A musing about how things would change if there were only one console format in existence. What are the implications of a single industry standard with no competitors.
I've thought about this a lot and I agree with the writer. While competition can breed excellence it can also choke a market, fracture game development and cause confusion. If we look back at previous generations, there's always been one console that dominated the market but we never had a lack of quality games or paid DLC or insane DRM. The developers and publishers are where the competition should lie, they can battle among themselves to make their game stand out. The upside to the developers is that they only have to make games for a single system focusing their efforts on making the game run as best it can on that platform without the worry/hassle/cost of porting or side by side development. In the end, like most big business, it's all about control. The console manufacturers want to control the content you enjoy, to take their cut and promote their brand so there'll never be a single console. We're stuck with bickering companies and rabid fanboys until cloud gaming takes over, oh, and expect tons of whining about that too.
is only ever a good thing and as for cloud gaming taking over............when that happens I will stick with the last console I purchased.
Yup, that's the mantra alright but why? You used your one bubble to make the statement, you could have at least explained why you believe that. If you want to PM me with an answer I'll happily post it here for you. I can understand things like battling for features, price points and such but when it comes to games I don't think the developers would have put any less effort in had they only one choice of console to work on. In fact, some multi-plat games may even work better for everybody, since everybody would have the same console. If it's prices you are worried about then that is as much consumer controlled as it is marketing. If the consumer doesn't think something is worth the money they won't buy it, simple as. On the other hand, if popularity of a product dictates a higher price e.g COD maps, how is that different from now? I'm not saying competition has no merit just that it's not the magical portal to better games/service that some believe.
LOL @ it choking the market!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! Competition is only good for the consumer. There is little to none (if any) downsides for the consumer. A single platform however has so many downsides it would take several pages to list them all. +1 to your Marxist stat Chaostar.
So if a single platform is bad then how many is good? Two, three, ten? I've always said there should be one console that is only restrained by specs. Each manufacturer, i.e. Sony, MS., Nintendo, could do what they want with it in terms of GUI, controller (as long as they have the same amount of inputs), and price point. It should be like a DVD player. Imagine if only Sony DVDs played in only Sony DVD players? How would that be good for the consumer?
Well, thanks for keeping it classy /s I keep reading the same thing over and over but nobody has really explained why. If you read the article and my previous comments correctly you'd see that we're not making an argument against competition at all. More trying to point out the merits of a standard in hardware which would shift the competition to publishers and developers. The only real problem with that (as hicken pointed out below) is companies would just try to secure exclusive content for their brand of universal console. Although I don't know how they would achieve exclusivity if the games work on all consoles. "A single platform however has so many downsides it would take several pages to list them all." Go on, give us ten then.
If it were to happen than the console would be called Skynet.
Hmm, a MS, Sony, and Nintendo console. Wonder how that would turn out?
Idk, if two groups teamed up, then it would make me wonder how it will end up.
Thats what Trip Hawkins had in mind when he brought about the 3DO.
If there was only one console they could just make it really really expensive. Theywouldn't have to worry about competition.
A single console market could be good and bad. It would be nice to have a console that would play every single game that is released. However, I am worried about a one console world. One thing I worry about is price. No competition does not mean a cheaper price, it means you pay what the manufacturer wants you to pay. The comparison about DVDs and DVD players is not a very good one. DVDs are cheap to make, but look at the price of movie tickets and concessions. They have done nothing but gone up because the theater is where the movie companies make the most money. I also think that DVD players have gone down because of what Sony did with the PS2. It was both a console and a DVD player, and same can be said about the PS3 and 360. Add in movie streaming and the demand for DVD players have gone way down. But who knows, maybe one day cloud gaming will replace consoles one day. Also, sorry about the long post.
It's called a monopoly people and one company monopolizing anything has never been a good thing in u.s. History ever. Go back to school look up monopolies, anti trust acts, etc.... One person controlling a market will never be good for consumers it means they can sell the goods for what've price they want and do what they want.
Many companies would be able to manufacture the console.
competition breeds innovation. there is also a need for a children's console, hence the 3 console race.
To all the people posting about monopolies and lack of competition: Read the damn article! The author's argument is in favor of a STANDARD for consoles. "Once a specification is agreed, any hardware and electronics companies would then be able to build their version of the console." This would cause competition. Think about it, there will be different brands of the same console. Just like the authors example of DVD(/Blu-Ray) players. Some have more features, some are budget bare bones models, but all of them will give you just about the same movie quality experience. Yet there is plenty of competition among all the companies who produce them. Which in turn creates a price range that anyone can jump into at whatever level of features they can afford.
... and then, in an attempt to draw you to their particular console, the makers would seek to secure games exclusively on their version of the console... which would just become exactly what we have now. That aside, gaming is a far more interactive medium than movies or TV, and people like having options in how they play their games. For example, some people want motion controls, but some people can't stand them. I, personally, like the idea of multiple consoles going into the future. There are some things I would do differently with a few of them, but I like having options. I DON'T like the idea of there being only one console in the future. Oh, one last thing: DVD players are made by many, MANY companies, but it's all based around the same format. It's the prevalence of the format that drove there to be a "standard" in the hardware. Unlike movies, gaming has, almost from the outset, been in different formats, and none is popular enough to take the lead in a "format war" like with beta and VHS or BluRay and HD-DVD.
If the single console wasn't a wuss and allowed AO games I would be OK. I don't know why ANY of the big 3 can say they are OK with 18+ games in EVERY country BUT the US?
The big retailers here- Target, Walmart, etc.- would refuse to stock them. And since smaller retailers don't have the same commercial pull, the odds of the game making money solely off that are nearly nonexistent. Therefore they don't bother.
People do know that console brand owners bring out new software/features because of competition....
N4G is a community of gamers posting and discussing the latest game news. It’s part of NewsBoiler, a network of social news sites covering today’s pop culture.