Is next gen the last gen?

#1 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

At the start of this gen there was talk that Consoles could kill PC gaming...next gen, will PC gaming kill the Console?

I've been a console gamer for a long time now, primarily because of console exclusives and if I've got a console...why bother upgrading my PC? To me, next gen isn't about MS vs Sony, it's about consoles vs PC, and the two biggest issues for me are powerful tech and compatibility/ownership. Frankly, if the next gen isn't fully backwards compatible, and digital purchases don't carry over in full, I'll probably still buy an Xbox, but I'll be waiting a lot longer until there are a number of must play exclusives, and all of my multi-platform purchases will move to PC. It's just too much money to have it all wiped away every generation (that's not an argument for stretching out the current outdated generation).

If there is full backwards compatibility and transfer of digital rights, I'll have enough unfinished content to justify a purchase on day 1 and it will be a no-brainer. If not, I won't be the only one thinking twice about what it means to lose all of your content every generation (sorry, keeping five+ consoles around is not a solution).

I have no faith in Sony at all considering their total failure to bring PS2 titles to PS3 (who would have thought at the start that MS would be the backwards compatibility king this gen?), PS3's architecture making next gen BC unlikely, the way they handled the PSP to Vita transition, and their failure to evolve PSN in general. And Nintendo...well, that's looking to be just the name of a future software company and extra analog stick accessories.

IMO, for consoles to survive more than one more generation, they have to go more the PC/Tablet route: get upgraded fairly regularly and maintain near-full compatibility so that whether or not you upgrade, you don't lose your purchases and you have access to most releases (games could be scaled to play on multiple generations of hardware). Otherwise consoles will be outdated a lot faster next gen than they were current gen - my fear is that money spent on the next gen will just be cash down the toilet hole. Consoles have to be a cheaper (or superior, which is unlikely) alternative to PCs or they die (or at the least lose relevance). And factoring in the cost of games and peripherals, I don't think consoles are really cheaper than PCs anymore. The most exciting next gen rumor so far has been the Steam console (and I haven't been a PC gamer since the PS2 was released).

To me, the handling of digital rights and backwards compatibility will be the answer to whether it's time to say goodbye to consoles, with the underlying question being how quickly they'll be outdated. Exclusives can change that, but they are artificial constraints; manufactured constraints (from always-online to patent litigation) hold gaming back plenty, but games will follow the money for the most part...

#2 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

The original fat PS3 were 100% compatible with PS2 games, pretty convenient thing to forget...

Otherwise I get your point and I think most people come to the same conclusion soon or later.

#3 Posted by billyhoush (1192 posts) -

Nope. I think Jeff said it well in the latest Jars...but I guess you didn't watch it since you aren't a subscriber.

Basically the world is still filled with people who don't want to deal with the learning curve or hassle of a PC. Just hooking a box to a TV and plopping a game in is the easiest most convient thing ever and the vast majority of consumers want that ease of use.

#4 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

It's a very real possibility that Sony might not release a PS4 console, their video games division is falling apart as it is. It's looking to be Microsoft, Nintendo, and the PC platform next-gen. I think slowly gamers are transitioning PC gaming, as consoles are really showing their age now.

#5 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

My pc is backwards compatible to the beginning of pc gaming. Go awesome pc community, making it all happen.

#6 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

I doubt it, there will always be people who just want a no hassle, all in one box that's dedicated to a couple tasks.

#7 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz said:

It's a very real possibility that Sony might not release a PS4 console, their video games division is falling apart as it is.

What are you basing this on exactly?

#8 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2682 posts) -

The best product is rarely the best selling product. Keep that in mind.

#9 Posted by believer258 (11642 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

The original fat PS3 were 100% compatible with PS2 games, pretty convenient thing to forget...

He also seems to have forgotten that, until recently, every Wii played almost every Gamecube game with no issues. The Xbox 360 plays something like 100 or so original Xbox games and many of those have issues. And then there's the wee little detail about the whole Virtual Console thing, which doesn't exactly fit into his definition since you have to re-buy the games but it does deserve a mention.

Anyway, I do not think that consoles are going to die. The idea that consoles are going to die is just as valid as Nintendo or PC gaming dying. They might change, but none of them are going away anytime soon. The only way that PC gaming will ever trump console gaming in sales is if every PC becomes a gaming computer and people don't need to spend that much money on consoles. Since most computers sold these days do not even have graphics cards, that's not going to happen. Even if it did, there's the issue of every game requiring an install and sometimes games have issues, which doesn't sound like much but then you have to remember that humans almost always go for easy over better, and consoles are easier.

#10 Posted by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

It depends on what they sell. This gen, over 200 million units of hardware will be sold. If that happens again next gen, I don't see anyone laying it down and abandoning all that potential $$$ to the ether.

#11 Posted by DarkShaper (1321 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz said:

It's a very real possibility that Sony might not release a PS4 console, their video games division is falling apart as it is. It's looking to be Microsoft, Nintendo, and the PC platform next-gen. I think slowly gamers are transitioning PC gaming, as consoles are really showing their age now.

Yah I can TOTALLY see Sony slowing down it's only profitable division...

#12 Edited by egg (1450 posts) -

Not being able to play while offline sucks. When your internet is down what's the one thing you would do in the meantime? THE ONE THING?

#13 Posted by MarvinPontiac (109 posts) -

PC gaming cannot kill a console market until it can produce an affordable, reliable spec that will indiscrimiately run any PC game that comes out within a long cycle. If that happened though, a PC would be a console and would negate the argument entirely.

#14 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

We cant rewind, we've gone to far.

#15 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Kidavenger said:

The original fat PS3 were 100% compatible with PS2 games, pretty convenient thing to forget...

He also seems to have forgotten that, until recently, every Wii played almost every Gamecube game with no issues. The Xbox 360 plays something like 100 or so original Xbox games and many of those have issues. And then there's the wee little detail about the whole Virtual Console thing, which doesn't exactly fit into his definition since you have to re-buy the games but it does deserve a mention.

Anyway, I do not think that consoles are going to die. The idea that consoles are going to die is just as valid as Nintendo or PC gaming dying. They might change, but none of them are going away anytime soon. The only way that PC gaming will ever trump console gaming in sales is if every PC becomes a gaming computer and people don't need to spend that much money on consoles. Since most computers sold these days do not even have graphics cards, that's not going to happen. Even if it did, there's the issue of every game requiring an install and sometimes games have issues, which doesn't sound like much but then you have to remember that humans almost always go for easy over better, and consoles are easier.

Actually there's around 500 original Xbox games that you can play on the 360.

#16 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@SathingtonWaltz said:

It's a very real possibility that Sony might not release a PS4 console, their video games division is falling apart as it is.

What are you basing this on exactly?

The fact that before the PS3 was released Sony was worth over 100 billion dollars. Currently they are worth about 13 billion, less than Nintendo.

#17 Posted by Artigkar (189 posts) -

@egg said:

Not being able to play while offline sucks. When your internet is down what's the one thing you would do in the meantime? THE ONE THING?

Depends on the weather outside when it happens, if its nice and sunny I would be outside, but if it was raining...

#18 Posted by egg (1450 posts) -

@Artigkar said:

if its nice and sunny I would be outside

You traitor!

#19 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

@SathingtonWaltz said:

@Kidavenger said:

@SathingtonWaltz said:

It's a very real possibility that Sony might not release a PS4 console, their video games division is falling apart as it is.

What are you basing this on exactly?

The fact that before the PS3 was released Sony was worth over 100 billion dollars. Currently they are worth about 13 billion, less than Nintendo.

Sony was never worth "100 billion dollars" and they certainly weren't worth that when the PS3 came out, and since when did stockmarket speculation determine what a company can or can't do? Sony's financial situation isn't as bad as it's made out to be, they are generating healthy profits from operations and have substantial capital reserves on their balance sheet there is no reason to believe there won't be a PS4 or a PS5 for that matter.

#20 Posted by Artigkar (189 posts) -

@egg said:

@Artigkar said:

if its nice and sunny I would be outside

You traitor!

:P

#21 Edited by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

@SathingtonWaltz said:

@Kidavenger said:

@SathingtonWaltz said:

It's a very real possibility that Sony might not release a PS4 console, their video games division is falling apart as it is.

What are you basing this on exactly?

The fact that before the PS3 was released Sony was worth over 100 billion dollars. Currently they are worth about 13 billion, less than Nintendo.

Sony was never worth "100 billion dollars" and they certainly weren't worth that when the PS3 came out, and since when did stockmarket speculation determine what a company can or can't do? Sony's financial situation isn't as bad as it's made out to be, they are generating healthy profits from operations and have substantial capital reserves on their balance sheet there is no reason to believe there won't be a PS4 or a PS5 for that matter.

Regardless of Sony's overall health, said it best above. Sony's game's division is one of the only profitable parts of the company. There would be no reason that would shut that section down.

If anything, I would be counting Nintendo as the "most-likely-to-be-irrelevant" party given that their tech won't be up to snuff in a year's time. I'm sure they will do alright given that their console is the only place to find Nintendo titles, but after their year alone, the new consoles are going to steal whatever thunder Nintendo manages to generate. A lot of folks won't be picking up a Nintendo console since they know a newer and more powerful console is right around the corner.

All that being said, back to the main topic. PC Gaming isn't going to "kill" console gaming any more than console gaming was going to "kill" pc gaming. The only reason consoles took off so much is that they were an affordable alternative with less fuss than owning a PC. That's a big deal and it has certainly opened up gaming as a viable hobby for a lot of people. But the PC is always going to be a specific, niche market (Unless you're talking about facebook games or something, which I'm not). PC's require more expendable income, more tech know-how, and more patiences; three things a lot of people cannot muster. For those people who want to get the bleeding edge experience, PCs will always be there, but from a basic accessibility standpoint, consoles are far and away the winner. They appeal to the same audience, but on different enough levels that one would never extinguish the other (Or at least we're decades away from that outcome). Further, I understand your backwards compatibility argument, but I just don't think its that big an issue for most people; at least certainly not a big enough issue to overcome the issue of accessibility.

#22 Posted by big_jon (5709 posts) -

I really doubt it.

#23 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -

unless they can produce a $400 computer than can run everything well for the next 7 years i dont see that happening

#24 Posted by Spoonman671 (4562 posts) -

Consoles may die out sooner or later, but it won't be because of PCs.

#25 Edited by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

Yes because every family is willing to give their 7 year old a mid-range PC in their bedroom to play games. Consoles won't die out but they may evolve into set-top boxes that can also play video games with a variety of different controller types, i.e. gamepad, tablet or motion control. Something affordable is always welcomed by the general gaming populace. If there's something this generation has taught us, it's that gaming isn't just for the core enthusiast.

#26 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

@PeasantAbuse said:

@believer258 said:

@Kidavenger said:

The original fat PS3 were 100% compatible with PS2 games, pretty convenient thing to forget...

He also seems to have forgotten that, until recently, every Wii played almost every Gamecube game with no issues.

Actually there's around 500 original Xbox games that you can play on the 360.

I'm guessing MS will have Backwards Compatibility - they'll recognize it will be hard for Sony to pull off, and a huge content headstart for MS if Sony can't do it too. I'm thinking sell your Sony stock just over that - I think it will be a big issue because of the time it takes to generate new content and the fact that there is so much more content to kiss goodbye than there ever has been before if there isn't any BC. The only way it won't hurt Sony is if MS doesn't do it...which wouldn't totally surprise me I guess; they have gone out of their way to drive indie developers to Sony.

But I didn't forget the fat PS3. It's just that the original fat PS3 means what today? The slims came out in what - 2009? Didn't Sony BC go away way before that? Of course you could download a ton of last gen games on PS3...oh wait, no, those are from two gens ago. Well, at least you can install Linux.

Now the Wii I did forget. I always forget the Wii. And I realize a ton of gamers love Nintendo, but for me it's kind of like forgetting the V-Smile...

@PenguinDust said:

Yes because every family is willing to give their 7 year old a mid-range PC in their bedroom to play games. Consoles won't die out but they may evolve into set-top boxes that can also play video games with a variety of different controller types, i.e. gamepad, tablet or motion control. Something affordable is always welcomed by the general gaming populace. If there's something this generation has taught us, it's that gaming isn't just for the core enthusiast.

there will always be a market for toys, but 7 year olds don't buy games.

Anyway, saying anything is going to kill anything is usually an easy way to be wrong about something. And I think "may evolve" is a little pessimistic at this point, it's more of a "will evolve" with a question of how well it will be done and if it'll be worth it.

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