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The Changing Face of the Console Wars 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-up-with-the-wiises dept.
An article at Gamasutra explores the decisions by Microsoft and Sony to launch significant hardware additions — their respective, upcoming motion-control schemes — in the middle of a console cycle, rather than waiting until the next generations of their systems are ready. It's indicative of a change to the established pattern of console wars; nowadays, it's more about adding features and gadgets to improve existing products than developing entirely new ones. Quoting: "... for Sony and Microsoft, motion controllers are their next-gen consoles. And it's a damn sight easier than launching Xbox 720 or PS4. They can debut these peripherals without needing to engineer completely new boxes for consumers, potentially bundle them over time, and they have a much better chance at getting exclusive games, thanks to the specificity of the hardware (something that's happened a lot for the Wii). Thus, both hardware manufacturers and publishers like EA see these controllers sparking new interest in Xbox 360 and PS3, which will delay the next dreaded console transition for another few years."
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The Changing Face of the Console Wars

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  • by binarylarry (1338699) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:27PM (#29778149)

    I know the solution! We'll copy Nintendo!

    We'll be rich! Muahahaha

    - Sony and MS boardrooms

    • by Zero_DgZ (1047348) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:38PM (#29778629)

      It's certainly been done before.

      Remember that after the '84 video game crash, Nintendo came along and pretty much defined modern video gaming as we know it with the NES. Controllers with D-pads, managed third party licensing, holiday timed releases, literature, and mascots: Nintendo pretty much just made it all up and the rest of the fledgling industry followed suit.

      Here's some food for thought: It's becoming pretty clear that gaming as a whole is moving towards a bit of a different demographic. This is partly because those of us who were the kids buying the first Nintendos and Segas have grown up into (presumably) responsible adultlike beings who are now buying Wiis and Xboxes. Coupled with this is the move to 'casual gaming' led mostly by the Wii (and also the DS) which is bringing in people from older generations who up until now have been unfamiliar with video gaming entirely.

      One caveat about this: The "bug your parents" business model doesn't apply as well anymore. Older and wiser people who are making frankly massive investments into consoles and games for them are expecting to get a decent run time out of their investments. The huge new market of first-time gamers, grandmothers, and all the other people we like to pick on (who are all buying the Wii) are a tenuous market at best, and it's likely that the console makers are concluding that forcing everyone to jump ship and move to a new platform will probably alienate this whole market. Lots of grandmothers will say, "screw you, I'm not buying a new games machine" and suddenly not only are they not making money on new console sales but they're not making money on their legacy machine anymore, either.

      The cash cow then becomes not selling new machines, but selling new upgrades for the existing machines. Grandma (or whoever) will swallow "buy this thing that plugs into your Wii (or Xbox, or PS3)" easier than she'll swallow "spend $500 on this new console that's different from your old one."

      The Wii already has this curious casual gamer market. Sony and Microsoft sure want to capitalize on that success, and it's clear that the best (read: cheapest) way to do this is by upgrading rather than replacing. And while all the rest of us are cracking wise about people ripping off Nintendo, at least this method of Nintendo-rippage will be cheaper (and hopefully better) than replacing existing consoles outright. Which will piss off a lot fewer people.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by aliquis (678370)

        Good post but you lost me at grandma swallows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lord Bitman (95493)

      "Nintendo has completely dominated a market we didn't even no existed by adding basically nothing more than instructions telling people to move while playing video-games. If we make something which not only does that, but which also actually captures motion, perhaps we can claim the market they found for ourselves!"

      Haven't tried WiiMotion+ because, for fuck's sake, should I need to spend £80 to try out something which the system claimed to already come with? I've got no evidence that it's actually any

    • Well, it worked for MS. Or what do you think Windows (all versions) or Office (all versions) is?

  • New? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:33PM (#29778189)

    Nonsense, consoles have been doing this for years.

    The various attempts of light guns such as the super scope, sega mega 32x cd add on, eyetoy for the ps2, added memory pack for the N64 etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumLeaper (607189)
      Very true, they always launch some sort of add-on, and no really buys them and very few games will use it. When they do use the new controller, they still support the old one because that where all the sales will be. I can't even think of one new controller/add-on in mid-cycle that even sold had more than 50% of the players adopting.
      • Re:New? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ceiynt (993620) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:54PM (#29778341)
        The original PS1 controller didn't have analog control sticks. Sony copied it from the N64, and has used the DualShock controller since.
        • by sabernet (751826)
          Ahh, Sony took it from both Nintendo and SEGA. Both competing companies had analogue sticks going for them with a release only 1 month apart(N64 controller in June, Saturn analogue stick in July of the same year). Sony was the odd one out with no analogue input for the PS1 on the regular gamepad. However, they did have a dual analogue joystick system out(the Hackers movie had people playing Wipeout on a set of those). Seeing themselves as falling behind techwise, they took the thumbstick idea their comp
      • by westlake (615356)
        Very true, they always launch some sort of add-on, and no really buys them and very few games will use it.

        But this strategy seems to have worked out very well for Wii Fit, Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      What's new is pushing the add-ons as the "next gen", as a fig leaf for the lack of new consoles / longer product cycle. The "new thing" is less new stuff.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      An universally, every single one of these attempts failed; miserably.

      If a console does not have functionality on day one, or by default, then you cannot tack on additional requirements, especially when it comes to games. Developers already worried about how small your console demographic really is cannot risk further decimating their audience by requiring people to buy some new fangled, overpriced gadget in order to play your game. People are not going to be willing to fork out double the cost on an accesso

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:01PM (#29778783)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Hero [wikipedia.org] has proved, to the tune of $2 billion in sales, that you *CAN* "requir[e] people to buy some new fangled, overpriced gadget in order to play your game".

        Clearly people *ARE* willing to fork out double the cost on an accessory and a game, instead of just buying two regular games, for the same price *IF* you create a game that makes it sufficiently more enjoyable to play with the accessory. The announcement of Guitar Hero for the PSP demonstrates that the game does not require the accessory controller, but who honestly believes it would have been as successful on the major consoles if it had used just the standard controllers?

      • by stuboogie (900470)
        "If a console does not have functionality on day one, or by default, then you cannot tack on additional requirements, especially when it comes to games. Developers already worried about how small your console demographic really is cannot risk further decimating their audience by requiring people to buy some new fangled, overpriced gadget in order to play your game. People are not going to be willing to fork out double the cost on an accessory and a game, when they could just buy two regular game, usually of
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by A12m0v (1315511)

        Gimicks are gimicks. They are not the future of video games. In modern games, I need to control movement of a character in 3D environment, while maintaining camera control and awareness, and while maintaining quick acess to broad array of functionality and abilities, all while making room for meta and system controls. How do I do this by waving my arms or shaking the controller? How would you perform all the functions needed in say, Super Mario World with a motion control system, while retaining the same level of responsiveness and control. You can't. The standard controller is a proven method of such control and this has not happened by accident but rather by design, and it would be the height of folly to disregard that

        I guess someone here didn't play Super Mario Galaxy

  • What? No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stonecypher (118140) <stonecypher@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:36PM (#29778217) Homepage Journal

    The extension of consoles is the defacto behavior for consoles, and always has been. In modern times it's been things like Wii Fit, the Eye Toy and so on, but nobody here has forgotten the Power Glove or the Power Mat, the Sega CD and the Sega 32x, and indeed that pattern goes back into the 70s, with the Intellivision overlay system and the Commodore 64 Extender.

    Indeed, it's only the last generation or two which have skipped it. Anyone who believes this is new has only been gaming through one generation of consoles, and that should be their first red flag that they're not ready to talk about the history of gaming.

    Could not be less correct.

    • by Trixter (9555)

      with the Intellivision overlay system and the Commodore 64 Extender.

      Don't you mean the System Changer [intellivisiongames.com]? That played Atari VCS games, not C64.

      • Re:What? No. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Jerf (17166) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:50PM (#29778705) Journal

        The Intellivoice [wikipedia.org] sounds like a closer fit to what we're talking about, as it enabled a new form of game, rather than functioning as backwards compatibility.

        No idea if that's what the original poster meant. But it definitely does show that augmenting consoles is a very old idea... older than many people reading about it. :)

        Somewhere around here I still have an Intellivoice, and all four released games for it (I don't count the baseball one). You have not lived until you've heard a little 4KB cartridge (not a typo! in fact, 4KB was twice the usual size; and yes, I'm using bytes because I think measuring games in kilobits is a crock) babbling away at you. An amazing amount of voice was shoehorned into those things. Online MP3s that have samples of even a single thing it could say are themselves larger than all released games combined.

    • Could not be less correct.

      It looks like it's just the summary (surprise, surprise) that is wildly incorrect. The article itself seems to only talk about the current generation of consoles.

    • by Zero_DgZ (1047348)

      I would question your notion of "skipped it." There was, of course, the network adapter and hard drive combo for the PS2 as well as the Eye Toy. The Gamecube had its broadband adapter... thingy, as well as the Gameboy player and the phenominally useless GBA linkup (except for Crystal Chronicles). And no console escaped the ubiquitous presence of the DDR dance mat.

      And who can forget the E-Reader and the wireless link dongle for the Gameboy Advance? Oh, that's right. A lot of people can, and did. Both were su

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Exactly! This is what happens when a "20-something" tries to write about the history of console gaming.

      I remember getting the Intellivision voice synthesizer add-on in about 1982. "Watch for flak!"

  • How is this new? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:36PM (#29778219)
    How is this a new tactic? Nintendo released a successful Famicom Disk System for the Famicom (NES in Japan) that expanded the Famicom by using cheaper media and cheaper games that could easily save without extra expense of a battery backup. Sega released like a million things to expand the Genesis (Mega Drive) including a CD add on, and the 32x. Nintendo used games with new CPUs and other chips to extend the life of the SNES beyond the 16 bit generation.
    • Before all of that the Atari 2600 had different controllers for different games. First the joystick and paddle controllers, then the driving controllers, then the keypads for the BASIC cartridge, and then the Star Raiders keypad, etc. The better joystick was invented by WICO as it styled the arcade joystick used in many arcade video games and the Mattel did the Tron joystick from the Tron arcade game. I am sure I am missing other Atari 2600 add ons. But the Atari 2600 was the original add on console. There

  • Naturally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:42PM (#29778257) Homepage Journal

    We are reaching an era in computing where devices can push audio and video beyond human perception levels. For example, if display resolution were increased, a person would not be able to tell the difference visually from typical viewing distance. Or if color depth were increased to 64 bit over 32 bit could that even be perceived? I'm not saying we're there yet, but we are quickly approaching that point.

    Once that happens then what will be the next generation anything? It will be a matter of small refinements, novelties and exclusiveness of titles.

    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      Once that happens then what will be the next generation anything? It will be a matter of small refinements, novelties and exclusiveness of titles.

      Nope, interactive pr0n. Get super high resolution, let people scan/upload face pictures for the head and choose from a menu for the body, and you wouldn't build enough of them at $2000 each. Obviously, you would need some kinda of wireless control system that doesn't require two hands.

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        Obviously, you would need some kinda of wireless control system that doesn't require two hands.

        So, we're back to a joystick interface for 50% of the units?

    • Thank you! I was coming here to say pretty much the same thing. Why bother pushing for a new system at this point? So a next system has more processing power and ram, so what? Are games today more fun than they were 4 years ago because the graphics are better? Would the next call of duty REALLY be that much better if it was rendered in 1080p instead of 720p? Innovation and quality design makes good games.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Well, considering this exact same post appears in Every. Goddamned. Gaming. Thread. you really needn't have bothered-- believe me, we've all read it before.

        Slashdot needs a -1 Tired Cliche moderation.

      • by Suicyco (88284)

        We are still very limited in what can be done. The amount of models on screen at any one time, the field of view, interactivity of the environment, etc. More processor speed, better GPU's and more ram will all lead to more realistic and fine grained physics, larger interactive environments, 3d displays, faster load times, you name it.

        People said the same exact thing with the ps2, the pentium, all that outdated tech.

        We have a long way to go yet, these primitive consoles are just the tip of the ice berg. Its

    • by Nf1nk (443791)

      There are still memory considerations. Consider GTA IV (now pretend that it isn't boring) at any given time there may be a couple of dozen cars on the road that you can see. It would be a major improvement if they could have a traffic jam with hundreds of cars and dense crowds on the sidewalks (it is unclear whether this would make it more fun, but it would be more real). This doesn't change the resolution of the screen, but it takes much more computing power than we have in the current generation of con

    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      Well you're correct in that we're reaching the limits for certain things such as resolution (where the apparent angle of a pixel on the screen is smaller than your best eye resolving power (28 seconds of arc) at a typical viewing distance, or where bit depth is about as good as needed (although I think we may be able to see RGB 888 from anything superior in low contrast gradients without any dithering. Which IMHO is why Photoshop always dithers its gradients (or just about anything it does), but then there

    • Only an idiot would think that resolution has got anything to do with immersion. A low-rez photo is 100% realistic, but a canvas the sized of a cathredal ceiling is still clearly a painting.

      The current graphics are getting better but there is still a lot of detail missing and we humans are very good at seeing it. Games like GTA4 seem to be very realistic until you realize that... what is missing. Where are the cats and dogs. The pigeons (that fly up). Why are most of the windows just textures and not windo

    • by brkello (642429)
      There is always something that can improved upon. If not graphics, then number of enemies that can be show on a screen. More processing power allows for more complex AI. There is always a disruptive technology that we don't expect that drives something in another direction. Maybe it will be holographic games. Maybe it will be a console that links directly to your brain. Possibilities are endless.
  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:44PM (#29778267) Journal
    THe reason the last generation of consoles went by so quickly is because the level of online interactivity on the previous consoles left alot to be desired and were jsut out of reach. Now that all the consoles have successful online digital money presses, the motivation for new hardware is less and less. I figure we wont see next gen prototypes for at LEAST 2 more years, maybe more.
    • by Spatial (1235392)
      What was quick about it? It was seven years, 1998 to 2005.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 4D6963 (933028)

        No that's a biased way of looking at it because the Dreamcast didn't have any successor (and it came out in 1999, not 1998). Look at it this way, PS2 (2000) to PS3 (2006), 6 years, GameCube (2001) to Wii (2006), 5 years, Xbox (2001) to Xbox 360 (2005), 4 years. So the average periodicity for this previous generation was 5 years. It's not THAT short but on the other hand I don't think it's ever been shorter.

        • Dude, the Dreamcast was released on November 27, 1998.

          I know, because I had a friend get me one for a Christmas present. It was one of the ones with Yukawa Senmue on the box. You know, from the commercials.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnsg3YLYcDk&fmt=18 [youtube.com]

          He was funny and self-deprecating. It was sort of a recognition of how Sony's Playstation had managed to beat out the Saturn over time (The Saturn was the #1 console in Japan, roughly until FF7 came out for the Playstation)

          I still thought the Segata San

  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:45PM (#29778275) Homepage

    Perhaps it's merely my own lack of vision and creativity, but I can't imagine much further growth in the capabilities of consoles. Display technologies have been maxed out. Memory and processing systems are well balanced between power and cost even if the consoles are still a bit too costly in my opinion. Until the next great other technology comes out, I can't imagine getting much better than it already is... a little better perhaps, as the costs of more impressive technologies decrease, but nothing significant. In fact, I would go so far as to say the advancement between XBox and XBox360 is barely noticeable. PS2 and PS3 is largely the same thing.

    What they will do, in the next gen, however, is figure out new ways to kill the second hand and other post-first-sale business activities. If the PSP Go is any indication of what is to come, we are going to see a decrease in the popularity of new consoles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheKidWho (705796)

      The current generation of consoles are TERRIBLE compared to PCs. A new PC with a Radeon 5870 has nearly 6-8 times the graphical processing power.

      Most consoles games run at sup 720P resolutions and are upscaled to fit a 1080p screen, view distance in console games is terrible, textures are blurry messes, and frame rates suck.

      The fact that you can't see a difference between the xbox to xbox360 is laughable.

      Just because you have low standards doesn't mean the tech can not advance much further than it already

      • The current generation of consoles are TERRIBLE compared to PCs. A new PC with a Radeon 5870 has nearly 6-8 times the graphical processing power.

        Even if one PC in your network has a powerful GPU, you usually need four PCs for four players, and you need to buy powerful GPUs for all of them. Even if you did buy extra PCs to run things like OpenOffice, Firefox, and Boxee, the Intel GMA that probably came in them won't cut it. Consoles, on the other hand, have a wide selection of major label titles that can use one console, one monitor, and four gamepads. Some of these games are in genres that don't even need to split the screen, like fighting games.

        • by TheKidWho (705796)

          Yeah and most of those fighting games can be played on a PC, with 2-4 controllers too.

          Besides, there are plenty of games that are local multiplayer on the PC side too. Left 4 Dead for example includes split screen functionality on the PC.

          A lot of console games are also moving towards providing online only mulitplayer like some recent racing games.

          • by tepples (727027)

            most of those fighting games can be played on a PC, with 2-4 controllers too.

            Can you recommend a good 4-player PC fighting game for fans of the Super Smash Bros. series? Or something like Mario Party or WarioWare or Rabbids? Or anything like Rock Band or Guitar Hero that hasn't been either discontinued or sued into oblivion?

            • by TheKidWho (705796)

              I don't know, I don't really play any of those games. I'm sure there are a ton of Indie games similar to Smash Brothers However. Personally I like Street Fighter IV and that is available for PC too.

              Besides that, the Guitar Hero series is available for PC too, so what is your point?

              • by tepples (727027)

                Besides that, the Guitar Hero series is available for PC too, so what is your point?

                Thank you; I wasn't aware of that. I thought it was one of those franchises that was on the PC in early iterations but then console-only in later iterations. For example, Hudson released a Bomberman game for the PC and Konami released a DDR game for the PC, but nothing since.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          You now, he was responding to the GGP post, who said

          "Display technologies have been maxed out. "

          And clearly they haven't. That doesn't mean the PC is a better gaming machine, it's just technologically more advanced. The reason for the lack of single-system multiplayer games is not technical, it has to do with different target markets.

          • by WCLPeter (202497)

            And clearly they haven't.

            While this is obviously true for PCs, this isn't so true in the home consumer market.

            Its taken years for the good 1080p sets to get down to reasonable prices and only now are we starting to see people buy them in any numbers. Even still, when you look at the average install base of TV's in peoples homes they're certainly not all 1080p yet.

            No one is going to release a new consumer Hi-Def standard now, not after the broadcasters, content producers, manufacturers, cable and satellite providers, have spent, an

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PostPhil (739179)

        No, it's the other way around. PC's are currently TERRIBLE compared to consoles. How can I say that? It's easy. There is no objective meaning of "terrible": it depends on what your goals are. Apparently you're one of the gamers who prioritizes eye-candy and/or processing power. I don't, and many others don't either.

        Here's what I think is important:

        1. I can actually play the f***ing game at all. The PC market has intentionally alienated used-games with copy-protection and "activation". If you already activat

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by 4D6963 (933028)

          Yawn, alright that's an old debate but since you've been modded up...

          1. Big deal, crack the games (even if you bought them) and see if that's such a big deal. Now trying pirating games on consoles (if you're opposed to pirating then it's a moot point for you though).

          2. You already have a PC, so that's a dishonest point to make. Everybody has a PC, no matter whether or not they want to play video games. And even if you have a 3 year old PC with an integrated Intel graphics chip it won't take you more tha

          • 1. Big deal, crack the games

            You ignored the whole breakage due to OS updates.

            2. You already have a PC, so that's a dishonest point to make. Everybody has a PC, no matter whether or not they want to play video games.

            Almost 10% of new computers buyers have macs actually.

            Of the ones that have PC's, large numbers of them today just have laptops. Just how are they going to put in that new video card? What about netbook buyers? Are they going to have a fantastic gaming experience too even though they technica

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Bullshit back at you. If the consoles were "basically PC's" the PS3 would not be harder to code for. Microsoft has made the 360 more like a PC to be sure, especially library wise - but it's all still very proprietary and custom stuff housed inside, only from the library side does the console look that much like a PC.

              The only way the PS3 is not like a PC is the CPU, which has more coprocessor[s] than processor[s]. The Xbox 360 is like a unified memory PC, like the Xbox before it; while the Xbox was basically made with off the shelf PC parts (save the GPU of course... but it was PC technology packaged for low price) the Xbox 360 is a more custom job. The 360 has an ATI-made integrated GPU and north bridge, and again it's presumably [mostly] made of repackaged PC technology.

              Otherwise, spot on...

            • by brkello (642429)
              1. Maybe you mean when they update the game? OS updates don't change anything. But in any case, you just download the update to the crack.

              2. Macs can play many games as well...and as far as total marketshare, PCs still rule...in any case, you don't really have a point for the majority for users. The minority can play on consoles...still doesn't make PC gaming terrible as the GP post was replying to.

              3. You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. I have a Masters in C.S., so maybe this is obviou
            • by 4D6963 (933028)

              You ignored the whole breakage due to OS updates.

              I don't feel concerned, I still run Windows XP and if you care so much about gaming and "OS update breakage" maybe you should do.

              Almost 10% of new computers buyers have macs actually.

              What's your fucking point? A Mac is still a PC, it's just a PC with 'not Windows' as an OS. You don't need Windows for a machine to be a PC.

              Of the ones that have PC's, large numbers of them today just have laptops. Just how are they going to put in that new video card? W

        • by TheKidWho (705796)

          Apparently you need to get some reading comprehension.

          For starters, the OP was referring to graphics reaching a plateau which I was arguing against. If you weren't such an idiot you would have realized that.

          1) Steam solves all of those problems, I have steam games from 5 years ago that I can still easily play and maintain. I also have games from nearly 15 years ago that I can still run on my computer today, so what is your point again? Any activation problems with old games can be solved within 15 second

        • by westlake (615356)

          The PC market has intentionally alienated used-games with copy-protection and "activation"
          How do we deal with all the breakage due to OS updates, malware, driver bugs, etc...

          Why the heck should I buy your used PC game?

          Gog.com - to choose just one example - repackages classic MSDOS and Windows games for XP, Vista and Win 7.

          The garage sale price is $6 or $10. Weekend specials offer an even better value.

          PC games have a strong online community.

          There's no real problem getting Doom, System Shock 2, Arc

        • by brkello (642429)
          Oh come on...PC's don't excel for gaming? It sure as hell does for RTS's and FPS's. The graphics are better, the input allows for more complex games, and you have access to FREE downloads and mods. If a PC and a console has the same game, often you have to pay for the mods where they are free online...and you don't even have access to many user created mods.

          Listen, I am a big fan of gaming. I like to do it both on the PC and the consoles...they both have advantages and disadvantages. Saying PCs are te
      • \Most consoles games run at sup 720P resolutions and are upscaled to fit a 1080p screen, view distance in console games is terrible, textures are blurry messes, and frame rates suck

        Citation needed.

        I shouldn't feed the trolls, but sometimes...

    • by TheKidWho (705796)

      P.S. If you want to see where the next generation of consoles are headed, simply look at Crysis on a maxed out Rig.

      Current Generation PCs can still barely run the game at 1600p with 30fps, personally I predict the next generation consoles to have equivalent power to this.

      Here is a screenshot.

      http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/4228/crysis64200806291401238to6.jpg [imageshack.us]
      http://media.photobucket.com/image/Crysis%20max/LiquidReactor/Crysis/Crysis2009-05-2608-40-24-45.jpg [photobucket.com]

      • I play games at 2560x1600, you insensitive clod!

    • by WarlockD (623872)
      Its doubtfull the next gen systesm are going to go non-media based. The go is nice but it still takes hours to download anything just think how much data will be needed for even blue-ray type games? 10 million people downloading 30 gigs at a time is going to hurt any server:P

      I agree though, I think they are not going to be upgrading the hardware significantly. They are going to play this like the PS1 did with the introduction of the duel shock controller. Even then, there was a clear need for an anal
      • Its doubtfull the next gen systesm are going to go non-media based. The go is nice but it still takes hours to download anything just think how much data will be needed for even blue-ray type games? 10 million people downloading 30 gigs at a time is going to hurt any server:P

        I disagree: getting rid of physical distribution and killing second-hand sales with one move will compensate any bandwidth they'll have to pay.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      In fact, I would go so far as to say the advancement between XBox and XBox360 is barely noticeable.

      You must have the shittiest TV in history.

      Compare a late Xbox title, like the Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, and compare it to a launch Xbox 360 title, like Oblivion or Kameo. You're seriously telling me you can't tell the difference between those? It's night-and-day.

      PS2 and PS3 is largely the same thing.

      Ok, now I KNOW you're smoking crack. The PS2 looks like shit even compared to the original Xbox, and th

  • by biscuitlover (1306893) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:59PM (#29778377)

    Could this be because of the losses that Sony and MS are making on each unit sold? I couldn't say whether past consoles always turned a profit, but I suspect that after investing so much money in their respective hardware, neither company wants to move on to the next gen before they can claw back as much cash as possible on games and add-ons...

  • Currently, button-mashing is pretty similar between the Sony and MS consoles. This makes it pretty easy to conceptually port a game from one of the two consoles to the other (which is probably part of why we so so many simultaneous releases for the two), even if the programming APIs are distinct. On the other hand, the Wii controller has very few buttons and is controlled more so by gestures and movements.

    If Sony and MS start pushing for motion-driven controllers, instead of button-mashing, and they each design their own new controllers for that, what is the likelihood that the inputs will actually be similar? If a useful motion - say a forward stabbing motion - is interpreted dramatically different between the Sony and MS systems, this could potentially make cross-platform release more time and resource intensive for the game companies.

    Which, one could conjecture, could potentially drive the game companies to release more games on just one platform, instead of both Sony and MS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662)

      For this generation the most likely thing is that most games will completely ignore the motion sensing stuff, as it doesn't make much sense to invest large amount of money into an add-on that only a fraction of people will own.

      On top of that its questionable if motion sensing would even work for regular hardcore games. Especially Microsofts Natal just seems unfit, with no buttons at all you are extremely limited in how you could use the controller in a game (how do you fire a gun?).

      Sonys solution looks more

    • by brkello (642429)
      Not going to happen. The Wii, while great, does not have the processing power of the other two consoles. Not only would they have to port the controls, but they would have to port the graphics and AI down to the Wii level. So people with multiple consoles would not buy the Wii version because it would be limited too much. On the other hand, what you suggest would make it easier for them to port Wii games to the other two consoles as the 360 and PS3 could handle anything that the Wii plays.

      Ultimately it
  • by wampus (1932) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @01:27PM (#29778549)

    You can sell more $99 gizmos and gimmick games than you can new consoles, pure and simple.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    OMG I'm a computer nerd. I thought this article was about terminal emulators!

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:06PM (#29778811)

    For me the way to ease the purchase of a new gen console is with strong backward compatibility. When I bought an XBox 360, it was partially because I never had the original XBox, and the XBox games (Halo 1/2, Fable 1, Jade Empire, etc.) I wanted to play were on the compatibility list. I really feel Sony dropped the ball when they dropped PS2 compatibility.

    I've gone back and rented a number of Gamecube games (Tales Of Symphonia, Eternal Darkness, etc.) for my Wii. If Nintendo wanted to have achieved true awesomeness in my eyes, they would have put a slot for Gameboy Advance games in the thing. I played some GBA games on the attachment for the Gamecube, and playing them on a big TV is great. Advance Wars with big, glorious maps made the game much more epic.

    I also recall the Sega 32X and the CD for the N64. both of which I have. Nifty idea, but the developers just don't develop in droves for something not in the core system specs.

  • by beatsme (1472991) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @02:52PM (#29779093)
    Thank the heavens. The gimmick will no longer be about graphics, but gameplay. Now, how long before the emphasis is on storytelling?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alen (225700)

      mod this up

      last 20 or so years the only thing that improved in consoles was graphics. the controllers have stayed the same and a few gimmicks like the power glove never caught on. now the graphics are good enough even if they get better that people want a different game play experience and not just better graphics

    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      The emphasis on storytelling? Really?? Please tell me you're kidding. Have you played any Call of Duty or GTA game lately? Basically they're more like interactive movies more than games. Really.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Even going back to Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Storytelling! That game's script was better than most blockbuster movies. And I still think Halo 2 is one of the best-written games ever made... even from the very first cutscene with Arbiter, how could you play that and not be affected?

        I love Slashdot, it's the only gaming forum on the web full of people who (obviously) don't play games.

  • Not sure if I buy it, yeah this generation may last longer than the standard five years, it basically already has for Microsoft.

    It says more about the power of the consoles and the way games use them than it does about anything else. I have kind of noticed the same thing with PC gaming. My 8800GT still lets me play the latest games reasonably well. But how long will this last ?, I give it a couple of years max before either Sony or Microsoft start gearing up to release the first next gen console.

  • by nlawalker (804108) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @03:27PM (#29779315)

    The sooner that everyone has implemented and is using motion controls, the better. We need developers to get shitty, gimmicky uses of it out of their systems, and we need better hardware and software for reduced lag and more precise control.

    Am I really personally that interested in games that are 100% built around motion control? As the Wii taught me, no, I'm not. I think a lot of game enthusiasts feel the same way. What I *am* excited about, and what I think game enthusiasts should be excited about, is when developers come up with more subtle uses that really add control and flexibility. One thing I really want is the ability to change the direction of the first-person camera in racing games by tilting my head, so I don't need to take my hands off of the controls (note - I'm not talking about "head tracking" where position data is used to provide a realistic viewport, I'm just talking about mapping head tilt to an analog camera control). My understanding is that GT5 + PS Eye will provide this feature. Leaning in first person shooters is another good example. Is it a "realistic" 1 to 1 mapping of a real world motion to a game action? No, but it adds to a player's ability to control the game seamlessly. It only adds to the experience - it doesn't take anything away and you don't have to use it, and the game is still perfectly playable even if you don't have the right hardware.

    We need to get to the point where developers are no longer asking "how can we establish a good player experience by using motion control" and instead focus on gameplay and implementation with standard controllers, later asking "where could motion control help this experience we've established?"

  • My favorite console, for look and feel and touch, was always the VT05 [wikipedia.org].
  • There's a couple of other points to be noted in here, I think. For one thing, we're seeing the real takeoff of XBox Live Arcade. If these cheap downloadable games for $15 are getting so much good credit, then what's the use to upgrade the system for them, especially if new hardware could force a change in the XBLA standard when people still aren't fully integrated with the standard they have? Not to mention that they're still waiting to see if anything materializes out of the small indie games area.

    On So

  • by AmazingRuss (555076) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @07:54PM (#29780899)

    ... but my FOURTH xbox is starting to flake out, and will probably be dead soon.

    I appreciate that they sent me 3 new ones under warranty, but god DAMMIT, a console should last more than a year. I would have thought that by the 3rd one they would have figured out how to manufacture them correctly.

He's dead, Jim.

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