(Before I get into this peaceable instruction...--let me say, wow, love the new BTIV web site! It's great to see it!)thebruce wrote:Um, you have a very low opinion of the console market, and the fact that you're essentially denegrating an ENORMOUS gaming market is frankly a little absurd.Consoles are for--not knowledgeable people--
Yes, consoles have weaknesses, as do PCs.
I'm not that much of a gamer (gettin' old and busy!), but I realized the benefit to owning a console many years ago, and I was all about PC gaming. It's a different gaming experience, definitely not lesser, objectively speaking.
I think you've missed my point, really... I was simply reiterating that today--xb1 & PS4--are PCs. There really aren't any non-x86, custom-hardware boxes made anymore. AMD makes both the PS4 & xb1, and they are bog-standard x86 PCs--albeit lower-end PCs in terms of gaming hardware. The x86 PC platform has absorbed them all--and I think that's a great thing for gaming in general. Most games from now on will be made for "consoles" & PCs because of it (except for temporary marketing exclusives for both, occasionally.)
The remaining existing problem for current "consoles" is that the hardware is so weak that to get any performance at all out of it the "OSes" that power them (OS really isn't the right word in comparison with something like Windows) must be optimized to the nth degree to even get sub-1080P gaming performance @ ~60 fps (in the case of the xb1)--which is really very much substandard in 2015, imo. The PS4 has a much better GPU than xb1, but it's still weak, comparatively--and the the CPUs for both are very weak in terms of what else is available from AMD x86/64 ( not to mention Intel x86/64.)
What's happened is that economies of scale on the traditional PC side of the hardware house have become so good that now consoles have themselves become x86/64 PCs, and PCs that cost just a little more than the current consoles can be outfitted with hardware that runs rings around the xb1/PS4--again, for very close to the xb1/PS4 asking prices. But it's not just the hardware, either...
The software markets on the PC side of the house are much better...I've got titles going back 30 years + that run great on my Windows 10x64 box...check out Gog.com, for instance. When it comes to games, consolers are frequently asked to pay through the nose comparatively, and for an overall software availability that's an order of magnitude skimpier than the choices available for a Windows PC. So, are PC gamers more discriminating and do they seek games developed to a higher "standard"? Most definitely.. It's not snobbery, it's just that we know what we like and what that takes in terms of software development. Some developers today, sadly, aren't up to the task--they'll stick to the console market where the profits are easier/higher and the markets are less discriminating in terms of expectations.
Much is made over the "huge" console market--but the fact is that even in a bad year PCs sell at the rate of 30,000,000 per month, month in and month out, consistently--year after year. In only two months, as many PCs will be sold as xb360's were sold in ten years, or more than the PS4 & xB1 have sold since they shipped, combined, etc. If the console market for games is huge, the PC market for games is Giganormous... Many PCs aren't used for gaming, of course, whereas all consoles are used for gaming (all they can be used for, really.) But still I would imagine the total installed base of PCs able to run the majority of games available for them is easily 5x-10x higher than the total installed console base. Any developer who sets his sights on the PC market, however, is setting his sights on a far larger market than the console market. However, unlike consoles, which can only be used for gaming, PCs can be used for many things, which means your PC game has got to be good to sell into the millions in short order... Simply put, the console market is a captive market for games, the PC market is not.
Anyway...I think that both Microsoft & Sony are missing a golden opportunity to forever substantially change the "console" paradigm. Because both consoles now are x86 PCs internally, there is no reason on earth that the xb1 & the PS4 have to remain stagnant in terms of their hardware for the 6-10-year period console buyers are used to. One of the chief impediments to console game development is that by waiting so artificially long between model releases, general x86 PC hardware (upon which the consoles are now based) proceeds at a much more rapid clip comparatively, meaning that console game development just a couple of years in is already falling way behind the hardware curve so that in order for PC games to be made for current SoA hardware, developers automatically have to choose between leaving the console market out, completely, or else programming for the lowest common denominator--x86 consoles--and tacking on scalable features to whatever degree that they can. Since the consoles are now x86, and no future console ever needs to be incompatible with current consoles, I see little reason that console developers could not put out a new & improved, more powerful console model every 2-3 years, in perpetuity. The rate of hardware change is there for the console market to avail itself of--just like the move to x86 in the first place. There are lots of clever marketing strategies either Microsoft or Sony (or both) could use to facilitate upgrading consoles on that timescale, imo.
Anyway, as the old axiom goes, knowledge is power, and in the 21st century it is also money. Consumers who wish to learn a few basic things--like how to put together an x86 Windows PC from parts they order through Amazon or NewEgg (an exercise rivaling construction of Lego block houses or an hour-long game of Minecraft in both complexity and difficulty) will find that their efforts to learn are suitably rewarded. The more you learn the more it pays.