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posted by LaminatorX on Monday March 10 2014, @06:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the diminishing-returns dept.

regift_of_the_gods writes:

"The results from the 2013 holiday season through January are leaking in, and they look grim: not great for Sony, bad for Microsoft, terrible for Nintendo. The PS4 seems to be outselling the Xbox One but both are far behind their respective sales totals of 2006/2007, when they faced off with the previous generation of consoles. An anonymous developer quoted in the TechCrunch piece notes: 'There are 2+ year old GPUs that outperform these boxes, and even budget GPUs releasing now in the $150 range outclass these machines... This means whilst the casuals are moving to mobile/web, the high end enthusiasts are moving to PC where games are better looking. The traditional consoles are caught in a pincer movement.'

Sony has just completed a round of layoffs at its Santa Monica game studio. Meanwhile, the future of Xbox within Microsoft remains cloudy, with the departure of CEO Steve Ballmer and the ascension of Stephen Elop as head of the Devices and Services group, which includes the Nokia/Lumia handsets and the Surface tablet as well as Xbox. There are rumors that Microsoft is negotiating to sell the Xbox division to Amazon, which seems to be trying to enter the game platform industry. Elop wrote the (in)famous 'burning platform' memo when he was CEO at Nokia, as a prelude to abandoning the Symbian and MeeGo operating systems in favor of Windows Phone; he also stated last year that he would consider divesting Xbox and Bing if he was named CEO."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday March 10 2014, @06:26AM

    by c0lo (156) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:26AM (#13759) Journal

    Why don't they just switch to making USB/Bluetooth game controllers: gaming always was and is better on PCes?

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by chromas on Monday March 10 2014, @06:40AM

      by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @06:40AM (#13764) Journal

      PS3 controllers use Bluetooth but it takes an extra driver to run them on PC. Connecting by USB, though, only requires the default gamepad driver in your OS. Of course, thumbsticks are only good for moving players around; aiming sucks donkey balls.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by monster on Monday March 10 2014, @08:44AM

        by monster (1260) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:44AM (#13788) Journal

        This is something I really don't understand of so-called "hardcore players".

        In the previous generation, FPS players were drooling over XBox360 and PS3 because of their graphics, but it was the Wii the one with the most inmersive controls for this kind of games. Aiming with your "gun" (the wiimote) to your enemy on the screen beats moving a cross with a pad hands down. You may argue about power or graphics (the Wii was indeed underpowered to extract really good graphics) but "fun" in the sense of actually feeling the game was in its favor.

        I don't know, maybe I am too conditioned about it by playing Operation Wolf with a light gun in my Spectrum [clive.nl] so many years ago to actually understand the appeal of cursor-based aiming, but I thought that "hardcore" was about the gaming experience and not about the score.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @11:46AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @11:46AM (#13841)

          You may argue about power or graphics (the Wii was indeed underpowered to extract really good graphics) but "fun" in the sense of actually feeling the game was in its favor.

          Besides that, by the time a console gets released its specs aren't so great anymore. A lot of modern games have ridiculously sluggish controls, too. Or in the case of every Resident Evil game, the controls are just stupid.

          I only have a PS3 because someone gave it to me when it 'broke'. Turns out a lot of the older PS3s just had bad HDDs. I never got the urge to spend money on the light sticks so I don't know how well they work but the motion sensor in the basic gamepads are pretty much exclusively used as a gimmick, like shake-to-reload or tilt-to-rotate-car-in-midair.

          FPS players were drooling over XBox360 and PS3 because of their graphics

          Yet not one of their fancy-graphics games even bothers to do full HD (the ones that say they do are lying).

          Speaking of 'old' games, are there any PS3/PC games in the vein of Mario 64? Or even a sequel to Mario? Sunshine doesn't count because it has that stupid water jetpac when wall jumping is clearly superior.

        • (Score: 2) by hatta on Monday March 10 2014, @02:47PM

          by hatta (879) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:47PM (#13993)

          In the previous generation, FPS players were drooling over XBox360 and PS3 because of their graphics, but it was the Wii the one with the most inmersive controls for this kind of games. Aiming with your "gun" (the wiimote) to your enemy on the screen beats moving a cross with a pad hands down.

          Have you played a console FPS? You don't "move the cross with a pad", your crosshair is always in the center. Moving the pad moves the world around you. Moving the reticle is great for rail shooters, but not so much for FPSs.

          The problem with Wii controls and FPSs is that with an FPS you have to be able to turn freely in any direction. With a gamepad, to do that you just hold left or right. With a mouse, when you get to the end of the pad you quickly pick it up and move it to the other end of the pad. This is easy because it can all be done tactilely. With a Wii control, you have to visually confirm that your pointing at the edge of the screen, and not so far off the screen that it just doesn't register. That's less immersive than either the mouse/keyboard, or the gamepad. Both of which provide tactile feedback.

          • (Score: 1) by monster on Monday March 10 2014, @04:49PM

            by monster (1260) on Monday March 10 2014, @04:49PM (#14091) Journal

            I have played console FPS. I own a Wii and have played several CoD, MoH and Metroid Prime many times. You are right that turning is a issue (should be more smooth), but what I found was that the main thing I missed (specially in the CoD series) was quick turning (180 degrees). That, and a tendency to make you use a lot of controls that make using the "gun mounts" for the Wii quite cumbersome. Other than those, it is bearable and quite fun.

            I have no direct experience with other consoles, but I have also played some PC FPS and, unless you have some kind of auto-aim like in classic Doom, going keyboard+mouse is awkward and keyboard only is really infuriating. Also, moving freely means you need two keys for left/right, two for up/down and maybe even one for "center" like in the old "Jedi Knight" games. Getting all of them, the usual strafing controls and some helpers (run, crouch, jump) plus firing makes it really complex. Even with the mentioned drawbacks, I still prefer Wii's controls everytime.

            • (Score: 2) by hatta on Monday March 10 2014, @05:32PM

              by hatta (879) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:32PM (#14128)

              I have also played some PC FPS and, unless you have some kind of auto-aim like in classic Doom, going keyboard+mouse is awkward

              There wasn't actually auto-aiming in DOOM. It seemed like it because you could hit enemies on

              Also, moving freely means you need two keys for left/right, two for up/down and maybe even one for "center" like in the old "Jedi Knight" games

              Do you mean left/right/forward/back? ADWS? That's just 3 fingers. With mouselook on, you never need a "center" key. Just point the mouse where you want to look.

              Getting all of them, the usual strafing controls and some helpers (run, crouch, jump) plus firing makes it really complex

              Not really. You never need strafing controls. Looking left and right is on the mouse. A and D are always strafe left and right. No reason to toggle strafing ever.

              Auto-run should almost always be on, and hey when you need to slow down the shift button is right there and you're not using your pinky for anything else anyway. Same with crouch and control.

              Space bar for jumping, you're not using your thumb for anything else and that's what you usually hit with your thumb anyway.

              So that's all the buttons you need with 5 fingers on your left hand, and 10 buttons around those completely unused to allow you to bind them to anything you want. Plus all the number keys for weapon selection.

              This key layout has been standard for PC FPSs since Half-Life. It's intuitive and it works better than anything else that's been designed since. We know this, because we can network PC and console games and PC gamers always, always, always destroy the console gamers.

              • (Score: 1) by monster on Monday March 10 2014, @06:05PM

                by monster (1260) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:05PM (#14144) Journal

                I'm not saying that it isn't efective. I'm saying that it is less inmersive. When I play a FPS I prefer to enjoy the experience, even if it means being less efective overall or not rushing through the levels.

                Also, for a left handed player like me, that key layout is a bitch on its own.

                • (Score: 2) by hatta on Monday March 10 2014, @10:36PM

                  by hatta (879) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:36PM (#14328)

                  It's every bit as immersive once you learn. You never think "I need to jump forward, I'll press space", you just think "jump" and your thumb hits space all by itself. It's as natural as actual movement.

                  And you can easily adapt WASD for leftys. What's wrong with OJKL?

        • (Score: 1) by citizenr on Monday March 10 2014, @02:48PM

          by citizenr (2737) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:48PM (#13994)

          Im sorry, but you are confusing "hardcore players" with handicapped people using joypads to play fps games on consoles.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by naff89 on Monday March 10 2014, @07:15AM

      by naff89 (198) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:15AM (#13771)

      PlayStation 3/4 and Xbox 360 controllers can already be used on PC's via USB/Bluetooth. Microsoft will also be releasing a PC version of the Xbox One controller.

      So for a lot of games you can have your cake and use a potentially superior input method for it, too.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rivenaleem on Monday March 10 2014, @01:17PM

        by Rivenaleem (3400) on Monday March 10 2014, @01:17PM (#13915)

        "So for a lot of games you can have your cake and use a potentially superior input method for it, too."

        It really depends on the game, unfortunately. Some games you have a clear winner on the input selection, FPS games as we all know favor the mouse, while hack'n'slash favor the controller.

        2 games annoyed me no end though. GTAV and Far Cry 3. The shooting bits are better with mouse, while the driving bits are better with controller. This wouldn't be so bad if either game operated somewhat like Kingdom's of Amalur (great game) whereby it was always waiting for input on either device, so you could switch inputs quickly and easily. In Far Cry 3 you had to pause the game and navigate the menus to change input mode if you wanted to swap. I would swap between modes when I had to do one of the 'races' because I just terrible at controlling the vehicles with keyboard (Nostromo actually). In GTAV (at this point I'll point out I played it on XBOX360 using controller only) I cannot imagine trying to swap controls when you have to jump out of a car and be expected to start shooting right away, or be in a firefight and then try to escape in a car.

        I would like to see if the Steam Controller solves this, I've heard reports that the touchpad interfaces are a great compromise between mouse and stick controls.

        • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:56AM

          by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @03:56AM (#14472)

          "GTAV (at this point I'll point out I played it on XBOX360 using controller only) "

          Just a Question, I have never played GTA V, (Waiting for PC port) and only GTA IV on a computer with an Xbox controller. (Never played it on a console) If you hold down the left trigger you auto aim. Is this different with V? Or is it a computer/console thing?

          --
          Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
          • (Score: 1) by Rivenaleem on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:49AM

            by Rivenaleem (3400) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:49AM (#15109)

            Yes, you have the option of auto-aiming/tracking targets using the left trigger (aim assist). But I might as well not play the game if I don't have to aim whatsoever.

            • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Thursday March 13 2014, @05:53PM

              by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Thursday March 13 2014, @05:53PM (#16007)

              I agree, I use KB/trackball for movement and aiming on the computer, and the 360 pad for driving. Somewhat inconvenient, but I used to play Mafia I with my steering wheel for driving and KB/Trackball for foot.
              I wish I could use my wheel in Mafia II and GTA IV. The 360 emulators don't seem to work with my Thrustmaster Skuderia 430 cockpit wheel....(can't seem to make it controller 1)

              I was just curious about V, since you're limited to the controller that can't aim worth a shit...and I haven't owned a system since the Sega Genesis.

              --
              Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
    • (Score: 1) by Geezer on Monday March 10 2014, @10:13AM

      by Geezer (511) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:13AM (#13808)

      I use a wireless XB360 on my game box every day. With a custom keymapper (I recommend Xpadder for quick and easy 360 customization) you can use almost any console controller on a PC.

      I use this setup to main tank for guild raids on EQII. It works great.

    • (Score: 1) by fadrian on Monday March 10 2014, @02:53PM

      by fadrian (3194) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:53PM (#13998) Homepage

      Well, if they really want to be smart, they should just switch to crappy Bejeweled clones on smart phones - it's what all the cool kids are doing. Besides, game consoles are for old people (along with desktop systems). And a laptop is jut an overgrown, clunky tablet for old people, too. So, yeah, it's cell phone games or taking your piece of a dying market. Have fun!

      --
      That is all.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday March 10 2014, @06:27AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:27AM (#13760) Homepage

    And it has nothing at all to do with the fact that Middle-America spent its last round of credit on the 360 and has no more left for anything latest. Or perhaps that generation is smart enough to know that Microsoft will not allow the users to turn the ever-spying infared sensors off, and they don't really like the telescreens constantly peeking at them.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by gallondr00nk on Monday March 10 2014, @10:33AM

      by gallondr00nk (392) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:33AM (#13817)

      Indeed, and the article doesn't consider the enormous leviathon of a recession between the two consoles. The last generation was released at the peak of a boom, and this one at the tail end of a squeeze.

      I also wonder if using X86 hardware will eventually be the undoing of Sony and MS. The last generation wasn't so easily portable to PC, and a lot of games were kept exclusively for the consoles, or had dreadfully coded PC ports. There was a lot of talk at the time about the PC being more or less dead as a gaming platform.

      Now porting it will be trivial, the PC has a nice publisher friendly DRM platform in Steam, and for gamers they can save a lot of money in hardware and game purchases (remembering PC games are often significantly cheaper).

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by lx on Monday March 10 2014, @06:32AM

    by lx (1915) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:32AM (#13761)

    Focus less on games and more on things that really matter to gamers like ads, always on DRM and living room spy cameras.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @08:45AM (#13789)

      Don't forget about Sony withdrawing support for other operating systems for the PS3.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OtherOS [wikipedia.org]

      Yes, focus your attention on

      A: Providing a feature
      B: Advertising it
      C: Wait for people to buy your product
      D: Remove the feature after they bought your product
      F: Lose consumer confidence in the sale of any future products
      G: Complain when no one buys your future products
      H: ?????
      I: PROFIT!!!!

      Somehow I feel very little sympathy for Sony and wouldn't mind seeing them lose a ton of business for this. Yes, Sony may have wrongfully won the court battle over this but hopefully consumers are smart enough to boycott the company in the future over this. Carma sucks and the courts can't regulate consumer confidence.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Vanderhoth on Monday March 10 2014, @10:23AM

        by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:23AM (#13812)

        The only reason they're doing better than MS in this generation is because the XBOne sucks so much more.

        --
        "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 1) by Rivenaleem on Monday March 10 2014, @01:21PM

          by Rivenaleem (3400) on Monday March 10 2014, @01:21PM (#13919)

          More likely because the price point for the XBOne is higher as you are 'forced' to buy it with the Kinect, adding a mostly unneeded 100$ to the price tag. A lot of PS4 buyers are like "this way I don't have to pay for something I may never use"

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by prospectacle on Monday March 10 2014, @06:36AM

    by prospectacle (3422) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:36AM (#13763) Journal

    These days game consoles are just a general-purpose computer that's being configured and sold as a special purpose (i.e. less useful) machine. You can plug any computer into a tv (by any computer I mean a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop). You can plug game controllers into any of them. There are decent games and graphics processors for all of them.

    I'll bet sales of mp3 players are down as well, not to mention cameras, pagers, and electric-typewriters.

    Convergence for the win.

    Hopefully it's not long until it's all one, sufficiently powerful device that fits in your pocket*, and anything else (bigger screen, game controller, keyboard, speakers) are just things you plug in as needed.

    *Some might say it'll be on your wrist or on your head, but so far I've seen no interface better than two eyes and two hands. That's not to write it off forever, of course.

    --
    If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ObsessiveMathsFreak on Monday March 10 2014, @10:34AM

      by ObsessiveMathsFreak (3728) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:34AM (#13818)

      Hopefully it's not long until it's all one, sufficiently powerful device that fits in your pocket*, and anything else (bigger screen, game controller, keyboard, speakers) are just things you plug in as needed.

      So that I can experience the best that gaming has to offer on a tiny screen, whose outcomes I determine by jamming my greasy thumbs over large percentages of playable screen area?

      Consoles have always done a few things right, and I see little to no indication of any serious changes in these dynamics -- in spite of the proliferation of tablets and assorted cellular iDinks.

      1) Consoles are cheaper than PCs.

      Say what you will about cheap graphics cards and performance; Even a modest gaming PC will set you back almost $1000, and much, much more if you intend it to last for several years. Consoles don't have the same on paper performance, but traditionally the uniformity of hardware and the dedication of the machines to running the game software has meant consistent, higher quality performance on that hardware.

      2) Controllers.

      PC players love to deride the game controller as a serious interface, preferring the (unoptimized WASD) keyboard and mouse for input. A lot of this has to do with the types of games at which the PC excels: FPS games, strategy games, point and click MMOs, all of which are centered around the mouse and keyboard.

      The issue here is that over the years consoles also moved towards this type of game, and away from their traditional strength, Platformers. The ultimate argument against Keyboard and Mouse Supremacy was always and remains to ask such a player to finish one game of Super Mario World. This argument extends as well to 3D platformers and other third person title, titles in which the modern dual analog controller has become the tool of choice for simultaneous character and camera control. I imagine it is still quite difficult to play a game like GTA on the PC using only a mouse and keyboard.

      3) Simplicity and Reliability.

      In the previous console generation, with the PS3 and Xbox 360, standards in this regard slipped somewhat; however, there appears to have been a change in thinking with the PS4 at least. Nonetheless, traditionally, consoles had the singular advantage in home consumer computing of being solidly reliable machines. No driver issues, no compatibility problems, no updates required, everything Just Worked(TM).

      Consoles were the original Plug and Play devices, with only the Apple mac coming anywhere near the same kind of reliability. This reliability was essential to the growth and mass adoption of the game industry(whether or not you believe that is a good thing). Let's not forget that gaming goes back to at least the early 1980's, with homebrew games on computers like the Spectrum and Amiga, and IBM PCs.

      But such gaming was a very specialized hobby. PC games took -- and often still take -- many hours to install and debug to get them into a working state. Driver issues, crashes, and significant glitches are common to this day. Not everyone has the patience, time, or experience to hunt down bugs the way PC gamers are often still forced to do. This is something which traditionally never happened with console games, and which seems to be something manufacturers are by now keen to avoid developing.

      But the final point is the most important

      4) There is a place for (console) gaming: Sitting on the couch, in front of the TV.

      Relaxing, sitting back, using an optimised controller to play an optimised game. Not having to sit at a desk, pretending WASD are arrow keys, or dealing with driver issues, or indeed, being distracted by the nearby distraction of webbrowsers, etc. Console gaming is at its best a highly focused, well crafted form of entertainment, preferably polished to a mirror sheen. Hours, days, can be happily spent in total immersion, enjoying the game as a complete, uninterrupted, and above all fun experience. I have never found PC games to be able to deliver quite the same experience.

      But to each his own.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by prospectacle on Monday March 10 2014, @11:41AM

        by prospectacle (3422) on Monday March 10 2014, @11:41AM (#13836) Journal

        Your point 3 has merit. Knowing that a game written for platform X will work on platform X because it's standardised, is useful. However, it's a double edged-sword. When a new version of that platform comes out, a lot of new games start being written for it, and you have to replace your whole system to use them.

        As you point out, there is also the benefit of reliability with standard drivers, plug and play hardware, etc. I won't pretend there is no gap between PCs and consoles in this case, but it's nothing like it used to be. The gap has closed from both ends.

        Your other points are not as strong, for the following reasons:
        1 - Consoles may be cheaper than a gaming PC, but most people have a computer already, so the question is often whether a console is cheaper than some more ram or a graphics card upgrade. Often that's not even necessary, depending on what games you want to play.

        2 - Any controller you can get for a console you can get for a computer, but the reverse is not the case.

        4 - Lots of people use their PCs from the couch, plugged into their TVs, with something other than a keyboard. This hasn't been a benefit of consoles for years.

        To address your opening question, I mentioned in the very sentence you were replying to, that you would plug in different screens and controllers as needed. So I don't see how small and smudgy screens are relevant.

        The only real benefit of consoles these days is predictability. You buy a game with the same icon as the box your console came in, and one will work with the other. That's nice but not enough to keep consoles alive for much longer, I expect.

        --
        If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
        • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:18AM

          by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:18AM (#14478)

          " Consoles may be cheaper than a gaming PC, but most people have a computer already, so the question is often whether a console is cheaper than some more ram or a graphics card upgrade. Often that's not even necessary, depending on what games you want to play."

          IMHO, this is why the entire computer industry is in a slump. Nearly everyone I know has a decent computer capable of playing most games on a minimal setting at least. Nearly everyone I know has an Xbox, PS2 or a Wii. Many have multiples. Throw in tablets and smartphones and the problem becomes:

          Market Saturation.

            Like has been said, Computer upgrades are cheap and easy enough that only marginal copentency with tools is required to change Video cards and memory. As I recall gaming rigs and parts are the only growing segments of the industry.
            Most peoples computers are far more powerful than they will ever need, unless it dies, there is no incentive to replace. And little demand for more as nearly every member of a household frequently has their own device, especially phone, tablet and pc.

            Consoles are frequently shared in a family while The last gen consoles still work and have a huge repository of games.

          And of course, the recession.

          When there is no clear benifit to spending that kind of money. The majority will just wait until they actually NEED something to replace it.

          --
          Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
          • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:21AM

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:21AM (#14479)

            Preview, preview, spell-check, when will I ever learn....

            competency not copentency.

            --
            Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
      • (Score: 2) by hatta on Monday March 10 2014, @02:51PM

        by hatta (879) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:51PM (#13995)

        1) Turning your office PC which you already own into a gaming PC costs less than buying a console.
        2) Console controller adaptors, or console style USB gamepads, are easily available.
        3) Steam.
        4) TVout. It's on EVERY graphics card these days.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:45AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @06:45AM (#13765)
    At my workplace we recently got the xbox one. We had an xbox 360 before.

    One of the free games we got with it was Forza, and trying to just start a 2 player game was a terrible experience. You have to sign in AND "add a guest" to your signed in account, and jump through all sorts of stupid hoops. It took at least 20 minutes the first few times, and even sometimes it would cleverly forget the guest (so you'd have to do it again- maybe that's when we move controllers around to other people- and the kinect person recognition figures it's a different person? But whatever it is, who the fuck cares? We just want to play, not mess about with signing in. What happened to the old school - press button to skip crap, select 2P, select cars, select track and start? We were making jokes that we need to go for a Microsoft Certification course to learn how to do it.

    OK so maybe it's mainly because Forza is crap, but there are other games too and nobody in the office seems to be playing with the Xbox One anymore after the first week. Whereas more in the office were playing with the Xbox 360 and for much longer when we first got it.

    Doesn't help that we can't play the 360 games on the Xbox one - we could in theory hook up the 360 back, but nobody has got around to it...

    Last year someone even brought in their Nintendo Wii and for weeks a bunch were playing with it regularly.

    Or maybe it's just everyone's too busy with work or has got tired of playing games...
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @11:38AM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 10 2014, @11:38AM (#13832)

      "and jump through all sorts of stupid hoops"

      For a great display of irony, try some recent "just dance" games. The UI brings my daughter to tears. "Just dance" is the opposite of the UI experience. "Just do everything but dance" is what the title should be.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cybro on Monday March 10 2014, @06:55AM

    by cybro (1144) on Monday March 10 2014, @06:55AM (#13767)

    are trying to make things easier for the layperson. So as time has gone on, more and more people are adequately catered too by the PC gaming industry, which removes the impetus for console gaming at all (cheaper price, no loadhigh/IRQ/BSOD/etc hassle).

    Also online games are better on the PC, and there are really high quality free games. League of Legends is very popular for example.

    Not many people play local split-screen multi-player on a console anymore either.

    No one uses their console to surf the web.

    Why buy a PC and a console, when for less you can get a gaming pc and play better looking f2p games, and get games for super cheap on steam sales and so on?

    I think that the only reason why people buy consoles now is they might not be accustomed to the idea of plugging their pc into their TV, and for the console-exclusive games (and some non exclusives that delay the PC launch such as GTA series).

    So the console is really just an artificial market segmentation device at the present time, but console makers cannot hold back the tide forever.

    For these reasons I predict the eventual demise of consoles.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by naff89 on Monday March 10 2014, @07:19AM

    by naff89 (198) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:19AM (#13772)

    One of the biggest things stopping me from getting a PS4 is the fact that I'd be forced to keep my PS3 around to play my current bookshelf of games.

    Backwards compatibility with the Wii is pretty much the only reason I bought a Wii U as early as I did. (the pretty Zelda inlay may have also been a factor!)

    • (Score: 1) by Katastic on Monday March 10 2014, @10:19AM

      by Katastic (3340) on Monday March 10 2014, @10:19AM (#13811)

      You realize the Wii U doesn't keep backwards compatibility, right? Gamecube discs don't work, nor are their controllers supported. And all of those games you purchased in Virtual Console for the Wii? You have to repurchase them for the Wii U.

      Nintendo has straight up pissed on their most dedicated fans. I grew up a Nintendo kid from the beginning. Nowadays, I might as well start submitting code patches to the Dolphin Project, because Nintendo certainly doesn't care about good games anymore.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by tempest on Monday March 10 2014, @02:28PM

        by tempest (3050) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:28PM (#13978)

        If you purchased games for the virtual console on the Wii, you can still play them using the Wii compatibility mode on Wii-U. But they do try to gouge you for upgrading to the native Wii-U version which is BS.

    • (Score: 1) by Rivenaleem on Monday March 10 2014, @01:29PM

      by Rivenaleem (3400) on Monday March 10 2014, @01:29PM (#13925)

      My PC also has great backwards compatibility. Say what you like about MS and Windows, but I can still play the original UFO: Enemy Unknown on the same PC that plays the latest Witcher or Far Cry game. If it doesn't run natively, I have DOSBOX (which thanks to the guys at either GOG or Steam comes packaged and pre-configured for the games I buy) to do the job.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by len_harms on Monday March 10 2014, @01:38PM

      by len_harms (1904) on Monday March 10 2014, @01:38PM (#13937) Journal

      This is the only reason I did not buy one yet. There are maybe about 20 games worth looking at. Of those 20 none interest me. I could usually find 1-2 games out of a launch list that I would buy.

      Pretty much when uncharted 4 comes out I will probably buy one. At that point the infant mortality issues should be worked out. There should also be a couple of interesting bundles. Till then I am coasting on my current library.

      Of the two boxes the ps4 seems to be the one to get. It is *slightly* better than the xbox spec wise. However, my 2 year old laptop blows both of them away in performance. It should be *very* interesting in the steam world :)

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tempest on Monday March 10 2014, @02:42PM

      by tempest (3050) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:42PM (#13986)

      You only have to keep your PS3 on the shelf. I still have a PS2 too. Looking at my catalog of games of ones I absolutely love, I have a few PS1, a fair number of PS2 and ONE PS3 game. I came to the conclusion I should buy a spare PS2 to hold me over in case my current one dies. I'd love a PS4 if I could play my current games, or if they released that one game on PS4 or made it compatible. The reality is that Sony won't do that. Instead they want to make you play that shit in their cloud and I'm not going for that.

      I'm really surprised Microsoft didn't do backwards compatibility. This has been a huge key factor in Windows dominance, so you'd think he company would be keen to repeat that on the Xbox.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by swisskid on Monday March 10 2014, @07:43AM

    by swisskid (803) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:43AM (#13774)

    I really liked the fact I never had to "check the specs" or "wonder about compatibility" with console games. That was their big advantage for me, and their dedicated nature kept me from buzzing around on the internet instead of relaxing... like I planned to do when I start up a game.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @11:42AM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 10 2014, @11:42AM (#13837)

      ""wonder about compatibility" with console games"

      Generations of grandmas have found out the hard way, grandson can't stick a colecovision cartridge into a 2600 any better than an original xbox game works on a wii. And every console generation it gets more complicated. Oh my daughter's new dance game needs not just a xbox 360, but a kinect?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Jiro on Monday March 10 2014, @08:06AM

    by Jiro (3176) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:06AM (#13777)

    The original article used lots of questionable statistics, many of which are mentioned in its own comments. The author cherry-picked his data, choosing a one month period in a single country rather than total worldwide sales in the four months since introduction. He later points out that the PS4 had relatively low second week sales in Japan ignoring that the second week took place after the holiday season.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by internetguy on Monday March 10 2014, @08:08AM

    by internetguy (235) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:08AM (#13778)

    Microsoft implied that they were going to focus on games for kids and families for the xbox360. A majority of the games available for the xbox involve violence and subject matter not appropriate for minors. The kid games that are available are unfortunate examples of commercialization in our children's culture (Mickey Mouse, Looney Toons, etc) and they are not fun. What ever happened to great game consoles like Atari?

    --
    Sig: I must be new here.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by lx on Monday March 10 2014, @08:49AM

      by lx (1915) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:49AM (#13792)

      Have you played an Atari 2600 game recently? Atari was great because we were ten years old and it was more or less the only game in town. 8 bit home computers were vastly superior to the games machines made by Atari and Coleco and by the mid 1980s it looked like consoles were a thing of the past.

      Then Sega and Nintendo came along and took over gaming for a decade or so.

      Perhaps we are in a similar period where the current generation console makers will leave the market and new players will eventually take over.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @11:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @11:35AM (#13828)

        Perhaps we are in a similar period where the current generation console makers will leave the market and new players will eventually take over.

        Steambox! anyone?

        Bonus: Can't remove OtherOS... The game happens in OtherOS! ;-)

        Well, one can dream.

      • (Score: 2) by hatta on Monday March 10 2014, @02:57PM

        by hatta (879) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:57PM (#14002)

        Have you played an Atari 2600 game recently?

        Yep, they're still great fun. People make money today publishing games for smartphones that would work fine on the Atari 2600, with fewer colors and blockier graphics. People write homebrew games for the Atari 2600 that would be considered high quality games on smartphones, if they had higher resolution graphics and more colors.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by biff on Monday March 10 2014, @08:58AM

      by biff (170) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:58AM (#13795)

      It's up to indie developers to make games for kids, I think. The big studios want to put a lot of money in and get predictable money back. But then something like Minecraft sneaks in and cleans house and you realize there's still a massive market for non-shoot-em-ups. Well, at least console publishers have opened the door to independents.

      But we're close, technology-wise, to being able to realize some really cool things in the edutainment space. I saw the concept of putting together a "multiplayer" virtual chem lab -- imagine such a thing with an Oculus Rift and Kinect interaction. Or a Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego type game where one player is a fugitive and the others are trying to find him/her. It'd be nice to see big names involved in making these things happen instead of hoping a professional team is able to attract enough interest from Kickstarter...

      • (Score: 1) by internetguy on Monday March 10 2014, @03:36PM

        by internetguy (235) on Monday March 10 2014, @03:36PM (#14024)

        >> The big studios want to put a lot of money in and get predictable money back.

        "Predictability" from big studios is probably the problem and that is why we don't see many exciting games for kids. My kids tends to enjoy the games on cellphones more than console games if that tells you anything.

        --
        Sig: I must be new here.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by nemasu on Monday March 10 2014, @08:32AM

    by nemasu (2059) on Monday March 10 2014, @08:32AM (#13783)

    Didn't both companies break records? The article makes some good points ( old hardware, etc. ), but I think "In Crisis" is pushing it a bit.

    --
    I made an app! Shoutium [google.com]
    • (Score: 1) by Alphatool on Monday March 10 2014, @11:48AM

      by Alphatool (1145) on Monday March 10 2014, @11:48AM (#13848)

      All device launches break records. There isn't a single company out there that wants to succeed that wouldn't claim that their new ecosystem was amazing and going to be the next big thing. Even Microsoft's surface tablets had press releases talking about how well they were selling, but we all know that while they weren't lies they didn't tell anything like a true picture.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @11:56AM

      by VLM (445) on Monday March 10 2014, @11:56AM (#13859)

      Unfortunately the broken records were all low sales volume, etc. Whoops.

      The good news is that being able to "divide" is a revolutionary act, and at release sales rates, the current gen will finally cumulative outsell the previous gen in 2029. Of course the giant bloated FPS developers need more sales, not flat, as they're going out of business fast. Of course Sony fired a quarter of their workforce according to the article so Sony may exit the PS4 market before the last of PS4 devs exit. And the PS4 is the healthiest seller by far.

      Can anyone provide a reason other than tradition or conspicuous consumption to buy a next gen console? I already have a better (cheap) video card in my (cheap) PC running (cheap) STEAM games, and I can plug in as good or better controllers into the PC, and plug the PC into the TV and sit on the couch if I want. The UI on consoles which used to be good and fast and low latency is now worse than a PC. So the advantage the console has is ... nothing at all?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Aiwendil on Monday March 10 2014, @12:26PM

    by Aiwendil (531) on Monday March 10 2014, @12:26PM (#13876) Journal

    I do actually not mourn the consoles, in fact they have been dead for more than a decade in my eyes. Anyhow, here is a short list of what killed games for me:

    * Login-requirement - when the servers go down your purchase is not functioning (if the servers only are up a few years I consider it a rental)
    * DRM - only bought SimCity4 after there where reports of a noCD-patch
    * Non-skippable cutscreens - no, they are not impressive even the first time and add nothing while increasing irritation
    * Non-configurable controls - I want down to indicate up and vice versa dammit, also I do often switch between lefthanded and right-handed setups (think arrows vs wasd)
    * Too short - what happened with the games that took weeks or even months to properly figure out?
    * Too easy - where are all the new games with instakills, one life, removes your savefile on death, and with a steep learningcurve
    * Too simple - where are all the games that requires you to maintain a proper mental model of the entire game/level just to be able to pick a working tactic? (and where are games that requires proper strategy?)
    * Too boring - special effects and reactiontime-games does nothing for me, engage my mind dammit (Dammit Jim, I'm a thinker - not a robot)
    * Too linear - too few choices that changes the gameplay significantly (ie: where are all the mazes? (tech-trees, maps, etc))
    * Too social - seriously, include a singleplayer against AIs if your game are multiplayer by nature, I often play at odd hours and often need to leave a game paused and suddenly for hours
    * Centralized servers - seriously, release a server with your game as well for when at a lan-party, or when just wanting to play with friends, or when you have decided to shut down your main servers.
    * DLC - Do not release an unfinished game, significant changes are fine however (smallest being roughly the difference between syndicate and syndicate - american revolt), however, allow all the updates to be uninstallable as well as saved to disk for use in later installation when your servers has been taken offline.

    And yes, I still play games some 10-20hours per week, last bought game was a port of world empire delux for android.

    And yes, I am bitter over the fact that it is almost impossible to find new and interesting games today.

    • (Score: 1) by kfazz on Monday March 10 2014, @01:04PM

      by kfazz (1042) on Monday March 10 2014, @01:04PM (#13905)

      sounds like you're looking for a roguelike. have you played dungeon crawl stone soup?

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @02:25PM

        by VLM (445) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:25PM (#13976)

        TOME? Avadon? FTL? Avadon's not really roguelike but close, and has a great storyline and good balance.

        Or any genre other than multiplayer WWII FPS, not just roguelikes? How bout minecraft?

        • (Score: 2) by hatta on Monday March 10 2014, @02:59PM

          by hatta (879) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:59PM (#14005)

          If you haven't beaten Nethack yet, do that first.

      • (Score: 1) by Aiwendil on Monday March 10 2014, @02:52PM

        by Aiwendil (531) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:52PM (#13997) Journal

        ADOM [adom.de] makes up about a quarter of the time I spend on games (about 10-20hours per week), and yes, rougelikes are pretty much the only non-[simulators|4X]-games I play these days

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by threedigits on Monday March 10 2014, @01:59PM

      by threedigits (607) on Monday March 10 2014, @01:59PM (#13953)

      You just left out:

      * Too stupid - where are all the games with which you actually learned something playing?

      • (Score: 1) by Aiwendil on Monday March 10 2014, @02:54PM

        by Aiwendil (531) on Monday March 10 2014, @02:54PM (#14000) Journal

        So true, oh so true, how could I have missed that one..

        Those I miss, but it was soo long since I last saw a good one (circa 1994 or something like that) I had forgotten those existed, I guess the closest thing we have today are khanacademy (it is heavily game-ified)

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:33AM

          by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:33AM (#14482)

          https://www.kerbalspaceprogram.com/ [kerbalspaceprogram.com]

          Because of this game, I had to watch Gravity with a BIG grain of salt. Before I knew nothing of orbital mechanics or transfer windows or orbital rendezvous. The physics are close enough that you can do the math if so inclined, but presented in a way you can still do it without knowing any of the math.

          Fun and educational. Even has an .Edu version for schools. Some physics programs are using it to introduce the concepts to new students because it does it allows a detailed visualization. So they're not all gone. Just very hard to find.

          --
          Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
        • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:49AM

          by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @04:49AM (#14485)

          The violence in KSP is limited to spectacular failures ('sposions!) that can kill the little green turnips (unless you plan escape towers and such) so it is educational, fun and very low in the violence category. As they are all named and persistent (with permadeath except for the main 3 characters) you actually try not to kill them. It requires a good bit of planning, design and finally execution to do it successfully. This makes an accomplishment like first orbit feel like a real accomplishment.

          Preview, preview, when will I learn to preview....not today apparently...

          --
          Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mmcmonster on Monday March 10 2014, @05:05PM

    by mmcmonster (401) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:05PM (#14108)

    Who I'm really annoyed with is Nintendo.

    Why couldn't Nintendo just beef up the hardware of the Wii and resell it? Allow it to do 1080p and upscale the graphics on Wii games but keep the same controller and not mess things up much.

    The Wii U has large controls that don't look as fun as the original and seems way too complex for the young kids. Meanwhile the hard core gamers know that Nintendo systems don't get the ports that they want.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @11:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10 2014, @11:06PM (#14349)

      I am still waiting to play nintendo games on a wii... I wait in vain I fear