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Displays Graphics Games

Console Makers Scaling Back Their Push For HD 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-is-not-hard dept.
The big news about game consoles of late are the recent price drops and hardware changes. However, an editorial at GamesIndustry looks into one of the side effects of those updates: decisions by both Microsoft and Sony not to include HDMI cables with their HD-capable consoles, despite the companies' long-standing interest in high-definition gaming. "From the perspectives of these companies, they want to include the cable which will be of most utility to the largest group of consumers possible, and it's clear that whatever research they have done suggests that the majority of consumers don't need — or rather, can't use — an HDMI cable. Neither firm wants to put an assortment of cables in the box 'just in case' — each additional cable erodes millions from the firm's profitability, after all. ... Supporting evidence that all is not well with the HD transition comes from Epic Games' Mark Rein, who told Eurogamer earlier this summer that 'over half the users who played Gears of War 2 so far do not have HDTVs.' Gears of War is a core gamer franchise, beloved of early adopters and the [so-called] hardcore. If less than half of those users are playing on HDTVs, what must the percentages be like for games like FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer — let alone Singstar and Buzz, or popular movie tie-in titles?"
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Console Makers Scaling Back Their Push For HD

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  • Hmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 06, 2009 @02:48AM (#29329655)

    I got my first HDTV 4 years ago, how much longer are we supposed to wait for the laggards to catch up?

  • by lukas84 (912874) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @02:54AM (#29329683) Homepage

    Well, people that have an air-conditioned home aren't exactly of average income...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:05AM (#29329733)

    It's easier for the console manufacturers to eat a $100 price drop when they can force a large percentage of consumers to shell out another $50+ for a set of cables.

  • by corsec67 (627446) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:08AM (#29329741) Homepage Journal

    He didn't say whether he works in Arizona or Alaska.

  • by saskboy (600063) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:17AM (#29329787) Homepage Journal

    I now have 3 consoles, all purchased or repaired in the last year.
    An NES with Duck Hunt and Super Mario (and 8 other games) ($25).
    A PS One with 5 games ($10)
    And a PS2 with 2 games $40.

    I play on a 13" colour TV, and a 20" Sony TV that I got for free this year when someone moved out and left it as trash.

    And I don't have a wife to supplement my income. HD is for my 25" LCD computer monitor, not TVs. TV is for my friends to pay for, at their places.

  • by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:12AM (#29329965) Homepage

    The Xbox360 comes with component. Works great for, at least, 720p (as that's the kind of TV I use it with).

    I have a a-few-years-old TV in my home, everything connected with Composite+SCART. Pretty good picture at PAL 60hz. This summer I finally got a chance to try out what Xbox 360 looks like on (someone else's) HDTV - and damn, the HD picture via HDMI connector looks just marginally bit better than Composite. You can actually tell the difference if you're sitting right next to the screen. (Barely so from the couch.)

    (The TV also had the curious habit of having worse analog picture on 60hz than 50hz. Flat TV are weird. And in this experiment, I also found it infinitely weird that Xbox 360, a product from that famous proprietery software corporation, had a standards-compliant HDMI port that accepts not-fancy no-brand HDMI cables... and Wii still needs an adapter of some sort. Ghh.)

    In short, right now, I don't think HD is all that relevant or remarkable. Maybe in 5 years.

  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:15AM (#29329971) Homepage Journal

    It's easier for the console manufacturers to eat a $100 price drop when they can force a large percentage of consumers to shell out another $50+ for a set of cables.

    But Sony and Microsoft aren't the only ones that make HDMI cables. Companies like Best Buy are probably going to try pushing the Monster or their house brand cables instead of first party cables if the first party cables have a marked up wholesale price to cover some of the price drop.

  • by Floritard (1058660) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:46AM (#29330263)
    I'm generally a pretty language-agnostic or even crass kind of guy. I curse like a sailor. But for the love of god can we please stop with the "bending over" and "lubing up" talk when discussing what are really very trivial matters such as retailer dishonesty? It's pretty lame to bilk your customers and nobody really deserves to be treated like that, but it's in no way close to being sodomized. It really isn't. This sort of hyperbole is bordering on a level of absurdity that nearly rivals Godwin's law.

    Retailers try to make as much money as they can and a sucker is born every minute. Unscrupulous retail will continue indefinitely with or without the presence of KY jelly or callipygian pruriency. Save the buttfucking talk for big things like federal malfeasance, or I dunno sports fanaticism.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drsquare (530038) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @06:29AM (#29330393)

    We PC gamers have been asking that ever since we hit 1600x1200 and higher around 1999-2000

    By 'we', you mean yourself, comic book guy, and half a dozen other nerds. The typical PC has maybe 1024x768 and onboard graphics.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sanosuke001 (640243) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @07:38AM (#29330631)
    Mod this up. My parents, grandparents, and un-tech friends all run 1280x1024 right now (nevermind in 2000). I run 1920x1200 at home and 2560x1600 at work (27" LCD at home, 30" LCD at work). Most people complain of things being too small; they want the icons big enough where they can see them from 10 feet away. If all you're doing is email and a bit of web surfing, a high resolution isn't as much of a drive for you. Gamers might spend the majority of the $$$ that flows into the home PC business (or at least upgrade the most often) but the casual users account for the most number of sales.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dangitman (862676) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @08:09AM (#29330775)
    Oh boy, a whole extra 120 lines!
  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Sunday September 06, 2009 @08:28AM (#29330869) Homepage Journal

    Point out to me how many console games are rendered at 1080p with 8x AA and 16x AF?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 06, 2009 @08:49AM (#29330961)

    But for the love of god can we please stop with the "bending over" and "lubing up" talk when discussing what are really very trivial matters such as retailer dishonesty? It's pretty lame to bilk your customers and nobody really deserves to be treated like that, but it's in no way close to being sodomized. It really isn't. .

    Sounds like he knows what he's talking about.

  • by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @09:26AM (#29331205) Homepage
    Please remember that HDMI is just a digital HD cable technology! The component (YPbPr) cables that still come with the consoles ARE also HD, just analog HD. It still looks great on a HDTV; the biggest difference is that you don't absolutely need a TV made in the last 4 years to benefit from it as CRTs and older LCD/Plasma TVs had the connectors too.

    Case in point, my Xbox 360 is plugged to my 52" HDTV through component connectors and the picture is very sharp and vivid. It may not equal HDMI, but most consumers won't actually notice or mind.
  • by jd2112 (1535857) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @09:51AM (#29331397)
    So they can sell you a $2.95 HDMI cable for $59.95.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drsquare (530038) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:01AM (#29331441)

    When people talk about 'gamers', it's best to remember that the biggest-selling games are things like the Sims and World of Warcraft. These people are as much gamers as people spending a thousand dollars to play Crysis with all the sliders turned up.

  • by armareum (925270) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:43PM (#29334145)

    The price drop makes the console more competitive. Without an HDMI cable in the pakcage the customer will have to buy an HDMI cable (hopefully from the vendor); these are cheap to make but retail for about £10/$10 IIRC. Console maker and vendor both win.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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