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Wired Proclaims the Death of the Game Console 368

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.
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Wired Proclaims the Death of the Game Console

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Angry Birds (Score:5, Interesting)

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

  • 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) ;)

  • 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.

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