The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle

Sega Logo

I’ve been reading Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris that chronicles the rise of Sega during the 90’s. It’s a delightful book, full of endlessly fascinating details, such as how Target’s lenient return policy allowed customers to return years-old NES’s in order to get credit towards a SNES. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with Nintendo and it led to Target pulling Nintendo products from the stores for a time. I lived through this era and reading the behind the scenes drama that went on has been very enjoyable. My nostalgia bones are all tingling right now. Continue reading The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle

Kinect Doesn’t Like Couches?

KinectAs you’ll hear in our podcast that releases tonight/tomorrow, we have some pretty harsh words for the XBox Kinect. I was never too amped about the thing to begin with, but Monday’s press conference raised some concerns about the technology and the kinds of games that are going to be associated with it.

While I’ve been telling myself that I don’t want to judge it too harshly before it’s even available for regular mortals like you and I to try out for ourselves, it’s hard to watch things like Kinectimals and remain optimistic about the whole thing. People that have tried it out at E3 so far seem to be mostly positive, however, IGN posted a well thought article titled 5 Concerns about Kinect, which totally hit on some things that I had been thinking about since the press conference bomb.

As I said, they raise some good points, and the most disconcerting one is the assertion that some Kinect developers are saying that you can’t play Kinect while sitting on a couch. This has always been one of the big barriers for me and motion control. I’m not a lazy guy by any means, but when I sit down to play games, I like having a controller and hanging out on my couch. It seems that Kinect has problems recognizing a skeletal frame when it is sitting down. In fact, the IGN article actually said this earlier, but was later edited. According to VG247, a Microsoft rep says that this experience differs depending on the game. Once again, it’s far too early to tell this, but it’s definitely food for thought as the launch window rapidly approaches.

So what do you guys think? Fair or foul if you can only play Kinect while standing?

Update: IGN released a kind of retraction later, though the quote here is slightly different from the one given to VG247. Regardless, Kinect still didn’t work well with folks sitting down at E3, and signs point to this perhaps being a future issue with certain games, so this topic stands.

Source- IGN

A Little Reason Goes A Long Way

sinkingTake a look at any video game news site and you will be sure to find a story about how the PS3 is in third place in the Console Wars and how Sony should just give up and go the way of Sega and make games and not consoles. Yeah, cause that worked out so well for Sega. But I digress. The Playstation brand has seen rough days but it would foolish to count Sony out just yet.

Now, I understand that costs are very high to make video games and that making games on the PS3 is very complex and probably more expensive. I also understand that 360 has a higher install base, but I have news for you: it’s not that much higher. The 360 has sold about 30 million worldwide compared to the 22 million sold for the PS3. Consider the fact that the PS3 launched a year later and around the same time as the Wii. Factor in the admittely high cost of the PS3 and an 8 million unit lead is nice, but not nearly as big as everyone makes it out to be. From the way people fanboys talk, you would think the 360 has a 112 million unit lead or something. Oh wait…112 million units is the amount that the PS2 outsold the original Xbox by. But you didn’t hear this kind of doomsday talk for the Xbox then, did you? I know I didn’t. And the PS3 has already sold as many units as the original Xbox, which is not a mark of success by any means, but it sure does make you stop and wonder where all this negativity is coming from.

Let’s face it: the PS3 has had a rough launch. The high price and lack of killer games really hurt for a long time. But that time is over. With LittleBigPlanet, Killzone 2, Infamous and God of War III all out or soon to be out, the future for the PS3 is looking very bright. This article is not meant to prop up the PS3 or bring down the Wii or 360. I am merely trying to point out some facts that seem to fall by the wayside in these debates. Sony is not going anywhere and neither is Microsoft or Nintendo. Sony thumped everyone in the last round of consoles, so losing this one isn’t going to be end of the world for them.

Besides, these consoles are just getting going. Nintendo has jumped out to a seemingly insurmountable lead, but Wii sales have already slowed down and while mining the casual market seems to have done them a great service, the loss of the hardcore market might mean that the Wii’s days of ruling the sales charts are over. The 360 and PS3 will only get stronger, so we have a long way to go before this battle in the Console War is over.

Just relax and enjoy the games and try to let the guys who get paid tons of money worry about the business side of things. You want to support your console? Buy new, not used games. Other than that, it’s out of our hands. Except for the controller, of course. Until the Natal comes out.

GTA IV Sales About “50-50” Between 360 and PS3

gta4Take-Two said in a press conference that sales of its mega-ultra-super-shiny juggernaut Grand Theft Auto IV (the one without the digital ding dong) were split about even between the 360 and PS3. They did not give any other specifics or release any actual numbers, but fanboys on both sides are freaking right out, while Wii fanboys wave a plastic remote in the air cause they just don’t care.

GTA IV sold 13 million copies worldwide so if they sold even down the middle on both systems, this means that more of the PS3’s installed base bought the game than the 360’s, which is odd and just a little surprising. The PS3 has sold 21.3 million worldwide and the Xbox 360 has sold 27.93 million worldwide. Maybe its due to the PS3’s demographic skewing older? Maybe people just preferred getting it on the PS3 because thats what the old GTAs were originally on? If this is accurate and Take-Two is not just having a laugh at us, it also means that Microsoft’s much vaunted exclusive DLC did not play much of a factor in people’s decision, which is even more odd. If I had a 360, I would have got it on that for the DLC. As a PS3 owner, I am still hoping it is simply a timed exclusive.

What did you buy the game on and if you have both systems, why? What do you make of this surprising news?

Source: SeekingAlpha.com

Why Do You Love Your Favorite Console?

With apologies to Episode III: Revenge of the Sith…

Console War! Sony and Microsoft are battered by the ruthless onslaught of the Nintendo Wii. There are exclusives on all sides. Fanboys are everywhere!

So even the most non-partisan gamer has a favorite console. I hate the console wars, but I prefer my PS3 to all others. Why do you guys like your console?

Continue reading Why Do You Love Your Favorite Console?

XBox 360: A Sordid History of a Broken Console

I’m not sure how many of you guys that own 360s have had the RRoD (Red Ring of Death for those of you who, like ostriches, have buried your heads in the sand and missed the acronym), but I have experienced 2 myself. Yeah. Dos.

Being on my 3rd Microsoft XBox 360 has left kind of a sour taste in my mouth, and I wouldn’t tolerate it save that it’s probably the most played console I’ve had since the original Playstation. It’s kind of weird because out of all the consoles I’ve ever owned, only 3 have broken. All were Microsoft products.

Continue reading XBox 360: A Sordid History of a Broken Console

Microsoft: Wii Wins, We Won’t

Looks like MS has accepted along with everybody else that Nintendo has won this round, and is now shooting for 2nd place in the console war over Sony’s Playstation 3. Essentially, they’ve figured out what everyone else knew almost a year ago.

Don Mattick, senior VP of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division, recently told Business Week that even with the new Xbox 360 price drop, they don’t figure that they’re in any place to catch Nintendo at this point. And let’s face it, the Wii is essentially a Benjamin factory for Nintendo these days.

Continue reading Microsoft: Wii Wins, We Won’t