GC '07 Q&A: Dyack on why 'there can only be one'

Silicon Knights president thinks there will be no winner in the current console war, and eventually one platform will rule them all.

LEIPZIG, Germany--Denis Dyack believes that "commodification" will inevitably happen to video game hardware, as it has happened to every electronic item throughout history. By commodification, the Silicon Knights founder and president means that hardware brands will disappear from the industry. Eventually, he thinks there will be a standardised machine, with different manufacturers making their own models, much like DVD players, TVs, or cameras.

"All technology, under any circumstance, becomes commodified," he told Games Convention Developers Conference attendees at his keynote. "This occurs whether the industry itself wants it to or not."

Dyack said that even though there are three systems on the market, it's technically a monopoly. "In today's monopolistic market, the system works really well when one console dominates," he said. "But at the moment, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii all have market share. Now we have three, and it becomes increasingly difficult to become successful. There's no clear market leader right now. No one can win the hardware wars."

The veteran went on to handicap the contestants in the three-way struggle. "Nintendo has come out of the gate much faster than everyone anticipated, but how about longevity? The 360 is doing well in America, but not so well in Japan," he summarized. "The PS3 is off to a really slow start but they have a really good brand name... So the truth is, no one knows."

Having three different systems on the market is a nightmare for developers, says Dyack. Game designers have to pick a console and hope it will be the winner, and porting a game onto different systems leads to watered-down versions. He said, "Trying to make a game on all three systems is very challenging and I don't know many, if any, people that are doing that right now."

Dyack also thinks that the advantages of ditching the current system will yield a myriad of advantages for the consumer. He said, "We're going to see better games and they're going to be cheaper."

He also added that he, for one, would welcome the end of the "religious wars" between fans of particular systems. "I'll be glad to see the end of these kinds of religious wars because people are trying to justify the money they spent on their console," he concluded.

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383 comments
Ted_Zanarukando
Ted_Zanarukando

With the universal platform, thus only one game platform, there would be better games. Having games exclusively on one platform after another is a nightmare for game companies. The reason for the universal platform will be greater because of rising development costs. With the universal platform, there will be no more hardware wars. There would be no more negative comparison with the platforms. There would be no more having to switch from one platform to another to advance through the continuity of a game series.

Alcotamaysees
Alcotamaysees

It's best for the industry and the consumer to have one console and many software companies. I think that costs for hardware companies are getting so high, that you'll probably see what dyack is hypothesizing sometime in the future.

pgharavi
pgharavi

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

nate1222
nate1222

I've been typing away on this for a few days now. Dyack has a damn good point! Competition between GAMES drives advancements-NOT SYSTEMS. Imagine if Magnovox, Panasonic, Hitatchi, RCA could all manufacture a standardized hardware. Some companies may support high-def (for games that support the feature), some may sell their hardware cheaper, but they all play the same format. Controllers and memory cards for it are available now; the generic USB controllers and USB flash drives at your local department store. Give the system 4 to 6 USB inputs and DVD playback capability. PS2/XBox/GC graphics work well with the mass market (look at the success of the Wii and PS2). Give it an ethernet input. Look at nVidia: they don't make their graphics cards; they license the tech out to other companies like BFG and PNY. If, say, Nintendo licensed its tech out to other companies and took a small cut from hardware and software sales they could make a ton. At the same time, they could keep costs down because the manufacturing would be in the hands of companies who could do it very cheap. These companies (your RCAs, Panasonics, etc...) already have the resources to mass produce devices dirt cheap. THE ONLY ONES THAT WOULD HATE IT ARE FAN BOYS, BECAUSE THEY'VE DUMPED SO MUCH CASH INTO PROPIETARY HARDWARE!!!!

jlaseter
jlaseter

No. No. No. This'll never happen. The second another Sega develops its Dreamcast as the only next-gen system, someone is going to release a PS2. Games have changed tons over the past 25 years. We don't live in an age of universally remarkable games; we live in the age of specialized, marketed games. Everyone knows Mario, but what percent of people will remember BioShock or Assassin's Creed? Fewer than those that remember Nintendo's and Sega's glory days of cutthroat competition. In the Atari days, several systems were out which would play the same games. The ColecoVision and Coleco Gemini could play games for the 2600, and the Sears Video Arcade was another clone. On the other hand, retailer-clones of the Intellivision were available as well: the Super Video Arcade and the Tandyvision. To borrow Dyack's word: this exemplifies "commodofication". And this, dear friends, is what led to the wrong kind of competition. The kind where companies, fearful that all hardware will be standardized and all their competitive edge gone, are desperate to churn out cheap, horrible games, as happened in the Video Game Crash of 83. These former consoles were so non-proprietary that developers had the convenience of designing games that only had to work on one set of hardware. So they're still aiming to do that today, which is understandable. Game exclusivity is what makes or breaks games, though; not simplification through market saturation. Sure it sucks to buy all the systems on the market. I'm not going to do it, and neither should you. If you have one console and buy its exclusives, you'll either be horribly disappointed (as with Lair) or you'll have good games (like Resistance) and gloat to those who chose the other system. If the games for one console suck, then maybe developers'll learn something from the experience: Either put your energies into making a good game (which will in turn sell that system), or churn out another cookie-cutter port or substandard kids-movie-based game. I have a bold suggestion: grow a pair, developers. Put your ideas out there no matter which side you must sell your soul to, because people want your games. Again (for emphasis), people want your games. The console war is like the Cold War. Nobody likes the hate, but it drives fierce competition which results in greater innovation. Instead of games having price competition, though, they should compete in quality. So I ask Denis Dyack, if there should be no "religious war", why are you taking a side? Why condemn competition, when that's exactly what will allow you to focus on making a good game rather than a port? If you're developing games which will work on the Sony "Gamestation" and the Philips "Gamestation" and the RCA "Gamestation", what platform-specific features will help your game stand out above all the others which are taking advantage of the exact same features? Fanboys, rise. Remember "Genesis does what Ninten'don't" and remember the arguments for "best" system, not the ones for "system with the most standardization."

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

Didn't Trip and 3DO try this already? The keyword being TRY. Same console,different manufacture.Although the 3DO still had competition from Sony,Sega and Nintendo,so I guess he's suggesting something else.

theRunninGamer
theRunninGamer

I've wanted just this system to come about for a long, long time, for all of the reasons people have given before me. The only downfall I see is a potential for lack of standardization of hardware. It's definitely possible that the software for the consoles will be unified in the next fifteen or so years, but it could take a while for the hardware differences to lose disparity. Consoles would essentially become "games PCs" where in order to stay up-to-date you'd have to upgrade components or the entire system every two years instead of every five. Not only would it complicate things for console gamers, but it would duplicate the PC developer's problems to console developers as well. There wouldn't be a "standard configuration" for a console like there is today (albeit there are many of them) thusly complicating the design and development processes. Cooperation isn't big with the Big Three console manufacturers, so I don't foresee standardization coming relatively soon. *Eventually* it will become increasingly cost-effective for the Big Three to use common hardware which will *eventually* lead to interoperable software standards. They're not going to make it easy for us and decide to all hold hands any time soon.

Dryker
Dryker

I would have to do some research to be sure, but what I think his most significant point is, is the possiblility of an outright console war "winner" to be achieving a monopoly in the market and would eventualy be deemed illegal. Imagine, if you will, Hollywood working under the same structure as video games. One company controling every single product in the industry, choosing what will and will not be released? I'm a proponent of the 360, but now that the PS3 has faultered so much, I"m hoping its sales pick-up and it becomes a stronger competitor. I have more to say, but am sick of typing...

pimperjones
pimperjones

If this does come true then who's to stop manufacturers in making consoles dedicated to playing pirated software? The only reason console software makes so much money now is because third party devs pay a royaltee to console manufactures and hence it's in the consoles manufacturer's best interest to keep creating ways to thwart software piracy via updates and online blocks, but if consoles became non royaltee based commodity it would no longer serve the manufacturers best interest to stop piracy in fact many Asian manfacturers would flood the market with piracy friendly systems just so they can gain bigger market share for their hardware and hence increase profit. You will end up with one console but it will become like the PC and software piracy will run rampant due to the lack of hardware blocks. Another thing that people forget is the amount of money a hardware manufacturer loses on each hardware launch. If a console became universal and IP became free to all manufacturers then no company would sell their hardware at a loss. Hence systems would cost 2-3 thousand dollars a piece. I just don't see this unified console plan ever working out to benefit either the consumer or the software makers, a unified console made by mulitple manufacturers will yield unp[recedented piracy and extremely high price tags.

termadoyle
termadoyle

He's got a point. but this whole "commodification" thing really scares me. it just sounds...wrong. and the "holy" wars of fanboys won't stop because they would still say that for example my Sony "Gamestation" looks/plays/works better than your Microsoft "Gamestation". I think it's the idiocy of stupid fanboys which has even made this fellow consider such happenings in the future. If people would just buy the systems they prefer and play them without flaming/bashing/trolling/insulting the users of other systems non of this would happen.

ChopstickBoogie
ChopstickBoogie

Firstly, will people stop mentioning the damn 3DO. Yes, it was a similar idea, but the company responsible was far from a major player in the games business. If the companies who really mattered tried the same thing, we would have seen different results (much more success IMO). Also, what's with all this 'competition enhances gaming' stuff. It's competition between GAMES that matters, not hardware. A single console format would not limit competition between games. It wouldn't even limit ideas (it could have different controller setups for example). jimmyjazz_518: "even if sony/ms/nintendo all produced the same hardware, what do you think the chances would be of them distributing competitors software?" This doesn't matter. Publishers distribute software. The fact that Sony/MS/Nintendo have game publishing divisions doesn't get in the way of any hardware manufacturing stuff. sigma8: "I realize the market fragmentation is a pain for developers, but developers don't determine this crap. Consumers do." Yes, consumers do have a big say in the direction of the games market. However, if the single console decision was purely the choice of the consumer, I can't see the outcome being anything other than "Yes please!". How many times have you owned only one console, only to find a game that you want is exclusive to another. In my case, plenty of times. The hardcore gamers who buy all consoles don't have to put up with this, but neither should the rest of us. If the single console dream does come true, IMO it will be the collective power of the third party publishers that will make it happen. It gets more and more expensive each generation to develop new games, and the fragmented nature of the current market means the publishers get a smaller cut of the monetary gains they could have with a single console. Imagine if the big publishers like EA, Konami, Capcom, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Activision, Namco Bandai, Sega, etc... got together, decided on a next gen format, then brought it to consumers and hardware manufacturers. Then things could happen. There would still be hardware competition. Like others have mentioned, the standard could be set for 5-6 years and all electronics manufacturers could make their own version (like DVD players). Also like the DVD player, continued improvements could be made (picture/sound quality, extra features, etc...), as well as the competition between manufacturers driving down hardware prices faster than it does now. The whole hardware loss leader part would be gone (Nintendo don't do it anyway), but the benefit would be cheaper games (no more license fees). Here's hoping the single console format comes soon.

umbra
umbra

the big issue I see is that prices for hardware are currently kept down by the manufacturers willing to take a loss in order to gain market share and make money off of license fees, and first party and exclusive titles, and to a lesser extent, brand recognition. Remove the unique brand/platform combination and the manufacturers have no incentive to keep their hardware prices down. We would then see consoles that cost as much as equivalently powerful hardware (based on the price of individual components). The 3DO took this approach. Panasonic's version came out costing $699, no one bought it, then they got killed when Sony released the first Playstation. Hardware competition never brought prices down to "consumer-level" on either the 3DO or CD-I. Competing consoles actually benefit the consumer in many ways.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

I kinda agree, they should bring together each company's strong point and make the ultimate console which wud have the power of the ps3, the genius of the wii and the community of xbox live (without the payment of course). its called the WiiStation X

megamega777
megamega777

when can all companies have a truce and make the look of the future in less than 4 years? I want to see the day when a PS Fanboy plays with a MS fanboy on one console. When that day comes, wake me up out of my hole.

andrewgreatoak
andrewgreatoak

Odd, while he believes that the industry will begin to merge in relation to the hardware side i see it totally differently, at least in the short term. Look at what we have now, two relatively expensive pieces of hardware catering for the hardcore. Then a more affordable and accessible piece of hardware for the casual market. This is the current revolution of the industry. While i do think that two consoles may not survive servicing the same purpose for the hardcore i do see the use of two distantly different pieces of hardware for the two markets.

virtualotaku
virtualotaku

"They already have that, it's called a PC" Yes, the PC COULD function as the omni-system, (and already does somewhat, with emulation and all.) if gaming on the PC was affordable. If someone merely wants a PC to type papers and do simple internet browsing stuff, you can easily find a set-up like that for around $200 or less. If they want to play games, then let's say they buy a Wii, another $250. $450 total. A PC that serves those same PC functions and games on a current gen level can easily come to $1000+. And that's outside of the occasional upgrade every 2 years or so.

Sam_Lowery
Sam_Lowery

"Eventually, he thinks there will be a standardised machine, with different manufacturers making their own models" . They already have that, it's called a PC.

KnightsofRound
KnightsofRound

The thing he said at the end makes me have so much respect for him. Fanboy wars are stupid as hell, no matter which way you put it. Fanboys make people not take the video game industry seriously.

echotron88
echotron88

The Console War is not a war at all. It's simply beautiful competition in the free market. If we had one producer of a console, then that producer would have less incentive to improve it's product if all the developers and consumers have no other options. This article sounds like a man complaining that developers have to make a decision with some risk involved. Well, tough. What's more likely to occur as a result of this "war" is not the extinction of all but one but that each competitor will find an area within the market to thrive and best serve the consumer. My point is that well blu-ray and HD-DVD may not forever co-exist, I find it far-fetched that Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will give up their rights to sole creative power over the next console just to standardize the market for developers who whine alot.

1PSman
1PSman

He also added that he, for one, would welcome the end of the "religious wars" between fans of particular systems. "I'll be glad to see the end of these kinds of religious wars because people are trying to justify the money they spent on their console," he concluded. I completly agree :)

PNOIDSCHIZ
PNOIDSCHIZ

after listening to that video, he made alot of sense. i've always thought that the industry will eventually end up as one. i have always said " i dont have a preference to one company eg.(microsoft,sony,etc)" any person that is a true video gamer is not bias(fanboy).there have been numerous titles over the years that have left an impact on me(metroid,leg. of zelda-nes/killer instinct-arcade,snes,resident evil-playstation1/ico-ps2/halo/knights of the republic1-xbox),and several other titles. anyway dont mean to keep on ranting,the point i am trying to make is whether it is 10 to 20 years from now gaming ,in my opinion will be unified into one.since the "console war "began there has been only been room for "3", in the 80's it was intellivision,colecovision. and atari. in the latter part of the decade into the 90's it was nintendo,sega and sony. there was'nt room for any 4th party.when sega introduced the dreamcast, it was a great console, but at that time microsoft was unveiling their system, and in my opinion i think that was one of the reasons they decide to discontinue the system , and just become a software only company(they were also in debt). but just to make my point there was only room for three. soon there will only be room for one.

Richard7666
Richard7666

I guess this is what happened to PC games in the late 80s. All these incompatible brands of PC merged into this thing called "IBM compatible" which in turn became Windows. Still many brands in the PC industry but they're all compatible now, the last holdout being the Mac which can now also run Windows. I can see it it happening with consoles if one company comes to dominate with an API that works with everyone's hardware I guess.

chutup
chutup

@playstation_wii: There is a difference between the iPod and, say, the Wii. MP3s are all one format, and the iPod is just a player for them. Just the same in the movie industry, DVDs are all the same but there are different brands of DVD player. Whereas in the game industry, each console has its own format that the other console cannot use.

Roman_Slayer
Roman_Slayer

You're wrong about the iPod, not the best weak battery life and Apple's gross overprotectiveness of software (definitily the most popular though, maybe it's 'cause most people are rather stupid)

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

I don't see it happening. Take the iPod. Sure there are a lot of other MP3 players, but the iPod is really the best. It's really the same situation here.

auysal
auysal

I don't think "commodification" makes sense. It is just wishful thinking because they do not want to develop games for different platforms apparently . It will not happen unless the development of computer technology reaches its stagnation point. I don't think it will happen anytime soon.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

I don't think what this guy proposes will ever happen. Video gaming is totally different than other technology. Game consoles are in a totally different league and someone will always come up with a differentiating feature that will not be available on a separate console. It's much different than TVs, DVD players, or cameras.

Sniper
Sniper

Since developers create their Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft games on the PC, I think we already have a universal game platform. Just package identical PC hardware in a proprietary Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft case, and be done with it. By the way, I doubt these corporations care that a single platform would benefit consumers.

upstartrex
upstartrex

Dyack's public words regurally come from frustrations over the work of developing. It's foolish to claim to know what will happen but commodIzation would be a worsening of gaming. Video games are the current apex of man's civilization: the manifestation of imaginary places we can participate in. Items become commodified (in Dyavck's sense) when improvements are not being made. If no one is making a better DVD player then the man who gives the cheapest does best. Such a state is as it should be in some fields such as baking where, though commodization's never complete, cookies are more similar in production. The realm of cookie-making is bordered by man's appetite; only so many tweaks can be made to improve a cookie. Because cookies are close to being as good as they can be their brands become stagnant and indistinct. Videogames are greatly contrasted because they simulate worlds. Modern games are very far from making a universe of equal quality to our own in a digital space. So there are many improvements for men to make to videogame-running hardware by which they can distinguish their hardware. If there are not distinct sets of hardware then unique improvements are not being made so some improvements are not being made so the hardware is worse. Of course I'm defining distinctness not by something arbitrary (like the color of a Wii) but by ability (360's middleware v. PS3's hardware). Rather than consider the relationship between distinct pieces of hardware and game progress on its' own Dyack has corrupted his thinking with the context of "it''s hard to develop for multiple platforms and choose some systems over others without knowing a winner so I'd prefer there was one". But if Dyack is wise, he'd realize his error if he got what he wanted. Imagine how the state of games would now be without the 360 or PS3. Silicon Knights would have to stay with Nintendo and develop for hardware not twice as potent as its' predecessor. There'd be no option of developing for the Wii's controllers, the 360's middleware, or the PS3's hardware. Developers can fail if they have one system to work with or many. Better to have one system and more to choose from. Man will not be able to create a Universe like that he lives in, becoming on par with God. Never will it be that videogame running hardware is uniform and such a state is undesirable when understood.

Anfinith
Anfinith

It's true what he said, unified the console is something that can happen in the future, becuase the feature that the consoles offer are very close to each other, in the end, your going to buy a console only for fanaticism. Acctualy and thanks to all the feature that the 360 and PS3 offer make some people think this kind of things(including myself of course)... look what they are, and how they work, some minor differences and the price is what told you who they are... Nintendo is the only one who choice a different path, but It's going to end in the same way... Think about it, now some game are going to be multiplatform, this becuase the expensive the game is... and obvious the platform... if you have all the console,which one are you going to choose? I think the cheaper, I don't know you... and if you want to play a game now you are limited for the console... I want to MGS 4, Perfect Dark Zero, Devil May Cry 4 for some example... but I can't, I wish I could buy all the system, but I can't... I going to buy the Wii, but It's going to take me sometime, but It were only one system It were something different, you only buy it, and you have to worried about for the games that's all... But is only a wish what I think...

grim22x7
grim22x7

I can not agree with him nor disagree with his ideas. On the one hand it would be great if I could have a X-wii-3 but on the other hand is that good for gaming? yes it makes everything the same but what the competition that enhances gaming. I think when he talks about co modification he's just talking about a PC because that's basically what the X-wii-3 would be you take the best parts you can afford from each system and pop them into a box. I think what we are more likely to see more media-centric PC/MAC gamining consoles in the living room complete with wireless controllers and the wii-motes. If anything as more of these peripherals move to PC the console era is likely to come to an end.

treznick
treznick

Uh-huh, and The Phantom will rise from the dead and rule all gaming consoles.

makemeweak
makemeweak

To Maxxorz: Commodification already happened with computers (that's where the term "IBM compatible" came from). Different manufacturers are basically making the same standardized product (a PC). The components are all similar and compatible.

maxxorz
maxxorz

but this has NOT happened with computers, every PC is different. every custom built PC, every HP, ever Dell, every VooDoo, every Compaq... consoles are more like PCs than anything else, and the likely hood of consoles becoming commodified would be very little, PCs would have to be commodified first. also, if consoles became commodified, there would be no need for PCs and Consoles and they would become one in the same.

sigma8
sigma8

I haven't scrolled all the way down, but I think i agree with most of the responses--that is to say: Dyack is on cryack (crack...with...a southern accent?) Plenty of reasons have been cited, distribution, the fact that it simply hasn't happened in 30 years.. Good reasons.. I think the big one will simply be that it's too hard of a field to dominate in. It's too aggressive. There is too high a demand for latest and greatest--very much unlike CD players and DVD players, where most people are perfectly happy with the output of a $30 - $40 player. The only way this would work, I think, is if someone formed a committee, and it released an upgraded "spec" every 4-5 years. But still, the mere idea that one or a couple companies would reap the lion's share of benefit from such a specification...would ensure that some well-funded, aggressive and capable companies would try to snag that pie away...so we'd be back to square one. I realize the market fragmentation is a pain for developers, but developers don't determine this crap. Consumers do.

raider_57
raider_57

This already happens in the PC industry. You have ATI(AMD) and NVidia producing components that do the same thing in maybe different ways, but at the end of the day, you throw HL2 into your DVD drive and away you go. This would be MARVELOUS if it happened in the console realm. Look, MS and Sony LOSE money on their consoles, wouldn't it be a dream to have a consortium like IEEE or someone come up with a Console Standard every 4-6 years? MS could still take the standard and turn it into what they want their consoles to be (A PC in your living room running their OS's), Sony could do their thing and make it a beautiful piece of hardware that looks like it should be in a museum of modern art, and Nintendo can do their thing and make it bare-bones and sell it to families on a budget. EVERYONE wins in this situation, I hope it happens in the next 2 or 3 major console generations.

jimmyjazz_518
jimmyjazz_518

word orion 124, and here's why... it's not a question of hardware, it's distribution. even if sony/ms/nintendo all produced the same hardware, what do you think the chances would be of them distributing competitors software? dyack says look at dvd players. i say look at the movie industry, they've been around MUCH longer than most companies have been producing dvd players (let alone vhs or even home film projectores)... the movie industry has it's own publishers and isn't looking to share distribution profits with any companies it doesn't have to. now look at digital music, the riaa is TERRIFIED of music pirating and all to happy for itunes and zune to step in and try to create a secure standard where hopefully more of their music is bought and less stolen. therefore the music industry doesn't mind sharing distribution profits if it means less piracy in their industry. so what does this mean to video game developers/publishers like dyack? it means they aren't ANYWHERE near as established as the movie industry, and if anything, there is a rampant fear of piracy like the music industry, and both these factors lead away from "commodification" of either hardware, or more importantly (imo), distribution. sorry dyack, yuh just ain't in the drivers seat

mooseman721
mooseman721

Didn't 3DO or someone try this years ago, make a machine and license other people to make the hardware. Even Nintendo let Panasonic make a system with Gamecube hardware inside. I might be wrong though...

orion124
orion124

Interesting analysis, however console "segregation" has existed since the first (nintendo, atari, etc.). So, going on nearly 30 years and gaming console "commodification" has not yet happend, I would say that IF this occurs it will be a long way off.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

What is it with presidents and CEOs of gaming companies acting like they know everything about video games?

fauljosh
fauljosh

The only way this would ever happen is if some other company came in. Let's say LG. They make a new system then license it out to Panasonic, Toshiba, Philips, and so on. They would also have to have MAJOR backing of third party software developers and they would have to sell the system AND games cheap. Basically what I'm saying is someone would have to just cut the big three out of the picture and almost create their own industry and just hope that consumers flock to it. But even then, what happens when it's time to upgrade hardware?

blackace
blackace

Didn't they try that with the 3DO system? There were 3 manufacturers making the 3DO and each was a different price. The system failed miserable after 1 yr. Trip Hawkins thought the same way (there should be only one system). Unforutnately, no one wanted to pay $700 for it. lol!! You noticed that Dyack didn't mention anything about the PC. It's not really part of the equation. There is always going to be multiple game consoles. It needs competition for the market to grow. If there was only Nintendo or Sony I don't think the gaming market would be anywhere close to being as big as it is right now. Yes, developers are making games for all 3 platforms. Dyack doesn't know what he's talking about. EA, Midway, Activision and even Ubisoft are making games for all 3 systems.

arinas1974
arinas1974

Imagine that the DVD players market worked in the same way the console market does. You would have three DVD players in the market, and there would be certain movies that you could watch in only one of the three players, and viceversa. Imagine that the Spiderman Trilogy were a Sony exclusive and The Lord of the Rings were a Samsung exclusive. You want to own and be able to watch all of those movies, so you buy a Sony DVD player, and a Samsung one. Wouldn't that feel like overkill? Wouldn't that even feel stupid? Now, imagine such situation, but backwards, in the game industry. Why not only do we accept it but actually encourage it many times? Imagine that you can buy from many brands of consoles that essentially do the same (as DVD players do), and since there are so many manufacturers, they get considerably cheaper than current consoles. Imagine that you can buy and play Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and any kind of game from any developer in that console, with basically the same quality, only with small differences like some of the consoles having an HDMI port, others don't, and things like that, but they all have the same power, they all can play all the games just as any DVD player can play any DVD in the market. Now, imagine that since there's so much competition from so many console manufacturers, the prices go down and they keep adding little features to the consoles. Imagine that since the only thing that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft (and Squaresoft, EA, Ubisoft, etc.) have to compete with is the quality and price of their games, they keep making them better and better and since they're not restricted to selling for one console, they can sell them cheaper. Fanboys could anyway keep flaming each other "Nintendo gamez suuck, Shadow of the Colossus 4 was so much better than Zelda 8", It doesn't look that bad to me. Personally, I'd love a console with the average power of the 360 and the PS3, that costed about 300 dollars (or maybe less) where I could play Zelda, Mario, Final Fantasy, God of War, Tekken, Halo, Gran turismo, Metal Gear, Project Gotham Racing and soooo many more. You get the picture.

pmCerberus
pmCerberus

This argument is an economic theorem that fails to look at the facts of the market. There have been competing console brands since the home video game market started. And every time one company comes close to dominating the market share, someone else comes along to knock them down a peg or two (as Sony did to Nintendo and Microsoft is now doing to Sony). Who knows what will happen in 20 years. But just because other technology has become standardized or "commodified" doesn't necessitate that it will happen to video games. Would it be better for games if Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft agreed on one platform format and then just focused on providing their own unique brand of services, network, and 1st-party games? Maybe, maybe not. Would it be better for the companies? Obviously they've gambled that its not.

kutty12000
kutty12000

I understand his feelings as a game-maker, but the problem it is not beneficial for us the end user in the long run. Yes we might get cheaper games, but once there's no competition, there's nothing from stopping the company that is monopolizing the market from getting greedy. Just imagine if the only console on the market was the price of a PS 3. But with nothing cheaper, the company would see no need to drop the price, like the PS 3 was. Competition is good. I feel Dyack is being a bit too idealistic. Nevertheless the term "religious wars" is amusing.

ynfive
ynfive

Hmmm... I do agree with this guy, and appreciate the idealism. Still between the big 3 console makers of today, each of them have their own methods, buisness structures, and their own global dominant regions that can appeal to three separate groups of consumers. To see these current big 3 ever disseminate and "commodify" would require a drastic revolutionary change. Not too different, especially with considering "religious" fanaticism, than trying to change the bipartisanship of american government.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

Hmm... given that it's the software that the end-user (us) is interested in and that the majority of the players in the gaming industry (the game makers) are focused on, this idea Dyack has doesn't sound so crazy to me. Personally, if enough software developers got together and decided on a universal standard for the next "next-gen" I could actually see a universal gaming console standard being made that all the third-party developers would all agree to develop for. After all, the gaming industry's grown so much that first party titles don't decide how well consoles do as much as they used to in the past. Especially because system specs and capabilities are getting so close to each other, as Dyack said.

Comingcurse
Comingcurse

The 3DO already tried "commodification". It failed. Miserably. Like it or not, competition is good. Fanboyism, on the other hand is disgraceful.

Wayward_Son_88
Wayward_Son_88

I don't see that happening, I can see the argument that consoles will lose to P.C.s, although I'll never be able to afford replacing a P.C. every 3 or 4 years, so I hope that doesn't happen. But I just can't see Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo getting together to make games for one console.