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More Than Half of the US Plays Videogames

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-a-lot dept.

Games 85

The newest NPD numbers pass on a heartening statistic about the adoption of games: more than half of the US population plays videogames via some method. "Most people said that per week, they're either playing just as many or less hours than they did last year. Thirty percent said that they play more than a year ago, while another 30 percent said they play less and 40 percent say that they play the same amount of hours. Males aged 18-34 continue to be the heaviest gamers and are more attracted to hardcore games as opposed to casual games."

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I guess... (5, Funny)

Gaerek (1088311) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687842)

...that means that according to Jack Thompson, over half the US is going to go on a killing rampage.

Re:I guess... (4, Funny)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688030)

It's true!

Of course, the gamers are only attacking each other and they all have extra lives so...

Re:I guess... (1)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689056)

nonononono They will attack each other only will they respawn somewhere else with their default weapon.

Re:I guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21742128)

90 extra lives to be precise.

up up down down left right left right b a start

Re:I guess... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21688450)

Jack Thompson is a wife beater and a child fucker

Modded funny? (1)

SpeedyGonz (771424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689326)

That's frickin insightful, IMHO, mod accordingly.

Yes funny (1)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 6 years ago | (#21692118)

Just not in a funny - haha - sense of the word. Maybe more of a "what smells?" kind.

Re:I guess... (-1, Offtopic)

kamosa (1162601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689368)

Insert bad joke about Iraq here

Re:I guess... (1)

Tailsfan (1200615) | more than 6 years ago | (#21690296)

Sure.... Wii Bowling kills people. And I never got this survey.

I guess...Hulk smash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21691026)

Considering a mup.sys error in Windows (Google for it) is keeping me from playing. I just may go on a killing rage.

Re:I guess... (0, Flamebait)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21694880)

If Jack Thompson actually cared about the children he would have gotten this asshole [joystiq.com] a fucking Playstation.

Re:I guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21723008)

I know! Just the other day I said to my wife "honey, why don't we go out tonight and have a nice killing rampage?"

Would you believe girlfriend?

Oh all right, I wen't out by myself to have the rampage...

What? Aah, who am I kidding, I'm still in the basement. I sent mom out for the rampage. I hope she remembers to bring back cheese crackers...

the other half (0, Troll)

Dr_Art (937436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687860)

The other half just play with their wanker...

Re:the other half (1)

Dr_Art (937436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21712938)

"Toll"? "Offtopic"? Jeez! Maybe you would have gotten the joke better if I said "The other half just play with their Wii"

Statistics! (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687870)

Most people said that per week, they're either playing just as many or less hours than they did last year.

Or

"Most people said that per week, they're either playing just as many or more hours than they did last year."

Both statements are true.

Re:Statistics! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21696842)

Not necessarily... your math needs a little work. Most people implies a majority of people which is over 50%.
Suppose 1% played the same amount of hours as last year, and 57% played less than last year. Then 58% are "playing just as many or less hours than they did last year" but only 44% are "playing just as many or more hours than they did last year" which is most definitely not a majority.

Re:Statistics! (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700110)

wow, an AC gets it right. I agree, those two statements are not the same.

WHAT?! (-1, Troll)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687912)

Ok, those numbers are meaningless... Half of the rest of the half between the ages of something or other play more, while some play less, unless they're male between X and Y then they play MAN GAMES!.

Ok, The only thing I fully understand with a brief look is that males my age (31) would rather play a hardcore game. I can agree with that. Currently I'm playing Crysis. I'd say it's pretty hardcore. After this, it'll either be call of duty 4 or Bioshock. No tetris for me! I also don't care for MMOLMOLMP games any longer because I usually only can play for 30 minutes at a time, and I remember spending the first 30 minutes of my Eversmack hours trying to find a group that was worth a damn.

Oh, and if I can't play it with a mouse/keyboard at 1600*1200 then it's not worth playing. Sorry Xboxers and PS3 kiddies. No sitting on the living room floor playing with a controller for me. 8 buttons ain't enough. I need all 104. And I can't STAND trying to sniper with a joy nub! Nothing comes close to a mouse... Oh and I saw that 'aim assist' crap once. Please!

Re:WHAT?! (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687948)

I should say meaningless to me... or more, I just don't want to spend the time trying to figure them out.

Re:WHAT?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21688018)

Ahhh, the good ol' "I can't comprehend anything beyond my nose" argument. How have you ever managed to live to 31? And let's all hope you don't make it to 32.

Re:WHAT?! (0, Flamebait)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688040)

yeah uh... not all games are FPSs fool how about you take a look into some other genres
I dont think we should use the term "hardcore gamers" for people with tunnel vision when it comes to what games they will play

it should only apply to the crazies like me, who will play nearly anything as long as its not yet another jap RPG

Re:WHAT?! (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688042)

OK, so you are a self-described "hardcore" gamer...well, I have some sad news for you bucko. As soon as you say you refuse to play a game because either A. it is on a console or B. it is on a game system made by a specific company, you are basically revealing to the world that you are a moron. A complete and total moron.

What kind of gamer would want to LIMIT themselves by refusing to play games on certain platforms/systems? If you truly are a hardcore gamer, you would be playing as many different games as possible on as many different systems as possible...otherwise, you are what some people like to call "fake".

Who gives a crap if it's played with a keyboard/mouse or a controller? Who cares what company manufactured the system it plays on? If it's a video game, and it's fun, what more could you possibly want?

Christ, people like you piss me off...

Re:WHAT?! (0, Troll)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688280)

I am by no means a hardcore gamer, nor did I claim to be. I don't have the time for that. But the article, and I, both refer to hardcore GAMES, as opposed to casual games. You failure to comprehend invalidates your first two paragraphs.

Re:WHAT?! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688364)

Ok, The only thing I fully understand with a brief look is that males my age (31) would rather play a hardcore game. I can agree with that. Currently I'm playing Crysis. I'd say it's pretty hardcore. After this, it'll either be call of duty 4 or Bioshock. No tetris for me!

Oh, and if I can't play it with a mouse/keyboard at 1600*1200 then it's not worth playing. Sorry Xboxers and PS3 kiddies. No sitting on the living room floor playing with a controller for me. 8 buttons ain't enough. I need all 104. And I can't STAND trying to sniper with a joy nub! Nothing comes close to a mouse... Oh and I saw that 'aim assist' crap once. Please!


I dunno man...all of that sounds rather elitist...elitist and 'hardcore' tend to go hand in hand, you know...notice I called you a "self-described hardcore gamer". I didn't assign you that label, I said you were a "self-described". The description that you gave in both of those quotes of yourself tells me what you think of yourself when it comes to video games...hence, self-described.

Re:WHAT?! (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688734)

Let me clarify.

1. I play games that I would consider hard core. Crysis, as opposed to Tetris.
2. I don't play enough to think of myself hardcore. 4 hours as WEEK maybe. A 6 hour LAN party once a month.
3. Being that I don't play that much, I am very discerning about WHAT I play, and HOW I play. Keyboard/mouse are the controllers for me. I want a high resolution. Console graphics at low res have completely caught up, but currently I don't know of any TV or console that'll do 1600x1200. I'll be going to 1920 with my next upgrade. As far as controllers, I don't think I'll ever be able to do a headshot with a joy nub.
4. I also prefer the 'mod-ability' of PC games. I can't tell you how long I played starcraft on user made maps.

I think audio is the only place where console games are on par. And I think that with what I've heard of Xbox Live, Consoles may have the edge in networked games.

*Disclaimer* we just bought my kids a PS2 for Christmas (yeah, not spending THAT much money.) It'll be interesting to see which one they prefer. A lot goes to be said for just dropping in a CD and turning it on.

Re:WHAT?! (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688926)

Regardless, the way that you talk about it makes you sound like an elitist ass. And btw, any TV that can output a 1080P signal is already putting out a higher resolution than 1600X1200....not to mention 1600X1200 isn't all that high for modern PC games...

As far as headshotting with a controller, it just takes some getting used to...if anything, it just means you are more skilled if you are able to. Being able to be just as proficient in an FPS using a mouse as you are using a controller is a great skill to have btw. You never know when a great shooter is going to be a console exclusive...Goldeneye, perhaps?

BTW, both the 360 AND the PS3 can output a 1080p signal. Just thought you would like to know.

Being able to modify PC games, that I will definately agree with you on...Oblivion is the perfect example of that, and Team Fortress 2/Portal will both be fantastic examples of it as well, once the community spends some more time with them.

Still, don't entirely write off consoles....you are really limiting yourself from playing some fantastic games.

Re:WHAT?! (3, Informative)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691150)

Keep in mind even though consoles says they do 1080i/p, doesn't mean it actually does. Call of Duty 4, etc, only display like 1080x600 or something like that, even though it says 1080i on the box. Only a rare few games actually display the full 1920x1080 or whatever the resolution is.

Re:WHAT?! (1)

xubu_caapn (1086401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691462)

you're misunderstanding his point, or you don't want to quit because he sounds "elitist" to you. but he's merely trying to say that, given the limited time he has to play video games (or wants to), that he chooses to use it on computers because that's what's easiest and that's what he enjoys most. he's not staying away from consoles purposely...

Re:WHAT?! (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700258)

He made that point in a reply to a reply to his original post. I admit, he seemed less elitist in his reply. But his original post was a little flamebait-ish.

"No sitting on the living room floor playing with a controller for me. 8 buttons ain't enough. I need all 104. And I can't STAND trying to sniper with a joy nub!"

I play consoles. I don't sit on the floor. And "joy nub" sounds condescending.

Re:WHAT?! (2, Insightful)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689076)

The biggest problem with playing games at 1600x1200 or above is the hardware costs to get a good framerate out of said games. I could probabaly buy all three consoles for the cost of the upgrades to play such games on my PC. Playing at 720p/1080p is good enough for me.

Ont he mod side, that is indeed what kept me playing pc games for so long. I was thrilled when sony allowed mods on the ps3, and UT3 made use of them. Its as simple as downloading the mod to a usb stick and importing it on your ps3. Really hoping they find a way to do it without a PC though. They also let you use a mouse and keyboard, which is awesome. Saved me a ton of PC upgrade money.

Re:WHAT?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21690502)

I for one consider Tetris more hardcore than Crysis.
Crysis is for casual gamers that like nothing but good graphics, Tetris is for people that like a challenge.

Of course if you are playing easy mode almost no game is hardcore, except Contra or Mushihimesama [wikipedia.org] .

Re:WHAT?! (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691742)

That's what I was going to say; but now I'm redundant... better say more...

Tetris is just pure. Kind of like how a long-distance runner is more a pure athlete than a football player. Nothing but you, the game, and hand-eye coordination.

Re:WHAT?! (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21693804)

Tetris is for people that like a challenge.
What about those of us who play it for the music?

Re:WHAT?! (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700354)

Tetris is considered a casual game, which does not mean that it can't be taken to the hardcore levels (want proof? look up Tetris on youtube). What makes Tetris a casual game is that it's far more accessible than games labeled "hardcore". Truthfully, I don't really like the concept of Hardcore/Casual but as long as it's around, I think it's important to recognize that a casual game can appeal to a hardcore player and there's no shame in that. Still, calling Tetris a hardcore game is a bit of a stretch.

What is a console? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688384)

As soon as you say you refuse to play a game because either A. it is on a console or B. it is on a game system made by a specific company, you are basically revealing to the world that you are a moron. A complete and total moron.
What is the essential difference between a PC and a "console"? Is it largely that the maker of a "console" refuses to provide "methods, procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to install and execute modified versions of a [...] work in that [console] from a modified version of its Corresponding Source" to end users? If so, would that make Mr. Stallman a moron because GPLv3 games don't run on consoles by definition?

If you truly are a hardcore gamer, you would be playing as many different games as possible on as many different systems as possible...otherwise, you are what some people like to call "fake".
Given the $1,350 price tag to own all three consoles with even one controller (Xbox: $450 incl. two years of Live Gold; PS3: $500; Wii: $400 from a scalper), does a limited income make a player "fake", or just not "hardcore"?

Who gives a crap if it's played with a keyboard/mouse or a controller?
Is DDR or Guitar Hero more fun with a keyboard than with its intended controller? And how many keyboards and mice can I connect to a single PC running games for Windows when I have friends over?

Re:What is a console? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688528)

What is the essential difference between a PC and a "console"? Is it largely that the maker of a "console" refuses to provide "methods, procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to install and execute modified versions of a [...] work in that [console] from a modified version of its Corresponding Source" to end users? If so, would that make Mr. Stallman a moron because GPLv3 games don't run on consoles by definition?
The essential difference is a PC is a PC and a console is something such as an Xbox, a Playstation, a Dreamcast...come on, stop nitpicking.

Given the $1,350 price tag to own all three consoles with even one controller (Xbox: $450 incl. two years of Live Gold; PS3: $500; Wii: $400 from a scalper), does a limited income make a player "fake", or just not "hardcore"?
No, a limited income doesn't make a player fake...if they can only afford one system, then fine. That's something they have to deal with, not their fault. But if they refuse to buy a system because it is manufactured by a certain company as opposed to choosing the system that has the most games they are interested in (especially important if they are limited to one system), THEN they are fake.

Is DDR or Guitar Hero more fun with a keyboard than with its intended controller?
No, it isn't more fun. But I wasn't referring to specific games, and neither was the OP. He simply said if it couldn't be played with a keyboard/mouse, it wasn't worth playing. Would you say God of War wasn't worth playing? Or perhaps Ninja Gaiden Black? Or maybe Ico/Shadow of the Colossus, or Okami, or the Zelda series or the Metroid series...or maybe Crackdown, or Uncharted...see what I mean?

And how many keyboards and mice can I connect to a single PC running games for Windows when I have friends over?
Usually one...that's why PC's are typically used for LAN parties. If none of your friends have PC's and you enjoy playing multiplayer splitscreen, then obviously you should invest in consoles that have good multiplayer games....like Nintendo. Nintendo has always excelled at having you play with the person sitting next to you. Or Xbox...play each other over LIVE, it's a decent service even if it does cost $50 a year. Then again, a 10 person LAN party can create some awesome memories...

Re:What is a console? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688860)

The essential difference is a PC is a PC and a console is something such as an Xbox, a Playstation, a Dreamcast...
Then what's a PC? Something that has a Microsoft operating system installed on it? Does that make a Mac that doesn't have Boot Camp and XP installed not a PC? Does that make my PDA a PC because it runs Windows Mobile?

come on, stop nitpicking.
I wanted to get Layne's Law [c2.com] issues out of the way first because precise definitions make arguments more robust. If I don't know what definition of PC you're using, I find it difficult to participate meaningfully.

If none of your friends have PC's
The friends I'm talking about don't own PCs; their parents do.

and you enjoy playing multiplayer splitscreen, then obviously you should invest in consoles that have good multiplayer games
I have a Wii. But which platform has both independent games and split-screen multiplayer games?

Re:What is a console? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688966)

As far as your "PC vs Console" definition...I'm not even going to give it further response. You have taken it into the realm of stupidity, which I refuse to be a part of.

All three of the major consoles this generation have independent and split-screen games. Some PC games have split-screen as well, although they are very few and far between.

Re:What is a console? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689120)

All three of the major consoles this generation have independent and split-screen games.
Independent in what way? How do I make my own multiplayer game for Wii?

Some PC games have split-screen as well, although they are very few and far between.
Why is this the case? Is it that home theater PC setups are also "very few and far between"?

Re:What is a console? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689246)

Independent in what way? How do I make my own multiplayer game for Wii?
by Independent, I thought you were refering to single player games. There is of course the XNA for the 360, and with the Wii there is WiiWare, even though there hasn't been anything released for it yet...I think everything planned for it is due starting early-to-mid 2008...check out the wikipedia article for more info on that.

Why is this the case? Is it that home theater PC setups are also "very few and far between"?


No, it's because there are very few PC games that actually support split screen. In fact, the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Serious Sam Second Encounter.

You are being rather rude. I'm done talking to you.

Re:What is a console? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689470)

You are being rather rude.
How can I learn not to be rude? In what way should I have asked those questions?

Re:What is a console? (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700484)

Damn tepples. I have no idea what point you're trying to make. I will, however, comment on you Guitar Hero statement. Here's how I see it.

I feel it's more fun to play Guitar Hero on the Guitar controller. I probably wouldn't play the game if it wasn't for the controller.

That being said, I take no issue to a person saying "I prefer to play FPS with a mouse and keyboard". That is equatable to me saying that I prefer to play Guitar hero with the guitar. What I do take issue with is the "playing a FPS with a controller is impossible/dumb" attitude that a lot of PC gamers adhere to. If I met someone who played Guitar Hero with a controller, what place would I have to try to call him out on it. It's how he chooses to play, and there's nothing wrong with it.

An offtopic recap (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701600)

Tepples, you've annoyed me enough to make me go off topic. Here's a short (sometimes abridged) history of your posts in this topic. Try and see if you can guess a pattern.

"What is the essential difference between a PC and a "console"? Is it ...to end users? If so, would that make Mr. Stallman a moron because GPLv3 games don't run on consoles by definition? "

"Given the $1,350 price tag to own all three consoles with even one controller (Xbox: $450 incl. two years of Live Gold; PS3: $500; Wii: $400 from a scalper), does a limited income make a player "fake", or just not "hardcore"?"

"Is DDR or Guitar Hero more fun with a keyboard than with its intended controller? And how many keyboards and mice can I connect to a single PC running games for Windows when I have friends over? "

"Then what's a PC? Something that has a Microsoft ...because it runs Windows Mobile?"

"I have a Wii. But which platform has both independent games and split-screen multiplayer games? "

"Independent in what way? How do I make my own multiplayer game for Wii?"

"Why is this the case? Is it that home theater PC setups are also "very few and far between"?"

"How can I learn not to be rude? In what way should I have asked those questions?"

Notice the pattern? Here's an idea. If you have a point, make your point. Don't disguise your points as questions. It's a cheap argumentative strategy and all it does is cloud the conversation. Thank you.

Re:What is a console? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689296)

I remember a few OLD PC games like this when I was younger. Player A would use WASD, player B would use the keypad. I haven't seen anything like that in quite a while. And I never new that HD was 1920*1080... I always figured they refered to it like computer monitors with the width being primary. I thought it was 1080x800 or something. Time for me to move to QXGA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Vector_Video_Standards2.svg [wikipedia.org]

Re:What is a console? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689006)

refuse to buy a system because it is manufactured by a certain company as opposed to choosing the system that has the most games they are interested in (especially important if they are limited to one system), THEN they are fake.>

Actually I play on PC because of the type of games I play much better with a mouse. Precision aiming is dirt simple with a mouse. And selecting a group of 30 zealots on the screen in starcraft would be damn near impossible with anything else. Incidently I tried playing the PC version of Prince of persia. It was rather obvious based on how you controled the character that it was a console port. And Transformers for the PC, which the kids enjoy... As soon as the menu loads it removes the mouse and you do everything with the cursors.

And no, I imagine GuitarHero would suck with a keyboard...

Re:What is a console? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689100)

But you yourself said if it couldn't be played with a keyboard/mouse combo, it isn't worth playing...that is entirely inaccurate. Many of the greatest games of all time (not just my opinion, I'm refering to topping lists, polls, general consensus and such) were console exclusives....Now, I can understand playing primariliy PC games because you play shooters and RTS, that's fine...that makes sense. But don't just pass off ALL games on consoles because they aren't shoehorned into those two genres or because you use a controller instead of a mouse...as a gamer, you are missing out on a lot of history because of that way of thinking.

Do yourself a favour; open your mind a bit.

Re:What is a console? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21693758)

The essential difference is a PC is a PC and a console is something such as an Xbox, a Playstation, a Dreamcast...come on, stop nitpicking.
Lies! [videosift.com] Now let's play some Super Mario Galaxy to do that report we need on Monday.

Re:What is a console? (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700676)

Thank you for that video. It was the feel good story of the year. A hot girl gamer? Now there's hope. Now if only I could get a copy of Prince of Persia with the awesome "You win, advance to level 2" message, I could lure her over to my place.

Re:What is a console? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700786)

Now if only I could get a copy of Prince of Persia with the awesome "You win, advance to level 2" message, I could lure her over to my place.
Just make sure the boss at the end is a very slow Microsoft Excel at populating spreadsheets with that 'populating spreadsheet' noise.

Re:What is a console? (2, Interesting)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689708)

A console has a predefined set of hardware (sans hard storage - as in, you can get a 360 with or without a hard drive, but they all have the same guts), a PC doesn't. By "predefined," I don't mean that the hardware conforms to a set of standards, I mean that every GameBox out there has hardware that behaves in the exact same way. If a developer can get a GameBox's hardware to do backflips in order to render some crazy scene, they can publish that code in a game, and it will work on every GameBox. Additionally, a console is streamlined to play games - gaming may not be its only purpose, but I can't think of a console where you can't just slap a game in and play. The same can't be said for PCs - the developers have to adhere to a set of standards, and the owner/user has to make sure that the everything is in place on their machine in order to play a game correctly. PC hardware is fairly standardized, but no two people have exactly the same installation of Windows. This is why console games get better looking over the life of a console - developers figure out how to better utilize what they're given, and what they're given never changes. PC game developers don't have this kind of optimization in mind because the hardware ALWAYS gets better.

Not having enough money to afford all the consoles does not make you "fake" or "shallow," but defending your choice of a single console by screaming about it at the top of your lungs on the Internet does. You wouldn't be fanboying (ooh, I like that as a verb) if you owned every console on the market because a) You'd have games coming out of your ears and b)You wouldn't have to defend your choice.

Let's take John, a make-believe guy. John is enamored with the anonymity the Internet provides (we all are - if you use the Internet, you enjoy its anonymity in one way or another), and he happens to be a person that has a lot of time to play games and surf the Internet. John has $650 to spend on a console and games. He decides to spend it on a GameBox and a couple of games, which bars him from buying any other consoles because he doesn't have enough money. John cares deeply about the success of the GameBox as opposed to the other consoles because it's the one he owns, and he wants to see it get all the best games, so he posts trollish statements all over Internet message boards about it. He does this because he is insecure about his purchase, even if it's just that touch of buyer's remorse that everyone gets when they make an expensive purchase, regardless of how much they enjoy it. John is known around these parts as a "console fanboy."

What John needs to realize is that a) his statements make no difference to anyone, and b) that if the GameBox actually did "win the war" and wiped all of the other consoles off the face of the planet, it would probably be a raw deal for everyone who plays console games because the lack of competition would result in a dearth of innovation.

There's a lot of condescending talk about enjoying video games for the graphics, or Wii games just for the controls, or PC games just for the online components, but it's a valid reason to enjoy a game or a set of games. Who am I to say that you're stupid because you only enjoy games with good graphics; it's like saying you're stupid because you don't like pepperoni pizza. Maybe you only enjoy shooters, and so having that gigantic monitor for your souped-up PC makes sense, and the mouse/keyboard control set really does make the most sense for you. The people who like games mostly for their graphics are the luckiest among us - the graphics are always going to get better, up until we've got VR implants and can't tell the difference between reality and a realistic video game. What a fun hobby you must enjoy, seriously. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for quality, innovative gameplay, new control methods, new genres enabled by new technology, etc. There will always be shovelware. Those qualities in games are becoming more rare than "teh grafix," and discussing and debating them is more subjective.

I guess what I'm saying is, take a second to think about the games you play. If you're a PC tweaker that only plays shooters - do you *really* only like shooters? Have you ever had the desire to try other things? There are lots of fun video games out there. I spent a long time only playing PC games and I personally feel that I've missed out. I've just rediscovered my PS2 after years of barely playing it - God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, Guitar Hero, etc. Don't even need a current-gen console - I've still got tons of stuff to go through. If the newest games were my thing, then that wouldn't be true, but that's just me.

I can't argue with what anyone may like or not like. Maybe it's really true that you don't like PS2 games because you hate the controller, and that's enough for you to hate every game ever made for it. All I'm saying is that *you* should think for a moment about those statements you make about yourself to discover if they're really true.

If they're not, and you're fanboying simply because you can't have all the gaming platforms, peripherals and games that you want for whatever reason, please shut up unless you've got something rational and objective to say.

Re:What is a console? (0, Troll)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691144)

Very nice, detailed post. Thank you. Now we can get to my point:

A console has a predefined set of hardware (sans hard storage - as in, you can get a 360 with or without a hard drive, but they all have the same guts), a PC doesn't.

You define a console as a fixed set of hardware. Thank you. So why do all consoles sold in the United States have lockout chips?

What John needs to realize is that a) his statements make no difference to anyone, and b) that if the GameBox actually did "win the war" and wiped all of the other consoles off the face of the planet, it would probably be a raw deal for everyone who plays console games because the lack of competition would result in a dearth of innovation.

How does this compare to the dearth of innovation caused by not allowing hobbyists to develop and deploy games on any platform other than Windows and Mac OS X?

Re:What is a console? (2, Interesting)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21692010)

I'm not quite sure how your questions here tie in to what all the posts above were about (thought we were talking more about fanboyism, stupid arguments, etc.) but maybe I didn't read closely enough. Regardless, it's an interesting topic, so I'll bite.

By lockout chips, are you referring to the mechanisms that keep an average Joe can't develop and sell games for a console? Looking at your second question, I imagine so.

I don't see how having a fixed set of hardware has anything to do with having a lockout chip. That aside - I'm not entirely sure how all the lockout mechanisms work (I'm pretty sure that they're implemented through software/BIOS now instead of on a chip, like the infamous NES lockout chip) or how all the money moves around the industry, but I'm pretty sure that console manufacturers put in these mechanisms for two reasons. A) It gives them control over what gets published on the system in terms of quality and content (so our average Joe can't make a 360 game that says "Microsoft and Xbox suck donkey balls" and distribute it). As far as I know, they don't exercise this control often, but if they wanted to they could. B) Those mechanisms are there so the integrity of the console can be guaranteed. Once you mod a 360, it's technically not a 360 anymore, because it doesn't do exactly what a 360 can do (it likely does more). That lockout mechanism will essentially scream bloody murder that it's been modded. Maybe it will do it in such a way that some software doesn't care, but it still means a lot to the manufacturer because it lets them do things like control what machines are allowed on their gaming network and control piracy. This also works to the advantage of the average end user: no modders on XBox Live means no cheaters, and no piracy means cheaper games (theoretically). Additionally, it also protects the identity of a product in the marketplace - Microsoft doesn't want there to effectively be multiple versions of the 360, which would happen if mod chips were easy, legal and allowed on XBox Live.But most importantly, the mechanisms are there so C) the manufacturer can make sure that there is a contract in place for every distributer so that they get a bit of money for every game sold. I'm pretty sure this is how it works, but not completely - please correct me if I'm wrong. It's my understanding that for every game a publisher sells, Microsoft gets some cash from that sale.

Games and consoles are sold on a free market (I speak from the US). Unfortunately, that doesn't mean "everyone is free to do whatever they want with their hardware, mod it up, make games, etc." What it does mean is that Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft/whoever else is free to sell a machine that locks out stuff they don't want on it, and under our laws they can prosecute anyone who defeats that lockout mechanism. They can also refuse to support a modified device, and declare a warranty void if the machine is tampered with in a way that they don't like. This topic always irritates me when people complain that their awesomely modded console can't connect to the game network or can't receive updates anymore. You can hack up that console all you want in your own home and I don't think anyone is going to break down your door to stop you, but that XBox Live network you're trying to connect to? That's Microsoft's network, not yours, and so is the update software you want to get from them. They are free to do whatever they want with it, including blocking your machine that, now modded, is technically no longer a 360.

What "free market" also means is that although a small subset of people may recognize your game as unique and innovative, if it doesn't sell well, the people that the money goes to aren't going to be happy about it, even if you don't care.

Now don't get me wrong - as for your second question, it's a shame that hobbyists can't develop games on console platforms. I wish they could. I do believe that not allowing them to is a block to innovation in video games, but not as big as the block that a lack of competition would create, and the landscape of the industry is to blame for that (keep reading). From what I know, XNA on the 360 is a small step towards this, but you still can't create and distribute your own games because Microsoft doesn't want you doing that, for the reasons above.

Unfortunately, this is how it's going to stay until the money issue gets resolved. In other words, someone who doesn't care about money needs to develop an open-source console (and make it popular and have major publishers release games on it so people actually care about it), hobbyists need to find a way to give console manufacturers the money they want, or something needs to happens so the major forces of the industry change their minds about a few things and move it in a different direction. Competition forces the manufacturers to be innovative and to strive to get the best games for their system so they'll get lots of money and brand recognition ("GameBox gets the best games, I'm buying it instead of the FunMachine."). If the game developers were in charge of what systems were out there, there would only be one, so every game would be on it and everyone would know how to develop for it - that way, there would be no competition amongst consoles, but only among the games themselves. However, "the market knows best:" competition between the console manufacturers creates another tier where innovation and differentiation can occur, and the continued existence of three major consoles on the market proves that the competition is welcomed. What most people don't think about, though, and the really shitty part (THIS IS THE BIG POINT HERE), is that the notion that multiple consoles exist has a symbiotic relationship with the fact that ***most of the REAL competition isn't about innovation. It's about business deals, snagging exclusive games, marketing, riding hype and finding ways to keep users the happiest while reaching into their wallet.*** The market has willed it to be this way because people have found that they can make the most money with the least amount of effort and time by doing it like this. As long as the video game industry is controlled by this wheeling-and-dealing mindset, the average hobbyist doesn't have a chance, because they don't have the dough.

Competition (to create quality products, and thus generate revenue and brand recognition that helps you to continue to generate revenue with future products) is still the best driver of innovation in the industry because it comes back to money, which is what most people want. Console manufacturers make those exclusive-game deals because they want money. Much of the output of the competition is shovelware that makes people a lot of money. But a little bit of it is really great games. They make a TON of money, and they also help the developer and publisher sell more games in the future. Of course a great game may be someone's magnum opus, and if they didn't care about the money, more power to them. However, I guarantee that there were many negotations involved, contracts, marketing, testing, etc. that involved more people than the developer, and it's pretty likely that they care about money a lot. Again, "the market has willed it to be this way." The major players in the industry have built the industry to make money off of it in this way, and until something shakes it to the deepest point of its foundation, that's the way it will stay. Maybe it'll be open source (see "Linux vs. Windows"), maybe it'll be new technology (see "the music industry"), or maybe it will be a massive shift in what the majority of paying consumers want from video games and the major players in the industry will scramble to deliver it to them and have to change some things up in the process. Whatever does it, I hope it happens soon.

Compare to DVD-Video (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21697750)

By lockout chips, are you referring to the mechanisms that keep an average Joe can't develop and sell games for a console?
Yes, I am referring to these technical measures. I am also referring to the policies of all members of the console cartel to 1. reject any title for any reason and 2. categorically reject all proposals from publishers smaller than a given market cap.

I'm pretty sure that console manufacturers put in these mechanisms for two reasons. A) It gives them control over what gets published on the system in terms of quality and content (so our average Joe can't make a 360 game that says "Microsoft and Xbox suck donkey balls" and distribute it). As far as I know, they don't exercise this control often, but if they wanted to they could.
Does DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation reserve this right too? I haven't read any indication that they do.

B) Those mechanisms are there so the integrity of the console can be guaranteed. Once you mod a 360, it's technically not a 360 anymore
But if the lockout mechanism did not exist, people wouldn't have a need to mod the console. Specifically, DVD-Video players don't need to be modded to play independent film or home movies.

no piracy means cheaper games (theoretically).
Theory != practice in this case: Xbox 360 games are sold at a 50 percent premium over PC games in many geographic markets.

But most importantly, the mechanisms are there so C) the manufacturer can make sure that there is a contract in place for every distributer so that they get a bit of money for every game sold.

DVD FLLC earns a cut for each DVD-Video disc pressed through licensed manufacturers of pressed and recordable discs, but that doesn't mean DVD FLLC has to reject titles.

Bottom line: If I have developed a Windows-based working prototype of a video game that's more easily appreciated on a sofa + 27" monitor than on a desk + 17" monitor, how should I market it?

Re:Compare to DVD-Video (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701452)

I think you're missing the point, tepples. The original post had nothing to do with lockout. Everyone can probably agree lockout deprives innovation. That's not a counter to his point, though, that lack of competition deprives innovation. To sum up the conversation so far:

NLAWALKER- "Being a fanboy is bad because, should a fanboy get his wish, we'd see a lapse in competition that would lead to a lack in innovation."

TEPPLES- "Yeah, but consoles have lockout chips that deprive the world of innovation."

ENDERJSV- "You're both right. Shake hands."

Re:Compare to DVD-Video (1)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21709930)

Agreed (::hands shaken::)! Although the conversation has turned towards lockout mechanisms and such, I don't see any reason not to continue it.

In response to tepples' post above, the best move to market a "consolish" game that you've only got a Windows prototype for is to get it out on the Internet and get people talking about it. I'm not exactly sure what Jenova Chen did to get Sony Computer Entertainment's attention with fl0w (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thatgamecompany); maybe someone there just happened to be playing web games on their workstation one day and thought, "This would make a great downloadable Playstation game." Stuff still happens like that, but your game has to be unique and above all really fun to play in order to get the attention that it needs and differentiate it from the thousands of hobbyist versions of Desktop Tower Defense.

The difference between DVD FLLC and Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo is that DVD FLLC doesn't pay to manufacture, advertise and distribute your DVD player, and your player likely doesn't have a big DVD FLLC stamp on the front. In other words, DVD FLLC and the player itself aren't linked in the average consumer's mind, unlike MS/XBox Nintendo/Wii Sony/Playstation, where brand is everything. DVD FLLC simply maintains the integrity of an open format that anyone can publish to - they make sure that no one uses the DVD logo on a disc that doesn't conform to the standards. They could try to charge people to create DVD's but it wouldn't happen, because video is a different kind of industry and the money moves around in different ways. If there was one brand of DVD player, made by DVD FLLC, and no one else was allowed to make them, I wager that the DVD format would be much more closed, but the industry just wasn't put together that way. Think of it as a tradition that's too hard to change now.

If video games were more like movies - a set of standards is made available for a licensing fee by a company or for free by a consortium of companies, and you can buy any brand of VideoGamePlayer that you like and they all play the same corpus of games in roughly the same way, no cheating etc. - things would be a lot different. But, because of the way the industry started and grew, it simply doesn't work that way because there appears to be no money in that strategy. Maybe one day it will be that way, who knows. It would certainly invite innovation in software and erase business-level competition that is meaningless to the consumer that just wants to play all the games he is interested in, but it also reduces the opportunity for innovation requiring new standards, like the Wii. The Wii works because every game uses the controllers - they aren't optional peripherals like the NES ROB was, they are key components of the system.

One of the side effects of the industry growing up this way ended up being one of biggest advantages that consoles have over PCs that I already mentioned: the hardware does more than conform to a standard, it behaves exactly the same way in every console of a given brand. "Standards" are the reason that PC games can be impossible to get working on every PC in the world: there's way too many factors for a standard to consider for it to be comfortably precise (I may run Windows, but it may have some goofy registry keys or weird hardware, and no standard can be detailed enough to consider everything like that), so everyone has their own implementation of the standards. With consoles, a Box is a Box is a Box. Console manufacturers see that as a great advantage, one that they work very hard to create and defend for the companies publishing games for them, and so it's one of the reasons why those companies pay the manufacturer. In essence, publishing a game on a console is a "privilege" because of the way the industry is set up and because of the features of consoles considered to be beneficial to game publishers over PCs, and so you've got either to pay for that privilege or impress someone enough that they're willing to invest in you.

Re:What is a console? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691288)

No. The essential difference is that consoles are fixed hardware while PCs can have many different hardware configurations. PCs tend to be ahead of the curve graphics-wise since they can always be updated while consoles have a 5 year cycle (approximately). Other than that, they are all just computers.

Your concept is just flamebait.

Why must fixed hardware have a lockout chip? (0, Redundant)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691908)

The essential difference is that consoles are fixed hardware while PCs can have many different hardware configurations.
Then why do all fixed-hardware gaming computers sold in the United States come with a lockout chip preventing hobbyists from developing and deploying software for the platform?

Re:Why must fixed hardware have a lockout chip? (1)

luke2063 (1137533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21695936)

Because Microsoft have a monopoly on creating/designing XBoxes, and Sony have a monopoly on creating/designing Playstations etc so they *can* put hardware in to stop the hobbyists developing for the platform.

Nobody has a monopoly on any part of a PC gaming setup, except arguably MS for the operating system, and every PC is expected to do more than play games - allowing hobbiest development is expected from a PC.

Also PC components cost their true cost - they are not subsidised, so nobody loses money if a hobbiest develops an amazing game.

If an amazing game was developed by a hobbiest for XBox/PS3 then MS/Sony won't get their licensing fees - and would lose money on any subsidised consoles bought to play that game and that game alone.

Re:Why must fixed hardware have a lockout chip? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21696426)

Because Microsoft have a monopoly on creating/designing XBoxes, and Sony have a monopoly on creating/designing Playstations etc so they *can* put hardware in to stop the hobbyists developing for the platform.
Which hardware is fixed but not subsidy-locked? Or what hardware is designed for shared-screen multiplayer but is not fixed and not subsidy-locked?

If an amazing game was developed by a hobbiest for XBox/PS3 then MS/Sony won't get their licensing fees
Pretend I have developed a PC-based prototype of an amazing game that could be the next Smash Bros. All four players' characters are in a single room, and the action is viewed from a fixed or nearly fixed viewpoint shared by all players, just as in Bomberman. Such a game would appear to require TV output and multiple gamepads to be fully appreciated. So which platform should I try to market it on?

Re:What is a console? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21697160)

Given the $1,350 price tag to own all three consoles with even one controller (Xbox: $450 incl. two years of Live Gold; PS3: $500; Wii: $400 from a scalper)
Getting a Wii isn't that hard if you have any level of patience. I haven't bought one myself yet, but I check up on them at the local Wal-mart fairly often. Indeed, most of the time they are out of stock, but if I'd had bought them every time I could have I could have purchase at least 10 of the little critters in the last couple months. My brother decided he wanted one, started checking the electronics department on the way home from work each day, and found one in under 2 weeks.

Price of your time? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21697790)

My brother decided he wanted one, started checking the electronics department on the way home from work each day, and found one in under 2 weeks.
But how much did this search cost, assuming local petrol prices and your brother's hourly wage?

Re:Price of your time? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21698104)

Nothing, considering that the store is on the way home and he's normally going to be shopping there anyways to pickup bread, milk, whatever. Unless you truly want to work in the roughly 3 minutes per day it takes to walk by the electronics department. We'll assume 2 weeks (10 working days), $15 an hour for him, and round the cost of the search out to about $7.50 tops.

That's assuming you buy into the opportunity cost myth for personal use anyways. Time isn't like cell phone minutes - at the end of the day you don't roll over your unused hours into cash. 99% of people work a set amount of time per day, and then have a generous amount of extra time left over to do whatever or let rot. I'll bring up my tomato farmer example again: Billy Bob has grown 12 tons of tomatoes. The local population loves his tomatoes, and will gladly pay him $1000 per ton (costs made up). Only thing is, the people only have a use for 8 of his 12 tons. They can't be shipped out because they'll spoil too soon. So, Billy Bob has 4 tons of tomatoes to do something with. He can throw them away, eat them, shoot them, draw faces on them, start naming them, or let them rot. Doesn't matter what he does, they're his. Now, is doing this costing him $4000? Not at all. The tomatoes had value UP TO A CERTAIN POINT, but beyond the capacity at which someone was willing to buy them, they are worthless.

To work back into real economic terms, it's supply and demand. The demand for one person's time generally drops to 0 beyond a given amount per day. Doesn't matter what the supply is - if the demand is zero, the value is also zero.

Price of sick time? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699934)

the store is on the way home and he's normally going to be shopping there anyways to pickup bread, milk, whatever.
I had not considered this possibility, given that there is no store that sells both milk and video games between where I work and where I live, and we typically go grocery shopping only once a week if that.

To work back into real economic terms, it's supply and demand. The demand for one person's time generally drops to 0 beyond a given amount per day. Doesn't matter what the supply is - if the demand is zero, the value is also zero.
After a certain point, things begin to interfere with sleep time. Forgoing sleep results in failure of health, which results in loss of income from the time spent on unpaid leave to recover.

Re:WHAT?! (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21742416)

OK, so you are a self-described "hardcore" gamer...well, I have some sad news for you bucko. As soon as you say you refuse to play a game because either A. it is on a console or B. it is on a game system made by a specific company, you are basically revealing to the world that you are a moron. A complete and total moron.

Um, I strongly disagree with you. Why? I currently only support 3 game platforms: PC, PS2, and N64. I'm cheap. Although I'd like a Wii, I'm not going out to spend the money on another console. Why? I just made a list of $400 of PS2 games that I'd like for Christmas. O.k. I might get $80 of them from my wife and mom, but I've got kids and family's Christmas to think of as well. I support the RPG market on the PS2. I don't care about the PS3, Xwhatever, or the Wii game market. I'm not a moron cause I don't have an infinite amount of money to spend on games.

Your "B", there are many, many valid reasons to boycott game makers that you don't like. If you hate Rockstar games, don't freaking buy Rock Star games. The same can be said of FF and Dragon Quest, if you think FF and DQ are bad games don't buy games from Square-Enix. Here's a hint most of us buy only the games that we like, or the moral platform that we find least offensive. If the only gaming platform that I can find that is least offensive is a pack of cards, then that's what'd I'd support.

Will I miss out on some games? Sure. But my not purchasing games that I don't like, and advising friends and family to avoid certain games will make a difference with those that trust my gaming habits. I'm generally viewed as the adult gamer that'll play nearly anything. If I tell my wife's church friends not buy their kids Rock Star games or just some gory survival horror games, they'll listen and not make purchases of those games.

They'll still buy games though. Usually something like Zelda or Pokemon, but that's votes for those "family friendly games." Heck, I even try to keep them on Nintendo platforms mainly just to avoid the possibility of playing something that they'll object to. I can't do anything about crazies that picket games, but I can do my part to advising folks on purchases that won't offend their morals. Heck, I have my set of morals, and I've thought about never buying FF games just because of their anti-tech/eco-Gaia view point that they push. I don't believe in the morals pushed behind most of the FF games, but I still end up buying and playing them.

Re:WHAT?! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21742574)

I think you were missing the point that I was responding to in regards to the OP...he said certain games weren't worth playing because they were played with a controller instead of a keyboard and mouse. Not because he couldn't afford to, not because he didn't agree with them morally, he said they were literally worthless because they were console games that used controllers and not PC games that used a keyboard/mouse combo.

If you don't want to buy a system or a game because you can't afford to or because you oppose of it morally, that's fine...I have no problem with that, there is nothing wrong with that. But refusing to play a game ONLY because it isn't a PC game is needlesly limiting yourself...if money isn't a factor, and morality isn't a factor, and the only thing preventing you from playing them is an elitest sense of view that console games are somehow inferior...I'm sorry, from the standpoint of someone who loves videogames, that is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of.

Again. If you can't afford it or just simply don't morally agree with the message a game puts out, that's fine...but refusing to play the vast majority of games that are released simply because they are on a console is really only hurting one person: the elitest bastard who refuses to (or maybe just can't?) adapt to a different control scheme.

EverQuest and SMAC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688154)

I remember spending the first 30 minutes of my Eversmack hours trying to find a group that was worth a damn.
I've seen EverCrack [wikipedia.org] before, but "Eversmack"? What does EverQuest have to do with SMAC [wikipedia.org] ?

Oh, and if I can't play it with a mouse/keyboard at 1600*1200 then it's not worth playing.
If you have friends over, how many keyboards and how many mice can you connect to your PC and let them use?

Re:EverQuest and SMAC? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688422)

Sorry, 31, wife, 2 kids, small house... No friends coming over to play video games. When we do it we go to one of our offices, drag some computers into the break room and play for about 6 hours. And we usually play about 6-12 people games. Can't imagine doing a 6 way split screen on ANY TV ;)

Oh, and we swapped eversmack/evercrack a lot.
Link back atcha! http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=eversmack [urbandictionary.com]

Do the wife and kids play video games? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688538)

Sorry, 31, wife, 2 kids
That's four potential players right there. How old are your kids? If at least 6, what do you do when your kids want to play with you?

When we do it we go to one of our offices, drag some computers into the break room and play for about 6 hours.
Drag computers from where? Do you take the wife and kids to the office too?

Re:Do the wife and kids play video games? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688798)

Wife won't touch a computer game. It's the only thing from keeping her from being perfect. Kids are 3 and 5. We actually got a PS2 for christmas for them. Currently sharing the computer at home is turn based. The 5yo plays transformers for a while, then they switch. Part of the goal of the PS2 is so they can play at the same time.

No, friends and I go to one of our offices for said LAN parties. Stay up late, make lots of noise, alcohol, no bothering the kids.

i asked myself that once... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21690036)

"If you have friends over, how many keyboards and how many mice can you connect to your PC and let them use?"

You can usually hook up several keyboards, mice may vary. Of course you may only have one game on one screen so several people playing at the same time gets rough on said keyboards trying to out control the others......just don't expect to set many high scores :O

Actually that was more fun once to try than some games....

Re:i asked myself that once... (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691014)

Of course you may only have one game on one screen so several people playing at the same time gets rough on said keyboards trying to out control the others

I have one PC, one 27" composite CRT monitor, and three players, and I connect three input devices through a USB hub. When these devices are gamepads, a game using DirectInput can tell which device a particular button press came from. But when these controllers are keyboards, Windows funnels all their events into one DirectInput device. Other people have reported better results using Linux-based operating systems, but as of 2007, the commercial game market for Linux lacks economies of scale compared to Windows and the lockout-chipped platforms.

But my point is that games designed for gamepads have their place, including family parties, and it is unfortunate that the vast majority of them are released exclusively on lockout-chipped platforms.

Re:WHAT?! (2, Funny)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21692342)

Oh, I know! Honestly, I can't put up with playing games on less than a 30" widescreen, with AT LEAST twelve speakers in a surround setup. My mouse has to have ten buttons and two scroll wheels or I can't maximize my playing potential. Actually, I even found 104 keys to be too restrictive, so I hacked together a new keyboard that fills in all the empty space with more buttons.

I mean, if a man can't have a decent setup like the one I just described, what's the point? I might as well go outside or something.

The number might be higher if... (5, Insightful)

BZWingZero (1119881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687992)

The number might be higher if people realized (or admitted, depending on how you view it) that those online flash distractions and card games are actually video games.

Re:The number might be higher if... (1)

log1385 (1199377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688084)

Are you sure that those games weren't being counted? Besides, I think that knowing the number of serious gamers is more important than the number of people who play solitaire. There's a lot more money to be made off of the latter group.

Re:The number might be higher if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21699254)

Same goes for all these dvd games, and really even any computer app at all since all have gui's some way of screen refreshing, and a way to move a character (even if it's a cursor)...

Surprising? (4, Insightful)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688392)

NPD's report, Expanding the Games Market, said that 63 percent of the US population plays videogames on console, PC, handhelds, mobile, iPods, kids systems or other devices. The survey included over 5,000 online participants.
I would like to point out that the data will be slightly skewed as this was an online survey and those with the ability to take an online survey have a wider exposure to video games already as they need a computer with browser. (i.e. I guarantee my grandmother who has never played a video game in her life and also doesn't have an internet connection or computer took this survey).

With that out of the way, is this really surprising anyways? With Nintendo making games appeal to a much broader audience than ever before, we literally have a wide selection of video games for every market. Whether it's the sims on PC, soduku on hand-held, bowling on the Wii, or educational and learning games for the kids, I think that the US has learned to embrace the entertainment value and tailor it to everything from learning to leisure.

The only real barrier to entry is getting used to a specific UI and there are a stubborn few that will refuse to learn something new, but there are plenty willing to learn as the market adapts to them, and thus I think that adaptation will only continue to grow too.

I also think it makes sense that the hours played is flattening off. While I formerly was bad at putting a game down to go to (work / class / social interactions), I slowly realized there was a time and place for video games and began to play responsibly (although WOW is still pretty friggin addictive). I think most (we'll say 'normal') people already have this internal regulation, recovering addicts like myself that threw off the "hours played" curve are slowly coming out of the darkness.

I won't say this is a good change as educational video games are not a substitute for good parenting, only a supplement, and I see some people forget this. Additionally (and I still refuse to say this in certain terms) things like video games could be a cause of ADD and other attention disorders.

I will say that it is good to kick back and relax as long as it doesn't interfere with your life and some games can be good teaching tools if used properly.

Half of us. OK. Right. Concise. But... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21689170)

How many of THEM?

And who ARE they?
And how come they never invites us over to their place for some games and fried carbohydrates?

Hey hey! (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21690372)

Game crusaders are on the wrong path any ways. I mean, seriously, what is more likely to invoke a murderous rampage? Orange-box, or Super Mario Galaxy? In my opinion, the latter.

BAN ALL PLATFORMERS. THEY INCREASE VIOLENCE, OH NOES.

Re:Hey hey! (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691132)

I agree. Try beating the rock/ghost boss with a daredevil comet -.-

Re:Hey hey! (1)

Ominous Coward (106252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21691538)

That is far easier than the Battlerock and Dreadnaught Purple Coins challenges. Bouldergeist really isn't that hard if you've got any experience with platformers.

Re:Hey hey! (1)

solar_blitz (1088029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21742486)

Dreadnaught Purple Coins were challenging. Luigi's Purple Coins were Wiimote breaking.

What I find interesting... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21690554)

...as far as I know, there's roughly a 50/50 split between males & females, in terms of U.S. population. Now I'm pretty sure that this doesn't mean that the entire male population plays video games, though by all accounts, males DO make up the majority. Even so, if an estimated 2/3 of video game players are males, that leaves an AMAZING amount of girl gamers!

I don't believe, though, that most people in that study were gamers in the typical sense... those who play console or PC games. I believe a large number of those people would fall into the casual gamer category, mostly because of games that happen to be accesable on their Portable Electronic Device of Choice(TM). Without those "just-happen-to-be-there" diversions, I don't think they'd be counted as gamers.

Re:What I find interesting... (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 6 years ago | (#21695060)

As I read this, my wife is playing Geneforge III. Hee mother is also playing it. The near total abandonment of story driven RPGs has resulted in a lot of women, that I know, sticking to older games.

Worthless statistics? (2, Insightful)

IQpierce (444229) | more than 6 years ago | (#21698816)

"The survey included over 5,000 online participants." ...Okay... doesn't that mean that certain huge demographics have been completely ignored? Like, the people out there who don't have internet access? Or don't have access to a computer at all?

I think this skews the stats a little...?

Effect of writer's strike? (2, Insightful)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699472)

I wonder if the writers' strike, resulting in numerous TV reruns(& reality shows) would give a boost in video gaming. No new episodes of your favorite shows? Fire up the console then.
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