Coin-OpEd: Make it sexy, please

Can Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony get our blood pumping with their new consoles when early signs indicate little more than new peripherals?

I have a tendency to break TVs. The how or why of this is not important (though I speculate it has something to do with my magnetic personality or electrifying presence*); the salient bit is that, being the destroyer of high-tech gadgetry, I must on occasion hook up my Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 to my 20-inch mid-'90s workhorse Sony Trinitron, which functions as intended through rain, shine, and, I firmly believe, nuclear holocaust.

Show of hands. Who among you have been forced to return to the realm of standard-definition after basking in HD's great glow? I see one hand up in, what is that, Slovakia? Here's what Zdeno and I have discovered: playing, say, Crysis 2 in standard definition is the functional equivalent of hiking through Yosemite with a detached retina. Sure, the sounds are nice. Yeah, maybe the activities are fun. But holy hell do beautiful things look ugly.

I bring this up not as a quiet call for someone to help reattach my retina. No, that ship has sailed. Rather, it has more to do with all the scuttlebutt this week surrounding what we can expect from the next generation of consoles, and how the leap from the seventh to eighth generation will be incredibly disappointing compared to that which was seen from generation six to seven.

If the Wii started life as a Revolution, what does that say about Project Cafe?

Especially of late, motion-control schemes are often said to be the definitive feature for the seventh console generation. And to a degree, this is certainly the case, considering the way in which the Wii Remote can be found anywhere from retirement homes to the White House.

However, somewhat paradoxically, motion-sensing gaming hasn't come close to achieving the realm of tangible benefit to gamers that high-definition visuals reached from the onset. There's a reason why Perfect Dark Zero or Kameo: Elements of Power scored so well as launch titles for the Xbox 360, even if it is now in vogue to deride them. They looked phenomenal compared to what gamers had come to expect from the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

And now we have The Future. What has struck me about recent rumors about the Wii 2 (leave it to the French media to call it Project Cafe, as if the device will be smoking a cigarette while wearing an honest-to-god beret) is that in playing catch-up with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nintendo will again be a generation behind with its graphics.

According to what is increasingly appearing to be reliable rumors, the Wii 2 will be a half-step more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 (just as the Wii was a half-step more powerful than the PlayStation 2). In lieu of pushing things forward in the realm of graphical or computational capacity, Nintendo appears to again be paddling its boat with peripherals.

Rumors indicate that this time out, the peripheral in question will be a tablet controller. The device, which will apparently be a supplement to some kind of motion-control scheme, reportedly features eight buttons, two analog sticks, one camera, and a partridge in a pear tree. Also, a 6.2-inch touch screen, so that gamers will always be missing something happening on whatever screen they're not looking at.

Microsoft apparently wants to turn a profit on its next-generation console from day one. Good for business, boring for gamers.

This controller does not excite me, mostly because I've seen what happens when Nintendo puts its efforts behind a peripheral. Nintendo certainly caught everyone's imagination with the Wii's motion-sensor-based gameplay, and it yielded massive global sales.

Unfortunately, it also inflicted massive confusion on third-party publishers, who struggled to find a good use for the Wii Remote (just as they are now struggling to figure out worthwhile uses for the Kinect and the PlayStation Move). And lest we forget the reason we're even talking about a new console for Nintendo, the game company's emphasis on peripherals over power has resulted in the Wii losing relevancy far more quickly than the Xbox 360 and PS3.

What seems particularly worrisome is that Microsoft and Sony don't plan to push the bar with their next systems, either. According to one rumor, the two are "telegraphing" to one another that their Next Big Things will be out in 2014. (The word "telegraph" here is important, as loopholes in collusion laws provide immunity for those using modes of communication popularized in the 19th century.) That same rumor suggests that Microsoft, for one, is grappling with the idea of making relatively modest improvements to the Xbox 360 to turn a profit on its hardware from day one.

Of course, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo can hardly be blamed for the next generation's boring step forward. Back when the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii were new on the scene, electronics manufacturers were having a field day marketing the sweat on professional athletes and A-Listers' pores. Now the HD on those boxes has been replaced with 3D, but to date the Z-axis remains an expensive, headache-inducing, vision-blurring gimmick.

Will Sony again put forth the bleedingest edge with the next generation? (And bleed a bit itself, in the process?)

Instead of focusing on gimmicks, it seems like a better use of everyone's time would be to pursue technology that game creators are actually pining for. Id Software's technical wunderkind John Carmack (think Doom) sees technology like ray tracing as the current Shangri-la, and it would afford game developers the ability to violate the uncanny valley in gross and demeaning ways (and possibly teach them valuable lessons about technological hubris in the process!). Of course, this technology is not currently feasible, as its implementation would bring even the highest-end PCs to their knees.

As for future technologies that reside in the realm of reason, we have folks like Crytek's principal graphics engineer Tiago Sousa, who recently called current RAM limitations on consoles "crippling." Of course, to the person with an engineering degree, his lofty 8GB of RAM is sexy as hell. And who am I to deny a person his or her kinks? But for those of us who do not fetishize circuitry, 8GB of RAM kind of gets the blood pounding to degrees only before achieved by Ford's Aerostar.

As it stands, Nintendo seems to be on course to announce the Wii 2 at this year's E3 in June, and industry chatter suggests the device will be out by the end of 2012. As that device arrives, Microsoft and Sony will theoretically begin pulling back the curtain on their own Next Big Things. At this point, my hope is that gimmicks don't rule the day, and the Big Three will give me something worth salivating over.

*Note: I have neither a magnetic personality nor an electrifying presence (unless they manifest only in the presence of technology. The possibilities!).

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Discussion

146 comments
tyranitaronweed
tyranitaronweed

I've never really understood; What defines a hardcore game? Is it just any game that is an FPS and uses Xbox 360/PS3 graphics, or is there some deeper meaning? I don't know about you, but to me, a hardcore game is one that is challenging. Sure, FPS's can be hard, but there are some easy ones out there. Are these games considered hardcore just because, despite being easy, contains more weaponry and gore than a harder game? Can't a Zelda game be hardcore, as it incorporates increasing difficulty into its boss fight, dungeons, and puzzles? One last thing. If, in fact, hardcore games are FPS's, don't you hardcore gamers get bored of the same genre and same core element over and over again?

mastergustavo
mastergustavo

I don´t really care wich of the "Big Three" wins. as long at least one of them makes something REALLY good and worth playing.... if not, I´ll forget video games and take the tennis even more serious than before....

benandmax
benandmax

I understand and agree that technologically speaking, the big N is a step behind. But from a realistic, business standpoint Nintendo has dominated Sony and Microsoft. 80 million consoles to 50 million. The Wii costs a whole lot less to make as well and they are the only ones that have truly brought video games into the mainstream. Don't get me wrong, I love playing playstation, in fact I prefer it, but I believe Nintendo knows what they are doing more than the other two and that they will continue to dominate in sales, gimmicks and all.

Raxyman
Raxyman

"And now we have The Future. What has struck me about recent rumors about the Wii 2 is that in playing catch-up with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nintendo will again be a generation behind with its graphics." That was true, Nintendo is an company that relies only on gimmicks. Not that i don't like my wii, but having other console is essential for gamers like me. Microsoft cares only about the Biggest Cash, so i dunno what to expect from "xbox 720", and Sony... Well, it is the most well prepared company for gaming, but it's latest decicions were something that i wouldn't like for a console. So in the end i'll stick with PC gaming as my A gaming-device, not because PC's can be more powerful than consoles or anything else like that. I keep my PC just. Because. Steam. Steam owes nothing to nowadays consoles, maybe a little at motion-gaming but nothing actually hurtful. And regardless of my opinions, i agree with Tom Magrino: "At this point, my hope is that gimmicks don't rule the day, and the Big Three will give me something worth salivating over. "

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood I already explained why I think many of your claims as to the alleged lack of quality in our industry don't make sense. I maintain what I said, though I want to add one thing that I didn't even mention on my blog: if the majority of stuff was actually of quality, we wouldn't be able to appreciate it because we wouldn't even know or understand what a BAD game looked like. So in a way, having crap in the industry does as much to HELP our industry as to HURT it. If you don't believe me, here's a basic example from another source: a rich person who spends a week homeless on the streets because s/he is sick of living in a boring mansion will likely end that week understanding just how lucky s/he is to have the option at all, and s/he will probably view that mansion in a much brighter fashion than s/he did before. If the rich person hadn't gone onto the street, s/he wouldn't understand why being homeless is so much less appealing than living in a mansion. Does that make sense? I hope it does. I enjoy debating stuff. That's why I argue the facets of what you're saying. :)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood And why are there many games--like Beyond Good and Evil and Okami--that are regarded as incredible and sell so poorly? My answer is--to borrow something you said in one of your earliest posts--that game making is an ART, not a SCIENCE. If it WERE a science, I'm guessing most of the games WOULD be of quality because making them would be straightforward. But there are so many other factors IMO--like OUR responsibilities as gamers, our psychological states, our constantly rising standards, changes in the industry, and plenty of other stuff--that you can't just say, "DEVELOPERS AND PUBLISHERS ARE SCREWING US, PERIOD" and that's the end of the story. Though to be fair, apparently that's not what you meant; it was apparently just your "general point." I've actually covered a lot of these factors that I think come into play on a blog I posted called "The Blame Game." Read it if you like, though as always, I'd appreciate it if you read it all before commenting on it. (NOTE: Please don't think my post is trying to say this debate is nearly as big a deal as 9/11. I only referenced the death of 3,000 people to make a basic point about presenting other viewpoints.) Yes, I play tons of games. I own more than 500. I can even list the order I bought most of them in. And I don't sell games unless I think they aren't any fun. So no, I don't just go to forums and post economic stuff. I guess I can see why you might think that though. LOL :) (TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood Okay thank you for making clear that you recognize your opinion is not a fact. I apologize for framing the argument the way I did. For me--and this is because of a psychological condition believe it or not--it's almost impossible to tell when someone is stating something as an opinion and when they're claiming something is an undisputed fact unless they expressly say so, and for me that means including qualifying words like "in my opinion." Therefore, when you said, "The majority of games ARE crap" instead of "I THINK the majority of games are crap," it confused me. Not blaming you for anything; just explaining. And yes, I know I'm guilty of not qualifying my statements either, so touche. I believe that your viewpoint--as you said a very relatable one--is a legitimate way to look at this stuff. However, I also believe it's very typical and simple. NOT that it's wrong; only that it's something I've heard a hundred times. My view of the world is that it's very complex, so when I feel something is getting shown in a one-sided fashion, I jump in and try to give it some color. IMO, blaming greed and corporations ENTIRELY for the woes of the industry is easy; it's harder to consider that WE might be to blame also. You say for example that the majority of games are crap and point to bad sales as evidence of that. There might be some truth to that, but then why do many best sellers get such sever criticism from critics? (TBC)

aramsley
aramsley

PCs suck. They are so expensive if you want a half decent one and not everyone can even afford that so everybody that plays a PC game gets a completely different experience. Whereas with a console everybody gets the standards they expect for the price they expect.

Dekanis
Dekanis

Article: "a half-step more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3" Umm... I have read nowhere that the next console will be a half-step more powerful... From what I have heard it will be "significantly more powerful"... If you are going to feed people information on rumours, please feed it out properly... And even if it is a semi-next generation type console... The other companies won't be releasing new consoles for another 3-4 years... Meaning only 1-2 years to get another nintendo console then, which will be ahead of those consoles, based on the 5-6 year nintendo console life-cycle.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@Frosty192 No, heavy price tags and a lagging economy hold game development back. The majority of gamers don't have the resources to keep a rig up to date. I have no complaints with my 360, but I also have a gaming PC. I actually use the 360 more. Its all preference man, but the reality is if PC's were the "mainstream" console everyone would be getting a different experience based on their specs.

Barighm
Barighm

Heh heh...nice. PC fanboys go on and on knocking consoles, yet there is the hardware guru Carmack, the king of PC gaming development, saying PC devs can't get the funding necessary to make good PC games UNLESS they extend development to consoles. No consoles, no cutting-edge PC games. And hey, Carmack even admits the super high-tech games that push the graphical envelope aren't that great because the devs aren't familiar with the new tech. The best games are...wait for it...the older so-called "obsolete" games developed for tech devs are familiar with. It's the old common sense "graphics != quality" argument, with a topping of "high-tech != efficient", from Mr. PC himself! I'll never be annoyed by a PC fanboy ever again.

Frosty192
Frosty192

Consoles hold game development back. Oh well I always have to have one because to me it is more social than a PC. But I do love my PC :D

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

they better get a 1gb of graphics memmory and a 1 or 2 gb ram cuz really PC is geting more fire power each year wich makes consoles get old fast.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@cachinscythe btw why are you compelled to argue every facet of what im saying, im not here to post thuroughly researched and referenced essays about this. u seem more interested in arguing the minutiae of anything i say than to actually grasp the general point im going for(not saying you cant btw), you just seem more contempt in trying to debate. mine are general(not wild/crazy) observations that help illustrate a bigger point in my posts on the state of gaming, and its decline in quality and substance over the years,...not all devs are guilty of this, the hits are just so few and apart...the HL's, Bioshocks, Last Guardians of the industry have fans salivating for sequels, let me ask how come every game doesnt have such reception?....if u answer that then you'l get the thrust of my original post.. the industry tries to balance money/time/people, some better than others clearly... its nothing new other industries do it to, i will not reward a bait and switch, which essentially some of the devs/pubs do... overhyped, released, forgotten... or better yet repackaged, overhyped, released forgotten... dont u see the unbelievable amount of clones out there and how theyre clearly chasing the popularity of another games success....!? do u play games? or just post economic rhetoric on forums? oh really forbes says only 20% of games profitable its not hard to see why theyre all just repackaged crap* *a personal opinion expressed by this poster ... just incase : p

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@cachinscythe the stocks suggest they are raking in cash hand over fist... stop making excuses for them!.. i dont want to hear about the logistics of marketing and advertising, either, what it boils down to is the corporate mentality. Games make money, games attract people who like making money... nobody is saying dont make money, i want more games being made obviously its the questionable way they are going about it sometimes, like release date DLC's and content unlocks...not all games/pubs are guilty of shifty practices but guess what alot of companies just follow trends. oh and btw clearly alot of games dont sell, or sell well enough to warrant a sequel, would u call it a success? depends i guess on the dev and game(myriads of reasons).... but i would call it a 'failure' or as i said b4 ' crap' ... are you reading this btw i said "I" as in "me" ..."IM CALLING IT CRAP" like an opinion...u know......once again..... IM CALLING IT CRAP...me...only me.... im not forcing it down anybody elses throat.... u got it?...... ok? good...i dont want another dodgy post about the subjective nature of personal preference.... we all get it.. activision are not the only company responsible for such behavior they are the loudest of the bunch

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

"You are not in any way, shape, or form better equipped to decide what I should eat or what anyone else should eat." @cachinscythe idc what you eat, you make it seem like i should feel guilty and stupid for having an opinion lol(which if u scroll down and check again is somehow relatable) im making it more simple than it is!? and u take issue with it...well tbh i dont have the time to go and research how much x company made in y year, what their budget was like, which games they were working on...bla bla bla.... and if im making it simple, yours is the attempt to educate me in the complexities of game making... i need only look to the money being made to know most of your posts are overexaggerations, they are not the first or last industry that will make use of marketing/publishing/advertising etc. once again, these companies are not in dire straits, idc if your economics class leads you to believe otherwise... oh boohoo theyre barely afloat, ...yet all these people and schools offering game design and game related careers, game studios opening up everywhere, even in my crummy lil neighbourhood because theyre all just barely scraping by right?! cmon! CMON!

Maersyndel
Maersyndel

Well, Tom, for once I like what you have to say. New console genreations have always been about making what was impossible in previous generations, possible. If it does become more about the controller you use than the game itself then I might just sit out the next console war.

aesir05
aesir05

don't care about 3D gimmicks and motion controls, need hardware that is easy to work on so devs can stop wasting hours and spend that time polishing games and giving us longer than 3 hours gameplay for a game that took 3 years to make.

ofakar
ofakar

Wow this is a mashup of awkward metafors. Terrible rhetorics. Though I must agree, motion controls and 3D have so far not proven much.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@bub166 No need to apologize for explaining yourself. Frankly, I think the commentators on here that don't bother to read everything someone writes are just afraid they might be forced to rethink their position. It's sad that too many of us don't seem to want to think about these things. Your assessment is a good one, and I think your ideas of providing tutorials for developers and working more closely with 3rd parties to make the hardware developer-friendly are excellent. I DO think it might discourage some from going OUTSIDE of the tutorial to try different things--which is kind of the point of making something different in the first place--but that certainly doesn't mean you should just hand them the tools and say, "Go make me something!" LOL :)

-Shadowbinded-
-Shadowbinded-

Put simply: hardware limits sotfware, which kind of complicates things for the Big Three. They can't announce juicy next-gen consoles when hardware has been developing slower than in the past decades. Sure, the things can go faster and more smoothly, but that would just be a minor upgrade for which I would not pay another $400. That only leaves us impatient, waiting for technology to make a leap forward and allow 3D visuals without the blurs and the shades. What the Wii did was what most would call an Epic Fail; why include motion-sensing controls as innovation, and go back a mile, back to the N64, in terms of power? If Nintendo manages a console comparable in power to the Xbox360 and the PlayStation 3, all the while having normal controllers AND motion controllers, then I'd say their "next-gen" console won't be a waste. On the other hand, I'd say that Sony and Microsoft are holding back until they get a chance to actually move forward a few steps, instead of making a whole new console that would be, as I said earlier, either a minor upgrade.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood Cause you're bound to disappoint some of them, including me. Far as I'm concerned, the majority of stuff is worth trying and about half is worth playing. You are not in any way, shape, or form better equipped to decide what I should eat or what anyone else should eat. Finally, I'd happily jump if I was allowed to take a parachute with me. I'm guessing most of those jumpers would have one to. (The point being that circumstances are complicated, not simple.) Sorry I droned on again. It's just not easy to explain it all in a single comment. As before, I hope you read it all. :)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGoodI'm not trying to suggest you are stealing bread off anyone's table or even that you're entirely wrong here. What I'm taking issue with is how straightforward you're making this out to be. It's not. Companies are supposed to be profitable, but that isn't always a bad thing. CEOs are in charge of keeping it profitable, but they are also in charge of making their customers happy, making their employees happy, and looking to the future at the same time. As for the majority of games being "crap," that is just your opinion, and opinions don't really count for much when it comes to running a market, and they SHOULDN'T. I personally own a lot of allegedly "crappy" games that I enjoy immensely, and if the market is providing us with crap we don't want and we stop buying it, it will eventually adapt and give us quality instead. When I hear people trying to say our market is "saturated with crap," the arrogance gets under my skin a little. YOU sir don't get to decide what is "crap" and what isn't. That is what markets are for. If you really believe you should be allowed to filter out the stuff that isn't good, I hope you like listening to a bunch of angry customers complaining about you not satisfying their needs. (TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood As for the Activision comment, are you suggesting that EA has not changed? Count the number of big name franchises they had during the PS2/Xbox/GCN era that got sequelized every year. Then count the number of new IPs they've helped create since this generation started (Dead Space, Dante's Inferno, Boom Blox, Rock Band, Brutal Legend...) and count how many of their OLD franchises are still going strong (Need for Speed, Madden, Tiger Woods...). Then ask yourself how many of those franchises--both new and old--get sequels every single year. Do they STILL sound like money-grubbing jerks to you? And if Activision is really the way all publishers behave, then why does Activision get so much more press for being greedy than the other publishers? Don't you think we'd KNOW if the others were behaving the same way? Don't you think someone would come out and say, "Hey! You know what, they treat us the same way over here too!"? Yet from what I understand they haven't. Maybe that's because Activision is the only one crossing the line. And I believe you're wrong. It's the majority of RELEASED games that don't turn a profit. Here's a study from 2008 that shows it: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/202401/news/4-report-is-false-says-forbes-interviewee/ To be fair, that IS 3 years ago and the original report (which said only 4% turn a profit) had to be corrected, but even the corrected statistics showed that only 20% of games make a profit (TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood I don't recall saying the industry was dying at all. I recall saying the profits are not as great as we make them out to be. When we hear someone say $10.2 billion in revenue, many of us automatically think of a big CEO swimming in that money; we don't stop to consider that when you subtract all the costs, the CEO might not have that much left, and I'm guessing neither do most of the other big cheeses, though to be fair this is just my opinion and my statistics to back it up pretty much amount to my classes in economics. I can't say I know how much CEOs typically make, though I'm guessing it's around $1 million a year, which is not even remotely CLOSE to the revenue that gets pulled in. The reason money passes through so many hands is because developers don't want to handle everything themselves. Sure, Valve manages to, but how often do they release games? Isn't this like the 4th year since The Orange Box got released and STILL no Episode 3? Developers let publishers publish their stuff because marketing games requires more money and staff than they can afford themselves. But they won't publish without an incentive, so the money HAS to go through those hands. If they want most of that money for themselves, they need to be willing to work harder for it.(TBC)

dh4m13l
dh4m13l

Do you consider the Nintendo 3DS as a "next" generation console? If so then we don't have to wait till the next generation to become bored. The 3DS has about the same power as the PSP but with a smaller screen. How disappointing! ...

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@cachinscythe yeah i read most of it... your making the industry sound like its barely afloat... investors barely making money and scraping by...(developers do need more luvin the way it is now) problem is the money from making games passes through too many hands now but even still...people wouldnt be investing if there was no money... people wouldnt be getting educations in a dying industry... if there wasnt any money... CEO's are there to keep a company profitable...not just barely surviving... you make it sound like im stealing bread off their table... btw i do remember EA going through all of that, and im not singling out activision...they are just a poster child for my opinion... oh and most games that dont make profit never get released, and the game market is saturated with crap, see how many games get released on a yearly basis and how many of them are actually worth playing... and your 20% figure suddenly doesnt seem like such a low estimate... and yeah we are in a way responsible for what we have, but i know i dont buy or encourage crappy development by purchasing more products from a bad company... and im not responsible for other peoples preferences or opinions... ...*this is so lame*.... if everybody jumped off a bridge would you...

vinibr
vinibr

So what Wii's loosing relevance more quickly? It's still the top-seller console. Nintendo can afford drop in sales and the Wii will still be a really profitable console. I just hope Microsoft and Sony don't release the next gen so soon. Xbox and PS3 still have a long road ahead (hell, even's PS2's still alive (crippling, but alive)). Also, I hope they don't set the bar TOO low. 8GB RAM on a console'd be awesome as hell

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood (continued) This is not a gigantic black and white chessboard we live on; it's a gigantic onion. In some ways, WE are responsible for our industry being screwed up; in other ways, it's the fault of developers. But no matter how you slice an onion, there is NO EASY WAY to stop it from smelling. The same applies here. If you're unhappy with what the industry is doing, then vote with your money by not spending it. Otherwise, consider yourself partially to blame for Call of Duty showing up each year. PHEW! I'm done. Here's hoping you actually chose to be patient and read all of this. :)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood (continued) It's ALL about the money? Well I'm curious, did you know that the VAST MAJORITY of games actually don't turn a profit at all? Funny how an industry that is "all about the money" somehow continues to release so many products when most won't even make them money, don't you think? Or perhaps it does make sense...because it's NOT all about the money. Yes, companies need to turn a profit because that's how they manage to continue operating, but it's hardly ALL about the money; it's about trying to make SOME money while providing products and keeping people at work. And if you're going to try and pull figures showing the revenue Activision brings in, let me show you the definition of "revenue": money that is made at the stores. The "PROFIT" is actually that revenue MINUS the costs to make the game. So really, the PROFITS--which are apparently what this is all about in your mind--are not nearly as big as people think they are. And even THEN, most of that money doesn't go into the pockets of the company owners, but right back into the business so it can continue to operate. Yes, there is generally enough profit that the CEO can afford a new boat, but s/he is generally running a gigantic operation anyway, so who's to say they haven't EARNED that money? (TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood (continued) The evidence of how WE (indirectly) control the market is everywhere. Gamers just refuse to acknowledge it because that means taking some of the blame for how "bad" our industry has become. You mentioned Activision overworking its employees. Well, do you remember EA from LAST generation? THEY were just as bad as Activision. Why don't we rag on them anymore though? The short answer is because they changed. Here's the longer one: -EA got money hungry -Developers got overworked as a result -Consumers started to notice a significant drop in quality for EA titles -Developers sued for being overworked -Consumers caught onto EA's business practices and stopped buying their products as readily -EA started to lose ground and money in the market -EA changed its development philosophies and started treating employees better -EA is now responsible for some of the best new franchises this generation and the unique EA Partners setup that allows developers to maintain control of their IPs; hence why ZAMPELLA AND WEST went over to the former money-grubbing company THIS ladies and gentlemen is probably what is around the corner for Activision. You don't just overwork employees--as you seem to think--without suffering consequences at some point and needing to ADAPT. That's how markets work. So pretty much all your complaints only deal with what you see on the surface; they don't seem to be very well thought out. No offense.(TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood (continued)The old 16 bit days had just as much in the way of cookie-cutter sequels and imitators, and you could argue that there might have been more innovation, but is that because the developers were trying harder, or because there was actually more land to explore? People, when you farm your land, it's not like your property doesn't have any borders. Eventually, you're going to run out of land to explore and cultivate. Just look at a lot of the "original" stuff that comes out today. From a technical standpoint, a lot of it is just the same old stuff cooked in a different way. From a purely technical standpoint, I believe the last truly new "crop" we came across was Katamari Damacy, and consumer demand has caused that to become sequelized and stale like everything else. Yes, you read that right: WE caused it to become stale. Markets are designed to give people what they ask for. They might not do so immediately (hence the term "economic lag") but ultimately we get what we ask for. If we're all so irritated with the direction the industry is going, here's a thought: don't support it with money anymore. Do that, and it'll have to adapt to please us. Instead, we complain about how it's all about the money and not about innovating, but WE are the ones that PAID the money! You don't want Call of Duty every year? Stop buying it every time it comes out.(TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood You misread my comment. I wasn't quoting myself; I was quoting what other people generally say to me: they refuse to read MY walls of text instead of being patient and keeping an open mind. I have no problem reading yours. How convenient it is for you not to need to provide proof but instead demand I go find it myself. Maybe that's because you simply don't have any. Here's a little lesson in economics for you: Yes, companies jumped on the wagon when they realized they could make money through games. As a result, we have many more choices than we did in the 16 bit days. You can piss and moan all you like about how profits ruin things, but unless you're someone who's willing to go down to Albertsons and volunteer his time as a courtesy clerk without getting paid for it, you'll probably understand what profits do: they actually give people incentive to DO things. Remove that from the equation, and we'll have significantly less to choose from. We might not get much at all.(TBC)

Fayt1986
Fayt1986

if the Cafe only uses motion controls im not even gunna bother........ my Wii is just takeing up space because of it and the very low res on a 40inch tv is just horrid.

__carwreck__
__carwreck__

Sometimes I like to think even longer term, like how is quantum computing going to affect the industry? Or if we do get photorealistic graphics with generation 8 (or 9) consoles, what next? Does innovation just stop and plateau, or do is virtual reality going to actually become a reality? And after that? But I suppose nobody could have predicted video games a hundred years ago, and technology is advancing a hell of a lot faster now... I'm excited.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@cachinscythe rofl ur so worked up this is a forum buddy, dont like my opinions, call the waaambulance dont like wall of texts, whyd u read mine... for what i presume will be the second time now... no i havent made games, i have played alot of them thou, yes we all know ipods and xbox's dont grow on trees... genius for pointing that out... i dont know the logistics 100%...but i can sure as hell tell you that ever since gaming took off...ie. media corporations recognizing how much cash there is in silly lil games, its all been about the $, marketing gimmicks all over the place, developers are often overworked, eg. a glimpse into activision vs. west/zampella will confirm that... the publisher is the one who rakes in the cash, along with the console makers... u want proof, go find it yourself... knowledge has no perrogative seeking you out...

lordsounder
lordsounder

I think Wii is better for girls, women, and kids :) but I can play it with my girl so it can be nice...

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SauhlGood I take it you have spoken to enough developers to be able to confirm their true motivations, else you wouldn't come on here and claim to know how they functioned in the 16-bit days versus today, right? Or at least, you HAVE developed a game so you know how the finances worked and that it was totally feasible for a developer to focus entirely on the game and not worry about paying its employees, right? Okay sorry. That was probably a dick thing to say. However, I respectfully believe you aren't demonstrating an understanding of how markets work. But instead of doing what I usually do--which is post 15 comments explaining my position, thereby making myself look like a preacher and encouraging people to just ignore me ("I'm not reading that whole wall o' text!!)--I'm gonna try something different: tell me your evidence. If you're willing, I'll explain why I think you're getting a lot of this wrong, but I'll wait for a reply first. HAVE you developed a game? DO you have evidence?

tyco_ex
tyco_ex

Consoles are going to be solely gimick-driven and casual for the next generation. Both Sony and Microsoft are incredibly envious of how much money Nintendo has been raking in; and they are only going to be more so when they see how much money they make off of the Wii2 while they are still selling the 360 and the PS3. Real gamers that want something to salivate over are all going to switch to PC gaming, which in the end will hopefully mean that the PC platform can gain some popularity and we can get more PC games.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@endorbr yeah it would be a good idea, and not too far off base... since the console was a great alternative way to play games without having to have the know-how and $ to build a PC, by now everybody knows what a gaming console is, why not make it more modular and upgradeable/customizeable... i think its a great idea and would be received well, alot of people already personalize their consoles, why not go one step further... the games would be developed similarly to a pc's, with low/med/high settings... so it wouldnt be a sega tech-catchup game

endorbr
endorbr

I'd like to think that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft would finally realise that the way to get longevity out of their consoles and keep up with (and at the same time spur advancment in) technology would be to build their systems with the idea of eventual expansion in mind. Those of us with an older PS3 begin to feel the sting of a smaller hard drive and find ourselves staring at the newer (less attractive and functional) model on the shelf. Why not just make it so I can pop the cover and remove the smaller dated drive and replace with a larger new one? The same goes for processors and the like. PCs have always let you do this. Also, a push toward what the PC world now has for storing music, photos, and files in the form of a cloud for games and game data makes since. Why are we still purchasing disc based games when we could be downloading them from our living rooms? All of this seems to be where gaming as a whole is headed, just at its usual snails pace. Just please don't do what Sega used to do back in the day and come out with some new device about every 6 months that you "had" to buy to keep up with their games.

dbene
dbene

Nintendo should quit making consoles and make software for everyone else. They would be the biggest software giant out there. (Although this idea failed miserably for Sega).

a1450358509
a1450358509

The only reason I look forward to Wii 2 is because Im waiting for the first wii to come down in price enough that I can buy it for my little sister's birthday....

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

The console industry, it has slowed progress for the PC and arguably slowed gfx technology, ps3/xbox have been using the same gpu's for ages...not spurring innovation in the slightest, in fact prolonging stagnation, since the current consoles will last even longer, and its all in the name of profit, not gaming, not innovation. Back in the day(16bit) game developers made games for games sake, if it was profitable great, if not, they would try again, finances permitting, it was more of an art back then, as opposed to the billion dollar business it is now. Those old days were full new innovative games that progressed after their initial reception/inception. Contrast to today we have a corporate mentality that just changes the drapery and repackes essentially the same game with a new price.. innovation takes time and money$... slapping "black ops" on somthing doesnt, MW is such a poster child for whats wrong with the industry(despite its critical success) arguably the people that play it and luv it dont have a critical bone in their body... *played both part1+2. Or better yet the moral ambiguity we call DLC's, i have nothing against DLC's that dont screw the consumer, the release date DLC thou, im sry who gets to decide in the game studio where game content ends and DLC begins... why isnt the time spent on improving the original game, or better yet the unlockable DLC's. the content is already on the disc and game, but we'l get you to fork over 15$ to unlock it.

Ceadre
Ceadre

I'm kinda just tired of the one step process. I mean look how far graphics have come on just a single generation of systems. Remember when the 360 was first release? Remember how smooth and untextured the graphics were? They weren't a huge amount better than previous consoles conjured up (I mean, DOOM 3 had better graphics than most of the games when the 7th gen was released). Now Crysis 2 is out, and it looks like EVERYTHING could jump out at you. Sure, they're gonna hit their limit on graphics eventually, but rather than just making already released systems better (Nintendo's done this for years with their hand-helds), they just keep releasing something intirely different and new, and let's face it, with people having less and less money to spend on hobbies, releasing a brand new top-of-the-line console is not the way to go. I remember when the Nintendo 64 was popular. Graphics started getting too advanced for what little onboard memory the system had. Nintendo's solution: make an "Expansion Pack". Something so simple made newer games more readily available without having to buy or even develop a new console. Why can't they just do what Nintendo did so long ago? Sure, these days, it would probably come with a $150+ price tag, but the bottom line is it would be better than mass-producing a $500 system that most people can't afford.

grosgrostas
grosgrostas

Boring article....are you even a gamer ?

jemoedr
jemoedr

I think this comes way to early. I'm sure developpers can take much more out of our consoles. Guess i'll wait a year or two after the release before i buy my next ps. I also hope that for a change the next consoles won't be so rediculously expensive.

shabulia
shabulia

The analogies and colloquialisms used in this article are boring, distracing, unfunny, and irritating. What a piece of crap opinion piece. There is nothing clever about it. I kept thinking, "get to the freaking point," the whole time I was reading it.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Unless my ps4 can jump up and dance and pretty much play video games itself and let me watch I seriously don't see a reason to buy a new console... I think I find myself probably buying the ngp and just sitting back and watching how the console community changes in the next ten years to come because so far this generation of gaming has not been about the games but more about what type of ways the big 3 can turn a profit and I hate it...