Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Console War Is Not Good For Gaming

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the preach-it-brotha dept.

167

Seleeke Flingai writes "Of all the loose baggage the videogame industry prides itself on, the famed 'console wars' are probably the most divisive. Every four or so years, we hungry gamers gather round and clamor for our favorite side. But you know what? Screw the console wars. They are NOT good for gaming. Why?" From the article: "The console war brings with it great competition, which has created some of the best consoles around. But the console war has also had its share of casualties - some of which were some of the best consoles around. And that is why I think the console war, despite all of its good intentions, is not good for gaming."

cancel ×

167 comments

Total information content: one sentence (4, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958948)

"The console wars produced better products, however the Dreamcast was good but it lost anyway".

1. Incorporate advertising into website
2. Use three pages to say one sentence
3. Obtain slashdot link
4. ????
5. Profit!

What he didn't say (1, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958986)

There is a real question here: Why do console gamers still tolerate competition between incompatible systems? Unless the Cell rocks our world, there won't be a significant difference between x86 and any other platform, so why not just sell low-end PCs as consoles? I hate to say it, but the Windows monoculture has its advantages -- if I buy a computer game these days, chances are very good that it will play on a Windows PC. If I buy a console game, I have a one in four shot of it playing on a popular console.

Re:What he didn't say (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959006)

it will play on a Windows PC.

Chances are good that it will suck hard on your PC, unless of course you're one of those guys who shelled out for the videocard that, by itself, cost as much as the xbox360.

And then the next generation of games comes out, and you're once again stuck with the question "Do I want to pay $500 for the top of the line video card, or am I ok with turning down the quality sliders, shutting off the dynamic shadows and the reflective surfaces, and ..."

Re:What he didn't say (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959071)

Yes, turning the quality slider to medium, that would be terrible as opposed to steadily playing on the low setting as you would with most of the consoles most of the time.

Re:What he didn't say (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959148)

Chances are good that it will suck hard on your PC, unless of course you're one of those guys who shelled out for the videocard that, by itself, cost as much as the xbox360.

Most games rock hard on my PC, and my video card cost about $200. How much does a 360 cost now? At least $100 more, right?

And I bought it a year ago.

And then the next generation of games comes out, and you're once again stuck with the question "Do I want to pay $500 for the top of the line video card, or am I ok with turning down the quality sliders, shutting off the dynamic shadows and the reflective surfaces, and ..."

Yeah, I have that option. Console gamers don't. Your games stay at around the same quality over the years, and the developers get to make that choice for you -- "Are we OK with dropping the framerate to 10fps here to get the effects we want?" By the end of a console's life cycle, your games don't look that much better than they did at the beginning.

Which means that by the time you're deciding whether or not to buy an Xbox 360 -- which will do absolutely nothing for your current Xbox games except maybe not be able to play them -- basically, do you want Halo 2 to continue to work well, or do you want to play Halo 3? And what about all the other games -- are you buying a $300 system just to play Halo 3, or are there actually any other good 360 titles? And are you going to buy a PS3? A Wii?

Whereas I can buy a game, play it on my current system, and if I find I really am cutting down too much on the quality, I can buy a new video card. That new video card will make all my games improve, unless they are so ridiculously old (Quake 3) that I can already play them at 1600x1200 with every scrap of quality turned all the way up.

In other words, I can try before I buy, and I still have the option of playing new games on older hardware. You don't even get that option -- if Halo 3 is a 360 game, does anyone really think it will exist for the old Xbox? From the point of view of a programmer, it looks like it would be much harder to port a game between consoles, especially generations of consoles, than to make it scalable on PCs. And even if they did, would you be able to buy it for the Xbox and also get the 360 version, or would you have to buy it again when you bought a 360?

The trick is to not quite buy top of the line, since that $500 card isn't really $300 better than my $200 one, and in another 2 or 3 years, $200 will buy me more than that $500 could buy me now.

You know what else I can do? I can play free games. Everything about consoles is driven by money -- even the Xbox Live Arcade (or whatever) is going to cost you at least $5 for a game. You spend $60 on a game that I pay $50 for, at most, and you get just the one game. I get another 20 or 30 free mods to go with it, and I can still go with the Xbox Live Arcade model (via Steam), but with 100 gigs of space (just my Windows partition) instead of 15 or 20 to put downloaded games on -- which means that downloaded games, free or not, can meet or exceed the quality of games I buy on a disc.

But I think the amount of free games I can get more than justifies the cost of hardware.

Re:What he didn't say (3, Insightful)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959327)

This sounds like another 'PC gaming or no gaming' rant.
These are two completely different markets.
At one time, I played only PC games. Then I played PC and console games. Now I only play console games. Consoles are not wrong, they are just another choice.
PCs are there for people such as yourself that (based on your above post) base their purchases on graphics. Consoles are available for those who dont feel the same way.

Re:What he didn't say (4, Insightful)

Shadarr (11622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959469)

I used to be an exclusively PC gamer. I've slowly switched to being primarily a console gamer. Not so much because of the PC upgrade cycle (which does suck) as the simple fact that PC gaming is in a rut, and I got tired of playing the same games over and over. Occasionally there's something really cool like Space Rangers 2, but for the most part it's just incremental improvements in graphics and features (if you're lucky) but fundamentally the same games. All the really innovative stuff is happening on the consoles. There's no technological reason why Animal Crossing or Resident Evil 4 couldn't have been developed on the PC, but they weren't.

PC gamers see a division between the PC and consoles, as if all consoles can be lumped together. Console gamers see the PC as just another platform, with its own strengths, weaknesses and exclusive titles.

Re:What he didn't say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15960997)

...simple fact that PC gaming is in a rut, and I got tired of playing the same games over and over.


Interestingly, I say the same thing about consoles. Wierd huh.

Re:What he didn't say (2)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#15962182)

PC gamers see a division between the PC and consoles, as if all consoles can be lumped together. Console gamers see the PC as just another platform, with its own strengths, weaknesses and exclusive titles.

I play both. I think that consoles are much, much easier than PCs for ease of access and "instant" gaming. I've pretty much let my kids have run of the console. Its just stick the disk in and press power. Game starts within 5 secs with maybe a brief splash menu. My PC was about $2000 when new. I personally refuse to do any upgrades on my PC. I've been thinking if I could afford one of those $600-$800 laptops that they'll do most of what I'd like. PC gaming has always been a crap shoot as to if the games will even run properly on your given hardware. Some one stated that they'll buy a new $200-$300 that should handle all newer games except older games and they put in the example of Quake 3. Um, that's my reason right there way most people would just ignore PC gaming infavor of consoles. The only games that I play that slow my system down are SimCity 4 and Civ3 & 4. I only have 512MB of RAM. From what I've read, SimCity 4 will take all the RAM you can throw at it. I'm not going to run out and spend $150 for 2 Gbs of RAM for a single game. (I'd like to be able to do that, but my wife would kill me.) I can get way with buying an entire console system and not having to worry about additional hardware and knowing the games will be fun. I hate to say it, but SimCity 4 and Civ 4 do get "old" far too quick. The extra graphics seem to slow everything down. I'd guess that those 2 games have the most behind the scenes bookkeeping going on. Well, I didn't have to much trouble loading and running those games, but it did take atleast 20 minutes to install each game and it takes atleast 1.5-2 minutes before I actually get to play the game. I'll put up with it because its a PC game and I'll be playing it for 4-5 hours. I'd rather just click an icon and the game just start within 10-20 secs. That doesn't even happen if you have the lastest greatest computer and an older game. I put up with PC games, but they could learn a few lessons from their console cousins.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959949)

PCs are there for people such as yourself that (based on your above post) base their purchases on graphics. Consoles are available for those who dont feel the same way.

Not true. How do you explain the Xbox 360?

I am not arguing that the PC is The Answer, only that it is an answer to the console wars.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

LainTouko (926420) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960993)

PCs are also for there for:

1) People who already have a computer for other reasons, and don't want to buy additional hardware,

2) People who want to play the sort of games which consoles simply don't do. (Me.) When did Civilization IV come out on the PS2 again?

Re:What he didn't say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959407)

The Xbox360 is worth it for Dead Rising alone.

All other games are just icing on the proverbial cake.

Re:What he didn't say (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959420)

Honestly, I think that (except for a few people) the question isn't really console vs. PC because (for the most part) they satisfy different gaming needs. One of the biggest benefits for the console is that many (if not most) games are designed to be played with local multiplayer (with a few doing local+online multiplayer); most PC games are designed to be locally single player only (and even if they do have local multiplayer the controls tend not to be all that well set up or fair; sports game where one person has keyboard+mouse and the other person has controller, a well configured controller will own).

At the same time MMO games have only been well made for the PC and you can not get a decent MMO game for a console.

As for console games do not improve over their lifetime, I would disagree with this but (regardless) Resident Evil 4 still looks impressive even though it was released on a system which (if you spent $1000+) was released against a Pentium 3 1GHz and a Geforce 3 [if you spent $2500+ you could have bought a pentium 4 1.3 GHz and a Geforce 4].

Re:What he didn't say (2)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959993)

Good points about local multiplayer. That's why we have LAN parties, but that is a LOT more expensive.

But that's about it. Your points about controllers are well taken -- indeed, a keyboard would really suck for DDR. So I bought a PS2->USB adapter, and now I play StepMania with my PS2 DDR pad. There are numerous controllers for the PC -- it is not a technological or price issue here, it is an issue of perception. You could take a PC, plug in a controller, a TV out, and a headphone->RCA adapter, put it in the living room, and... Guess what? That's what the Xbox was.

The problem is, of course, that you can't play Xbox games on a PC -- so the PC is not likely to have the same games, or if it does, they aren't likely to play the same way. Still, I've often been surprised at how playable console ports are on a keyboard/mouse.

As for console games do not improve over their lifetime, I would disagree with this but (regardless) Resident Evil 4 still looks impressive

Are you saying Resident Evil 4 looks better than earlier games for the same platform? (GameCube, right?) Or are you saying that it looks better now than it did before?

Console games do improve over the lifetime of said console, to a point. But an individual console game will not improve, in visual appearence, over the lifetime of the console. Zelda: WindWaker still looks exactly the same as it always did. So does Zelda 64 -- the pixellation is really quite annoying, I really wish I could put it on a PC and turn up the resolution, but even the best emulators don't really do that reliably. I've seen it sort of tried with a PS1 emulator, and I eventually gave up (too many glitches) and just played the game on a PS2.

PC games, on the other hand, do improve, which is why games often have settings that are targeted a couple of notches past the $500 video cards of today. Even if they have to patch them later to make them work properly -- oh! And PC games can be patched. Console games being patched is a relatively recent thing.

I like a console as much as everyone else, and there are games worth buying a console for -- Halo, Final Fantasy, Zelda -- but I do miss the flexibility and hackability of my PC, especially Linux. The good news for me, at least, is that if I do eventually buy a console, my desktop monitor can do TV in, although I'll have to rethink this for the next gen if I get them.

Video card != complete system (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959509)

Most games rock hard on my PC, and my video card cost about $200. How much does a 360 cost now? At least $100 more, right?

But if you want to construct a set-top gaming PC, you also need to buy a case, motherboard, CPU, RAM, and drives. Can you get all those PC parts for $100?

But I think the amount of free games I can get more than justifies the cost of hardware.

Assume that I have a set-top gaming PC and four USB gamepads. What free four-player party games do you recommend that match the fun of Super Smash Bros. Melee or the Bomberman series?

Re:Video card != complete system (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960022)

But if you want to construct a set-top gaming PC, you also need to buy a case, motherboard, CPU, RAM, and drives. Can you get all those PC parts for $100?

Irrelevant, since I already bought these things. It will likely be four years or so before any games require more RAM than I have now, as that requires 64-bit on Windows, and it will likely be at least a couple of years before I'm even thinking about upgrading anything. I can pick and choose, and the video card and RAM are the top two bottlenecks -- not CPU, not mobo, and I'm not looking to replace my case.

It's kind of like a house. You need a house to play a game on a console, but you need a house for other things anyway, so why not? Same with a PC -- you need one anyway, which means we're already talking about a case, drives, and the basic stuff. And you wouldn't believe how much RAM business people are throwing at their computers to deal with the bloatware that passes for financial software these days, so RAM and CPU are already covered. It's really only the video card.

Assume that I have a set-top gaming PC and four USB gamepads. What free four-player party games do you recommend that match the fun of Super Smash Bros. Melee or the Bomberman series?

Sadly, not enough. I did have a lot of fun with two players on a single keyboard for Gish, though -- and if you trust people not to cheat, you can always plug in another keyboard.

However, I've personally had at least as much fun giving four people cheap computers and playing Quake 3. Pretty much any computer anyone's coming to college with can play Quake 3. The only reason we didn't play it more was everyone else was off playing Halo. Cretins.

Family of six in a 1 bedroom apartment? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960170)

Irrelevant, since I already bought these things.

So you plan to convert your existing PC into a gaming PC. Then what will you use to read Slashdot or do your taxes? If you're planning to use your gaming PC to do those, then how do you plan on entertaining your other family members or house guests until you finish?

You need a house to play a game on a console, but you need a house for other things anyway, so why not?

In your analogy, I see the network as like a house and each machine as like a bedroom. Only a given number of people can comfortably sleep in a room at once, so don't get a 1 bedroom apartment if you have a spouse and four kids.

However, I've personally had at least as much fun giving four people cheap computers and playing Quake 3.

That's another problem: you have to put together those cheap computers, which is often not cheap for a family with kids. And four PCs require four times the electricity, four times the monitors, four times the furniture, four times the Windows tax, and four times the game software licenses. And once you're having fun in games with sub-GameCube-caliber graphics such as Quake III, you might as well just whip out a Wii and four controllers. And what multiplayer PC games do you recommend that are not rated 17+?

Re:Family of six in a 1 bedroom apartment? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960852)

So you plan to convert your existing PC into a gaming PC. Then what will you use to read Slashdot or do your taxes?

That same computer? A computer is general purpose, it's still capable of office chores even if it's upgraded to work for games. I'm posting this from my gaming PC.

If you're planning to use your gaming PC to do those, then how do you plan on entertaining your other family members or house guests until you finish?

Obviously you don't play a videogame when there's a guest around. That's not limited to PCs, playing a singleplayer console game while telling your guest/family member to wait until you're done is just as antisocial.

With a console you could also run into the problem of other family members wanting to use the TV for, well, watching TV. Sure you can buy a second TV. But the better TV is usually the family TV so you'd need to shell out quite an amount if you want to use that HD output on the next gen consoles. Oh and of course if the rest of the family is watching TV and within earshot of your gaming TV you better invest into headphones right away.

And once you're having fun in games with sub-GameCube-caliber graphics such as Quake III, you might as well just whip out a Wii and four controllers.

Yeah except split screen (which is necessary for games like Quake 3) isn't very comfortable no matter what.

And what multiplayer PC games do you recommend that are not rated 17+?

Total Annihilation, man (or Spring, which is opensource and can run TA)! Or be a bit more social and play something like Anno or Settlers. Or look into the abandoned bargain bins and pull out Arena Wars. Maybe look to Japan and grab something like Melty Blood. Or download one of the free-game-premium-items MMORPGs that seem to be all the rage in Korea now.

Bomberman and Smash Bros. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961648)

That's not limited to PCs, playing a singleplayer console game while telling your guest/family member to wait until you're done is just as antisocial.

GameCube and PlayStation 2 are not single-player consoles. They are single-display consoles, and there are all sorts of ways to put four players in front of one screen that don't involve splitting the screen into four viewports. I find it unlikely that you've never played Bomberman or Smash Bros. or Amplitude, which place all players within the same playfield.

Yeah except split screen (which is necessary for games like Quake 3) isn't very comfortable no matter what.

I was using a dated first-person shooter as a (possibly bad) example. The point is that if all players are looking at the same thing, as is the case in the shared-view games, then $300 for a console plus $300 for a budget EDTV plus $40 for one copy of a game is much better than $450 each for four PCs plus $150 each for bargain basement monitors plus $30 each for four copies of a game.

Re:Bomberman and Smash Bros. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961677)

GameCube and PlayStation 2 are not single-player consoles. They are single-display consoles, and there are all sorts of ways to put four players in front of one screen that don't involve splitting the screen into four viewports. I find it unlikely that you've never played Bomberman or Smash Bros. or Amplitude, which place all players within the same playfield.

And? You can still play a singleplayer game on these consoles and it wouldn't be any less antisocial than playing a game that only supports one player per PC when that guest is around.

Re:Bomberman and Smash Bros. (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961973)

Stop being so ignorant. When was the last time you played a PC game that was multiplayer and wasn't turn based/hotseat on a single pc. The last time I played a game where 2 people could play simultaneously on one computer, was probably a decade ago, and it involved 2 people sharing a keyboard. Hardly as convenient as a gaming console with 2 controllers.

Re:Video card != complete system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15960239)

It's kind of like a house. You need a house to play a game on a console, but you need a house for other things anyway, so why not? Same with a PC -- you need one anyway, which means we're already talking about a case, drives, and the basic stuff. And you wouldn't believe how much RAM business people are throwing at their computers to deal with the bloatware that passes for financial software these days, so RAM and CPU are already covered. It's really only the video card.


Wrong. You don't actually need a computer. They're becoming increasingly more convenient to have, but they're still completely optional.

Re:Video card != complete system (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961759)

I have to say that the only people who don't need computers nowadays are either hippies or old people and we have a new game for them to play anyway. It's called Euthanasia.

Re:Video card != complete system (1)

The Warlock (701535) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961538)

Assume that I have a set-top gaming PC and four USB gamepads. What free four-player party games do you recommend that match the fun of Super Smash Bros. Melee or the Bomberman series?


MUGEN is quite good, if you can get it running right. It's better with two players than four, but some would say the same is true for Melee.

Console vs PC gaming (4, Insightful)

jchenx (267053) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960450)

You've got some good comments, but there are a few things I disagree with ...

Yeah, I have that option. Console gamers don't. Your games stay at around the same quality over the years, and the developers get to make that choice for you -- "Are we OK with dropping the framerate to 10fps here to get the effects we want?" By the end of a console's life cycle, your games don't look that much better than they did at the beginning.

Actually, that's quite the opposite with console gaming. The first generation of titles generally don't look that much better than the previous one, because the developers haven't had much experience with the hardware. Compare some early PS2 titles with late PS1, or early 360 titles with later Xbox games. Certainly you'll see the same thing with the first PS3 games, compared to some of the final PS2 games coming out this year (like FFXII perhaps).

Console gamers get that improvement in visual quality essentially for free, no need to buy new expensive hardware or anything. But obviously it takes time. That's probably one of the downsides to being a console gamer. Being an early adopter doesn't make sense since you're buying into a system that's at its most expensive, yet the games are at their lowest potential. The only gain you get is being "the only kid on the block with system X".

The trick is to not quite buy top of the line, since that $500 card isn't really $300 better than my $200 one, and in another 2 or 3 years, $200 will buy me more than that $500 could buy me now.

That trick is the same with console gaming. Don't buy the console when it first comes out for $400, or in the PS3 case, $600. Wait a year for the price to come down, or at the very least, an attractive bundle comes out. By then, the 2nd generation of games will be out, and many of them will be better than the few launch titles you would have been stuck with as an early adopter. And if there was a launch game that was genuinely great, chances are it'll be heavily discounted, or even better, available as a combo pack with the console. Why do you think PS2s are still outselling every other console there is?

You know what else I can do? I can play free games. Everything about consoles is driven by money -- even the Xbox Live Arcade (or whatever) is going to cost you at least $5 for a game. You spend $60 on a game that I pay $50 for, at most, and you get just the one game. I get another 20 or 30 free mods to go with it, and I can still go with the Xbox Live Arcade model (via Steam), but with 100 gigs of space (just my Windows partition) instead of 15 or 20 to put downloaded games on -- which means that downloaded games, free or not, can meet or exceed the quality of games I buy on a disc.

The mod potential is a great point. Oblivion on the PC is far better than on the 360 for that point. That said, I think you put too much emphasis on money and consoles. EVERYTHING is driven by money, PC or console. You seem to gloss over the fact that many downloadable games on the PC (at least the decent ones) cost money as well. The only exceptions are mods, which I agree with are often fantastic and don't cost a dime. (Although sometimes the popular ones, like Counter-Strike, often tend to be bought up and made commercial ... sucks to be those who actually bought it versus playing it for free)

One thing I do like about the console space is that it's finally starting to adopt some of the things that worked so well for PCs. The concept of try-before-you-buy? The only reason I bought Dead Rising for the 360 because I randomly decided to try out the free demo, and got hooked on it. Gee whiz, who woulda thought the whole "shareware" model still works! *sarcasm* And it's not limited to the 360, as I imagine Sony and Nintendo are now working on similar abilities for their respective platforms (PlayStation Network and Virtual Console)

Anyway, I still do a lot of gaming on both consoles and PCs. There are definately pros and cons to each, and I don't think they're mutually exclusive. So no need to bash one totally in favor of the other.

Re:What he didn't say (2)

Bega (684994) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960593)

Yeah, I have that option. Console gamers don't. Your games stay at around the same quality over the years, and the developers get to make that choice for you -- "Are we OK with dropping the framerate to 10fps here to get the effects we want?" By the end of a console's life cycle, your games don't look that much better than they did at the beginning.

This is the part where you're going pretty off. Please read up on demoscene [wikipedia.org] .

But sure, you have the option to upgrade your video card. That's a good option, but then again, nobody really bothers to optimize anything on the PC nowadays, because the video cards we have right now are so ridiculously overpowered, we don't have to. And if we have to think about optimizing, then it's okay - we can wait for 4-6 months tops, before there's a new N+1000-series card, which gives us that speed boost. I mean, look at the stuff people do with Amiga computers [google.com] .

This is the same argument every time over and over. I think that because the hardware stays the same, it's a good thing - mostly. This is because people will have time and have the possibility to optimize their code for one platform, and pretty much after 4-5 years, they will know how to harness most of the processing power of that hardware, if even that. This kind of philosophy has got its downsides though - just look at Perfect Dark [wikipedia.org] .

Game kits are used now (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961732)

Game SDk packages suited for FPs or CarGames are common, ie , look at RenderWare.com, for 250k+ you get a full kit and licence for ONE game.
You virtualy have a min-OS for games, everything is done for you. Tools/ Apis/ etc...

RenderWare Studio 2.0 is a unique collaborative game development framework that encapsulates best of breed tools and processes to help developers rapidly create games concurrently on multiple target platforms. It also leverages RenderWare Platform 3.7 to provide unbeatable graphics, physics, audio and AI performance through its features.

RenderWare Studio 2.0 now empowers designers and other non-programmers to produce game content 'out of the box', complete with core design tools and optional First Person Shooter genre pack.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961480)

Well you certainly gave a pro-PC view of things.

I'd like to point to a few thing to balance it out though.

PC upgrade cost is more than a console. It is not limited to only the video card that you paid "only" 200$. RAM, Processor and whatnots also come into account. You will need to upgrade those at least twice during the same lifespan as the console. Making the console the definite bargain when it comes to gaming hardware.

PC gaming is a shadow of it's former self. A few racing games, FPS, a few sims, a bunch of RTS, a bunch of western RPGs and your micro-management games (like Civilisation and Tycoon games).

A big problem of the PC is compatibility with the hardware. I recently bought the game "paradise" for my PC. I had all the requirements, the program said i was ok to install it, then the in-game FMV sequence are out of synch with the sound. The sound stutters and the game cannot display the movie properly. Since the game box is opened, i'm screwed unless i upgrade my PC, which i really don't want.
I had a similar problem with the game MechCommander 2 some years ago. The copy protection used had a bug with some CD drives. It kept asking me to insert my original CD in the drive. The game was an original (not a copy) i purchased in a legal fashion at the computer store, yet i had to crack it to play the game i bought.
I have similar stories with Myst IV on my parent's computer. Everything is supported on their laptop computer from looking at the box. Then the game simply won't play, with tons of visual bugs showing. Looking in the MANUAL, i found that some versions of the ATI video card used in their laptop wouldn't work with it. Well why didn't it said so on the box! Now the box was opened and the game unplayable. Luvkily, in that case, some patches were released MONTHS after we bougth it that started to make it work.

When i buy a game and possess the minimum specs, i expect the game to play correctly. This is not always the case on PC and i'm sick of being screwed away of my money for games that just won't work.

Consoles have more variety and more in sheer quantity. RPGs (both western and eastern), FPS, platformers, adventure games, action games, sports games, racing games, fighting games.
It's currently lacking only in RTS (though there are a few) and micro-management games.

Gamers choose console for 3 reasons:
- more titles.
- don't need upgrading.
- never had a problem making a game work.

you said:
But I think the amount of free games I can get more than justifies the cost of hardware.
Illegal copies and software piracy is one of the big reason why the PC gaming market has gone WAY down. ...just a thought.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961829)

I'm with you 100%. I'm a PC gamer through and though, but I've recently bought some consoles and games. There are definite differences.

If you hate load times then consoles are not for you. If you hate not being able to save anywhere then consoles are not for you. If you hate low resolution displays (even HDTV), low polygons, low quality textures, simplistic games with few buttons, paying for online play, paying for software patches (no Xbox Live = no patches), no mods, little choice in peripherals (no joysticks, for one), and poor if any backward compatibility, then consoles are not for you.

Between Windows XP and DOSBox I can play nearly every PC game I've ever loved over the past 20 years (but not the later DOS games - those are very CPU intensive to emulate). Thanks to dedicated FOSS emulators like SCUMMVM I can play my old 320x200 favourites in glorious antialiased 1280x1024. I can mute the game's music and play my own in the background. I can edit INI and CONF files to change the gameplay however I wish. I can extract PK4 and DAT files and snoop around the core data, extract the music, inject my own voice, and do all kinds of wacky shenanigans. And of course, I can download very professional mods like Classic Doom [d3files.com] for Doom 3 and breathe new life or completely new games into old titles and game engines.

Modding shouldn't be blown off either. There are some potentially great games that are terribly ridden with bugs and unpolished interface like Oblivion [blogspot.com] that are stuck in the broken state on consoles. It may take 35 downloads from a few sites, but by the time you're done modding Oblivion you can finally consider it to be version 1.0 - something Xbox360 users will never see. And of course a little hot coffee can perk you right up!

Console games are great too, don't get me wrong. There are few greater virtual experiences than Katamari Damacy. Grandia II for Dreamcast had surprisingly vibrant graphics with great colours and really outstanding spoken and written dialogue. Resident Evil 4 is quite a masterpiece of design and it has some of the most realistic graphics I've ever seen, even though the consoles it's played on are the weaker of the bunch. These games take full advantage of their platforms and use some clever tricks to skirt their limitations - like doubling pixels in the distance or rendering some objects as sprites instead of 3D models.

However, all these games have occasional save points. This pisses me off to no end. Twice now I've played Resident Evil 4 for a 45-minute stretch without running into a save point and had to turn off the console, losing all my progress. In Super Mario Sunshine I'm prompted to save as many as 10 times per level (about 8 seconds per) if I find blue coins. And cheeses n' rice, why the hell do you need to buy a slow ass memory card if you have an Xbox with a hard drive? Saving sucks donkey balls on every console. I don't know how it's gotten slower since the NES days when they put watch batteries in the cartridges. Forward ever, backward never!

Trite as it may seem, you can see gaming as a toy or as a serious thing. A console is a toy. You pick it up, you play it as it's intended, and you put it back. PC gaming is so much more. You can play the game as intended if you wish, but you can delve into the data, extend or cripple the game, improve the experience with an incremental upgrade, and you can alt-tab out to load up a web page for a hint. PC really isn't much more expensive than consoles, if at all, when you take the television into consideration, so I find that budget argument pretty thin.

Consoles are getting closer to PC with innovations like Wii and HDTV, but they're still a much more static medium than PC. You can settle for scaled-down games that can never be made to look better, or you can play on PC.

PC FTW!

Re:What he didn't say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15962118)

I stopped reading after I got to:
By the end of a console's life cycle, your games don't look that much better than they did at the beginning.
Going from consoles I'm familiar with...
NES - not true
SNES - not true
Genesis - not true
N64 - not true
PS1 - not true
PS2 - not true
GC - not true

So what console(s) were you thinking of? The only possibility I can think of (that I'm familiar with (so not Jaguar, etc)) is the xbox which I'm not sure I would agree with either. Throughout the life of a console, developers continue to figure out how to manipulate the console to pull out better performance, which is then used to improve the look of their games. For proof, look at sequels: SMB v SMB3, Sonic 1 v Sonic 3, Goldeneye v PD, etc. For GC, choose ANY early game and compare to RE4.

Re:What he didn't say (0, Flamebait)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959028)

I would very much like to know where you bought that magic Windows PC, and how much it cost.

Re:What he didn't say (4, Insightful)

CanSpice (300894) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959208)

You're right, the PC is just another console. It happens to do more than the other consoles, but from a gaming point of view it's a console. You don't have specific revisions (like NES -> SNES -> N64 -> GC -> Wii), but you'll still have to upgrade to play the newer games. You can't play, for example, Civ4 on a 386.

However, your argument of "if I buy a console game, I have a one in four shot of it playing on a popular console" is rubbish. You purchase games for your specific console. Just as you wouldn't buy a game built for OS X and expect it to play on your PC, you wouldn't buy a game built for the Xbox360 and expect it to play on your PS2.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960039)

However, your argument of "if I buy a console game, I have a one in four shot of it playing on a popular console" is rubbish. You purchase games for your specific console.

You're right. My point was that on the PC, you're much more likely to be able to just buy a "computer game" and have it work. Most games built for OS X will also run on Windows -- not many game developers are willing to risk losing that market -- few enough are willing to make an OS X port in the first place.

And you're right, I can't play Civ4 on a 386, but the lack of specific revisions is nice, too -- especially because I often can reasonably expect to play a game intended for a 386 (like Doom, say) on an amd64. Said amd64 can even play NES, SNES, and N64 games, with varying degrees of success.

My single biggest complaint about consoles, as a user, is that they discourage homebrew. My brother wisely decided not to update his PSP firmware, and he can still play NES games on it, thanks to the wonders of homebrew.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

The Warlock (701535) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961563)

Not all consoles discourage homebrew. The PSP certainly does, but hey, that's why I didn't buy it. The GP2X is the homebrew king, but then, it doesn't really have that many acutal commercial games. The DS is pretty good with homebrew if you get the equipment (or at least Nintendo isn't actively trying to fuck the customers, the way Sony does). That's just for handhelds (although it always seems that the handheld homebrew scene is bigger than the console homebrew scene, probably because if you're in your house anyway, you might as well just use a PC).

Re:What he didn't say (2, Insightful)

damiam (409504) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959819)

Windows? Monoculture? Are you on crack? PCs have a huge variety of video cards, processors, OS and driver versions, and it's a pain in the ass to develop a game that works with all of them, let alone works well. John Carmack once said that the XBox ran Doom 3 as well as a PC with double the power, just because the game could be specifically optimized for the XBox.

Much of the reason people prefer consoles over PCs is that they want a simple, reliable experience. Just pop the disc in and start playing, no worries about installation or whether your machine will run it.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960061)

Windows? Monoculture? Are you on crack?

No, are you? I was talking about software. I want Linux games!

PCs have a huge variety of video cards, processors, OS and driver versions, and it's a pain in the ass to develop a game that works with all of them, let alone works well.

It's a pain in the ass to develop a game, period. Making it portable is easy, if you stick to portable libraries. Most people have done that work for you.

John Carmack once said that the XBox ran Doom 3 as well as a PC with double the power, just because the game could be specifically optimized for the XBox.

BS. Find me the quote. This smells like that old troll about "The PC will never be as powerful as the Xbox" when we had 1.5 ghz CPUs and the Xbox was 700 mhz.

And yes, that does contribute something. But Doom 3 still sucked royally on the XBox, in case you didn't notice. Framerate issues, looked like crap anyway... It looks and plays much better on the PC.

Much of the reason people prefer consoles over PCs is that they want a simple, reliable experience. Just pop the disc in and start playing, no worries about installation or whether your machine will run it.

And there's nothing wrong with that, if you're happy with those limitations. I prefer a better experience overall. For instance, as long as I remember my Steam password, I can play Half-Life 2 from any decent PC, provided I'm willing to wait for it to download. I can't even burn a console game. Scratch it or lose it and I have to buy a new one.

Anyway, how hard is it? Flip the package over and compare specs with your system. Pop the disk in and hit next. When it's done, play the game. The only problems I ever have with PC games all stem from me trying to run them on Linux.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960796)

Q: Can i download Splinter Cell from Steam? A: No. Q: What if I scratch it or lose it? A: You will have to buy a new one.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

Pofy (471469) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960983)

>if I buy a computer game these days, chances are very good that it will play on a Windows
>PC. If I buy a console game, I have a one in four shot of it playing on a popular console.

If I buy a bag for my vacum cleaner, I have a one in a gazillion chance of it working in my vacum cleaner (despite actually working in another vacum cleaner by the very same company. SO what? If you want to go out and buy products without having a clue how they work together with existing equipment you have, why should you expect that it awlays work perfectly? The only chance for that would be with a monopoly of course, but then, as seen in many markets, not even that seems to guarantee anything since the same company tends to restrict its own products as well.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961625)

"so why not just sell low-end PCs as consoles?"

Phantom. End of discussion.

Re:What he didn't say (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#15962652)

why not just sell low-end PCs as consoles?

That's essentially what Microsoft's strategy was for the original Xbox. I would have to assume from their decision to switch to a non-x86-based platform for the 360 that it didn't work quite as well as they had hoped.

If I buy a console game, I have a one in four shot of it playing on a popular console.

One in FOUR? The console market has never supported more than three viable consoles at a time, whether it was Atari/Intellivision/ColecoVision or SNES/Genesis/TurboGrafx or Gamecube/Xbox/PS2. I don't see that changing any time soon.

Also, ONE in four? It's not all that common these days for a game to be exclusive to one console. There are quite a few high-profile exceptions, but for a broad-interest property like Football Game or Driving Simulator, chances are that it will be available for at least two and potentially all contemporary consoles.

Good sentence, but it misses something (1)

10100111001 (931992) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959045)

The console wars produced better products, however the Dreamcast was good but it lost anyway

Filtering through those three pages is worth it to get the insightful comparison of failed Nintendo consoles to the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Re:Good sentence, but it misses something (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959124)

Except it's not a very good comparison. He relates Japan to Nintento and two Nintendo consoles to Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Those two consoles where things Nintendo did to itself. Not at all like having someone else drop something on you.

Re:Good sentence, but it misses something (1)

10100111001 (931992) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960196)

Except it's not a very good comparison. He relates Japan to Nintento and two Nintendo consoles to Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Those two consoles where things Nintendo did to itself. Not at all like having someone else drop something on you.

I agree with you, it was a lousy analogy... its just that my sarcasm didn't translate well in written word.

Re:Good sentence, but it misses something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15960226)

its just that my sarcasm didn't translate well in written word.
I thought about that just after I hit "submit"...

Re:Total information content: one sentence (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961665)

???? = Obtain advertisements and place them in strategic locations

Yeah... (2, Funny)

LokiTD (951153) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958958)

Competition is bad for business.

Re:Yeah... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958995)

Competition is bad for business.

But monopoly is bad for consumers.

So the answer?

"There can be only two." -- Duncan and Connor MacLeod (Microsoft & Sony)
"Or three!" -- Quentin MacLeod (Nintendo)

I will be the first to say... (5, Interesting)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958973)

BS.

Good consoles (both from technological stand point and a game stand point) survive. Bad ones die.

Sega genesis was good, but Sega Saturn was designed to be the best 2D console ever. It was, but it came out around the time of the N64.

Re:I will be the first to say... (1)

Thad Boyd (880932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959025)

Yes, because the N64 was such a great console.

Re:I will be the first to say... (1)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959092)

Actually the Saturn came out wayyyy before the N64, and before the Playstation. It actually was the best 2d console at the time, the only problem was that people wanted the best _3D_ console not 2D so when the Playstation came out with it's amazing 3D compared to the saturns 3D, people quickly lost interest. Not to mention it was a bitch to program for the saturn IIRC...but then so is the PS2, so go figure.

Re:I will be the first to say... (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959141)

A former boss of mine used to program for the Saturn. He said they couldn't use triangles, they had to use 4-sided polygons which were 1) more process intensive and 2) not as flexible.

Re:I will be the first to say... (1)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961813)

I wouldn't say wayyyyyyyyyyy before. The Saturn made it's debut only a few months before the Playstation, and a Year and a half before the N64. That's not all that long, considering the Dreamcast launched a year before the Ps2, the Ps2 launched a year before the Xbox and GC, and The 360 a year before the Ps3 and Wii.

The Saturn's 3D capabilities were widely considered a tacked on afterthought. It was originally a single processor machine with the second processor added late in development to assist with 3D. In comparison, the Ps1 and N64 were designed from the ground up as (nearly) exclusively 3D capable machines, and really outshone the Saturn. Look at Virtua Fighter (launch title) vs. Battle Arena Toshinden (PSX launch title.) the two were released only months apart but there's really no comparison, graphics wise.

Good games die with bad consoles (1)

SilentJ_PDX (559136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959117)

BS.

Good consoles [...] survive. Bad ones die.


That's not the point. The problem with bad consoles dying is that good games often die with them. How is that good for gamers?

Re:Good games die with bad consoles (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959272)

That isn't good for gamers, but there is no perfect solution.

Is it good for gamers if they need to buy 5 different systems to play the games they want? If the market can only support 3 major consoles and there is a 4th console struggling, the sooner they die off (if they are going to die off anyway), the less good games are written for them and are instead written for the consoles more gamers own.

With more gamers owning a console, good games won't be dragged down by a failing system, have a better chance to succeed, and prompt more good games to be made.

Re:I will be the first to say... (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959222)

Neither insightful, nor even interesting. Just plain wrongThe Dreamcast was strong technologically (to the point that the PS2, released a year later, had trouble bettering its graphics) and had great games. Why did it fail? Lots of reasons, all of which had nothing to do with the quality of the console or of its games. The same can be said of the NEC console, and a few others.... Whether a console is a hit or a miss from a business perspective hinges on marketing, word-of-mouth, business decisions, operations, production, retail channels and more, just as much as it hinges on games and plain quality.

Re:I will be the first to say... (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959738)

The problem I have with your statement is that it's quite possible for a very bad console to have a very good game. That one good game could be choked into oblivion by, for instance, a ludicrous price-point for the console--way more than people are willing to pay.

Consoles are a delivery method for video games. The games themselves are the end result: you want to play the good games. When a bad console "dies," it takes the good games that may have been released for it along with it, and that's very sad. Imagine being unable to pick up a wonderful book that someone has recommended to you because it's in a dead language, one you can't read and couldn't ever hope to read without paying a specialist tons of cash just to translate that one book. That, or you'd have to rely upon a clunky, home-brewed piece of software to make the translation for you--and, of course, it can't translate every book properly, and the software itself may or may not be completely legal.

When a console "dies," it's really bad for _gamers,_ because they lose out on the individual games--the little quanta of fun--that were meant to be played by or were in the planning stages for that system. Gamers lose out, because a part of their gaming "history" is lost. The business of the games industry in this case gets in the way of--yes, I'm going to say it!--the _art_ or even just the _appreciation of_ the video game as a medium for entertainment.

Please note: I'm not saying that every single Virtual Boy-scale failure out there has irretrievably wrecked every possible means of playing the games for that system. For the average gamer, though, to play some excellent Sega CD (for instance) game (if there were any--I don't know for sure), would require a lot of work, most of which is either expensive (trying to eBay up a working unit) or illegal (emulation).

Three Page Rambling Fanboy Whine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15958975)

A few images of dead consoles, a few old fanboy memes, "Sony killed my Dreamcast with teh PS2 Hype"...

Yawn.

Brilliant writing (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#15958979)

"The console war brings with it great competition, which has created some of the best consoles around. But the console war has also had its share of casualties - some of which were some of the best consoles around. And that is why I think the console war, despite all of its good intentions, is not good for gaming."

So. It was good in some ways. Bad in others.

Brilliant insight.

Three pages to get to... (1)

peaworth (578846) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959003)

when there is competition, there are some winners and some losers.

Don't waste your clicks.

Re:Three pages to get to... (revised) (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959286)

when there is competition, there are some winners and some losers.

I think you meant to say:

"When there is competition, there are some winners and some whiners."

What Could Have Been Posted Instead (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959032)

In real console news this week:

* One of Microsoft's hardware suppliers is warning that weak demand for the 360 is going to negatively impact their financials.

* A story about people seeing some new PS3 tech demos that are insane

* A new Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer is about to be shown at the German games convention

* Sony is still on track to have 4 million PS3s by year end - correcting the error/misunderstanding from a recent interview

I guess all the latest news doesn't fit Zonk's agenda...so we get crap like this 'article'.

Re:What Could Have Been Posted Instead (2, Insightful)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959390)

Were those all submitted by you? And are you a Sony fanboy, because all of those seem to have that same theme... plus posting about the MGS4 trailer before it's actually shown would be pointless for a site like Slashdot. I think the more interesting Sony story (and it may have already been posted) has to do with one of the games taking up 22 GB (Resistance: Fall of Man), which is also supposed to incorporate the motion controller functionality (but, surprise , doesn't). I have no real interest in the PS3, but the news of that game and the amount of disc space it used was interesting (although I wonder if part of the large size has to do with them not compressing their data--although that will be good in reducing load times, I would assume). Lots of rumors on the Wii front for news coming out tomorrow, but until those rumors become reality, nothing worse reporting on. As for the 360 (positive news) the roadmap for the PC-360 cross platform gaming was revealed today, and that's good because I thought that was one of the 360's few innovations.

See, is it that hard to balance the news out that much? I have no interest in either the PS3 or the 360 (at least right now--on a budget, and it'll be a Wii for me, plus I NEED my Zelda fix and then my Super Smash and Mario fix), but there are still articles for the other systems that I find interesting. Leave your bias at the door.

Re:What Could Have Been Posted Instead (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959795)

Wait, so they've got multiple discrete processors on a single die with a huge amount of bandwidth and they don't even want to spend the 2% of the available CPU cycles compressing something so that we don't need Blueray?

RIIIIDGE RAAAACER!

Re:What Could Have Been Posted Instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959817)

That's just my assumption... I don't see how else they could fill up 22 GB at this, as yet, unfinished stage. Plus there was a lot of hype in the talk about how it couldn't even fit on a regular HD-DVD and how PS3 and Blu-Ray are the only way their game would be possible. I, personally, think it's a lot of FUD, but I could be wrong. Right now I'm working on a 3D CAVE demo that uses 6 4k by 4k pixels and I doubt even our demo with spatial sound, stereo graphics, etc. will use even close to 22 GB. Granted, we're just modeling an island you walk around and not a full game, but we're also creating it at a much higher resolution...

Re:What Could Have Been Posted Instead (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959441)

Sony is still on track to have 4 million PS3s by year end

Sony {has} yet to start PS3 production [timesonline.co.uk] (august 22). But it still expects to have product in the stores in time for the Christmas shopping season? Which in the states begins with Halloween. October 31st.

Re:What Could Have Been Posted Instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959523)

Actually, the Christmas shopping season is more commonly known to begin after Thanksgiving Day, which will be November 24th this year, at least in the U.S. I understand that Canadians celebrate it earlier (October 9th this year).

Sony would never issue a misleading press release (3, Interesting)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959516)

Well, if Sony says they are on track to have 4 million PS3's in stores by year's end, it must be true.

We have absolutely no reason to doubt them [afterdawn.com] .

Competition BAD! (1)

Thad Boyd (880932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959041)

We'd obviously be much better off with only one platform to game on. Nothing bad EVER came of a monopoly. I mean, just look at the PC monoculture. It's not like Microsoft's ever done anything to screw consumers.

Sega cut their own throats (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959058)

I kept waiting for the author to make his point but all the did was prove that poor planning, marketing and spin control lead to failure. The article should have been called how to really screw up gaming in spite of innovation. In the end it was just another ode to the Dreamcast with is has become as common as Browncoaters whining about Firefly...its over get over it.

Sega was a great company (sorry but I dont concider the shell that was left after the Sammy merger Sega) but they screwed the pooch. Sega released the Dreamcast way to early compared to the other companies next generation consoles, they had too few 3rd party games and though good for hardcore gamers too many quirky titles and not enough mainstream ones. Take Shenmue as an example, it was a beautiful game that was fun if you were into that kind of thing, but for the masses that title was destined to go nowhere. Super Magenetic Neo was another that I loved but outside of the "gamers" it was just a quirky title that didnt sell, you simply have to have the shoveled mainstream crap to survive. Add in the fact that the Dreamcast was cracked wide open before the other consoles even hit the shelves and the writing was on the wall.

What happened to "Sega Has What Nintendon't" and agressive marketing that showed off the platform. All they did was had people doing mundane things suddenly screaming Sega!, that doesnt sell product it just encourages the use of the remotes mute button. Don't blame competition, lack of competition is never a good thing. Poor timing, poor execution, poor security and poor spin control = poor SEGA.

Re:Sega cut their own throats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959436)

Yeah, what could people whining about Firefly ever accomplish [imdb.com] .

Re:Sega cut their own throats (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959711)

Evidently not enough to cover costs...
I'll see your IMDB link and raise you the box office reciepts
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379786/business [imdb.com]

Dont get me wrong I have the box set and was there opening night for Serenity, but for that matter I have had a Dreamcast since 9-9-99 but it died prematurely and I got over it just like I got over Firefly being Axed. It didnt matter that Sega had a better gem to crap ratio just as it doesnt matter that the network screwed Joss by showing firefly out of order and switched times around too much for it get an audience, they are both dead, they are no more! they have ceased to be! Smarts lost out to mass appeal, it sucks but thats life.

Various responses (3, Insightful)

Wampus Aurelius (627669) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959105)

Redundant: I challenge the author to finish the sentence "The console wars are bad for gaming because..." without using the word "Dreamcast."

Insightful: I say the console wars are good for gaming because they force companies to make better consoles and better games. But also the console wars are bad for gaming because too much effort is going into doing what everyone else is doing, but doing it slightly better, and not enough effort is going into creating something new and interesting. Nintendo appears to be trying a new direction with Wii, but only time will tell how creative it is, or if it's more of the same with a new gimmick. But at least they're putting their balls on the line and trying some innovation, rather than the Xbox 360 (Same games, better graphics!) or the PS3 (Same games, higher prices!).

Troll: Blah blah bad article blah blah Zonk blah blah idiot.

Funny: In the Soviet Union, wars are not good for game consoles!

One Console to Rule Them All (2, Insightful)

MisaDaBinksX4evah (889652) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959133)

I wholeheartedly agree that we should have just one console. I think Microsoft should make it. In fact, Microsoft shouldn't sell the console. They should license it for $800 and have $200/year subscription fees for their online service. This would certainly be far better for gaming than the current situation where there's so much confusing competition going on. Everyone knows that competition is bad for innovation.

What a bunch of crap.

Re:One Console to Rule Them All (3, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959599)

On the other end of the spectrum, I'd like to see commodity game hardware. I think they did it, after a fashion, in the old atari 2600 days. Let Phillips, Microsoft, Samsung, &c. all make game machines using a unified format rather than the silly overpriced hardware lockin we've got today.

Unfortunately, it'll never happen. It might be technically feasible, but it doesn't fit with the current business plans. The big three have too much to lose in giving up the "My way or no Zelda/Halo/Final Fantasy" approach.

Re:One Console to Rule Them All (1)

0xA (71424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960065)

3DO did that and it didn't go so well, it might not be the reason it didn't work but there are problems that it brought up.

Historically any game that requires an add on bombs. Anything that needed the gun for the NES, the power glove etc. OEMs building commodity consoles are going to look for a way to differentiate their products, you will end up with a bunch of consoles that are compatible in core features but that all have their own little add ons. Games that require or at least work better with these extra features are going to end up fragmenting the market and probably won't sell very well. You end up with the same problem you have now just on a different level.

Re:One Console to Rule Them All (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960216)

I'd like to see commodity game hardware. I think they did it, after a fashion, in the old atari 2600 days.

Atari licensed (and built) their 2600 console for Sears under the Sears moniker, but otherwise it was a pretty basic and open system. So open, that competitors were soon able to create and market cartridge games which ran on the base hardware. Ever since the crash of '83, console makers have added various "lockout" devices to make sure they remain in charge of their own console and its games.

Anyway, as folks have pointed out, 3D0 was originally a hardware console make. They tried to pass around this idea of licensing the core hardware to multiple manufacturers, but it never really went anywhere. Munfacturers are left with the problem of how to differentiate a game machine which is functionally identical to their competitors. Ultimately, it becomes a price war with slim-to-no profit margin.

The One Console To Rule Them All idea seems to be in Microsoft's game plan (ha ha, a pun). They enter the market with their v1.0 Xbox, a modified PC running a DirectX platform. Establish themselves, developers (buy them if necessary), and supply-chain. Quickly abandon the v.1 hardware and come out with incompatible and quite different v.2. They just to inch up the install base a bit with each release, much like DOS and later Windows. With Microsoft's resources I'm sure in their eyes it is a war of attrition, certainly helped along by Sony's recent habit of shooting their own toes/feet/legs off all over the place. Microsoft seems to think all they need to do it outperform Sony and out-spend Nintendo. In other words: Microsoft wants to become the de facto "commodity" console of which you speak.

I'm sure in J. Allard's twisted fantasies, 10 years from now nobody will heed to any other console besides Xbox. In fact, if reality doesn't intervene and Xbox actually lasts that long, I'd be surprised if Microsoft didn't start licensing out Xbox hardware design and focus on the DirectX (or whatever) software underpinnings to run on those other makers 'Xbox' machines, much like the PDA and PC market today.

Re:One Console to Rule Them All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15960292)

I think what you're describing is a PC, except some companies don't make games for PC (ie Nintendo).

Re:One Console to Rule Them All (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15961649)

3 years ago I agreed with you. The next generation of consoles are just the previous ones with faster chips and extra buttons - something that a commodity manufacturing process could easily do. Consoles should just have been like DVD players - I shouldn't have to care who made it, just put in the disc and play.

However, what changed my mind is the DS and the Wii (-ly awful name). A design-by-comittee commodity manufacturing process simply couldn't come up with stuff as balls-out crazy, and the DS shows that crazy can work very well indeed.

The other thing that changed my mind is the HDDVD-Bluray schism. If we left console design to consortia then we can still sometimes end up with a fractured market, so the main advantage is nullified.

Re:One Console to Rule Them All (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961771)

...and the DS shows that crazy can work very well indeed.

Yes. Who knew that a friggin operation simulator would be so much fun... : p [no, really, it's a lot of fun!]

Re:One Console to Rule Them All (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961799)

Not that I disagree, or that you don't have a good point, but I think it could work the other way around, too? If all consoles could play all games, but some had Blu-Ray, HD, standard DVD, or none of the above, it would eliminate the question of whether Final Fantasy XXVI, Halo 6, or Donkey Kongo-Bongo are driving purchases of the systems, or if people were actually adopting $NEWFORMAT on its own merits.

I know, it's overly idealistic and will never happen, but I knew that when I started the subthread, and said as much. ;)

Bad Console War (1, Insightful)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959243)

(ok i haven't read any of the article on the link but i want to say what i want to say anyhow :P )

I think console wars are bad simply because it cost too much for everyone:
-the game maker needs to remake a big part of the game for it to work on many consoles because he wants it to go to a wider audience
-the gamers who can't afford to buy another console just because they want to play that very good game that isn't out on the system of their choice
-the console makers who can't do anything much except hope that good games will be made and lots of sales will come from that... then make the next one and hope for the same thing...

i heard that Resident Evil 4 was really great... but it took forever to get on the PS2.. then when it got out, i was too broke to buy it... now i heard that it was gona get out on pc.. been waiting for that for many months...
What did i win? nothing, i didn't get the game i wanted to play on the console i wanted to play it....
Who won? nobody, i didn't spend my money...
Did console superiority do anything? PS2 is market leader, but i prefer to play on the pc, so i'm still waiting with my money in my hands....

Like every war, Console wars only leaves victims and scars, nothing else...
The winner is the one that still have the strengh to get back home....

Re:Bad Console War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959381)

Right, so they lost out because a customer with no money didn't buy their games?
For shame.

Never forget Rule of Acquisition #34 (1)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959266)

"War is good for business."

Console makers never get as much free advertising and marketing as they do when they're in conflict. It's not about survival, it's about generating interest.

Console wars are bad for Gaming, What about PC ! (1)

Endemic1 (988776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959270)

Seriously, I see console wars as a way to slowly destroy PC gaming. the fact of the matter is that PC gaming doesnt really have fan boys. 360 killing the PC [ggl.com] this article sort of agrees with me

More likely the console wars are good (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959271)

in that new features, like oh I don't know, the Wii's fun motion-sensing controller and wand really change the nature of gaming and make it more fun.

But, hey, it's never great when you're trying to push consoles that don't make a profit, or push ever more FPS and Sports games the vast majority of casual and women/girl gamers don't give a flying h00t about, or just rake in the cash from yet another port of a multi-platform game.

Noone likes losing. But if it never happened, we'd all be playing Tetris and Pong.

.

Hey, anyone else still remember the version of Tetris in Monty Python's game where they go "I'm not dead yet!" - that was sweet!

Re:More likely the console wars are good (1)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959939)

I still play Tetris, you insensitive clod!
(sorry, it had to be said)

So what? (2, Interesting)

jozeph78 (895503) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959432)

I can buy a Dreamcast with a bunch of (rare) games for $35 on eBay. That sucks for Sega, but how is that bad for me as a consumer?

Re:So what? (1)

inu_maru (843192) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960454)

barely any games kept being produced for the Dreamcast, that's what's bad for you as a consumer.

bolshevism (1)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959542)

This sounds like red propaganda to me.

We need another player... (4, Insightful)

Dinosaur Neil (86204) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959650)

All right, competition can, and often is, a good thing for the consumer. But usually, it's only good if the market/consumer drives the competition. The current next-generation console competition is not a response to consumers; it's being rammed down the consumers' throats.

I read the article and never really bought his analogy. I think the Dreamcast died for much the same reason as the Atari Jaguar died and that I think the PS3 will die; we game consumers don't really want or need that much power, at least not at that price. One of the reasons that I picked up my PS2 (after not owning a console since my Genesis) was because PC games were starting to focus on pretty (and expensive, in terms of video cards) graphics at the expense of story, playability, and entertainment value. Specifically, when I found that the latest entry in a franchise that I'd been playing for years required a video card that cost, at a minimum, half again as much as a PS2, I bailed on PC games for a while.

If we really want competition to serve the consumer (rather than settle a "bet" over which unnecessary new DVD format will be forced down our throats), we need another player. Nintendo might play that role, but I realy think what we need is a good console (not a spectacularly extravegant one) that plays cheap games. In my dreams, this system an open source, both hardware and software, but it doesn't have to be. Keep the graphics around the same level as the current gen to force the developers to think in terms of gameplay instead of flashy crap. Avoid the licensing fees and marketing BS that drives prices up. Is an offical NFL lisence necessary for a good football game? Does a movie tie-in improve a platformer?

I'm looking forward to the unfortunately named Wii far more than the PS3 (both for its lower price tag and all the potential wrapped up in that weird controller), and so far I have not seen anything on the X-Box 360 that justifies its price. Either way, it feels like this iteration of "competition" is not doing anything for the consumer except digging deeper into our pockets for the gaming equivalent of bloatware.

Re:We need another player... (2, Insightful)

adam31 (817930) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960160)

Just Wait.

Your heart is in the right place, but your response lacks foresight. Next-gen is not "being crammed down consumers' faces," because there is still tons of quality discount current-gen product floating around. Sony is even still publishing first party titles, and there are a few good third-party games coming. Your thought seems to emphasize this choice between early-adopting or throwing up your arms and quitting.

Just Wait. Price reductions are for people like you-- more sense than money, skeptical of frenzied impulse buys. Unhappy in long lines, Just wait and check out what you missed in the current-gen for almost free. But realize that the next-gen is necessary... 300 Mhz processors and 32kb of L1 cache only last so long.

Re:We need another player... (1)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#15962250)

there's some serious holes in your argument here, starting with the most obvious one:
I think the Dreamcast died for much the same reason as the Atari Jaguar died and that I think the PS3 will die; we game consumers don't really want or need that much power, at least not at that price.

The Dreamcast debuted at $199 and was down to $99 in less than a year. Of all the things that killed it, price wasn't one of them, and as for power it was the weakest of the next gen systems...Xbox > GC > Ps2 >DC. Yet, you claim you purchased a Ps2 which is more powerful, and substantially more expensive than the DC. 5 years after it's launch it STILL isn't $99.

I agree with the poster above me- what you're saying sounds a lot like "I can't afford early adopter hardware and don't want to wait for price drops therefore everyone should cater to my needs and only produce cheap goods that fit my budget." Gamers come from all walks of life and who are you to say companies are wrong for wanting to cater to demand? There's clearly a market for powerful, cutting edge hardware, just as there's a market for the budget gamer such as yourself. one of the bonuses of a competitive market is that prices will gradually come down as manufacturers seek to appeal to all types of gamers. If a system or game you want is a little pricy, either save up or or have some patience.

Terrible (1, Funny)

Kuj0317 (856656) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959808)

That article was terrible. The only quasi-point that the author made in all 3 pages was that the dreamcast was an unfortunate casualty. That was the worst article I read all week, and I subscribe to totalfark. /zing

What console war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15959850)

Nintendo has lost the edge, Sony blinked, and newcomer Microsoft is extending the evil empire. The only reason Sony can survive is that so, so many people want so, so, so badly for Microsoft to fail.

Quite the Stretch... (1)

Madpony (935423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959883)

Wow. This guy was trying WAY too hard to make his cold war analogy fit the console market. National defense is JUST LIKE a couple of video game companies competing to dominate their collective market. My god, that just makes SO MUCH sense!

Meanwhile, in the Cold Cookie War, Oreo and Hydrox keep each other locked in a constant state of fear that the strongest cookie will annihilate the other.

Wow (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959950)

Not only is the article stupid, it's offensive.

Having lost two straight console generations (think: N64 as Hiroshima, GameCube as Nagasaki), the company branched off into a new direction, looking to lose its previous isolationist mentality.

Yeah, that's a TOTALLY valid analogy.

Missing the Point. (1)

flaakmonkey (976143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960455)

The dude seems to be bent on old times that are now irrelevant. A Nintendo fanboy who hated SEGA as a competitor and yet loved the ally in them in the gaming world. Becuase lets face it, two are better than one. And choice is alwyas good. What drives it apart is the fact that after two consoles and almost a decade later he is finally embracing SONY and now that it has grown on him, he is bashing the competion as he once did SONY upon putting the DC (dreamcast) to an early grave. I cleary can see his disappointment in the DC. But I still own one and have a collection of games to enjoy. He needs to get over this and look to the future, becuase that is now. And now is about games. And games alone are will and for what I belive always have been, what sold the system.

Console wars suck.... (2, Interesting)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961438)

The main thing they cause is a need to spend a considerable amount of money on multiple consoles. SNES and Genesis were roughly the same in games they offered (roughly, SNES had better hardware and better RPGs, but they were very similar). But to say n64 and PSOne offered the same kinds of games is blasphemy. Even with Gamecube/XBox/PS2, we are seeing major differences for the different kinds of games (Let's see... PS2 for my RPGs... XBox for my online FPS.... Gamecube for my..... family-friendly fun). And console prices are not going down. By the time it's reasonable for your typical gamer to own all three consoles of a generation price-wise, the interest has been lost due to upcoming new console launches. And I'd rather spend $75 for three extra controllers for a single console then $300 for extra controllers for all three. It adds up.

Nintendo (2, Interesting)

CodemasterMM (943136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961524)

This is why I stick with Nintendo. Honestly, they aren't going away anytime soon. Sony, I think, will be the first to go if anyone. I was very much saddened when I heard Sega was dropping out of the hardware race (although I hope they return at some point).

Is it just me or does anyone else want the days to be like the old Nintendo/Sega rivalry where most games came out for both systems where the only real differences were the controller shape, button layout, and the small number of proprietary games (ie - Nintendo's Mario and Sega's Sonic)

that had to be... (1)

xnerd00x (92166) | more than 7 years ago | (#15962471)

... the most retarded article i read today. I am stupider for it. Why is this both on slashdot and joystiq? You guys just want hits don't you.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...