190° - Editor View: The Single Platform Cometh - "Single games platform is a historical inevitability"

Colin Campbell of writes: I've always argued against the notion of a single games platform, for two reasons. First that it could never happen; the hardware big boys wouldn't wear it. Second that, even if such a thing were possible, on balance, it would not be a good thing for the consumer.

Now I've changed my mind on both; with a few caveats.

From an industry point of view, the benefits of multiple platforms are not greater than the drawbacks. It is entirely wasteful to be developing, marketing and manufacturing the exact same product for two systems that, for all intents and purposes, are pretty much the same while being entirely incompatible.

For consumers, multiple platforms offer choice. However, they also offer non-choice. If you are an Xbox 360 owner who would like to play Uncharted: Drake's Fortune or Metal Gear Solid 4, you must pay $400 for a PS3; even though you already own a product that does pretty much the same job. If we take it as gospel that software is more important than hardware, it's a bad deal to offer hardware choice at the expense of software choice.

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MrWonderful3752d ago

if this ever happens i think that sony and nintendo should work on hardware because sony could do the console cuz it would be quality made. then nintendo could do the innovative features for the console and M$ could handle the online community. problem solved.

titntin3752d ago

The amusing thing is that Sony only made a games machine because Nintendo stuffed them!
Ninty asked sony to develop an add on Cd drive for the snes and sony duitifully went away and designed one. At the last minute, Nintendo dropped its plans (without even talking to Sony about it)
Having already spent the money and made the development, Sony turned that snes add on into the original playstation, and the rest is history.
The chances of such large firms with a corporate agenda of their own ever getting together to offer a single platform is an absolute pipedream. There are a million reasons why this will never happen, and anyone proclaiming otherwise is merely delusional!
I, for one, am glad. I'm a tech whore and am glad I'm not forced to suffer Nintendo's grasp for the casual demographic at the expense of core games and new technology. It's been proven time and time again, that consumers bennefit from choice, and a single machine conforming to single ideology is not choice. What might be good for the masses (ie WII) is not good for me.

kingme713752d ago

I was thinking the same thing when I read the article. One platform that can be expanded/updated with new hardware and flavors of software... Sounds like he described a PC to me.

Cyrus3653752d ago

Not really, PC has like 1000's of different configurations in terms of hardware, operating system etc. Way too many variables, a single platform is meant to be 1 Version, in which everyone has, so devs can just focus on that.

gameforall3752d ago

but most PC's will run "that game",
COUGH expect Crysis, those Barstwards

mindedone3752d ago

Most who claim that we're heading toward a one console future claim just that: that there will be multiple hardware manufacturers. What would be common amongst them would be the gaming OS.

An issue would be that the costs for the gaming systems would be at PC prices. The question is, though, would the lower development costs and therefore hopefully lower software costs offset the initial consumer cost?

Cyrus3653752d ago

Oh i'm not saying it's good, I'm just saying there are benefits as well as draw backs to 1 platform future. You've already seen it with such titles as Gears and Uncharted, those games wouldn't have nearly been as good if it was a multi-platform title atleast graphically/animations, etc.

Then again competition is good, just look at Madden series which hasn't really innovated since I dunno when, as they don't have to.

Keyser3752d ago

This is what EA has done with Madden and I don't believe the masses are pleased. I like having companies compete for my dollar. Having only one option reduces a companies initiative to be innovative or creative. They can sell whenever they want because I have no alternative. All games would come out right at Christmas because on paper that is when they sell the most. Why sell games during the rest of the year? Why make Resistance if more people will buy Halo? Why make Splinter Cell if everyone loves Metal Gear? Those are things, as a gamer, I don't want to see.

I wonder why the author doesn't use this logic across the board. All cars are able to drive you to your destination, why have more than one automobile maker? All refrigerators pretty much do the same thing, why have more than one company? All tv's show programming, why have Sony, Mitsubishi, Samsung, LG, Westinghouse, Panasonic, Sharp, Advent, Vizio, Pioneer, GE, and Olevia make tv's? That's too much choice. I just want one company to make them. I also only want one company to make cereal, potato chips, soda pop, juices, yogurt, clothing, and candy.

I don't believe the author has really thought this through.

Adamalicious3752d ago

Great! Another one in my list of most idiotic quotations!!

"When I took the initiative in creating the internet..."

"Every one hundred years, media changes."

"We will see more change in the next ten years than in the last ten centuries."

"Single games platform is a historical inevitability."