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Square Enix predicts the death of consoles


FrieChamp

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Although game-on-demands services such as OnLive and Gaikai have yet to fully exert their grasp on gamers, Square Enix head honcho Yoichi Wada believes that they represent the future of home gaming.

Rather than having bulky, single-format processing machines under our TVs, Wada thinks that physical media is on its way out to be replaced by digital distribution and server-based games. Indeed, according to Wada, the likes of Sony and Microsoft are already gearing up for the sea-change that this would represent.

Speaking to MCV, he said: “In ten years’ time a lot of what we call ‘console games’ won’t exist. And the consequences for anyone who isn’t ready for the shift could be disastrous: Wada warned that “all the distributors and sales firms will suffer a big negative impact”.

“In the past,” he continued, “the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed anymore.

“With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous.”

“Social and browser games are going to grow dramatically – especially in areas like Asia which does not have as big a console market.”

It’s hard not to agree with Wada. Square Enix is gearing up for the challenge by dedicating more resources to browser-based games, and Activision has also stated that they are in favour of untethering some of their games from consoles. As recently as last month, Denki’s Colin Anderson spoke to me about how developers stand to benefit massively from digital distribution thanks to the attendant reduction in production costs; and Gaikai’s model seems to offer a one-stop-shop to anyone’s gaming needs.

Add to this the massive rise in social and browser-based games and the fact that you still need at least three consoles if you want to have access to every new game out there, and Wada’s prediction seems all-but inevitable.

http://www.geeks.co.uk/10397-square-eni ... f-consoles

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When I read the title I assumed he was going to talk about a shift to MMOG's on the PC.

He might be right but I know that personally I'll be dragged into the world of OnLive kicking and screaming. Not a fan of the concept, especially since a fair amount of my gaming is done on a remote island with no internet.

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Unless all three console manufacturers make some serious strategy changes I don't see much future for consoles either. The only major sellers this generation have been cash injected first party titles like Halo and Killzone, or third party games that fell victim to bullshit exclusivity deals like GTA4. Even Modern Warfare 2 had a special edition 360 for it.

Remember, U.S. network TV was tip top a few years back with American Idol, Survivor, Amazing Race, CSI, etc. What'd they do? Franchised the shit out of it. Now they're losing ground all the time. Game companies are doing the same thing.

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Consoles are successful mainly because how easy and accessable everything is, so I see no reason to expect change (to onlive etc) if there is a common alternative thats even easier!

PC gaming I think will never completely die, just because it's for those invdividuals that don't mind a bit of hassel to get games to work, plus games are develped on PC's so it's "usually" not that much effort to convert.

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I think consoles and PCs will inevitably cease to become distinct pieces of equipment. There're already so many parallels between the two and people do so many similar things on them that they're already becoming very indistinguishable, and people aren't going to want to indefinitely buy several things that all do the same jobs. Now HD TVs have made using PCs on the big screen more feasible, you'll probably find more people wanting one device to do it all beneath their TV.

Something I've realised this year is that my gaming HTPC under my TV which I have a wireless 360 controller set up with is practically barely different to my PS3 or 360. It's just a platform I launch games from and potentially do some other stuff on, and those other things I can pretty much do on all three (browse Facebook, watch videos, view pictures, buy stuff). A lot of people don't even use their PC for much more than that.

I don't know if it'll be magical gaming cloud systems — the feasibility of which seems impossible to me at the moment considering you'd still need the equivalent hardware of one 360/PS3 per person using it in some datacentre somewhere — that spells the end of consoles, but I think as an individual piece of equipment someone buys just for gaming they will meet their end.

It's not like consoles are even insert and play any more — this generation has considerably reduced the 'consoles are simple and do one thing' aspect. As I said before, when it comes to turning one on and playing a game it literally takes the same time and effort whether it's my gaming HTPC, 360, or PS3.

Neither will die, but they'll both be in one device. It's a bit like how you might use regular Windows 7 on a desk, but when it's plugged into your TV you might have it flick straight into Media Center mode instead — a similar concept may apply for consoles. Sounds a bit like OnLive but without the streaming shit. :oops:

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Consoles are successful mainly because how easy and accessable everything is, so I see no reason to expect change (to onlive etc) if there is a common alternative thats even easier!

PC gaming I think will never completely die, just because it's for those invdividuals that don't mind a bit of hassel to get games to work, plus games are develped on PC's so it's "usually" not that much effort to convert.

Hassle like hard drive installs, post-release patches for unfinished games and, let's face it, a higher tendency to crash, has been perfectly emulated on this console generation. I brought Tekken 6 yesterday and it took 30 minutes for me to get into a fight.

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Yeah, seriously. I think I've actually had more hassle with this generation of consoles than I've had with my Windows 7 PC. Uncharted 2 freezing up after a well hard gun battle really pissed me off the other week even, and the 360's hardware quality seems comparable to a PC built from the worst components available.

The consoles do a good job of making such hassle a bit more accessible, though. Patching and installation is very simple and foolproof, which is something Windows should seek to incorporate. Steam does a good job of this, but as many games don't rely on it they have to have their own built-in patching systems of wildly varying quality, etc. Maybe Windows should just integrate its new-ish 'Games' interface with Steam? :lol:

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I know this OnLive, Gaikai stuff seems pretty far out there and the line "death of consoles" sounds very alarmist, but you can't deny that the trend is going from hardware TO network based data storage. Well, the data is still stored on hardware somewhere, it just isn't on a local, physical medium anymore, but on a server at the other end of the line and can be accessed from anywhere (you know what I mean). 10 years ago nobody thought digital distribution would become as big as it is today, who knows what the next 10 years is going to happen.

When I read the title I assumed he was going to talk about a shift to MMOG's on the PC.

He might be right but I know that personally I'll be dragged into the world of OnLive kicking and screaming. Not a fan of the concept, especially since a fair amount of my gaming is done on a remote island with no internet.

"Remote island with no internet" sounds scary, where exactly is this place? :oops:

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":1zaipum5]Rick-d predicts that rubber dolls will be the death of women.

lmaoooooo :lol:

"Remote island with no internet" sounds scary, where exactly is this place? :oops:

it can be :ninja: I'm pretty sure I've seen the sasquatch

I go up to one of the gulf islands (islands local to Vancouver) to do landscaping every few weeks. There's not much to do there, just brought up my SNES though :)

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