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The Consoles Are Dying, Says Developer 309

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-hide-it-well dept.
hypnosec writes "While you might have often heard that PC gaming is dying — detractors have been claiming this for over a decade — one developer has a different take: that consoles are the ones on the way out. In a 26-minute presentation at GDC — available now as a slideshow with a voice-over — Ben Cousins, who heads mobile/tablet game maker ngmoco, uses statistics of electronic and gaming purchases, along with market shares of developers and publishers from just a few years ago, to come to some surprising conclusions. The old guard, including the three big console manufacturers — Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft — are losing out when compared with the new generation of gaming platform developers: Facebook, Apple and Google. With the new companies, the size of the audience is vastly increased because of their focus on tablets, mobile and browser-based gaming."
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The Consoles Are Dying, Says Developer

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  • Makes sense to me. I see many more people playing Facebook games than they play with their Wii. XBox players are about as frequently seen as Facebook gamers, in my experience.

    The technology is where consoles have often been ahead of PCs, but with tablet computers becoming almost as slick as Star Trek Pads, it's harder to imagine a console being able to process a lot more than a PC or be as portable as an iPad or Android phone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wvmarle (1070040)

      Facebook: wins thanks to the social aspect. It's always more fun to win a game from real-life friend, than from a computer. Even playing against strangers is more interesting - that's why I enjoy playing card games on Yahoo, you know there are real humans on the other side of the "table". That alone makes the game much more interesting, even though there are no fancy graphics etc. involved.

      Google/Apple's mobile offerings: this are both networked (social) games a-la Facebook, and simple games to kill time wh

      • Re:hardware limits (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:16AM (#39350423)

        These arguments can be summed up as:

        "Books are dying, magazines are more convenient and require less mental effort therefore magazines will replace books"

      • Re:hardware limits (Score:5, Insightful)

        by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:12AM (#39350647) Homepage Journal

        I agree with most of your points, except for the presumption that you're playing a "real-life friend". Other than a dozen people, I've never met any of my Facebook friends in real life.

        Furthermore, none of the "social games" I tried on Facebook during my first year were "social" at all. There was absolutely NO interaction with other players, team tactics, or any of the other aspects of a good round of an FPS with a headset.

        When I see my friends playing against their buddies on their XBox or PS3, they're using headphones. They're coaching each other. They're cursing each other. They're talking to each other. It's a FAR more "social" game environment than Facebook has ever been or could ever dream to be.

        • Re:hardware limits (Score:4, Interesting)

          by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:45AM (#39350813)

          I agree with most of your points, except for the presumption that you're playing a "real-life friend". Other than a dozen people, I've never met any of my Facebook friends in real life.

          I think you're unusual. Most people use facebook to keep up with real life friends and family, old friends from school who now live far away, people they met on holidays or courses. People that you want to keep in touch with, sometimes daily, sometime just from time to time.

          When I see my friends playing against their buddies on their XBox or PS3, they're using headphones. They're coaching each other. They're cursing each other. They're talking to each other. It's a FAR more "social" game environment than Facebook has ever been or could ever dream to be.

          Casual gamers don't really want that. If they wanted a pre-longed real-time conversation with a friend they'd pick the phone up or skype or chat. Short, non-real time contacts fit the bill better for casual social gaming.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by arth1 (260657)

            I think you're unusual. Most people use facebook to keep up with real life friends and family, old friends from school who now live far away, people they met on holidays or courses. People that you want to keep in touch with, sometimes daily, sometime just from time to time.

            I think you both are guilty of extrapolating your own experience and thinking it applies to the world at large.
            I communicate with my friends through one-to-one communications (e-mail, IM, phone, snail mail), not one-to-many like social networking sites. I don't even have a Facebook account anymore, and reserve one-to-many communications for when people are pseudo-anonymous.
            And I am sure there are many others like me out there.

            I am likewise sure that there are people like you, and people like the GP, and ye

      • Re:hardware limits (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Darfeld (1147131) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:19AM (#39350675)

        Facebook games are getting better at the "game" things I guess, but their is still work to do on that. The social aspect is more than often a lure. It has worked pretty well, but it really gets old after a bit. They are good browser based games with good social aspect though, but none that have to thank fb for that.

        For Google/Apple's games, they work because they open "video games" to a broader audience. but games you can pick up and put down in a minute aren't what a gamer will look for. Gamers won't disappear just because of casual game on phone. It's just not the same usage.

        Wii/Xbox/PS3 have specificities, and it's up to the game designers to figure what support is suited for what kind of game. I really don't enjoy action games on a phone, the command are crappy and most of the time they hide the screen (you know, because of the tactile thing) and I sure won't buy scrabble for my Xbox. As for the networking aspect, things are going in the right direction I think.

        PC has the most wide panel of possibilities from controllers to social things and Internet connection, so it gives it an edge. But my guess is no platform is going to disappear, they'll just radicalize.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This article is biased because of the type of work that Ben does: "Ben Cousins, who heads mobile/tablet game maker ngmoco"

      Game makers like ngmoco need to realize that they are not competing with consoles or PC's because they are designing for mobile devices. They compete with other mobile device game makers and that's that.

      Sure Facebook/Zynga make truckloads of cash, think about their business model: Play x game, limit the amount of time player can play, offer method to BUY more time for a couple of dollars

      • by headLITE (171240)

        He's not arguing that ngmoco competes with consoles or PCs. He's arguing that the relative market share of console games will go down as the mobile games industry boom continues. He clearly states that he believes that mobile games haven't disrupted the AAA console game industry yet, but are on par with handheld consoles - which as far as I can see from the handheld devices that I own and from published sales data is an accurate assessment of the situation.

        • Re:hardware limits (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Talderas (1212466) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:41AM (#39351161)

          There's no response but "Duh."

          Market share is a percentage. You can increase market share by either stealing customers from the competitor or increasing the total number of customers. The former affects the volume the competitor deals the latter does not.

          Let's say the gaming market consists of 25 people. Right now 10 people play mobile (40%), 9 play consoles (36%), and 6 play PC (25%). Given the ease of access and low investment cost for mobile games the gaming market has increased to 40 people. 21 play mobile (52.5%), 12 play consoles (30%), and 7 play PC (17.5%) Mobile gaming's market share has increase while console and PC's have decreased yet all three gained new customers.

          The real point though is that mobile gaming isn't competing with PCs or consoles. It presents a vastly different gamescape than the other two options and has been bringing in customers that weren't previously console or PC gamers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why does this make sense to you? If tablet computers increase the size of the gaming ecosystem, that doesn't mean that consoles are going to go away. There is still enormous demand for fancy 3D games like first person shooters and sports games.

      I think this article goes too far. I think it only shows that tablets will pick up the less hardware intensive games, for the cases of where HD graphics or ergonomic controllers aren't important. When they do, PCs and consoles will have that market.

      Can you imagine som

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chase Husky (1131573)
        Yes, I could imagine playing Gears of War 3, or any other similar, graphically-intensive game, on a tablet. However, I wouldn't expect to physically interact the tablet whilst doing so.

        To elaborate on the first part, as smart phones and tablets become more complex and powerful, they will begin to encroach and eventually overlap with the processing and graphical capabilities of consoles. (The PowerVR G6200/G6400, let alone NVIDIA's Tegra offerings and the state-of-the-art devices in the research literat
      • by headLITE (171240)

        It doesn't mean consoles will go away. He's comparing to mainframes and personal computers, among other things. Mainframes continued to sell after the PC boom started but suddenly there was much more money in the PC business. Now today we have big companies using PCs for tasks that mainframes were used, but this is decades after they were introduced. He's also comparing consoles to arcades, which still exist and aren't really doing *that* much worse than they used to (just worse than they did in their prime

    • Re:hardware limits (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:23AM (#39349955)

      The technology is where consoles have often been ahead of PCs

      What are you on about? The outdated tech in your console comes nowhere near the level of technology in my PC.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Ultimately the issue is really basic.

      Console lockdown has created a giant opening for cross-platform gaming. The platform is not "the device" but simply "the genre of the game" Something that runs on the tablet/smartphone will almost guaranteed be able to run on any computing device, basically. Which is something consoles don't really lean towards (see: "Exclusive" titles, PC only, etc).

      so the question of "what will it play on?" is basically gone. Which is why companies like gameloft are going to be out of

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572)

        The real issue, M$, Sony and Nintendo, spent millions on public relations campaigns to promote the idea PC games were dying and web games were boring, they lied, they didn't care, they just wanted to sell more consoles and licence more games and accessories.

        They did this via typical methods, using junk journalists to write fluff pieces, PR trolls flooding forums and other subtle things like buying up prime shop floor space to display their games and ensure PC games were hidden at the back.

        Corporations

    • Re:hardware limits (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:29AM (#39349979)

      The advantage of consoles has never been processing power. The advantage is developing for a single platform with a known configuration. PC game developers (like myself) have to worry about a wide range of video hardware. Console game developers can fine tune for their platform.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Mista2 (1093071)

      I play zuma blitz way more often than I do Bioshock, but I still enjoy Bioshock, I just dont have the time to play it as often as I'd like. A PC to play a game like Bioshock is way more expensive than the console. I also like Flight Sims, and there is not a single consle or tablet offering a sim that is any good. That takes a propper desktop/laptop, and it wont be done over flash on the internet.

      • by headLITE (171240)

        There is an X-Plane version for iPad. Sure it doesn't have the same texture resolution as on the desktop, but if that's all...

    • by Khyber (864651)

      "The technology is where consoles have often been ahead of PCs"

      What? No way. The PS3 didn't even have the high-end 7XXX series nVidia, and the 8XXX series was already out in 2006. Maybe the Cell arch, but no way on the GPU.

    • by Danathar (267989)

      "Often"?

      I dispute that. It did not take long for PC's with video cards to jump ahead of consoles. The lifecycles on consoles are SO long that even some mobile devices are more powerful.

  • by iampiti (1059688) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:46AM (#39349771)
    Quoting the summary: "The old guard ...are losing out when compared with the new generation of gaming platform developers".
    This clearly doesn't mean that the consoles are dying, it simply means that the smarthphones and tables have a installed base much greater than the traditional consoles and they managed to get a bigger audience. Mobile games are also simpler and cheaper than traditional "hardcore" console/PC games.
    At the end it's a similar story to that of the Wii: Someone found a way to reach a much bigger audience than that of traditional games and they made a ton of money in the process.
    • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:59AM (#39349819)

      Exactly. The developer in the article is a moron; there's simply a larger audience for games now, with people playing them on their phones who otherwise would play a sudoku game, or no game at all. You can't play an Xbox/PS3 game when you're riding in a car or waiting in line or whatever, at least not without going to some extreme measures, well above and beyond simply carrying a handheld device with you in your pocket and taking it out when you feel like a diversion. But your phone you always have with you, so it's convenient to play a simple game on when you're out and about. And, these are different markets. There's lots of non-"gamer" people playing Angry Birds now on their phones who have zero interest in the latest FPS or whatever game that's available on consoles. This doesn't mean the console (or PC) gamer market is shrinking. It may or may not be, but the rising popularity of Angry Birds and other simple mobile phone/tablet games is irrelevant to that issue. No one's abandoning Crysis so they can go play Angry Birds instead.

      • by headLITE (171240)

        How is he a moron when he's saying what you're saying? His argument is that there is a larger audience for games, which makes the relative market share of console games smaller, and means there's more money to be made in the mobile market.

        The console market doesn't have to shrink - it is, of course, but that's not his main point. His point as a game developer is that he can make more money in the mobile market, and that he predicts this trend will continue.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:36AM (#39350503)

          OK. enough silliness.

          First, you didn't read the title of his presentation.

          "When the Consoles die..."

          He is using the word "DIE", not gradually shift or decrease. This is a hint that he is going the Tabloid route with
          sensationalistic (no credibility) headlines just to grab your attention.

          Second, he never shows that he can make more money in the mobile market. He does show statistics
          which indicate that the number of games being downloaded or sold for mobile devices is increasing. However,
          he could not link that to increases in money. The problem is that many mobile games are FREE or a dollar.
          It does not show anyone making profit. He has one graph showing the console industry at about 20 billion dollars.
          He does not have a graph showing the profit for tablet and phone games.

          In particular, he notes that there were 500 million downloads of Angry Birds. However, on ITunes, Angry Birds
          is a free game! This is not making massive profit.

          In summary, he is saying this:

          "Massive Downloads means Massive Profit"

          I am saying: "No, it doesn't"

          • by headLITE (171240)

            OK. enough silliness.

            First, you didn't read the title of his presentation.

            "When the Consoles die..."

            He is using the word "DIE", not gradually shift or decrease. This is a hint that he is going the Tabloid route with
            sensationalistic (no credibility) headlines just to grab your attention.

            I don't really believe in only reading titles. He explains what he means by "die", including that it can mean that the "dying" platform doesn't even lose sales, but just becomes less and less relevant compared to an overpowering newcomer.

            He does not have a graph showing the profit for tablet and phone games.

            In particular, he notes that there were 500 million downloads of Angry Birds. However, on ITunes, Angry Birds
            is a free game! This is not making massive profit.

            This is incorrect. On iTunes, Angry Birds is a $0.99 game. The Android version is free, and according to wikipedia (I'm not going to call Rovio and ask), Rovio is making about $1 million per month from ad revenues from the Android version alone.

            I'm not sure the argument sta

          • by Svartalf (2997)

            It's also a free game on Google Play. They make money these days off of the ad-cashflow and the licensing opportunities on Angry Birds plushies, pencil toppers, etc. If it's popular, massive downloads does mean what the author says it does- he just uses chop-logic to get to the conclusion.

  • by stringman5 (2029304) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:54AM (#39349803)
    If your share is the market is decreasing but the overall market size is increasing at a rate faster than your share decreases, then you're not dying, you're flourishing.
    • You are quite right. Statistics need to be interpreted correctly. There is still good growth for consoles also. It is just not as great as the growth of the other platforms and the gaming market is just expanding.

    • by headLITE (171240) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:04AM (#39350359)

      In the slide show he's, however, showing absolute figures that are shrinking.

      He does also argue the shrinking relative market share point because that's, frankly, what you're interested in as a game developer: Where can you make the most money with games? When you can make 10% more year-over-year in one market but 200% more in another then you'll go for the 200% growth market.

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        Yes and no. The 200% gain market is NOT sustainable- and you have to share with pretty much everyone else. It's a damned crapshoot and another bubble/gold-rush. Unless you're one of the disruptive plays there first, you're probably not going to gain a slot in the market to see the 200%- you'll see the 10% that you saw elsewhere; and you'll be working harder to get it.

    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      But these are all LARGE publishers making these calls... All the growth is over at Zynga and Nimble Bits and Rovio... Who aren't interested in adding their profit margins to EA's fold. Which supports the 5-year budgets of AAA console games.

      Even then, the money in those companies is pocket change for the companies developing the next Mass Effect game. They ate at movie-sized budgets... Where angry birds is just past kids working out of their garage.

      Of course the REAL issue is not money at all, it is TIME to

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It may well require a percentage of the population to make a successful game console, because there is competition in the console gaming market and there's only room for first place, second place, and Nintendo. A fourth system has traditionally never had sufficient interest to survive after gamers are attracted to the first three. If one of the upstarts really takes over then it may happen all over again.

      As it so happens though, I suspect that there's room for some small number of players (probably three) i

  • by Fulminata (999320) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @03:57AM (#39349809)
    I used to play a lot of games on my Xbox 360, but when we got Netflix a few years ago it moved from my study to the living room and now my wife monopolizes it to watch Netflix, and I'm playing my games on the PC. A console can only be used for one thing at a time, and when you keep adding more things it can do, it ends up spending less time being used to play games.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mista2 (1093071)

      But they are so cheap, you could buy another one easily. Whats a 360 cost now? NZ$300 for an arcade console?

      • by qxcv (2422318)

        You can get the Red Ring Edition for under $20 second-hand, I'm told.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I *wish* I could find one that cheap, but there's a solid business repairing them, so you can't get them. I want the wireless module from a 360 mainboard for an entertainment PC I've built, I'd like to use a 360 control pad with the messagepad to drive it.

      • Or... Just hook up a PC to the TV as I have. Now I can play games OR netflix on any screen in the house.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:15AM (#39349903)

    This is just like saying movies are going out because tons of people are watching YouTube videos. Just. Plain. Wrong.

    Sure, there is money to be made in those new markets. The very best iOS/Android/Facebook games make dozens of millions in profit. Great. But the best console games will make that in a single day. Yes, they have the numbers: there are hundreds of thousands of apps in the iTunes Store. Awesome. But 98% sell 0 copies (I'm not talking a few thousands, I'm talking about zero, nil, nada). What about ROI? A competitive mobile game can be done for $100.000 (yes, and that is the absolute minimum to be competitive, this is not 2009 anymore) and would need about $250.000 in marketing expenses (it is that, or hitting a jackpot). One such game can expect to get 20.000 downloads a day (it MUST be free, of course) and a conversion rate of about 0.5% to 2% if it is good. Good luck getting that money back, not to mention making any profit.

    The new markets are bad business. They are headline material if you are one of the few lucky ones who hit a jackpot, but remember: the jackpots are jackpots. Those lone developers or startups are the lucky ones, and while there is always someone who will get the lottery price for sure, if you get all your money and invest in lottery, you're an idiot. There is only one good thing about them: no entry barrier. The console videogame market stagnates because it is controlled by a few players who are adverse to innovation and mostly rehash the same product over and over. Facebook or mobile allow anyone to enter and go wild. Just like the computer game market of the 80's, that means loads of crap and some rare gems that couldn't be possible otherwise.

    There is something very wrong with the console market. Publishers with absolute power cater only to the mass public and ignore niche or progressive sales, while developers get zero money from the jackpots and can't raise or grow if it is not dancing to the whim of the same publishers. But don't forget it, the new masters are much worse. The App Store is not some place you go to get rich, it is the place you go to die.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well.. it's a little tiny bit biased report.

      the guy saying that they're dying doesn't take into account that consoles are more popular than ever. more consoles sold, more households have consoles, more games sold, games grossing fucking half a billion in a week after release... but this dev is a tablet games developer, "freemium focussed".

      and there is a slide there that says that "tv didn't kill movies", and shows a stats that movie theaters were in fact killed. you see, grossing billions and billions per y

    • But 98% sell 0 copies (I'm not talking a few thousands, I'm talking about zero, nil, nada).

      99% of all statistics are made up on he spot. Usually they aren't as blatantly bullshit as that one.

  • by Leo Sasquatch (977162) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:20AM (#39349933)
    just like when it became cheap to do printing. Now the market for print covers everything from comics, to lifestyle magazines, to Booker Prize winners. Sometimes I want to sit down with a novel, sometimes I want to see what Batman's up to this month, sometimes I'll flick through an issue of Motor Boats and Yachting because that's the only mag in the dentist's waiting room.

    The concept of a single, clearly- and rigidly-defined platform will always be attractive to developers. Raw horsepower will always make a difference to any game more complex than Tetris. Control systems will always be a beast to implement on something that has a touchscreen and a single button, unless the control system is implemented first, then the game built around that. It is not possible to replicate the 11 buttons, twin joysticks and a d-pad of an X-box controller on an iPhone.

    I think it's good that the market is fragmenting. It won't stop the big studios making AAA-titles. It will help the indie developer with the next great idea get her game made in Flash, or on Android, or running directly in the browser. It might help stem the unearthly tide of shovelware that infests the pre-owned racks at GAME. And although, to an extent, I decry the loss of geek cred that comes with the fact that now everybody and their dog plays some sort of video games, the fact that every woman I've met lately plays Farmville does make it a useful ice-breaker...
  • Power consumption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FranTaylor (164577) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:38AM (#39350005)

    XBox 360 and Playstation 3 use absolutely horrifying amounts of electricity compared to devices like AppleTV

    XBox 360: 121 watts to watch a DVD, up to 170 watts while gaming

    New PS3: 70 watts to watch a DVD, up to 80 watts while gaming

    Apple TV: maximum rated 6 watts

    And then throw in the added energy required by an air conditioner to remove all that heat from your house.

    Granted AppleTV has less horsepower than either game system, but their power consumption is WAY out of line, given what can be done with modern hardware.

    • by jadrian (1150317)

      And then throw in the added energy required by an air conditioner to remove all that heat from your house.

      To be fair, if you really think this actually makes a difference, you also should factor out decreased costs in heating for those in cold places.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      I'm sorry but it's delusional to think that this has any baring on how people play games. The power consumption of a console will typically dwarf the consumption of the TV it's played on. A TV which is freed up to be used anyway while someone else is playing Angry Birds on their iPhone.

      These aren't energy saving lightbulbs. People go and replace the essential devices that run all the time in the background with more energy efficient versions, but there's very little consideration given to devices we use for

    • The Apple TV is a different type of product to a console, try not to compare them for power usage.

      And a Raspberry PI consumes max 500ma @ 5V = 2.5Watts for the Model A, and for the model B with Ethernet: max 700ma @ 5V = 3.5W, and at least the PI can be connected to a keyboard and mouse, and run a real OS (linux).

    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      Now consider an iPad 3 is pushing comparable hardware, and big screen resolution... On batteries.

    • by cnaumann (466328)

      It is horrifying that it costs almost 2 cents an hour to game on an X-box?

  • by second_coming (2014346) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @04:43AM (#39350023)
    I'd say tablets and smartphones will make dedicated mobile gaming platforms (Nintendo DS, PS Vita etc) obsolete but will have very little impact on console and PC sales where gaming is concerned. What he is talking about is casual gaming which although making shitloads of cash is not what the average console and PC gamer would class as gaming. What smartphone/tablet game companies are doing is tapping into a userbase of people who wouldn't normally play games as they wouldn't buy a device just to play games, but as they have the devicealready they then start to look at what can be done with it.

    This is why most of the type of games you find on the iPhone/iPad/Android devices are aimed at killing a few minutes while standing waiting for a bus not taking up hours and hours which is what most traditional gamers want/expect from their games.

    My wife is a prime example of the new breed of smartphone/tablet/browser 'gamer'. I have had a PC and various gaming consoles for the last 20 years and she has never shown the slightest bit of interest in gaming as it took up too much time and had to be done at home. Now she plays games like Angry Birds on her smartphone and Facebook.
    • by headLITE (171240)

      Most of the games you find on mobile phones *right now* are still only good for a few minutes.

      But when you compare on a technical level then the devices are already pretty much equal in capabilities. Not even the PS Vita is much more powerful than an iPhone. You also have ports of handheld console games appearing on smartphones, e.g. there are several iOS ports of DS and PSP games like GTA CTW, Final Fantasy 1-3, Chrono Trigger, etc. There are also ports of older PC games starting to appear - I can play GTA

  • I must be new here, but I click through. Excellent presentation, great data, and a powerful argument. Worth 25 minutes of your time.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @05:19AM (#39350197) Journal

    Can you go from 100% of the pie to 10% and STILL end up with more pie? Yes, you can! Simply increase the size of the pie. Granted, for that scenario, you need to increase the pie a lot but that is what has been happening in computer gaming.

    The earliest computer games were the domain of people who had access to mainframes, this was only a small subsection of the population. Arcade games made them more available but the nature of arcade games restricted it to children. Home computers (Atari, Commodore, Sinclair) changed this again but the machines were very expensive and frankly the games just weren't that accessible. You might have fond memories of text adventures, but you are a freak.

    Home arcade machines where cheaper and easier but playing pong can only attract so many people for so long. The early machines showed a promising future but the present was graphics where you needed a manual to tell you what you were looking at.

    But slowly, this changed, computers became smaller and cheaper while the games got better and better. And so, more and more people buy gaming hardware and play games.

    Flash games haven't replaced traditional PC games, they added to the number of people playing games on a PC. Tablets haven't taken away from other platforms, they added gamers. IF there is a slowdown in either the PC or big console market then it has far more to do with those markets on their own. Gosh, do we REALLY need another 12yr old FPS with angry rapper soundtrack?

    Women gamers might not be that intrested in games so obviously aimed at 12 year olds. Are there many female gamers? Google for The Sims 3 MODS... this is females not just PLAYING a game, but MODDING it with no official support, just command line tools. FEMALES! Modding!?! But where are these females catered for on the consoles? Barbie playhouse? Where is the mature rated female game? (As in subjects that attract adult females, not 12 yr old boys, as amazing as it seems, for some weird reason most women are not terribly excited by seeing polygon boobies with full jiggle animation. Probably because the spoiled women can play with a real set whenever they want. INEQUALIY! Demand fair distrubution of boobie playtime NOW!) Anyway... I didn't believe that women really played PC games until I found myself in a lotro raid of my guild and I was the only male. And that was a 12 man... 11 woman, 1 man raid.

    But you shouldn't take this the wrong way, just because a lot of women game as well, does NOT mean ALL games have to be women friendly. Different games, for different markets. It ain't so hard to understand. Just because hamburger restaurants sell a lot of hamburgers doesn't mean every single restaurant in the world has to be a hamburger joint. In fact, you might find that if you did this, the revenue for restaurants would fall. Angry birds is a top selling game but if that was the only thing on offer, the market would quickly collapse. Yet, that is exactly what has been happening in the big console market. The market is completely dominated with Call of Honor Gears Halo 56. MS knew this and desperately tried to attract japanese developers so they would at least get some JRPG action on the original xbox. It failed and the original xbox was a dismal failure in Japan. It was a far bigger success in the west... with in the segment of the population the games catered for.

    I don't even think tablets will kill the Vita and DS. Those handholds are doing their own killing. Look at the line-up for the Vita? What is there? The majority of games are extremely expensive versions of games you can buy for a buck on a tablet or even try for free. Yes yes, wipeout might be some kind of classic (read milked) title but its appeal is rather limited in terms of segment of the population. It also frankly ain't suited for mobile gaming where perfect control, perfect vision, long load up times etc etc are just not on.

    Neither are dark games, 99% in the sun it means you don't see shit. Where are the light deep story games that don't mind if they are

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      FEMALES! Modding!?!

      Your comment is astonishingly sexist. Wow... You really went down the path of stupidity.

      The rest is good though. A shame really.

  • Nothing is dying. Just like we have novels, magazines, and comic books living side by side, consoles will always exist and PC's will always exist. Facebook and mobile games are just the latest platform. That will not stop people from wanting to play games from their couch or engage in more involved or resource hungry PC games. The different platforms provide different experiences and target different audiences.

    I don't get why there is always this discussion about X dying because now there is Y.

    • by headLITE (171240)

      The discussion is there because in the past, X has died when Y appeared. Especially in the computing market but also elsewhere. You can compare current trends to trends back then and draw parallels and based on that you can argue that X may be dying.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @06:45AM (#39350523) Homepage
    In my mind this is a company that has made its business out of "borrowing" ideas from the likes of Nintendo and making cheap knock-offs to sell on facebook or mobiles.

    If consoles go away where is this guy going to get his inspiration for his games? If I was in the business of making cheap throw away games with minimal profits and no real appreciation from customers I'd be busy trying to convince people my way was the future too.
  • Casual games will kill console games the same way pop music killed classical music. It won't.
    With an industry as large as the videogame industry, you'd think they'd be able to distinguish separate market segments like all forms of art and entertainment before it.

  • Wonder if Game Group's problems [bbc.co.uk] are related to this. As the UK's biggest high street game retailer the decline in console and PC games on disk can't be doing much for its income.
  • I know a LOT of gamers, and yes while a lot more games are sold on tablets.... You don't see ANY tablet games selling for $60.00 in fact you will not sell one copy if you try that extortion level pricing that these scumbags get on consoles.

    Plus, have you tried to play a FPS on a tablet? it sucks. Driving games suck on a tablet. Even games like geometry wars suck on a tablet. Tablets are great for slow interaction games, Adventure games rock on a tablet.

    Twitch games and rapid interaction games will ne

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I think the reason nobody has made a game worth $60 on the tablet is that tablets are just too much of a moving target. $60 games (ones that are actually worth $60) take years to develop. The tablet hasn't been around long enough for developers to be able to gauge where it's going to be in 6 months.
  • Generally, I find 'statistics' on the gaming industry too liable to ... er, "gaming" to be useful. Generally it has to do with the breadth of how they define 'computer game'.

    As the op referenced, there were dire warnings that 'pc gaming was dying'. Then it was apparent that the huge bulk of units/sales - the majority of the discussion, in fact - was considering products that many "gamers" wouldn't even be likely to include in the "gaming ouevre", ie Barbie Fashion Designer, or Exxtreme Deer Hunter 3D.*

    *gr

  • What is the deal with this prissy entitled fools?

    The moment they see something that resembles competition, they cry doom and gloom and sometimes start calling their lawyers. (I'm looking at you **AA and BSA members)

    Great, dynamics change. Disposable income (in a recession?!) and the demographic groups, the new trendy things distracting people from the established norms and all that. And even if it really were doom (which I doubt in this case) then that's the way it goes isn't it?

    Anyway, I don't think con

  • Well heck yes, it is credible. Consoles are dedicated devices, whilst Google et al. develop for smartphones. Historically, dedicated devices are losers as soon as all-rounders begin to overwhelm the market.
  • 1) Mobile devices sell games to a different audience, people who want distractions on their mobile devices. Consoles sell games to people who want an immersive experience.
    2) Of course mobile devices sell more games than consoles. Everyone has a cell phone these days and games range from free to $10. In other words, you're bored on your couch or the doctors office, you impulse buy cheap distractions. Console games cost much more, but also offer much more. While a mobile user might buy 3 games every mont

  • We're nearing the end of a console cycle that was extended much longer then it normally has been. Some of this guys graphs even show it when you look over the last 30 years there is always a dip just as the market hits saturation and people are waiting for the next system to come out. What he is seeing is that dip coupled with a growing market. Consoles are dying in the same way the 8 bit, and 16 bit consoles died. Facebook and iOS games can be viewed as a bubble market right now as well. There are goi

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