The End Is Nigh, Says Square Enix CEO

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Linkyshinks

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#1  Edited By Linkyshinks

 
 
         

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Square Enix CEO, Yoichi Wada, has expressed his views on the potential death of consoles in an upcoming interview with UK Industry magazine MCV.   
 
Mr Wada states that Square Enix is already preparing itself for the advent of a digital distribution-only industry next decade, where consoles as we know them today will no longer exist. He believes that all distributors and retailers will need to brace themselves for a significant negative impact as interactive entertainment shifts to server-based products - the streaming of new games, and current digital distribution models we see today. He also says that format holders including Sony and Microsoft are already well prepared for this shift, and that third-parties will have to follow suit:
 

"In ten years time a lot of what we call console games wont exist. Somewhere around 2005 the console manufacturers strategy shifted. In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn't even needed anymore. With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played - that's exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous. Social and browser games are going to grow dramatically,especially in areas like Asia which does not have as big a console market." 

- Yoichi Wada, CEO of Square Enix


Thoughts on this all GB? 
 
 
(I shall edit this post with the full interview when it arrives) 
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oldschool

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#2  Edited By oldschool

I will need a lot better internet service for that to be something I want.  I think it will be at least 2020 for it to be a reality.

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Linkyshinks

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#3  Edited By Linkyshinks
@oldschool said:
" I will need a lot better internet service for that to be something I want.  I think it will be at least 2020 for it to be a reality. "
 
You will, but I doubt you'll have to wait that long though. Right now there are many companies developing technology which will improve connections speeds in even the remotest parts of the globe. I think you will benefit from such technology sooner than you think.  It may even be cheaper for you - Green Wi-Fi.  How much sun do you get in your parts?
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oldschool

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#4  Edited By oldschool
@Linkyshinks said:
" @oldschool said:
" I will need a lot better internet service for that to be something I want.  I think it will be at least 2020 for it to be a reality. "
 You will, but I doubt you'll have to wait that long though. Right now there are many companies developing technology which will improve connections speeds in even the remotest parts of the globe. I think you will benefit from such technology sooner than you think.  It may even be cheaper for you - Green Wi-Fi.  How much sun do you get in your parts? "
This is Australia - we have nothing but sunshine  ^-^
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L33tfella_H

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#5  Edited By L33tfella_H
@oldschool said:

" This is Australia - we have nothing but sunshine  ^-^ "

Must be amazing playing Boktai :D
 
To add to the discussion:
 
I think  Digital Distribution is the inevitable future, i mean..Microsoft are already offering 360 games on their online service (Sony have Warhawk and Siren:Blood Curse as far as i know, which is also a step in that direction) and Sega have said that Sony may have PS2 and DC games coming to PSN to boot. And this is all not mentioning Steam on the PC or Virtual console/WiiWare/DSiWare.
 
It's just a cheaper market, with no cost of printing the disc, the cover, the manual, no need to re-print and keep supply up...it's easier on them to make their game, it's also easier for gamers to get access to their games (there was a thread just a short while ago where someone mentioned MM Legends 2 going for like 50$ on ebay) because it would technically never go out of print. Now..i know online stores like Steam and iTunes gouge the shit out of the prices (iTunes's songs aren't even 320kpbs...and Steam games are literally the raw data of the game on a server somewhere...there is nothing else that comes with it..why do i still pay 50€ for it though!?) but i think in the end it's something alot of companies are looking into.
 
While i don't think the Xbox 720 and PS4 are not planned for in the near future, i also still believe wholeheartedly that games will still ship in physical copies for atleast another 10 years. Companies will seague more and more into the idea of DD, but i doubt any big companies will jump ship and say 'WE'RE NOT DOING RETAIL COPIES'.
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oldschool

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#6  Edited By oldschool
@L33tfella_H said:
" @oldschool said:
" This is Australia - we have nothing but sunshine  ^-^ "
Must be amazing playing Boktai :D "
Man I wish I bought that game.  We should have more games that use that kind of technology.   
Maybe they could make a game that suits English gloom  ^-^
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tebbit

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#7  Edited By tebbit

Internet in New Zealand is pants. Not gonna be seeing this till the year 4000. I'm calling it.

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clapperdude

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#8  Edited By clapperdude

I dont think its going to be " digital distribution-only".  But I could see digital outweighing physical sales.  
 
Going to be possibly issues with not everyone having proper connections -- so wouldnt want to risk those potential sales. But also companies that depend on physical sales I think will halt/slow down the progression of making it digi only.  
 
Take netflix for example -- whats stopping them from just allowing all movies to be on instant? My guess would be some sort of issue with disc manufactures/distributors could be a possibility...so taking into account things like that I don't think it'll be a quick transition.  

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oldschool

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#9  Edited By oldschool
@Tebbit said:
" Internet in New Zealand is pants. Not gonna be seeing this till the year 4000. I'm calling it. "
I would make a New Zealand joke, but then I remember that I live in Tasmania.  Oh well. 
I have to get my broadband by satellite.  It won't work with the Wii, but at least now I get broadband (512) - better than dial-up.
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lordofultima

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#10  Edited By lordofultima
@Linkyshinks: And yet there's plenty of America that doesn't even have broadband internet. 2020 is a nice dream.
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Linkyshinks

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#11  Edited By Linkyshinks
@lordofultima said:

" @Linkyshinks: And yet there's plenty of America that doesn't even have broadband internet. 2020 is a nice dream. "

 
Much of the world dude.  
 
Many governments around the world are looking to address that fast, I know here in the UK were steadily attempting to improve our broadband coverage nationwide. It's due largely to the fact that in these times it's absolutely essential for good global commerce. Companies shouldn't have to relocate for lack of having broadband, but many currently do, and not just in the US, It happens here and in many countries around the world.
 
Your new president seems well clued up about it's importance, so I think things will continue to improve in the U.S, as they will globally in the next decade.  
 
..
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ZenaxPure

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#12  Edited By ZenaxPure

As sad as I will be to see actual disc and cases die (as I love collecting physical copies of games to put on my shelf) it is indeed much more convenient for gaming.

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penguindust

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#13  Edited By penguindust

There is going to be at least one more generation of consoles as we know them today.  Speculation suggests that era will begin around 2012 (if we aren't all dead by then) and will likely last five to seven years as is the recent norm.  At that point, I could see a transitional unit being released that operates as a console like today and some sort of "cloud" based terminal for gaming.  You see, as we all know, the first year of any console is pretty thin which is why backwards compatibility is such an issue early on.  If Sony has illustrated anything this generation, it is that you can't ask consumers to pay through the nose on the basis of brand loyalty alone.  A direct download only system is going to have to be full backwards compatible with all previous generational digital content.  In other words, the TMNT Classic I bought off XBLA a few years ago should still be accessible from Microsoft in 2020 if I care to play it again.  
 
I'm not sure I see social and browser games really supplanting traditional games anytime soon.  These games may work as short distractions or free-to-play options for a portion of the market, but the foundation of the games software industry is built on the 'core gamer who buys many games over the course of the year.  There is certainly a business model waiting to be fully monetized in the Facebook and Myspace circles, but I hope SquareEnix doesn't rely on them too heavily.  
 
Will we all switch to a fully digital download marketplace at some point?  Probably, just as brick-and-mortar video stores are a dying breed, some day the Gamestops of the world will be replaced by another Old Navy annex at the mall.  But, the global internet infrastructure isn't currently equipped to handle the type of trade that this future demands.  It's too slow and unstable for consumers to accept.  How would you feel about losing all access to your entire game library if your internet goes out?  People get pissed enough when the cable TV goes down.  When that happens we can play a game for a few hours until the cable provider gets things up and running again.  Lose both and we may be forced to read a book or socialize with our family members.  The dark days are indeed upon us.

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Scooper

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#14  Edited By Scooper

I personally welcome the change when it happens. As long as we've got good broadband in which to download games or stream them or whatever it may be then it will be fine. The only problem will be the steadiness of the broadband. Sometimes during peak hours a connection can be slow or break from 30 seconds to a hour. If they sort all that out and we've got good steady connections 24/7 to download or stream games in a matter of minutes then it'll be great. One thing I don't want to see is a subscription gaming service ala Onlive. I don't want to have to keep paying for the ability to play games I've already purchased.
 
If there were some way the next consoles didn't have physical media discs I wouldn't mind, but I'd like it if there were some way for servers and the console in your house to share the graphics. I don't like these massive consoles that make loads of noise and heat up and break. That's one way the Onlive thing is a great idea. Basicaly what I'm saying is I want Onlive but with no subsciption (already not going to happen) and just massive harddrives where I can download the games and play them offline for as long as I want.

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nanikore

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#15  Edited By nanikore
@oldschool: Playing Modern Warfare 5 on a 300" TV that's half a millimeter thin with no need for a console. Awesome!
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GunnBjorn

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#16  Edited By GunnBjorn
@lordofultima said:
" @Linkyshinks: And yet there's plenty of America that doesn't even have broadband internet. 2020 is a nice dream. "

In the Netherlands 80+% of all households have broadband internet. 
With these figures we're currently the second leader in the world, only topped by South-Korea with 86%. 
The size of our country might be a factor in this? 
Yeah, i think so lol!
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sixghost

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#17  Edited By sixghost

Unless the digital copies were something like $15 cheaper, would any of you prefer buying digital copies? No way I'm going to spend that much money on something I barely own. Especially when Microsoft is already so weird with ownership of digital stuff. It's already so much of a hassle to redownload all your stuff when you account transfer.

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Tennmuerti

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#18  Edited By Tennmuerti

I see it now, I am a believer!
2012 the predicted biblical apocalypse is actually the death of what we call console games!!!
WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE... DIE I tell you!
 
THIS is what that 2012 movie should have been about. Gamers everywhere leave their basements for the first time in decades and the mass exodus leads to: PLAGUE due to poor hygiene. FAMINE since all those people that did not exercise will now need much more food for physical activity. WAR, console and pc wars in RL will be extremely violent since we know video games cause violence. In the end DEATH.
 
The end of the world in nigh.
 

 
/end sarcasm

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Geno

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#19  Edited By Geno

So Final Fantasy XIII on PC confirmed? 

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Anarchist4Eva

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#20  Edited By Anarchist4Eva
@Linkyshinks said:
" @lordofultima said:
" @Linkyshinks: And yet there's plenty of America that doesn't even have broadband internet. 2020 is a nice dream. "
 Much of the world dude.   Many governments around the world are looking to address that fast, I know here in the UK we are steadily attempting to improve our broadband coverage. It's due largely to the fact that in these times it's absolutely essential for good commerce. Companies shouldn't have to relocate for lack of having broadband, but many currently do, and not just in the US. It happens here also.  Your new president seems well clued up about it's importance, so I think things will improve in the U.S, as they will globally in the next decade.  "
Let's not be so quick to give our Pres here in the US credit for this. These wheels have been in motion for years before he was even heard of. The reason it's not widely available in the US right now is because there are too many hands in the pie wanting a freebie. Plain & simple. No tech companies want to invest big money in infrastructure & networks only to have their product be given away by Govt decree.   
 
Sadly this is the state of affairs here in the US nowadays, so broadband coverage is going to continue to suck much ass for many more years. I myself live sandwiched between 4 large metropolitan areas that have broadband. 3G, 4G, WAN, LAN,  satellite, microwave, you name it. But truth be told my little town has really taken a major hit the last 4-5 years in job loss & economics. Translation; high unemployment (33% as of last week), shrinking populace & tax base. City & county management's idea to turn things around you say? Free broadband & HDTV for ALL residents! No kidding. That's the plan. Any guess as to why we don't have broadband in my area & why I use wireless?
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ImperiousRix

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#21  Edited By ImperiousRix

I think Mr. Wada might be jumping the gun here.  Although I do think we might see a strictly digital-media based console in our lifetime.  As much success as add-ons and DLC has had this generation, I think that the move to this type of thing as strictly the norm will depend on two things:

1.) The public's willingness to accept it.  Games aren't like music downloads.  You can download a single song from an album and feel like you're getting your money's worth, but there isn't any equivalent when it comes to games.  You cannot simply download a level or map and feel content with your content purchase.  Console gamers will have to get used to the idea of downloading an entire new game release in order for it to become the new situation, which I can't see happening within the next generation.  
 
2.) Cost.  Right now, people are complaining because Xbox LIVE games are costing 20 dollars.  What happens when we get games that cost 60 dollars or more online?  I think the technology is still too foreign to people; it would be a bit much to ask them to pay the same amount (which they undoubtedly will) for an abstract file that they can't personally touch over an actual box with a disk inside it.

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ryanwho

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#22  Edited By ryanwho

Cus yeah, these fools are totally in touch.

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Drebin_893

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#23  Edited By Drebin_893
@ryanwho said:
" Cus yeah, these fools are totally in touch. "
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Linkyshinks

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#24  Edited By Linkyshinks
@Anarchist4Eva:  
 
He's no President of mine, Mr Anarchist. Of course they have, all I'm saying is things will continue to improve, and possibly at a better rate than before.
 
Globally, I have a good sense of what governments around the world are all looking to do, because of the demands of the global economy today,  I have no insight into what's happening in the US and why. I would however hazard a guess that new advances in technology, could mean the laying down infrastructure is far easier and cost effective than at present. Any new technology being developed in this area will naturally be taking everything into consideration.  
 
 
.
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MrSnow

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#25  Edited By MrSnow

It will take years to get to that level and you will still need the controler.

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jj984jj

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#26  Edited By jj984jj

10 years isn't that near, Sony thought this was happening now when they launched the Go. :P

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Afroman269

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#27  Edited By Afroman269

Not another one of those consoles will die soon statements.

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super_machine

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#28  Edited By super_machine

But what am I going to play the games on? Wouldn't his version of the future mean everyone who games has an evenly spec PC hooked to their TV? Or am I going to have to rent some crappy over priced box from comcast? No thanks.

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OhdK

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#29  Edited By OhdK
@oldschool said:
" I will need a lot better internet service for that to be something I want.  I think it will be at least 2020 for it to be a reality. "
but... but the world will be over in 2012! Nooo!
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maxszy

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#30  Edited By maxszy

Even in 10 years I am not sure I am ready to believe it will happen. Especially not the way that things are going. Here in the U.S. there are PLENTY of areas that don't even have access to reliable high speed internet. Let alone, GOOD high speed internet that would be able to support only digital distribution. Either by going digital distribution you will cut off huge portions of the console base because people just wont buy consoles that they can't get any games for, or you will have a lot of unhappy customers. Myself along with it, even though I have the internet connection to support it (to an extent) I like my phsysical media.
 
I think there is a lot of physical infrastructure to build before this can happen and I really don't know that even 10 years is enough time in some areas of the world. Its not a high enough priority.

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Cerza

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#31  Edited By Cerza

I can see this being a reality with the next generation of portable systems ala your Nintendo DS 2's and PSP 2's, but not home systems. I don't think home systems will ever reach this level, especially if the ISP's in the USA cap the internet, which is something they want to do and have already tried in certain test markets.

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vidiot

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#32  Edited By vidiot
@Drebin_893 said:
" @ryanwho said:
" Cus yeah, these fools are totally in touch. "
"
This. Times a billion. 
 
Square is great, they make great games. 
But they are not in touch with whats happening with western development, they are not in touch with their fan base especially overseas. As a staunch fan of Final Fantasy watching the litany of P.R. and interview gaffes they've had over the last few years, this feels typical of such a bloated company. They're a company that takes one step forward, three steps to the side, and acts publicly as if they were ten years in the past. 
 
They're like a lovable elder family member that wants to keep up with the times. Congrats on rehashing a bunch of theories people have been talking about for years. Bill Gates famously claimed that the BluRay vs HDDVD was going to be the last physical format war ever, that was four years ago. Whether he was right, or full of hot air has yet to be determined, but considering the woes of PSPGo simply being refused to be stocked at certain curmudgeon retail outlets due to it's digital distribution only standard: The death of a physical format, specifically with consoles is a long ways off. There are so many factors to consider: Cost, affordable highspeed online coverage, someone mentioned in this thread a willingness from the consumer. I agree, I like a physical copy of what I bought. This is something that I don't see changing with me anytime soon.
 
When he talks about lack of hardware I assume he read something about onLive. Seeing how that project has virtually gone silent for the time being, I think were quite the ways off.
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Jimbo

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#33  Edited By Jimbo

Game distribution being carved up between 2 or 3 companies will be a fucking disaster.

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Skald

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#34  Edited By Skald

> Social/browser games are becoming bigger sources for profit, it seems. I mean, EA bought Playfish, some Facebook game company for 300 Million. 
Obviously, they must be expecting big returns returns from this market. 
> People talk about Cloud tech a whole lot, but I am yet to see it in action. 
> If we let Son-tendo-soft distribute all of our games online, I guarantee you they will fix their prices, particularly on exclusive content. 
> For one thing, they like to nickel-and-dime us for every download. 
> Console downloads don't really depreciate in value, whereas disc based games do.

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ryanwho

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#35  Edited By ryanwho

OnLive is a scifi movie prop. Its something you see in Minority Report 2 and go "hey that's a neat thing that we'll maybe be doing 50 years from now or not". You hear the idea and it sounds great, but they couldn't even delag their booth setup.

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ryanwho

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#36  Edited By ryanwho

Its something that could literally only work in a hyperdense area with extremely fast internet, in other words, Japan. And SE, being the geniuses they are, seem to think the rest of the world operates like Japan. 

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addictedtopinescent

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OnLive ? No cause I like being able to stick my fat greedy fingers on physical media

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ThomasP

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#38  Edited By ThomasP

Consoles are slowly going the way of the buffalo, but extinct in ten years... I think not.

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Diamond

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#39  Edited By Diamond

Things like OnLive are the future of gaming, but not the next ~10 years future.
 
@ThomasP said:

Consoles are slowly going the way of the buffalo
Did the buffalo experience a year on year 50% population increase for the last 5 years before they were hunted to near extinction?
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ryanwho

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#40  Edited By ryanwho
@Diamond said:
" Things like OnLive are the future of gaming, but not the next ~10 years future.
 
@ThomasP said:
Consoles are slowly going the way of the buffalo
Did the buffalo experience a year on year 50% population increase for the last 5 years before they were hunted to near extinction? "
The Apachi called it "Duluch do Nu". The year of the horny buffalo.
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angelkanarias

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#41  Edited By angelkanarias

Wow, he was sincere there. I liked his straight talking. I guess it's inevitable. It will be kind of weird not having a console physical games and going to the game-shop. But at the same time this will benefit those who can't afford a console and all that it implies. 

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ThomasP

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#42  Edited By ThomasP
@Diamond said:
" Things like OnLive are the future of gaming, but not the next ~10 years future.
 
@ThomasP said:
Consoles are slowly going the way of the buffalo
Did the buffalo experience a year on year 50% population increase for the last 5 years before they were hunted to near extinction? "
Maybe. Not sure.
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ryanwho

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#43  Edited By ryanwho
@angelkanarias said:
" Wow, he was sincere there. I liked his straight talking. I guess it's inevitable. It will be kind of weird not having a console physical games and going to the game-shop. But at the same time this will benefit those who can't afford a console and all that it implies.  "
Not if they have the same price model. Its not like digital downloads are significantly cheaper than physical. If they were, maybe this guy would have a point. But they're not.
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angelkanarias

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#44  Edited By angelkanarias
@ryanwho said:
" @angelkanarias said:
" Wow, he was sincere there. I liked his straight talking. I guess it's inevitable. It will be kind of weird not having a console physical games and going to the game-shop. But at the same time this will benefit those who can't afford a console and all that it implies.  "
Not if they have the same price model. Its not like digital downloads are significantly cheaper than physical. If they were, maybe this guy would have a point. But they're not. "
There we are, if they ask for  60 euros for a digital piece of crap then I wouldn't be part of this, and I hope everyone else wouldn't either. But I think it would be inevitable, as said before, they ask Europeans (including me) for almost 100 dollars for each game, and nobody cares.
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Linkyshinks

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#45  Edited By Linkyshinks
@vidiot said:  
 

Square is great, they make great games. But they are not in touch with whats happening with western development, they are not in touch with their fan base especially overseas.    

Aye, totally out of touch, even when they consistently say they're shifting more focus onto the Western market. All I know is that I've been consistently disappointed with the way they go about things.  The Eidos acquisition does nothing to raise my hopes...I could get into why but there's no need to pollute this thread. 
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Animespara

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#46  Edited By Animespara

console gaming is not dying.. if SE is talking so much crap about consoles why didnt they make final fantasy XIII for the pc?

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vidiot

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#47  Edited By vidiot
@Linkyshinks said:
" @vidiot said:  
 

Square is great, they make great games. But they are not in touch with whats happening with western development, they are not in touch with their fan base especially overseas.    

Aye, totally out of touch, even when they consistently say they're shifting more focus onto the Western market. All I know is that I've been consistently disappointed with the way they go about things.  The Eidos acquisition does nothing to raise my hopes...I could get into why but there's no need to pollute this thread.  "
The concept of letting western developers utilize your properties is a great thing, but of course that's not happening yet. I'm really curious to hear why you think that the acquisition doesn't raise your hopes, but perhaps not here as it would be topic hijacking. Yes, the manner they supposedly go about trying to "westernize" is maddening.
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pause422

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#48  Edited By pause422

Yeah, not gonna happen anytime soon.

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Chirag4

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#49  Edited By Chirag4
@Linkyshinks said:
"  
 
         
No Caption Provided
as interactive entertainment shits to server-based products  
Hehe, he said shits. Funny
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trophyhunter

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#50  Edited By trophyhunter

 a digital distribution-only industry to me sounds like the worst and stupidest thing ever 
so I hope it does not happen for at least 50 years from now