played a Nintendo system in about 16 years, and I'm rather fond of my Playstation 2. Prior to it, I had a Playstation.
Current market reports dictate Nintendo still holds a commanding lead in software sales and name recognition. They hold a virtual monopoly on handheld hardware. They have immense name recognition: parents still say their kids "are going to play Nintendo" not "video games".
Which of Nintendo's game systems in current use has tens of millions of units sold? Confusing the issue with handhelds is stupid; handhelds are NOT consoles. The competition for PS2 from Nintendo is called "Game Cube." Also note that people say Kleenex when they mean tissues, and yet Kleenex is not a majority of tissue sales. Brand recognition does not equal market dominance.
Not necessarily. Parents still ignore ratings on games; I've routinely seen parents buy games like Grand Theft Auto 3 and Halo for 13 year-olds. You don't beat up the third street brawler by becoming it - you beat it up by becoming what it is lacking.
Nintendo players average something like 6-8 years old, not 13. How many six year olds have you seen playing Devil May Cry? My count is zero, though I'm sure there are a few. The point is, parents may ignore the ratings, but little kids scream for Pokemon, Mario, and so on - not for characters they've never heard of who only ever appear in one game.
I agree that all three can last in the short term. Will the losses internationally be so huge that Microsoft never makes an Xbox 2?
Of course not. Compare Microsoft's losses to their balance sheet. Frankly, for them, Xbox is like me loaning you five bucks. If you don't pay me back, I really don't care, and I am no more or less likely to loan someone else five bucks. I might pretend to care, but if I'd cared, I wouldn't have given you the five bucks!
Can Nintendo finally get rid of its kiddie image, while still amassing massive profits with its franchises? It's debatable.
Nintendo refuses to license titles that would get rid of its kiddie image - it WANTS the kiddie image!
After 20 years of gaming, the truisms have held. Perhaps they will become "not true" anymore, but the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if it's one system that ends up dominating them all in 20 years.
Maybe. Probably not. As systems become more and more powerful, I suspect you may see standardization, but I doubt you'll see total homogenization, because there's little benefit to being the only company allowed to take a loss on consoles while all your would-be competitors make the real money by selling games for your machine. For similar reasons, I think Nintendo may, in the mid term, end up just making games for other consoles; for now ego drives them on, but they'd be a LOT more profitable as a purely software outfit.

My previous paragraph contains more insight into the gaming industry from both a technical and economic perspective than your entire story managed. Think about that.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Xbox (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by Kwil on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:48:58 PM EST

[Will XBox losses be bad enough to make MS pull out?] Of course not. Compare Microsoft's losses to their balance sheet.

I question this reasoning. With new scrutiny coming down on corporate accounting practices, MS's worst nightmare is bad publicity lowering their stock value and prompting calls for an independant audit. So when you get reports like those given in The Register about XBox sales starting to flag in the US and possibly not meeting their June projections, I think it's reason for MS to worry.

As to comparison's with PS2, does anybody have comparison numbers for the opening months of both - preferably those that figure in the market growth over the past couple of years to get a real comparison?

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Corporate accounting (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by Stickerboy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:00:55 PM EST

Corporate accounting scandals have nothing to do with this. It would, if Microsoft would be posting a $2 billion loss because of the XBox and covering up for it by shuttling the debt to shell corporations.

For Microsoft though, the amount of money spent and lost on the XBox investment is chump change compared to the amount of revenue rolling in from Windows and Office licenses and service agreements.

[ Parent ]
Corporate Accounting (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by Kwil on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:23:39 AM EST

Well, if MS is lucky the scandal won't have anything to do with this.

However because of Enron/Anderson there is some talk about changing accounting rules with regard to stock options - making companies book the difference in option v. actual price as an expense. With the amount of stock MS has given out as wages, if this happens, you could see that Windows/OEM surplus take a pretty hefty hit.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Yes but, a sinking tide... (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by katie on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 07:35:37 AM EST

sinks ALL the ships.

It's not MS' balance sheet that will go wonky because of this: Sun, Cisco, Oracle... the whole tech sector will be affected. And unlike the other companies, MS can operate in deficit for a while: they have enough cash assets about to run most countries for a couple of quarters.



[ Parent ]
Microsoft worry? (3.50 / 2) (#59)
by katie on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 07:29:59 AM EST

I don't think they'll worry a lot if Xbox doesn't sell.

Historically, microsoft is not a company that worries about failing. They see "failing" as just being "not having tried enough times yet"

For all the criticisms that can be levelled at them about everything else, they have a very admirable corporate culture of perseverence.

If Xbox doesn't sell, Xbox 2 will soon be here. If the marketing is wrong, it will get fixed. Developers will be bought up and if they don't produce software to shift the boxes, they'll go buy others.

Look at Xenix. They tried to make a UNIX. It didn't work. They tried a few other versions. So then they tried an end-run. "No-one ever got fired for buying IBM", so they went and worked with IBM on OS/2. That didn't work out so hot, so they hired the VMS team and set them on the problem instead...

That sort of persistence is partly why they're so successful. They regard money spent on something that didn't work as money spent on a lesson they needed to learn. Many other companies would "write off" the money and go make a different mistake in a whole other market. MS comes back and has a go until it runs out of mistakes to make.

Microsoft is not a company that's ever been smacked in the face once and then left a market. Their investors know this. If Xbox doesn't sell, they either already have a back-up plan or they have TWO back-up plans.


[ Parent ]
A problem (3.00 / 1) (#68)
by trhurler on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:56:47 PM EST

You're not paying attention. Look at Xbox total expenses so far, and pretend there ARE NO REVENUES, even though there are. Then look at the amount Microsoft estimates as losses over the same time period due to software piracy and other such things. The fact is, they could fund Xbox out of their petty cash drawer, and if it never made a dime, their stock wouldn't drop enough to notice and would rebound so fast most people wouldn't realize it had happened.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
FYI (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by X3nocide on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:19:46 PM EST

Just a little note, the market research I've seen hasn't been good to Nintendo, with very few Cube games on the forefront. I also doubt your "6-8" number, since Rouge Leader did so well. Just thought I'd call bullshit on the both of you ;)

pwnguin.net
[ Parent ]
Well... (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by Stickerboy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:58:14 PM EST

Nintendo hasn't been doing good *yet*, but that's before the new Mario (Luigi doesn't count), the new Zelda, the new Mario Party, the new Pokemon, and the new Mario Kart get released. Those titles alone (along with the new Metroid) are going to have Nintendo games flying off the shelves (see what Zelda64 did for the N64).

The PS2 did sluggishly until about the time Metal Gear Solid 2 came out (which, along with sports games, is that console's killer app/game).



[ Parent ]
Some issues (4.00 / 3) (#10)
by demi on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 04:53:13 PM EST

The reason for that was (supposedly) the proprietary cartridge format which deterred developers. The proprietary mini-DVD format (with only 1.5 GB of space) may be having the same effect.

The biggest problem with the cartridges is that the cost of producing them ate into the profit margins. I didn't notice Sony PS CD-ROM titles selling for less than the N64 titles, so basically there is much more profit in each CD-based game sold. That doesn't affect the mini-DVD format, other than a reduced economy of scale for the bulk discs (still insignificant). The size limitation shouldn't be a big problem because gamers have never shied away from multi-disc titles (in fact, they may contribute to an impression of more substance/content/meat).

Basically I think that the XBox could be a better competitor if more features are introdced into the market that the XBox can handle without more hardware investment. It already has a faster processor with more RAM and a HDD, so MS should start releasing software packages immediately that take advantage of that, at a level of functionality that the PS2 cannot match (bloat it with a zillion ActiveX applications). To make the PS2 equally functional, you have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of additional hardware (HDD, ethernet, Linux kit, etc.). Examples of features I'm thinking of: some kind of DRM-limited p2p client, release popular content in .wma and .asf format, online deathmatch, and so forth.

In the end, Sony will dominate sales. Microsoft will buckle slightly, but stick in it for the long haul.

I don't think anyone's been fooled into thinking that XBox was going to be an immediate cash cow. It's part of MS's greater strategy for online service-based products, and it's destined to be much less of a failure than the miserably executed Java-based Network Computer. Sony will probably lose some market share to MS in this round, but if consumers start to accept the HomeStation concept, you can start to see that the issue of "console domination" and what video games rule really pales in comparison to replacing telephones, DVD players, stereos, and cable boxes with MS entertainment systems and MSN (perhaps with AOL-TimeWarner/RedHat as a competitor?).



3rd paragraph (3.66 / 3) (#28)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:39:55 PM EST

You make little sense. Game developers are already taking great advantage of the hardware: load times are considerably less, they're using the hard drive as a good caching system, and the extra power/memory of the nVidia chip helps a great deal. The only problem is getting enough of the consoles into gamers' hands.

To be honest, it actually sounds like you haven't played a game console in a long while.

[ Parent ]

not talking about just games (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by demi on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:35:30 PM EST

I've only played the PS2 extensively (almost finished GTA3), but the only fair way I could compare the PS2 to the XBox was with Max Payne (which I have played and beaten on the PC at 1280x1024x24). From what I noticed, Max Payne wasn't any better on the XBox than on the PS2, mostly because TV resolution doesn't do the game much justice. The only really impressive game I've seen on the XBox, graphics-wise, is DOA3, but it wasn't leaps and bounds ahead of the PS2.

What could make the XBox a better competitor is to develop applications that are out of reach of the PS2, which they have not yet done, and my suggestion is to look to lightweight sound and video editing, online p2p sharing, and lightweight paintshop-type applications that probably wouldn't run so well on a slower machine with less RAM. All of those applications are very popular with the XBox target demographic. You package these applications into a customization scheme like they've got in Windows XP, which has a huge theme-hacking community, allow some p2p trading of the media and I think XBox will be better differentiated from its less powerful and cheaper competitors. Look beyond games, my friend, they are a lure for a much larger hook.

To be honest, it actually sounds like you haven't played a game console in a long while.

To be honest, you should think carefully before you make such asinine statements!



[ Parent ]

Re: not talking about just games (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by Therac-25 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:30:50 PM EST

my suggestion is to look to lightweight sound and video editing, online p2p sharing, and lightweight paintshop-type applications that probably wouldn't run so well on a slower machine with less RAM. All of those applications are very popular with the XBox target demographic.
The X-Box target demographic already owns a PC. Why would it want a crappier PC running off of a TV in it's living room?
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]
okay (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by demi on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:54:44 PM EST

The X-Box target demographic already owns a PC. Why would it want a crappier PC running off of a TV in it's living room?

It wouldn't be a PC replacement, obviously. It's still a console. But it could also be a console that also has limited multimedia functionality, and the capability to download, play, and share content (under the auspices of MS's DRM, of course). That's just my suggestion. So why would anyone bother with that on the XBox when you can do it on a computer? Well, why does anyone bother playing games on consoles when the graphics, sound, and controls are better on a PC? Not everyone has their own PC, actually, and even if they do, PC's aren't as 'social' as console systems (which are often kept in the living room instead of the office/bedroom).



[ Parent ]

Re: okay (4.00 / 3) (#51)
by Therac-25 on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 01:45:55 AM EST

Well, why does anyone bother playing games on consoles when the graphics, sound, and controls are better on a PC?
To answer this question, it's because games are very different between the two. It's kind of surprising to think about, but there's very little overlap in the game types between console and PC games. The only real overlap occurs in two areas -- Sports/Driving games, and Franchise games that are ported to every platform concivable (i.e. Star Wars Racer, Obi-Wan, etc).

Consoles are evolutionary decendants of arcade machines, whereas PC's have always had thier own kind of games.

On PCs, you rarely find

  • Console-style RPG's. PC RPG's like BG/IWD/NWN owe more to AD&D (via SSI's Gold Boxen) than anything. Consoles could traditionally never do those kind of RPG's, so they were simplified for the platform (i.e. Dragon Warrior is usually considered the first "real" console RPG). Over time, thanks to Square, the console RPG genre evolved into what has basically become interactive movies (with respect to how linear that style of game typically is nowadays).
  • Fighting games. These almost never make an appearance on the PC. The few times they have (SNK ported a few), they've been a flop. Lack of proper controllers plays a huge part.
  • Arcade shooters. Gradius. Raiden. R-Type. Sure, I may be dating myself, but I love these games. They (and thier decendants) don't show up on the PC very often.
There are alot of reasons to play console games -- the fact that companies release good games that I want to play on consoles that aren't available on the PC is good enough for me.

The X-Box's target audience (older teenagers to twentysomethings with at least some disposable income) will typically have a PC, on which they play some games already (even if it's only CamperStrike). Trying to merge PC-like functionality into an X-Box will not do anything useful for that kind of user. The X-Box doesn't have USB ports (no, I don't know what they were thinking), and so you'd have to get the X-Box keyboard and X-Box mouse to use these hypothetical applications. Then, as you mention, you'd be locked into a very limited environment. Any work that you would want to do, you would need a way to save to a more reliant medium. I mean, sure the X-Box has a hard drive, but it's not like it has a CD burner to back things up to. Having applications to create content, with no way to do anything with that content is kind of pointless.

Sure, the X-Box could share content over the network with another PC... but then you're back to "why am I not just doing this on a PC?"

If the X-Box could grab mp3's from my LAN, I'd be impressed -- a popular 5.1 mp3 player might make some people look to coming up with a 5.1 compressed audio format. But do you really see that happening...? :)

"More social"? I don't have the urge to sit down with a friend beside my computer and take turns downloading things from gnutella. The "more social [than PC gaming]" part of consoles comes from the fact that consoles are usually designed to have mulitiple people sitting infront of them playing a game at once. The game is the social thing -- games have always brought people together. There's nothing fundamentally social about a console and a filesharing application. Unless you're all going to fight for the mouse cursor or something, I don't see why this even enters into the discussion.

Really, putting small PC apps on an X-Box sounds like one of those ideas -- much like "interactive television" -- that people who would like to sell it to us think is a good idea, mainly because they want to sell it to us.


--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]

great points (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by demi on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 05:24:15 AM EST

One thing that I would add is that most of the console-exclusive genres that you cite are comparatively old, and increasingly becoming obsolete (the fighting game craze is over, the most popular RPGs are MMORPGs, and side scrollers are dead but I still love 'em too), IMO because console gaming pre-dates PC gaming. The real strength of console games is in sports games and stuff like Smash Brothers, with two to four people at a time on the couch in a dark living room, playing football or hockey, talking shit, with a residual beer buzz at 4 am. When I was in college, it was people taking turns kicking ass in Mortal Kombat 2.

And with regard to digital convergence, it is definitely on the way, although the XBox has not been marketed to move into that sector so far. Microsoft is using the first XBox as a learning experience, they have huge ambitions, and the entire consumer electronics/home entertainment sector will be in their sights if they can launch HomeStation (or whatever it will ultimately be called) running .NET on MSN. Again, games are a small skirmish in a much larger battle coming in the near future.

Look at how much a laptop can do nowadays compared to a desktop. I can remember when the performance and functionality gap was enormous. Now a Dell Inspiron 8200 is almost as fast as the newest desktops. Eventually, the power needed to do everything a normal user's desktop can do will be available in some kind of embedded system or ASIC, with all of the apps and content being served online. You'll have a little nondescript box that looks like a DSS decoder and that will be illegal to tamper with or modify, and you'll pay your monthly M$ tax, and you'll be good to go. Doesn't that sound peachy to you?

Like a million other people have said, XBox is a trojan horse, whereas I don't know how far Sony is willing to take the PS2 beyond entertainment center (DVD, CD, maybe some downloaded music when it goes online). They simply don't have the online presence that MS has with MSN. People point to the Playstation's market penetration and say that Sony has a head start in the race, but I look at MSN, .NET, integrated ethernet, and the x86 architecture of the XBox, and I wonder if the reverse may be true (even if XBox winds up being a very costly failure).



[ Parent ]

Re: great points (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by Therac-25 on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 10:36:25 AM EST

One thing that I would add is that most of the console-exclusive genres that you cite are comparatively old, and increasingly becoming obsolete (the fighting game craze is over, the most popular RPGs are MMORPGs).
I don't think so. Just because Square is trying to make FFXI an online RPG doesn't mean that that's all they're going to be doing in the future. Square loves the cinematic far, far too much to give up on the single player RPG.

It's entirely possible that Square is making FFXI an online RPG, because an online RPG will have much less need for rendered cut scenes than a traditional console RPG -- and the cut scenes have always been the most expensive parts of the latter FF games. Square is not in good shape right now, and everything they've been doing recently has been oriented towards making games with lower development costs (the deal with Nintendo is to port thier old 2D games, as well as develop some new 2D games for the GBA -- low development cost, with good ROI).

Also, there are only 2 (two) Console RPGs that have gone online. And FFXI isn't even out yet. The only other one is PSO. Phantasy Star and Final Fantasy are not the only console RPGs.

Fighting games are not dead, or even remotely dying. DOA3 and VF4 are kicking alot of people's asses, and when Soul Caliber 2 comes out, it will as well. And even you mention Smash Bros. The fighting game craze has simply gone 3D.

And with regard to digital convergence, it is definitely on the way.
This is what I don't understand. People have been saying this kind of thing for a decade and a half. That we're going to have a wired "set top box" that everything will happen through. But what does that actually do for the consumer? All that I can see is that it gives them a crappy PC in the living room that's hooked up to the net. Like I said, this is the kind of thing that only the people trying to sell it think is a good idea. Sure, MS would love to have an X-Box hooked up to MSN in my living room -- but it's not going to happen unless it actually does something useful for me. And running half-assed PC applications isn't going to cut it.
Eventually, the power needed to do everything a normal user's desktop can do will be available in some kind of embedded system or ASIC, with all of the apps and content being served online. You'll have a little nondescript box that looks like a DSS decoder and that will be illegal to tamper with or modify, and you'll pay your monthly M$ tax, and you'll be good to go. Doesn't that sound peachy to you?
Remember DivX. Remember 3D0. Remember the Phillips CD-I. You can't sell an idea like this just becuase you want to.
Again, games are a small skirmish in a much larger battle coming in the near future.
Games are why the X-Box exists. If it takes a game machine as expensive and powerful as the X-Box to even get people to consider digital convergence, I'd say that's a bit more than a skirmish. What you're also forgetting is that as soon as the gaming industry passes the X-Box -- i.e. with the next gen of consoles -- then in order to maintain this convergence concept that MS theoretically wants, MS would have to get everyone to get an X-Box 2. Or else they're just going to unplug the X-Box and play the PS3.

Perhaps, just perhaps, MS is just trying to sell a game console here -- i.e. get a piece of the very large gaming industry pie.
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]

don't be shortsighted wrt digital convergence (none / 0) (#72)
by demi on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 02:01:06 AM EST

Fighting games are not dead, or even remotely dying. DOA3 and VF4 are kicking alot of people's asses, and when Soul Caliber 2 comes out, it will as well. And even you mention Smash Bros. The fighting game craze has simply gone 3D.

Well, I never said fighting games were dead, but the Street Fighter to Tekken craze ended a few years ago, by 1998 at least (and DDR has eroded their dominance in arcade games). There's nothing revolutionary about the newest crop of games except incremental improvements in gameplay, controls, and graphics. Compare that to FPS which are migrating into the MMORPG model (although very little in the way of FPS mechanics has improved since Half-Life and Deus Ex), and will offer many new dimensions of gameplay, character development and teamplay, online leagues, etc. Consoles, with their control pad input devices and minimalist hardware, aren't well-equipped to compete in that arena yet.

This is what I don't understand. People have been saying this kind of thing for a decade and a half. That we're going to have a wired "set top box" that everything will happen through. But what does that actually do for the consumer? All that I can see is that it gives them a crappy PC in the living room that's hooked up to the net.

No, those products have always been aimed at people that do not know how or do not want to bother with setting up and installing a PC (i.e., 'lusers'). Those people outnumber knowledgeable and discriminating users many times over. The XBox could easily function as a decent PC, although that certainly is not MS's intention (why let it cut into its protected OS market), because it is much more powerful than the PS2, or any other erstwhile competitor. Again, XBox will not replace or supplant PC use, although one of its successors may. The PC market and the gaming market combined are dwarfed by the size of a (hypothetical) converged digital appliance market (which would have entertainment, productivity, and telecommunications capabilities all included). That market will not materialize in 2002 certainly, maybe it will take 5+ years from now, but how can you not see that it is coming in the near future?

Sure, MS would love to have an X-Box hooked up to MSN in my living room -- but it's not going to happen unless it actually does something useful for me. And running half-assed PC applications isn't going to cut it.

Chances are that you are a very advanced computer user compared to the average consumer, and your first priority in technology purchases is not always 'ease of use' at the expense of 'configurability', and that you already know how to download multimedia content and make phone calls over ethernet (for example). To most non-technical people I know, computers are a complete mystery but Napster certainly sounds interesting. Those people are the target market for digital convergence, not you and me.

Remember DivX. Remember 3D0. Remember the Phillips CD-I. You can't sell an idea like this just becuase you want to.

All of those products competed directly with existing technology (DivX against PPV, DVD, and VHS), in a single market segment, at a higher price, with questionable benefits, and were abandoned rather quickly by their parent companies when profits did not materialize. MS is perfectly willing to lose out on the XBox, if necessary, just to make sure that successive generations have market share.

Perhaps, just perhaps, MS is just trying to sell a game console here -- i.e. get a piece of the very large gaming industry pie.

That's their present objective, sure. MS never sets out to lose money. But the gaming industry, all tolled, is but a small subset of the overall entertainment industry, some part of which MS will try to deliver in the near future by a combination of XBox 2/3/X, .NET, MSN, and whatever industrial partners it can bring onboard. The big difference between MS and other companies and their attempts at cracking this market is that MS already controls several of the required logistical channels to make it happen. Why do you think MS is looking into fabless chip design? Why is MS making partnerships with Clear Channel and Comcast? Whether or not MS loses the battle over gaming consoles is, again, merely a skirmish. From what I understand Sony has had similar ambitions for some time but it lacks many components necessary to proceed in the US (in Japan that is another story).



[ Parent ]

XBox commercial (4.50 / 4) (#12)
by 8ctavIan on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:06:57 PM EST

Over here in Europe, there's a TV commercial for XBox that shows a woman giving birth-blasting the baby out cannon style. Then the baby becomes a teen, adult and then an old man while he's flying through the air. He lands in a tomb. Nobody I've talked to likes it. Advertising for these devices is really important. Sony shows the games in their adverts. You get an idea what you're buying, not this Microsoft dude flying through the air crap. Doesn't make me want to buy it. Screams of vaporware to me.


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken

Hahahaha (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by delmoi on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:02:21 PM EST

How bizzare.

But that dosn't suprize me. Microsof has no finnese With the x-box. It's big and stupid, everything about it screams "Unsophisticated, and proud of it! Biach!" The adds are just lame. It's like their advertizing for 14 year olds, not 'adults'.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
I liked it. (1.00 / 1) (#63)
by kanon on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:08:34 AM EST

I love that advert. I find it very funny and very clever. I'm still not buying an X-Box though. They cost too much in the UK.

The ad I like more is the PS2 Wolfman ad. It advertises nothing but you certainly won't forget it in a hurry :)

[ Parent ]
Gameboy (4.50 / 2) (#13)
by TheGreenLantern on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:13:55 PM EST

One thing you neglected to mention as a factor in GameCube sales is the Gameboy Advanced itself. Right now, it's pretty much an island in itself, at least when speaking about GameCube. But if/when Nintendo ever gets it's act together, and starts putting out games that can take advantage of a link between GameCube and GameBoy Advanced, your going to start seeing a big increase in GameCube popularity, thanks to a large built-in GameBoy Advanced market.

Also, never underestimate what big-time advertising dollars can do for Microsoft, even against a heavyweight like Sony. If sales of XBox have been slow, it's only because XBox has so far lacked that "killer app". You could possibly argue Halo, but I don't think that was much coveted outside of hardcore gaming circles.

What I'm talking about here is a game like Gran Turismo 3 or Final Fantasy X. PS2 really didn't start hitting it's stide until Gran Turismo 3 started selling big, and titles like FFX and Grand Theft Auto 3 have kept it going. If Microsoft can get that "must have" game out, and generate enough buzz for it, watch out.

It hurts when I pee.
Peripherals (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:37:18 PM EST

Unfortunately, in terms of peripherals, Nintendo just drops bomb after bomb (Super NES mouse, Super Scope, Nintendo 64 microphone, etc.) I think they have a great system with tremendous potential in Game Boy Advance. I can't see them taking any advantage of it, unfortunately.

[ Parent ]
Sony and Nintendo... (4.28 / 7) (#14)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:17:06 PM EST

I would pick Sony and Nintendo if only two consoles are going to be sucessful.

For starters, when faced with hostile outside competition, Japanese companies tend to stick together, and Japanese consumers tend to buy domestic brands. That counts for a LOT, especially when the outside competition is as abuseive, and malignant as gates.

Also, while the PS2 and xBox are in direct competition, the PS2 and Gamecube complement each other. Nintendo has an undeniably top-notch development group for games aimed at the younger audience. The Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon franchises *alone* would make one rich beyonde the dreams of Midas. But they don't compete for the same audience as the Metal Gear, Grand Theft Auto, and Final Fantasy games.

Now, add the fact that since the release of the xBox, gates and his minions have been doing everything they can to torque off Sony (Arrainging to get them kicked out of CeBit, for example). And Sony has been doing a tit for tat routine with gates (Like kicking his drones out of the Metreon, here in The City.)

Remember, Sony is not some two-bit assembler of low-end PC hardware that gates can easily bully, like dell or compaq. They are a large, diverse company that is every bit as powerful as microsoft itself. Perhaps moreso, BECAUSE Sony's empire is diverse, instead of being based on a monopoly on a single product.

Plus, Sony has a good relationship with gates' arch-nemesis: Steve Jobs. Steve routinely praises Sony execs in his public appearences, and vice versa. In fact, most of the first series of Powerbooks (from the 100 to the 190) were the result of a collaberation between Apple and Sony; with a large number of them actually being manuefactured by Sony.

All that would seem to lead to a guess that Sony won't soon be teaming up with gates to destroy Nintendo, or anyone else.


cya,
john

Imagine all the people...

Developers, developers, developers. (4.33 / 3) (#15)
by hythloday on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:22:40 PM EST

As an addendum to your round-up, of the three, the GC is reputedly the easiest to program, followed by the Xbox, with the PS2 coming in a dismal third. However, this hard-to-program reputation sometimes actually works in its favour - in my experience, teams who write their own engine are more motivated and produce better games than teams who don't.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think there will be any quick destruction of one platform - lead times are so long for a game that no publisher wants to gamble on which one not to develop for, so the trend right now is to write highly portable, cross-platform games. Expect the exclusives by a developer not owned by the platform (so not The Getaway, Halo or Pikmin) to be rare and heralded things.

Your assumption that Sony and MS will squeeze Nintendo out of the market is flawed: you say that MS and Sony are bigger than Nintendo, but in terms of the games section of the company, I believe Nintendo is actually biggest (although I can't back this up). They are certainly sitting on a massive cash pile after pokemon, so don't expect them to crumple any time soon. Also, for them to die, either Sony or MS have to start making "cutesy" "kiddie" games in significant numbers - this is a dangerous strategy for both these companies as they attempt to market themselves as "cool".

I don't actually believe any of the current platforms will die out - Nintendo's brand is too strong and their market unassailable; MS intend to turn the Xbox (or some derivative thereof) into a home entertainment hub, and so can't afford to be pushed out; and Sony are too entrenched to be easily removed, and have the resources to fight a trench war with MS. Expect your choice not to matter for the forseeable future ;-)

Cash pile. (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by porovaara on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:48:30 PM EST

Nintendo had over 6Bn US dollars in reserve at the end of 2001. You can check this in their year end reports on nintendo.com

[ Parent ]
Thanks... (none / 0) (#64)
by hythloday on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:25:12 AM EST

That'll teach me to be too lazy to look for the info :-)

[ Parent ]
Cross-platform development (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by synaesthesia on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:48:36 PM EST

so the trend right now is to write highly portable, cross-platform games

This is exactly the strength of Microsoft's position. To many games companies, cross-platform - which before meant Windows 98, 2000 *and* XP - now means compiling for the X-box as well!



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Right. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by Therac-25 on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:24:25 PM EST


And that's the problem. No one is going to buy an X-Box for a game that's going to come out on the PC.

Exclusives sell consoles, and right now MS needs to sell consoles. Putting out PC ports, or putting out X-Box games which are going to be out on the PC in 6 months will not sell consoles.

If this is Microsoft's greatest strength, I'd hate to see thier greatest flaw is.

--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]
Interesting (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by synaesthesia on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 08:38:21 AM EST

I take you point, but I'd like to see whether there is a serious crossover between PC-gamers and console-gamers. I suspect not, in which case people will buy the X-box anyway. And do people really buy consoles for particular games anyway?

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
X-Box (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by Therac-25 on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 11:44:45 AM EST

The X-Box's target demographic -- late teen to late twentysomething males with disposable income -- almost certainly owns a PC, on which they play something. Or they are planning on getting one. The increasing dominance of email, instant messaging and the web in today's social environment will push that percentage even higher.

The setup of making it easy to port PC games to the X-Box is a horrible plan. PC ports rarely sell very well at all on the console.

And yes, specific games, as well as collections of specific games, do sell consoles. People bought a PS2 because of MGS2 (and probably felt let down afterwards). Same with GT3 and FFX. People bought a PS1 for FFVII (myself included). People bought an N64 for goldeneye. People bought a GameCube for the new SSB. I'm sure some people have bought an X-Box for Halo -- however, there have been alot of people who are under the impression that Halo is coming out on the PC eventually (as it was originally a PC game). That has hurt MS's sales of X-Boxen, and there hasn't really been another exclusive A title for the X-Box.
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]
Who was the Dreamcast playing third system with? (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by Scott Robinson on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:27:13 PM EST

It's a good article (and received a +1 from me), but I must ask who the Dreamcast was playing third system with?

A little more research would have revealed the actual problems with the Dreamcast: the stygma of the Saturn, Sega's US marketting campaign, and their previous debts.

Scott.



No. (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by hythloday on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:34:37 PM EST

The dreamcast was not so much squeezed out as it was hammer and anvilled - it lacked the low price and huge software library of the N64 or playstation, but failed to convince publishers and developers that it was "next-gen" enough. As a result, most devco's decided on "one more game" for the N64 or PSX and waited for the PS2.

[ Parent ]
N64 and PlayStation (4.00 / 3) (#41)
by DarkZero on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:41:35 PM EST

The Dreamcast was "playing third system" with the N64 and the PlayStation, which were both still active during its lifespan, especially its early lifespan. However, it's true that most of their problems stem from consumer distrust because the Sega CD, 32X, and Saturn were all pathetic consoles (or massive console upgrades) that were quickly discontinued.

[ Parent ]
Some thoughts... (4.00 / 3) (#18)
by infraoctarine on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 05:45:44 PM EST

On PS2: However, outside of third-party titles (like the Final Fantasy series and anything coming out of Activision/Rockstar Games), Sony doesn't sell too many of their own in-house games. Money is being lost, and Sony knows it.

Well, at least the games division is showing a profit again (as indicated here). Of course they could make more money selling games, but on the other hand the popular third-party games are what is driving demand for the console in the first place, so are they really a problem?

On Xbox: Also, much like the situation with Linux and Windows, Europeans look at alternatives. They aren't swayed by the same advertising as North America.

I think the lower than expected sales in Europe has more to do with pricing. At least here in Sweden, the Xbox is about SEK 1500 (around USD 150) more than the PS2. The Xbox is around USD 480 for a bare-bones system. It's just too expensive here.

On Nintendo: GameCube is using a proprietary ATI core

I'm curious as to why you put the word proprietary in there. Of course it is, all of them have "proprietary cores" (Xbox have one from Nvidia for example), there aren't any open graphics cores, are there?

Isn't it obvious why he uses that word? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by Qwaniton on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:08:01 PM EST

On Nintendo: GameCube is using a proprietary ATI core I'm curious as to why you put the word proprietary in there. Of course it is, all of them have "proprietary cores" (Xbox have one from Nvidia for example), there aren't any open graphics cores, are there?
Well, duh. Computer nerds, hackers, and Linux advocates hate the word "proprietary" and this guy will do anything to discredit Nintendo. Obviously, "proprietary" is the easiest available loaded word.
I don't think, therefore I
[ Parent ]
2600, Colecovision, Intellivision (2.00 / 1) (#20)
by parliboy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 06:18:00 PM EST

- nt -

----------
Eat at the Dissonance Diner.

but coleco (none / 0) (#32)
by demi on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 08:41:49 PM EST

could play 2600 games, right? Or has my memory failed me. So it was more like the 2600-pattern consoles vs. the Intellivision (which had better graphics but I hated the controllers).



[ Parent ]

War of the Consoles! (3.25 / 8) (#22)
by E r i c on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:10:45 PM EST

In the red corner, wearing the transparent trunks with a yellow foreground color, RXvt!

And in the blue corner, wearing white trunks and black stripes, is the mighty, the uncrashable, Xxxxxx-Teerrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Oh, wait, not those kinds of consoles...*sigh*

I blame my past transgressions on Eminem's music. Reform number five is currently in progress.

Quite frankly... (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:33:03 PM EST

... I'm not sure anyone would show up for that battle. :)

[ Parent ]
Gamecube and PS2-3 (1.66 / 3) (#26)
by jaymagee on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 07:33:21 PM EST

Nintendo will hold their own until a decent set of games crops up, and then they will continue to hold their own against Microsoft. Remembe the lack of PS2 titles? the gamecube has some excellent games out now, with even better ones on the horizon. Besides, I bought a gamecube. I like Nintendo. I like cartoonish graphics, bright colors, and wholesome family fun. So take that Microsoft.
Making a better humanity, one genetic change at a time.
Who says one will die? (1.66 / 3) (#35)
by X3nocide on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:05:31 PM EST

"It's a fact that's been proven time and time again: the video gaming market can't support three consoles." I've seen countless opinions on who will "Win the War," ranging from "Playstation has Square and will always live" to "Nintendo has Miyamato" to "Why does everyone bash the XBox just because its made by Microsoft?" I think a better question is "Is this competition internicine?" Is everyone fighting for the same piece of the pie? Heads from all 3 sides believe this not to be the case, and that as the number of choices on the market increase, the number of consumers attracted to it will increase as well. In such a case, its not a matter of life or death; no Highlander esque battles. The number two selling game for the latest console chart on magicbox is a DC game. Even you said its a dead console. Having shed serious doubt on the point of articles like this, I want to discuss the arguments of this article in particular, and sidestep the particulars and defense of leaders in an industry I know far to little about. You're right that Sony has an incredible market share. Its insane. 8 million ps2s on the market, versus about 1 million for xbox and gcn. I don't know how big the installed user base is to the ps1, but presumably its around 20 million, since the last number i heard was 15, and I'm sure a good number of those users now own a ps2. So sure, the psone market is large, but nobody wants it anymore. I can spend 40 dollars on an new ugly ps1 game or 50 on a new pretty game, or however much it costs these days. And judging from release lists, developers understand this. There are very few ps1 games scheduled for release in the states. Most notable among the list is either the "arc the lad collection" or "hooters: road trip." Sony's empire has largely been based on the army of Final Fantasy. It has sold in the past, and developers know it sells. Which is why they follow square (in part). But even that assumption is falling flat lately; the latest FF port to WSC has had mediochre sales. Presumably with the possible loss of Final Fantasy series and maybe even demise(however unlikely), Sony is at least investigating something else to hold onto. Finally, the rumors circulating of the ps3 so soon are certainly not helping things. It would seem that sony lost by winning the game of chicken. I assure you that the miniDVD does NOT hassle developers anymore. And even if it did, it wouldn't be terribly difficult to do what Square did with FF7 on its less limiting medium: use multiple discs. But my understanding was that it was mostly bitmaps and CG movies that filled that 1.5 gigs, and realtime rendering should cut down on that some. What does hassle developers however, is the lack of technology around developing 3d games. Its an incredibly painstaking process to build a 3d world thats compelling. The more polygons available to build it, the harder it will be. What seems to be missing is a "metatileing" equivelant to 3d. While meta tiling was actually developed to reduce cart size, it also works to make it easier to build 2d levels, given a house metatile and a road metatile, you can represent a city in a more efficient manner, and do it faster. It may be the case that 3d metatiling is not viable, that consumers won't take a generic tree anymore. But enough defending Nintendo's delays; for all I know its due to lackluster sales overall this quarter. I would question Nintendo's ownership of the child demographic, but I don't know where to look to disprove it. As for microsoft, I think they're on par with nintendo on hardware sales but the future isn't looking good. I can't see any A flight titles on their list with a definite date. And a lot of games are multiplatformed. As Mr. Arwaka of Nintendo put it, "People look for the least costly avenue to obtain entertainment." This was in defense of the lack of DVD functionality on the Gamecube, but I think MS could learn something here: people will play games on their computer rather than buy an xbox to play. In a sense, being a gigantic company like Microsoft and Sony is a double edged sword. If you can convince the right people, you have the support of the entire company to get your job done. If you can't, then your future will be based on current performance. If ps2 bombs, sony will cut it off and move on. Nintendo doesn't want to go the way of the Sega, given their investments in factories. To use the metaphor I somewhat debunked above, think of it like the Civil War. Historians have said that General Lee made some daring and cunning manuvers. But he had no choice but to come up with risky operations rather than by the numbers warfare, being outnumbered and outgunned. Compare a company like Nintendo to lee and Sony to grant. Different tactics for different goals. Summed up, those who stand to die from an outcome resist the hardest. Finally, I'd like to address online gaming. Of the 3 active console makers, only 1 has experience selling console connectivity to the masses: Nintendo. I offer that Nintendo's inabilty to stabilize randnet suggests that the demand for console connectivity may not be there. The problem with mimicing PC online stuff is that it comes with its own set of problems. Latency is a real issue, especially across a nation like the US. And a lot of servers in PC-land are run by customers, not the company, which would be a bad idea. And of course, we can't exclude cheating. As you can see, it can be a real pain to implement an online system and get it right the first time, and make sure that the system "will work on the global market" to borrow from MS. Cellular GBA networking may be a great idea in Japan where the population is dense and coverage is relatively cheap, but in the US is another matter. Likewise, using existing Internet lines may be a decent idea in the US, but may flop in japan where broadband is even less prevailant than in the States, and phone lines are charged by the minute. Its a sticky situation, and any experience is better than none.

pwnguin.net
Hi (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by Sanityman on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 07:30:56 AM EST

nt

--
If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
"You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


[ Parent ]
Who says one will die? *update* learn to preview (3.50 / 4) (#36)
by X3nocide on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 09:07:25 PM EST

Please ignore my other poorly formatted post, or let it be a lesson unto you to preview "It's a fact that's been proven time and time again: the video gaming market can't support three consoles."

I've seen countless opinions on who will "Win the War," ranging from "Playstation has Square and will always live" to "Nintendo has Miyamato" to "Why does everyone bash the XBox just because its made by Microsoft?" I think a better question is "Is this competition internicine?" Is everyone fighting for the same piece of the pie? Heads from all 3 sides believe this not to be the case, and that as the number of choices on the market increase, the number of consumers attracted to it will increase as well. In such a case, its not a matter of life or death; no Highlander esque battles. The number two selling game for the latest console chart on magicbox is a DC game. Even you said its a dead console. Having shed serious doubt on the point of articles like this, I want to discuss the arguments of this article in particular, and sidestep the particulars and defense of leaders in an industry I know far to little about.

You're right that Sony has an incredible market share. Its insane. 8 million ps2s on the market, versus about 1 million for xbox and gcn. I don't know how big the installed user base is to the ps1, but presumably its around 20 million, since the last number i heard was 15, and I'm sure a good number of those users now own a ps2. So sure, the psone market is large, but nobody wants it anymore. I can spend 40 dollars on an new ugly ps1 game or 50 on a new pretty game, or however much it costs these days. And judging from release lists, developers understand this. There are very few ps1 games scheduled for release in the states. Most notable among the list is either the "arc the lad collection" or "hooters: road trip." Sony's empire has largely been based on the army of Final Fantasy. It has sold in the past, and developers know it sells. Which is why they follow square (in part). But even that assumption is falling flat lately; the latest FF port to WSC has had mediochre sales. Presumably with the possible loss of Final Fantasy series and maybe even demise(however unlikely), Sony is at least investigating something else to hold onto. Finally, the rumors circulating of the ps3 so soon are certainly not helping things. It would seem that sony lost by winning the game of chicken.

I assure you that the miniDVD does NOT hassle developers anymore. And even if it did, it wouldn't be terribly difficult to do what Square did with FF7 on its less limiting medium: use multiple discs. But my understanding was that it was mostly bitmaps and CG movies that filled that 1.5 gigs, and realtime rendering should cut down on that some. What does hassle developers however, is the lack of technology around developing 3d games. Its an incredibly painstaking process to build a 3d world thats compelling. The more polygons available to build it, the harder it will be. What seems to be missing is a "metatileing" equivelant to 3d. While meta tiling was actually developed to reduce cart size, it also works to make it easier to build 2d levels, given a house metatile and a road metatile, you can represent a city in a more efficient manner, and do it faster. It may be the case that 3d metatiling is not viable, that consumers won't take a generic tree anymore. But enough defending Nintendo's delays; for all I know its due to lackluster sales overall this quarter. I would question Nintendo's ownership of the child demographic, but I don't know where to look to disprove it.

As for microsoft, I think they're on par with nintendo on hardware sales but the future isn't looking good. I can't see any A flight titles on their list with a definite date. And a lot of games are multiplatformed. As Mr. Arwaka of Nintendo put it, "People look for the least costly avenue to obtain entertainment." This was in defense of the lack of DVD functionality on the Gamecube, but I think MS could learn something here: people will play games on their computer rather than buy an xbox to play.

In a sense, being a gigantic company like Microsoft and Sony is a double edged sword. If you can convince the right people, you have the support of the entire company to get your job done. If you can't, then your future will be based on current performance. If ps2 bombs, sony will cut it off and move on. Nintendo doesn't want to go the way of the Sega, given their investments in factories. To use the metaphor I somewhat debunked above, think of it like the Civil War. Historians have said that General Lee made some daring and cunning manuvers. But he had no choice but to come up with risky operations rather than by the numbers warfare, being outnumbered and outgunned. Compare a company like Nintendo to lee and Sony to grant. Different tactics for different goals. Summed up, those who stand to die from an outcome resist the hardest.

Finally, I'd like to address online gaming. Of the 3 active console makers, only 1 has experience selling console connectivity to the masses: Nintendo. I offer that Nintendo's inabilty to stabilize randnet suggests that the demand for console connectivity may not be there. The problem with mimicing PC online stuff is that it comes with its own set of problems. Latency is a real issue, especially across a nation like the US. And a lot of servers in PC-land are run by customers, not the company, which would be a bad idea. And of course, we can't exclude cheating. As you can see, it can be a real pain to implement an online system and get it right the first time, and make sure that the system "will work on the global market" to borrow from MS. Cellular GBA networking may be a great idea in Japan where the population is dense and coverage is relatively cheap, but in the US is another matter. Likewise, using existing Internet lines may be a decent idea in the US, but may flop in japan where broadband is even less prevailant than in the States, and phone lines are charged by the minute. Its a sticky situation, and any experience is better than none.

pwnguin.net

And I'll learn.. (none / 0) (#61)
by Sanityman on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 07:35:03 AM EST

to read down the thread :o)

Sanityman



--
If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
"You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"


[ Parent ]
A Few Corrections (4.25 / 4) (#43)
by DarkZero on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:06:58 PM EST

However, outside of third-party titles (like the Final Fantasy series and anything coming out of Activision/Rockstar Games), Sony doesn't sell too many of their own in-house games. Money is being lost, and Sony knows it.

Sony designs and manufacturers their own hardware in their own Asian hardware factories. While Sony has never officially spoken on the subject, it appears that they are actually making money on their console. This is why Sony hardly even bothers with trying to make blockbuster first party titles and instead makes games like "Ico", which was never intended as a blockbuster and instead aimed for a small niche market, relying heavily on word of mouth in favor of a huge marketing campaign. Microsoft and Nintendo, on the other hand, lose money on every console sold because their parts are designed, manufactured, and bought from other companies. Thus, they are desperate to create blockbuster first party titles and regularly rely on their success.

Like three brawlers in a street fight, two will gang up on the other to eliminate it, or at least eliminate it as viable competition. At this point, it looks like Sony and Microsoft will beat up on Nintendo.

About a week or two ago, Square announced a deal with Nintendo to develop games for the GBA and the GameCube, some of them Final Fantasy titles. With Square's RPGs regularly appearing at the top of the sales charts in Japan and the United States, as well as their Final Fantasy titles regularly taking the top sales spot for video games in Japan, this is a pretty big deal for Nintendo. The point? Sony owns a very large piece of Square and Square needs their permission to finalize all deals with other companies. Clearly, Sony is planning on bringing the GameCube up to the top of the food chain with it, and with Sony's spot at the top already secured, that means that the GameCube probably won't be the one to die, and it certainly means that Sony won't be doing Microsoft any favors in getting rid of Nintendo.

Otherwise, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said, especially the part about the proprietary nature of the GameCube discs being a problem for Nintendo, which is something that few people have had the foresight to realize.

So, why not... (none / 0) (#48)
by pla on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:39:33 PM EST

I've always wondered about the myth that the actual console hardware *loses* money for the manufacturer...

If that held true, it seems to me the best way for a company like Sony (with tons of money and who *do* actually make a profit on the console itself) to succeed would consist of simply sending people around to buy every GC and Xbox they can find, and smash them.

Sure, it has a high initial cost, but once the rest quit the business, they have a close to 100% share of a rather large market.


[ Parent ]
Not exactly (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by DarkZero on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 12:51:16 AM EST

That would create a perceived large user base, which would encourage third party developers to make games for those consoles. It's actually better that the consoles just sit on the shelves unused, like they are in Microsoft's case right now.

[ Parent ]
Re: A Few Corrections (3.50 / 2) (#52)
by Therac-25 on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 02:17:20 AM EST

About a week or two ago, Square announced a deal with Nintendo to develop games for the GBA and the GameCube, some of them Final Fantasy titles. With Square's RPGs regularly appearing at the top of the sales charts in Japan and the United States, as well as their Final Fantasy titles regularly taking the top sales spot for video games in Japan, this is a pretty big deal for Nintendo. The point? Sony owns a very large piece of Square and Square needs their permission to finalize all deals with other companies. Clearly, Sony is planning on bringing the GameCube up to the top of the food chain with it, and with Sony's spot at the top already secured, that means that the GameCube probably won't be the one to die, and it certainly means that Sony won't be doing Microsoft any favors in getting rid of Nintendo.
You should read up on the deal a bit more.
Sony, who owns 19% of Square, agreed last October to let Square develop under the condition that this settlement will not influence future PS2 game development decisions. As a result, to meet this condition, Square will form a new company that will be independent from Sony. It should also be noted that Square invested 49% into the new company while Kawazu`s investment represents 51% of the stake. Since Kawazu has the majority of the stake, he will have control over the company's operations.
The company that actually made the deal with Nintendo is not Square. Sony has no control over what deals it makes.

You'll also note that this is the 2nd Production Unit of Square we're talking about here -- according to the article, about 10 developers. This is not the main Final Fantasy line. This is basically 2D development for the GBA. There has been a GC link-up experiment announced, but the only news on it has basically been that it's going to be the same game as on the GBA, but with different graphics.

This is hardly "giving the GC a leg up" -- it's more "allowing Square to try and get itself solvent by selling existing games on the GBA with little development cost".

Certainly, Sony and Nintendo are more relaxed since the X-Box -- but the Square <-> Nintendo deal is hardly a token of friendship or anything. Sony wants Square to make money -- why would it try and stop it?


--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]

Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by DarkZero on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:21:17 PM EST

Did you even read that article that you linked? The third paragraph clearly states: "Sony, who owns 19% of Square, agreed last October to let Square develop under the condition that this settlement will not influence future PS2 game development decisions". It then goes on to explain how Square formed a new company (a paper one, as the article later explains) that will use Square's second production unit to develop the games, because using the first production unit would interfere with the main PS2 Final Fantasy line.

I also never stated that it would be the main Final Fantasy line. However, they WILL be putting some older Final Fantasy titles on the GBA, and the article that you linked attributes the success and the mainstreaming of the Wonderswan to Square's decision to put older FF titles on it. And while I know that this deal is mostly financially motivated for Square, it also displays the fact that there isn't a lot of animosity between Sony and Nintendo, and that they're willing to work with each other. That's a Hell of a lot more than either of them are giving the X-Box.

[ Parent ]
Your implication (none / 0) (#70)
by Therac-25 on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 03:50:09 PM EST


Was that, in the battle of the consoles, Sony wants the GameCube second place, and that Sony is helping the GC out.

This deal between Square's sub-company and Nintendo hardly involves the GameCube at all.

--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]
The Gaming Wars - Game Over for Xbox? (4.16 / 6) (#44)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 10:56:19 PM EST

It's been a while since I logged on to K5, but I figured I might as well quit lurking for this one ;).

Here's what I know of the gaming industry (I've been a gamer since 8, but of course, this is all lay opinion);

Nintendo skews young, but has a decidated older fanbase; I spent the night the GC came out at Wal-Mart with 20 or so other teenagers to buy it. There are a *lot* of us that will buy the newest Shigeru Miyamoto game (he is the god of video gaming - Nintendo's big claim to fame). Nintendo also still has quite a bit of brand recognition (not as much as the early late 80s/early 90s, but still tangible). The GC is is looking hauntingly like the N64, but with releases this year including Mario and Star Fox and innovative franchises like Smash Bros. and Pikmin, Nintendo is comfortable in its current position.

In addition, Nintendo is MS-DOS'sing off the Gameboy Advance. They can afford some flops, with the war chesting going on with the GBA.

Sony is obviously the golden child; with a wide range of titles appealing to a wide audience, it has something for everyone. It is deservedly the leader in the gaming market. With titles like Final Fantasy XI, Kingdom Hearts (which I will sell my soul for), and a myriad of others in the salvos, Sony has little to worry about.

MS is the one that needs to worry. Gaming has been a two party system - MS has to prove that it can compete - and MS has obstacles in its way.

1) It's American. Nearly all the best console games are Japanese. There, i said it. It's true. On the PC, this doesn't hold true, but in my years of gaming, my collection of games developed in the States is slim. Japanese teens (according to the gaming bible Famitsu) don't look highly on American *looking* games, let alone American. There are Japanese games on the Xbox (Dead or Alive comes to mind) but its not enough.

2) The DVD debacle where discs were damaged did the same to the XB's rep in Japan.

3) You can play DVDs right on the PS2 (which lead to a lot of people in Japan jumping form LDs to DVDs). If I remember correctly (and I know I'll get nailed if I'm wrong ;)) the XB needs add-ons.

4) One of the Xbox's greatest features is the ease of porting from the PC to the machine. This is of little value. PC games are meant to be played on the PC; PC gamers want their games on the PC. We've all seen Doom and Quake on the consoles. They don't work. Many console games just work on consoles (Final Fantasy for example) and the reverse is true for PC games.

Sony and Nintendo are considered Japanese. That means a lot to the Japanese consumers and, by extenstion, gamers like me who go for the Japanese style (RPGs, anime style art, etc.)

Do I think the Xbox will fail? Maybe. It depends on whether the Xbox is another WebTV for MS or not. MS certainly has the money to keep going at a loss for a while. But it cannot succeed without the support of Japanese developers. I have a GC because Shigeru Miyamoto is my god. I want a PS2 because of Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts. I have no reason to want a Xbox.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]

The Japanese Feel (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by cam on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:20:57 PM EST

Nearly all the best console games are Japanese.

More importantly have a Japanese feel. I dont consider a console game a console game unless it feels Japanese. Xbox's greatest features is the ease of porting from the PC

Yes my wife and I are early adopters on Console platforms and games, we are also early adopters of PC's. I have a 1.8 Ghz PC to play PC games, dont need a console and a TV to play a PC game on a console. Do I think the Xbox will fail?

My wife and I are avid console gamers, PS2 was bought solely because FFX was on it, VF4 was bought within days of it's release. I bought the Sega for VF2 and Sega Rally. We have a Nintendo for Zelda as well. We dont have an xbox. If there was a compelling reason to get one we would, our console purchasing history suggests we arent scared to have more than 1,2,3... but there isnt a compelling reason to get an xbox. With Sega releasing on PS2 we are well served.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

Amen to that (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by Talez on Wed Apr 10, 2002 at 11:51:24 PM EST

<I>More importantly have a Japanese feel. I dont consider a console game a console game unless it feels Japanese</I>
<BR><BR>
Japanese games always have the highest of production values. Look at the shit that AM2, Square and Ninteno constantly put out. Shenmue, FF series, Zelda. Nuff said really.


Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
[ Parent ]
Cartridges deterrance for developers ? (none / 0) (#56)
by chbm on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 05:51:27 AM EST

You might not know this but developers get SDKs with fun cartridge connectors and PC cables. It's even easier than cds. You can find those kits on console mod shops.

And if you're going to say "but with cedes you don't need a SDK to develop" don't waste your breath.

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
Xbox (2.00 / 1) (#57)
by Silent Chris on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 06:16:43 AM EST

Xbox developers get a large tower. It even has a hard drive that acts as the DVD, and simulates loading times.

I don't think it would be possible (or practical) to use cartridges that hold 128 megabits for games that clock in around the thousands.

[ Parent ]

The problem isn't with developing... (4.50 / 2) (#58)
by Trepalium on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 06:30:02 AM EST

The problem that has always plagued cartridges wasn't any real problems with developing. In terms of coding for the platform, it doesn't matter if the device uses optical, magnetic or ROM storage for it's media. The reason developers were deterred from using cartridges was the fact that they cost a lot more to produce than CDs did, and the fact there was limited storage (although this only affects certain classes of games). The fact that you could charge the same amount for a CD-based game as with the cartridge-based game let the developer have a larger profit margin for the CD one. This is one reason why the Playstation had such a large library over the N64.

[ Parent ]
Storage (3.00 / 1) (#71)
by X3nocide on Thu Apr 11, 2002 at 05:12:35 PM EST

And with decreasing amounts of FMV ala FF7, the need for HUGE amounts of space is becoming less and less. While I can't comment intimately on the hows and whys of the choices of developers, I wonder where the point in the lifecycle of the psOne the library got a big boost. I mean, if all the psx games played like Jumping Flash! I doubt it would have had the broad appeal it recieved. My gut instinct tells me that FF7 was the real catalyst in things, although Toshinden was a nice boost if I remember correctly, and I'm sure metal gear also helped break into the mainstream. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it doesnt matter how cheap the medium if theres nobody to sell it to. Or maybe I'm wrong all over and the popularity of the psx was influenced largely by the availibility of cd burners.

pwnguin.net
[ Parent ]
XBox adverts (none / 0) (#73)
by vrai on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 05:27:59 AM EST

I think the both the XBox and the PS2 adverts in the UK are brilliant. Especially the 'Life Is Short' one you mentioned, and the rather insane ' I am the Werewolf'.

Plus they worked: I bought a Dreamcast, I bought a PS2, I bought an XBox, I bought a GBA, and I'll buy Gamecube. Why? Because all of them are going to have at least two or three excellent games for them. As a non-hardcore gamer I only really play console games for three or four hours a week (post-pub FIFA-fests aside) so it takes me a while to get through each game. Thus the shortage of quality games suffered by the Dreamcast and the XBox didn't really affect me.

You can never tell. (none / 0) (#74)
by /dev/trash on Fri Apr 12, 2002 at 04:18:27 PM EST

But usually it comes down to games and who has them. I tend to stay away from the "exclusive" consoles. Unfortunately if I wanna continue to play The Oddworld Series I'll have to get an Xbox.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
taking the "family" out of gaming (4.00 / 1) (#75)
by seele on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 03:36:55 PM EST

for as much as the game cube has re-established my faith in nintendo (not only in high performance for gamers, but also quality for family entertainment) a company with the "family" as its primary audience will fail in this market. nintendo has always been known for its family oriented gaming, which is a very good thing in this industry. so many gamers are more concerned with grpahics and gore than pure entertainment value. nintendo tries to take the unnecessary violence out of its games in order to appeal to parents concerned with turning their children into machine-gun weilding zombies.

when realism was a quality in games first introduced in the early nineties.. i remember parents being cautioned about the evils of video games. a good example which comes to mind was mortal kombat. this was one of many popular fighting games wich incorporated blood and guts into its realistic graphic interface. this was a cool thing. you could punch someone and make them bleed. of course, children thought this was awsome. parents, however did not, and campaigns against video game violence began to pop up all over the country. we laugh at this now, because violence seems to be a required element in our entertainment.

this desensitivity has been acknowleged by nintendo as they strive to make gaming entertaining instead of gruesome. unfortunatly when competing with platforms such as the ps2 and xbox which develope violent games.. it loses alot of the user share. how many people will buy a console that has three good games over a console which will provide numerous games that can entertain our bloodlust for hours on end?

its really a shame. games like supersmash brothers and the rerelease of gauntlet are wonderful releases and entertaining for hours on end. games like halo and resident evil 2 are entertaining as well, but if you look past the story line, there isnt much left other than blood and guts.

its a toss up between the ps2 and the xbox. microsoft is again trying to get into another market so they can control the world. their xbox is making a very good impression, especially the dissapointments (i personally had) with the ps2.

who will win? who knows. the games will all be the same, so maybe, it wont matter in the end.

Re: taking the "family" out of gaming (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by Therac-25 on Sat Apr 13, 2002 at 07:18:14 PM EST

this desensitivity has been acknowleged by nintendo as they strive to make gaming entertaining instead of gruesome. unfortunatly when competing with platforms such as the ps2 and xbox which develope violent games.. it loses alot of the user share. how many people will buy a console that has three good games over a console which will provide numerous games that can entertain our bloodlust for hours on end?
FYI, Capcom USA and NOA are doing alot of work with resepect to RE on the GC. RE/GC cardboard standups are already in EB right now (I was just there checking thier used PSX and GBA games), and Capcom is also planning a new 2D RE for the GBA (RE Gaiden). Rumor also has it that Capcom is going to be remaking all of the RE games so far for the GC.

Nintendo is obviously not that concerned about losing thier kiddie image, what with a 5 foot zombie cutout advertising RE on the GC in EB.
--
"If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man."
[ Parent ]

The X-box is not a games console (2.50 / 2) (#78)
by pavlos on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 02:40:42 PM EST

It looks like a games console, and is being promoted as one, but it is actually a proprietary, content-controlled personal computer. Microsoft's reasons for releasing it are less to do with success in the games market than with the following:
  1. For desktop PCs, Microsoft has to compete for the user's budget with the hardware manufacturers. It actually picks up a small share, since people upgrade their graphics cards and such more often than their copies of Windows and Office.
  2. Microsoft's software is thoroughly pirated by probably the majority of home users. The "closed PC" X-box format would allow Microsoft to enforce its royalty fees (disclaimer: I assume it has some effective form of copy protection).
  3. Some misguided customers occasionally opt to purchase non-microsoft software. If Microsoft controls the platform, the way games companies do, it can collect a fee from third-party software sales too.
I think these are extremely dubious practices. As soon as Microsoft puts out a traditionally PC-based service on the X-box, such as email and/or home office, I think it ought to be investigated for using its monopoly power on computer software to control the market for home computer hardware - not the market for home game consoles.

As for the X-box's gaming success, its prospects are mixed. It is expensive, bulky, and porting PC games to/from it is a very mixed blessing for both game design and market ("I'd rather pirate it for the PC") reasons. On the other hand, Joe Average always buys Microsoft.

Pavlos

War of the Consoles: Who Will Survive? | 78 comments (70 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!