This is something I've been thinking about for a while.
There is one major thing I feel sets aside video games from other media entertainment: varied consoles.
If you want a book or magazine, you buy it and read it.
If you want to watch TV, you pick a TV to buy and watch it.
If you want to listen to music, you pick a CD player, laptop, or mp3 player.
If you want to watch a movie, you pick a DVD player and watch it.
But, if you want a video game, you need to pick a particular console and play it there.
Does it hurt the industry as a whole to have various platforms to choose from? If there were some huge monopoly of gaming, everyone could just get one system and pick any game, right? Instead of making only one console though, another solution is to try to put every game out on each system.
There has been a lot of complaining around here abuot what's going to be multi-platform and what's not. I just don't get it. Making this multi-platform makes them more available. It means there will be more consumers. Publishers know this. And as a gamer, wouldn't you want all other gamers to enjoy a new game as much as you do, regardless of the system you own. The only reason I see to not make something multi-platform is if there is something in the game that would not work on another system (ie PS3 beign able to handle more than a Wii, 360 not being able to handle motion sensing like Wii or PS3, etc).
By nature of video games, having many platforms makes sense, but I wonder what the repercussions would be if eventually, the video game industry streamlined into one console. Would it help make video games a more standard form of entertainment? Or would it hurt the industry becasue of lack of variation, and lack of consumers buying more than one console per gen..?
Yeah, I've always thought that the future of the game console industry will eventually come down to this.
I think eventually there still may be 3 main game console players but all 3rd party games will be released for all 3. It will become a matter of who has the superior in-house 1st party exclusives.
And I think eventually it'll come down to price and quality. Like DVD players are today. Consumers look at DVD players based on price, aesthetic design, quality, and brand name. Game consoles will come down to that eventually as well.
Perhaps you'll even be able to put a 3rd party title into any of the game consoles and it will work.
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I agree Lucent, that it's a problem. But at the same time, video games are a completely seperate and interactive form of media, and since it is controlled by the player, and is to be interacted with, the companies must decide where they think is the most important aspect and what would be the best way to control. Since people can't afford the sheer cost of one all-powerful console, each company (currently Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft) must decide where to put the resources and how to develop each, focusing on whatever they find the most important or intriguing (gameplay vs. graphics). In the end it's good for competition and you'll see things advance much more quickly this way.
Take a look at Gameboy. It's was moving in extremely small increments, and then Nintendo had to do something when the PSP was announced. Then came the touch/dual screens. I never would want to go back to the standard option of A, B, start and select after playing it. I think it's better off this way although a bit dissapointing at times.
All those other mediums don't rely on computers, video games do.
It's also good to point out... look what the deal is with BD and HD DVD. Lol!
In console gaming, it's 1) an industry based on computers and 2) has developed somehow into a competition like it is.
It's the same thing as the ATI - nVidia battles. It's the same as the BD - HD DVD battle. In consoles however, there is more emphasis on it because that's just how it came to be.
A lot of it also has to do with the console makers make their own games as well because they have in house developers.
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That and also they make their own first party titles. So for at least a very substantial amount of time, I cannot see it changing. I think they all realise how much a console is worth, and if only one console ends up being there, that means only one guy is making by far the most money from the market. And because they established these footholds, no one is going to let this happen without a really, really big fight. Maybe that fight is now, maybe the biggest fight/win will be later, maybe it will never happen and there will always (say 100 yrs = always lol) be more than one console, who knows lol.
Maybe even one day, there will be one console for a whole generation or more. Then the question will be "When will another one/group come in and make it two consoles or three or more and have both be reasonably sucessful again?"
I think that day is very far off, if simply not going to happen ever if gaming stays as big as it is.
I think another good point is that the consoles don't even need to be within reach of sales with each other to survive next to each other. Just like say, cars. So many car manufacturers, but some sell buttloads more than the next, yet there's still space to fit them in. For consoles, it's also the same, they can live quite parallely (not a word I don't think, but it fits the bill ) even if one is 'killing' the other in sales. The foothold that is established is very powerful, and there's companies coming in and going to. Sega out, in came MS. Maybe another will go out, maybe another will come in. It's dynamic and it also has room for parallel success.
P.S. I think maybe we should look at the consoles as products more actually. Just like you can buy different shoe styles and brands, you can buy dif. console brands. There's enough room for more than one, and that's the main reason there is more than one.
Ya, I just cut the focus on the games as products, but it's almost like they are part of the console itself then. The games are the console, the console is the games, and right now, there's three of them.
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Hmm I seem to recall at the GDC someone (I think it was that guy who got owned for calling the Wii a piece of shit) was talking about how we want video games to be considered as one of the main forms of entertainment in the 21st century.
Well, dont video games make more money than the movie industry now? I would think that we would base the main form of entertainment on how much money that particular form makes... Or would it be how many people use/experience said form? Games may make more money than movies, but perhaps alot more people watch movies than those who play games.
And as for what Lucent was talking about the first post - Dvd players are made by different companies,as are different TVs and computers etc, just like MS, Sony and Nintendo make the different consoles. The only difference with games is that all dvds will work on all dvd players, all programs will work on all computers (except for the mac and pc thing, i guess), and all tv shows will play on a tv. The only difference with games is we have to choose which console we want for the games. I guess this could be a good thing, since we actually get a choice as opposed to dvd players or tvs which all do the same things.
I dont really know where im going with this... so ill jump to something else...
Casual gamers wouldnt care, but we as gamers want to see our preferred console do well compared to the other ones. For example, if (hypothetically) Mario came out on PS3 then Id be upset because the Wii would do as well because you could get the 'mario experience' else where.Originally Posted by Lucent Beam
I dunno, I guess we want whats best for our companies, but apparently that different to whats best for the industry as a whole.
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The problem (from my point of view) with having one game system has to do with standards, what can all 3 console makers include so that they are equall. You can see right now that they cant even agree on what to include in a system.
I dont care what anyone else say, games evolve with everything else. If tv are going hi def then game systems will have to adapt, it may not be necessay but it is inevitable. The problem is how fast we follow the tech and therein lies the problem, cost.
There cant be a universal console if there cant even be a universal gaming rig on pcs. If you look at the other forms of entertianment you can see that they all have similar standards, any who don't follow usually fail, and as soon as you succeed then the situation just returns back to this problem you see with video game consoles. Its a messed up cycle and is nearly imposible to break.
Videogames are an oligopoly, much like the auto industry. I think we will always have at least 2-3 choices simpily because the market is so large and all the big companies that push electronics want a piece of it. I do agree that 3rd party exlusives are a thing of the past.
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Lets say one company released one system and thats all there was at the time. A Playstation 12 lets say. Anyone that wanted to play games just had to buy that console and any games could be playable.
But then a year later there is better technology out that would surpass the PS12 in graphics and processing etc. So microsoft decides hey, lets make some money and steal some people away from PS12 by offering more power etc.
Then it becomes the same cycle over and over again.
But I still don't think to many companies will try consoles (cuz lets face it, they are expensive to create, and you'll never be certain of the payoff)... It'll stay an oligopoly, but never be a true monopoly.
Compatition is only good, and, as D3adcell said, the finality of releasing a console will always let competitors in.
I don't third party exclusives are a thing of the past especially if the title does not sell great on a platform due to different tastes. Porting title isn't free so it really depends on the title. If xyz can profit on another platform then expect it to be ported over but if it cannot, don't expect it.
This is only the first generation. Developers are testing new platforms to see if they can profit on other platforms. Its not like multi-platform equates to instant profit. For example I highly doubt that train sims will succeed on the 360 versus PS3 or Wii in Japan.
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Competition keeps quality up, but at the same time, it sucks having to buy more than one system if the games you like are spread out.
They want to be like the VCR's of gaming today. While Nintendo already have done this very same thing, but look what happened? They changed demographics, and that hurt them for two generations now.
I don't see Sony hurting themselves the way Nintendo did to themselves. I see Sony doing what Nintendo didn't for Nintendo 64.
But who's cashing in? Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo is a veteran, and almost monoplized gaming the way Sony would've done.
If I had a choice right now on who's cashing in; its Nintendo and Microsoft. Why Nintendo? Because Nintendo's strength doesn't lie in consoles anymore, it lies in handhelds. They can sell a handheld without losing face because of technology. But the Wii, is at risk of losing face because of the "underpower" of the "hollywood" chip. Wii will change from just a fad, to a cheap console alternative to Xbox 360 and PS3.
Microsoft wants to monoplize the entertainment industry, and that's where the risk is for them at this point.
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