The great debacle that is the current state of gaming consoles.
Written By: Alexander Ricci
June 20, 2013
There’s been great debate all over the internet about everything that happened and didn’t happen at E3 this year so I won’t reiterate it.
What I’m going to do is give my personal, honest and informed opinions on everything. After doing research and applying some critical thought here is what I’ve come up with for the current state of the console manufacturers:
Isn’t doing anything radical or revolutionary, just following basic business practices. Do market research, find out what the customer wants, forecast sales and cater to the customer. And by customer I mean external customer downstream…you and me. Not internal departments or business partners or intermediaries like Microsoft pandering to publishers and other companies.
The console is priced right. You cannot go out and build a pc with the same specs for the same price…not even close.
The system will run cool because it’s using gddr5 for ram
Ps plus is awesome so no one should complain about paying to play online. Its 10 dollars cheaper than Xbox Gold and offers great games. Think about it. For 50 dollars you get all the benefits of Playstation Plus and a new release exclusive 60 dollar retail game at launch (Drive Club)
And you can still replace the hard drive with one of your choosing.
You won’t be double charged for services…you don’t need ps plus to use Netflix or MMOs
Oh and you don’t have to buy the stupid fucking camera
Is attempting to emulate the Apple business model of creating a product and then artificially creating hype and making a customer want what they have created versus creating a product people want.
The key difference between Apple and Microsoft is that Apple has created a cult of personality. They have a relatively small market share in almost everything they create but have a fervent niche market
Microsoft has traditionally been viewed as the big evil empire that caters to the lowest common denominator.
They are first and foremost a ‘service’ company…you don’t buy windows…you pay for a license to use windows. So the DRM crap should not have been a surprise to everyone. They’ve wanted to do this from the start. Microsoft has never really been a consumer product company…they are a ‘business’ product company…so again no one should have been surprised that they would pander to the publishers.
The only reason that Microsoft included an optical drive in the Xbox-one was because they wanted to create a media box that could play your d.v.ds and Blu-ray’s. It’s quite clear that their actual vision for the Xbox-one was to create a digital streaming machine. Essentially a steam box with Netflix and live TV. Not a bad idea but at the last second they realized that this is too big of a jump for consumers.
The big issue here is privacy not DRM. With the Kinect always on…and using Skype as its base software means that the NSA is recording everything…even when the system is off. Look closely at how Microsoft worded their press release…they said that THEY aren’t going to record you…but we already know that Microsoft has agreed to forward all Skype streams to the NSA. So the NSA is most definitely watching you…that’s a fact…not some tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy shit. This is real.
My big issue with Microsoft backtracking on the DRM is that they will most likely wait until 10million or more consoles are sold and then silently turn DRM back on…there’s nothing to stop them from doing this. They have every right to do it. It says so in their terms of service. And when…not if they do…everyone is boned…hard.
There is also the issue of the console being $100 more than the ps4.
It has ram that costs less than half the price of the ps4, has a video card that is outperformed by the ps4 by 40-50%, is running 3 operating systems simultaneously which will hurt it in terms of how much ram can be used by games, and you can’t replace the hard drive at all…once it dies you’re fucked.
Also the system will run hotter than the ps4 because ddr3 ram runs much hotter than gddr5…I’m already picturing red rings of death.
Isn’t even relevant anymore for the hard-core gamer
They rely on last gen technology for everything
The only good part is their durability
The Wii U is a complete failure it will never recover, they just don’t have the audience
They do not operate on a business model that supports gamers in the west.
They support young children and families. That is their core competency and they will not deviate from it.
The reason for that is a fundamental difference in the way the Japanese do business.
In the US and Canada we strategize for the next 5 to 10 years. In Japan their whole culture is based on legacy and shame. Every corporation in Japan plans strategically for the next 100 years. That’s right…One Hundred years. It’s all about how they will be perceived in the future.
Nintendo wants to be remembered for being the family centered company, not one that caters to fads or fringe markets. That is why we will never see a ‘hard-core’ console from Nintendo
The only reason we saw all those classic hard-core games on the NES and SNES was because there really wasn’t anywhere else for developers to go in the west especially with Nintendo making companies sign exclusivity contracts.
As soon as the Playstation was a viable platform, Square and many others jumped ship. They were tired of the severe oversight and censoring that Nintendo was notorious for….Nintendo wants a specific image….and they will maintain it by force.
Now I respect Nintendo for what they are but in reality they are not a premiere console company anymore…they are the 2nd or extra console company….but they still rule the portable world.
This is the truly viable digital console. 100 bucks and every game has a free trial. If you want a indie friendly machine that you can take over to your friend’s house (it fits in your pocket) this is what you need to buy.
My conclusion for this generation is to buy a PS4 for your hard-core gaming needs. Then either buy a Wii U or an Ouya for your 2nd console. Only buy the Xbox when it has heavy price drops for the exclusives.
Predictions for the future of this generation and beyond
Wins back some fan boys for backtracking on the DRM issue but the damage is mostly done. Anyone that was on the fence has pre-ordered a PS4 and not many people can afford another $600 console after taxes.
The next Xbox (if there is one) will be completely digital, like the Ouya. I predict that Microsoft attempts to acquire Steam to create a true Steam box.
This would essentially take them out of the console race all together. It would save them money on hardware…they would essentially create 25 dollars’ worth of android or x86 hardware and charge you $199 for the console.
Becomes the only viable ‘classic’ console
The reduced competition will drive prices up slightly…can anyone say $69.99 games
Sony will eventually transition to a digital only console but that’s not for at least 10 more years as they have so much money invested in the Blu-ray medium.
If Nintendo is smart they will get out of the console business altogether.
They are 4 generations too late to get back on top as the preeminent console manufacturer.
Design the next portable to have similar hardware to the vita but with a 3d screen (not dual screen though) in 1080p.
Have the portable Bluetooth enabled with a docking station that has HDMI out and a portable hard drive built in so that you can play on your tv with wireless controllers.
This would allow Nintendo to completely control the portable market while still being competitive with the big boys in the console market.
Nintendo is stretching themselves too thin with 2 different pieces of hardware on the market (Wii U and 3DS)