Console Patterns
May 09, 2006

Have you ever paid attention to the patterns consoles follow? I notice them from a Nintendo perspective. Here's how I see it:

Nintendo: Every other console, they make a huge leap to some new approach. NES/SNES (good, old-fashioned 2D gaming), SNES/N64 (good, old-fashioned 3D gaming), Wii/??? (gaming with motion sensing).

Sony: Small evolutions every time out of the gate, with a lot of attention paid to what the other guy is doing.

Microsoft: Good, old-fashioned gaming with an emphasis on the online side of things, more like you might expect from a PC.

Now, what does all of this lead me to believe? I think that, if it succeeds, Nintendo will keep following the pattern that has kept it in business longer than any of "the big three." I think we'll see two systems with heavy focus on the motion-sensitive stuff (the next one with a big graphical boost, of course). Then?

I think Nintendo will do the whole virtual reality thing. We'll see in 10 years, right?

As for Sony, I think it'll keep making micro-improvements that focus heavily on graphical upgrades and media center applications, until it stops kidding itself and realizes that what it's really done is evolve the Playstation line into a surprisingly successful PC.

Microsoft, meanwhile, will likely keep doing what it's doing, but will in essence have its own line of PCs, as well. So basically, console gaming as we know it will be all but dead in 10 years. :-(

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Halon Halon - May 10, 2006 (12:29 AM)
I'm primarily a PC gamer so I think that's why the Xbox appeals to me and I could care less about the other systems.
mariner mariner - May 10, 2006 (01:39 AM)
So basically, console gaming as we know it will be all but dead in 10 years. :-(
Yeah... Sucks, doesn't it? That's why I prefer to live in the past :)

On the plus side, Wii gaming doesn't look anywhere near as gimmicky as I feared.
Genj Genj - May 10, 2006 (03:55 PM)
I doubt I'll be playing games in ten years.
magicjuggler magicjuggler - May 10, 2006 (04:21 PM)
I'm a PC gamer which is why Xbox appeals little. With the exception of a few high-end titles like Panzer Dragoon Orta or Otogi 2 or Ninja Gaiden Black, most of its best can be found on PC anyways.
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - May 10, 2006 (05:20 PM)
The problem with PC gaming is that it's too expensive and unstable. If I invest in a new console, I know I'll spend about $200-$400 and get four years of life out of that machine. With PCs, I might have to spend $700 on upgrades and get maybe a month out of that setup before the next new video card is released.

To me, consoles just seem to be the more fiscally sound investment, and that is probably never going to change.
magicjuggler magicjuggler - May 11, 2006 (02:41 PM)
The problem with it all though is sadly the PC does strategy games and FPS titles better, what with the ability to mod them. It feels rather convoluted trying to transfer mod data from a PC to an Xbox to play Morrowind...
m0zart m0zart - May 22, 2006 (03:38 AM)
I don't think console gaming will be dead in 10 years. I remember hearing precisely this sort of thing in 1983, and around the time the Nintendo 64 was released. There's always this notion that PCs are going to progress far enough that console gaming itself won't be attractive any longer. That never really pans out, and I think I know why.

Consoles put a definite focus on developers and software, while PCs put more of a focus on hardware. PC developers can always, and usually do always, grab at the latest hardware technology to create games that are more technically astute than the console. That and the control scheme are largely what drives PC gaming fans to prefer PC gaming. Consoles switch that focus however. Because consoles are, at least for the most part, set in stone for about five years, it puts the focus on software -- i.e. on how much more developers can achieve on a limited set of hard but inflexible functionality. As a software engineer, I am actually more impressed with the observation of how far any console game pushes the envelope on any given platform than I am on how much better performance I can get out of this newfangled video card, an extra few gigabytes of memory, or a new CPU.

Personally, I'll always be in the market for console gaming, and I don't think I am the only one. I think console gaming is here to stay.

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