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If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on power?

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If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on power?

Old 12-26-16, 04:45 PM
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If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on power?

For the past three video game console generations, the consoles that are typically thought of as the least powerful of their generation (the original PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo Wii) have ended up being the most successful, in terms of consoles sold. With the least powerful console often becoming the most successful consoles of their generation, why are some gamers so concerned with the power of current and upcoming video game consoles?
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Old 12-26-16, 05:06 PM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

This generation, the most powerful (PS4) was the most successful. The PS2 came out a full year before its competitors and had a huge head start in sales. It also wasn't significantly less powerful than its competitors. The Wii was a very popular console with a $100 lower MSRP and a big gimmick that drove sales. In addition, though the console sold well, its software did not (due in large part to its poor processing power).

The truth is that it's always been the software and price point that drives console sales. If the processing power is reasonable enough to keep up on the software front, the console will be successful if the price is competitive.
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Old 12-26-16, 06:35 PM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

I've never purchased a system based on power. I always get the system with the games I want to play.

That said, I think most people bought the PS2 over the Xbox because of the PS1 and MS being new to the scene. As far as the Wii, the system pulled in the casual gamers who wouldn't usually buy a console.
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Old 12-27-16, 12:24 AM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

If you have the install base and are near enough in power to the competition, it won't matter much for third party titles anyway because they'll make it for the lowest common denominator. And if you come out later than the competition at the very least you better be more powerful or have something to get people to wait for you.
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Old 12-27-16, 02:25 AM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

Thanks for all of the replies, and I agree with all of those points. Really, considering that a console's overall power is only part of what makes it successful (or not), I just find it odd that some people base their entire judgment of a video game console completely on their hardware specifications, and nothing else.
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Old 12-27-16, 06:44 AM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

Who does that?
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Old 12-27-16, 08:17 AM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

I'm wondering that as well. If that were the case, I think most people would just stick to PC gaming since that's always going to have an edge over any console on the market.
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Old 12-27-16, 08:58 AM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

The "More Power" mantra has evolved from the equation of...."More Power = More Eye Candy" which sadly has become a primary focus. But that's not just with consoles alone as that has also manifested into PC Gaming which video cards alone can cost as much as some bottom level PC.

Even before the XO and PS4 hit the debate of game graphics were at the forefront were the thin line of FPS and getting the most of dpi hung in the balance. Too much one way and a group was ticked off....too much the other way and another group got ticked off.

Bottom line....Power in today's gaming world is meant to push the world of realism in gaming even more so. But just like drugs....some will never be satisfied or happy. What's great and unimaginable today will be old news, has been, so-so, average, nothing special, it's just ok in the next few months. I doubt very seriously many today could handle a week with a Nintendo 8bit or a PS1 which in their heyday were considered powerful as well.
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Old 12-27-16, 12:10 PM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

I don't know there seem to be a ton of smaller digital only games that don't do much with the power of the current consoles at all that seem pretty popular. Of course AAA titles are the ones with the amazing graphics but they're pretty much indistinguishable between the two main consoles, and even the exclusives don't seem to be stuff that just isn't possible on the opposite console.
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Old 12-28-16, 09:50 AM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

Originally Posted by Sub-Zero View Post
I just find it odd that some people base their entire judgment of a video game console completely on their hardware specifications, and nothing else.
I doubt anyone bases their judgement entirely on the hardware specs. However, fans of a particular console tend to like to tout the hardware superiority of their choice over the competition because it's a very clear, objective measurement. All the other factors that go into one's console preference (list of games (including exclusives), feel of the controller, any particular brand loyalty, what all their friends have, etc.) are very subjective.

Before the XB1 and PS4 came out, all people really had to argue were the rumored hardware specs. Once they came out, the fact that the PS4 could play certain titles at 1080p while the XB1 played them at 960p was a point PS4 fans liked to bring up to "prove" the superiority of their console.

So I think the hardware debate gets a lot of traction in online discussions of consoles, but I don't think it's as big a factor in people's decision making as those online discussions may make it seem.
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Old 12-28-16, 03:15 PM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

Thanks for all of the replies.

Originally Posted by K&AJones View Post
The "More Power" mantra has evolved from the equation of...."More Power = More Eye Candy" which sadly has become a primary focus. But that's not just with consoles alone as that has also manifested into PC Gaming which video cards alone can cost as much as some bottom level PC.

Even before the XO and PS4 hit the debate of game graphics were at the forefront were the thin line of FPS and getting the most of dpi hung in the balance. Too much one way and a group was ticked off....too much the other way and another group got ticked off.

Bottom line....Power in today's gaming world is meant to push the world of realism in gaming even more so. But just like drugs....some will never be satisfied or happy. What's great and unimaginable today will be old news, has been, so-so, average, nothing special, it's just ok in the next few months. I doubt very seriously many today could handle a week with a Nintendo 8bit or a PS1 which in their heyday were considered powerful as well.
These are the type of gamers I was referring to. And I wonder if people like this are simply more interested in having the latest, best technology available as opposed to the actual games and gameplay offered by any video game console, regardless of their actual technical specifications.

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
I doubt anyone bases their judgement entirely on the hardware specs. However, fans of a particular console tend to like to tout the hardware superiority of their choice over the competition because it's a very clear, objective measurement. All the other factors that go into one's console preference (list of games (including exclusives), feel of the controller, any particular brand loyalty, what all their friends have, etc.) are very subjective.

Before the XB1 and PS4 came out, all people really had to argue were the rumored hardware specs. Once they came out, the fact that the PS4 could play certain titles at 1080p while the XB1 played them at 960p was a point PS4 fans liked to bring up to "prove" the superiority of their console.

So I think the hardware debate gets a lot of traction in online discussions of consoles, but I don't think it's as big a factor in people's decision making as those online discussions may make it seem.
And a good point and I agree that most gamers probably don't base their entire decision alone on a console's specs, but instead are able to use them to "prove" their console's superiority, possibly reassuring them that they made the "correct" decision in choosing one console over another.

As for the times when the overall most powerful consoles did win their generation, in the fourth generation when the Super Nintendo emerged as the winning console, and the current market leader, the PlayStation 4, honestly I doubt that each console's overall hardware ability was the actual deciding factor in terms of which console became the best selling. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe when it was the Super Nintendo versus the Sega Genesis, for most of that generation they were about equal in terms of units sold, but that in the end the Super Nintendo ultimately won out because Sega of Japan essentially abandoned the Genesis because they were concentrating on the Sega Saturn and that this generation, the PlayStation 4 gained a lot of traction as a result of Microsoft shooting itself in the foot with all of the unpopular pre-launch policies (the always-on internet connection, the DRM controversy and the mandatory Kinect).
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Old 12-28-16, 03:42 PM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

Originally Posted by Sub-Zero View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe when it was the Super Nintendo versus the Sega Genesis, for most of that generation they were about equal in terms of units sold..
If talking about just "outside Japan," then yes, although the SNES sold enough in its first year to nearly "catch up" to the Mega Drive (Genesis). However, in Japan, the Super Famicom sold a lot better, so for overall worldwide sales, the SNES was always clearly ahead after 1992 (see slide 4 on this link):
http://gonintendo.com/stories/235391...vs-genesis-gam

Also, technically, the SNES wasn't the "most powerful" console of that generation. The Neo Geo AES was a lot more powerful, but was also a lot more expensive, since it was basically an arcade board for the home.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth..._game_consoles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo_Geo_(system)


Originally Posted by Sub-Zero View Post
This generation, the PlayStation 4 gained a lot of traction as a result of Microsoft shooting itself in the foot with all of the unpopular pre-launch policies (the always-on internet connection, the DRM controversy and the mandatory Kinect).
Keep in mind that the mandatory Kinect was also the root of some of the performance differences between the two, and also caused the Xbox One to be more expensive, despite not being as powerful.
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Old 12-28-16, 03:57 PM
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Re: If the most powerful console rarely is the most successful, why the focus on powe

Thank you for clarifying that for me, Jay G.. And thanks for reminding me about the Neo Geo.

And with a console's overall power likely never being the sole factor in how successful they are, I think that more than anything, most of the talk about the technical superiority of one console over another is mostly just fanboy boasting.
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