I have never written a blog or submitted a news article on this site before, but I finally felt compelled to write something in reaction to this blog post I just read on CNET.com (I am going to outline his argument, in case you do not want to give CNET any hits):
The blog, entitled "E3 Needs a New Product" and written by a senior editor named Scott Stein, features his opinions that no one cares (save for core gamers) about E3 this year due to a lack of new hardware or ideas.
His reasoning lies in the fact that his friends aren't asking "When is the new PlayStation coming out?" like they usually do and that he knows uninterested Wii owners and a 3DS owner who isn't asking questions about the handheld.
Great reasoning right from start!
He goes on to add that he isn't exactly calling for new hardware, but just "a reason to get excited", pointing to the debuts of Kinect and Move at E3 2009, the 3DS in 2010 and the Vita and WiiU in 2011.
It's not long before the gorilla in the room is brought up, yes I am of course talking about Apple. Stein argues that while the 360 and PS3 are getting a bit long in the tooth that Apple is sitting there on its mound of money, "releasing new hardware every single year" and "building a massive, vibrant catalog of popular, cheap games".
From there he goes on to argue that interest is going to continue to die in consoles because without new ideas and products, there is only "new games" and after all, "games just aren't the killer apps they used to be."
After reading that paragraph, I had a Lewis Black like convulsion and felt the need to strangle someone.
But it did get better, Stein goes on to make the point that the average person just wants to play time killing games, after all, all those people he knew who bought the Wii wanted that right! That worked out in the long term!
His solutions? Micro-consoles without disc drives that only allow you to download games (oh that is going to thrill everyone), a "real" gaming phone (because phone battery life is just top notch), subsidized consoles that rely on subscription based models like MMO for games (yeah, don't give Square-Enix any ideas please) and finally, "make something magical", again like the Wii!
Whooo, well that was mind numbingly awful to go through again. Where to begin.
Let's start with his friends who have asked him when the new PlayStation is coming out in years past. What exactly is the time frame here, were these bright lights asking every year about a new PS? If so, they probably found themselves pretty disappointed every year save for three. How about his friends who aren't asking him about the Wii anymore? Surely its not because Nintendo stopped supporting the Wii in any meaningful way about two years ago. Perhaps the local barista at his Starbucks got his 3DS and doesn't need to ask questions about a piece of hardware he has in his hands now.
He argues that we need a new product, but brushes over the WiiU casually and acts like its already a flop. He seemingly wants more add-on's for all of us to buy. We already have motion controllers, motion cameras, one million Wii accessories, 3-D and more. What else can be done right now to enhance gameplay outside of full on virtual reality where we are actually in the game?
Then just the most aggravating part, the inevitable "look at Apple, they are doing it right!" argument. Is that what he thinks we want? To buy a new iPad and iPhone every year all for the sake of paying 99 cents for a disposable game that you won't care about 10 minutes after you buy it? And by the time you consider the cost of a new phone and new tablet and a data plan to go along with them, that 99 cent game starts looking a bit more expensive now doesn't it?
Then you have his constant mentions of the Wii, where on one hand he uses it as part of his argument that the average person doesn't care about consoles, but then points out later on that he thinks the Wii is an example of the fact that the average person just wants fun, time killing games.
Oh, and his argument that new games aren't enough is still just blowing my mind and that you can get console equivalent experiences on an iPad 3 is absolutely insane. Yup, the iPad 3 certainly has a few Uncharted-like experiences there in the App Store, Scott.
It's as if this guy took all of the idiotic things the media says about gaming and decided he would just throw them all into a blog post.
All I can say is that hopefully console makers will not choose to take direction from Scott Stein, because if they do, and Stein's utopia of subsidized in price micro-console that has a new version released every year with subscription based games comes to fruition, then yes, consoles will indeed die and Apple will rule the planet.
If you got this far, thanks for reading. If I violated any N4G blogging policy I apologize, as I pointed out earlier, I have never posted a blog here before. If you agree with me, awesome, if not, that's cool. Either way, leave a comment and let me know what you think of my opinion.