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View Full Version : Could there really be no next-gen system from either Sony or Microsoft?


Sub-Zero
02-02-12, 04:51 PM
I'm sure by now everyone has heard the rumor that Sony or Microsoft might not make a next-gen system (http://www.industrygamers.com/news/sony-or-microsoft-to-bow-out-of-next-gen-console-race-predicts-gaikai/). Like most people, I didn't believe that for a second. However, with rumors that the Xbox 720 chipset is now in production (http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/121/1217112p1.html), and new reports that Sony has again suffered a massive net loss (http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1217809p1.html), along with the fact that Sony is apparently not revealing the PS4 at E3 this year ( http://www.gamespot.com/events/ces2012/story.html?sid=6348428), is it possible that Sony may not have the money required to develop the PS4 and thus really leave the console business?

kgrogers1979
02-02-12, 05:26 PM
Oh, Sony has been developing the PS4 for some time now. These things don't just develop over night. It takes many many years. R&D on the Xbox720 and PS4 would have begun very soon after the Xbox360 and PS3 were launched. They are well into development by this point.

Sony, as a whole, may have suffered a net loss, but their video game division is their biggest profit division. They are therefore much more likely to drop a less profitable division, TVs or other electronics or whatever it may be, than to drop their video game division. If they got out of video games, they might as well just close their doors and go out of business.

I guess they might pull a Sega and get out of hardware and go software-only, but they are really still far from that point as well. Sega suffered massive loss after massive loss with a string of failures to get that point. It was Sega CD to 32X to Saturn to Dreamcast. Just boom, boom, boom, failure after failure. Sony has only had one real failure, and that was really just releasing a $600 console in the middle of a very bad economic depression. It was really just bad timing. PS3 is doing well now that the economy is picking up. Their next console should fare better.

fumanstan
02-02-12, 05:28 PM
No.

fujishig
02-02-12, 05:31 PM
I think it's more likely that Nintendo bows out of the next-next generation, if the 3DS and the Wii U both turn out to be flops, and with the earnings they've been having (they still have a big warchest, but I think they need some traction). Even that seems unthinkable. If the 360 had dominated in Japan (or the PSP hadn't been saved by Monster Hunter) I could see Sony having a harder time, but I cannot imagine either of them bowing out of the next gen.

Of course, if Apple enters the market... :)

mhg83
02-02-12, 05:41 PM
I think in ten years there will be only one console. An all media device. An ipad like tablet that has the power of a next gen console. When you take it home, hook it up to your tv through HDMI and continue playing with a wireless controller.

kgrogers1979
02-02-12, 05:48 PM
I think in ten years there will be only one console.

Monopolies are bad.


An ipad like tablet that has the power of a next gen console.

And that's even worse.

The power of hardware is limited by size. Huge amounts of power produce huge amounts of heat. Why do you think PC towers are so big? The actual computer components are relatively small and fill up only maybe a quarter of the tower. The rest of the empty space is there so it can breathe because of the extraordinary amount of heat it produces. Laptops are generally less powerful because they have less room to breathe and therefore can't handle as much heat. That's also why today's consoles are having so many problems with RROD and all that. Its largely because of the heat. So a tablet with that much power... not going to happen.

kgrogers1979
02-02-12, 06:10 PM
Sony's Consumer Products and Services division, which houses all things PlayStation, fared little better, posting a loss of $1.09 billion ( 688 million) for the quarter. This is despite actual sales of the PS3 being up year-on-year. 6.5 million consoles were sold between October and December, which is 200,000 more than in the same period a year ago.

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1217809p1.html


Thank you for proving my point.

It says that their video game division fared better than their own divisions. So which, if any, division is likely to get cut? Certainly not the one that fared better than others.

It also says that sales have been improving, probably because of the improving economy as a whole, which also proves that my earlier point about releasing a $600 console in the middle of a bad economic depression was a mistake and wouldn't be repeated with the PS4. So while the video game division suffered a loss, it has improved and suffered less of a loss since sales have improved.

Sub-Zero
02-02-12, 06:12 PM
^Oops, sorry, accidentally deleted instead of editing.

According to this report (http://www.vg247.com/2012/02/02/sony-q3-playstation-3-price-cut-biting-deep/comment-page-1/), "The Consumer Products & Services division, of which Sony Computer Entertainment is a part, brought in $12.8 billion in revenue, a 24.4% year-on-year decrease resulting in losses of loss of $1.1 billion."

devilshalo
02-02-12, 07:32 PM
Sony's profitable division is SPE, not SCEA.

msdmoney
02-02-12, 07:53 PM
Monopolies are bad.

The idea of a single console is more of a single open platform than one console manufacturer winning out. The problem with the system we have now is that we have multiple incompatible formats, and once you've bought into a console they have control over your access to content because it is a closed platform. In a world where games will inevitably be download only the scariest thing is the closed platform system we have now.

Anubis2005X
02-02-12, 08:09 PM
The idea of a single console is more of a single open platform than one console manufacturer winning out.

Isn't that basically a PC?

dsa_shea
02-02-12, 09:51 PM
Who would be the creator and benefactor of this single open platform console? I don't really like the idea of only one console on the market.

mhg83
02-02-12, 09:57 PM
Who would be the creator and benefactor of this single open platform console? I don't really like the idea of only one console on the market.

How is it any different than movies and music? I can take a dvd and it'll play in all dvd players. I don't have to buy three different players to watch my movies on. If i buy a music cd it'll play in all my cd players.

kgrogers1979
02-03-12, 12:29 AM
Isn't that basically a PC?

Pretty much.

If they did something like that with the console market, it would present the same problems many people hate about PC gaming. In other words, lots of incompatibilities and buggy gaming. People think that games on the consoles this gen have been buggy, but there hasn't been anything nearly as buggy as PC games can get. You haven't truly experienced a buggy game until you see some of the worst drecks on PC. :lol:

PC games are buggy because they have to be designed to work on thousands and thousands of possible configurations. Motherboards, processors, RAM, video cards, the OS, etc even the slightest change can present a problem. Consoles have one and only one configuration so they are far simpler to program. If the console market went open-market like that, then it would be exactly like PCs with thousands of different configurations.

How is it any different than movies and music? I can take a dvd and it'll play in all dvd players. I don't have to buy three different players to watch my movies on. If i buy a music cd it'll play in all my cd players.

Video games are far more complex than movies and music. Movies and music will play in any player because their systems are incredibly simple compared to a video game system.

Drexl
02-03-12, 02:29 AM
Pretty much.

If they did something like that with the console market, it would present the same problems many people hate about PC gaming. In other words, lots of incompatibilities and buggy gaming. People think that games on the consoles this gen have been buggy, but there hasn't been anything nearly as buggy as PC games can get. You haven't truly experienced a buggy game until you see some of the worst drecks on PC. :lol:

PC games are buggy because they have to be designed to work on thousands and thousands of possible configurations. Motherboards, processors, RAM, video cards, the OS, etc even the slightest change can present a problem. Consoles have one and only one configuration so they are far simpler to program. If the console market went open-market like that, then it would be exactly like PCs with thousands of different configurations.

But by nature of this theoretical device being a "console," I think the suggestion was that the hardware would be standardized. He just meant "open" in the sense that they wouldn't have to get the games licensed and distributed by Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.

One problem I could see with a single platform is that it would be more expensive. I'm assuming this would be like DVD/BD players, where multiple companies could produce it. But without the game licensing, there is no incentive to sell the console at a loss or at a minimal profit point, because they won't make it back in software.

Sub-Zero
02-03-12, 02:47 AM
But by nature of this theoretical device being a "console," I think the suggestion was that the hardware would be standardized. He just meant "open" in the sense that they wouldn't have to get the games licensed and distributed by Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.

One problem I could see with a single platform is that it would be more expensive. I'm assuming this would be like DVD/BD players, where multiple companies could produce it. But without the game licensing, there is no incentive to sell the console at a loss or at a minimal profit point, because they won't make it back in software.

Isn't that kind of what happened with the 3DO?

kgrogers1979
02-03-12, 03:42 AM
Yeah, that was done with the 3DO. Three different companies made their own 3D0 console. It was a freaking disaster. Like Drexl said, consoles are sold for minimal profit, and actually they are sold for a loss the first few years. They are loss leaders to get you to buy software which is where the actual profit is. If a company only produces hardware and no software, there is no way they can sell it for a low price. Which is exactly what happened with the 3D0. It retailed for $700, and keep in mind that is in 1994 dollars. Adjusted for inflation it would be over $1000 in today's dollars.

Superboy
02-03-12, 05:58 AM
I'm sure by now everyone has heard the rumor that Sony or Microsoft might not make a next-gen system (http://www.industrygamers.com/news/sony-or-microsoft-to-bow-out-of-next-gen-console-race-predicts-gaikai/). Like most people, I didn't believe that for a second. However, with rumors that the Xbox 720 chipset is now in production (http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/121/1217112p1.html), and new reports that Sony has again suffered a massive net loss (http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1217809p1.html), along with the fact that Sony is apparently not revealing the PS4 at E3 this year ( http://www.gamespot.com/events/ces2012/story.html?sid=6348428), is it possible that Sony may not have the money required to develop the PS4 and thus really leave the console business?

Do you have any idea how misleading those kinds of profitability reports are?

And no, there's no way in hell that Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft would pull out now.

flashburn
02-03-12, 08:02 AM
:lol:

kgrogers1979
02-03-12, 08:40 AM
And no, there's no way in hell that Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft would pull out now.

According to some people Nintendo is going the way of Sega... for the last 15 years or so...

orangecrush
02-03-12, 10:06 AM
The idea of a single console is more of a single open platform than one console manufacturer winning out. The problem with the system we have now is that we have multiple incompatible formats, and once you've bought into a console they have control over your access to content because it is a closed platform. In a world where games will inevitably be download only the scariest thing is the closed platform system we have now.We have that already. It is called the PC.

Tracer Bullet
02-03-12, 10:22 AM
Sure, it's possible. It's not likely, however. Microsoft is heavily invested in the Xbox platform, and Nintendo's entire business model is structured around having a ton of first-party properties to drive hardware sales (and like Apple, they don't sell hardware at a loss.)

Sony... well, who knows. I think the PS3 could hang on for a few more years and compete pretty well with a new Xbox. I don't think Sony wants to spend a ton of money on a new console launch if they don't have to.

msdmoney
02-03-12, 03:06 PM
But by nature of this theoretical device being a "console," I think the suggestion was that the hardware would be standardized. He just meant "open" in the sense that they wouldn't have to get the games licensed and distributed by Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.

One problem I could see with a single platform is that it would be more expensive. I'm assuming this would be like DVD/BD players, where multiple companies could produce it. But without the game licensing, there is no incentive to sell the console at a loss or at a minimal profit point, because they won't make it back in software.

Yes, sorry I thought it was inferred that the platform hardware would be standardized and that the "open" platform would be the distribution and online gaming components. The original question already grows out of the sense that the 360 and ps3 (hardware) are becoming less relevant to their respective companies, than XBOX Live and PSN (services). When the hardware becomes less important and the service becomes more important, it will be important to the consumer for the hardware to be open to different services.

DVD Josh
02-03-12, 03:14 PM
Microsoft will have to embrace BD for its next generation console, if only for data purposes.

flashburn
02-03-12, 03:22 PM
Microsoft will have to embrace BD for its next generation console, if only for data purposes.

Not really.

Michael Corvin
02-03-12, 03:29 PM
Unless they are dropping a ton on R&D for a new format, I think some form of BD is a forgone conclusion.

kgrogers1979
02-03-12, 03:39 PM
Blu-ray isn't really necessary since a physical format isn't really even necessary anymore. Steam has pretty much taken over PC gaming. Basically no PC gamer actually buys games on physical media anymore. The same could very well happen with consoles.

Michael Corvin
02-03-12, 03:56 PM
Blu-ray isn't really necessary since a physical format isn't really even necessary anymore.

Bandwidth caps and lack of broadband in rural America say otherwise. Never mind that a console has to be simple enough for mom and dad as putting a disc in a drive for junior. They would just be pushing consumers towards the WiiU if they went all digital this time out.

Also, Steam succeeds because of game prices. They run frequent and insane deals to offset the cost of owning a physical copy (that has resale value). Microsoft has shown no evidence of embracing such a model. Kameo is still $20 on the Marketplace for fucks sake.

kgrogers1979
02-03-12, 04:09 PM
Also, Steam succeeds because of game prices. They run frequent and insane deals to offset the cost of owning a physical copy (that has resale value).


That would be one of the biggest reasons why Sony and Microsoft would want to go all digital. They hate the used game market since they see no revenue from it. Going all digital would kill the used market.

Is broadband really still all that lacking in rural America? I live in rural America, and I have had broadband for several years.

Michael Corvin
02-03-12, 04:26 PM
As I pointed out though, who is going to embrace $60 digital games though? Neither MS or Sony has embraced the pricing flexibility of Steam or given us reason to believe they will. Again, Kameo...$20. :lol:

It's not about what MS, Sony & publishers want, it's about what the consumer will bear. I doubt consumers are ready for dropping $60 for a product they don't actually own. I know I'm not and I'm a launch day adopter.

kgrogers1979
02-03-12, 04:35 PM
You're assuming they would be using the exact same model next gen as they do this gen. Things change you know...

They would rather see revenue from a $10 digital game than not seeing anything at all from the sale of a $10 used game. So low prices are still a win for them.

The digital marketplace this gen is very small with few buyers, so that is why they can't afford to do crazy Steam-like sales, but who knows what may happen next gen. When Steam first started, people didn't have any clue that it would take PC gaming by storm like it has...

Drexl
02-03-12, 04:43 PM
Before they can switch entirely, there needs to be a transitional period in which everything (or a reasonably large percentage of it) is available either on physical media or digitally, like what the PS Vita is apparently getting. Music and PC games are still in that phase, and movies are getting there if they aren't already. From there it's a matter of watching the sales and gradually phasing out the old format. It happens all the time, with film vs. digital, VHS vs. DVD, etc.

Of course, games are a little different because the smaller titles are download only, but they'll still need to produce discs of the big titles. We're not at the point yet where they can end physical media. Maybe the generation after the next one.

Groucho
02-03-12, 04:48 PM
Of course, if Apple enters the market... :)Technically, they're already in (and dominating) the handheld market.

Not sure how an Apple set-top console would fly, though. A one-button controller was fine for the 2600, but for today's games?

orangecrush
02-03-12, 04:58 PM
As I pointed out though, who is going to embrace $60 digital games though? Neither MS or Sony has embraced the pricing flexibility of Steam or given us reason to believe they will. Again, Kameo...$20. :lol:

It's not about what MS, Sony & publishers want, it's about what the consumer will bear. I doubt consumers are ready for dropping $60 for a product they don't actually own. I know I'm not and I'm a launch day adopter.To be fair, Sony has had some really good sales on retail games on PSN. Not as good as steam, but way better than anything MS has done.

Michael Corvin
02-03-12, 05:17 PM
You're assuming they would be using the exact same model next gen as they do this gen. Things change you know...


Maybe, but you're talking about Microsoft here... a.k.a. the company that ushered in both the $60 game price and $80+ special editions. I just can't picture them cutting that in half for the sake of going digital, publisher pressure or not. Microsoft is in the business of raising prices, not lowering them.

I'm with Drexl. There needs to be a transitional period. I would like to see games go the route films have. Game + Digital Copy in some fashion.

Cusm
02-03-12, 06:20 PM
Maybe, but you're talking about Microsoft here... a.k.a. the company that ushered in both the $60 game price and $80+ special editions. I just can't picture them cutting that in half for the sake of going digital, publisher pressure or not. Microsoft is in the business of raising prices, not lowering them.

I'm with Drexl. There needs to be a transitional period. I would like to see games go the route films have. Game + Digital Copy in some fashion.

I would love to have more older games downloaded for the price of used games. I picked up Assassin's Creed for $5 a couple of months ago, on Live it would have been $20 no way I would do that.

atxbomber
02-03-12, 07:04 PM
Blu-ray isn't really necessary since a physical format isn't really even necessary anymore. Steam has pretty much taken over PC gaming. Basically no PC gamer actually buys games on physical media anymore. The same could very well happen with consoles.

Maybe it's changed since then, but as recently as 2010, only 73% of 360s were even connected to the internet, and only 60% of households in the US have access to broadband internet. Unless there's been a dramatic increase in both those numbers, I don't see anybody going digital only. Steam works different than consoles because it targets a different audience (anybody with a gaming computer is likely going to have broadband internet) and isn't the only point of retail for many of the games it sells. Maybe Next Gen will have day and date digital for everything, where you have the choice, but we're not going to see the end of physical media for the foreseeable future.

msdmoney
02-03-12, 07:33 PM
As I pointed out though, who is going to embrace $60 digital games though? Neither MS or Sony has embraced the pricing flexibility of Steam or given us reason to believe they will. Again, Kameo...$20. :lol:

It's not about what MS, Sony & publishers want, it's about what the consumer will bear. I doubt consumers are ready for dropping $60 for a product they don't actually own. I know I'm not and I'm a launch day adopter.

The reason they haven't embraced the price flexibility is because they have no reason to. They are still living in a retail, physical copy world, and the downloadable games are an afterthought to their tried and true business model. I also think people have a misguided perception of the pricing of downloadable games because their main experiences are psn and the 360. These are closed platforms where the platform holder is the distributor and keeps very tight control over the store and content. The main problem with this system isn't that the games are downloadable, but that the pricing is so tightly controlled by the platform holder. Once you've purchased a 360 they control the distribution to you. Just look at the difference in pricing on a closed platform that isn't so tightly controlled like the iphone. And then look at the downloadable prices on an open platform like the pc where Steam, Amazon, D2D, greenmangaming, impulse/gamestop, and GOG are all competing for your money.

Michael Corvin
02-03-12, 09:54 PM
The reason they haven't embraced the price flexibility is because they have no reason to. They are still living in a retail, physical copy world, and the downloadable games are an afterthought to their tried and true business model.

Very true, but that doesn't hold for games no longer at retail. Games have a shelf life of a year, if they're lucky (longer for the big titles). Why are launch games still $20?

I can get any launch 360 game about $5 used or I can buy a digital version for $20. If they were serious about killing the used market they would price older titles competitively.

I would love to have more older games downloaded for the price of used games. I picked up Assassin's Creed for $5 a couple of months ago, on Live it would have been $20 no way I would do that.

Exactly.

Drexl
02-04-12, 03:54 AM
The reason they haven't embraced the price flexibility is because they have no reason to. They are still living in a retail, physical copy world, and the downloadable games are an afterthought to their tried and true business model. I also think people have a misguided perception of the pricing of downloadable games because their main experiences are psn and the 360. These are closed platforms where the platform holder is the distributor and keeps very tight control over the store and content. The main problem with this system isn't that the games are downloadable, but that the pricing is so tightly controlled by the platform holder. Once you've purchased a 360 they control the distribution to you. Just look at the difference in pricing on a closed platform that isn't so tightly controlled like the iphone. And then look at the downloadable prices on an open platform like the pc where Steam, Amazon, D2D, greenmangaming, impulse/gamestop, and GOG are all competing for your money.

It's just like the record companies all over again, isn't it? Look at the indie bundles, where small developers are selling their games for a pay-what-you-want price. It's just like the music artists selling directly. Indie Gala includes indie rock albums in addition to games, in fact.

Gizmo
02-04-12, 10:41 AM
Maybe, but you're talking about Microsoft here... a.k.a. the company that ushered in both the $60 game price and $80+ special editions. I just can't picture them cutting that in half for the sake of going digital, publisher pressure or not. Microsoft is in the business of raising prices, not lowering them.

I'm with Drexl. There needs to be a transitional period. I would like to see games go the route films have. Game + Digital Copy in some fashion.

Ushered in?

Were you not a gamer during the SNES/Genesis days? Plenty of games were $60 (I think even more), and that was in early 90's money. Even some N64 Games.

And Special Editions? Again, Earthbound for SNES. Madden 2005 for Xbox and PS2.
http://zpnerdblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/earthbound-cover.jpg
http://shop.bresoftware.com/assets/images/ps2-madden2005-ce.jpg

What about Shenmue for Dreamcast? Sonic adventure 2 for Dreamcast?
Resident Evil 4 for GameCube? Resident Evil 4 for PS2? Mortal Kombat Deception?

Need me to go on? You act as-if it's all Microsofts faults when there were plenty of $60 and Special Edition games before Microsoft even launched a freakin' console. Game studios decided that they could get an extra $10-$20 out of gamers by tossing in a slip cover/DVD Extra/Bonus crap. It's a way for them to spend $4 more and make an extra $20.

You seem to forget SONY launched a PS3 at $499 and $599 while MS launched a year earlier at $299 and $399. Why no crying about that?

Gizmo
02-04-12, 10:52 AM
Very true, but that doesn't hold for games no longer at retail. Games have a shelf life of a year, if they're lucky (longer for the big titles). Why are launch games still $20?

I can get any launch 360 game about $5 used or I can buy a digital version for $20. If they were serious about killing the used market they would price older titles competitively.


Lazy people. They are hoping people are too dumb to actually try and find the game cheaper and would rather just go 'oooh, $20 for Perfect Dark Zero on XBL? I'll take it!". Some consumers don't trust used games or don't even think they will be priced that low. Why not get $20 for a dumb person than sell 4 copies at $5 (digitally) each?

Not something I agree with, as I sure as hell won't spend $20 on a digital game when the physical disc is $5 and could be traded in when I finished it.

Sony failed with this model with the PSP GO!. Charging MSRP for a digital copy when the UMD was either the same price or cheaper will not fly. I fully expect every console/handheld maker to reduce the digital price over physical in the next few years, especially as retail stores start to shutter more frequently.

Jay G.
02-04-12, 11:32 AM
Of course, if Apple enters the market... :)
Apple already tried its hand at designing a game console, back in 1995. It was even going to be an open platform, with consoles from multiple manufacturers. Only Bandai ever produced one, and it flopped:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Bandai_Pippin

Of course, Apple made that back when Steve Jobs wasn't with the company. Now that Steve's returned... oh, wait.

As Groucho pointed out, iOS has grabbed a large share of the handheld market, but those devices are so touch focused I see it hard translating to home console. Also, portable devices are, by necessity underpowered.


One possibility for an "open platform console" would be an Android-powered TV device like GoogleTV, which already has some games on it, as well as an On-Live app, allowing the playing of many PC games via streaming. However, Android devices already have a history of fractured compatibility.

Michael Corvin
02-04-12, 12:59 PM
Ushered in?

Were you not a gamer during the SNES/Genesis days? Plenty of games were $60 (I think even more), and that was in early 90's money. Even some N64 Games.


Miss the point much? :lol:

Prior to the 360 the SRP of the vast majority of games were $49.99. Were there games that ran more? Of course, there's an exception for everything. Hell I paid $90 or whatever ridiculous amount SFII was on the SNES. Outside of the rare cartridge pricing, games have basically been $50 since the NES and up until the 360 launched.

If you were on the net in 2005 when the $10 hike went into effect, it was bitched about relentlessly. It was a big deal when it happened so much so that it became a big deal when the Wii launched and kept the $50 SRP.

Same goes for special editions. Sure there were some here and there on mostly niche titles, but none that were such a resounding success that Halo 2 was. They proved that people were willing to pay a $20 premium for mostly useless junk.

kgrogers1979
02-04-12, 02:01 PM
People never bother adjusting for inflation...

A dollar in 1990 certainly is not the same as a dollar today. The Time Value of Money 101.

Adjusted for inflation a $50 game in 1990 would be $82 today. That's more expensive than games today...

The Atari 2600 launched in 1977 at $199. That would be $707 today, more expensive than even what the PS3 launched at.

People that say video games have increased in price don't really know what they are talking about.

Superboy
02-04-12, 02:14 PM
According to some people Nintendo is going the way of Sega... for the last 15 years or so...

No. No no no no no way are they going the way of Sega. Those critics are stupid. The gaming media is terrible, and it is an absolutely horrible institution. Reviewers are complete and utter morons, they're nothing more than glorified PR junkies. Everyone thought that the DS was going to lose to the PSP, and it crushed the PSP and utterly humiliated it, and still the media refused to acknowledge the faults of the system to the point that Sony made a follow up system with all the same flaws and more. Then they hurled even more moronic criticism towards the 3DS, and what an epic failure of a success that is. And the Wii, because it has inferior graphics to the PS3 and 360, but it's only the better system because it has better games, and for some reason it outsold both competitors constantly.

Sega made a series of world-class mistakes. I don't know how long you've been following the video game industry, but nothing Nintendo has done could ever measure up to how god-awful and fucking bone-headed Sega was.

kgrogers1979
02-04-12, 02:25 PM
No. No no no no no way are they going the way of Sega. Those critics are stupid.

Those critics are usually teens who think they know everything.


Sega made a series of world-class mistakes. I don't know how long you've been following the video game industry, but nothing Nintendo has done could ever measure up to how god-awful and fucking bone-headed Sega was.

I was joking. I know Nintendo isn't going out of the hardware business anytime soon. I have been playing ever since I was 3 years old in the very early 80s on my dad's Atari 2600, so I know the industry pretty well. Yes, I know Sega had a long string of massive failures that eventually led to them leaving the hardware business. The Sega CD to 32X to Saturn to Dreamcast was just failure after failure. To say that Nintendo has never had an equivalent failure is wrong however. Need I remind you of the Virtual Boy? But yeah, that is really the one and only failure Nintendo has had as of yet. It would take a string of failures for them to go the way of Sega. No company goes out of business after just one failure. If they did, no company would ever last.

Superboy
02-04-12, 02:44 PM
Oh, the Dreamcast wasn't a failure the way their other systems were. It had great games, and great support. It was just too late... and in the face of Sony's market dominance, it could not succeed. Although the PS2 ended up being a terribly mediocre system.

kgrogers1979
02-04-12, 02:59 PM
Great games and support don't necessarily make you a success. Dreamcast was a failure because it did not sell well. That's all that really matters. Sure the diehard fans of the Dreamcast, and there were many such fans, loved the games but the sales were dismal and so therefore it failed.

On the other hand, Nintendo hasn't had good support from third parties in a long time. Basically if you buy a Nintendo console now, you are essentially buying it because you love Mario and Zelda. However, despite a lack of third party support, Nintendo has remained successful because unlike their competitors they are able to manufacture the consoles cheaply. Nintendo doesn't need to sell a lot of units in order to make profit. And that's what really separates success from failure. Success is making a profit.

Groucho
02-04-12, 03:08 PM
Lack of third party support? Go into any Walmart and there's a pile of shitty third party Wii games a mile high.

Drexl
02-04-12, 03:09 PM
A big reason why those old games were more expensive was the cartridge format, especially for the RPGs that needed lots of space but sold in lower numbers. Developers flocked to the PlayStation because the CDs were much cheaper to produce.

But these days, so much goes into the cost, like much bigger development budgets.

Superboy
02-04-12, 03:26 PM
Ah. Then Sony and Microsoft are failures. Gotcha.

Superboy
02-04-12, 03:28 PM
A big reason why those old games were more expensive was the cartridge format, especially for the RPGs that needed lots of space but sold in lower numbers. Developers flocked to the PlayStation because the CDs were much cheaper to produce.

But these days, so much goes into the cost, like much bigger development budgets.

That's Jevon's paradox for you!

kgrogers1979
02-04-12, 03:40 PM
Lack of third party support? Go into any Walmart and there's a pile of shitty third party Wii games a mile high.

I said

On the other hand, Nintendo hasn't had good support from third parties in a long time.

You missed the keyword: good


Ah. Then Sony and Microsoft are failures. Gotcha.

Where are you getting this from?

Sony and MS are different situations. Its high volume vs low volume. Wal-mart has a low per unit profit margin on the items it sells, so it has to sell a high volume to make a decent profit. A luxury store like a jewelry store for example has a much higher per unit profit margin, so it can make the same profit selling a much lower volume. Sony and MS are high volume, and Nintendo is lower volume. Nintendo's per unit profit margin on each console sold is much higher than Sony and MS, so Nintendo doesn't need to sell nearly as many units. They are still all making a profit though.

Groucho
02-04-12, 03:42 PM
I never see the good in anything. :(

Jay G.
02-04-12, 04:02 PM
Nintendo's per unit profit margin on each console sold is much higher than Sony and MS, so Nintendo doesn't need to sell nearly as many units. They are still all making a profit though.
The Wii has sold more units than either PS3 or 360:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_game_consoles_(seventh_generation)#Sales_standings

Nintendo also always makes a profit on their console sales, while Sony and MS sell their consoles at a loss at launch, hoping for game sales and licensing to make up for the loss.

kgrogers1979
02-04-12, 04:09 PM
The Wii has sold more units than either PS3 or 360:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_game_consoles_(seventh_generation)#Sales_standings

Nintendo also always makes a profit on their console sales, while Sony and MS sell their consoles at a loss at launch, hoping for game sales and licensing to make up for the loss.

True about the Wii. I was talking more about past Nintendo consoles like the N64 or Gamecube, which some people view as failures. While they did not sell as well as their competitors, they were still profitable and therefore still a success.

Yes, Sony and MS use their consoles as loss leaders to get people to buy software, which is more profitable. Sega was the same way, and it didn't work out for them. If a console sells poorly like it did with Sega consoles, software will sell poorly as well. High console sales directly translates to high software sales. So Sega was not profitable, and that's why they failed.

Gizmo
02-04-12, 04:47 PM
Miss the point much? :lol:

Prior to the 360 the SRP of the vast majority of games were $49.99. Were there games that ran more? Of course, there's an exception for everything. Hell I paid $90 or whatever ridiculous amount SFII was on the SNES. Outside of the rare cartridge pricing, games have basically been $50 since the NES and up until the 360 launched.

If you were on the net in 2005 when the $10 hike went into effect, it was bitched about relentlessly. It was a big deal when it happened so much so that it became a big deal when the Wii launched and kept the $50 SRP.

Same goes for special editions. Sure there were some here and there on mostly niche titles, but none that were such a resounding success that Halo 2 was. They proved that people were willing to pay a $20 premium for mostly useless junk.

Inflation for one thing. Different type of media used. The amount of people working on each game etc.

anomynous
02-04-12, 05:49 PM
Why do people still think Digital Distribution only is a viable option for the next gen?

Michael Corvin
02-04-12, 10:10 PM
People never bother adjusting for inflation...



So lets scale it back some, instead of multiple generations where inflation can clearly distort the numbers, how about a single minute...

At 11:59pm on November 21, 2005 games cost $49.99 and at 12:00am on November 22, 2005 they now cost $59.99. Is that not a price increase?

That's some crazy ass inflation for :60 seconds of time.

kgrogers1979
02-04-12, 10:34 PM
So lets scale it back some, instead of multiple generations where inflation can clearly distort the numbers, how about a single minute...

At 11:59pm on November 21, 2005 games cost $49.99 and at 12:00am on November 22, 2005 they now cost $59.99. Is that not a price increase?

That's some crazy ass inflation for :60 seconds of time.


:rolleyes:

Games were simply catching up to inflation. Every year they remained at $50, they were actually decreasing in real dollar value. The price hike to $60 was just them catching up to inflation.

In 1985, $50 had the same buying power as $99 today. Those were some expensive games... Although I can't remember far enough back to remember if NES games were actually $50. As a kid I didn't pay attention to trivial things like price tags.

In 1992, the year of the SNES, $50 has the same buying power as $76 today. SNES games were more expensive than today's games.

In 1996, the PS1/N64 era, $50 has the same buying power as $68 today. Still more expensive than today's games.

In 2001, PS2/XBox era, $50 has the same buying power as $61 today. Its at this point that the price of today's games begin to match older games.

In 2005, $50 has the same buying power as $55 today. That's the cheapest games have ever been.

Nominal values (i.e. the price tag that you actually see) are misleading. Only for a few years from about 2002-2005 has the real value of video games ever been below $60.

Match
02-04-12, 11:05 PM
I'm guessing this won't be too popular, but would cloud-base gaming work in the future on consoles if we had enough bandwidth?

You can try out a few games here on your Mac or PC: http://www.gaikai.com/games

PopcornTreeCt
02-05-12, 12:38 AM
I thought SNES games were around $60-$70 range. I remember them being really expensive.

Drexl
02-05-12, 03:12 AM
I thought SNES games were around $60-$70 range. I remember them being really expensive.

It depended on the game. Some were $50, and others were higher.

I think the reason why people discount inflation for games is because they're putting them in the same category as other tech products. Many tech products get cheaper or stay stable over time, while becoming more and more advanced.

flashburn
02-05-12, 06:08 AM
Unless they are dropping a ton on R&D for a new format, I think some form of BD is a forgone conclusion.

It's actually not as difficult as you think. There have been several systems that have used proprietary formats. I can't really say more, except that Blu-ray isn't their only solution.

K&AJones
02-05-12, 09:25 AM
Inflation for one thing. Different type of media used. The amount of people working on each game etc.


That itself is hardly mentioned. If anyone has a old PC game from 10+ years ago look at the list of credits showing the amount of people who worked on the game. Compare that today and it's like watching the credits at the end of some mega sci-fi movie. I've got the original Unreal Tournament pc game and it's a hoot to see how short the list of people who did the game.

Giantrobo
02-05-12, 11:49 AM
People never bother adjusting for inflation...

A dollar in 1990 certainly is not the same as a dollar today. The Time Value of Money 101.

Adjusted for inflation a $50 game in 1990 would be $82 today. That's more expensive than games today...

The Atari 2600 launched in 1977 at $199. That would be $707 today, more expensive than even what the PS3 launched at.

People that say video games have increased in price don't really know what they are talking about.


Valid point. :up:

However, when the average non-gaming parent is looking at a $60 price tag on a game or a $199+ tag(s) on a console in 2012 when the economy is "tough"....all he/she sees is $60 for a GAME $199+ for a console. They'll still buy them but still...

I go all the way back to Atari 2600 and even still, when I paid $59 plus tax for my first XBOX 360 game is was a huge eye opening, but still understandable, experience. One that led me straight to the used game market.

dvdsteve2000
02-05-12, 03:09 PM
You guys are comparing inflationary prices from the Atari, Super NES, and other times...have you overlooked the QUALITY of the games when they jumped to $60? C'mon, Halo was amazing for it's time, and I personally didn't feel $60 was too much to pay for that game...and Oblivion, and, and, and...

Tracer Bullet
02-05-12, 03:21 PM
Microsoft raised the standard game price because they wanted higher licensing revenue. Let's not forget that.

fumanstan
02-05-12, 03:44 PM
You guys are comparing inflationary prices from the Atari, Super NES, and other times...have you overlooked the QUALITY of the games when they jumped to $60? C'mon, Halo was amazing for it's time, and I personally didn't feel $60 was too much to pay for that game...and Oblivion, and, and, and...

I think the quality of games now are just as good as back then.

glassdragon
02-05-12, 03:59 PM
The whole price thing is kind of moot. IF you have any kind of patience you can wait for 1 week after it's released and 90% of games will be on sale or selling for 50.

Matthew Chmiel
02-05-12, 05:15 PM
The whole price thing is kind of moot. IF you have any kind of patience you can wait for 1 week after it's released and 90% of games will be on sale or selling for 50.
This. Hell, if you're patient, wait a month or two and the game will be at $39.

Or you pre-order off Amazon and collect promotional credits for future titles. I walked away with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on release date for $11 due to my pre-orders of Gears of War 3 and Battlefield 3. :banana:

Microsoft and Sony both said that the 360 and PS3 were "ten-year consoles." If neither the 720 or PS4 are announced this year (which I will be surprised with), I will expect a 2013 announcement with a release by the end of the year or 2014. Seriously. Other than an announcement, what else have we seen come out of the Wii U?

kgrogers1979
02-05-12, 06:37 PM
You guys are comparing inflationary prices from the Atari, Super NES, and other times...have you overlooked the QUALITY of the games when they jumped to $60? C'mon, Halo was amazing for it's time, and I personally didn't feel $60 was too much to pay for that game...and Oblivion, and, and, and...


Oh good grief. You seriously believe nothing from the 80s and 90s had the same or better quality than games today? Seriously? Are you 15 and never even played games back then, because it sure sounds like it. Especially the Halo comment. Halo was revolutionary for consoles, but it was nothing that hadn't already been done and done better on PCs.

Michael Corvin
02-05-12, 08:09 PM
Microsoft raised the standard game price because they wanted higher licensing revenue. Let's not forget that.

That's all I've been trying to get at and it gets ignored for inflation defense talk and "random [cartridge] games have been priced higher" analogies. All I can gather is some folks weren't following gaming on the net in '05, because it was a big deal at the time.

Oh well.

kgrogers1979
02-05-12, 08:24 PM
It was only a big deal to people that don't understand inflation. Seriously. Games had remained a constant $50 for nearly two decades. So of course the price tag was bound to go up sooner or later merely because of inflation. $50 two decades ago is not even close to being the same thing as $50 now. People that don't understand that have evidently never taken a business or economics course in their life.

Tracer Bullet
02-05-12, 08:32 PM
It was only a big deal to people that don't understand inflation. Seriously. Games had remained a constant $50 for nearly two decades. So of course the price tag was bound to go up sooner or later merely because of inflation. $50 two decades ago is not even close to being the same thing as $50 now. People that don't understand that have evidently never taken a business or economics course in their life.

Right, except that the $60 price point was decided on by Microsoft, not game developers. They seem to have been doing okay at $50. Microsoft never turned a profit on the original Xbox, and the higher licensing fee was one of their attempts to change that with the 360.

kgrogers1979
02-05-12, 08:42 PM
Right, except that the $60 price point was decided on by Microsoft, not game developers.


You do realize if that was true then only Microsoft published games would have increased to $60, right? Instead all games increased. Its not like Microsoft has any say in the price of a Sony or Nintendo or Capcom or Squaresoft or Bioware or any other company's games. It was a universal decision, not just Microsoft.

mhg83
02-05-12, 08:58 PM
You do realize if that was true then only Microsoft published games would have increased to $60, right? Instead all games increased. Its not like Microsoft has any say in the price of a Sony or Nintendo or Capcom or Squaresoft or Bioware or any other company's games. It was a universal decision, not just Microsoft.

What about Nintendo? All of their games 1st and 3rd party games are priced at $50.

Groucho
02-05-12, 09:02 PM
What about Nintendo? All of their games 1st and 3rd party games are priced at $50.And they're all in glorious 480p.

MoviePage
02-05-12, 09:04 PM
Why do people still think Digital Distribution only is a viable option for the next gen?

There are some who think that, and there are those who aren't living in fantasyland.

Tracer Bullet
02-05-12, 09:24 PM
You do realize if that was true then only Microsoft published games would have increased to $60, right? Instead all games increased. Its not like Microsoft has any say in the price of a Sony or Nintendo or Capcom or Squaresoft or Bioware or any other company's games. It was a universal decision, not just Microsoft.

Microsoft in effect forced the price increase because they demanded a higher licensing fee. It's not complicated.

kgrogers1979
02-05-12, 09:41 PM
Microsoft in effect forced the price increase because they demanded a higher licensing fee. It's not complicated.

No, they didn't. If it was only Microsoft, then why are games also $60 on the Playstation? Lower licensing fees would have kept the price lower. On PCs, there are no licensing fees, and some PC games do release with a $50 or lower price tag, but not always. Some PC games are $60 even without a licensing fee. Its up to each individual publisher to set their own prices.

Tracer Bullet
02-05-12, 09:58 PM
No, they didn't. If it was only Microsoft, then why are games also $60 on the Playstation? Lower licensing fees would have kept the price lower. On PCs, there are no licensing fees, and some PC games do release with a $50 or lower price tag, but not always. Some PC games are $60 even without a licensing fee. Its up to each individual publisher to set their own prices.

Games are $60 for the PS3 because it came out a year after the Xbox, Sony saw Microsoft got away with it, and they wanted some of that.

"Some" PC games are $50? Try almost all of them.

glassdragon
02-05-12, 10:30 PM
Games are $60 for the PS3 because it came out a year after the Xbox, Sony saw Microsoft got away with it, and they wanted some of that.

"Some" PC games are $50? Try almost all of them.

I don't know about that. Can you imagine how much more popular the ps3 would be and how many millions more systems and games they would have sold if they had gone with a 50 dollar price point? It would have either forced MS to change or no one would think twice about what system to buy cross platform games on. I think I'm going to have to go with developers raising the prices because of the increased development costs for the games. Do you seriously think that Uncharted 3 cost the same to make as Super Mario Brothers did?

Game development budgets are sometimes in the price range of Hollywood movies, they kind of had to I think. Of course this all goes to point that people keep buying the games for 60 dollars so what reason do they have to charge less?

PopcornTreeCt
02-05-12, 11:36 PM
Um... $50 or $60 makes absolute zero difference to me and I doubt it would to most gamers. $40 is the price point where I might (and I mean might) buy something I would normally rent.

Probably just me but everything being the same except PS3 games are $50 and 360 games are $60... I'm still buying them for 360.

Michael Corvin
02-06-12, 12:05 AM
You do realize if that was true then only Microsoft published games would have increased to $60, right? Instead all games increased. Its not like Microsoft has any say in the price of a Sony or Nintendo or Capcom or Squaresoft or Bioware or any other company's games. It was a universal decision, not just Microsoft.

You just aren't getting it and actually have it backwards. When the 360 launched and for about 18 months MS published games were $50. They made it very clear that all third party games would be $60 for licensing fees. ALL. Third parties had no say in the matter. If Capcom wanted to make a game it would be $60. Square? $60. SEGA? $60. Kameo, Viva Pinata & Perfect Dark? $50 because there were no licensing fees. MS was the ONLY company involved in deciding the price of games. I think the first MS published title to garner the $60 price was Halo 3. It had nothing to do with inflation.

Also, as mentioned, Sony just followed suit and Nintendo didn't think they could get away with it having an SD system.

Matthew Chmiel
02-06-12, 12:36 AM
"Some" PC games are $50? Try almost all of them.
Uh....

Haaaaave you met my friend Steam?

fumanstan
02-06-12, 12:48 AM
Uh....

Haaaaave you met my friend Steam?

It's pretty obvious the discussion is around MSRP, in which games are still full priced at release on Steam.

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 10:49 AM
It's pretty obvious the discussion is around MSRP, in which games are still full priced at release on Steam.

Yes. Both Skyrim and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 are $60 right now on Steam. Brand new games still retail for $60 on Steam. If games are $60 because of licensing fees, then why are they $60 on PC when there are no licensing fees at all...

Development costs have increased exponentially over the years. Like someone else said, they rival the development costs of a big budget film nowadays. The number of people it takes to even develop a game has also increased dramatically. It took three people to program Pac-Man. Nowadays the credits at the end of a game looks like the credits at the end of a movie, nearly endless with hundreds and hundreds of people listed as having worked on it.

So development costs have increased and the price of a game has remained a constant $50 for two decades, which in effect means that the price of games has been decreasing due to inflation). Yet despite that the companies never bothered to raise the price until Microsoft decides to raise the licensing fee which is pocket change compared to how much development costs have increased. Sorry, it just sounds way too much like anti-Microsoft propaganda written by someone living in their parents' basement.

Tracer Bullet
02-06-12, 10:59 AM
Yes. Both Skyrim and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 are $60 right now on Steam. Brand new games still retail for $60 on Steam. If games are $60 because of licensing fees, then why are they $60 on PC when there are no licensing fees at all...

It took like four years after the $60 console MSRP for $60 games to start showing up on PC, and there was a lot of complaining about it. Most PC games still release with a $50 MSRP. I paid $50 for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Groucho
02-06-12, 11:01 AM
Yeah, I was pretty surprised to see Kingdom of Amular for $60 on Steam.

fujishig
02-06-12, 11:07 AM
I don't know about that. Can you imagine how much more popular the ps3 would be and how many millions more systems and games they would have sold if they had gone with a 50 dollar price point? It would have either forced MS to change or no one would think twice about what system to buy cross platform games on. I think I'm going to have to go with developers raising the prices because of the increased development costs for the games. Do you seriously think that Uncharted 3 cost the same to make as Super Mario Brothers did?

Game development budgets are sometimes in the price range of Hollywood movies, they kind of had to I think. Of course this all goes to point that people keep buying the games for 60 dollars so what reason do they have to charge less?

There's also the thinking that if you price a product lower than a similar competitor, you'll be branded as inferior or budget priced. And Sony was all about making you get a second job to afford the PS3 anyway, no way they were going to have cheaper games.

Development costs have skyrocketed, but as others have said how expensive were cartridges/ROM to produce and license from Nintendo compared to the disc-based media we have now?

Does the extra 10 bucks go into the developers pocket?

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 11:45 AM
It took like four years after the $60 console MSRP for $60 games to start showing up on PC, and there was a lot of complaining about it. Most PC games still release with a $50 MSRP. I paid $50 for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

But again PC has no licensing fees, so the price increase isn't due to that. Its up to each individual publisher to decide what to charge. The new Jagged Alliance game, which I am very excited for, is only $40.

If the dramatically increasing development costs didn't cause them to raise the price of their games then Microsoft raising the licensing fees, which is pocket change in comparison, certainly would not have done so either.

Tracer Bullet
02-06-12, 12:15 PM
But again PC has no licensing fees, so the price increase isn't due to that. Its up to each individual publisher to decide what to charge. The new Jagged Alliance game, which I am very excited for, is only $40.

If the dramatically increasing development costs didn't cause them to raise the price of their games then Microsoft raising the licensing fees, which is pocket change in comparison, certainly would not have done so either.

This is what it must feel like to go insane.

At any rate, everyone is just going around in circles, so I'll just say this--it's possible that some publishers have tried to get $60 for PC games because they're getting $60 for console games, and it's not possible to ascribe a motive to that unless you figure out why console games increased to $60 in the first place.

Raul3
02-06-12, 12:36 PM
:lol:

Michael Corvin
02-06-12, 01:17 PM
This is what it must feel like to go insane.


:lol: I had another response typed up before lunch and just had to walk away.

atxbomber
02-06-12, 01:57 PM
I don't know about that. Can you imagine how much more popular the ps3 would be and how many millions more systems and games they would have sold if they had gone with a 50 dollar price point? It would have either forced MS to change or no one would think twice about what system to buy cross platform games on.

With Sony pricing the "low end" PS3 at $100 more than the high end X360, I don't think what you're proposing would have made a significant difference in the end.

Drexl
02-06-12, 02:12 PM
The bottom line is, they found that the market would bear $60 games, so that is what they charge.

Groucho
02-06-12, 02:35 PM
The bottom line is, they found that the market would bear $60 games, so that is what they charge.Also, I believe Microsoft wanted a higher licensing fee.

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 02:37 PM
This is what it must feel like to go insane.

At any rate, everyone is just going around in circles, so I'll just say this--it's possible that some publishers have tried to get $60 for PC games because they're getting $60 for console games, and it's not possible to ascribe a motive to that unless you figure out why console games increased to $60 in the first place.


Insane?

A) Development costs have increased exponentially.

B) Game prices had been decreasing in real value because $50 today is not the same thing as $50 yesterday.

C) Licensing fees have increased in a small amount relative to A and B.

A and/or B are much more likely to cause game prices to increase than C. Most likely a combination of A, B, and C were the true cause, but to say it was C alone now that is insane.

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 02:42 PM
The bottom line is, they found that the market would bear $60 games, so that is what they charge.

This. Its really all about price elasticity. If consumers did not buy $60 games, then the companies would not be charging $60 for any reason, inflation or licensing fees or whatever.

Same thing with DLC in fact. People always blame the companies for "nickel and diming" us, but you know what? Its really more the consumers fault for buying it. A company won't keep producing something that doesn't sell. Just say no to DLC and eventually it would disappear. Problem is people don't really know how to say no.

Michael Corvin
02-06-12, 03:30 PM
All DLC is not created equal.

fumanstan
02-06-12, 04:34 PM
Licensing fees are not created equal.

jdpatri
02-06-12, 04:56 PM
On a related note: Didn't we pay $70 for Strider back in the day?

fujishig
02-06-12, 05:06 PM
On a related note: Didn't we pay $70 for Strider back in the day?

I think it was 80 because of that chip. Phantasy Star II was $70, and I want to say Phantasy Star IV was $90, which I didn't buy because it was so expensive even though I loved the series.

That pales in comparison to Steel Battalion with controller, but I'm sure people have spent even more than that on Guitar Hero/Rock Band. And now Skylanders.

pinata242
02-06-12, 05:10 PM
A) Development costs have increased exponentially.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vBDc1b1DTOI/TkvhyGivbXI/AAAAAAAAAmw/NM7owxvxIDI/s1600/inconceivable.jpg

mhg83
02-06-12, 05:12 PM
I think it was 80 because of that chip. Phantasy Star II was $70, and I want to say Phantasy Star IV was $90, which I didn't buy because it was so expensive even though I loved the series.



Action 52 for the NES was $200!

Drexl
02-06-12, 06:57 PM
Strider was an 8 megabit cartridge, one of the first IIRC. However, even though Street Fighter II was the first 16 megabit cartridge, I think it was still $60.

The amount of copies they could produce seemed to have something to do with it. Strider was a relatively early Genesis game, before Sonic the Hedgehog caused the system's sales to pick up. SFII was a blockbuster. I remember some RPGs like Final Fantasy III being more expensive ($80 for mine), and I suspect more limited sales/print runs was a factor because games like Mortal Kombat II were released around the same time with the same amount of storage (24mb IIRC), but a lower price.

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 09:13 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vBDc1b1DTOI/TkvhyGivbXI/AAAAAAAAAmw/NM7owxvxIDI/s1600/inconceivable.jpg

I passed basic algebra, so I know what an exponent is.

Development of a video game for the Atari 2600: A team of ten people could program a game in less than a year.

Development of a video game for Xbox 360: A team of hundreds of people need on average 3-4 years to program a game.

That is not a linear increase. Its an exponential increase.

Drexl
02-06-12, 09:24 PM
I'm pretty sure the Atari 2600 games were one person per game though. Even when they needed E.T. finished in 6 weeks, it was one person that did it (Howard Scott Warshaw).

pinata242
02-06-12, 09:26 PM
I passed basic algebra, so I know what an exponent is.

Development of a video game for the Atari 2600: A team of ten people could program a game in less than a year.

Development of a video game for Xbox 360: A team of hundreds of people need on average 3-4 years to program a game.

That is not a linear increase. Its an exponential increase.

You gave 2 points. That's a line. Did you make it to geometry?

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 09:36 PM
I'm pretty sure the Atari 2600 games were one person per game though. Even when they needed E.T. finished in 6 weeks, it was one person that did it (Howard Scott Warshaw).

E.T. is often cited as the worst game ever made that was nothing more than a quickly done cash grab. So its not really the best example. But yeah, the games had really small development teams. I know that it only took three people to program Pac-Man.


You gave 2 points. That's a line. Did you make it to geometry?

So funny I forgot to laugh.

I don't know specifics, but NES and SNES games didn't have development teams a mile long like modern games. They still had small teams developing a game in a fairly short amount of time. Sometime during the Playstation era is when the exponential increase really began forming. Final Fantasy VII is probably when it happened, because that is the first game I can recall that had an enormous credit list and production values rivaling a Hollywood movie.

pinata242
02-06-12, 09:43 PM
Basically what you're saying is that development has had a steady and expected increase in development time and cost. Ignoring the fact that engines and tools are reused to offset "reinventing the wheel". It's well known that costs actually go down as the life of a console goes on as development houses get familiar with the hardware and what it can do and how to re-leverage code and assets.

While true that generation over generation there's an increase, it's hardly exponential. If that were the case, it would be cost prohibitive by now. Even if you want to claim each generation is 1.5x harder more expensive than the last that would be, roughly:

Atari, NES, SNES, N64, CGN, Wii, WiiU = 1.5^6 is roughly 11.5x more expensive/lengthy to develop a game. So your "less than a year" becomes close to a decade.

So, what's your generation over generation factor for this exponential growth?

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 10:13 PM
You do know I wasn't being serious, right? I was never trying to actually figure out a mathematical function for this crap. I couldn't care less. Sure in reality it is probably something less than exponential, but it is also more than linear as well. Its somewhere in-between that can't be shown with a nice neat mathematical function.

Saying that it is an steady and expected increase is erroneous. The difference between SNES and PS1 was huge. PS1 is when we first saw the big budget Hollywood style games with Final Fantasy VII. Nobody could have seen that coming. Heck, Square barely even saw it themselves since FFVII actually started out as an N64 game before they decided to switch to PS1 because it was growing to be too big a project for an N64 cartridge to handle.

Even if you want to take your 1.5 to the sixth power example of being 10 times more expensive and/or lengthy, that probably isn't far off. Games today cost upwards of $10 million. I can't say for sure, but I doubt if Atari games cost even close to a $1 million to produce. And the taking a decade to develop, you are forgetting one thing: the size of the teams. Atari teams were made of a dozen people or less. Modern teams number in the hundreds. If modern games still had small teams of a dozen people, it very well could take a decade or more for them to finish.

About an exponential increase becoming cost prohibitive, that is true, and how many small indie developers do you see now? Not many. They have practically all gone out of business since they can no longer afford to stay. Almost every company that has survived is a big name company with big bucks. There are still some small indie developers that make XBLA games, but those skew the exponential curve and have small budgets. They are still good games, but they certainly aren't the same.

pinata242
02-06-12, 10:20 PM
Yeah, indie gaming has never been more dead.

Posted from my iOS device

Groucho
02-06-12, 10:22 PM
Agree that indie gaming is dead. Now, if you'll excuse I'm about to fire up Steam...

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 10:26 PM
Yeah, indie gaming has never been more dead.

Posted from my iOS device

Good grief.

You question my math skills, and now I have to question your reading comprehension skills.

Nowhere, absolutely nowhere, did I ever say indie gaming was dead. All I ever said is that it is a shell of its former self. Outside of XBLA, Steam, and ipad games, small indie games no longer exist. They simply can't afford to compete with the big boys anymore.

fumanstan
02-06-12, 10:29 PM
The "indie" term has kind of changed, but in the context of kgroger's post it seemed to be more pointed to independently owned studios that weren't under the umbrella of a publisher, opposed to the indie games you see on portable devices, Steam, or XBox that are being made by a couple of people themselves.

pinata242
02-06-12, 10:31 PM
Big publishers always gobble up the good "indie" devs.

Just in the last year EA bought PopCap and MGS took Twisted Pixel. There's still plenty of success out there. Zen, Harmonix, Halfbrick, Supergiant, etc.

Liver&Onions
02-06-12, 10:34 PM
I'm still pissed that Metal Gear Solid bought Twisted Pixel :(

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 10:38 PM
The "indie" term has kind of changed, but in the context of kgroger's post it seemed to be more pointed to independently owned studios that weren't under the umbrella of a publisher, opposed to the indie games you see on portable devices, Steam, or XBox that are being made by a couple of people themselves.


Really I was talking about the small developers that make low budget games (or relatively low budget compared to the big boys).

Some examples.

Looking Glass Studios making the Thief series.
Ion Storm making the original Deus Ex.
Black Isle/Interplay making Fallout 1 and 2.

All three are dead and gone.

fumanstan
02-06-12, 10:41 PM
Ion Storm was a pretty big deal at the time.

kgrogers1979
02-06-12, 10:49 PM
Ion Storm was a pretty big deal at the time.

For the year or two they were in business anyway.

Really they were only a big deal because John Romero left ID Software to start his own company, Ion Storm, but they really didn't do much before they ultimately went out of business. Anachronox and Daikatana were both mediocre at best, and nobody other than the most diehard fanboys remember them. Deus Ex was their one and only truly great success. Deus Ex 2: Invisible War was a huge letdown. Thief 3: Deadly Shadows was better than IW, but still paled in comparison to Thief 1 and 2. Then they went out of business.

fumanstan
02-07-12, 12:04 AM
The end result doesn't mean they weren't a big deal, let alone a small developer making low budget games.

kgrogers1979
02-07-12, 12:31 AM
The end result doesn't mean they weren't a big deal, let alone a small developer making low budget games.

They were most made up of ex-ID employees, probably not more than 20-30 total employees. That's a pretty small developer by 2000 standards compared to the likes of Square, Capcom, etc.

And while they weren't low-low budget games, they were relatively low budget compared to other games at the time. Don't get me wrong, I love Deus Ex. Its one of my all time favorite games, but it honestly didn't have a a very big budget. The death "animations" were laughable if you could even call them "animations" since they just fell over in like 2 or 3 frames. The voice acting, other than JC Denton and a few other characters, was like watching a bad b-movie, especially the Hong Kong sections had horrendous acting. Every time Louis Pan opens his mouth I want to do this:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ekVI_UoEYRc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

fumanstan
02-07-12, 12:46 AM
I'd say that small number was pretty normal back when it was founded for a PC game in the 90's. I'm reading that Eidos invested over $40 million dollars into Ion Storm, and people seem to be throwing around a budget of around $10 million going into Daikatana. There's no way I would consider them a small low budget developer at the time.

Supermallet
02-07-12, 02:11 AM
So, no next-gen consoles then? That's what I'm getting out of this thread.

atxbomber
02-07-12, 03:38 AM
So, no next-gen consoles then? That's what I'm getting out of this thread.

We'll let you know as soon as we can come to a consensus on pricing.

The Bus
02-07-12, 04:14 AM
If gaming was really more expensive now, why is Angry Birds $1?

LosingMyMind
02-07-12, 04:41 AM
If gaming was really more expensive now, why is Angry Birds $1?
Because it's a shitty ipad game.

Tracer Bullet
02-07-12, 06:50 AM
Because it's a shitty ipad game.

I'm not a fan, but it's a well-done game that millions of people find fun. :shrug:

fumanstan
02-07-12, 09:17 AM
Angry Birds is cheap because they don't have to spend $59 on licensing costs to Microsoft.

fujishig
02-07-12, 01:59 PM
I'm not a fan, but it's a well-done game that millions of people find fun. :shrug:

It's also pretty much a decently skinned physics engine. Did it ever come to XBLA? I know it was coming, and I doubt it would've been a dollar.

pinata242
02-07-12, 02:17 PM
I don't recall Angry Birds ever being targeted for XBLA. It did, however, go to WP7.

Supermallet
02-07-12, 02:18 PM
Angry Birds is cheap because they don't have to spend $59 on licensing costs to Microsoft.

And, as we all know, Apple lets you use their app store for free as a developer.

msdmoney
02-07-12, 02:31 PM
This. Its really all about price elasticity. If consumers did not buy $60 games, then the companies would not be charging $60 for any reason, inflation or licensing fees or whatever.

I think we have already seen this to an extent. The game is listed at $60, but games are generally very easy to find cheaper either release day (if you count gift card bonuses) or a few weeks after release. The $60 price point allows them some room to give decent percent off discounts and still make a decent amount on each game. Only the games with very high demand, like COD, Sykrim, and big Nintendo games get away with keeping the price high.

Same thing with DLC in fact. People always blame the companies for "nickel and diming" us, but you know what? Its really more the consumers fault for buying it. A company won't keep producing something that doesn't sell. Just say no to DLC and eventually it would disappear. Problem is people don't really know how to say no.

Are you assuming that all DLC is bad, so just say no to all DLC? Or are you specifically referring to DLC that doesn't add real content to the game.

I wonder if companies have really tested the market on DLC for consoles enough to know what the consumer threshold for DLC is, and how sales would change depending on price. Consoles have such rigid pricing models, and I don't feel like DLC takes advantage of the potential and immediate flexibility that DLC allows for. There doesn't seem to be a quick reaction if DLC isn't selling well, it's just written off as if there was no interest.

msdmoney
02-07-12, 02:33 PM
If gaming was really more expensive now, why is Angry Birds $1?

Because the market is huge, appeal is broad, the development costs low, and the app market extremely flexible.

Jay G.
02-07-12, 02:37 PM
It's also pretty much a decently skinned physics engine. Did it ever come to XBLA? I know it was coming, and I doubt it would've been a dollar.
It's not on XBLA. Here's an interview with the developer explaining why:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-03-29-angry-birds-dev-lays-into-xbox-live
Angry Birds developer Rovio has criticised Microsoft for its antiquated Xbox Live content approval system.

Speaking in an interview with MCV, franchise manager Peter Vesterbacka explained that Rovio's smartphone hit hadn't released on Xbox Live Arcade yet because of Microsoft's refusal to allow frequent content updates.

pinata242
02-07-12, 02:48 PM
^ We already know Minecraft is spear-heading the campaign to change that on XBLA.

Drexl
02-07-12, 03:34 PM
Why does it need frequent updates?

Jay G.
02-07-12, 03:58 PM
Why does it need frequent updates?
Both Minecraft and Angry Birds have had frequent updates on other platforms.

For Angry Birds, they constantly add new levels to it, sometimes involving new birds.

For Minecraft, the developers have just constantly updated the game, adding new features, since the game debuted as an alpha.

For both, the Xbox version doesn't necessarily "need" to be constantly updated, but then those ports would fall behind the versions on other platforms, and I don't think either developer wants Xbox gamers to feel like they're playing an inferior version.

msdmoney
02-07-12, 07:32 PM
Why does it need frequent updates?

I think the bigger question is, why does Microsoft need to have such an antiquated approval process?

orangecrush
02-07-12, 08:22 PM
I don't recall Angry Birds ever being targeted for XBLA. It did, however, go to WP7.It is on PSN.

pinata242
02-07-12, 08:37 PM
It is on PSN.

Well haven't we also "heard" that MS doesn't like psn exclusives to ever make their way to XBLA, right? Sooooo...

Michael Corvin
02-07-12, 09:47 PM
Have we? We just got Joe Danger recently didn't we?

pinata242
02-07-12, 09:51 PM
We got Joe Danger Special Edition which was a MS requirement. I'm pretty sure this was posted by Decker in the XBLA thread about a week ago.