WIRED - "The Game Console is Dead"


#1

An interesting opinion piece from WIRED magazine:

[left]“Consolation Prize: The Game Console Is Dead. What Will Replace It?”
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[left]http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/10/consolation-prize/all/
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Executive Summary:

Game consoles have peaked in the market, with a total of 225 Million units sold.

While the current crop of Consoles were “King of the Hill” when they were released in the early to mid 2000s, and people splashed out 40 - 60 Dollars to buy a game for them, today the market looks very different.

Games for smart phones & tablet computers are becoming more and more popular, and more sophisticated with time, driving significant gamer traffic away from Consoles.

Both smart phones and tablet computers are getting more powerful quickly, hardware capability-wise, meaning that they will eventually be able to run “Console Quality” or “Near Console Quality” games natively.

The many new “Free to Play” multiplayer games for PC, which make money from Micro-Transactions (buying items/weapons/powers/perks for use in the game) are also driving casual gamers away from Consoles.

The convenience of cloud services like Steam is also leading to a rebirth of PC gaming, which was much neglected in the mid 2000s, when publishers suddenly started targeting Consoles instead of the good old PC.

Basic Summary: The IT landscape today looks very, very different from when PS3/Xbox 360/Wii were released. To make it in the market, the coming 4th Generation of Consoles will have to offer a lot more than “Just sit on your couch and game!”. Selling Console games at high prices like 60 Dollars per game may no longer be economically feasible in this new market landscape.


#2

PC’s are dead too. I hate articles like these. There are too many reasons to list why consoles aren’t dead, I don’t even feel like starting.


#3

The only reason why we see so many articles on the topic recently is because everyone is trying to push for the nextgen consoles to appear. I think its ridiculous.


#4

No, Pc’s aren’t dead. While consoles aren’t either they are lacking in every respect. They are simply not keeping up with the Moore’s law.


#5

I don’t think consoles are going to go away for a long time, there’s certainly a place for them.

Consoles will still offer a better game experience compared to mobile
On top of that, they can offer experiences that mobile simply can’t match (simple example: an actual game controller)
Another thing is that a game console can be an all-around media entertainment piece that can offer everything you would want, including streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo), music, movies, media playback for both files and things like DVD’s and Blu-Ray, and on top of all that, high-end games.

I think, if anything, PC’s are actually taking away console business. Most likely in the future, the new consoles will increase popularity again, but it looks like PC gaming will be something that won’t be disregarded like it used to.

All around, it’s a pretty good situation as long as the new consoles can come out in a reasonable amount of time. Nintendo really should have had their console out at least a year ago. Some are saying Microsoft and Sony won’t have theirs out until 2014, but I think that would be a mistake if they don’t release theirs next year.


#6

It’s already possible, to a limited degree, to connect your phone to your TV and do all those things, and it will only continue to get easier.


#7

I said PC’s are dead sarcastically, consoles follow the economy not Moores law.


#8

I can already plug a joypad into my samsung s3 and connect it to the tv via hdmi.

Its full HD too and has a quad core inside. Pretty neat toy.


#9

Yes, but it’s not really practical, like anyone wants to have to plug in a cord from their phone to their TV, and then you would have to go grab the device to control playback. Of course they could improve that in the future. But then phones will never have the ability to play Blu-ray discs.

What gamer is going to plug in a controller to their phone to play games? Like the gamepad addons for mobile devices, it kind of removes the advantage of having something small and mobile when you have to stick something big on it so you can use it as a controller. And even with mobile gaming devices like the PSP or Nintendo DS they don’t have as good of controls as an actual game controller.
And then there’s the thing that there’s no point playing mobile games by plugging it into your TV when you can play much better games with a real controller that’s already plugged into your TV–which is the same issue with the Ouya. Sure you can play those Android games like a console, but the console games are much better than Android games so there’s no point.

I don’t see a point in the future where mobile devices will ever be able to play games better than a console or do things in home entertainment better than a console.


#10

They won’t have to. You stream the video at Blu-Ray definition to your phone, or play it from the phone’s hard drive or memory card, then wirelessly stream it from your phone to the TV. Likewise, game controllers would connect wirelessly, or the phone itself could become the gamepad while streaming the main image to your TV.

They won’t be better. But they will likely be close enough that not many people will be willing to pay to buy a separate game console.


#11

And that’s precisely why I like them. With a console, you buy a game and you know it’s going to work on your machine, because the technology hasn’t changed. I gave up on PC gaming because I got sick and tired of having to constantly upgrade my machine, patch drivers, and deal with all kinds of annoying issues almost every time I bought a game.

I love my XBox and would never go back to playing on a PC.


#12

Nope that will never happen, it is like saying consoles will pass up PC’s.


#13

Mobile is only close enough now because consoles are 6 years old. New consoles will again put them years ahead of mobile devices.
Is everyone forgetting the fact you normally need to be in a very expensive contract to have a smartphone? I doubt the majority of gamers on consoles(kids), have a S3 on contract.
There are way too many different mobile devices with different size screens and processors that outdate too fast to ever have the same level of third party support as consoles.

If you think mobile can compete with a console, you are obviously not a gamer and your opinion is null and void. :thumbsup:


#14

Maybe in the US, but here it’s pretty normal to see kids with iPhones and Blackberry phones, as well as other smartphones.

Also, most gamers are adults.


#15

I don’t know, I’m not a gamer, but the PS Vita looks pretty impressive.

Not sure about the iPhone 5 or S3, but you can get a iPhone 4 or S2 for free here in the states with a contract. I don’t see many kids with fancy phones around here, but lots of parents buy their kids tablets, and they play games on those.

I would envision the future to be something like the Vita, with a fancy dock so you could plug in lots of controllers, power, and maybe a DVD drive.

Either way its very exciting times with electronics becoming smaller and smaller.

-AJ


#16

I like my Xbox for the same reason as Leigh I guess. Once Maya is running smoothly on my work machine I like to leave well enough alone and only update drivers when I have to. It’s also nice to be able to have a game or two when the computer is tied up waiting for something to render or backing up harddrives etc.

Really enjoying Borderlands 2 BTW :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Brian


#17

And that’s precisely why I like them. With a console, you buy a game and you know it’s going to work on your machine, because the technology hasn’t changed. I gave up on PC gaming because I got sick and tired of having to constantly upgrade my machine, patch drivers, and deal with all kinds of annoying issues almost every time I bought a game.

I love my XBox and would never go back to playing on a PC.

Strait up. Also having a fixed platform forces developers to be creative in the way the software and art is produced to get the maximum impact within the limitations, all too often in PC games they brute force the art by applying tessellation or some stupid gimmick with the sole purpose only to justify a £400 card that came out last month.

I personally like the craft that goes into titles like SOC or Zelda, where they push the limits and surprise people, all this talk about free to play and crappy touch screen mobile games being the future and “state of the art” is nonsense. People forget that there is a whole population who grew up with high quality games running on Nintendos and Playstations.

I have played some of the mobile titles with the best “console” graphics and they are honestly some of the worst games i’ve ever played. Angry birds is the sort of thing mobile touch systems are good at, its pretty much the pinnacle of the platform. Clue right there!


#18

Ah, but the PS Vita is a kind of console anyway… It’s a lot better than any phone in any case.

I gave up on PC gaming because I got sick and tired of having to constantly upgrade my machine, patch drivers, and deal with all kinds of annoying issues almost every time I bought a game.

Really? I update my GPU each 4-5 years (went from a 8600GT to a used GTX285) and not a single problems here. I only updated the driver once. Maybe you play a lot more games than me though…


#19

Yeah but if you don’t upgrade you end up with a gimped cut down version with no “this is how we intended it to look”. Instead of programming the feature they just sell it in a card and brute force it, its highly inefficient. Any time something exciting comes out it requires exponential performance to run, good luck playing any Half life 3, unreal engine 4 etc on that card. Its pretty much obsolete for stuff that hasn’t already been released or is a port based on 6-7 year old (Xbox, PS3) architecture :wink:


#20

I buy 1-2 games a month on average.