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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » bit-tech.net - Is Console Gaming Dying?

Default bit-tech.net - Is Console Gaming Dying?

January 3rd, 2010, 02:06
As a somewhat tongue in cheek twist on the usual "PC Gaming is Dying" motif, and because it's a slow newsday, here's UK site bit-tech.net's look at the ongoing PC/Console rivalry:
Is Console Gaming Dying?
Itís okay; I know what youíre thinking: The title of this feature alone has ďtrollĒ written all over it, and Iím just another PC gaming zealot whoís somehow deluded his blinkered bundle of synapses into believing that console gaming is about to join the dodoís ranks. So, before I start, Iím going to anticipate any potential flamewar by laying my gaming cards on the table.

I currently have a gaming PC, a Microsoft Xbox 360, a Nintendo Wii, a Sony PlayStation 2, a Nintendo DS, a Nintendo GameBoy Color, a Sega Megadrive and even a Sinclair ZX Spectrum in my lounge. Iíve been a committed multi-platform gamer since the early 1980s, and Iíve played hundreds of games on a diverse array of electronic gadgets over the decades. From Animal Crossing to Crysis, I have an eclectic taste in pixellated entertainment, and the box of silicon on which it happens to be running is about as important to me as the shape of a crisp.
More information.
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January 3rd, 2010, 02:06
Hee hee, OnLive.

I think this particular economic moment in history is a tricky time to be evaluating any sales or profit trends in gaming. But it does seem to me that if bandwidth is going to continue to increase, then the console side can make moves like the PSPgo to make piracy more difficult (if admittedly not impossible), and PCs will never have that sort of safety net for developers.

On the other hand, the mouse still rules. Viva la mouse!
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January 3rd, 2010, 03:52
All consoles are fads, they eventually die. PC gaming will again rise above the consoles because the high end consoles in this generation failed to generate profits anything close the PS2 or Wii. The message is clear, a $400+ console will fail.
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January 3rd, 2010, 16:44
lol, fads. Like the hoola hoop or bell bottoms.

On the first page, the author says "This generation of consoles has been hugely successful." He talks about how the #1 selling game has sold 93% of its units on consoles. He then says, "So, no – console gaming is not dying. It’s just too successful." So, within the first page, the author has answered the rhetorical question posed in his title.

Page 2 relates sagging sales figures this year, which are attributable to a world-wide recession. Then piracy, which is more a problem for PCs.

On Page 3 is a critique of the Wii with which I agree (that rhymed).

On Page 4 and 5, it's speculation about peripherals like Natal and movement toward digital delivery systems (I guess that's what he's talking about, I kind of lost him). "This doesn’t mean that console gaming is dying, but rather evolving with the times." Well, duh.

The article would be better titled, "The Future of Console Gaming," but that would've resulted in less attention, I suppose.
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January 3rd, 2010, 18:00
I will never be a console gamer for one simple reason: I can't physically use a game controller or joystick due to a spinal cord injury. I don't have the manual dexterity, but I can manipulate a mouse and keyboard well enough to play games on a PC. I type fairly fast with my two index fingers and can press a mouse button fine. When it comes to button mashing with thumbs and button combos on a controller, no way. That plus I use my PC for many other purposes; writing, email, internet, etc. Even if I could physically use a controller/console, I probably wouldn't for budget considerations. Gotta watch the $$$.
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January 4th, 2010, 05:40
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
"So, no Ė console gaming is not dying. Itís just too successful." So, within the first page, the author has answered the rhetorical question posed in his title.
Well, the current X360 and PS3 have been failures as far as making MS and Sony profits, so far. And this is almost four years on. His assertion that they are 'too successful' is not true. Too much of a failure is closer to the truth.
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January 4th, 2010, 11:33
Has anybody got any solid figures about the difference in piracy figures between the different consoles and the PC? I've often overheard console owners casually discuss their "chipped" consoles and pirated games they play; I don't do consoles myself, so I'm just wondering…

Where does the perception/data come from that piracy is a bigger problem for the PC as platform?
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January 4th, 2010, 12:06
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
Where does the perception/data come from that piracy is a bigger problem for the PC as platform?

I don't have access to hard data, but I think the perception is for obvious reasons, and is most likely true. It's not nearly as easy to pirate a console game as it is to pirate PC software.
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January 4th, 2010, 12:50
Originally Posted by Daroou View Post
All consoles are fads, they eventually die. PC gaming will again rise above the consoles because the high end consoles in this generation failed to generate profits anything close the PS2 or Wii. The message is clear, a $400+ console will fail.
Hmmm, I'd say PC eventually "dies" as much as consoles do. I'm pretty sure there are lots of DOS games that won't work on Windows 7, except with DOSBox. The same way, many people still play NES games on their PCs through emulation, not to mention people still owning and using the original hardware. DOS is as much a dead platform as NES is.

Originally Posted by Daroou View Post
Well, the current X360 and PS3 have been failures as far as making MS and Sony profits, so far. And this is almost four years on. His assertion that they are 'too successful' is not true. Too much of a failure is closer to the truth.
I'm not sure about PS3, but Xbox 360 has been profitable for the last two years. I guess PS3 is faring slightly worse, but I'm convinced they're still making money on PS3 as a whole. They probably didn't get all of their investments back yet, but it's just a matter of time.
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January 4th, 2010, 13:00
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't have access to hard data, but I think the perception is for obvious reasons, and is most likely true. It's not nearly as easy to pirate a console game as it is to pirate PC software.
I have no idea what it fully entails to pirate a console game, but as I understand it, the actual hardware contains a chip with an app that "reads" whether legitimate discs are used.
Once this hardware chip is removed or substituted, or adjusted, or whatever, apparently a great variety of pirated console games are avaible to be played on the console.

As an example: an acquaintance that I'd met because of mutual PC gaming interests said the following to me: "You have a PS2, right? Just have it chipped with such-and-such a person, and I have a whole cupboard full of games that I can lend you. My brother -in-law always brings a stack home with him when he visits the Far East." (Talking about pirated games, of course.)

Ever since I had first become aware of the "chipping" process a few years ago, I had often overheard conversations between 360 and PS3 gamers as well, about their "chipped" consoles, and what a good investment it was to have it done, etc.

Where they are getting these pirated games from, I have no idea; - don't know if they can get them straight off the internet, or if it has to be specially formatted first by a speclialist in this kind of pirating; but from what I've been seeing and hearing, the consolers as just as lustily pirating as some of the PC gamers most probably are?

I was hoping for hard stats, since this is just a personal perception of mine; - if, of course, these people can directly download the console games off the internet the same way that PC pirates can, I see no reason why there would not be rife console pirating going on, since console games generally tend to be quite a lot more expensive than PC are; so pirating would actually give them an even bigger pay-off from a financial POV.
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January 4th, 2010, 13:05
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Hmmm, I'd say PC eventually "dies" as much as consoles do. I'm pretty sure there are lots of DOS games that won't work on Windows 7, except with DOSBox. The same way, many people still play NES games on their PCs through emulation, not to mention people still owning and using the original hardware. DOS is as much a dead platform as NES is.
Öand yet, these "dead" platforms, including earlier consoles like PS1 and to some extent PS2, are still being played (via emulator) on the? PC!

Can you say the same for consoles - could you play a DOS game or a NES game on a 360?
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January 4th, 2010, 13:26
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
…and yet, these "dead" platforms, including earlier consoles like PS1 and to some extent PS2, are still being played (via emulator) on the? PC!

Can you say the same for consoles - could you play a DOS game or a NES game on a 360?
Actually, yes, you could! The Xbox 360 can be modded and installed with homebrew software, including emulators. This was already done on the PS2 (and before). The consoles get new hardware just like PCs do, but PCs tend to try for backwards compatibility. Consoles do too, but just at the software level these days (emulation).
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January 4th, 2010, 13:38
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
Where they are getting these pirated games from, I have no idea; - don't know if they can get them straight off the internet, or if it has to be specially formatted first by a speclialist in this kind of pirating; but from what I've been seeing and hearing, the consolers as just as lustily pirating as some of the PC gamers most probably are?

I was hoping for hard stats, since this is just a personal perception of mine; - if, of course, these people can directly download the console games off the internet the same way that PC pirates can, I see no reason why there would not be rife console pirating going on, since console games generally tend to be quite a lot more expensive than PC are; so pirating would actually give them an even bigger pay-off from a financial POV.

It's simple, PC games are only a 1 step process to pirate, all one needs is to know where to download them. It's not that easy with console games.

With console games… first one has to obtain the "chip" that allows them to mod their console. Then they have to make the physical modification to their hardware, or find someone else who knows how to. Then they have to find where on the internet they can download the game they want. Then they have to burn the game to a DVD/Blueray disc using the correct software. On top of all that, they have to be careful about firmware updates that can sometimes render a mod chip useless.
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January 4th, 2010, 15:21
Originally Posted by Daroou View Post
Well, the current X360 and PS3 have been failures as far as making MS and Sony profits, so far. And this is almost four years on. His assertion that they are 'too successful' is not true. Too much of a failure is closer to the truth.
Nope. The 360 has been profitable for a couple of years now, even despite the unanticipated red ring fiasco and all the money they had to shell out for that. The Wii is extremely profitable. The PS3 is another story, since Sony foolishly gambled on introducing a console at an $800 price point. Price is now half that, and they're moving units, but I doubt it's turning a profit. Yet.

I suppose I don't need to point this out, but consoles generate money based on sales of the games, not the console itself. One look at console game sales should tell you that it's a flourishing market.

*edit: I forgot to mention the huge profit stream that is Xbox Live. Not only do they get $50 a year from 8 million (?) people, they get a chunk of every piece of DLC sold (and there is a lot sold), a piece of every TV show and movie they sell, and fees from their multiple partners (Netflix, Facebook, lastfm, etc.).

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It's simple, PC games are only a 1 step process to pirate, all one needs is to know where to download them. It's not that easy with console games. […]
And from another angle, it seems easier to detect and police this problem on consoles than it is on PC, because of the uniform architecture. For instance, Microsoft recently perma-banned the accounts of a million gamers, after detecting these modified consoles online.
Last edited by Anderson; January 4th, 2010 at 20:05.
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January 4th, 2010, 21:54
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
I was hoping for hard stats, since this is just a personal perception of mine; - if, of course, these people can directly download the console games off the internet the same way that PC pirates can, I see no reason why there would not be rife console pirating going on, since console games generally tend to be quite a lot more expensive than PC are; so pirating would actually give them an even bigger pay-off from a financial POV.
Here's some hard stats (site is in German but the numbers speak for themselves): http://www.computerbase.de/news/inte…ownloads_2009/
The fourth column lists the publishing date. Note how MW2 for the PC is the most pirated PC game in 2009 even though it's only been available from November.

It shows the charts of torrented PC, X360 and Wii games (there are no charts for the PS3 because the PS3 is still piracy-proof AFAIK). As we can see PC piracy is rampant (as expected) while console games are generally getting pirated a lot less.
What's interesting is that the Wii games were pirated more than the X360 games. That brings up the question if it has to do with a greater install base (i.e. because there are more Wiis out there than X360s) or if it is due to the fact that it is harder to pirate X360 games.
My guess would be the latter because while it is true that there are more Wiis out there it is also the more casual console that is certainly owned by millions of people who are lucky enough if they are able to find the "on/off" button in under two minutes .

Anyone may draw their own conclusions from charts like these but for me it's more proof that people pirate games because they can. The easier it is to pirate games, the more piracy. Simple as that.
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January 5th, 2010, 00:42
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
What's interesting is that the Wii games were pirated more than the X360 games. That brings up the question if it has to do with a greater install base (i.e. because there are more Wiis out there than X360s) or if it is due to the fact that it is harder to pirate X360 games.
My guess would be the latter because while it is true that there are more Wiis out there it is also the more casual console that is certainly owned by millions of people who are lucky enough if they are able to find the "on/off" button in under two minutes
Another factor may be that you don't get "punished" for modding on the Wii, but if you have a modded Xbox, you can't use Xbox Live (or at least you're not supposed to be able to, and a million chipped Xbox's were recently banned from the service). The guys who are pirating are likely to be the same type who love online FPS, so that would be an effective deterrent to modding a 360. You can mod the Wii without fear of consequence, afaik.
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January 5th, 2010, 01:20
I'm curious how people are pirating Wii games. Afaik, the Wii uses proprietary optical discs.
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January 5th, 2010, 02:23
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'm curious how people are pirating Wii games. Afaik, the Wii uses proprietary optical discs.
No - that was the gamecube with 8cm disks. The Wii can read single or dual layer DVD's … but has no DVD video player capability built in.

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January 5th, 2010, 02:36
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
No - that was the gamecube with 8cm disks. The Wii can read single or dual layer DVD's … but has no DVD video player capability built in.
Nope, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about, I own one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendptical_disc
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January 5th, 2010, 02:40
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Nope, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about, I own one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendptical_disc
Oh … thanks for that! I guess that those folks must be 'chipping' their systems - or as I have just read something about a 'homebrew channel' that supposedly works without a modchip.

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