Wednesday, July 23

Console wars II - what's it all about?

In my first post discussing the great console war of 2007-2008 I summarised BRK's comments by suggesting that for her it was all about the games. Yet, I wonder. Not whether it's all about the games for BRK, but whether the console manufacturers, game developers and industry journalists would agree.

The waggling Wii-mote suggests that gaming is no longer about games alone. Sony has gone live with its video-download service (in America), and will 'soon' supply a device called PlayTV to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Microsoft has penned a deal with Nettflix for a video download service on the Xbox, a complement to its video marketplace offered as part of its Gold subscription service. EA's Peter Moore is quoted at Eurogamer saying that disc based delivery of games is dead or will be soon, implying (but not specifically stating) that Blu-Ray is irrelevant to gaming. Yet Blu-Ray and HD-DVD was a very expensive battleground and Blu-Ray is offered as a potential selling point for the PS3. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. LittleBigPlanet offers the chance to earn money for budding designers, Sony's Home and Microsoft's dashboard re-design offer enhanced networking experiences (networking as defined by building contacts, not by cables and switches) and the role that the RRoD plays in consumer choice, if any. Must. Stop. Now.

You can see my point.

I'm there for most of it. Although my current circumstances dictate that the video download services will not be for me, high definition video is okay - I own 5 Blu-Ray movies and will buy more - but bandwidth, storage and video quality make the download option less appealing.

But I know who I am and what I want. What about you? What do you want? Do any of the extraneous benefits offered by the consoles (or PCs) influence your decisions in console purchases? Console manufacturers and game developers (to some extent) no longer see gaming as "all about the games", but if any of the examples I've provided above don't float your boat, can you conceive of anything that would?

3 comments:

BRK said...

Just a comment abut your use of rhetorical questions - are you using it to try and get commenters to respond in a particular fashion rather than have more organic discussions? It feels as though I have to craft an academic, formal response, rather to simply respond in to your points in a friendly manner. Anyway, to respond, as such:

What about you?

I'm fine. How are you?

What do you want?
Just cool playable games with strong, interactive (as interactive as possible, under the circumstances) storylines and character development. A working console. I care little for downloadable content and media. A lot of this can be obtained from... other sources. And stuff I want to get may be barred due to region locking or silly distribution contacts. This annoys me.

Do any of the extraneous benefits offered by the consoles (or PCs) influence your decisions in console purchases?

Nah, I picked an X-Box purely for the games that were going to come out for it.

Console manufacturers and game developers (to some extent) no longer see gaming as "all about the games", but if any of the examples I've provided above don't float your boat, can you conceive of anything that would?

For me, I rarely go on X-Box live as I have to pay stupid amounts to get a wireless attachment so the device can talk to the modem in the other room. So, free wireless connectivity, built in to the console. DVD playback. Not too fussed on multiplayer online games, as I tend to be rubbish at them and get lost when there's no map handy. :)

nobody said...

BRK, I don't really see the questions as rhetorical. This 'blog' is more a series of letters I'm writing to a fictional friend who may or may not be you. The language is formal because that is how I conceive of letter writing, yet it is also highly personal. Conversely, there are elements of my personal life, my personality, that are missing from these posts. This blog is not a vehicle for full disclosure in the way many Live Journals or diaries are. And, for what it's worth, I'm genuinely interested in what a reader such as yourself thinks about this material. The questions lead toward a set of expectations I have, they need not be the only points of discussion, just what I consider interesting. You may have completely different understanding, and if you do, I want you to feel that you can discuss it with me.

I cannot buy into the claim that this is academic, to compare have a look at this and especially this. Although I will concede to a degree of 'formality' - this represents my commitment, my passion for this material and its significance to my identity. As you know me personally, you know that this language is not a large deviation from my spoken voice. Sure, it's missing a few 'ums' and 'ers' and it's more 'considered', but I believe - perhaps erroneously - that you can see me in the words.

It's entirely plausible that I am modeling a preference for response styles in my posts and this may well provoke the feelings you're having. I don't believe that anything here instructs you to have those feelings, that they belong to you and are beyond my ability to resolve directly.

nobody said...

And now back to the topic…

I'm fascinated by your final sentence. How can you claim to be rubbish at online games when you don't use the online component due to physical limitations?

There's some dissonance here, would you mind explaining it a little further?