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Author Topic: Long PS3/360 lifecycle "biggest mistake ever", has expedited decline  (Read 467 times)
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corruptrelic
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« on: July 10, 2012, 10:59:41 PM »

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The end of the traditional console cycle has expedited the decline of the overall console market.

That’s the claim of Square Enix’s worldwide technology director Julien Merceron, who has branded the long shelf life of both the PS3 and Xbox 360 and “the biggest mistake [Sony and Microsoft] have ever made”.

“We have Sony and Microsoft talking about this generation lasting seven, eight, nine or even ten years and it's the biggest mistake they've ever made,” he told Games Industry.

“This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform. You could not do that with this generation though.

“So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won't come back to the hardware platforms.

“So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out.”

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/long-ps3-360-lifecycle-biggest-mistake-ever-has-expedited-decline/099291

The long shelf life are what keep me with consoles in the first place. If a new console came out every 2 or 3 years I'd just stick with PC instead. 
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 04:46:40 AM »

MTV did not kill the radio. Video Games did not kill movies. Neither did TV. More people watch Seinfeld than any movie out there. Does that make Seinfeld better than any movie out there? No.

People who think iOS games will replace full video games are (IMHO) wrong. The appeal is totally different. iOS micro-games are new, but once people get tired of it, they will look at their collection and go "meh". I certainly did. I walked away from my iOS games pretty easy, and the games I have for WP7 aren't any better/worse.  I have no interest in playing skyrim while in a "rest"room. I might help my kid out with getting some 3 stars on an Angry birds level though.

The best selling game (at least, at one time) was Myst. You know what was WAY more popular than Myst? Soli-fucking-taire, ala Windows 3.1/9x etc. Hell, my GF doesn't "play" video games, and she logs more hours on her DSiXL playing peggle, tetris, and even scribblenauts (Peggle being the king of that mountain) than I do on my PC and consoles combined.

Casual gaming is approachable. Hence the name. Those casual gamers are being brought in not by the gaming element, but because said devices (Smartphones, Tablet PCs, etc) are something they already have use for, and the ability to kill time on it is appealing. I don't think casual gaming is going anywhere, but suggesting these micro-experiences are going to replace full game releases is the same as suggesting TV will replace movies.


In short: I think he's stupid, or trying to speed up Sony/MS's game of next-gen chicken so they can announce an ironically named "Final" Fantasy game.
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WorkingMike
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 12:59:09 PM »

The decline in gaming can be attributed to a number of things. I think the most overlooked is innovation. While I understand the desire to make a bestselling franchise from a business perspective, the lack of new ideas is boring the crap out of me. Lately everything has been a sequel or yearly installment. I already played Darksiders, I really don't need another one. Prototype 2? No Thanks, been there (and fuck you very much for that last level). I'm anticipating Borderlands 2, but not really excited for it. Farcry 3? Farcry 2 was a brilliant failure for me (enemies that respawn immediately, traversing that stupid map over and over again., etc...)

Things weren't as polished or pretty on the Xbox/PS2, and I'm sure the sale figures were much less, but the games really shined. There was always something a little bit different on the horizon. Bring back story(I'm look at you Gears of War), innovation and gameplay and you'll bring back the gamers.
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 01:34:54 PM »

Actually, I'm more stoked for Darksiders 2 than I would be for another Gears of War game, TBH. We've had 3 gears games, and they are fairly similar in gameplay - they span an aggressive 5 years in game dev time. While I enjoyed the story, it was certainly nothing to write home about.

Innovation can certainly be attributed to the decline though - I think the games that push into 'art' are so few and far between at a blockbuster level. Then there is the hardware race - the Kinect is a tech demo of what it COULD do had they released the full product - but with the cost of it, then no one would have bought it.

The Move, to me, is a gimmick, and I've yet to see a game that said "oo, must have". Really, the Kinect sits there too. The best Kinect implementation sofar is head tracking in Forza or possibly voice commands at the dashboard. Some might say the dance games are the best, but to me it comes down to exercise, and I don't find it ... fun? I dunno. Lately all of my gaming has been sucked into Diablo III, and that is just a mindless grinding to unlock all the skills for each character.

I guess my gaming "trend" is downwards, and that, more than anything, is holding me back. Microgames are not a factor. Hell, I bought Final Fantasy I for WP7, and have it (IIRC) on iOS.

I have yet to log more than an hour in total on either of them.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 01:41:34 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 01:43:14 PM »

He's not saying iOS killed consoles.  He's saying that a lot of devs moved on to iOS because it was easier than waiting.  You might not buy a bunch of microgames, but they sell REALLY, REALLY, well. 

There are tons of people who play iOS games who would never touch a console game.  The original statement isn't about the people who play consoles moving to iOS, it's about the developers moving to iOS.  They have definitely done this in droves.
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 01:46:36 PM »

I think WorkingMike makes an excellent point.  Innovation is also what drives the developers who went looking for greener pastures of casual gaming.  It's a market where you can try new things.

It's not the equivalent of WinSolitaire, though, because the bigger fish have smelled blood in the water.  There's money being made, so they're moving to it as well.  Hell, they're cranking even more money out of it with the whole fremium/microtransaction thing.   And people are buying it up.

Epic recently announced that Infinity Blade is the most successful game they've ever made (in terms of time/money spent compared to money made).

These aren't just little time wasters, people are dropping a ton of moolah in this market.  I think part of the reason solitaire was the most played game is because it was free, and it was already in the OS.  You didn't have to go to a specialty store to hunt it down.  Nowadays you don't either.  You can get all kinds of games cheap without leaving the device you're on.  As Steam has proven with their sales, if 10,000 people buy your game at .99 in an impulse purchase sale frenzy, you're clearing more than if 500 buy it at $10.

So of course everyone is moving to this.  But it's not because the consoles have been out too long.  It's because this system seems win-win.  The customers are getting clever games cheap and the folks making the games are making money.  This leads to more games being made and crazy sales to get noticed.  Blood in the water.

Eventually, what'll happen is that the big guys are going to muscle out the little guys again, and so we'll have an endless sequel cycle with no room for the small developer.  It's a decent time for them still right now because the big guys are just buying up the little ones instead of trying new things out for themselves, but eventually that'll stop.

Then the little guys'll be looking for someplace else to go.  Maybe back to consoles just in time for that next cycle?  Maybe, if the big guys take their eye off of that ball to focus on the casual market.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 03:06:56 PM »

I disagree. This "blood in the water" and "most money made ever" is parallel to the Blair Witch Project. What was their ROI? It was insane. What follows is a string of movies with bigger budgets which didn't cut first blood, so they don't get the same result.

I've bought all three Fable games at one point or another. Fable Coin Golf is a good game for a mobile platform.

Ask me if I own it. Go ahead. Tongue


See, with the microgaming comes a risk that we already see with big boy games. Glutted market. Look at Christmas sales, and how many "A" games fail to reach their market segment because of all of the "top rated" COD games. Now how many flashlight apps are there in the Apple store, and how can you find, and list, and compare all of them???

Microgaming is what it is. Angry Birds is your Blair Witch project, and the price of admission is several hundred dollars. Sure, it's a phone, or a tablet PC. But at the end of the day, you're limited in the complexity of game, given that:

A) Gyro controls SUCK. ALL THE TIME EVER.
B) Your very control of the game is obstructed by the method of control
C) There is no tactile feedback (as of yet) which allows you to enjoy it.

Were I forced to select whether I'd game exclusively on a gaming console/PC or on a tablet/smartphone:

Fuck Angry Birds.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 03:50:02 PM »

But none of the movies that followed Blair Witch made any money until someone was able to innovate with that again (Paranormal Activity).  These games are still making money like crazy.

Additionally, you talk about the glutted market thing like that's a lesson that has actually been learned by this industry.

Hell, they certainly know about it, but they don't care.  They know they can make quick money hand over fist, so they'll do it.  It makes for a nice stat to show to the board.  The head honchos don't give a shit about video games, they care about their jobs and the bottom line.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 04:41:54 PM »

... and, with what, a billion apps, the sales figures for the smaller apps falls off and stops contributing to the "success" of said marketplace.

Paranormal activity came out 10 years after Blair Witch - with a quarter of the budget, and made less too (13,200 for every dollar spent VS blair Witch's 4170 for every dollar spent - 250mil earned worldwide in ticket sales).

Seems like your argument stands, until you look at the budget for PA2, 3, and now 4. All of them cost 300%+ more to make, and had less overall sales.

Popcap has not replaced gaming for us. Popcap's online, free java games were the next thing. Neither have Facebook games, or the multitudes of knockoffs across the various platforms. Casual gaming will make money, no doubt. Some companies may want to invest in it, and let's see how far it gets them.

Does it replace the games that we actually want to sink 30+ hours with anywhere from 30-240min at a time in? Hell NO. Does it cut into that market? ... hard to say - considering that PSN and XBLA all have their casual games in there, the only thing they're missing is the micro-transaction games of Free+(DLC cost only), and the sub-3-dollar games.

Frankly, with what MS is doing with touch screen devices, and with what's available in the WiiU, I can't say that there is a single thing that casual gaming can do that the consoles can't leverage and make better. Which means that, while Squeenix VPs may want to bitch about delays - frankly it's in both Sony, MS, and Nintendo's best interests to wait-and-see as long as they can. Once the next gen-hardware is cast, it's pretty damned hard to get user adoption of a hardware upgrade (Wii Motion Sensor Plus, I'm looking at you).

If we, as consumers were mid-stride in the next gen already, we'd be paying for a new console in the next two years AGAIN. That's what, 1100+ in hardware costs alone? (controllers, peripherals, hardware platform, "upgrades").

MS, Sony - take your time, and do it right.

This time MS, push the hardware. Eat a bit of it and make sure my old stuff works on my new Xbox.
And Sony, put the goddamned gun down and DON'T SHOOT YOUR FOOT EVERY TIME YOU DO SOMETHING.
Nintendo - WiiU? Really? :sigh:
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 04:49:04 PM »

In response to the original supposition that the lengthened console cycle has driven companies away, one could also argue that the longer console cycle has democratized the ability to develop for top-end consoles and it isn't just the big companies with tons of money and R&D teams that can make great looking games on there. 

If companies failed at their first game(s) for this cycle, they should at least have a decent bed of technology that can be moved to another game on the same platforms instead of having to completely reinvest into a new, more expensive console generation. 

There is also tons of solid middleware and broad knowledge about how to best develop for this hardware, it's not taking a stab in the dark with new, undocumented hardware again. 

If a company that didn't succeed at first try can't afford to try again on this generation, there's no way they could afford to do it on the next.
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 12:10:33 AM »

Quote from: Purge on July 11, 2012, 04:41:54 PM

... and, with what, a billion apps, the sales figures for the smaller apps falls off and stops contributing to the "success" of said marketplace.

Paranormal activity came out 10 years after Blair Witch - with a quarter of the budget, and made less too (13,200 for every dollar spent VS blair Witch's 4170 for every dollar spent - 250mil earned worldwide in ticket sales).

Seems like your argument stands, until you look at the budget for PA2, 3, and now 4. All of them cost 300%+ more to make, and had less overall sales.

Popcap has not replaced gaming for us. Popcap's online, free java games were the next thing. Neither have Facebook games, or the multitudes of knockoffs across the various platforms. Casual gaming will make money, no doubt. Some companies may want to invest in it, and let's see how far it gets them.

Does it replace the games that we actually want to sink 30+ hours with anywhere from 30-240min at a time in? Hell NO. Does it cut into that market? ... hard to say - considering that PSN and XBLA all have their casual games in there, the only thing they're missing is the micro-transaction games of Free+(DLC cost only), and the sub-3-dollar games.

Frankly, with what MS is doing with touch screen devices, and with what's available in the WiiU, I can't say that there is a single thing that casual gaming can do that the consoles can't leverage and make better. Which means that, while Squeenix VPs may want to bitch about delays - frankly it's in both Sony, MS, and Nintendo's best interests to wait-and-see as long as they can. Once the next gen-hardware is cast, it's pretty damned hard to get user adoption of a hardware upgrade (Wii Motion Sensor Plus, I'm looking at you).

If we, as consumers were mid-stride in the next gen already, we'd be paying for a new console in the next two years AGAIN. That's what, 1100+ in hardware costs alone? (controllers, peripherals, hardware platform, "upgrades").

MS, Sony - take your time, and do it right.

This time MS, push the hardware. Eat a bit of it and make sure my old stuff works on my new Xbox.
And Sony, put the goddamned gun down and DON'T SHOOT YOUR FOOT EVERY TIME YOU DO SOMETHING.
Nintendo - WiiU? Really? :sigh:

I was trying to make the same point about the small, innovative companies paving the way and then getting lost in the shuffle.

It was also my point that it took 10 years for the film market to come back to the point where another small, innovative film could tread the same ground as Blair Witch and make an impact.  The fact that the sequels had more money pumped into it proves the cycle again.  It made a mark, and the big boys got interested again.  Instead of innovation, we got rehashes (though they're markedly better than Blair Witch 2).

You say casual gaming will make money like it's not already happening.  It's driving the market right now and the fact that MS and Nintendo are trying to do the same thing but "better" just proves it.

I agree with everything at the end of your post, though.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 01:09:00 AM »

I think the likelihood of the PS4 being more successful than mobile devices streaming games to your tv is getting slim. 
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 03:02:37 AM »

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/us-video-game-sales-2011-fell-281266

16 billion. Far cry from the total sum of Apples' claimed 5 billion paid out to developers (considering that "developer" encompasses more than "game developer" and some _popular_ apps such as TomTom and Navigon cost upwards of 100bux each). And was that over a one year period, or since inception? (I don't recall). How many pay apps are on their marketplace, and divide by that to figure out what the mean is.

Yeah, casual gaming is going to be a factor just as the Wii's market dominance was supposed to be (or the DS's crazy penetration rates)- if they could somehow extract a penny from my GF everytime peggle fired up, dear god they'd be rich(er). Both Sony and MS (and Nintendo) have been making progress in these fields. Look at the Marketplace on Win8 - imagine having your casual game, savegame stored on SkyDrive, able to jump platforms as you move from tablet to PC to phone - if that isn't on their roadmap, I'd be really surprised.

SQueenix is sitting high as a developer/publisher saying "look, guys, we moved product on non-consoles - so you're not taking care of business!" but the fact is, if their products are uncompelling on those product lines, those same results would exist. Blaming the hardware cycle is like a chef blaming his pots. Content is king, and if they don't serve up the tasty, people don't come to the resteraunt (sticking with the food analogy Tongue )  IMHO, Squeenix hasn't put out any compelling reason to go portable, either. The best I've seen was iPads implementation of the re-launch of FFTactics, and frankly, an MS Surface Pro with a modified interface to allow Starcraft 2 to be played has me FAR more interested (simply because the medium makes more sense for that kind of control and manipulation). Beyond those kinds of games, it isn't a shoe that fits all genres, and when you consider the limitation of battery life, screen size, responsiveness, heat generation, tactile limitation, and storage / game size, portable systems pale in comparison. I've already gotten tired of portable gaming, and I think this is going to become more and more evident.

A scooter can go from point A to B - so can a Semi. Their capacity to deliver is entirely different, and while both methods have virtues and faults, by no stretch does arguing that scooter fuel costs are going to offset and make a reasonable replacement in the long haul transport industry. If no one's buying your console games, Squeenix, perhaps you should look at what YOU are doing wrong.

Frankly - a 2% drop last year doesn't a failure make.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 03:12:47 AM by Purge » Logged

"If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners." - Johnny Carson
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