The Big Question: A One Console Future

Today it was announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider was now exclusive to the Xbox One. Many jimmies were rustled, but it got me thinking: how many of you would be in support of a one console future?

Because when you look at it objectively, it is sort of hilarious that certain pieces of software are exclusive to one console. This doesn't happen with music, it doesn't happen with movies. Closest thing to it was VHS/Betamax and Blu-ray/HD-DVD but generally that's just a format arms race that's eventually destined to end at some point.

With consoles, this has been happening for bloody decades. Decades. I wonder why this has happened. I wonder why video games are so unique in this regard.

Anyway, my question is this: would you be in support of a one console future?



    Edit: its a double edged sword.
    multi coles = diversity / competition / choice / exclusives.
    one console = everyone playing everything / no competition.

    Last edited 13/08/14 11:20 am


    As miffed as I am about Tomb Raider, a one console future can only lead to stagnation. Competition is healthy in this space.

      It's stagnating with a two console monopoly.

        Eh, the big two are competing to outdo one another though.

        Besides, there's also Nintendo

        BAHAHAHAHA sorry couldn't keep a straight face.

          Yeah but they've locked eyes with each other and only seek to out do each other. Their media players are the best example. Both the XBOX One and PS4 have awful media players, and even the PS3 and XBOX 360 media players which were better are crap compared to any basic PC media player, yet they both stand there proudly because they're going blow for blow with the only competition they're concerned about.
          If the PS4 only had a 8GB HDD Microsoft would view an XBOX One with a 16GB HDD as a massive advantage instead of a huge mistake (and vice-versa).

          Last edited 13/08/14 1:05 pm

          Okay, the spoiler was pretty funny, but I have played the WiiU more in the last 3 months than my PC or other consoles, so I'm glad there is a thrid option.

        Two console monopoly? that's a duopoly

        You're right. An 8 year console cycle was only allowed to happen because there wasn't enough pressure to move on earlier. I'd be very happy for a 4 year cycle.

        I'm wondering what impact the Steam 'consoles' will have.

          That would be disastrous, how much spare cash do you have to splash?? It always takes a good 4 years for them to start releasing games that use the full potential of the system.

      Pretty much this.

      If we wanted something like this I'd rather see a PC only future.

        The future is console only, not necessarily one console... PC is already trying to become like a console and streaming to your living room tv... Anyway more than one console in the market is always healthy competition. Otherwise what would stop the next "XboxPS" from just pushing the price of the games and console right up! Nothing. Don't forget innovation.

        Last edited 14/08/14 8:12 am

          Offering some of the conveniences of a console does not mean it is trying to become a console, a PC is a PC, it has extremely varied uses and will not, can not and does not want to become a console. The reason I say a PC only future would be more practical is because I can have a PC and be without a console but could not have a console and be without a PC because there are countless things that console can't do that my PC does outside of gaming.

    One console future has no competition. Prices are suddenly gouged up the ass and draconian policies are enforced.

    You thought all the Xbone crap was bad? Imagine if it was the only console and they didn't need to take back all those "features" as you have no choice.

    Yes, with multiple companies competing for my cash. No exclusive content.

      Nah, then it'll be the retailers who get exclusivity deals. :)

        That's not a biggie.

        If I bought a Samsung PlayBox because it had all the features I needed and you could get a Toshiba GameSlab and we both could get the same games and play online together that would be sweet.
        And there'd still be competition to improve amongst the Corporate Scum so that we could find the best deals.

        And then, developers just made the best games they could and forgot about the Corporate Back Scratching (deep throat), I'd be a happy customer.

        As it is now, I do choose the one that suits my lifestyle while considering the available games.
        I won't be playing any Ninty of Xbawks exclusives this gen unless I pop over to a friends house and that's poo.

        This whole Tomb Raider thing stinks of Squeenix fear and bad decision making (because TR sold in the millions but didn't meet sales goals? Get fucked, Squeenix). And we can all see that the Bone isn't doing so well so MS are just throwing money around and doing backflips (all the features that have been removed from the Bone "It won't work without Kinect") just to try and lube up the market so they can sneak in behind us and slip it in easier.

        Imagine if it was legal for small business to sell home cooked consoles at the market!

        Fuck corporations! Long live 17 year old, Fight Club loving me!!!

    i see good and bad points in both. I'd like to say "no" because I like selection, and I would hate one company to have the power to basically go "use our system or gtfo", because I find that each console, while it seems all the same to the general public, I feel has enough nuances that I can feel confident in picking "the right console for me". Plus it might curb exclusitivity and some of their "if you buy this version, you get a bonus piece of shit you'll chuck away in a few weeks, plus a really boring mission that you won't care about!"

    However, I would vote "yes!" in a heartbeat if it meant the end of all this fanboyism bullshit.

    Last edited 13/08/14 11:25 am

      It wouldn't. The battle would just shift from console v console to franchise v franchise. There's plenty of fanboyism over multiplats e.g. COD v BF.

    Yes definitely, if the controller was comfortable, or if you even had a choice of controller styles a-la Xbone or Dualshock. But it will never happen because Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo can't play nice together, and they'll all want to have the biggest piece of the pie.

    Edit: Actually, after thinking about it a bit more, I've decided to change my vote to no. As others have mentioned there would be no competition and we would be price gouged because hey, what are we going to do about it. So, yeah, keep the different brands of consoles, but stop all this Exclusive bullshit.

    Last edited 13/08/14 11:26 am

    The PS2 was essentially a one console generation. Even though it worked reasonably well I think part of it was accidental and the second generation of it would have been a nightmare, just look at the feedback the PS3 got at launch, so personally I'm against it.
    Without competition Microsoft would just... ugh... I don't even want to think about it. Sony need competition to make a solid product. From their stereos and TVs to consoles they operate by feature-matching the competition and increasing the specs or reducing the price. Their original features tend to be sort of insane and pushy.
    As for Nintendo they would dominate with an iron fist. From a consumer perspective they probably wouldn't gouge us too badly, and they'd probably deliver great products themselves, but I can only imagine every third party developer would go broke trying to make games under a Nintendo only regime.


    Can you imagine if MS, Sony or Nintendo were able to run without competition?
    But as mentioned competition creates fanboys

    Would still prefer the competition though since fanboys can be ignored and don't actually limit my gaming so...

    Diversity in game console is important. What I believe what we need is compatibility between the two consoles, the ability to play online with friends who own a different console.
    Certain consoles are tailored to different needs, I don't want my PS4 to be like a Wii, if I wanted a console to mess about with friends one night, then I'd buy one.

    Nope. Exclusives to be honest I don't care about as much, although existing IP's going exclusive can be a kick in the guts, but I just ignore what I can't get. Exclusive content however shits me off, as I don't like paying the same money for less game.

    A single console however, look at them now. They both released unpolished products, and they're both pushing new features to compete with the other. With Microsoft doing monthly updates, and Sony playing quick catchup when something like 3D bluray, and possibly now DLNA/USB is announced. Now if Microsoft weren't desperately trying to catch up to Sony, and Sony weren't tit for tat trying to keep ahead, who is to say EITHER of them would be bringing us these new features and improving their basically public beta test Day One products?

    Also who gets the single console? I don't like the PS4, you don't like the Xbox One, neither of us are right, but right now we get to indulge in our preference.

    PC Master Race also.
    But think about it, you have 3 consoles and they are all very low end power wise all the while trying to one up each other.
    With only one Console there is no trying to outdo each other no more power better unit to get people to buy your console over the other guys.
    One console would usher in the next 10 years of Console peasants lapping up 720p 30 fps as the end all of gaming.
    And lots of crap ports for PC intentionally crippled so as not to outshine the one console.

    As has been said - competition is a driving force that makes Sony/Nintendo/MS innovate or lose. MS has been on the back foot for the first time in a long time and you can see they are trying EVERYTHING to get people back - monthly OS updates that most of the time add something meaningful, Master Chief Collection, Improvements to Games with Gold etc...

    Sony needs to be dragged in a little bit IMO to force them to stop resting on their laurels because their OS updates have been few and far between and generally quite poor and just need to feel some heat in order to keep momentum going.

    Multiple consoles as well as PC's all have a role in this. As soon as a one console state happens (which could happen if Sony collapses or MS pulls the Xbox Division - Nintendo are kind of in their own space in this IMO) then consumers lose.

    Last edited 13/08/14 11:32 am

    It would be cool no matter what your friends were on you could play with them, I have more friends on PS but they are allot more casual and dont get games till months after me and my xbox mates have thrashed them.

    One console: No. One operating system: YES.

    A true VIDEO GAME operating system is needed. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo can all have their own hardware consoles, but we need a single OS that lets everyone play in the same servers.
    I'd be suprised if Nvidia or AMD haven't already started prototyping something like this.

    And before anyone brings up the Kb+M vs Controllers debate; that's just another balance requirement that can be handled by developers with things like aim-adjust and so forth.

      They could just make different servers for K+M and pad players. Problem solved.

    There already is a one console future - it's called the PC. The PC will forever be the one continuous console, no matter how many others are put around it. It will never go away, and in 20 years time we'll be playing PS3, PS4, 360 and Xbone games all on PC via emulation because that's just what happens.

      Except there is no continous 'PC'. Your PC and my PC can't even play the same games, and you can't know what experience you will get with a game before you buy it.

        You could always get a "demo" ?? I completely disagree with there being a PC only future. I feel as though "PC Only" gamers are slowly making the transition over to Consoles.. I know i did purely based on the fact of constant bi-yearly pc upgrades and hackers/cheaters online.

    A colleague and I were discussing this the other day. In general I would say no; if you take how most people seem to be taking it, that being either a PS4 or an Xbone or another variation. The way we were discussing it was the same hardware or architecture which could be released by any company; similar to DVD players etc. They would all play the same software but would be made by different companies, possibly with different OS's etc.

    That ensures competition but eliminates the whole exclusive fanboy crap that goes along with the console war mindset. I see the Steam box as being a bit of an iteration of this idea...

    Last edited 13/08/14 11:46 am

      This was already attempted as the Panasonic 3DO. It was crushed when the competition decided to bring out faster cheaper consoles. I think that today, built on X86 PC hardware, the idea should be resurrected. Xbone/PS4 are basically the same console with tiny tweaks to architecture.

    Against it for most of the reasons already mentioned, competition means innovation and uniqueness whilst also usually being a boon for consumers. The problem with the jimmy-rustling going on there is that it is an exlusive sequel to a game a lot of us have already played and enjoyed and are now being denied. If it was part one of a series nobody would mind too much but when part one was released on 5 different platforms then part 2 is out on 1, people will reach for their pitchforks and torches.
    There is however that "exclusive" word being thrown about with lots of addon terms, in this case it is "this holiday season". I don't expect the game to remain exclusive for long.

      True that - people forget that Mass Effect 1, until later in the series (I think they re-released it as part of the 'trilogy' boxset you could buy) wasn't on PS3 - but the later iterations of the series were. Hence the questioning Miranda gives you in the small transport at the beginning of the game, and the interactive comic that allowed you to make your choices then.

      BUT...but...going the other way (the sequel being on one and only one) is really bad for sales, consumer confidence and a whole host of other reasons.

    It sounds to me like the one console future would look similar to the current PC industry, but with more focus on PC's for the living room. The 'one console' wouldn't have a brand. There would be lots of manufacturers producing boxes that can run all games. I'm all for this. Maybe they would release these boxes as modular kits that are incredibly easy to upgrade, so when you need it you can just buy another block of RAM, or upgrade your GPU slot.

    No exclusives, just the way it should be.

    Definitely no and for similar reasons people have already stated. One console means a monopoly and I can't think of a single industry where the consumers have been better off when a monopoly took hold. It just gives one company way too much pricing power and gets rid of the need to be competitive (and in games that means we'd get 5 CoD and Ass Creeds every year).

      What, you don't think Australia will be better off restricting Netflix and forcing everybody to subscribe to Foxtel?

        I would if I was paid (sorry I mean donated) as much as our political leaders were by Foxtel =D


    The platform is agnostic then so no competition needed. There are just devs making games for the world to enjoy and there is no need to incur royalty costs or other BS. Just make a game. Decide a price based on what it is worth and what the rest of the market has to offer and the fidelity of the experience is based on how much money someone wants to put into their PC.

      hasn't what your describing already occurred? Why reduce options?

        A reasonable point. My only counter is exclusives like TR meaning if you don't have that platform you miss out or have to get another platform. nVidia for eg don't pay you off to restrict a game to just their graphics cards. You want 4K buy a better PC, don't care buy a cheaper PC. Can't add more ram to a PS4 or add an Xbox emulator etc.

        Imagine if music was exclusive to iTunes and only worked on iPods?

    Well, while it doesn't happen with music or movies, it still very much happens with TV shows and software. It's not isolated to console games.
    But, no. Hell no, in fact. Monopolies breed stagnation, complacence, and mediocrity at the expense of the consumer.

    As much as I hate the dick-wagging competition that comes with it (see also: Android v iOS), a one-console environment would mean less features for everybody because the monopoly holder would just start enforcing their vision rather than trying to actually 'win' the console war by trying to win over customers.

      Hence why the one platform should be PC.

    I’d be perfectly fine if the only console was Nintendo and everything else was on PC. Nintendo act like they have no competition anyway.

    I like articles like this. Up until now, I would say a big "No" to a single console future. But there are some good qualities in that thought and makes me wonder what short of games would be made by a collaboration of development giants? It's a romantic story but it could come true in a not so good term scenario, like if the world wide economy collapse and the market would be able to sustain only one console.

    Competition is what this industry lives and breathes off. i can guarantee the only people selecting yes are screaming fan boys.

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