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Old 03-04-2013, 04:03 PM   Topic Starter
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Game Consoles Are Already Dead — And Developers Know It

Game Consoles Are Already Dead — And Developers Know It
Mark Hachman posted 11 hours ago
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Still blasting away Halo's Covenant hordes on your Xbox 360, or ripping out guts as God of War's Kratos on your PS3? Your days are numbered — and I'm not talking about how far you're going to make it in these games.

Game developers, it turns out, are abandoning the venerable video-game console even faster than gamers themselves. The Game Developers Conference, which opens next month in San Francisco, recently asked 2,500 developers about their plans for next-generation consoles. The results were, shall we say, not encouraging for the likes of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

Survey Says...

Specifically, the GDC asked developers which platforms they had last developed for, which platforms they were developing for now, and on which platforms they planned their next game. To no big surprise, tablets and phones are increasingly winning over developers: 38 percent wrote their last game for mobile devices, 55 percent moved to mobile for their latest game, and 58 percent plan their next game there.

Compare that to Sony's PS3. Thirteen percent of respondants called themselves current PS3 developers, and just 12.4 percent planned their next game for the PS3. The Xbox 360 only does slightly better: 13.2 percent for now, and 14 percent for the future. (Eleven percent of the devs polled said they're making games for the next-generation PlayStation 4 and the "Xbox 720," or whatever Microsoft ends up calling the 360's successor.)

And don't even think about Nintendo's Wii or dedicated handheld game devices. Just 4.6 percent of developers are actively making a Wii game, although 6.4 percent say they'll do so in the future. A mere 4.2 percent are working PlayStation Vita games, with about 5 percent saying they have future plans. Barely 2.8 percent say they're developing future games for the Nintendo DS.



And Then There's The PC

More than half of the surveyed developers, or 53%, self-identified as "indie" developers — i.e., they're not associated with megacorps like Electronic Arts that are solely devoted to turning out the next blockbuster. Which may help explain one of the survey's more surprising findings, which is that many of these developers are actually once again warming to PCs and Macs.

Those stats don't lie: 34.6 percent of developers say they've developed PC/Mac games in the past, 48 percent are doing so now, and 49 percent plan future games.

Of course, you could reasonably ask what choice they have. It's incredibly difficult to eke out a living selling 99-cent games through Apple's App Store or Google Play. And sales of video-game consoles are in precipitous decline. In 2012, sales of video game consoles, software, and peripherals fell 22 percent to $13.3 billion, according to retail tracker NPD.

By contrast, mobile games are upending the traditional "mobile console" handheld devices such as the Vita and the Nintendo DS, according to a report (PDF) co-authored by IDC and app analyst firm App Annie. Combined game sales on the iOS and Android app stores are now higher than revenues generated by the mobile consoles — even though games on the Vita can be ten to fifty times more expensive. And that's not even counting ad revenue generated by free and nearly free game apps.

Why mobile? Chris Akhavan, senior vice president of partnerships for mobile game monetization services provider Tapjoy, explains that the reach of mobile games — 207 million iOS and Android devices combined, compared to the 70 million PS3s in the market, is the first driver. And mobile hardware is constantly, iteratively improving, while consoles only refresh every seven years or so.

"The second is a lower barrier to entry," Akhavan told me in an email. He went on:

Mobile platforms are much more open than a console, and don’t have the restrictions of a working with a publisher. Console game development comes with a much bigger price: big title console game studios maintain budgets around $80 - $100 million, while most small to mid-size mobile gaming studios have budget closer to $200,000 - $400,000.

However, mobile game development budgets are growing because of the final contributing factor: earnings potential. Supercell reports earnings around $1 million per day for its games, and Gungho’s Puzzles and Dragons game is bringing in around $2 million daily. The monetization potential on mobile is much higher, and coupled with a lower development cost, there’s a huge opportunity to earn significant revenue.

Why Consoles Suck

What's the most telling sign of the demise of the traditional video game? Sequelitis. Each of 2012's top-ten bestselling games — every single one — has been done before: Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Madden NFL 13, Halo 4, even Just Dance 4 and Borderlands 2.

Compare that to the vast array of indie games being developed for the PC, Mac, and tablets. Sure, you've probably never heard of many of those. But for just a dollar or two a pop, you can afford to try them out. Who needs top-tier review sites? A collection of four- and five-star reviews (along with a careful parsing of the review scores, to ensure that the developer is not "paying" for good reviews through in-game currency or other goodies) can fill the bill.

Let's face it: for those with less and less time to game, episodic and casual games fill the bill, especially while riding trains and during "downtime" with no access to a console. Gamers can be online and playing in seconds. One of the most interesting tests will be platforms like the Ouya, which features a traditional console that plays mobile games.

That's not to say that any given mobile game is a guaranteed winner; Mark Fidelman makes the case that most game developers are chasing imaginary profits. Still, how long can it be before the conservative mindset of console game developers drives more and more gamers away from the console and back onto their phones? Sure, for those who have never played a Call of Duty game, the experience can be, well, cinematic. But for those who detest being handheld along from checkpoint to checkpoint, the experience, is well, cinematic. (Ugh.)

And when you do it again, and again, and again... well, maybe it's time to take a break with some Angry Birds.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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I disagree. I don't know anyone who games on a PC. Maybe a couple aquintances I don't know about, but everyone I know who does game, has either an Xbox or PS3. I don't ever see myself gaming on a PC.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by aturnis View Post
I disagree. I don't know anyone who games on a PC. Maybe a couple aquintances I don't know about, but everyone I know who does game, has either an Xbox or PS3. I don't ever see myself gaming on a PC.
This.

I'm not playing on a computer, tablet, or phone.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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I think this is the only idiot I've heard say PC's are going to beat consoles.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
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I think this is the only idiot I've heard say PC's are going to beat consoles.
Umm, consoles have become PC's that happen to have a game controller with it in the box.. What everyone is raving about on consoles has been done for 10years on those so called PC's no one plays..

Resistance is futile..
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:50 PM   #6
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Umm, consoles have become PC's that happen to have a game controller with it in the box.. What everyone is raving about on consoles has been done for 10years on those so called PC's no one plays..

Resistance is futile..
I've built my own computers since I was 14, I know PC gaming, you don't have to sit there and try to talk to me like I'm a homer for consoles. Between playing WoW since BETA and first person shooters on the PC, I know the value of a great rig (not that WoW stretches graphical barriers but you get my drift, Crysis 1 and 2, Farcry or Guild Wars can be subbed in etc). I'm not bragging because I'm not what I used to be, but the simple math comes down to this:

If you're a person who can't build a PC and doesn't have $2000+ to drop on an overpriced Dell or Alienware, you're going to go with the console at less than half the price. You can take consoles with you much easier than a PC, you can play Multiplayer with just one console as opposed to a PC, and PC's require much more know how than your typical console. If you build a computer and the MoBo goes out, there's so much more that goes into it than just getting a red ring of death and buying a new xbox for the same price as a primo motherboard goes for, then you have to worry about vid card, processor, hard drive, you know the drill.

I guess it just comes down to who you game with. Back in the day when I played Counterstrike competitively and went to alot of LAN parties, PC gaming was my thing. But if I'm a guy who plays Madden and the latest Halo game with my buddies then I see an Xbox is the way to go. Luckily I've always favored PC gaming because I can put the extra effort into making my rig the right one for me, but when you come down to teenagers and kids, consoles will win out most of the time. These kids don't have the money to buy PC's unless they're working or their parents get them whatever they want, but I know that when kids ask for a PC or an Xbox, parents are going to go with the cheaper alternative most of the time.

With PCs you pay for what you get; graphical comparisons are a no brainer if you have a good to great rig, shooters are infinetly better with mouse and keyboard, MMO's on consoles? Pfft. But I'll always have a PC and a console because I like the variety. To say that consoles are going to die out is the most ridiculous jargon I've ever heard, just because we went through a recession and this generation of consoles is late to the party by a couple years, this article seems to start mass panic and a far fetched conclusion that is unlikely at best.

Also don't compare Android and IOS games to console games. You're going against numbers like the ten gajillion people who've bought Angry Birds because it's .99 and they need a time waster. I somehow doubt the entire world of underground Angry Birds competitive leagues will ever be considered hardcore gamers. If you tell me that you can somehow do better on Megaman X for IOS than you could with a PC emulator and a controller then I'll punch you in the face.

You wouldn't play Uncharted on a tablet just as you wouldn't play WoW on a console. If you want to be the guy that says, "FFXI was the shit on the Xbox!!!" Then go ahead, but I don't know a single person like you.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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I disagree. I don't know anyone who games on a PC. Maybe a couple aquintances I don't know about, but everyone I know who does game, has either an Xbox or PS3. I don't ever see myself gaming on a PC.


Nearly all competitive gaming takes place on PC.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #8
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Nearly all competitive gaming takes place on PC.
And nearly all normal people gaming takes place on a console.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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And nearly all normal people gaming takes place on a console.

Nope.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:01 AM   #10
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I disagree. I don't know anyone who games on a PC. Maybe a couple aquintances I don't know about, but everyone I know who does game, has either an Xbox or PS3. I don't ever see myself gaming on a PC.
Pfft. I game almost exclusively on my PC. Though, I have a gaming PC, built to destroy the graphics of any console out there, or even soon to be out there.

And before you say but I can play on my 70 inch big screen, so can I, and I can use a controller, and a mic, and anything and everything a console can do, only 10x better. On top of that, on my second and third monitor I can watch netflix and surf the web at the same time depending on how bad my A.D.D gets.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:42 AM   #11
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Pfft. I game almost exclusively on my PC. Though, I have a gaming PC, built to destroy the graphics of any console out there, or even soon to be out there.

And before you say but I can play on my 70 inch big screen, so can I, and I can use a controller, and a mic, and anything and everything a console can do, only 10x better. On top of that, on my second and third monitor I can watch netflix and surf the web at the same time depending on how bad my A.D.D gets.
This. Check out Crisis 2 settings maxed on a good gaming rig and you'll never want to play on a console again.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by aturnis View Post
I disagree. I don't know anyone who games on a PC. Maybe a couple aquintances I don't know about, but everyone I know who does game, has either an Xbox or PS3. I don't ever see myself gaming on a PC.
I do. So much easier to be able to download a game on steam. Steam sales that have $50 games from 2 months ago for $20. Games from 6 months ago for $10. Not to mention a ton of indie games that are under $10 that you'll never see on a console.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:03 PM   #13
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Well if you're developing on a Mac or a PC for a different platform, wouldn't it make sense to push it for Mac or PC? Instead of waiting for development hardware from Microsoft of Sony you've already got the hardware.

I'd think that would be especially true for development of iOS games...you're already writing in Obj-C for iOS...just put in the right hooks for OS X.

I think there's some real potential there in using iOS with Airplay to get stuff onto the bigger screen. The problem, of course, is that you don't have big analog buttons and sticks to help control. It works fine if you're looking at the screen (GTA Vice City plays real well) or if you don't have to look at the screen (Hot Pursuit) but if you've got to use your thumbs to control something on the TV then not so much.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:17 PM   #14
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Sweet. Square needs to develop an old-school Final Fantasy game for Android.


I thought the guy was going to mention console gaming's lack of mouse aiming........
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #15
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Sweet. Square needs to develop an old-school Final Fantasy game for Android.


I thought the guy was going to mention console gaming's lack of mouse aiming........
I hooked up a usb keyboard and USB wireless mouse to my PS3 and played the Dust 514 beta a few weeks ago. I've been a console guy all my life, so I couldn't get the hang of it, but if I would have put more time into it I can see how it would be better.

I'm not sure if the mouse/keyboard capability is uncommon on PS3 games or if you can use it with more games, but Dust 514 was the first game that I've heard of that has that feature.
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