Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
PlayStation (Games) Wii XBox (Games) Games Technology

Wired Proclaims the Death of the Game Console 368

Posted by Soulskill
from the post-pc-mumbo-jumbo-is-infectious dept.
SternisheFan points out an article at Wired arguing that game consoles and the business model that sustained them are now "obsolete." Quoting: "Years from now, 225 million devices will almost certainly be seen as the point at which the console business peaked. Gamers are going elsewhere for their fix. The console’s time at the top of the heap is drawing to an end, and these machines won’t survive without radical change. ... Consoles used to do everything best, but those strengths are now being wiped away. Unlike PC games, which may require finicky custom settings, consoles 'just work,' fans have long pointed out. Well, so does the iPad. Consoles are cheaper than PCs? Not when you factor in the growing disparity in game prices. Consoles have all the good content? Well, if you want Nintendo- or Sony-exclusive games, you’ll need to buy their hardware. But for many gamers, Angry Birds is becoming more attractive than Mario.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wired Proclaims the Death of the Game Console

Comments Filter:
  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:29AM (#41788647) Homepage

    Until Netcraft confirms it.

    • by Smauler (915644)

      Consoles used to do everything best,

      I've not lived in this world. PC games have always been better, technically and in other ways.

      Some console games have not been ported to the PC - these are the games that console players focus upon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:31AM (#41788659)

    i never understand how people who rant about software freedom, openness and how evil apple is will then run out and buy an microsoft xbox and a sony playstation.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:39AM (#41788685)

      Completely different groups of people.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Not really, no.
      • by BoberFett (127537)

        No. I love my PC for it's openness, and I love my Xbox for it's closed...ness. I don't expect my gaming machine to be open, it's an entertainment device where I'm willing to live with limitations because after all it is just a time killing toy. That's different than an iPad, where I may be doing actual work or other things important to me and I want to access the data in any way I choose, not have the terms by which I may access the data that I have created dictated to me by Apple. The only data I create on

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday October 27, 2012 @11:01AM (#41789131) Homepage Journal

      i never understand how people who rant about software freedom [...] will then run out and buy an microsoft xbox and a sony playstation.

      It's because not enough PC games support USB gamepads well or support more than one player on one HDTV monitor. Some people prefer the multiplayer model traditionally associated with consoles, especially for games that aren't FPS or RTS. PCs can do it; it's just that major PC game publishers choose not to in order to sell a copy per player instead of a copy per household [cracked.com].

    • by fikx (704101)
      unfortunately for the same reasons people who hate facebook and have many IM accounts join them: peer pressure. It can be lonely sticking to your principals sometimes...
      :)
    • There's a difference as far as I'm concerned - when it comes to gaming (and gaming alone) I prefer a locked down ecosystem to help prevent cheating and hacks. Where I want to program a computer etc then yes, open is good, but when there's a competitive network of thousands of people I prefer to know we're all on the same system. Granted, it's nice to be able to play around with consoles, eg Other OS, but when it comes to an hours gaming of an evening I'm quite happy with an XBox360 rather than a more open
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:32AM (#41788663)

    My brother's wife's aunt's grandkid's roommate in college brother's son just bought a console so this PROVES that this article is complete horseshit.

    Now, mod me up "Insightful" or "Informative"!

  • Game Controls (Score:5, Interesting)

    by imurd3r3r (1060246) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:34AM (#41788673)
    Gamers need great controls, and frankly the controls on touch screen games stink. Racing game on touch screen vs racing game on console with Xbox S controls or steering wheel? I'm choosing the console.
    • Re:Game Controls (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SScorpio (595836) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:39AM (#41788691)

      This is why the Wii U is interesting. It marries classic controls with a tablet. I doubt it will have the market saturation that the Wii had, but it should sell fairly well.

      Sadly the same isn't happening with the Vita, which is currently some of the most impressive handheld hardware available and contrary to popular belief, it actually has a very good and varied library since it's been out for less than a year. The next few weeks have some heavy hitters for it coming out, I'm hopefully it will do well, but I'm not optimistic.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:50AM (#41788747)

      Slashdoters have been proclaiming the death of Slashdot for years now, yet the body still twitches every once and a while.

    • Re:Game Controls (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FyRE666 (263011) * on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:59AM (#41788793) Homepage

      For FPS' - let's face it, the vast majority of console games - the mouse+keyboard is the superior control mechanism. This has been proven countless times, notably when Microsoft stages an event pitting Xbox "pro" players against PC players. The PC players decimated the Xbox players. It was a major embarrassment for MS (and the players I guess) and nstrumental is MS' decision to keep the XBox and PC player base segregated.

      Consoles are a bad deal all around: Outdated hardware - years behind PCs, low resolution, excessively slow loading times, expensive games, lack of customisation and custom mods. Consoles need software updates at least as often as PCs, so that's a wash. Arguing that PC games give players too many configuration options (even if they choose to use them) is ridiculous. Since when it choice a bad thing? Unless you're Apple, I guess.

      • by firex726 (1188453)

        > Consoles are a bad deal all around: Outdated hardware

        Except for one thing where they are good at...
        Making the companies money.

        > Arguing that PC games give players too many configuration options (even if they choose to use them) is ridiculous.

        Never heard that one before, normally More Options = Good.
        It's not like you need a PhD in rocket science to understand the difference between Low, Med, High graphics settings.

        • Never heard that one before, normally More Options = Good.
          It's not like you need a PhD in rocket science to understand the difference between Low, Med, High graphics settings.

          Clearly you haven't attended John Carmack's Institute of Rage.

        • by Daetrin (576516)
          >> Arguing that PC games give players too many configuration options (even if they choose to use them) is ridiculous.

          >Never heard that one before, normally More Options = Good.

          As someone who has worked in the game industry, both on PC and console games, the phobia about about giving the user too many options does exist, and it transcends the hardware the game is on.

          For one of the PC games i was working on some decision was made about a certain relatively minor element of gameplay (unfortunate
      • For FPS' - let's face it, the vast majority of console games

        For this to be true, more than 50 percent of console titles this generation would have to be first-person shooters. I haven't seen evidence that this is anything but an exaggeration.

        Consoles are a bad deal all around

        Even when there are plenty of multiplayer console games that work with one copy per household, as opposed to the tendency of one copy per player [cracked.com] on a PC?

        Arguing that PC games give players too many configuration options (even if they choose to use them) is ridiculous.

        The problem is that players have to use them. In general, PC game controllers present their face buttons in an unpredictable order [pineight.com]. So unless your controller happens to bean Xbo

    • "Gamers need great controls, and frankly the controls on touch screen games stink."

      Gamers need games. When fewer games are made for consoles because game developers see tablets/smartphones as the more lucrative market in terms of either higher volume or cheaper development costs, then it becomes a vicious cycle of consoles becoming less popular because there are fewer games, making it even less lucrative as a market.

      Sure the controls might stink as far as hardcore gamers are concerned. But the cooler produc

    • by alen (225700)

      On the iPad you tilt the iPhone or iPad left or right to steer
      No need to use touch for it

    • by Snaller (147050)

      I thought consoles were the little handheld pieces of crap, like the wiii? The xbox is a PC - and old and outdated PC sure, but still a PC

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by digitallife (805599)

      I find it hilarious reading through the comments of people proclaiming that tablet gaming could never be as good because of some control issue, when it is clear these people have never actually played many good tablet games. I've been an avid gamer for decades and played numerous racing games, and a few of the tablet racing games have the best controls I've ever used. Buttons and tiny joysticks are just REALLY hard to use to steer a (simulated) car, whereas full screen tilt is awesome once you get a little

    • Gamers need great controls, and frankly the controls on touch screen games stink. Racing game on touch screen vs racing game on console with Xbox S controls or steering wheel? I'm choosing the console.

      I remember a time when people said the same thing about smart phone keyboards:

      "... to be useful to professionals, a smart phone must have a physical keyboard" went the conventional wisdom

      And so the standard bearer for making the best smartphone keyboards was RIM, and everyone benchmarked their mobile devices against the Blackberry keyboard

      ... until the iPhone and several Android devices arrived and showed that one could approximate the physical keyboard productivity using an on screen touch screen keyboard.

  • by SScorpio (595836) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:35AM (#41788677)

    The current console generation has already gone one for a year too long, and it will be at least one more year before the new Xbox and Playstation come out. In games media people do seem to be switching to the PC, but as soon as the new consoles come out the unwashed masses will move to them.

    As for the iPad and the like? Sure they will take the causal and non gamer markets, pretty much the people who purchased the Wii as their first and only console. Game console might not see as high of sales, but just like happens with every new console generation and the reports of PC gaming being dead, the death of consoles is high exaggerated.

    • by robmv (855035)

      Exactly, I think mobile gaming is eating the Wii like market, there is a reason the Wii U is coming back to the hardcore games instead of mom and grandma style of games. Nintendo people aren't dumb, they know the casuals, that never were part of the console games market until the arrival of the Wii, are not staying with consoles and are moving to phones and tablets

      • by rhsanborn (773855)
        There are a lot of people who love to sit down and play whatever new Madden, Fifa, whatever on their big screen with a bunch of friends. The PC and tablets don't give them that fix.
  • Don't believe it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jiro (131519) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:35AM (#41788679)

    It's not as if people who play Assassin's Creed have suddenly shifted over to Angry Birds in droves. The audience who plays Angry Birds is a separate audience. Furthermore, Angry Birds costs less than console games, so comparing by number of total players is misleading.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:40AM (#41788697)

      yeah, but what happens when there's a generation of kids who grew up playing angry birds as their first game instead of super mario? for them playing on a gamepad will be as alien as playing on touch screen is to you...

      • by fox171171 (1425329) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:28AM (#41788943)
        yeah, but what happens when there's a generation of kids who grew up playing angry birds as their first game instead of super mario?

        Poor parenting has been an ongoing issue for generations!
      • Re:Don't believe it (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @11:54AM (#41789487)

        yeah, but what happens when there's a generation of kids who grew up playing angry birds as their first game instead of super mario? for them playing on a gamepad will be as alien as playing on touch screen is to you...

        I think that rather there will be a generation who played Angry Birds instead of nothing. I don't think ultracasual touchscreen games are eating into existing game markets at all. Console and PC gaming are still growing, after all. Just like the Wii didn't result in fewer 360 sales (compare to the original xbox sales numbers, for instance), ultracasuals are creating a new separate market only really tied to the console market through the word "gaming" and the confusion the publishers feel when they look at studios like Zynga as upstart competitors and wonder where they came from.

        Claiming that ultracasuals will kill console gaming is like claiming that Hotwheels will kill sales of passenger cars (car analogy!). Yes, they both include various types of "cars" but they don't eat each other's lunch.

        • by joocemann (1273720) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @12:41PM (#41789769)

          Mod up! I've read two dozen posts on this topic, and all are biased to explain how the poster's preference is the winner. This is the first that actually talks about reality.

          As a seasned gamer, I've seen it all, and I've seen all of the types of gamers out there. What is *really* happpening is a growth of gaming overall and some small shifts in popularity within that net growth.

          The people playing angry birds didn't play games before that. The COD nut probably plays angry birds while on the toilet, but still plays COD on console every night. The console gamers like the reliability, controls, and accessibility to friends---and the PC gamers brew up awesome mods and implementations of games, like competition.

          And most gamers fall into more than one category.

          The only gaming I would predict is losing would be board games and maybe DnD. And that's not a serious claim, rather a guess at the two physcal game formats that may have been overshadowed by digital life.

          It is comical to see these articles and opinions. Its like predicting the death of carnivory because people are increasingly liking soy products. Wtf? There will always be meat eaters, and many will enjoy the vegetable and meat protein together.

          I play casuals on my phone in idleness.
          I play ps3 games with friends in games that benefit from the controls, reliability, and general central-entertainment-device elements (netflix stream, bluray player, gaming, youtube).
          I play PC games for the cutting edge graphics and mouse/keyboard benefit.
          I play scrabble with my kids and father.
          I make games out of day to day life actvities.

          The original article reeks of this polarizing extremist psyche that is becoming more prevalent in culture. But I argue that just because you take sides, it doesn't mean that we have to.

          We love games.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Or even the same audience at different times. I've played Angry Birds a lot on the road - it's rather hard to bring a full console/PC to play on the bus. It doesn't mean I want to play it at home where I got a full gaming rig. My willingness to pay is also very different, on my phone I just want "pass the time" games and there's plenty $1 offerings that do that, while at home I'm spending my leisure time and I want high quality entertainment. I'm not looking to just pass the time until it's time to go back

      • I've played Angry Birds a lot on the road - it's rather hard to bring a full console/PC to play on the bus.

        That's what a Nintendo 3DS or a PS Vita is for. It's portable like a cell phone, and it's got physical buttons like a console. The trouble is that it also has stringent developer criteria like a console.

      • by fafaforza (248976)

        Maybe it's a case of journalists making outlandish claims to generate buzz and views/clicks. Saying that either system serves different audiences, with a good amount of overlap, and continuing to say that both would likely keep finding their place, would be a middle of the road opinion that readers would say "yeah, no sh*t Sherlock" to and not tweet or ``like'' it.

        I find it hard to believe that a multi-billion dollar per year industry would a) die off within the next few years and b) wouldn't be able to fi

    • This is my "thread over" comment.

      What percentage of players actually say "you know, I used to love 12 hour gaming marathons every weekend, and $60 for a year's worth was okay for me, but now I'm tired of all that so I'll throw projectiles at birdies for a dollar over lunch".

      Everything else is Apples and Sweaters fallacies.

  • errr.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eennaarbrak (1089393) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:42AM (#41788711)

    Gamers are going elsewhere for their fix.

    They are?

    Unlike PC games, which may require finicky custom settings, consoles 'just work,' fans have long pointed out. Well, so does the iPad.

    And that proves ...?

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:55AM (#41788777) Journal

      This is just one of those "X is dead" stories where the author knows nothing about anything including market diversity.

      It is obvious that McD attracts more customers then 3 star restaurants, therefor 3 star restaurants are dead...

      Logic dictates this. But McD has been around for a long time and so is the whole Michelin guide thing, which has also been declared dead many times.

      There are indeed people for who Angry Birds is enough and they can buy an iPad Mini for 329. And there are those for who mario is enough and they can buy a Wii U for 350. Wow! Look at that price difference!!! Anyway, for SOME, Angry Birds is NOT enough just as a dry patty on an even dryer piece of fluffed corn isn't good enough for some. And they will buy a PC, put in a video card and play real games.

      And there are even some people, who one day buy a hamburger and the next day visit a 3 star restaurant. Amazing!

      And some people never buy any pre-made food and cook at home!!! It is almost like there are kinds of different people out there with others catering to their needs!

      Right now, in 2012 EA/Maxis is preparing Sim City for a 2013 launch and EVERYTHING looks like it will be a real Sim City again for real men on real PC's. And some gay guys on mac's. No more consolfication attempt, just a hard core sim game like we used to have. And it got just as many fanboys as Angry Birds has, except these fans can walk and chew gum at the same time.

      Everytime someone declares something dead, it springs back on its feet. The world is a more complex place then you think and people have different needs and wants, often on the same day.

      • This is the same magazine that published a multi-page article trying to figure out why Felix Bumgarten's skydiving descent took less time than Kittinger's. Lot's of graphs, lots of math and lots of theories but none add up. End of story. What a mystery! Until a commenter mentions that Kittinger's chute deployed much higher than Bumgarten's did.

        If that was the only article in Wired like that it'd be one thing but unfortunately, there are more, many more.

        If it wasn't for Steven Levy's rare articles, I wouldn

      • Right now, in 2012 EA/Maxis is preparing Sim City for a 2013 launch and EVERYTHING looks like it will be a real Sim City again for real men on real PC's. And some gay guys on mac's. No more consolfication attempt, just a hard core sim game like we used to have.

        How did Sim City get console-ized when the last Sim City console release was Sim City 2000 for the PSone...which has PSone mouse support by the way and is the SAME FUCKING GAME as the PC version.

        And Sim City was never a hard core sim game....at least don't tell those bearded Clancy/Dale Brown fanboys still playing modded Falcon-whatever or replaying the Battle of Stalingrad in some hex wargame/sim for the nth time, that.

    • by Pionar (620916)

      Unlike PC games, which may require finicky custom settings, consoles 'just work,' fans have long pointed out. Well, so does the iPad.

      Yeah, well, so does my toaster. But I'm not gonna play Borderlands 2 on it.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:48AM (#41788739) Journal

    For once PC gaming is supposedly gaining while consoles are dying...I guess you can only predict the death of PC gaming so many times.

    • by ilguido (1704434)
      PC gaming is not gaining anything, it's just shrinking less. Console gaming revenues crumbled in the last two years, pc gaming revenues just shrunk. I'm talking about revenues, because that's what matter to companies, especially when they have to choose between developing for the new generation of consoles or for personal computers.
  • Angry Birds (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @09:59AM (#41788797) Homepage Journal

    This isn't exactly on-topic, but since the article mentions it, I'll bring it up. As someone who has played games my entire life (starting with Pong on a black ad white TV, growing up through the Arcade craze of the 80s, and every game console in between), I just don't see the appeal of Angry Birds. Sure, the game is well implemented - graphics, sound effects, and music are all very well done.

    However, the basic gameplay mechanics are just so-so. It's just a physics simulation. The real problem is that there is such a massive luck factor involved. For example, when someone beats a difficult "level", what is the chance that they can actually reproduce their success in the exact same way? Pretty much impossible. Things happen in a way they neither intended nor predicted. So in other words, Angry Birds is more of a "slot machine" than a skill based game. Is it just the visual satisfaction of seeing a physics simulation smoothly unfold and crap fall down? Sort of like how the bouncing cards after winning Windows Solitaire was always so satisfying in a strange kind of way?

    Now that's all good and well. Some people like to play luck based games. But why such a large percent of the population? With this game your skill quickly plateaus and then you're relying on mere chance, which isn't so appealing to me. Is it that their marketing is that good, or that they reached some magic threshold that the franchise is simply self sustaining now?

    How many Slashdot readers feel that Angry Birds is the deserved pinnacle and poster child of non-console, non-PC gaming? And if not, what game should be the flagship of this new gaming market?

    • by Exitar (809068) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:09AM (#41788857)

      You should write an article about the death of Angry Birds!

      • You should write an article about the death of Angry Birds!

        Only if Netcraft confirms it. (Sorry... but you kind of walked right into that one.)

    • It is free (I played it and did NOT feel ANY need to buy any more levels), it is extremely simple and it just plays.

      I can't show of a console or pc game to friends at work and they can't install it right there and then on their devices.

      Angry Birds is Garfield, it is the most read comic strip in the world but nobody would claim it is the best, it just is so easily available, so easily digestible, that the rest of the comics just can't really compete. First off, not all who read Garfield even want to read com

      • Angry Birds is Garfield, it is the most read comic strip in the world but nobody would claim it is the best

        In your metaphor, which game is Square Root of Minus Angry Birds [mezzacotta.net]?

      • I can't show of a console or pc game to friends at work

        You can show off a Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita game to friends at work. Those systems are just like consoles (physical buttons, stringent developer criteria) except that they're portable. Or if a PC game works well on older PCs, you can show off a PC game on the 10 inch laptop that you carry in a messenger bag to pass the time while riding the bus to and from work. And even for full-size console games or PC games that require a recent PC, you can show off a Let's Play on YouTube provided the game's publisher is

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Angry Birds is a fun time killer, but realistically it's not all that innovative. Its basically the same game as Worms - which was in turn was much like many of the various Artillery-style games that have been available on home computers since the 70's.

      I get that tablet games can be fun for some. I play them. Angry Birds (standard and Space), Where's my Water, Doodle-jump, etc. All have been good brief diversions, but none stuck for very long. Comparing them to a full length game is about like comparin

  • Atari 2600 & Pong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MindPrison (864299) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:04AM (#41788831) Journal

    I'm one of those kids who's prime was the 80's, I grew up with Atari 2600, Nintendo NES and Commodore 64. I used to program on the commodore 64 in assembly language because I wanted to make those games myself, and did...

    However, now...much MUCH later, I still play console games. And I've noticed something over the years next to all my PC gear and consoles...is that consoles have a distinct advantage over the PC, I'll try to mention a few:

    - Console games are just...you just start playing already, no need for all the driver-installation fuzz. Very practical.
    - The PC is much more forgiving when it comes to BUG fixes, PC versions tend to have more bugs and bug-patch releases, on consoles - you can't afford this so the games actually comes with less bugs in my experience.
    - Less cheating: One of my no#1 pet peeves when it comes to online gaming, are cheating bastards, they destroy the fun for everyone else, and they can literally WIPE out an entire planet of avid gamers with their stupid aimbots, wallhacks and frustrate the hell out of seriously good gamers. On consoles, it's not so easy to cheat that any wannabee script kiddie out there can add a patch, simply...it's too hard for them to do it. Less cheating, wonderful!
    - Games last longer: This might sound a bit odd, but I love to keep my games forever, and so I keep the consoles forever as well. I still have my Atari 2600, repaired the joystick a 100+ times, but enough OT. The games last longer because the games ages with the consoles. When you purchase NEW PC's or upgrade, you need endless patches and driver updates - buzz killington right there!

    Nope, enough reasons above. The consoles will stay. (At least in my house) ;)
     

    • by PRMan (959735)

      Same, we had Super Pong, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit PC, Sega Genesis, Apple //s at school, PC, etc. I've gamed on them all. Now, I mostly choose PC games when possible.

      I'm cheap. What can I say? Console games have a $30 license fee that PC games don't have. Plus, I would have to buy an additional controller for $50. So, console game = $59 + $50. PC game = $29.

      Also, PC games have way better graphics than even the best console games.

      PC games get updates and bugs get fixed. My daughter and I recently

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:05AM (#41788837)

    I bought an X-box 360 5 or 6 years ago when my kids were 7 or 8 years old. It crapped out on me a couple of times and both times Microsoft "fixed" it and sent me another. Perhaps about 2 years ago, the kids got bored with it and began using the computer for gaming. The Xbox, along with the $1000 or so worth of games, controllers, and other swag sits gathering dust and the kids seem more interested in a fancy phone or tablet these days while they play minecraft online. I'll probably throw the Xbox up on ebay along with all the games and accessories before it becomes completely worthless. No plans here to buy a replacement.

    • The Xbox, along with the $1000 or so worth of games, controllers, and other swag sits gathering dust

      You can use wired Xbox 360 controllers with a PC. You can use wireless Xbox 360 controllers too if you buy the bundle with a wireless receiver for PCs. And some more recent PC games even have "XInput", which means they detect Xbox 360 controllers and automatically map the buttons properly.

      while they play minecraft online

      How many copies of Minecraft for your kids (plural) to play? And how many gaming PCs did you have to buy for them to play? A Wii game like Super Smash Bros. Brawl or New Super Mario Bros. Wii supports up to four players wi

  • The "life span" of other consumer hardware can be measured in months while consoles, which are supposed to be high tech pieces of equipment, move at a glacial pace. It isn't surprising that some believe this is why consoles as a "sealed set top box" is done. Hell 5 years from now the TV itself could have a hardware that is more advanced and powerful than console released next year.

    It feels like the industry is shifting more towards a PC-style "We provide the software, you provide the hardware" which would

    • The "life span" of other consumer hardware can be measured in months while consoles, which are supposed to be high tech pieces of equipment, move at a glacial pace. It isn't surprising that some believe this is why consoles as a "sealed set top box" is done. Hell 5 years from now the TV itself could have a hardware that is more advanced and powerful than console released next year.

      I checked this: XBox 360 was introduced November 2005. At that time the current desktop Macintosh was an iMac G5 with one single core G5 processor running around 2 GHz. Now it's October 2012. The XBox 360 is the same. The current desktop Macintosh is a quad core Intel processor with hyperthreading, with 256 bit vector operations, capable of about 50 GFlop/sec (twice that in single precision). Intel integrated graphics probably runs circles around the XBox 360. About the same happened with PCs.

      • Intel integrated graphics probably runs circles around the XBox 360

        I wouldn't be entirely sure of that. Ivy Bridge only recently became able to run a PS3-class game like Skyrim at a playable frame rate, with AA and AF off. See Anandtech's benchmark [anandtech.com].

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:09AM (#41788859)

    Unlike PC games, which may require finicky custom settings, consoles 'just work,' fans have long pointed out. Well, so does the iPad.

    My washing machine "just works", it doesn't mean game consoles are losing market share to it.

    Games consoles and iPads are completely different things. Just because it has a processor and a screen and UI doesn't mean its the bloody same.

  • However in this economy if you have to choose between a pc that can do school work and play a game decenly and a device that can only play games great since it has dedicated hardware optimized for pushing pixels, guess which one wins.

    I do agree that they are becoming less relevant for the average household but they are not obsolete.

    • On the other hand, PC games are far less likely to support single-screen multiplayer, even though PCs are capable of using USB gamepads and HDMI out. So in this economy, if a household has more than one gamer in it, one has to choose between a single gaming PC, a single console, and three extra controllers vs. four gaming PCs. Guess which one wins.
  • I have to admit I like to play phone games simply because many are free or really cheap and I can play anytime, anywhere.

    I started playing videogames in 1982/3 when my father bought a Franklin Ace 1200 (think it was a 1200), an Apple II clone. The first game I remember playing was one called Short Circuit, in fact I played it recently on an emulator. From there I played various games on a Canon 8086, ATT PC6300 (8088), then in 1987 we got an NES. Amazing! From there my brother and I pretty much played PC an

    • Imagine trying to control the hero in Super Mario Bros. or Kirby by "tapping or swiping a finger around". Has anyone come up with a control scheme that would work for such a platformer on a phone?
  • by dagamer34 (1012833) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:18AM (#41788915)
    The game console will never die, but calling it that certainly will. When people spend far more time doing non-gaming activities, it behooves Microsoft and Sony not to call it that anymore so they can try to grab a wider audience. They want people to rent movies, buy TV shows, listen to music, download apps, etc... in addition to playing games on this device. In fact, if you could record and watch live TV, the cable set top box would be dead (and that's the real market they are trying to go after). With the apparent success of the $99 Xbox 360 w/ subscription, we are going to see Microsoft push that model further with the next Xbox. I'd say buy the console for $200 (high-end SKU), then for $30/month for at least 2 years, get Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music, and maybe 1 free movie rental a month. The last part clearly indicates it's a media machine, and people have gotten used to paying monthly bills for cellphones and stuff like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Considering the Xbox 360 isn't that much cheaper now than it was when it launched ($299 & $399), the only reasonable reason not to buy a new console immediately is because it lacks any tangible functionality over the old one (back when they only played games). Oh, and the next Xbox must be FAR better at multi-tasking. Taking 3 minutes to boot an app is ridiculous. NEEDS MORE RAM.
    • When people spend far more time doing non-gaming activities, it behooves Microsoft and Sony not to call it that anymore so they can try to grab a wider audience. >/quote>

      Sony has never referred to their PlayStations as game consoles, they are officially "Computer Entertainment Systems"

      In fact, if you could record and watch live TV, the cable set top box would be dead (and that's the real market they are trying to go after).

      You can actually, on the PS3, but only in Europe and Japan.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayTV [wikipedia.org]

  • ... lets face it, it's just trying to cause controversy where there is none for hits and ad revenue. For anyone who can think seriously, the video game industries costs grew too fast as CPU and 3D hardware power relentlessly advanced at breakneck speed between 1995 and 2007 (about the time we hit ghz speed limit) that increased the costs of developing games on all platforms. Teams of 10-30 people grew to teams of 400+ that is a huge sea change in how games are made and developed and many companies are sti

  • Arcade cabinets were single game systems with dedicated hardware -- Then the hardware became more general purpose and support more games, but you still had one game per box. Game consoles allowed you to swap games and re-use the hardware, but the hardware wasn't as good as the Arcades, so arcades flourished...

    Then, consoles took over as the primary game systems -- Their graphics eventually reached and surpassed that of the arcade cabinet graphics, and were far cheaper both in time and money to play. The

    • Soon, personal computers will take over as the primary game systems -- Their graphics have reached and surpassed that of the dedicated game console

      Yet the console remains ahead of the PC in the number of players that a single machine can service. The PC hardware has supported multiple USB controllers since 1999, and TVs have had PC compatible video inputs (VGA and HDMI) since about 2007, yet major labels remain stuck in the mind set of one player, one PC, one copy of the game [cracked.com].

      and are smaller (mobile) and more approachable by the masses

      Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita are almost as small as a phone.

      It's not so much the death of a "game console" it's the death of dedicated hardware.

      Dedicated hardware allows the best input device for the job. Imagine playing Mega Man on the flat sheet of glass

  • I find that the reasons that I favor consoles in our family is simply that it get's us in the same room around the same screen doing something that is important to human beings: Interacting socially.

    Just today my kids were playing New Super Mario Bros on the Wii. Are tha graphics great? No. Is it a cutting edge and super innovative game? No. But do they get along better than one of them hogging the Android tablet and shoving the others away? Hell yes.

    Do I think phones/tablets will replace consoles? Definite

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:38AM (#41788993) Journal

    2006:the death of consoles.
    2007:the death of the gaming PC
    2008:the death of consoles.
    2009:the death of the gaming PC
    2010:the death of consoles.
    2011:the death of the gaming PC
    2012: (now) the death of consoles.

    Both seem just fine.

    The fact is that yes, ipads can play Angry Birds gloriously. I (personally) don't know how well they play the bazillion flash games at armorgames.com or kongregate.com that seem to be very entertaining for the gamer-set that likes those sorts of tactical-reflex games. So they're not replacing PCs EVEN IN THAT SPECIFIC DEMO.
    Further, I'm not a consoleer, but for them intuitive quick controls and immersiveness seem to be almost everything. The controls on touch pads are, well, touchpads (and suck, mostly). You are also never going to get the immersiveness of Call of Duty 4 on a 9" ipad screen, compared to the 54" plasma with 7.1 sound.

    I'm sure they're just trying to sell more magazines but seriously can we move on from this conception of the zero-sum gamer's market?

  • If you play any kind of tactical shooter, or turn-based/real-time strategy, you're going to want to play it on a computer. There's just no comparison to a proper keyboard and mouse setup for more-involved, complex games.
  • by ildon (413912) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @10:59AM (#41789125)

    People keep conflating casual gamers with actual gamers. Casual gamers bought the Wii as a fad. They had their little Wii parties. They bought Wii Fit and no other games. After about 6 months when the fad died down they put the Wii in the closet and forgot about it. This is the same demographic whose only other games are Angry Birds, Farmville, and Words With Friends. They might have owned an NES when they were 10 years old, or maybe their older sibling's hand-me-down PlayStation 1, but they never bought their own games, they have no retail PC games, they don't have Steam installed, they don't own a full sized PC, and they certain don't own a PS3 or Xbox 360. If they are parents, they might have bought a console for their kid, but they only use it for NetFlix.

    This casual gamer demographic caused a massive spike in sales from the Wii fad, and a tiny spike from the smaller follow-up Kinect fad, but it's unlikely they'll buy any consoles in the upcoming generation, and that's fine. If the console manufacturers were relying on them for their own projections, then that's their mistake from not understanding their audience. It doesn't mean consoles are dead. The core gamer demographic is still going to buy consoles, and still going to grow slowly and steadily. Maybe some other fad will come along and give them a similar spike, but they would be fools to rely on it in their business model.

  • or PC-based gaming.

    I played them for the social aspect, like a bunch of guys getting together for a LAN based game, all the while missing the old fashioned pinball games with a real table and a metal ball banging against the glass.

    There would be a beer standing on the shelf next to the table and a cigarette dangling from my lips, the smoke getting in my eyes and the score getting better as I got more inebriated. Or teaching the hot chick how to play pool, even though we both knew I knew she already knew ho

  • The iPad has a really small screen compared to my TV, and a lot of games I want to play just aren't available for it. Sometimes I want to use my iPad while I'm in the middle of gaming, and that would get really annoying, especially if it was connected to my TV to display the game (in an ideal scenario). What gamepad would I use to control it anyway? There are multiple bluetooth game controllers but not one standard, and most iPad games don't even support them at all. I don't game on my touch device as i
  • Speaking as a curmudgeonly old man PC gamer, I'll be glad when consoles die die DIE. I'm sick of every game being some crappy port from a console version, with crappy controls and in many cases not using the mouse at all. As for iOS and Android games, there's no way you're going to ever get anything with the complexity and sheer fun level of say Civ IV onto a phone. Gaming's being dumbed down and has been for a long time.
  • Years from now, 225 million devices will almost certainly be seen as the point at which the console business peaked.

    That is quite possibly true. The current generation of game consoles has lasted longer than any other generation and thanks to Nintendo, there have been many consoles sold to non-gamers in this generation that are likely to defect to other devices in future console generations.

    Gamers are going elsewhere for their fix.

    Now you're starting to lose me. Maybe casual gamers are going elsewhere,

  • by Onuma (947856) on Saturday October 27, 2012 @03:26PM (#41790957)
    There are vast differences between different types of gaming. You have MMOs, which generally require a dedicated computer and not a massive amount of processing or graphical power. Modern FPSs such as the Crysis series are extremely taxing, and therefore more likely to be played on a system that costs more from a manufacturer/distributor or was custom-built by the user.
    Then there are your Call of Duty style games which are FAR more popular on consoles simply because the buy-in and hookup is easier than PC-side -- you don't need TeamSpeak, matchmaking clients, dedicated servers, etc., to have a fun time. You only need to "plug and play" and hop online; the game itself will cost you $10 or 20 more than its non-console counterpart, but the hardware on which its running is at most half the price of a good gaming rig...and you probably already own an HDTV so that's not extra cost out of your pocket just to play.
    Then we consider mobile or tablet gaming. Angry Birds and Words With Friends don't need all that real-estate, even though an iPhone or iPad (or equivalent device) may cost as much or more than a console. You play them anywhere, any time...and that's great for someone who can't or won't commit the time to a 45 minute MOBA match, a 2+ hour MMO raid, or dozens of hours on a single-player RPG or hack-and-slasher.

    The TLDR is this: whether consoles have hit their "high point" and are on the decline is irrelevant. They're still going to be around because they are geared toward a different type of gamer than many other platforms. They'll change shapes, sizes, capacities and functions...but they'll continue to exist in one form or another.

Memory fault -- brain fried

Working...