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Is Console Gaming Dying?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the who-needs-consoles-when-you-can-play-on-your-phone-right dept.

PlayStation (Games) 496

mr_sifter writes "PC gamers love to obsess over whether PC gaming is dying, but bit-tech thinks it's time to look at the other side and examine if console gaming is really as secure as publishers would have us believe. All three console manufacturers suffered from the recession — this year, Sony announced its first net loss in 14 years; a stunning ¥989.9bn, which includes record losses of ¥58.5bn in its gaming sector. Microsoft also announced its first loss since it went public in 1986 in the second quarter of this financial year, with a $31 million US loss coming straight from the Entertainment and Devices division, which is responsible for the Xbox 360. Not even Nintendo has escaped the financial plague either, with sales of the Wii dropping by 67 percent in the US, 60 percent in Japan and 47 percent in the rest of the world. In addition to reduced profitability, casual games and the rise of the iPhone further suggest the current model is not invulnerable."

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No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435706)

Next question.

Re:No (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435972)

He's right. Console games are still great for the kids who don't know where the real gaming is. Seriously, though - console gaming is the ONLY place for most of the good sports titles. Even the PC version of NBA 2k10 is an afterthought compared to the console versions. EA doesn't even make NBA LIVE for the PC anymore (though some might consider that a blessing).

it's not dying (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435712)

<non smart ass answer>The console industry is hardly the only one that lost money this year. Hello, recession?</non smart ass answer>

<smart ass answer>Netcraft hasn't confirmed it yet, so it can't be dying.</smart ass answer>

Re:it's not dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435774)

I wish I had just posted my first loss in 14 years this year.

Re:it's not dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435802)

<non smart ass answer>The console industry is hardly the only one that lost money this year. Hello, recession?</non smart ass answer>

Maybe they need a bailout?

Re:it's not dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436232)

Evil Global Organization rules forbid it. Not allowed in the same year as a "waaaa we need tighter laws" cry.

Re:it's not dying (4, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436142)

non smart ass answer = Steam. Whenever they have a sale, I buy games. Lots of games. I'm not going to pay $60 for a game, but $20-$30 = impulse buy. And you don't even have to leave your house to get the games. You don't have to juggle discs. Just click and play. Since everybody has a computer anyway, a $100 graphics card will get you better graphics than a console at a lower price than a console. Gaming with Steam is just a better experience at a better price.

smart ass answer = Unless you're playing a 2D scroller, joysticks are for losers.

Larger problem (1, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436328)

Look at the parallels to 1983.

Too many consoles? Check. We have the Wii, Xbox360, PS2, and PS3 all jockeying. Back in 1984 it was Coleco, Vectrex, Atari and Mattel (plus a bunch of people making Atari/Mattel clones) battling it out.

Loss of control of licensing? Well, sort of. It's not that there are nonlicensed titles, but the licensing is so wide open that the shovelware problem is just as bad. There are maybe (if you're optimistic) 20 good titles for the Wii, out of a selection of well over 300. Similar ratios exist for the other consoles (hell, there are maybe 5 good games for the PS3 at best).

Overhyping and epidemic of crappy movie/TV license titles? Oh, you'd better fucking believe it. Activision are at the forefront of "crappy movie games", but there are plenty from other sources. Between those and overhyped "blockbuster" titles that can only get a high reviewer score if it's bought and paid for (one of the reasons Gamerankings now only aggregates from the few big Gamespot/IGN-level sites, rather than including honest sites that actually played the real game instead of partial publisher-provided demos with a promise of "everything you don't like will be fixed so review as if it was"), what do you expect?

We had a minicrash a while back when Sega almost folded and turned themselves into a "software developer"; it's quite ironic that they're now primarily publishing on their former biggest rival's (Nintendo) console. Then again, no Sega game has been worthwhile in years; they even managed to crap up a few good Nintendo franchises (see F-Zero GX, a pale imitation of its predecessor).

The only reason that yet another console manufacturer hasn't fallen out has been that they're all bankrolled. Nintendo is the "too big to fail" of Japan and are very canny about making sure none of their manufacturing is at a loss, even though their hardware is far inferior (gimmicky controller that rarely sees its features truly used notwithstanding) to the other two. Microsoft and Sony have deep, deep pockets. Sony isn't about to let the PS3 go when they're counting on it to push Blu-Ray (their proprietary format), just like they counted on the handheld camera market (Betacam) to push Beta and the PS2 to push DVD back when Sony was one of the 6 companies that held licensing interest in the DVD format.

Outside answer? Yeah, we're looking at a crash. It may not be as total as the 1983 crash, but the market can't exist at the level of shovelware being pushed. Something has to give, a number of developers need to die, and certain overly abused lines need to get radically scaled back (Activision's yearly Tony Hawk crappings, for instance: after seeing Tony Hawk: Ride we might as well rename the series Tony Hawk: Bird Poo and get it over with).

No (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435720)

But BSD is.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435854)

Come again, Mr. Troll OffTopic?

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435974)

It's onTopic because of the +5 Funny

Something wrong with the sales model? (5, Insightful)

Bartles (1198017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435724)

Perhaps if they charged less than $60 for a tier one new release, sales would go up.

Re:Something wrong with the sales model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435866)

I thought the reason why the Xbox 360 wasn't profitable right now was because of the warranty repairs/replacements for the early red-ring models?

I own one. I'm not a trolling fanboy. But isn't that a big chunk of the loss?

Re:Something wrong with the sales model? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436086)

Sure, but would the increase in sales make up for the reduced margins?

FWIW, price doesn't make a difference to me. I don't own a current-gen console, and I don't plan on buying another console, ever. Why?

For exactly the reasons outlined in TFA. Casual games are good enough for me. I work, I have a family, I have other hobbies. A quick 30-minute session of Nethack or Elona Shooter[1] or Gemcraft or a thousand other casual games is good enough for me. And in the long run, I expect good gaming experiences on mobile computers. So why would I buy a console, that can only be played in my home, costs hundreds of dollars, when I have a game platform (PC or mobile phone) already?

[1] Elona Shooter is crack. Seriously. Props to Noa for his first flash game. Though Elona is a fun somewhat-roguelike. Don't play at bedtime or 30 minutes turns into three hours. It's just as bad as Civilization for "just one more turn" syndrome.

And one more thing in my rambling... all the games that I might want to play are based on multiplayer, with some kind of chat. I hate people-in-general, so that's right out for me.

Re:Something wrong with the sales model? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436346)

Sure, but would the increase in sales make up for the reduced margins?

Big thing lately is downloading your content. Steam, Xbox Live, PS3 Second Life - it all offers content straight from the developers or your console maker.

Gamestop & EB Games & Toys R Us put the prices up about $15-20 more So that they can turn a profit off of games. You cut them out, either the prices go down, or the profits go up.

Steam has shown this - Everything I have looked at for games are at least $10 less than in store boxed goods, and often they have deals, 50% off, 75% off, bundled packages, and all that good stuff. Why, I got myself the entire Civilization 4 series (expansions included) for about $15 dollars + tax. No shipping, No markup, just straight up. They made the same profit they would have made had it been manufactured and shipped to a store, only now the consumer is HAPPY to buy their product. And will do so again.

Re:Something wrong with the sales model? (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436096)

For major releases, I think the market has actually adapted quite well. Consumers are given a pretty good tradeoff spectrum to decide how much a game is worth to them:

If a game looks to you like a good enough value proposition that you're willing to buy it at launch, you pay $60.

If a game looks worthwhile but you don't need it at launch, you can hold off for a few months and someone will have it for $40 (eventually MSRP reflects this).

If a game looks fun but you wouldn't pay more than a budget title for it (and it isn't a consistent bestseller), play other games for a few more months and you'll see it for $20.

The last game I paid $60 for was LittleBigPlanet, just over a year ago. I've played some other great games this year that I'd been looking forward to, but I haven't paid over $40 for a single one.

Now, download-based games are another story. Steam is getting it right on the PC with the frequent sale promotions and bundles, but Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo barely ever do it. They'll figure it out in time.

Re:Something wrong with the sales model? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436174)

If a game looks fun but you wouldn't pay more than a budget title for it (and it isn't a consistent bestseller), play other games for a few more months and you'll see it for $20.

I've tried this several times: wait for a PS2 game to hit the bargain aisle, buy it, unwrap it, put it in my PS2, and try to play online only to find that Sony has shut off the matchmaking server with DNAS Error -103.

Not for me (1)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435728)

After playing video games on my grandson's XBox 360 over Thanksgiving, I signed up with GameFly so I can try a lot of Wii games at home. It is so much better playing video games standing up :-)

Re:Not for me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435828)

If you want some activity, what about fucking your wife? Have you tried that?

Or going outside and walking around? Maybe playing some real soccer, or if your knees are bad, maybe some golf?

I find it hilarious that people spend hundreds of dollars on a Wii and then even more money on games and controllers and other shit, only to do stuff they could, you know, do in real life.

It's one thing when you're playing a violent FPS, because you know, you probably don't want to get shot up in real life. But soccer or golf? Soccer balls can be bought for a few dollars at Wal-Mart. Since everybody is inside playing soccer on their Wii, real soccer fields are empty. And you can buy a set of used golf clubs for dirt cheap, and go to a driving range and hit several hundred golf balls for a few dollars. Plus you'd get some real exercise, not just waving your fucking hand around.

I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435918)

I'd mod you up, but it's hilarious that you talk about something "waving ... fucking hand around" on their Wii.

Re:Not for me (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435930)

I find it hilarious that people spend hundreds of dollars on a Wii and then even more money on games and controllers and other shit, only to do stuff they could, you know, do in real life.

What, like gripe in a real-live conversation instead of posting some stupid shit on slashdot?

Pot meet kettle...

Re:Not for me (3, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435966)

I don't own a Wii, but I'm pretty sure there are several games available for it other than the "Wii Sports" to which you allude.

Re:Not for me (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436120)

Indeed. My brother has a Wii. His favorite game on it was Resident Evil 4. I actually borrowed his system for a bit (we traded and he took my 360 for a while) and bought Twilight Princess and Metroid Prime 3 for the system and enjoyed those far more than the Wii Sports or Wii Fit games which he had.

Overall IMHO the whole Wii Sports "flail the controller around" thing was a fad. Literally every person I know that bought a Wii has either sold it or has it collecting dust somewhere. The general consensus (to which having played one I'd agree) is that it's fun for the first month or so, and after that it's just repetitive and boring. My brother got tired of seeing "all the cool games" coming out for PS3 and 360 and was going to buy a 360 but found out that his wife has him a PS3 for Christmas this year so he's holding off for that.

Re:Not for me (3, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436060)

Instead of writing that presumptuous post chastising some random guy you don't even know, you could've gone outside and we wouldn't have had to read your condescending bullshit.

Re:Not for me (3, Insightful)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436108)

  • Some games can be used at training simulators, instead of forcing you to lose golf balls or forcing other people to go after miss-thrown frisbees.
  • Not everyday is a sunny warm day. It could be raining, winter, etc.
  • Some people don't have the health to.
  • Some people like the tactile feel and required body dexterity compared to thumb games.
  • There are other types of games.
  • These is such a thing as matter of preference.

In other words, under any of this situations you would come off as a jack-ass if you said just what you wrote. There is no holy grail way to play games.

Re:Not for me (2, Insightful)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436158)

A video game isn't (normally) a replication of a real activity -- it's an activity in and of itself. Just because it is based on a sport doesn't mean it's a simulation intended to replace said sport. Using your logic, people who play ping pong ought to go play tennis since ping pong was inspired by tennis (IIRC).

I don't really like bowling, but I like Wii Bowling. It's more convenient, cheaper, and much faster. Not to mention that I suck at bowling, and would have to invest a significant chunk of time and money to become proficient enough to actually enjoy it.

I find it hilarious that people spend their valuable time on Slashdot arguing that others aren't wasting their time the correct way.

It's called a recession? (1)

yayotters (833158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435754)

During a recession, some people make cutbacks on non-essential needs [Game consoles for example], so why is this at all surprising?
When thousands of people lose their jobs, are they going to continue to spend money on expensive purchases like game consoles and the accessories and games that go with them?
Of course not.

No... DUH! (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435960)

When thousands of people lose their jobs, are they going to continue to spend money on expensive purchases like game consoles and the accessories and games that go with them?

Of course not.
It is the government that provides the entertainment for the masses in such a case.
Worked for the Roman Empire... No, wait...

No (4, Informative)

kryptKnight (698857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435764)

The video game industry isn't the only one posting losses recently, so this doesn't seem like a big deal at all. That and these consoles are four years old, it's not surprising to see sales dip.

Re:No (2, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435868)

Yeah. Global economic meltdown + console sales expected to slow down as the generation goes on explains it.

A 60% drop in sales for the Wii isn't exactly saying much considering the insane and unexpected "we can't keep up with demand" aka "license to print money" sales pace for the first year or two of the console's existence.

Yeah, so it's not a license to print money any more - I'm sure Nintendo is still doing just fine.

Re:No (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436198)

Over 1 million consoles sold last week, according to vgchartz. They're doing just fine. Hell, the DS had a million sales in NA 2 weeks ago. Nintendo still prints money.

Re:No (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435940)

Microsoft also announced its first loss since it went public in 1986 in the second quarter of this financial year, with a $31 million US loss coming straight from the Entertainment and Devices division,

This statement seems to imply that the console losses from the Entertainment Division somehow led to the sudden loss as a company for MS. Except for a few quarters, the division has historically been a money loser for MS. MS has had cumulative losses of $8 billion from the division since the Xbox was started.

Re:No (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436326)

The video game industry isn't the only one posting losses recently, so this doesn't seem like a big deal at all. That and these consoles are four years old, it's not surprising to see sales dip.

Agreed. In particular, when the summary gets to the sales drop of the Wii, I have a hard time feeling sorry for Nintendo. For one thing, if you're talking about sales of the actual Wii console, well for something like a year and a half after launch it was still hard to buy a Wii because they kept selling out. If sales have dropped, it's probably because the Wii has only now hit its saturation point and everyone who wants a Wii has already bought one.

But also, it's important to note that Nintendo was making a profit on Wii sales from day one. Both Sony and Microsoft started off by selling their consoles at a loss in order to make up the loss in game licensing. This loss was compounded for Microsoft by all the defective units. But the Wii? It started out being sold at a profit. The original $250 price was more than the cost to Nintendo, and with the current price at $200, the profit margin has probably increased. That doesn't include all the sales of additional controllers and games. They had to have made money from their Zelda, Super Mario, and Metroid properties.

If you wanted to convince me that Microsoft had lost money, I might be able to convince me. They rushed a defective product to market, sold it at a loss, and they're still paying to replace defective units. Some estimates have the 5 year 360 failure rate as being higher than 15% per year, and higher than 60% since launch. Ouch! But Nintendo? They've been raking it in.

And if the console market did die, what would replace it?

Smaller developes (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435772)

From the article:

Virtual marketplaces such as WiiWare and Xbox Arcade enable smaller developers to get a foot in the door

Smaller, yes, but not smallest. It appears that a small business still needs to do a first title on either the PC or the iPod Touch, and some genres aren't suited to those platforms.

Re:Smaller developes (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436276)

Define Smallest?

I alone could submit a game to the Xbox Live Arcade - for a small investment. Whether it makes it up there or not depends on how good it is - but the fact remains a single person can make a game for the 360.

Ridiculous analysis (5, Insightful)

gzsfrk (519324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435776)

What an ignorant story. We're in the middle of the worst recession/near depression that has ever occurred since videogames came to be, and it's somehow an ominous sign that the companies behind videogames experienced losses either during the whole year (Sony), a single quarter (MS), or simply had lower sales than the previous year PRIOR to the recession? How about looking at it from the perspective that it's amazing that the videogames sector has done as well as it has over the course of the past year, despite a tremendously inhospitable economic climate?

Yes, console gaming is dying. That must be it. (3, Insightful)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435784)

Or it could be that we're in a global recession, it's been a rather lackluster year for gaming in general, and all of the consoles have reached the maturity/decline slope in their product life-cycle.

Re:Yes, console gaming is dying. That must be it. (1)

CortoMaltese (828267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436274)

all of the consoles have reached the maturity/decline slope in their product life-cycle.

Really? "For years, Sony has argued that its video game consoles have 10-year lifecycles" says this interesting article [zdnetasia.com], which mainly focuses on PS2's 9th birthday. Also, I don't see a big decline in sales in this console hardware sales chart [pcvsconsole.com] (which, admittedly, might not be too accurate, but gives you a rough idea).

Frankly, I don't think we're nowhere near seeing what can be eventually squeezed out of PS3 or 360 or Wii. Remember the difference between early vs. later PS2 games?

And I don't realistically see what major upgrades in the main units would be beneficial for either the manufacturers or gamers in the near future, apart from cutting manufacturing costs and providing new kinds of controllers and accessories and online gaming modes. The current consoles will be with us for a long time, and they will sell huge numbers for years.

I doubt it (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435790)

I doubt it. My 75-year old step mother recently bought a wii so she could play bowling. It seems she was quite active in a local bowling league till her health started to go.

Re:I doubt it (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435996)

I think you hit it on the head. Hard core gaming is dying not console gaming.
I have been playing video games since I got a new 2600 way back when. Just like war games and flight sims you have reached the level of just to hard to be fun. When I pick up a game for the XBox I can not just start to play it and be any good at all.
There will always be hardcore users that want hard core games. But the number of casual users will always be many times greater.

Re:I doubt it (3, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436244)

I think you hit it on the head. Hard core gaming is dying not console gaming.

I don't think that's true at all. "Hardcore" gaming (I hate that term) isn't declining, it's just being OVERSHADOWED by the massive growth in the entire gaming market. It's a smaller piece of a vastly larger pie. That may bother some egos, but isn't really a bad thing. Probably good for the industry.

Re:I doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436162)

Wait, you doubt it because you know one person who bought a wii? That an very small sample population. Do you also believe in anecdotal evidence?

MSFT didn't post a loss. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435798)

This article is inaccurate. Microsoft didn't post a loss, it posted its first REVENUE DROP since it became public in 1986. They still made a pretty good profit in that quarter.

Re:MSFT didn't post a loss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436126)

Nobody mentions the Entertainment and Device segment also covers the Zune and Microsoft Mobile Phones which aren't facing ANY competion right now from Android or iPhone.

No, you dumbass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435806)

It's not dying.

Another drawback of OnLive: ping time. (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435834)

From the article:

Instead, with fattening broadband connections, mainstream gaming is probably going to go towards the way of OnLive, where one big bank of hardware can churn out the power needed for broadband-connected gaming machines, without needing to fill a loss-making box with proprietary hardware. In fact, limited bandwidth is the only obstacle to this technology taking off worldwide.

Bandwidth isn't the only problem; latency is another biggie. Players are used to being able to press a button and see something happen within 30 milliseconds. The latency for sending your keypresses to the game server, rendering and compressing a frame, and sending it back is likely to be much larger than that, even if only for speed-of-light reasons.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435846)

People have stopped enjoying video games, and they will never enjoy video games ever again unless they dumbass iPhone timewasters.

Great article! Really got your finger on the pulse of the worlds gamers, there.

Never Liked Consoles (1, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435872)

I never got used to the stupid little joysticks and the A button, B button with no obvious functions. And back when i was trying them, there never seemed to be any rhyme or reason for which button did what.

Add to that the fact that I can play a perfectly good game on my PC using superior controls (F-16 Fighterstick, etc.) and the rich keyboard environment for additional settings, consoles just never seemed to be good gaming option in the first place.

I guess the only good reason for a console is that you can hook it up to a big screen TV and standing there, waving your arms around like a lunatic.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436012)

As good as a mouse and keyboard are for first person shooters, they are less than useless for third-person over the shoulder games like Mass Effect and Gears of War.

What's that you say? Hook up a gamepad? Well how is that any different than a console?

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore gaming on the PC...hell, I started gaming on a Commodore 64. Consoles definitely have their place, however...and writing them off the way some fanboys write off a Playstation or an Xbox because of the brand name is a really bad idea as a gamer. You are locking yourself out of a lot of great experiences by doing that, and for what? Pride? Being "right"?

Re:Never Liked Consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436206)

Why? What is it about over the shoulder that makes mouse and keyboard not work? I've played MMORPGs in over-the shoulder mode and mouse-and keyboard control works fine for adjusting the cameras there. And camera control seems to be the only possible difference between first person and third person in control-scheme needs.

PC + gamepad != console, more like > console (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436314)

What's that you say? Hook up a gamepad? Well how is that any different than a console?

For one thing, once you've plugged a gamepad into the PC, you can use it for minor mods, total conversions, and even original games by microstudios. Those tend to be underrepresented on consoles, apart from 1. token efforts like basic level editors and a few editor-oriented games like RPG Maker and LittleBigPlanet, and 2. cracks.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (4, Interesting)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436064)

I like consoles because I know that even in 5 years, if a game is released for my xbox 360 (or wii, or whatever), then it'll work on that console. I can build a PC this year and I've still got to check every game to be sure it'll work. For the next 1-2 years, it'll probably work, after that, all bets are off. Maybe it'll work as long as I turn down some of the graphical options or maybe it'll be completely unplayable. This is especially true if I'm building a PC that has a cost in the same range as a game console.

Then you've got various hardware and software compatibility issues to worry about. I have to assume that stuff isn't as big of a deal as back when I did play a lot of PC games in the DOS/Win 3.2/early win95 days, but judging by posts on forums the problem still exists.

Some people are ok with that to have the "better" (which is really opinion anyway and varies between games) controls, the usually better graphics on the PC version of a game if a console is more than a year or so old, the mods from the game community, etc. I can certainly understand that and there are times where I think about getting back into PC gaming because of those reasons, particularly the community mods. In the end, though, for me and for most console gamers I personally know, the known ability to just buy the game, stick it in the console, and get playing wins out.

It also seems like there are more games released for console that do not make it to PC than the other way around. I may be wrong on that due to not following PC only games, though.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436216)

You've had a console last more than 2 years? wow, you mustn't use it, or the most reliable one ever!

I find that any console lasts around 2 years -- then requires repair/replacement. As far as it continuing to work... perhaps. Not so much through new versions of consoles but certainly with replacement ones.

What I find is that I have a PC all the time, not so much with the consoles. I don't have one that works, except for a snes, but I don't use that any more.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436104)

Left Joystick Movment
Right Joystick aiming/Camera Movement

A is to select a menu item
B is to cancel out of a menu item

These are all pretty standard across all the consoles (Well PS3 uses shapes but if you use their relative positions its the same).

The thing that scares most people away from consoles is that they have too many buttons. 2 Joysticks, 2 bumpers 2 triggers, a D-pad, start, select, and 4 other buttons? It overwhelms most casual gamers. A keyboard full of controls gets even worse.

The arguement has and always will remain the same: Computers have more flexibility but also more issues tied with it. The money you save in online playing fees are spent in computer upgrades. Console games are guaranteed to work on your brick whereas your PC game might not support your video card.

We can circle around all day - neither is any "Better" for gaming, its all dependant on your needs. Some people would much rather sit down, use two thumbs to make masterchief Shoot, putting little to no thought into cursing at 10 year olds on Xbox Live. Other people want to be able to micro manage and feel their adrenaline pump as they perfectly maneuver their forces into the enemy base.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (1)

osopolar (826106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436114)

I never liked purchasing a video card every 12 months. After my third 200 dollar video card I realized that a gaming console costs relatively the same as a video card and the game lifecycle is much longer. One gaming console every 4-7 years beats one video card per year, not to mention processor/memory/mobo/powersupply/hd upgrades. My TCG is much lower - especially when I only buy a game every 3-4 months.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436124)

I never got used to the stupid little joysticks and the A button, B button with no obvious functions.

Yes, a complete nightmare compared to the clear meaning of keys such as F7.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (1)

allknowingfrog (1661721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436178)

I think there's something to be said for a tool that's designed for the job though. What I like about the Wii, for example, is the ability to play games with three of my friends and feel like I'm playing with real people. Fraging a guy who's half-way around the world just isn't the same.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436250)

I never got used to the stupid little joysticks and the A button, B button with no obvious functions.

Compared to the W, S, A, and D buttons with no obvious functions other than entering text? A keyboard is the ideal controller for a text adventure, but that genre is dead commercially.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436272)

That's not a joystick. That a game pad. Hell, even devices markets as jokesticks aren't really jokesticks. A true joystick is an analog device, no a big stick that pushes (hidden) buttons.

Re:Never Liked Consoles (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436334)

The Fighter Stick is a joystick. Uses analog "pots".

Even the $20 Siatek is analog.

[fill in] dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435874)

I'll consider this as seriously as when slashdot predicted that microsoft was dying, as well as the ipod and amazon.

The big lack of user maps and mods does not help a (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435890)

The big lack of user maps and mods does not help also.

Xbox pay to pay on line is a joke when you look at that next to free pc and ps3 on line play.

Re:The big lack of user maps and mods does not hel (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435968)

For sure, I couldn't imagine paying for a xbox live, that would be like valve asking me to pay for steam. Seriously it should be an incentive to buy their freaking console not something they use to grab more money from my pocket. Oh and buying Microsoft money is the most retarded thing ever. There's a reason why people think gaming is for kids, and one of them is having to buy tokens like you're at chuckycheese.

Re:The big lack of user maps and mods does not hel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435998)

Xbox pay to pay on line is a joke

Sup dawg, I herd you like paying, so we put fees in your fees, so you can pay while you pay.

Moderation Guide:
+1 Funny if you like the misspelling in parent
+1 Insightful if you don't like microtransactions

Really? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435910)

Linkbait.

Let me see if I have this right... during a giant global recession during which people had trouble paying rent and were scared of losing their jobs, they weren't out buying $200 consoles? Egads!

Look at how gaming has done through all this. Yes, sales fell, but New Super Mario Brothers Wii has sold over 2 million units in a month in the US. Modern Warfare 2 sold tons and tons of units. Amazon is having tons of trouble keeping the Wii and Wii games in stock.

All things considered, gaming is doing amazingly well.

And why not? There is tons of trash out there, but some games are really REALLY good. GTA4 was the best yet (even if it still had flaws). NSMBW is classic gaming bliss. It's throw-your-controller-through-your-TV hard at times but still fun. It's a real challenge. Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has been a blast so far (got my copy of the weekend).

Console gaming is doing very well.

BTW: Losses from MS/Sony? They sell at a loss, so that's a given. In fact, how many quarters has MS made a profit in the gaming division since '01? That's what I thought. If things were really bad, the losses would be much higher.

If New Super Mario Brothers Wii didn't sell, that would be a good indicator of gaming's downfall. But good games/stable franchises seem to be selling really well.

So why would consoles die? Only computers can compete with the graphics from a 360 or PS3, but computers haven't killed consoles in the last 15 years, so why now? My iPhone is great and has great games, but the games on the DS are better. The DS is targeted at games and it shows. Even with physical buttons (like most other phones) it wouldn't be as comfortable to play as a DS with it's buttons.

I'd say OnLive (or something similar) would be the most likely to kill gaming as we know it soon. Only problem: OnLive is basically a console, so that wouldn't kill "console gaming".

Anecdotally... no. (3, Insightful)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435912)

Consoles aren't in any danger in my house, because I have ceased to maintain a gaming PC. I've switched to console gaming entirely- at the cost of the superior control scheme of Dragon Age, the third-party mods of Oblivion, and the keyboard-and-mouse input that I'm so familiar with. I gave that all up in order to get a game that I know will work when I get home, that won't disagree with my video card or run like a slideshow cause I don't have enough RAM.

Console gaming is, in my opinion, stronger than ever. It just happens to be a recession and people are spending less on luxuries... like video games.

Re:Anecdotally... no. (2, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436050)

at the cost of the superior control scheme of Dragon Age

Ha! Dragon Age on the X360 has made me consider putting together a proper gaming PC again. I beat the game (no, not on Casual setting), but micromanaging the battles through the radial wheel was tedium personified. And I never did figure out which direction on the D-pad changed the target selection in what way. There was a general dense of direction, but then it would do something unexpected, or select a target way offscreen.

And, hey, Bioware? Maybe a little contextual influence on the target selection? Maybe? In the middle of the battle I don't need to select the locked chest 500 feet down the hallway, and I really don't need to loot the corpse of a fallen enemy right when a darkspwan is swinging an axe at my head. It's the little things like that that cry "polished" over "let's port this bitch over quickly". KTHX.

It's not a luxury, it's a human right! (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436252)

It just happens to be a recession and people are spending less on luxuries... like video games.

Dude, not cool! First you you couldn't be bothered maintaining a l33t gam31ng r1g because of petty things like compatibility and cost. Then you said video games are a luxury! Every gamer knows they're not a luxury, they're a human right. So that's it! Hand in your l33t gam1ng card, grandad! And get out of my treehouse! (If I can't be on your lawn, you can't be in my treehouse!)

Of course (3, Funny)

Again (1351325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435920)

Yes it is dying along with driving cars. GM lost a lot of money and so we know that people just aren't into driving cars anymore.

And I'm pretty sure that Sony and Microsoft both lost a lot of money in the format war that went on between Blueray and HD DVD. It seems to me that Sony won that war because of the PS3.

Price Inflexibility (1)

dikdik (1696426) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435934)

What is killing console games is the inflexibility in pricing structures. Although AAA release game is okay at $60, a game like "Darkest of Days" is not. But since they are stuck in the same distribution channels they are forced into this pricing structure that doesn't make sense for the game.

This is why online stores like Steam have taken off. "Plants vs Zombies" is a hell of a lot of fun and would have died at the fixed $60 price. A developer may notice their game sales are slowing down so they do a price cut weekend which is impossible to do with the classic distribution chain. Even in the citation, half of the cost instead of being consumed in the distribution chain just putting disks on shelves can be put elsewhere. I don't have much illusions the big boys with the big games will pass the savings on to us but having the flexibility is at least a start.

PC gamers love to obsess ??? (1, Informative)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435942)

PC gamers love to obsess over whether PC gaming is dying? No, Console Players obsess over that. PC Gamers just keep playing :)

I mostly agree, but... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435948)

...I think Wii hardware sales declining have more to do with everyone who wants one freaking has one now. That's the problem with selling fast and hard, you drop off a cliff and lose all of your potential buyers because they already own it!

console gaming will not die (4, Insightful)

Vorpix (60341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435950)

there's two questions here:

1) is GAMING dying?
2) is CONSOLE GAMING dying?

1. no. people continue to want to play games. it will only grow as current gamers grow older and have kids who become new gamers.

2. no. while PC gaming will continue to have its niche market, especially in areas where keyboard and mouse have dynamic advantages (especially MMO and RTS games), console gaming makes modern games accessible to the masses who cannot (through lack of knowledge or lack of money) continually upgrade their PC's to keep up. Consoles give a consistent platform for several years where upgrading is not necessary, and games will "just work".

Sure during recession all forms of entertainment will suffer cuts, but gaming is far from being alone here.

Not being snarky, genuinely curious (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435954)

with sales of the Wii dropping by 67 percent in the US

Couldn't this be because enough households already have a Wii?! I mean, they make a good enough product that doesn't break every other year, and then they're surprised when sales slip... Maybe it's just that everyone already has one!

Those arguments are pretty tenuous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435976)

The XBox is actually turning a profit; it's the Zune that caused a loss at the division. And the fact that the Wii printing press, years after release, is churning out slightly less hundred-dollar-bills per second hardly seems like a sign of Nintendo's imminent demise.

The argument may have some merit, but not the way they've argued it.

Heh, console gaming is not going anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30435978)

There is a lot to love by video game makers for consoles:

Piracy is not a significant issue (XBL bans, uncrackable platforms like the PS3 and Wii).
Game makers can release beta-level games, patch them via the Internet. This is unlike previous generations of consoles where the games had to be 100% perfect before they left the stamping (or cartridge making) place.
Big money stream after sale (charge for network access, new levels, etc.)
One standard, no worry about incompatible hardware.
And finally, every console gen generally tends not to run the previous generation of stuff, so game companies get their customers to re-buy everything every 3-5 years.

The reason why consoles are losing money is the same reason why everything else is losing money. Banks screwed up, took TARP money and now stopped lending. All this is now affecting people's disposable income.

Stupid details (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435984)

The story's facts are twisted up and down to try and create a story.

For one, as stated Sony posted a huge loss OVERALL with it's gaming division being only a portion of that. Could it possibly be that with the PS3, as with every other product they try to hawk at us, Sony managed to create a product that does nothing their competitors don't yet costs much more?

Microsoft's entertainment division's loss was paltry. $31 million for a company that is swimming in money. Nothing was said about sales popularity though, which is what the article is talking about in general. It's no secret that Xbox 360's failure rate has been incredibly high. Microsoft, rightfully so, has been replacing and repairing these consoles pretty much no questions asked. This is needed to keep customer satisfaction high, but all that replacement work ain't free. How much of the losses were because of expenditures in the warranty/repair division?

Nintendo they even went worse on. They didn't report losses because Nintendo was profitable, but instead reported a drop in sales of the console itself. Wow. Hell of a shocker that that in it's third year of existence with only minor price drops sales of the console have declined. I'll give you a hint: at it's general price point most people who want a Wii ALREADY HAVE ONE. Until Nintendo's next console comes out most of it's sales will be after price drops to and to parents whose kids finally bugged them enough to buy one.

Not to mention the obvious reality that the entire country is in a friggen recession right now and sales of EVERY entertainment medium are down a bit. That's like saying "Is the world tired of being entertained?" Hell no, but food, shelter, electricity bill, etc are a little higher on the priority list.

Console Games (1, Insightful)

im just cannonfodder (1089055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435994)

Lets hope so, as PC games have been dumbed down to suit arcade button bash style for consoles, with a stream of terrible lazy titles over the last few years, & now you only purchase half a game & are sold the rest via micro payments.

Added to this, is that once FREE user created content, is in the process of being blocked & turned into a micro payment hell.

Also, you are now sold just a licence like the PSP Go titles & all downloaded content, so you can no longer sell, lend, take around to a friends house to play easily, give your software away for free or even sell the software when you sell your console as Sony's EULA for both the PS3 & PSP Go states you have to wipe your hard drive before you sell it or you could face criminal prosecution.

Game consoles & greedy corporations like sony, microsoft, EA, etc are destroying the gaming industry through greed.
 

you ask silly questions (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436006)

Is Console Gaming Dying?

No.

All three console manufacturers suffered from the recession -- this year

All car manufacturers suffered from the recession. Is driving dying?

Not even Nintendo has escaped the financial plague either, with sales of the Wii dropping by 67 percent in the US, 60 percent in Japan and 47 percent in the rest of the world.

The Wii has been out for quite awhile too. Wii games (and therefore licensing) can continue to be massively successful, even if sales of the console peter out. You left out the fact that despite falling sales of the Wii (which can actually be a good thing if it indicates market saturation), Nintendo is actually the only one of the three that posted an overall profit.

In addition to reduced profitability, casual games and the rise of the iPhone further suggest the current model is not invulnerable."

Are you an idiot? The iPhone is not going to replace anyone's XBox, PS3, or Wii. Mobile phones, PC games, and console games all serve entirely different markets. None of these are going to take over the other in the foreseeable future. Stop trolling the easily-trolled Slashdot editors.

So... in short. (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436024)

with a $31 million US loss coming straight from the Entertainment and Devices division, which is responsible for the Xbox 360

Websense blocked the article but.... So, Microsoft lost money. One part of the company lost $31 million. That one part is responsible for the Xbox 360. Therefore the conclusion is that the Xbox 360 and it's ilk are doomed to failure? Sorry, but it seems to me that leap in logic could mean anything produced from Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division was doomed to failure. Like games,... and keyboards...

What I think is far more likely was someone was thinking of how to drive traffic from /. and other geek sites to their site and said to themselves "Ooooo.... I bet an article about console gaming dying would do the trick!"

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436044)

It's not dying. There's your answer. MS didn't post a loss either they posted a drop in total revenue. They still made a profit. I'd still rather play game on my 360 any day over my PC.

Exagerrating the numbers. (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436046)

The Sony gaming loss of 58.5 billion sounds a lot less drastic when you actually measure it in US dollars, although $612 million is still nothing to sneeze at. It accounts for approximately 6% of Sony's losses, so I doubt it's the division bleeding the most at the moment.

I don't have the Microsoft numbers off hand, but a $31 million dollar loss is infinitesimal compared to the sheer size of that company. They probably spend more money on paper and staples. Ballmer could probably support the Xbox division out of pocket just to give his kids something cool to play with.

Nintendo still made a profit. Just less of a profit.

Let's just ignore the fact that Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest media launch of all time and write a doom and gloom piece stretched to 5 pages with 7 obnoxious ads on each.

Forgot to mention (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436110)

"with a $31 million US loss coming straight from the Entertainment and Devices division"

I am pretty sure the Entertainment and Devices division is responsible for more than just the Xbox, so equating the $31 million loss to the console is kind of a stretch. Seems to me like the Zune would fall under that category, and I'd bet they lose plenty of money on that thing as well.

poor form (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436068)

so then the current model *is* vulnerable. Double negatives might not be unclear, but it's difficult.

Modern Warfare Might Say Otherwise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436072)

Yeah, console gaming is dying. Especially since Modern Warfare 2 only sold 7 Million Copies [wikipedia.org] on XBOX and PS3.

Probably not going anywhere. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436102)

I doubt console gaming is going anywhere.

What may be going away is the practice of selling consoles at a large loss and then trying to make up for it in software sales, which may cause the next generation of consoles to only be slightly more powerful than this one.

not dying, yet (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436156)

No, console gaming is not dying, yet.

Fine, they suffered a bit... So did pretty much everyone else - especially anyone in the entertainment industry. Money is tight, folks aren't spending as much on games. The fact that there are different consoles that don't run each-other's games just spread the money even thinner. Deal with it.

However, I do think gaming in general is going to have to make some adjustments.

$60 for a game that barely offers 10 hours of gameplay just isn't going to cut it. I think the gaming industry is going to have to either start delivering smaller, cheaper games on an accelerated timetable - episodic stuff. Or they're going to have to start delivering much more substantial gameplay for that $60 price point.

It is not dying cause its already dead! (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30436296)

It's the truth. Consoles died after the Dreamcast. Since then its been imitation and not innovation.
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