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tapedeck

Are we now in charge of when the next gen arrives?

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If Nintendo are to fully appeal to the casual market then the Wii needs to have a longer lifespan. Putting Wii in the typical 4-7yr console lifespan for a want of better processors etc isn't something the casual gamer will like. (Alienation could creep in again). The vast majority of casual gamers will probably want to harbour the console they have spent money on for years. It's mainly core gamers who want the upgrade....

 

Or do we?

 

Who has given the industry this need for 'updates'? Is it the developers themselves wanting to create the bigger and the better and forcing this? Or is it the core gamers themselves who go out and buy whatever new tech that comes out (thus proving those developers right)?

 

I'll use last gen consoles as examples:

 

The XBOX was a victory in the eye of the consumer. There were many games released and Microsoft's online focus was well received. And the image of the console struck a chord with many people. There were also a mass of PS2 ports put onto the XBOX and Microsoft themselves cleverly forced hands on development through the PC arena (IE Bungie development for the PC was instead shifted onto XBOX). But when we see the losses Microsoft made, it is easy to understand why they released the XBOX 360 so soon. This sudden shift harmed the XBOX image and the sudden drop of software for the original XBOX didn't help. It was almost like Microsoft forced XBOX gamers to upgrade. Not even an XBOX redesign..Nothing.

 

It is all business afterall and my point about the XBOX is that, if it was making a profit we probably wouldn't have seen the 360 for another year or maybe longer. So if MS (Microsoft) were losing money they spent more cash making a console that would recoup money for them. Therefore they forced their own hand into next-gen as they used the XBOX merely as a means to disrupt the industry to get their name involved. Now we will see a different MS as they have to bust their back to make money. (Surely Bill Gates won't stand for more losses from the XBOX division).

 

MICROSOFT'S DECISION TO GO NEXT GEN: MONEY.

MICROSOFTS REASON TO CONSUMERS: TO OWN THE MOST POWERFUL CONSOLE

 

Sony were then forced by Microsoft's decision to release the XBOX 360 so sudden. The PS2 was selling well and there were many games to come - But it was old tech. Because MS released the 360 so soon, Sony had to get something onto the market. The PSP wasn't pushing the numbers they hoped it would and I think it shows that the PS3 product was released too early - By two years perhaps.

 

SONY'S DECISION TO GO NEXT GEN: PUSHED BY COMPETITOR

SONY'S REASON TO CONSUMERS: TO OWN THE MOST POWERFUL CONSOLE

 

The Gamecube was dead in the water in many regions due to the domination of the PS2 format, poor ports and a limited online interface. Nintendo had other incomes though in their portable arena. They could take their time yet needed to stay in the public eye in the console arena. By releasing the Wii when they did they not only met Sony out of the door but positioned themselves in the field of next-gen too.

I sometimes don't think Nintendo ever really wanted to go next gen. I think the wii-mote could have been an add-on for the Gamecube yet the install base and perception of the cube (and the strength of the Wii idea) was enough for Nintendo to develop a new console (righting wrongs)!

 

NINTENDO'S DECISION TO GO NEXT GEN: STARTING AGAIN TO RIGHT GAMECUBE WRONG DOINGS

NINTENDO'S REASON TO CONSUMERS: TO SEE A NEW FORM OF GAMING

 

But I now think we are in charge for the time being. This generation is a lot more even than the last with more room for all three companies to co-exist comfortably. When looking at all three reasons I have stated, it is apparent there are probably more reasons within these. The fact is that the technology is all on a level pegging. Nintendo obviously shirk away from this and therefore if they develop their games to this idea then technically, to them the graphics won't matter. The fun will. The PS3 and XBOX360 are here to stay for a long time. Sony need to recoup money as do Microsoft. Nintendo are making lots of money right now and we could even see them have the earliest of the nex gen consoles with equal/better stats to those of the PS3. (I feel Nintendo currently hold the cards of the industrys movement as such). If they forced the industry to move forwards with new tech and innovation, we could see the collapse of Microsoft and Sony's games divisions. Bottom line: Money is the reason for the change in the industry..It's political yes (trying to appeal to new people, existing gamers) But look into the past..The Megadrive started losing sales to the SNES, cue 32X and MegaCD. The Saturn started losing money to the PS1, cue Dreamcast development. (And doesn't the dreamcast's sudden release echo the 360 somewhat?)

 

 

 

I wonder if anyone else has ever thought of this and I'd love to hear your comments. Thanks. Tapedeck.:)

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one thing you haven't factored into your very well thought out and very interesting perspective, is pc gaming. The technology is moving faster now than it ever has and if this gen were to last longer than the last the pc gaming would end up being 2 generations ahead of home consoles.

 

For nintendo this is not a problem because they offer a different product. But PS3 and 360? i think they wont want to lose market to people increasingly upgrading their pc's.

 

This is from a "hardcore" perspective. Casuals wont give a shit about pc as it would cost too much to keep up.

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This is from a "hardcore" perspective. Casuals wont give a shit about pc as it would cost too much to keep up.

 

In 2/3 years the graphics cards out now that surpass the 360 will probably be around the £100 mark, so they may not be as out of reach as you'd think. Although the casuals still probably wont bother because taking a PC apart is "Scary." And the hardcore would of probably already brought the same cards when they were at the £300 mark. So in short I have no idea where this post is going.

 

Move along nothing to see here.

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Another excellent post from my favourite new member!

Shame I dont have anything to add at the moment, I will have a think about it.

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Another excellent post from my favourite new member!

Shame I dont have anything to add at the moment, I will have a think about it.

 

I agree! Same here, I'm currently in an Internet Cafe, but I'm going to read through this again later and add my own opinion.

 

Excellent thread, though. :)

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I thought the PC would crop up ...

 

It's an age-old argument that PC's should or shouldn't be classified in the same vein as consoles. And it's extremely difficult to include the PC in technology debates. If only because PC specs are moving so fast that a comment is already redundant as soon as it is posted!

 

As buzz words like USB,CD,DVD playback and hard drives become common factors within home consoles - the PC crowd are going to see a console as nothing more than a streamlined (weaker) version of the fully customisable PC. Don't get me wrong...I've followed PC gaming for a long time and have many fond memories of games such as Wolfenstein, Settlers, Quake, Sim City right up to Half Life 2. For me that's where I got off the train of PC gaming. Direct X10, incompatability and XP to Vista issues were the final straw. I don't have the patience anymore. I just want to play. And I'm one of the "hardcore".

 

Plus, I just can't keep up financially.

 

The PC will always exist as it has it's own niche. (And the killer apps that are the internet, office suites etc help!) So you cannot really compare the PC to consoles.

Interesting idea about the graphics cards being cheaper and more powerful in 2-3 years

 

BUT...

 

Imagine you're developing a fantastic 1st person shooter with graphics akin to Crysis. You could reach 25% (maybe lower?) of PC owners (those who have Direct X10 and sufficient system capabilities to run the game in a stable manner). NOW...You can put the game on the Wii, XBOX360 and PS3 and reach 100% of those console owners. (With system stability and potentially equal graphics). This is where the PC will never be seen (in the eyes of developers) as equal... There is just too much money to be made on the consoles. This is why we see ports, original IP's and movie-to-game tat on consoles.

 

If you want further proof of how the PC hasn't really affected the console arena in the past - Look at how long it took DOOM to appear on 16bit consoles. It hardly set the console world on fire like Sonic or Mario did.(I've probably opened a whole can of worms now!)

But hey, maybe this will all change with the VISTA, XBOX360 crossover getting underway. Maybe the PC gaming scene will be revolutionised...Probably another debate entirely...

 

For nintendo this is not a problem because they offer a different product. But PS3 and 360? i think they wont want to lose market to people increasingly upgrading their pc's.

 

I don't think this will affect their market too much. The PS2 probably shows that. (It's ancient in respect to commonplace PC graphics cards)

I respect your viewpoint and it's excellent to have such a varied mixture of gamers here. Your an avid PC gamer (...apparent from your sig: peace: ) and so you probably understand how fast PC technology moves forward - Specifically when it comes to graphics cards? Yet I think the longer Microsoft have to get the XBOX360 and vista gaming platforms together..the more the PC gaming scene will stall. If only so the PC game scene can hitch a ride on the XBOX360's popularity. Then MS make money from both angles. PC and XBOX360. it also enables the spread of IP's. Interesting no?

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i like you. Your arguements are well thought out and well constructed.

 

1 thing i think will help the new gen consoles increase their lifaspan would be the implementation of genres that so far are only taken seriousely on the PC.

 

These genres are RTS. C&C3 is a perfect example where the 360 version feels like it is missing something after having played it on the PC. FPS which are so much faster and more responsive on the PC and finally MMO's.

 

Expanding on MMO's. I feel that devs have really missed a trick here. Games like this can have a massive life span. and i would be hard pushed to find people who would disagree that RPGs really belong on a console. It just works better. an MMORPG on a console would spell the end of games like WoW etc as only the truely devoted would play it on a system that plays second fiddle in terms of UI.

 

may be slightly off topic but i think if the companies want to extend the lifespan of the systems they should look at the games before they look at the hardware.

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I completely agree Mike. The RTS genre has never really been taken seriously on the console front. I remember the Command & Conquer ports on the SNES and MD and they were (as I vaguely remember) well received. Westwood studios were fantastic back then.

I feel that the RTS genre is perfectly suited to the DS and Wii's control systems. There is so much potential with IR and touch screen functionality and the tactile feeling it would bring is interesting. (Slight Note: Wouldn't Viva Piniata have been excellent on Wii!)

 

The reason for no RTS on Wii is that I think the developers of these titles feel the Nintendo systems aren't a good fit for them. Like you mentioned, the 360 got C&C3 - and I was stumped as to why the Wii didn't. Don't EA handle the franchise now? Haven't EA products been selling well on the Wii? Is the game too graphically intense for the Wii? There are lots of reasons this game could and should have been out for the Wii and only one reason I can think of as to why it never...Lack of faith in sales on a Nintendo console. This irks me somewhat as business is about taking risks sometimes. If EA released C&C3 on the Wii now (port away, just add IR) the Wii RTS market would be owned by them. Simple. I'm dissapoined that game never made it to Wii. The closest we will get to RTS is, commendably, Pikmin.

 

I would hope that the MMO genre on consoles would go down the root of WoW and if Nintendo "spun" the genre then something with an Earthbound or Animal Crossing vibe would suit their style. Hunting worldwide for fish etc..Yet returning home at the end of the day. I think with this being the generation that truly brings system updates, downloadable content etc...We could finally see MMORPG's developed specifically for consoles. Didn't SEGA kind of pioneer this with PSO? Hmmmm. I'll probably respect that franchise a little more now!

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Expanding on MMO's. I feel that devs have really missed a trick here. Games like this can have a massive life span. and i would be hard pushed to find people who would disagree that RPGs really belong on a console. It just works better. an MMORPG on a console would spell the end of games like WoW etc as only the truely devoted would play it on a system that plays second fiddle in terms of UI.

 

WoW has the MMORPG market sorted and I don't think anything could ever replicate it's success on a console. The one major problem with that is simply the fact that you couldn't base it entirely on one console, but you couldn't make a game like that multi-platform.

 

I don't think we'll ever see an MMORPG on a console again, the market isn't there and WoW has the whole thing entirely sussed. Literally anyone can play it due to it's very low hardware specs and users generally find it much easier to have their PC online then console.

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I dont know man. People dont seem to mind buying a new mobile phone every 1 - 2 years. For a low price like the Wii has, they might be less hesitant to upgrading. Also the future Wiis will have their prices notably reduced during their lifetime. A couple of years into the Wii2`s lifespan might see a much better price and enough titles for them to want a upgrade.

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I completely agree Mike. The RTS genre has never really been taken seriously on the console front. I remember the Command & Conquer ports on the SNES and MD and they were (as I vaguely remember) well received. Westwood studios were fantastic back then.

I feel that the RTS genre is perfectly suited to the DS and Wii's control systems. There is so much potential with IR and touch screen functionality and the tactile feeling it would bring is interesting. (Slight Note: Wouldn't Viva Piniata have been excellent on Wii!)

 

The reason for no RTS on Wii is that I think the developers of these titles feel the Nintendo systems aren't a good fit for them. Like you mentioned, the 360 got C&C3 - and I was stumped as to why the Wii didn't. Don't EA handle the franchise now? Haven't EA products been selling well on the Wii? Is the game too graphically intense for the Wii? There are lots of reasons this game could and should have been out for the Wii and only one reason I can think of as to why it never...Lack of faith in sales on a Nintendo console. This irks me somewhat as business is about taking risks sometimes. If EA released C&C3 on the Wii now (port away, just add IR) the Wii RTS market would be owned by them. Simple. I'm dissapoined that game never made it to Wii. The closest we will get to RTS is, commendably, Pikmin.

 

RTS's need to come to the Wii and I'm sure that they will, but really you've got to ask how many RTS's are there in the world? Aside from Command and Conquer there are very few successful franchises, and I think non that have enjoyed success on a console aside from CnC3.

 

I'm sure developers will be very aware that the hardware of the Wii is great for RTS's, the bigger doubt is if the market is there. It's the old Catch 22, you need RTS players to own a Wii to get RTS games, but you need RTS gamers to get RTS gamers to buy Wiis (what a mouthful).

 

With CnC3 I think the game just didn't suit the Wii at the time. Aside from probably some graphical and processing problems, they wouldn't have been able to make the game online (which was a major selling point). CnC3 is very much a PC franchise anyway, I was surprised they bothered with the X360 port.

 

The Wii needs it's own RTS franchise to get the ball rolling. Something which has a wider appeal then CnC or Starcraft, but at the same time have a large amount of depth and tactics. My idea would be a Nintendo RTS, pretty much the Super Smash Bro's formula but in an RTS. It would certainly make the market for the Wii and put the genre up there with the best, but I don't see it happening.

 

Realistically I see some company some where risking making a RTS for the Wii, and hopefully it'll be a hit. I personally see it as a matter of when, not if, but I guess the one question remains. Can the RTS genre be expanded to have a wider appeal?

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I'm not so sure Jammy. Can a franchise so popular just exist on one platform and won't someone start developing a WoW killer? Is it unbeatable?

I'm going to sleep on this one and post a reply if and when I answer these questions. Interesting idea.

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I have many theories on where I see this industry heading.

 

For one I think PSP will catch on eventually (at least I hope so). There are some seriously good games coming out for that system and with upgradeable firmware, things can only get better!

 

Their is a new psp design coming, and I think it will put psp back into the public eye.

 

Basicly what i'm trying to say is, if the psp manages to make a comeback, then it would prove that no matter how bad a system does at first, there is still a chance for the system to be successful later on in its life.

 

If the above becomes true, then imo PS3 could become successful within 2 years or more. By the time that happens it will have a decent library of AAA games and cheaper price point.

 

Talking of price, I think this is one of the major reasons for Wii and DS' success. If you look at the latest hardware sales you will see that the DS and Wii are firmly in the lead. But they are also the cheapest out of all the latest gaming systems.

 

Now i'm not trying to imply that price is the only reason for their success. The Wii and DS offer something 'new' which is what constomers are looking for. The 360 and PS3 also offer something 'new' It's just that they have a bigger price tag and I think that is what puts a lot of customers off. But as the years go by, more and more features will get added to the PS3 and xbox360. Plus with a lower price tag the PS3 and xbox360 will look like bargains!

 

If the PS3 and PSP do indeed become successful like I have predicted, that doesn't mean that Nintendo is doomed. By the time that happens Wii and DS will have a mountain of games that the PSP or PS3 just won't be able to compete with!

 

Sorry for the long post.

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I have many theories on where I see this industry heading.

 

For one I think PSP will catch on eventually (at least I hope so). There are some seriously good games coming out for that system and with upgradeable firmware, things can only get better!

 

Their is a new psp design coming, and I think it will put psp back into the public eye.

 

Basicly what i'm trying to say is, if the psp manages to make a comeback, then it would prove that no matter how bad a system does at first, there is still a chance for the system to be successful later on in its life.

 

If the above becomes true, then imo PS3 could become successful within 2 years or more. By the time that happens it will have a decent library of AAA games and cheaper price point.

 

Talking of price, I think this is one of the major reasons for Wii and DS' success. If you look at the latest hardware sales you will see that the DS and Wii are firmly in the lead. But they are also the cheapest out of all the latest gaming systems.

 

Now i'm not trying to imply that price is the only reason for their success. The Wii and DS offer something 'new' which is what constomers are looking for. The 360 and PS3 also offer something 'new' It's just that they have a bigger price tag and I think that is what puts a lot of customers off. But as the years go by, more and more features will get added to the PS3 and xbox360. Plus with a lower price tag the PS3 and xbox360 will look like bargains!

 

If the PS3 and PSP do indeed become successful like I have predicted, that doesn't mean that Nintendo is doomed. By the time that happens Wii and DS will have a mountain of games that the PSP or PS3 just won't be able to compete with!

 

Sorry for the long post.

 

The PSP is never going to turn it around now. It will gain some sort of momentum from a redesign but really it's doomed. The fact is most people who use the PSP buy it to hack the firmware and use it for piracy and the such.

 

The simple problem is games don't sell on the PSP now. If you look at the games charts America has a total of 0 games in their top 5, and Japan only has 2. Compare that to DS which has 11 games in the American top 50 and Japan has an incredible 30 out of the top 50 DS games (Wow).

 

If the PSP redesign stops all this piracy bootleg stuff I can see people not caring. Third parties have given up on the console now and it's pretty much stopped selling games, I don't see how anyone can turn that around.

 

The PS3 can definitely turn things around, but can it catch up with the Wii? Hmmm I'm not sure. It depends if they get any more big hitters aside from FFXIII and MGS4, cause Sony are going to be suffering without their third party exclusives.

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That comment about graphics cards being more powerful than current consoles in a few years is a little off.

 

The GeForce 8800 series already has better technologies and is faster than anything in consoles.

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I really doubt Microsoft released the 360 for the money... They made some heavy losses in its first year and would have been better off with a release simultaneous with the PS3 if it was really about profit. The 360's strategy is more something of a shock and awe strategy to grab as much market share as they can, which isn't a guarantee for profit.

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Either way you view MS or Sony's strategies they are foolish. It's like chewing your own arm off just so you can get fatter. It isn't good business sense. Sony and MS can fight the big fight and I'm sure we will see MS win due to their sheer nerve and cashflow. Sony are obviously a giant too but I don't think even they can match MS's financial muscle. It's all coy at the moment as MS and Sony push each other to see what happens. But I don't think Nintendo will ever give up the fight. They have done the right thing by finding their niche. Let the games do the talking and the winner will come.

 

 

Jordan: As our resident PC pro (I've noticed :bowdown: ) what's your thoughts on the GeForce 8800 series? Is it worth it? At around £400 does it justify itself by the games available / coming? Or from the pricey PS3 to the £179 Wii, what do you think is going to offer a better gaming experience? The consoles or a rather pricey graphics card..

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Either way you view MS or Sony's strategies they are foolish. It's like chewing your own arm off just so you can get fatter. It isn't good business sense. Sony and MS can fight the big fight and I'm sure we will see MS win due to their sheer nerve and cashflow. Sony are obviously a giant too but I don't think even they can match MS's financial muscle. It's all coy at the moment as MS and Sony push each other to see what happens. But I don't think Nintendo will ever give up the fight. They have done the right thing by finding their niche. Let the games do the talking and the winner will come.

 

Very quick post from me - you suggest Nintendo have found their 'niche'. I see it the other way round, with Sony and Microsoft reaching a niche wheras Nintendo have expanded and grow to a more mainstream yet still core following.

 

Just curious what you meant really, you're one of the best posters on this forum so I'm interested to see what you meant. If Nintendo are niche I really have to question what Sony and Microsoft are.

 

I see it more that Microsoft and Sony compete for their niche while Nintendo continue to expand and appeal to people outside their stereotypical, 'normal' gaming demographic.

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Jordan: As our resident PC pro (I've noticed :bowdown: ) what's your thoughts on the GeForce 8800 series? Is it worth it? At around £400 does it justify itself by the games available / coming? Or from the pricey PS3 to the £179 Wii, what do you think is going to offer a better gaming experience? The consoles or a rather pricey graphics card..

 

My 8800GTS OC is a damn fine card, probably the best i've ever owned. I also own both the 360 and Wii. PC gaming is slowing down abit, but i still wanna play games on my PC.

 

Price wise? Well, i get a new PC (as in buy parts and build it) every 2 to 2 1/2 years, usually paying around £900, so errr... in the long run the console is a cheaper option. Sorry if i'm just kinda dancing around in responding, i'm just rattling this off.

 

The one and only reason i bought my 8800, was due to Crysis. Having bought a PC last time for Half-Life 2. Sure, its a little drastic, but i like maxing out my settings :p And with 360 games being ported over to PC recently, using a 360 wired or wireless (when using a 360 Crossfire adapter) its great because PC games are generally cheaper.

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Very quick post from me - you suggest Nintendo have found their 'niche'. I see it the other way round, with Sony and Microsoft reaching a niche wheras Nintendo have expanded and grow to a more mainstream yet still core following.

 

Just curious what you meant really, you're one of the best posters on this forum so I'm interested to see what you meant. If Nintendo are niche I really have to question what Sony and Microsoft are.

 

I see it more that Microsoft and Sony compete for their niche while Nintendo continue to expand and appeal to people outside their stereotypical, 'normal' gaming demographic.

 

Maybe I should edit, I meant in relation to MS and SONY's financial might, Nintendo have found their niche 'against' them. They have indeed gone after a different market which is a niche in itself.

 

From the dictionary: Niche market, a focused, targetable portion (subset) of a market sector.

 

I still see the subset as these non-gamers, who have money to give to the industry.

Hope that clears it up a little..it's late :zzz:

 

Jordan: It's interesting you should mention Crysis as your main motivation to spend a whopping amount on a graphics card. I know a few people who are doing just the same. All for Crysis. I just wonder if Crysis was another genre would people make the jump? I guess I don't really understand the domination of the FPS nor the PC games industry anymore. I remember many people upgrading their PC for the promise that Half Life 2 would bring many more games on a similar level (I did the same!). It just seems too fast. There has to be a point of no return. And I feel it could be approaching faster than we think. Maybe then we will see RPG's, racing games and not primarily FPS's selling better on the PC. I really can't say, just how I feel at the moment. I know many people who won't touch a console and swear by PC gaming if only for the online communities and competitive edge. It seems apparent that consoles are after that part of the PC market too.

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