Thoughts on a One Console Future

one-consoleA lot has been made recently over the recent (and supposedly untrue rumor) that Microsoft may purchase Electronic Arts. Even though this rumor appears to be false, it does bring up some valid questions, and ones that got Anthony and I engaged in a ripping e-mail debate this morning.

As most debates go, it ended with us making various claims about each other’s mothers, but before that there was some reasoned discussion going on. Anthony believes that a move like this could really hurt the video game industry on the whole, and potentially see the downfall of the other two giants (in this case Sony and Nintendo). My position is that while I agree that such a situation might occur, we are reaching a point where a one-console future could and probably will be a reality, it’s just a matter of who goes the way of Sega first.

So, what do you guys think about this idea? Would you push away the idea of a one console future, or welcome it? To me, we are already on our way there, seeing as how there are fewer and fewer exclusive titles to separate the systems out anyway. Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

11 thoughts on “Thoughts on a One Console Future”

  1. Going from multiple consoles to just one symbolizes a new age of gaming. Since no one will have to either get one console or another and judge the consoles’ benefits, gamers will focus more on the games themselves. Then again, I’m sure the console and the PC will clash, but it is possible that this console is an upgradable computer designed solely for video games and perhaps other media, similar to what we see with Xbox Live and Netflix for example.
    As for the effects on de_Biz, it’s very much a debate between those for and those against monopolies. With just one console, it’s just the developers vs other developers, as opposed to platforms and their developers vs other platforms and their developers. Essentially the single console is a simplification of the industry and takes the focus directly to the game developers, dispensing with the politics of platform and game.
    The developers who are large, well-known, and have an established place in the gaming industry will do fine, perhaps better, now that everyone can experience their game without need of choosing one or another console. The times of games favoring one console over another are over, so the controversy over Fallout 3’s or Modern Warfare 2’s bias towards the 360 will be history. For indie or small game developers, they may have an easier time getting their game out, although it depends on how the console is maintained. Is the console based around an online system like Steam, with advertisement and online interactions and transactions? If so, indie and small developers can get their name out via some sort of news section that showcases small name games. This would be the most intelligent choice for this omniconsole, since in this day and age, a console needs its own game social network.
    And on the topic of game social networks, if multiple networks are available for the console, this could be a source of competition, but most likely would not exist as it would detract from the unity of the omniconsole, other than the hardware being universal. This could be the future of a gaming industry that is similar to ours today, with Xbox Live competing with PSN for subscriptions of omniconsole users. But for a truly omniconsole, omninetwork scenario, the omninetwork would promote itself and the games it would be sponsoring.
    Not having to deal with corporate politics and being able to just focus on the games themselves is personally my optimum choice. I’d rather play what would be exclusives today with everyone and enjoy all the benefits equally via one omninetwork. I am wearing my Communist hat as I type this, yes. lol Competition is good, but if we can simplify to the level of the developers, the developers will have to make their games actually good. If there was a way for this omniconsole and omninetwork to promote and reward new and innovative games, that would definitely make the gaming industry the best it could be.

  2. I’m already living in a ‘one console’ universe (aside from my beloved SNES) – PC.

    MOST of the GREAT games are on more than one system anyways. Uniting them would allow developers to focus in on a system and really brings out the best for that one specific machine. The real negative is the monopoly on “console gaming”, allowing them to charge whatever they wish. But even then, you’ll always have the reality of PC vs Console, even if Consoles all become one.

    I say missing out on a few ‘x console exclusive’ titles for the greater good of general gaming is a plus. I’d rather have a team develope a beautiful story and extra hours of gameplay than have them do troubleshooting so that the game can be ported and playable on an assortment of consoles. Not to mention a bunch of kids sitting and debating about frame-rate differences and about which console displays a certain game better.

    @Cossack: sorry if I’ve repeated you, I just don’t have time to read all of your post right now.

  3. I think if we came to a one console future, it would only last a generation or so because another company will think that it can do better and jump in.

  4. Look what happened to Madden once it got the exclusive NFL license. Quality went downhill.

    This will happen one day, but not anytime soon, I hope.

  5. I would hope this is avoided. If there’s only one console to choose from, then the company have no reason to match/beat a competitor. I would also imagine more gamers would turn to PC gaming after that. Retailers would also probably suffer as there are plenty of people who buy PS3 and 360 versions of the same game (for some reason) lol.
    SK Beans raises a good point though, I mean what’s to stop Apple making a console? Hell even Toyota! lol

  6. Let’s see… I think something like a Wiistation 360 would be very cool, but. And here’s the thing, if you want to be able to have a super omniconsole it’ll need to be able to handle more than most nice Gaming Rigs (well, my opinion anyways) so you’d essentailly be buying a media-only PC. Which beings me back to my gut-instinct, PC should be THE gaming platform and all those fancy add-ons and accessories should be availible for use on the 360.

    My opinion = PC is ruler of the universe. 360 is its right hand man.

  7. I don’t think we will see a “one-console future”. If Microsoft, or Sony, end up becoming “the one” console, Sony or Microsoft will work two consoles ahead to try and cut the other off by having more development/research time to come up with a better console. also as of yet, Microsoft does not have a hand held console, like the PSP or the DSi pluse I can’t see anyone but Nintendo making a “non hardcore” console like the wii. Because it targets a completely different demographic audience, it needs to be a separate console.
    However, if we do see one console to rule them all then it will be more of a console PC hybrid. Xbox live and PSN are already starting to make consoles feel more like PC’s.

    [quote comment=”8566″]And Eddy’s mom is amazing.[/quote]

    Does Eddy’s mom make good cookies?

  8. I dont care about 1 console, i just want to see non exclusive games. Its painful to only be able to afford a 360 and see Drakes Fortune get star reviews.
    As for PC vs Console, i think console would win because as much as i love PC and it is the definite choice for hardcore, consoles are more approachable and plus you dont have t update every eight months.
    And my mom makes good cookies. and brownies.

  9. [quote comment=”8570″] consoles are more approachable and plus you dont have t update every eight months.[/quote]

    You don’t “have” to update a PC every eight months, you just cant play games at max resolution, which is fine with me. if you think bout it as long as you have a computer that is on par with the newest console, you should be able to run games at the same resolution as you would on a console. I probably only spent $100 upgrading my last computer, which I had for about 4-5 years. also you will get a computer for personal reasons anyway so why not spend the extra $300-400 to make it a gaming machine as well. but you do have a point, consoles ARE more approachable than gaming PC’s. The average consumer is better off just buying a console.

    P.S. I also want to see more non exclusive games.

    P.P.S. Cookies FTW!!1!

  10. i think that one console is an excellent idea, if only because it would increase the number of people you can play with, instead of having them divided over three networks. Also, all games would be available, instead of things like halo and MGS being specific to xbox360 and ps3 respectively

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