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Will Consoles Merge Back Into PCs? 356

GamePolitics is running an interview with Randy Stude, president of the PC Gaming Alliance, discussing the future of gaming on the PC and the console. Stude has some interesting thoughts regarding the long-term viability of stand-alone consoles: "The guts of every console should tell you that the capability is there for the PC to act as the central point for all the consoles. If you bought a PC and as part of that equation you said, Okay, when you're on the phone with Dell, 'Hey, Dell, on this PC, this new notebook I'm buying, can you make sure it has the PlayStation 4 option built into it?' Well, why not? Why shouldn't that be the case? [Sony is] certainly not making any money on the hardware. I mean, can't they create a stable enough environment to specify that if Dell's going to sell that notebook and say that it's PlayStation 4 [compatible] that it must have certain ingredients and it must meet certain criteria? Absolutely they could [do] that. Are they going to do it? I don't know. I predict that they will. I predict that all of the console makers over time will recognize that it's too expensive to develop the proprietary solution and recognize the value of collapsing back on the PC as a ubiquitous platform."
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Will Consoles Merge Back Into PCs?

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  • In the year 2000... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 12, 2008 @08:15AM (#26088621)

    First of all, there will always be gaming on desktops/laptops. People who say that PC gaming will collapse and end are absolutely wrong. For as long as there have been computers, one of the many uses people have put them to is gaming. As long as there are computers, there will be games for them.

    As for the console market collapsing back to PCs, I don't know. Anything is possible. And it's impossible to tell the future. But he makes a very good point.

    The projected longevity of the PS3 is what, 10 years? That's a relatively long time in the computer world. And like someone else said, there is little money to be made in hardware.

    All you have to do is create a standard. This computer is PS4-Capable. As for the closed-nature of consoles... All Sony has to do is create a "PS4" OS that you have to buy to install, or a software environment required to play their games. Charge a fee and require a registration, and you have a "virtual console" that can be installed on any PS4-capable machine.

    All you need is the PS4 Gaming Software and a USB-controller, and you're in business.

  • The other way around (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday December 12, 2008 @08:28AM (#26088715) Homepage

    The far more likely situation I would think is that you'd have a DRM locked console with a virtualized PC running on top where you could run anything you want. You'd have a simple "game mode/PC mode" switch to not mess with what they already have. It wouldn't do much for gaming, but it'd run pretty much all the basic utilities of a home PC without needing a separate box.

    I think it could be a valuable supplement to those that only have a laptop, which is quite many these days. Sure it might sound a little odd writing a letter on your huge livingroom TV but I'd rather go with a 40"+ TV and a full-sized wireless keyboard than the laptop. Obviously if you have a proper desktop that's better, but many don't.

  • Re:No.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zehaeva ( 1136559 ) <`zehaeva+slashdot' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday December 12, 2008 @08:33AM (#26088747)
    RTS games are joy to play on consoles then? FPS games? I'll grant you some RPG's and Platformers and a few FPS's designed from the outset to work well on consoles but every other genre than MMO's? ~zehaeva
  • by mrgreenfur ( 685860 ) on Friday December 12, 2008 @11:10AM (#26090391)
    What we've seen will continue: consoles have begun to merge with HTPC's in their ability to play digital music, movies, photos, etc. They can't record/play tv shows, but can stream them over their internet connection via some tightly controlled channels (hulu, netflix, etc.). Since the console controls the TV, I think this trend will continue. HTPC/Apple TV's don't stand a chance. That said, there will always be a need for a standalone PC to do WORK on. You could use a spreadsheet in the living room, but you wouldn't WANT to (maybe with binoculars). PS - For all those arguing a price difference, I think it's almost 0. If you think ahead and buy a regular sized case, you can swap out the video card every 2-3 years and play the latest games on your PC. Averaging the high cost of consoles over their 6 year life, gives you a couple midrange video card upgrades.
  • Re:No.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheSambassador ( 1134253 ) on Friday December 12, 2008 @01:33PM (#26092695)
    A waste of money? You make it sounds like the code for an extra input device is complex and time-consuming. It would just be a matter of getting the input devices and interpreting their keystrokes/mouseclicks/mouse movements. Certainly not a hard thing to code, probably wouldn't take more than an hour.
  • Re:No.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday December 12, 2008 @02:45PM (#26093717) Homepage

    It's an advantage yes, but hardly an unfair one.. Everyone else is free to use a keyboard and mouse if they so desire. You can buy joypads with rapid fire and macro support too, are these devices also unfair?

    You don't force people to use them, you just provide the option for those who want it. Other people can simply ignore the option and use the existing pads.

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