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Old 03-04-2013, 04:03 PM  
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, 07:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dr. Gigglepants View Post
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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Oh hell, if you master mouse aiming you would dominate against a controller player.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:11 PM   #17
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Game consoles are dead

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:39 PM   #18
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Oh hell, if you master mouse aiming you would dominate against a controller player.
Yep, the aiming part was definitely superior, but moving around was damn near impossible for me. I do have the PS Move "nunchuck" thing. I thought maybe the nunchuk in the left hand, controlling movement with the joystick, and the mouse in the right hand controlling aiming would have been ideal. I never tried it though, kind of lost interest in the beta version of that game, it will be kick ass though when it gets released.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gigglepants View Post
Yep, the aiming part was definitely superior, but moving around was damn near impossible for me. I do have the PS Move "nunchuck" thing. I thought maybe the nunchuk in the left hand, controlling movement with the joystick, and the mouse in the right hand controlling aiming would have been ideal. I never tried it though, kind of lost interest in the beta version of that game, it will be kick ass though when it gets released.
Move with the keyboard and left hand, mouse in right hand.

I didn't like it way back when I played Half-Life in 98', but once I got used to it, WOW.


You can strafe with the keyboard (A,D), and turn/aim with the mouse. Customize the buttons around your base keys (A,S,D,W) for crouching, jumping, special attack, etc.

I use the mousewheel forward for Attack 2, and mousewheel back for reloading. Right click can be action/activate button.

The speed of mouse/keyboard battles are sooooo much faster than controller battles. I laugh at the thought playing Unreal Tournament with a controller.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #20
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Nearly all competitive gaming takes place on PC.
Who cares. 95% of gamers are not "competitive" gamers.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:01 PM   #21
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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, 09:36 PM   #22
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I can somewhat understand people who would rather play on a pc than a game console, but who the hell would rather play games on a tablet or their phones?
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #23
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PCs have more flexibility and can cash in on the huge multiplayer capabilities

you can go from a small company that makes a free online game and bank millions/billions

see: Riot Games or Blizzard or Valve
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:38 PM   #24
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This isn't about PC versus consoles. It's the phones and tablets that are changing things the most right now. There's been a boom in casual gaming... Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, etc. It's the same market Nintendo went after (or, at least ended up finding) with the Wii.

It's not gonna kill the consoles though, or PC gaming. The games you can play on a phone or a tablet are simple. Time fillers, for when you on a bus, subway... waiting at the airport... whatever.

There will always be people who want a more complex deep game with a big screen / monitor and a controller / keyboard and mouse.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:53 PM   #25
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That percentage is extremely skewed. There aren't that many studios out there who can develop AAA titles. Those take incredible amounts of time, money and manpower. They're prohibitive as ****. Of course all those tiny indie developers will be creating games for tablets and cell phones (some will also develop the XBL arcade and PS Store games too), but if you think the Maddens, the FIFAs, the CODs, the HALOs, the GTAs, the GOD OF WARs are going to die, you're a ****ing cretin.

Are we going to see less titles? Maybe. Is the console going to die? Don't make me laugh.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:56 PM   #26
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I haven't turned my xbox on in months. Every AAA title is a rehash. The multiplayer is laggy as **** and you have to pay $50 a year to play online? **** it, going PC gaming. Just need a gaming pc.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:59 PM   #27
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That percentage is extremely skewed. There aren't that many studios out there who can develop AAA titles. Those take incredible amounts of time, money and manpower. They're prohibitive as ****. Of course all those tiny indie developers will be creating games for tablets and cell phones (some will also develop the XBL arcade and PS Store games too), but if you think the Maddens, the FIFAs, the CODs, the HALOs, the GTAs, the GOD OF WARs are going to die, you're a ****ing cretin.

Are we going to see less titles? Maybe. Is the console going to die? Don't make me laugh.
We do need to see more original stuff though. The consoles right now are dominated by sequels.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:02 PM   #28
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We do need to see more original stuff though. The consoles right now are dominated by sequels.
I agree. That's also why we are seeing new IPs like "The Last of Us" and "Watchdogs" pop-up. New AAA+ titles are coming. But come on, every time a new COD comes out, there are lines at every store waiting for that 12:00am to strike. If someone thinks that's death, then I want to know what life is.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:07 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by KcMizzou View Post
This isn't about PC versus consoles. It's the phones and tablets that are changing things the most right now. There's been a boom in casual gaming... Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, etc. It's the same market Nintendo went after (or, at least ended up finding) with the Wii.

It's not gonna kill the consoles though, or PC gaming. The games you can play on a phone or a tablet are simple. Time fillers, for when you on a bus, subway... waiting at the airport... whatever.

There will always be people who want a more complex deep game with a big screen / monitor and a controller / keyboard and mouse.
the article is also about the surge of developers going to PC because there is a better chance an "Indie" company can develop an original game that takes off.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:23 PM   #30
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I think the next gen consoles are gonna be hurt by the fact that there isn't a new DVD format.

Playstation sold because it was a great piece of hardware and the games were awesome at launch.

Playstation 2 sold because it was cool looking, had a few cool games, but it was MANY people's first DVD player. It was an excuse to upgrade.

Playstation 3 didn't have much at launch, and what they did have didn't fully use the capabilities. Madden was a huge disappointment. But it was cool, and it was everybody's first BluRay player. I actually splurged that day and got a new TV and an HDMI cable... It was freaking beautiful. Now I use it every day to watch movies, get online, game (only every once in awhile), and I watch a crap ton of Netflix.

I watched the launch party 2 hour event for PS4, and while it all looks neat... It's just not anything I feel like I need right now. Don't get me wrong, I'll prob start saving now and go get it at launch, just to have one (because I'm a tool like that). But overall... I guess I'm just hoping for a better version of what I already have. Less noisy fan and heat, much better browser, lower download times, much less lag with online gaming, etc... Maybe it'll have .mkv support?


I'll be thrilled if they significantly upgrade the Madden franchise, and can make a few games that will suck me in the way Ninja Gaiden Sigma did. But overall I'm just not a gamer anymore. Haven't been in a long time.
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