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Kojima Predicts the End of the Console 195

nathanielinbrazil writes "Konami founder and developer Hideo Kojima predicts gaming console is a dying breed. Anticipates gaming on demand via Internet. 'It's a bold prediction,' Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Hiroshi Kawano told reporters nervously. 'We hope he continues to develop for platforms, but we deeply respect his sense of taking on a challenge.' Kojima launches his follow-up game Heavy Metal Solid Gear: Peace Walker in late April designed for the PSP."
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Kojima Predicts the End of the Console

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  • I know the guy is widely respected in gaming circles, there anyone out there other than me that can't stand most of his gaming work?

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Have you played Snatcher []?

    • by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @02:14PM (#31779604) Homepage Journal

      I enjoy his games but I often wish he worked under another manager who would help direct his work a little more smoothly.

      Notably, this is the same Kojima who didn't think HD was that big of a deal for games and didn't see the point in going all super high resolution for MGS4 ... and didn't.

      Consider that MGS4 has load times worthy of watching an entire sitcom episode when other PS3-specific games like R&C or Uncharted have stream loading and almost no delays between levels as a result.

      I can ignore the writing and bad jokes and horrible timeline issues as standard low budget Japanese fare (try reading some manga sometime), but the production quality really wasn't there for me, except on sound.

      Oh well. He can have his opinions but they're not valuable to me.

    • Me. For starters, I HATE stealth games or stealth elements in non-stealth games, so MGS is right out. I played Lunar Knights for the DS, which had sneaking sections that pretty much ruined that one as well. The only good thing I think he's ever done is the Zone of the Enders series and the second game, while overall better than the first, had parts that were absolutely infuriating. One particular boss battle sees me turning the game off at roughly the halfway point because of how absurdly hard it is com

      • You expect me to listen to a man wax lyrical on the nature of war after he's spent an hour running around with a cardboard box over his head, and then take all this seriously? Sorry, no deal, no cookie.

        You summed it up much better than I could have! Kudos.

  • The console makers keep shooting themselves in the foot. I'm going to build a gaming HTPC soon. I can't buy both PSN and XBL content because I don't want to update my consoles and lose features, get banned, etc.

  • There must be some hundreds of people who've felt the hit of those declarations.

    I can only imagine how I'd roll with such a punch... "This will be the year of Linux on the desktop" - Bill Gates... Unngh.

    • I can only imagine how I'd roll with such a punch... "This will be the year of Linux on the desktop" - Bill Gates... Unngh.

      Bill Gates also predicted in the early '00s that in 5-6 years everyone would have a tablet PC.

      The thing is, even people famous in the fields they are farseeing are often wrong. Now, Bill Gates predicting that for Linux may be a short term propaganda coup for Linux (or a trap when it doesn't turn true) and it's nice to hear them share their vision of things but reality is a different be

  • Not so certain... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:31PM (#31777896)
    Many people have predicted the move toward either One Single Console To Rule Them All, or in this case none at all. The problem with this sort of prediction is that it does not account for the profitability of such systems. As long as money CAN be made by putting out a console, someone will. And as long as someone does, others will want a share of that pie, thus competition. It's the reason why Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo could fold eventually and still we'd end up with a multiple console market competition.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Many people have predicted the move toward either One Single Console To Rule Them All, or in this case none at all. The problem with this sort of prediction is that it does not account for the profitability of such systems.

      Actually, I believe it does to some extent. Right now, most console makers profit primarily upon game licensing revenue. Nintendo makes some money on the hardware as well. So what happens when a company decides to undercut the existing players and just sell the hardware at a profit, while making game licensing as cheap as possible. We're looking at an iPhone store model here, where developers pay next to nothing and the hardware maker is content to profit on their own apps and the hardware profit. It's the

    • Perhaps the major game studios should get together a build a console. It's actually surprising it hasn't happened .. as a group, they certainly have the money these days. I'm not sure it would be a good thing ...
    • Yeah, this seems like the frustration of a person who has just gone through the difficulty of porting over various platforms. I've had similar thoughts after trying to make J2ME work in different phones, and going crazy with the various incompatibilities. I'll bet he had a lot more trouble porting the metal gear solid platform to PSP than he expected.

      Seriously, at one point my coworker said, "This is crazy, I want to finish this and get a job doing web programming where there are no incompatibilities."
    • One Single Console to Rule them All...isn't that a PC? I mean, isn't that the argument FOR PCs and against Macs in every PC vs. Mac thread ever?

      • Consider that a console is a single model built on an assembly line with the same hardware, the same firmware, the same OS. Now compare PCs... literally thousands of possible combinations of hardware , software and operating system. PC is Legion, for it is many.
  • by Syberz ( 1170343 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:34PM (#31777954)

    The game's name is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Heavy Metal is a totally different series.

    • by lowlymarine ( 1172723 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:41PM (#31778080)
      That's far from the only error in the summary. My suspicion is that it was written just to infuriate those of us who have OCD about proper grammar and sentence structure. EG:

      Konami founder and developer Hideo Kojima predicts gaming console is a dying breed. Anticipates gaming on demand via Internet.

      The flow of that is positively dreadful.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I find the lack of commas alarming. William Shatner could never read that if it was in a script.
      • For such a short summary, it sure contains a lot of errors. Kojima is not even a founder of Konami - the company was established in 1969 [], and Kojima was born in 1963 []. He only joined Konami's MSX division in 1986, when the company had already been making video games for a while. He did go on to become a VP for a while. And this error isn't even in the original article.

    • by e4g4 ( 533831 )
      My initial reaction to reading that was: "Is Hideo Kojima releasing a game with that title to get confused parents to buy the wrong game when little Johnny asks for Metal Gear Solid?"
  • Consoles are merely a platform whereas the internet is a medium. I can easily imagine a future (or even partially present) where internet speeds make it viable for optical media to be obsolete, and hence allowing for games to easily and confidently implement online multiplayer components without alienating their player base that suffers from poor connections. (though it might be a sad one with DRM).
  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:35PM (#31777992)

    For casual gaming, yes and this has already happened to a degree with smartphones.

    But for hardcore or graphics intensive games, I don't see anything beyond PCs or consoles. Heck, the trend is so much towards consoles, this generation we have 3 of them with respectable size audiences. Six, if you count the DS, PSP, and PS2 (because it's still selling). Back in the original NES days, there was one winner and the rest were afterthoughts.

    Years ago, things like the Wii Controller would only differentiate the systems if it came standard with the console, but really dedicated hardware like the Balance Board would never have taken off (power glove, super scope, etc anyone?) and after the initial game very few others would follow because the install base just wasn't there. Now even more dedicated hardware than the console/controller itself is taking off.

    I just don't see platform agnostic gaming being feasible in the near-future. It's usually the attention to detail and tailored package that makes the experience and sale.

    • Back in the original NES days, there was one winner and the rest were afterthoughts.

      Of course, the NES generation was the last one where one single player dominated the entire video games console industry.

      The very next generation was split nearly 50/50 between the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.

      The two generations after that, Sony made a strong showing, causing Sega to leave the market completely and hurting Nintendo. Nintendo burned bridges by sticking with cartridge format for the Nintendo 64 and had po

  • by NonSenseAgency ( 1759800 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:38PM (#31778034)
    The console itself may not be dead, but will just become one more internet "appliance", doing precisely what Konami says, accessing the net on demand to play the users game of choice. With VMs becoming more and more prevalent it is only a matter of time before they start to appear on consoles. It would not be very hard to do it now in fact. So a console could run a VM to appear to be any machine....or a PC could run VM to appear to be a console, hmmmm.
    • VM's introduce a huge slowdown unless they're able to use the hardware natively because the emulated machine is hardware-compatible with the host machine. So, the reason VMware works so well is that it emulates intel machines... on intel machines. If it had to emulate a different CPU, it would be quite a bit slower than the native hardware.

      VM's are good for backward-compatibility with previous generation machines, where you can accept the slowdown of a VM because the new machine is faster than the emulate

    • The console itself may not be dead, but will just become one more internet "appliance", doing precisely what Konami says, accessing the net on demand to play the users game of choice.

      Like the Onlive console []?

      I wonder if this is Kojima's way of saying he plans on developing titles for OnLive.

  • I haven't listened to anything that guy says since having to bleach my eyes after naked Raiden.

    Now if he announced a web game where Snake invades Farmville with giant mechs I might take notice.

  • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:40PM (#31778072)

    With services being integrated into TVs and being able to get home theaters streaming from a file server, I don't doubt a dedicated console will disappear from living rooms. The games will still be there, but they will be loaded on your server/computer and allow you stream them to whatever room you're in. Sort of like a localized OnLive.

    Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will try to keep you locked into their platform, but that will only last a generation or so longer. I can see Steam becoming even bigger and integrating the streaming play, locking others in a different room out while you're logged into your account (unless they have an account of their own).

    • I really hope so. In my case it will ALL disappear. We're planning on replacing our 15 year old system which consists of a 60" RPTV, DVD player, XBOX, Cable decoder box, etc, with a 63" LEDLCD TV and a media pc. I will not be buying a dedicated DVD or bluray player, or any dedicated device. I will hook up the PC to my receiver and the TV. That's it. All DVDs and BluRays will get ripped onto the server in the closet. All my music is already on a server. Dedicated devices need too many remotes, take u
  • These guesses at the future state of things are no more insightful than someone saying "FIRST POST".
  • by yurtinus ( 1590157 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @12:46PM (#31778158)
    It will come right after the year of Linux on the desktop.
  • The big theme at GDC this year was social platforms, with the evangelists insisting that hardcore gaming is going away forever within 5 years. 5 years ago, these same guys were using absolutes to describe the total decline of PC gaming. Nobody said a word about Facebook. The only prediction worth putting stock into is that the future will continue to become more unpredictable.
  • Reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @01:03PM (#31778428) Homepage

    Was it not just a week or 2 ago that someone else said that the end of computer gaming was coming soon, and consoles would reign supreme?

    • by DdJ ( 10790 )

      It's not a reverse. He's not predicting that gaming will go back to PCs. He's saying that gaming won't be tied to any specific platform at all.

      In other words, if we ended up with a world where every game ran on every console, every computer (PC/Mac/Linux), and every mobile device (PSP, DS, iPhone, Android, WP7), we'd be right where he predicted.

      We get a lesser version of that today with cross-platform titles. I haven't seen PC gamers express much happiness at how that's turning out for them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )

      So weird! It's almost as if different people could have different opinions-- but that can't be right!

  • "There are 10 types of people... Those who understand binary, and those who do not."

    Seriously, there are two kinds of spendy gamers out there. There are the non-technical types, who will go out there and buy a console, buy a bunch of games, buy new controllers... They have no desire for a true PC, don't want a desk to put the keyboard and mouse on, just want a little machine in their entertainment center.

    Then there are the technical types, who want to upgrade their video card, processor, boot off a SSD..

    • And then there's the techies who work in computers for a living and maintain servers 10 hours a day who love going home to a PS3 that "just works" and can't be bothered paying to upgrade their PC regularly enough to keep up with the latest PC games.

      Having paid the price of a good video card for my PS3, I've played a lot more hours of games on it than I ever expected and learned to love the console concept.

      PS Stop it with generalizations you don't have stats to back.

      • by 7Prime ( 871679 )

        Here here. I work as a video producer/editor and end up doing a lot of software troubleshooting at work, my main hobbies are music recording and sound design. At the end of the day, when I've finally been able to get myself into "leasure mode"... I don't want to have to do MORE technical things just to relax. It's hard enough to get myself settled into a non-productive mode, why would I want to turn around and risk stressing myself out even more?

  • iPhone, iTouch, and iPad are information appliances with an incredibly well designed App Store, yes. As they are touch screen based, they are not particularly useful for business users that might need to write polite emails. So who uses them? We'll people browse the web and use web site apps, but the apps not oriented towards media consumption are GAMES !!!

    I don't see why game consoles cannot have application stores that are every bit as successful as the iTunes Store, perhaps games requiring more storag

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      The console vendors don't need to be megalomaniacal about distribution. The old model already
      works pretty well for them. They simply don't have any need to lock you in like that. They can
      do quite well with there being n+1 vendors out there where I can get a bit of media from to
      play a game with.

      The same goes for most stuff actually.

      If Big Content weren't so paranoid about piracy, Apple would be moot.

  • Doesn't the success of a platform be it console, PC or Internet live and die by the quality of the game? Would any of the big three consoles be big if there were no quality games? I don't think most people care what the game plays on so long as it meets their entertainment expectations.

  • The PC is the Unique Gamming Platform.

    The problem is that people like Sony and Microsoft are soo greedy, that want to control *everything* you say and do. Do you want to use a name with the letters "gay"? banned till 9/9/9999.

    All these people (MS, Sony...) want to work in the "Bridge Tol" bussines. Just getting a piece for everything that moves in "his" hardware. Parasiting the work of others.

  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @01:32PM (#31778876)

    Why do people keep insisting that PSP and iPhone games will supplant full-blown console games? They aren't even the same thing, to start with. I mean, unless I can hook up my wheel and pedals to my iPhone, then hook it up to a large screen display and into my surround sound, this is like saying the Sony Walkman will replace live concert audio systems.

  • People have been saying this since PC gaming came about. It was nonsense then, and it's nonsense now. People don't care that they can get the game for their pc when that pc isn't attached to their 60 inch plasma tv. Furthermore, console games make playing with your friends, in the same room, at the same time, much easier. Consoles aren't going anywhere, and pc gaming isn't either.

  • Oh yes! The network is the computer. No, it wasn't and it still isn't.

    The network (the internet) still has trouble handing the very small amount of data needed to make something like XBL work reasonably well. And that is WITH a VERY fat client at the end of the pipe "preprocessing" all the data so that the minimum amount of packets are sent over the net. The internet remains utterly incompatible with actually delivering the rich interactive experience that gaming requires.

    Even wi-fi is just barely

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard