Subscribe: Comments on: Console Demise? Don’t Hold Your Breath
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Preview: Comments on: Console Demise? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Comments on: Console Demise? Don’t Hold Your Breath

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By: Chicago Web Design

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 01:49:06 +0000

Not sony bashing either, but...PS3 is crazy.. and seriously the wii..these enhancements for the system are out of control, 150 bucks for addons. These systems need to come with this stuff standard. I do love my 360 though...cant live with out it.

By: David J Edery

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 15:33:48 +0000

@Rav -- agreed, price is tremendously important (which is why I stressed "affordable" multiple times in my post.) RE: the PS3 -- I've criticized its price in the past; I just didn't want this post perceived as "more Sony bashing." The truth of the matter is, all consoles are "expensive" to a huge number of (US & European) consumers until they drop to US $149.

By: Cutriss

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 14:53:39 +0000

It's nice to see another HCI perspective on console usability. I have complaints about all three "major consoles" with how the interfaces are set up. I've only had a very short time with the PS3, but knowing what I know about the XMB from the PSP, it's a reasonably effective front-end that starts to lose its relevance when more complex tasks are initiated, like playing media, for example. I have to smack myself in the forehead sometimes about how the 360 runs, and I have to wonder if your wife encounters similar problems. For example - I start a download, and then cancel it before it completes. Since I have effectively purchased it (at zero points), the 360 polls XBLM, XBLM says I bought the item, therefore it was previously downloaded. Obviously it wasn't. If I did download it but I don't know where it went (for example, the Viva Pinata Interactive Video), I select the "Find My Download" option. And then the system tells me where I can find it, but it doesn't actually take me there or open the object. I mean, I'm probably trying to find it because I want to open it, right? The Wii is marginally better in some ways, but worse in others. WiiConnect24 is the worst culprit. It was originally hyped as an ability for the console to update itself overnight without user intervention, but thus far it seems basically only set up to receive messages from the server and nothing else. I don't like how the console reboots every time I leave a channel, and that somewhat destroys the "TV channel" paradigm that Nintendo is employing. I somehow doubt this will ever be remedied. If they really wanted to stick with the TV channel paradigm, then I could see absolutely *huge* opportunities for managing the interface, like being able to send a game into Picture-in-Picture while you start the Internet Channel to look something up about the game, or check your messages. The 360 is *almost* there, but it definitely does still need work.

By: Rav Casley Gera

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 14:43:54 +0000

Ever since the better-off kids at school showed off their 386's and laughed at my Super Nintendo, I've always had a jingoistic preference for consoles over PC gaming. PC gaming seemed nerdy and antisocial, with its pokes and cheats and bloody flight simulators that were less fun than being stuck in traffic. Consoles were fun, and cool, and democratic. Having said that, I think you might be underestimating the importance of price. The basic reason those kids had a PC and I didn't was price: we couldn't afford one. With cheaper hardware and more expensive games, consoles were ludicrously well suited to a parent's financial schedule. Get one one Christmas when they've been extra good. Games the next Christmas, and at birthdays. As consoles have become a more adult phenomenon, and PCs have multiplied into almost every middle-class (in the British sense) household, this has remained true. But now I do think it's starting to change. OK, gaming PCs remain expensive, but surely the explosion of fancy cases and gimmicks of Alienware et al means they're struggling to justify the high prices by tech alone? The truth is the gap between PC and console prices is smaller than ever. And that's why I think the PS3's disastrous pricing is perhaps a more serious harbinger of doom than the wii's UI problems. It's perfectly possible now for a parent to go into a UK electronics store and be confronted with the choice between, for the same amount of money, a new, quite powerful PC for the same price as a PS3. Parent sees PC, pictures homework, adorable-t-shirt-with-picture-on and other such possibilities. Parent sees PS3 and thinks of guns. Who seriously think the kid is going to get to go home and pick up a Sony controller? Of course, the market isn't all kids any more. But let's be honest, in many households you could substitute "wife/girlfriend" for "mum". The PS3's price is just too much for an impulse purchase - it's something you have to plan, to discuss, to justify. Like a computer. The success of the Wii is centrally down to staying in the impulse-buy market. For that matter, the success of the original Playstation was heavily down to how quickly its price went down from what was then a high start point. Look at the great console failure of the 1990s: 3DO. Trip Hawkins used to claim people would shell out $750 for it because it also got you a CD player, a Kodak Photo CD machine (!), and so on. Did it work? Did it hell. You're right that people want consoles for games, not all the other stuff. But what it's really important to remember is that that means they need to be cheap.

By: Measure

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 14:24:15 +0000

You seem to have hit the main points pretty well. For me, it\'s a simple value proposition. To play the best PC games on the market today (and have them run smoothly on my machine), it would take a 1500-3000 dollar up-front investment, and two years from now, I\'d have to pay for major upgrades to continue playing the best games, and having them run smoothly. To play the best Xbox games today, I only have to make a $500 investment (console, controllers, game), but that investment will hold out for 5-6 years if I buy in at the beginning of the cycle. The best Xbox games will always run as smoothly as designed on my machine. And with a console, I never really have to worry about hardware upgrades, as even when a manufacturer tries to offer a hardware upgrade, this usually fails. The only exception i can think of is the RAM pack for the N64. Well, that sums up my thoughts, but I think it\'s more of a rehash of what you said than anything new.