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Video Game Consoles Are 'Fundamentally Doomed,' Says Lord British 374

zacharye writes "Microsoft sold nearly one million Xbox 360s last week alone, but we're nearing the end of the road for video game consoles according to one industry visionary. Richard Garriott, known for having created the fantasy role-playing franchise Ultima, says converged devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets will soon render dedicated game consoles obsolete: '... the power that you can carry with you in a portable is really swamping what we've thought of as a console.'"
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Video Game Consoles Are 'Fundamentally Doomed,' Says Lord British

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  • What he talks about (Score:5, Informative)

    by InsightIn140Bytes ( 2522112 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:26PM (#38245326)
    He doesn't really talk about consoles being doomed per se. He talks about how tablets and smart phones are soon so powerful that they can render the same quality graphics that consoles can, and people can just plugin their smartphones to TV to play. He also says the technical limitations again push people to make fun and interesting games instead of just going for the graphics. He then mentions how Facebook games are an interesting platform and they're fundamentally very same to MMO games which sell users items, just that they are played on Facebook. He also said that mobile phone games have given him much more fun than computer or console games. As far as computers go, he didn't say computers are going to render game consoles obsolote - just that people are going to play on Facebook, or their service, using them.

    And I agree with him. The technical limitations does make developers concentrate on the fun side of things. But that is also true for indie titles. Indie developers don't have the budget to make the best looking games, so they have to concentrate on making them fun. But I have to admit, large companies have started to notice too. They do have their big name franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield, which are very fun in their own ways, but you have to admit that even large companies have put out very fun games lately.

    Of course, Valve was again one of the first western companies who saw this and did it right with Team Fortress 2. They put out the game for free and let people buy weapons and miscelannelous items from the store. Yet, the weapons people can buy are not overpowered and can be got via drops, trading or crafting too. In some cases the stock weapons new players get are actually the best ones. The other ones only vary your gameplay style, so it's up to you which you use, but none is really better than another. And the game is absolutely fun and hilarious online, as it has great comedic aspect too.

    As much as Slashdotters hate everything-Facebook, I do like some games there. It's getting really really better lately, and is only going to do so as companies are starting to fight to gain users. This is only good, as it means better quality games which aren't out there just to make quick cash. They have to put out quality to get any new players. The social aspect in Facebook games is great. I have several South Korean girls I play Sims Social with and have had interesting chats with them on the side (and they're cute too, ofc ;-).

    I also played Civilization World, which is Facebook version of Civilization series. You get assigned to some server with up to 200 players (if some of your friend is already playing, you usually end up on same). If you don't join others you're independant nation, but if you do and it's recommended, you're one city of the civilization you join. You improve your own city, take battles by assigning your troops along with other players troops from your civ, and just work together. Even if it was still a little bit buggy, I had a late fun night playing with some US guy when all others had already went to sleep and we had to defend our civilization together. As the battles take time (so that players have time to come put more troops even if they're not in the game all the time), it got hectic and a gamble of which weather (and effects) we would get to defend against much larger nation.

    So yes, game consoles might be going away, but not the way it's implied.
    • Aren't most of those Facebook games flash based? I think Adobe abandoning flash on mobiles could be a big roadblock here. Without flash they'd have to code a version for "full featured" computers and a completely separate version for mobile users.
      • Just because Adobe is abandoning Flash-in-the-web-browser doesn't mean it isn't pushing a Flash-in-a-separate-app environment that it calls AIR.
        • Adobe are not abandoning flash on the web. It's abandoning flash on mobile.
          Show me where it says Adobe are abandoning flash on the web browser? From my understanding of the situation, they're pushing it as the new Shockwave in all but name, what with the whole Hardware 3D graphics engine they've put in the latest version.

          The reason they're discontinuing on the mobile platform is so they can stick to computers that have dedicated graphics cards and therefore have a better chance of making it work well cross-

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He talks about how tablets and smart phones are soon so powerful that they can render the same quality graphics that consoles can

      Of course this is also slightly limited though. They can render the same quality as the *current generation* of consoles, which are actually 5-year old tech. The next generation of consoles (not here yet) will produce much better quality graphics and it'll be another 5 years for chipsets to shrink in size, heat and power usage to see a handheld device catch up.

      • by smash ( 1351 )
        .... and the reason we're still using 5 year old consoles is because the horsepower in them is still plenty and not being fully exploited. As you increase the level of graphical detail, the level of effort needed to generate the content goes up. The level of effort is already pretty high, and its a case of diminishing returns. Graphics are rapidly approaching "good enough", and the more attractive selling point is now mobility rather than getting 10 more FPS or slightly more polygons on screen.
        • and the reason we're still using 5 year old consoles is because the horsepower in them is still plenty and not being fully exploited.

          No. The reason we're still using 5-year-old consoles is because it costs the console makers billions of dollars to design, produce, distribute and market a new console, which means it takes years of strong sales before they even recoup their investment on these expensive, dedicated devices.

          The problem looming up ahead for the console makers is that they're a niche market comp

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He's wrong, plain and simple.
      You will never have the same capabilities in a handheld on tight power budget that you can have plugged in to the wall.
      There will always be something that the games designers want to do that is beyond the capabilities of whatever hardware you are running on. I'm sure of this. While my 17 years in game programming falls quite a bit short of Garriot's, I don't think the Ultima series was particularly taxing of the hardware the same way large open world 3D rendered games are.


      • by Tapewolf ( 1639955 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @09:16PM (#38246432)

        While my 17 years in game programming falls quite a bit short of Garriot's, I don't think the Ultima series was particularly taxing of the hardware the same way large open world 3D rendered games are.

        Oh, it was. Ultima 6 was designed to run in 256 colours, in about 1990 IIRC. They had to provide dithered fallback modes for EGA, CGA and the others for it to work on the other hardware.

        Ultima 7 was developed on something like a 386-33, but the target platform was a 386sx-16, if I remember the Ultima Dragons newsgroup correctly. The big problem they had was that the program was 16-bit, but needed to be able to access far more than the usual 640k in order to work correctly. After an enormous amount of optimisation, they got about 1 fps if they used swap, 4fps if they used XMS, 6fps via EMS and a whopping 16fps by using the flat-realmode hack on the 386. It was only that which allowed the game to ship, and it made the game pretty much impossible to run under Windows 95 and later until DOSbox came along.

        Pagan (Ultima 8) used DPMI16 and 386 assembled optimisations to make it playable on the hardware du jour. This again caused major problems because the 16-bit protected mode interface only preserved the lower 16 bits of the registers, so when an interrupt occurred it would sometimes destroy the contents of EAX, ESI, EDI etc and crash the game randomly. This was fixed by hacking the DPMI kernel with some bizarre hack known as "Spanky" IIRC. "Protected mode kernel hacking" is listed in the credits of the game.

        Ascension (U9) was released about a year too soon and was filled with software rendering and other weird things. It would only work at all on GLIDE at first and it had to be patched from 1.00 -> 1.03 -> 1.07 -> 1.18 before it really worked via Direct3D. I remember that though it worked nicely on a 400MHz machine with a 3DFX card, a far more powerful DirectX card would give you a slideshow until 1GHz machines came out.

    • by ynp7 ( 1786468 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @08:59PM (#38246310)

      Why are people still listening to this guy? The most relevant things he's done in the last decade are tie himself to doomed MMO projects and buy himself a ticket on a spaceship.

    • []

      And I agree, I may have a fast PC to Crysis or whatever, but if I can, for example, play a Nintendo DS game on it's larger screen via an emulator, and if it's entertaining enough for me, why look else where?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      He doesn't really talk about consoles being doomed per se. He talks about how tablets and smart phones are soon so powerful that they can render the same quality graphics that consoles can

      This really says more about the quality of console graphics the the advancement of mobile phones and tablet graphics.

      I've got an Acer Iconia, despite having a smaller ppi then my 22" Samsung monitor (1680x1050) but the graphics are the equivalent of 2002/03 era games. Even unmodified Half Life 2 looks better let alone some

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by masternerdguy ( 2468142 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:28PM (#38245336)
    As a PC gamer I can't wait for consoles to finally die, fewer crap console ports and PC exclusives tend to be better anyway.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      +1, give us hi res, huge worlds, servers and many monsters. No more 640p efforts ported back to PC.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BenoitRen ( 998927 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:58PM (#38245726)

        The obsession with high quality graphics is a large part of what's wrong these days on both platforms. Stop kidding yourself.

        • you are right that high quality graphics alone don't equal good gameplay but half gig of total memory that xbox360 and ps3 have is pathetic by today's standards no matter how you slice it. It actually harmed many games with great concepts because the memory constraints made them simplified and linear.

          • Elite
            Final Fantasy
            Duke Nukem 3D

            While I agree that consoles are holding back Graphics, you have your head up your arse if you think that the hardware is making games linear.

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

            by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:01AM (#38247798) Journal

            Ya know, I want to hate the consoles but I have to say there is a nice side effect to the little bastards and that is how cheap I can offer folks an HTPC nowadays. Back in the olden days of the late 90s you were looking at a $150 GPU about every year to year and a half just to be able to play the games coming down the pipe and now I have several folks that are quite happy with HD4830s that i picked up for less than $50 a piece. And there is still more kick ass PC gaming for cheap than any other machine i know of, where else can you get games at the price of the big Steam Xmas sale while still having graphics that make my customers drool? you want to talk about an easy sale, all i have to do when they ask "But what can it do?" is fire up Just Cause II and set off some demo charges on the smokestacks. watching my guy walk into the sunset as these huge towers come crashing down and its "Sold!".

            So I wouldn't bitch TOO much, the consoles keep game PCs quite cheap while still letting us have some pretty impressive visuals, and while its true that the specs on them suck at least there are still games coming out with enhanced graphics for PCs while allowing us that don't have "ePeen" money to still enjoy gaming. I just hope when the next consoles come out it won't take a couple of years for GPUs that match or beat them to become cheap enough for the masses as I REALLY don't want to go back to $150+ a year in GPUs just to game. Hell at the way things are going with any luck i may still get another couple of years out of this soon to be Thuban desktop ;-)

        • Strictly a point of view which depends on why you buy and play a game.

          I've played Alic in both versions and the current is much like wandering a world. The first, wandering a child's story book. I purchased the current version simply to look at the graphics.

          It's almost irritating to have to 'fight' my way through, I'd rather just wander. I have a very powerful machine for my art graphics and I'd rather it didn't just feed me comic book pages.
        • Re:Good (Score:4, Funny)

          by hawk ( 1151 ) <> on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:12PM (#38246776) Journal

          I have to disagree.

          Nethack is *much* better on an interlaced display: when you hack NTSC to 60 frames of 262 lines instead of true 525, you get blank lines between the dots,why just ruin the experience and immersion into the game . .


    • How long have we been talking about this end? If anything console development is simply slowing and giving way to add-on devices (PS3 move, kinect, etc). As far as I can see game industry is stronger than ever.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I feel its the opossite. Ive played more PC games than consoles, but even for a game as Skyrim, I m playing it in an XBOX, i m having a good time

        Why? Because playing it in my pc would mean a spend of at least US$ 400 in a new video card, plus new processor, ram, etc (was a over-the-top PC about 3 years ago) A total of at least US$ 1500, and adjust my room to connect my PC to my full screen tv.
        Instead I decided to drop pc game playing, selling my desktop and buying a notebook (which basically means: good by

        • pay for the upgrades with money you save thanks to cheaper pc versions. Avg console game is what, 10-20 bucks more expensive?
          Also who said you need 400 bucks for gfx card? 150 dollar ones are plenty fine and wipe the floor with 6 year old console hardware.
          Besides, you may even stop upgrading your pc altogether, consoles in general hold multiplatform games back due to limited specs and the whole thing pretty much plateaued. Yes there are ultra-high-whatever quality settings in pc versions but even medium is

        • Again the $ excuse. Any PC you buy at the local store - provided it doesn't have a crap intel graphic card - could run Skyrim. Skyrim's a console port, it doen't need a lot of horsepower.
          Your top end PC from 3 years back certainly could have run it.
          400$ video card? More like a 150$ one. Throw in an old Core 2 duo (why buy an i7 to play console ports ?), 4Gb of memory for a few bucks and Skyrim would be plenty happy.
        • I don't think this is true. I bought a video card for under $100 about 2-3 years ago, and it can play Skyrim just fine on high settings (with minimal lag). I might not be able to crank every setting up to the highest it can go, but I can easily play it on high settings. I was surprised at how far merely upgrading certain PC parts can get you.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'd much rather sit back on my couch while playing games than sitting in my office behind a desk playing PC games. While yes, PCs can be upgraded faster, graphics are usually better, etc., that doesn't make up for the comfort of couch-gaming.

      • Trying to put traditionally PC features (web access, office apps, media players) into game consoles just makes the console more like a PC anyway (xbox360). I'd much rather take an old mini-ATX PC with my fave Linux distro (Debian), put in a decent graphics card and hook it up to one of the HDMI inputs of my home entertainment system. Then I can run Windows games with Wine and I can use the web with little fear of nasties like viruses or malware (with a little security sense), and the cost... nothing because
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @08:18PM (#38245904) Homepage
        Not to mention that the best thing about consoles is that everybody is playing on the same machine. You don't have to worry about whether you have a good enough machine and how good the framerate will be on your machine when buying console games. You don't have to worry about silly driver issues, or upgrading your machine every year because. All the current consoles are at least 5 years old. Even if you bought the original PS3 60 GB for $600 at launch (chosen because it was the most expensive), you still go an amazing deal, because that's 5+ years (still no replacement in the next year or two) without having to spend a single penny on upgrades. If you ask me, consoles will be all anybody owns in the future. I've seen where this is going. Most people will have a console, a tablet, which can be hooked up to a monitor keyboard and must when you have some work to get done. Desktop PCs with crazy specs and prices to go along with it will be the territory of a small set of enthusiasts. And everyone else will be exteremely happy because they no longer have to worry about driver issues, upgrades, minimum requirements, and all that other stuff. Me, I'll still own a desktop PC for many years to come.
        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Rennt ( 582550 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @12:22AM (#38247344)

          Not to mention that the best thing about consoles is that everybody is playing on the same machine. You don't have to worry about whether you have a good enough machine and how good the framerate will be on your machine when buying console games.

          Yeah, life is swell as a lowest common denominator. Hassle free, outdated fun. Only you DO get framerate drops on modern games, don't you? Also texture popups, cramped environments, minimal detail, and shoddy AI. Consoles aren't just holding games back - they are actually making games WORSE as developers leave more and more game on the cutting room floor just to get the latest wizbang engine to run on half a fucking gig of shared memory. Awesome.

          • I'm trying to play dark souls on the Xbox ATM, since it's amazing but console only. I would literally play double retail price for a pc version. I hadn't realised just how different the level between console and pc had gotten. The graphics are crap yet I get slow down all over the place.
          • by Raenex ( 947668 )

            Yeah, life is swell as a lowest common denominator.

            It's actually the greatest common denominator. It doesn't have the same propaganda value, though, does it?

            Only you DO get framerate drops on modern games, don't you? Also texture popups, cramped environments, minimal detail, and shoddy AI.

            I've played Grand Theft Auto 4 on the PS3 and was impressed with the detail, environment, and fluid character movements. I don't know about the AI, it's not chess. The "smart" AI in shooter games isn't computationally expensive.

            The thing is, there's been diminishing returns for a long time now in gaming tech. Go ahead and compare games between eras, and the difference between something like a PS2 and a

      • I'd much rather sit on my couch and play a PC game than go out and buy a console.

        Yes, my home PC has a couch infront of it.

      • by bjwest ( 14070 )

        My media center PC is more than up to the task of playing whatever games I want. Sure, it can't run the latest and greatest at full resolutin, but I'm not a hard core gamer so the duel core Athlion and GeForce 9600GT does just fine. I've just ordered a new MB and six core Phenom for my desktop, so my MCPC will be getting my old quad core desktop motherboard and 8 GB ram (6 more gigs than it now has).

        You want to play games on your big screen? It's much easier to hang a PC on it and do it that way. Sure,

    • by Fned ( 43219 )

      Careful what you wish for... any day now we'll start seeing crap smartphone ports.

  • ... is master of none
  • by Pontiac ( 135778 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:34PM (#38245432) Homepage

    I don't see the game console going away.. It's just going to evolve into more of multimedia device. Really it already has..
    My game consoles spend more time streaming Netflix then playing games these days.

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      My game consoles spend more time streaming Netflix then playing games these days.

      Well, there goes the 'sell below cost and recoup the money on game licensing fees' business model.

      • So you have to buy Nintendo, instead of MS or Sony... Nintendo have't sold below cost since the NES days.
      • Well, there goes the 'sell below cost and recoup the money on game licensing fees' business model.

        Hence the requirement for a valid $60 per year subscription to Xbox Live Gold to use Netflix on an Xbox 360.

      • My game consoles spend more time streaming Netflix then playing games these days.

        Well, there goes the 'sell below cost and recoup the money on game licensing fees' business model.

        Yep, I've spent about $700 on PS3 hardware (2 consoles, 2 extra controllers, camera) and maybe $150 on game titles since I got the first one in 2007. Too bad that the hardware is such crap too - early unit howled like a vacuum cleaner and consumed 300W+ all the time, new unit is quieter and cooler and the disc drive crapped out almost immediately.

        Still, I like my $100 in hard drive based games (GT5 and a pile of kids' games and demos), and Netflix streaming keeps it in the living room. When the 2nd unit d

  • ...They're FUN-damentally DOOM-ed.

    I GET IT!

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:39PM (#38245492) Homepage Journal
    We have come to a point where most of the computing elements are way more powerful than what the human eye demands in graphics even to the extent of photorealism. See, i ran the hell out of star wars the old republic with my 6950 radeon gpu and amd phenom ii 965 cpu in its beta - and in 5040x1080 3 monitor eyefinity resolution. it played overly smooth in 40 fps minimum. Granted, swtor is not a photorealistic 3d rendered game, however, it is very taxing when you factor in the fact that it is a mmo with endless differently textured toons (clothing, armor, face differences) converging on small spaces like coruscant. So, my phenom ii 965 cpu, which is not even a top tier offering in current cpu generation, not only ran the game perfectly, but also stayed so idle that i didnt even hear the cpu fan increase speed at all -> i use a 12 cm fan, and its already VERY silent too. if you go into games like crysis 2 et al, you will find that these games run on consoles very well, and on pc they run even faster.

    so, we can easily say that cpus are already over a point where we could consider them a limiting factor for good looking games. the only remaining factor becomes, gpu.

    granted, my 6950 is a last generation, top offering card. and even if cpu power had become way too much over the needs of games and graphics cards to become irrelevant after a certain tier, its not possible to play down the mandatory element, the graphics card yet.

    but, there are already major strides in this area - amd has already succeeded in fusing cpu and gpu in the form of 'apu', and these apus do low power usage and provide good performance in entry-mid level laptop and netbook market. granted, they are not enough to provide top performance as we see it in pcs yet, but more apus will be coming. this means, we are moving towards a future in which the two indispensable elements of gaming, the cpu and gpu, will be both merged in one unit with top grade components. (next gen apus are to come with 7xxx cores)

    so then, indeed lord british is right. you already merged, and optimized cpus and gpus in a form that it will be possible to game in a notebook. the only thing you need for this to become a reality in smartphones, is only more miniaturization and increased efficiency of this concept. and it is, as you know, a given in tech world. and im not even talking about the processors that are developing from the mobile computing vector.

    there are already versions of 3d games that play on smartphones. in future, we will indeed be able to plug a device to tv or a monitor and just play.
  • Phones today are capable but when the latest gen of consoles were released the phones were much more primitive. Certainly whatever you can pack into a phone, you can then pack 10x the power into something 10x bigger that a phone. I don't see this fundamentally changing soon?!
  • Apple are dumbing down the Mac, moving it away from being a high end professional computer, turning it into an overgrown iPad. Microsoft are turning Windows into an oversized Windows Phone OS. PCs are turning into consoles, and it is the serious personal computer that is threatened with extinction.

    • That's what some in the industry would love to happen, no doubt. They can have my desktop machine (with its desktop interface) when they pry it from my cold dead fingers.
  • When the hell did a computer become a 'converged device'?

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      When the hell did a computer become a 'converged device'?

      I prefer the phrase 'non-crippled device' myself.

  • If you can get people to pay as much for console games as for tablet/mobile games, maybe, otherwise you're just not getting the return to make 'blockbuster' titles like GTA/GoW/Uncharted etc. (or is that already considered 'hardcore gaming'?)

    Technology is not the issue here, it's just cash. If a game costs millions to produce, you're not gambling on a market where you need sell 100M but on a market where 1M units will make you break even. Consoles are not technological wonders, they are content platforms.

  • by blkmajik ( 3321 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:50PM (#38245626)

    A 7"/10" tablet or a 4" phone screen will NEVER replace a gaming console. There are many many factors that make this an insane and retarded statement.

    1) Game controller. Yes the kinect is interesting. Yes gyros can provide an intersting experience as well. But can you do a 16 hour gaming session waving your arms around like that (both kinect style or wii style with a large tablet). The standard game controller is a perfect interface for most games, and an OK stand in for others (FPS games should be with a mouse).

    2) As mentioned above: Screen size.

    3) Social gaming (in close physical proximity). A big screen is ideal for this. Tablets (or worse phones) are just too small to share.

    4) Touch screens suck for the vast majority of stuff. Motion control is just behind it in usability. With touch screens a large number of games are not playable because your hand is blocking critical space on the screen.

    There are more.. but there's beer in the NOC and I'm thirsty.

  • Yes, he gave us the Ultima series and Ultima online. He also failed to get the sequel done, and gave us...Tabula Rasa. This is the game he changed genres on in midstream, put out an unfinished game, then, as the game danced on the edge of oblivion, decided to play Major Tom. Yeah, a prophet he is not.
    • Exactly. He's the American Molyneux. He was hotter than hot during the pre-x86 era, but as time's gone on his sense for the industry has steadily dwindled. I mean, even besides Tabula Rasa (and the less said about that sorry mess, the better), this is a man who went from figureheading Ultima Online to championing the original Lineage as the Next Big Thing in MMOs. The guy may be richer than Croesus, but that doesn't make him a particularly good tech forecaster.
  • Tablets killed the console killed the desktop killed the video killed the radio...

  • Has become a bitter vet... I guess when you get bought out by EA whose idea of innovation is gobbling up studios and churning out Football manager 2008^H2009^H2010^H2011^H2012 ad nauseam, I guess you think that gaming has no future. I've heard this all before - wait, Chris Roberts used to say this 20 years ago. Ah, Chris Roberts also worked at Origin. I see a connection...

    The future is always different, but always bet against the guy who says there is no future.

  • by simm_s ( 11519 ) on Friday December 02, 2011 @08:21PM (#38245934) Homepage

    Mobile phones are just another platform to experience gaming. Mobile platforms are becoming more like gaming consoles. With technologies like wireless display (WiDi), etc you may be able to run a virtual xbox 360 straight from a mobile device on to the display of your choice. Good times!

  • Every phone so far that has attempted to be a gaming console has been a failure. And frankly, I don't want a phone to do that any ways. I want my game console to be connected to my TV, and have a controller that works well for the game. Any game that is significantly more complicated than Tetris isn't worth playing on any phone that I would want to own.

    And on top of that, phones are doing so many things now that battery life is starting to fall again. If we throw more games at them, battery life will only get worse. Some of us want to ... what's the word ... talk on our phones. And a dead battery from too much Call of Duty Twelve doesn't help that.
  • The main difference between the various PC and console platforms is the controls. If you back at the 1990s you can see fundamental differences in game design between consoles (played with one or more gamepads on a sofa) and PCs (played with a keyboard, mouse, and possibly joystick at a desk). Unfortunately, you can't really design for one set of controls if you're making a cross-platform game. It used to be that PCs and console had totally different genres. Now we're adding smartphones to the mix. I wonder

  • by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:06AM (#38247500) Homepage
    PCs have had enough power (including GPU power) to compete with game consoles for a long time. Why didn't they?

    Phones and tablets are beginning to approach the level of power of a PC. But they won't replace game consoles either. Why? Because, as with PC's, it's not about the processor or GPU power.

    The game console has some strategic advantages over PC's and tablets: 1) it's cheaper than a PC or tablet, 2) it is specifically made for playing games, and 3) it sits next to the TV, permanently connected and ready to play. Just turn it on and go. No need to set up a connection each time you want to play. No need to go fetch the tablet to hook it up to the TV. It's already there.

    Simply put, a multi-purpose device will never be quite as good at gaming as a dedicated gaming device.
  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:19AM (#38247568)
    Doomed? Like every game Richard Garriott has been involved with since 1998?

New systems generate new problems.