This Week In The Business: What Exactly Is A Console, Anyway?

This Week In The Business: What Exactly Is A Console, Anyway?

"Just as the line between gamer and non-gamer has been destroyed, I think the distinction between console and mobile will become less distinct over time." — Scopely's Walter Driver thinks Apple TV is just one more step toward an ultimate convergence in gaming.

Elsewhere in the business of games this week...

QUOTE | "The console installed base is as big as it's ever going to get." — Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter also chimed in after the Apple TV reveal, saying this may be the last console generation because people soon won't need consoles to play console-quality games.

QUOTE | "If movies had the same market dynamics as games, they would have a lot less cultural power and a lot less economic power." — Hand Eye Society executive director Jim Munroe, explaining how advocating for artistic, non-commercial games benefits the commercial industry as well.

QUOTE | "For every time I found a great piece online about how a Pewdiepie generated X hundreds of thousands of dollars there was another developer saying that they actually didn't see a single spike at all." — Capy Games head Nathan Vella on the unpredictable benefits of being featured by YouTubers; he added that Capy once had a game featured by Total Biscuit, and said it didn't result in a single extra sale.

QUOTE | "Gamers want so desperately for games to function as art, to witness games about the depth of human experience — and here is Twitch, a crucial platform in games culture that had 44 per cent live-streaming market share in 2014, insisting 'NO' — games should only ever snicker about sex and nudity, like some stoned tweens clutching smuggled Hot Pockets in the back of a movie theatre." — Robert Yang, taking issue with Twitch banning his latest game, Rinse and Repeat, from broadcast.

QUOTE | "I leave knowing that Maxis is in great hands with a leader and teams who are full of respect for our players, passion for our games, and new ideas to bring to the world of Maxis gamers." — Former Maxis senior VP Lucy Bradshaw, as she departs EA after 23 years.

STAT | $US1000 — The entry-level cost of low-end Oculus Ready PCs; the program was announced this week as a way to let gamers know whether or not new rigs could handle the Oculus Rift's technical demands.

QUOTE | "What's really scaring me is the prospect of what people could do with ads. I mean, ads aren't evil, but the combination of the immersion... You could be a little trapped when you're in VR." — Temple Gates Games co-founder Theresa Duringer shares her concerns about a potential downside to VR.

STAT | 174,000 — The number of unique games and apps made in Unity from April through July of this year. Collectively, they were installed 2.5 billion times across 1.1 billion devices.

QUOTE | "We don't believe in wand-based input for the future of VR. We really believe in hand presence, in hand input, so we let everybody else go." — Oculus' Brendan Iribe explains the strategy in waiting so long to reveal the Oculus Touch controllers.

STAT | 93 per cent — The percentage of game audio professionals responding to the 2015 Game Audio Industry Survey who are male; that's actually down from 96 per cent in last year's survey.

QUOTE | "These proposals are completely without precedent in the entertainment industry and we believe they are reckless and ill-advised" — The SAG-AFTRA union, in response to game publishers' initial proposals as they renegotiate the terms governing union voice acting for games.

Top image via Shutterstock Photo


    That last point though. Everything was without precedent at one point in time. Taxes, women voting, a black president, 3 dimensional games.

      Unfortunate line break...Everything was without precedent at one point in time. Taxes, women...Wait... what?

        now we are getting into the philosophical discussion of the origin of life. If you buy into biblical "reasoning" then the line break still stands. On the other side of the coin nobody knows.

    If the people who said this generation of consoles is the last where ever right we would have finished with PS1.

    Do I think the Next Generation of consoles will be more powerful boxes like the last few iterations, no not really I think by the time the Next gen is ready they will all come with a VR headset.

    Apple aren't a game company, they have no interest in it. Stop looking at Apple as the future of games, because I can tell you while I may kill some time with touch screen games I would never play them to the exclusion of more traditional Controller based games.

      What scares me is just that, Apple and the Android phone makers are not interested in games per se, but just making sure that their platforms can handle the games. Unless some sort of mobile ecosystem springs up in the same way that Steam has done, or unless Apple curates the app store better, there will simply be a morass of mediocre and shitty games with countless diamonds going undiscovered by the masses. This is why I appreciate Sony, MS, Nintendo and Steam - they take care in presenting and curating the marketplace so that good games have a good chance of getting noticed (and getting good sales).

    One day consoles will merge with smartphones to create a device that has the expedience of a mobile and the power of a console. Oh, hi PC gaming....

      Exactly how is PC gaming expedient? It's less convenient than consoles.

        Modern consoles? No. It's no less convenient. And you've misinterpreted what I'm saying. On a PC, I can have the graphical and processing power of a console with the web-browsing, music-playing, film-watching capacity of phone, and it's less of a pain than it is on a console.

    “Just as the line between gamer and non-gamer has been destroyed, I think the distinction between console and mobile will become less distinct over time.” — Scopely’s Walter Driver thinks Apple TV is just one more step toward an ultimate convergence in gaming.

    Grunt. Confirmation bias and wishful thinking. People who think this quite likely only associate with gamers. Try talking to some of the folks I work with. The line between gamer and non-gamer has NOT been destroyed. Putting 'gamer' on your online dating profile is a death sentence for your chances.

    And good luck on blurring the line between mobile and console. The difference between 15min time-killer and immersive entertainment is always going to be pretty damn distinct and is pretty much linked intrinsically to hardware limitations. The best they can hope for is mobile games which are mechanically and narratively deep enough to get people playing on the mobile when they'd otherwise be on the console.

    Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter also chimed in after the Apple TV reveal, saying this may be the last console generation because people soon won’t need consoles to play console-quality games.

    *eyeroll* Semantics. If you're playing console-quality games on it, then at bare minimum it's a quasi-console itself. Imagine! One day there might be a machine which does TV, internet, and gaming!
    *next-gen consoles clear throats in annoyance*

      I know right?

      People think too much about these memes and sociological trends. The reality is evolution, even in technology.

      When the smartphones get to Tera Flop scale, Consoles will exceed them many folds. It's not about society, it's because you can always draw more power from a wall socket than a battery.

      Then there's the cloud computing for gaming. The problem here is lag. You cannot exceed the speed of light. So some applications (mostly the ones that value responsiveness ie. games), will prefer local data and processing. When the internet gets as fast as your SSD, your SSD will be magnitudes faster than the internet.

      So, everything should go just PC right? wrong again, some developers will still prefer closed ecosystems because of their sheer simplicity to develop advanced games for, and the investments that come from large multinational companies.

      The strength and the weakness of PC is it's variety and impermanence. AAA Developers always prefer to know the release platform with as much clarity before the inception of a game. Most often 3 years ahead of time. Then they want to use the same graphics engine for at least 3 titles to make a profit.

      Consoles exist because they are a vital and healthy part of the gaming industry, not because society is fond of them.

      Last edited 29/09/15 1:32 pm

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