1 expert and 4 parents have answered
Is it wrong that I fell to my knees, wrapped my arms around my consoles and wept like a baby? I love my PC and will always be a PC gamer first, but console play is sometimes just so wonderfully easy and fun. Don't take them away from me Tom, please.
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Consoles are on the wane, but I suspect that rumours of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. Tablets are great for kids and casual games, but there remains a significant enthusiasts market who want the sort of powerful hardware and epic games that only consoles or PCs can deliver. Also tablets can't (yet) deliver a fulfilling family gaming experience in the way that Wii or Kinect can.
Of course whether that smaller market is big enough to support the colossal budgets required by the top games is a moot point. But a collapse in that market may actually be a good thing, leading to cheaper and less polished but riskier, more innovative titles.
In my opinion the biggest threat to traditional consoles isn't from smartphones and tablets, but from the sort of "micro consoles" you mention (not sure about that term: the Steam box is likely to be a fairly poky machine when it arrives). But at the bottom line, even micro consoles are still consoles, and very much part of the same ecosystem. So I think consoles are evolving, rather than dying out.
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The reception of the most recent consoles does not seem to have the uproar that previous ones generated.
Lack of backward compatibility is one issue, as is the fact that first generation consoles were really pretty awful, so the progress from 8 bit graphics to great quality was much needed, but the newer ones seem to be churn for the sake of it.
And yes, casual gaming on the move, on phone and tablet is a big factor too - cannot believe this hasn't already destroyed the 3DS which is the most direct competition
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The console isn't dying out, but the way me consume our media is definitely changing. If anything over the next two years we will see more consoles released than at any other time. So as well as the big 3, there are a number of micro consoles that are coming out based on the Android OS. There is of course the Steam Box which will be coming out shortly and then there is Googles offering although I expect that to be more like the Apple Set Top Box. I will always be a PC gamer at heart and the same thing is said about PCs all the time but actually we are going through somewhat of a boom period at the minute.
The casual game market has exploded and we have a plethora of devices that deliver great games are cheap prices, however it is the low cost price that is the danger to the consoles market. £40 is the norm and there is plenty of talk about games COD to be £60 in the future. Personally if they do that, then it is like killing the goose that laid the goldern egg. Never take your customer for granted. Continue to innovate and you will be fine!
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The console wars are drawing to an end after nearly four decades of digital bloodshed, and the winner is… nobody. The PlayStation 4 is on the horizon, but between smartphones and tablets, it could be the last of its kind.
As I said in that PS4 write up, traditional video games are now playing catch up: kids are more interested in playing games on smartphones and Facebook, messing around with apps, and talking to their friends via Skype.
Gaming expert Tadhg Kelly sums it up ‘Sometimes a whole class of a technology just doesn’t make sense any more. In an age of smartphones, nobody needs a Discman. In an age of tablets and laptops, nobody needs a home hub under their TV for browsing and IM-ing, and arguably not even for Netflix.’ And in an age when you can play games on any of those devices, why would you need a dedicated console to play them on?
Which just leaves us adults; with the tepid reaction to the PS4, we could easily be seduced by the cheaper, indie-friendly micro consoles. Or, if they ever get their act in gear, the Apple console to end all consoles…