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Analysts Foresee Another Banner Year For Videogame Industry

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the banner-that-says-money-money-money dept.

Businesses 205

Analysts observing the videogame industry forsee 2008 being another blockbuster year in sales. Sales during the month of February were considerably up, according to the NPD group. Early in the year is historically a very slow time in the game sales calendar, making the 34% jump for the month highly significant. Grand Theft Auto IV is likely to be an engine for sales throughout the year: "The game, which will be available on the Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, is expected to boost sales of both consoles. Pre-orders have been better than expected, according to its publisher, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan, expects the game to sell about 9 million units during the company's fiscal year, which ends in October. Roughly 6 million of this, he added, will be to Xbox 360 owners."

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205 comments

NIGGERY NIGGER JIG COON PORCHMONKEYS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769294)

mah fine fellow african americans (who never been to africa)

Re:NIGGERY NIGGER JIG COON PORCHMONKEYS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769418)

speaking of which, i know what a penis is. i know what a bird is. but what the FUCK is this "penisbird" you ACs keep talkin about?

just think, a moderator with only five points or less will actually waste a point modding this down, because it's *GASP* OHHH NOOOO *oh dear* offensive! OMG OH NOES!! someone might not like it, quick we better cover it up!! it always gives me a smile to be sure that a fool and his mod points are soon parted.

Re:NIGGERY NIGGER JIG COON PORCHMONKEYS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769464)

Per the moderator guidelines nobody should be wasting their points dishing out negative mods. They're to focus on positive mods and let the full-time administrators with unlimited mod points handle you types. Btw, this is penisbird [rotten.com] .

Re:NIGGERY NIGGER JIG COON PORCHMONKEYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22770028)

The latest Gestapo take over of the slashdot forums makes score -1 pretty useless. It might as well just be from 0 to 5. Especially with the direct link to -1 on the front page gone, it hides some of the most interesting and insightful posts from being seen by anyone.

mgs4 and brawl must also be an engine (1)

OrochimaruVoldemort (1248060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769340)

they were both hyped and sold well for their consoles

Re:mgs4 and brawl must also be an engine (5, Informative)

junner518 (1235322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769406)

I believe Brawl will be one of the best games of the year. Nintendo has consistently had blowout sales on its super smash bros. franchise, and Brawl is definitely the best yet. It's way better than melee(no wavedashing, etc.) and brings a gameplay more similar to the first one. The characters are well balanced, but lend themselves to certain styles of playing. The graphics, although not what an Xbox 360 or PS3 fan would consider good, are still impressive. It is definitely evident that nintendo took some time to make this one perfect, even if it meant months of delays. And as far as I can tell, its pretty much everything I hoped for and more.

Re:mgs4 and brawl must also be an engine (3, Insightful)

wicka (985217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769926)

An engine, I believe, is a game that further drives sales. I don't think there is any way to drive Wii sales higher, considering they are selling them as fast as they can make them.

I don't want to be viewed as a fanboy, it's just that unless Nintendo invests in another factory (which they won't), their sales really have nowhere to go but down.

Re:mgs4 and brawl must also be an engine (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770094)

As someone who has been playing Brawl for the last week... I gotta say that it is definitely going to help sell Wiis. It is a spectacular game in every way...

A friend of mine with only a PS3 (for the Blu-Ray and media center more than anything) is definitely picking up a Wii now that he's seen Brawl (and Mario Kart Wii is supposedly right around the corner as well). We played a bunch of Melee during college... and now that he's confirmed that it's better than Melee and has online support... it's an easy sell.

BTW - The online play is great. It's not without its hitches... but it works beautifully most of the time. It is quite fun to beat on one of my friends from several states away...

Friedmud

Re:mgs4 and brawl must also be an engine (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770354)

I don't think Nintendo has to use Brawl to sell Wiis, the last time I saw one available in a store was the day I bought mine.

Re:mgs4 and brawl must also be an engine (1)

Dersaidin (954402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770510)

I don't have a console atm. But I'm thinking of getting a Wii just for SB Brawl.
Mario Galaxy etc are pretty cool too, but SB Brawl will be awesome (I hope).

Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (3, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769386)

From the article:
Going strong since its launch in 2000, Sony's PlayStation 2 continued to outpace its successor. The PS2 sold 351,800 units compared with 280,800 for the PS3.

Somehow, this indicates that the HDTV conversion isn't going according to plan.

Could be (5, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769422)

Could be... or it could mean the 360 is just hacking into Sony's former mindshare. I think it's probably a combination of both, actually. The continued success of the Wii is probably the #1 indication that HDTV adoption (or should I say, SDTV abandonment) isn't going as planned.

Re:Could be (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769526)

it's just taking longer. your on crack if you think sdtv is as good as hdtv

Re:Could be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769634)

my "on crack if you think sdtv" is indeed as good as hdtv.

Re:Could be (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769644)

hmm.. which kind of nazi should i be here?

grammar: check
spelling: check
yuppie: check
offensive: check.

Please continue to represent your demographic, there are better saps around, but few so consistent.

Re:Could be (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769834)

Please.

HDTV loses out on:
1. Cost.
2. Standard definition picture quality.
3. Cost of content.
4. Amount of content.
5. Cost of accessories.
6. The fact that I already own an SDTV.

Re:Could be (3, Funny)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770092)

SDTV Loses Out On: 1) Sucking.

Re:Could be (3, Insightful)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769850)

It's not a matter of if it's better(It is, I've examined them), it's a matter if its enough for most people to care. I personally don't really care much, I can see the difference, and the margin of difference in price is simply not worth the cost to replace the units. I think many, like me, will not buy an HDTV until their current set becomes useless.

Re:Could be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22770196)

Ah, but it isn't better. Most SDTVs are cheap CRTs, while most HDTVs are expensive LCD or plasmas.

LCD and plasma create a better picture: LCD is simply sharper, and plasma has a better contrast ratio.

Compare an LCD SDTV with an HDTV when both are showing actual movement and you'll only be able to see one difference: the HDTV display size is 16:9 compared to the SDTV's 4:3.

HDTV looks better if you're looking at stills and comparing it to worse display technology. Otherwise, you're blowing $1500 on pixels you can't notice.

So don't worry about having a fancy new HDTV: you're not missing a thing, and you're saving money.

Re:Could be (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770582)

Compare an LCD SDTV with an HDTV when both are showing actual movement and you'll only be able to see one difference: the HDTV display size is 16:9 compared to the SDTV's 4:3.

Sitting five meters away from my parents' 50" DLP, I can see pixels at 1080i. (And they bug me, during the few moments we have >480p media playing on that thing.)

-:sigma.SB

Disclaimer: I have 20/13 vision.

Re:Could be (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769854)

Its better for me- its cheaper. I really don't care about the improved picture, so if I need to buy a new TV, I'd go with the one that costs the least for the size I want.

-1 Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22770784)

I bought a HDTV so that I didn't have to play Wii Tennis on my small ass standard set. Don't forget it has a component cable and does 480p. Shitty in comparison, but it's wide and looks a hell of a lot better than standard def.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (1, Informative)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769864)

From the article:

Going strong since its launch in 2000, Sony's PlayStation 2 continued to outpace its successor. The PS2 sold 351,800 units compared with 280,800 for the PS3.

Somehow, this indicates that the HDTV conversion isn't going according to plan.
Not necessarily a correct conclusion. Standard def tends to look great on an HD set, probably much better than standard def on a legacy standard def set.

This is really more about the quality of PS2 games. Lately I have been playing mostly PS2 games on my PS3 in fact. Some of them are simply amazing. For example, Shadow of the Colossus has to be seen to be believed. I only hope that games of that quality start appearing on next-gen consoles, tricked out with next-gen poly counts and physics. Kind of incredible the level of sophistication of the game engines that PS2 developers were able to put together. I rather expect history to repeat itself with the cell chip. I would be surprised if the cell has reached as much as 1/4 capacity in terms of graphics and physics resolution.

The Xbox 360 sold 254,600 units... compared with 280,800 for the PS3.

This is the important statistic from the article. Second month running. Quite unlikely for the XBox to every outsell the PS3 again, unfortunately for Microsoft's designs on the console market.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769902)

I'm not surprised the PS3 has surpassed it in monthly sales. I'll be surprised, however, when the PS3 surpasses it in total sales. Right now, the PS3 is doing well for a variety of reasons; price drops, more games, and the 360 has really taken a beating over the hardware issues (in my 360-owning opinion). But Microsoft is somewhat of a vast evil empire, and I won't be surprised if they come up with a way to keep second place.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769912)

I should clarify that by "more games" I mean "more available than at launch" not "more available than the 360." I'm not sure of the exact count but I'm pretty sure the 360 is still ahead here.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (1, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770278)

I'm not surprised the PS3 has surpassed it in monthly sales. I'll be surprised, however, when the PS3 surpasses it in total sales.
Why should you be? In January the PS3 just squeaked the 360, in February the PS3 widened its lead by over 20,000. If the gap continues to widen, and with Blu-ray ruling the hi def world there is no reason to doubt it will, then the 360's lead will be a million or three smaller by the end of the year. And 360 only leads by 6 or 7 million right now.

Then there are some significant PS3 exclusives coming out for holiday season. Microsoft has no obvious counter at this point. Then there is the noise issue, the heat issue, the failure rate issue, the lower color resolution issue, the lower processing power issue, the bungee defection issue, the older technology issue, the lack of hd player issue, the entertainment division attrition issue, the continuing losses issue, the morale issue... many issues that together bode ill for XBox 360 prospects from now on.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770402)

Then there are some significant PS3 exclusives coming out for holiday season. Microsoft has no obvious counter at this point.

I'm not a fan of either the 360 or the PS3, but I feel it's worth noting that the XBox has Gears of War 2 in the pipeline, and has exclusive downloadable episodes announced for GTA4. Those may or may not be enough to counter Sony's push, but they do exist and do provide an answering salvo to some degree.

There's also the E3 to be concerned about. While Nintendo is outright saying that they're holding their cards close, the other competitors haven't said anything either way. I'm fairly certain that Sony has already played their cards and are in it for the long haul, but the possibility exists that Microsoft could produce a big announcement at the show. Again, I'm not sure of the likelihood of Microsoft coming up with something big enough to stop Sony in their tracks, but the possibility definitely exists there.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (3, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770598)

If the gap continues to widen, and with Blu-ray ruling the hi def world there is no reason to doubt it will

Ah, you see there is the fallacy. Xbox 360 is not an HD-DVD player, it's a games player. Many PS3 owners fail to appreciate this distinction, but almost every single person who bought a 360 did so for the games, not for the movies.

Counter exclusives; there's GTS IV's episodic content, Too Human, Gears 2, Ninja Gaiden 2, Halo Wars (& Halo: Chronicles?), Fable 2... but perhaps they're not "obvious" to you.

And as for your list of "issues" (color resolution? You're kidding, right?), the only significant issue to the games market is the failure rate, which is no longer a problem for new sales. The rest only seem to matter to the occasional troll like yourself.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (0)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22771268)

Ah, you see there is the fallacy. Xbox 360 is not an HD-DVD player, it's a games player.
Indeed, I do see. And who would not want to get a decent hi def player "for free"? Now that HDDVD is no more, Microsoft has no answer, even as an accessory. Then there is the problem that XBox 360's DVD player is seen by many as just too small. [dvd-recordable.org]

No doubt about it, Microsoft took a serious blow when Blu-ray won the hidef war. By coincidence, or perhaps not, the month that HD-DVD lost the format war was the first month that PS3 outsold XBox 360 in the US.

as for your list of "issues" (color resolution? You're kidding, right?)
Not at all. XBox 360 uses hdmi 1.2, which has only 8 bit color. PS3 has hdmi 1.3, giving 10 bit and higher color resolution, which is supported by recent HD displays like the Samsung ln5281. The difference is very obvious, just look at the washed out black and saturated regions on an 8 bit display. Once you notice the difference you will never be ignore it again, sorry :-)

the only significant issue to the games market is the failure rate, which is no longer a problem for new sales.
Once burned, twice shy. I expect Microsoft still has high failure rates even with new production. The noise out there about it has certainly not died down.

Re:Buried lead: PS2 outselling PS3, still. (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770868)

Or it could be people are converting their old tv's into little game systems.

I hate to nitpick... (4, Insightful)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769394)

..but: "forsee"? Shouldn't the title be "foresee"? Apologies for spelling Nazism, usually, I don't care about that sort of thing, but it's the title, for God's sake, put in a little effort...

Re:I hate to nitpick... (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769446)

By expecting something more than piss-poor quality, you have harmed the Sacred Cow (tm). You wil now be modded into oblivion, despite the fact that you are absolutely right. I'm not sure if they will use "Offtopic" or "Flamebait". Maybe I should flip a coin, although I'm guessing the fact that you are commenting ABOUT THE ARTICLE won't stop them from using "Offtopic".

Mediocrity has become the norm, and the many people who don't understand that excellence is its own reward, or that doing something at all means you should make an effort to do it well shall vent their rage at you for pointing this out. Since they lack any real power or influence, and certainly can't use reason to support their viewpoint, they will mod you down! Mwa hahaha, that'll teach you.

Re:I hate to nitpick... (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769496)

If something is worth doing then it is worth doing correctly. Sadly that fact is lost on most of the unwashed masses that populate the Internet.

Re:I hate to nitpick... (2, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770068)

If something is worth doing then it is worth doing correctly.
Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess. That's my motto and I'm sticking with it.

Re:I hate to nitpick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769632)

I just used my last mod point to mod him up - just to prove you wrong. There you have it. Go and cry. :-D

Re:I hate to nitpick... (1)

sheriff_cahill (996608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769988)

The system works!

Re:I hate to nitpick... (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769878)

Is the article the topic or does the article discuss the topic?

I would rather see more spelling errors and less people complaining. It hurts my brain a little to see a spelling error, but once I have seen it no amount of complaining is going to save me from it. If complaining in the forums was effective, the problem would have been solved many times over. So how about complaining to the people who can directly fix the problem? Email the editor, who can fix the problem now and hopefully do better in the future. Email the submitter, who can do better in the future. If neither action is effective, you might just have to learn to accept it. Either way, complaining about it in the forums is neither original nor effective.

Re:I hate to nitpick... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22770142)

"Mediocrity has become the norm, and the many people who don't understand that excellence is its own reward"

Have you considered that they're intelligent enough to know that spelling mistakes happen frequently and they can easily decode what the other person meant because they have sufficient brainpower to do so? Have you considered that on a website such as slashdot that people shouldnt' be 'expectd to perform' because they get that shit all day at work and school and just want to relax? Slashdot may have its perfectionists but it's got a lot of people with a lot of life experience who know what to look for and what to mod up or down, and they're not going to discriminate like their nazi professors if it adds value to the discussion.

As you get older there is a point where you lose your substance for those who worship at the altar of aesthetics. I see basic, trivial, spelling mistakes as petty when we know what they meant. There's not a person on this earth who doesn't make mistakes ALL the time, to be irked by something so trivial on a site that exists in the real world (tm) and not in unrealistic fantasy classroom.

Can we not leave the status bullshit at work and the university and just get on with the substance of the discussion?

Re:I hate to nitpick... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770712)

Mwa hahaha, that'll teach you.
Mwahahaha does not have a space.

I'll buy that... (4, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769404)

However, GTA4 won't do it alone. I'm not sure why the article hinges on GTA4s success. GTA is a huge franchise, I'm not going to argue that, but no GTA game has outsold the Halo or Smash Bros franchises (which produced the #1 and #2 best selling games of last generation). Halo 3 saw release last year to enormous success, and so far Smash has been exceeding sales expectations this year. Combine Smash Brawl with GTA4, Mario Kart Wii, MGS4, and the remote possibility of a 2008 Final Fantasy US release (unlikely, but possible), and you have a good solid framework for 2008 sales. 2007 saw many huge things though, so I'm not sure it's as cut and dry as the article suggests, but there's a good possibility. And I'm not even going to dig into the huge Nintendo DS sales that simply defy all conventional explanation.

Re:I'll buy that... (3, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769924)

I'm not sure where you're getting your numbers from, but they don't jive with what VGChartz has [vgchartz.com] . The top series from the last generation:

- Grand Theft Auto: 41.16m units (SA: 15.36, VC: 14.20, GTA3:11.60)

- Gran Turismo: 23.75m units(GT3:14.87, GT4:8.88)

- Halo: 14.88m units (H1: 6.43, H2: 8.45)

- Super Smash Bros Melee: 7.08mil

And the list goes on and on and on. GTA was huge, followed by Gran Turismo, and then finally you get Halo. A lot of this has to do with the PS2 being the top selling console of the generation, but when a GTA game was the biggest selling game of a whole generation and the series by far the biggest of the generation, it's pretty rational to expect a ton of sales based on the name alone.

Re:I'll buy that... (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770432)

Actually... I think the top franchise of the last generation is still The Sims... sadly. This is also somewhat hilarious, given how badly the *rest* of the PC gaming industry is doing...

In the short term, yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769440)

In the short term, odds are gamers will still have enough disposable income to make that record season a reality. Come post-summer though, few people, or at least few Americans, will have been unaffected by the recent severe downturn in the U.S. economy.

This only means that the Wii will come out on top later on, followed by the 360 Arcade, due to both being the cheapest home console systems available. If gamers in the US decide to buy American, maybe more the 360 Arcade, but I don't see that particularly happening.

Not really. (0)

Killerchronic (1170217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769454)

I don't quite see how that has anything directly related to HDTV, it could just be that people whe have invested in such TV's are buying 360's instead.

Re:Not really. (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769862)

More like buying Wii's- Wii has a 44% marketshare, with a 5 million unit lead on 360 and 12 million on PS3

Not shocking.. (1, Insightful)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769458)

The only time the gaming industry doesn't have a "banner" year is usually right before the new platforms launch. Right now there are 3 "current-gen" platforms selling big, with big games coming out, that charge big bucks. Wii will keep being a mega-hit, Xbox360 will continue to dominate PS3 because of Xbox Live, and sony will keep its share with PSP/Blu-Ray(/PS3). PS2's hugest edge over orginal Xbox was game selection, with that gone Xbox is showing some of its strenghts.

Re:Not shocking.. (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769800)

Well, in recent years (or perhaps in your lifetime, if you're under 30). But a few of us geezers remember not only the lack of banner years in video gaming, but outright crashes of the market. I'm being pedantic, though, I suppose. I'll presume you implied "in recent years"...

You're correct, though. It's likely we may see a downturn as near the end of this generation's lifetime, as gamers are less enthusiastic about investing in last-generation's games. However, we shouldn't have to worry about this for another few years. We're probably not even at the half-mark of this generation's life-cycle. The console makers will probably take care not to oversaturate the market by iterating too soon with hardware generations, or they may alienate consumers by devaluing existing game libraries and systems too quickly.

I've postulated that Microsoft paid a hefty price in its rush to early market in its hardware failures (to the tune of a billion dollars). Still, it may consider it's current position in the market worth the price. Sony used its console to push its HD-media standard, and I wonder how much this hurt its newest console sales. This left Nintendo to clean up with a low-cost, quirky offering of the Wii.

To be honest, although people keep seeming to want one of these competitors to break away and dominate the market, I think it's actually healthier to keep the three-way competition going strong. The ultimate winner is consumers when companies must compete fiercely for your business. The only obvious downside is having to either choose among consoles to get exclusive titles, or pony up for multiple consoles. Still, I think this is a much healthier market than when a particular company dominates the market.

Re:Not shocking.. (1)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769872)

The thing that I find a lot of people don't seem to see with the console wars (which you do seem to see), is that Microsoft is in it for the long haul to crush Sony and have the pockets to do so. Even though Sony are a massive firm, with a huge revenue their profits are not all the much. Sony of course are not going anywhere anytime soon, and have the home Japanese market that is almost impenetrable to outside companies. Microsoft wants a firm grip on NA and EU and they currently have a pretty strong one.
With the only thing separating the 2 major consoles are basically exclusives and personal preference it is a boom time to consumers apart from the fixed high pricing of games. I fear there could be another video game crash (more like recession) not as bad the 82/83 crash but still quite painful.

Re:Not shocking.. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769922)

I don't remember the 82/83 crash. All I remember was that everybody was shifting platforms from the Atari to the C64. If there is a game crash, it my be far worse than what you saw in 82/83, as it is unlikely to just be a platform switch for gaming. Maybe people would go back to the PC, but I think that would be recognized as a platform shift this time around.

Re:Not shocking.. (0)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770482)

I don't remember the 82/83 crash.

Obviously. The crash was around the holiday season of '83, thus making it the Great Video Game Crash of '83/'84. ;-)

All I remember was that everybody was shifting platforms from the Atari to the C64

The C64, actually. And it was mostly Jack Tramiel's fault for turning a simple recession into a full-out crash: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Game_Crash#Price_war [wikipedia.org]

If there is a game crash, it my be far worse than what you saw in 82/83, as it is unlikely to just be a platform switch for gaming.

Nonsense. The market forces that existed then don't exist today. The market of 1983 was HUGELY oversaturated with knock-off games from companies attempting to cash in. Frustratingly, some of those companies were the first party game producers. After the whole Pacman and ET fiascos, the market simply didn't trust Atari or anyone else to make a good game. The resulting loss of consumer confidence combined with the oversupply lead to a decline of video game sales. Tramiel's price war then caused retailers to dump* their stock of console systems in favor of cheap Commodore computers.

Because of these issues, modern console makers hold absolute control over their consoles. No one creates a game for their console without express approval from the console manufacturer. In addition, the console makers produce high-quality first-party titles and seek out desirable third-party exclusives in an effort to keep consumer confidence high. This careful control of the market ensures that the market conditions of the 1980's are not repeated.

Maybe people would go back to the PC, but I think that would be recognized as a platform shift this time around.

Unlikely. The PC platform is effectively dead as a gaming platform. There are some holdouts, but there just isn't enough incentive to play games on PCs anymore. Driver issues, constant hardware upgrades, installation problems, DRM, and other headaches just don't make the minor quality difference worth it. Which is a very different situation from the 90's when computers were capable of producing expansive worlds and 3D graphics that consoles were (for the most part) unable to replicate. Now that the difference is just some minor differences in rendering quality, there is no real incentive to use the PC platform for gaming. Better to use it for web surfing and business uses. Especially when most games released today are available on both the PC and console platforms.

* When I say dump, I mean that in a fairly literal sense. $30 game cartridges were being sold for 99 cents. Retailers were willing to take the loss because they felt that there was no hope of selling the stock in time to make a profit off of the holiday season. So they freed up the shelf space for stuff that they felt they *could* sell. Like the $199 Commodore 64 and the $99 VIC-20.

Re:Not shocking.. (2, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770810)

Wow. That is some serious revisionist history. The first and biggest problem with the recounts of "The video game crash" is the redefining of a video game. A game console IS a computer. The C64 was a gaming platform. The revisionists stories always refer to the C64 as being a pull away from video games. It wasn't. It was simply the gaming platform that helped bury the Atari 2600. Saying that price drops on a next gen gaming system that lead to huge sales was what turned a recession into a full-out crash is kind of silly.

As for knock off games on the 2600 compared to today... I don't know if you saw some of the crap that has been released on the NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1, PS2, XBOX, and GameCube, but crap did not end with the 2600. (I don't own any of the current gen system so I can only speculate that they have games that are crap just like the previous generation.)

"Because of these issues, modern console makers hold absolute control over their consoles. No one creates a game for their console without express approval from the console manufacturer. In addition, the console makers produce high-quality first-party titles and seek out desirable third-party exclusives in an effort to keep consumer confidence high. This careful control of the market ensures that the market conditions of the 1980's are not repeated"

This is simply not true. In fact, prior to Atari 2600, it wasn't even considered that third party games would even exists. It was when developers from Activision left Atari to form the worlds first third party game publisher, that Atari sued, thinking that they could retain control of the platform. It was because sueing did not work in keeping a monopoly that the following systems have included technical lock-out systems. Looking at the crap that was available for virtually every system, shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that "quality" was not the reason for the monopoly practices of the system manufacturers. It also does not make sure that the market conditions of the 80 do not exist. The Pacman and ET problems certainly did not kill video games. At best they help put the 2600 out of its misery. Remember, Pitfall came out the same year as Pacman and ET on the 2600. It was the best selling game the 2600 ever had. Again. It wasn't gaming that went away. It was just a shift to the next gen system, the C64.

I'm not counting on people going back to the PC for gaming. I'm just saying that if the console systems went under, people would likely keep gaming by moving to the PC.

I also don't know what kind of computers you thought existed in 83, but 3D graphics is really a questionable claim. Yes there were things like Bards Tale and Ultima's dungeons, but the same effects had been done on the 2600. The C64 did have much better graphics and sound quality, and certainly had more storage space, but 3D graphics were not the driving force to move people off of the 2600 and on to the C64. There are also benefits to PC gaming beyond it's superior graphics. One is it's dramatically lower cost. Partly due to the fact that you already have a computer for other purposes. PC gaming is far from dead, and is unlikely to ever go away. It just doesn't draw the revenue that the consoles draw. In fact, Solitaire on windows, may be the most played video game ever.

Again, as you even note, there wasn't a crash. There was just a shift to a new platform. Maybe we should just rename "the video game crash" to "the Atari 2600 crash", as that would be far more accurate.

Re:Not shocking.. (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770234)

"I think it's actually healthier to keep the three-way competition going strong"

In video games market economics does not necessarily apply. Consider some of the best era's of video gaming were the NES and SNES era, and the snes era in terms of quality games, when PS1 came around with the CD rom, the library just moved between platforms (what was previous on Nintendo now was on playstation), if you follow the long standing game series on different systems the library and franchises just move from platform to platform. Consider games like Final fantasy 12 and FF13, that's THIRTEEN games in a single franchise that spans multiple platforms and console generations. Consider that even in the PS2 era Exclusivity was one of the primary means of dominating your opponents (PS2 gets Final fantasy, and Xbox and GC get nothing).

Gamers buy consoles for the games, so using franchises to 'ward off' competitors is a mainstay. One of the main reasons Rare was bought by Microsoft was to help take a few less hot exclusives from library of the GC.

Competition in the game industry is more of a pro vs con game, then it is as 'competition is always better'. Many games are arguably more dumbed down and mediocre due to massification of the gaming industry where glitz takes over gameplay, this is especially apparent in the MMO space.

Re:Not shocking.. (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770738)

I think you're contradicting yourself. You claim that "in video games market economics does not necessarily apply", yet you then claim that with the PS1, the library just moved between platforms. Nintendo didn't go away. So... exactly *why* did the games jump ship? Answer: the Sony PlayStation offered a more attractive platform to developers. How exactly is that not competition?

I may have a slightly different perspective on this, as I'm a developer in the games industry. Consumers don't necessarily see the entire picture, but when a console company gets extremely successful, the tendency has been to start crapping on the developers. Ultimately, this tends to diminish the quality of games produced for that console, and the only thing that keeps this in check is a competing company.

This is *exactly* what happened when Sony usurped Nintendo. It's odd to think of it now, but Nintendo was the 800lb gorilla in the market, and Sony the upstart. After all, Nintendo was synonymous with console gaming. And unfortunately, as a company, they got way too damn arrogant. This showed both in the way they treated developers AND in the lack of innovation in their hardware (refusal to abandon cartridges, overly restrictive, high licensing fees, etc). As a result, the market corrects itself, and Sony rises to the top.

Fast-forward a few years later, and Sony has monster hits with the PS one and two. At this point, they're so arrogant, they're telling *us* (third party devs) how to change our game (it was cross-platform), with the implied threat that if we don't change it, it won't get published on the PS2. And no, this wasn't just Technical Requirement Checklist compliance, it was look and feel of the game, and gameplay features. Exactly the same kind of crap Nintendo was pulling a few years ago.

You really need to take a closer look when you say that competition isn't necessarily required for the health of the video game industry (hell, competition is necessary for the health of *any* industry). The fact that you're seeing a lot of pretty slick titles (they're not all glitz over gameplay) should be a pretty good indicator. And NES era being the pinnacle of gaming? Please... I grew up on a NES (and earlier stuff). The simple fact of the matter is that gaming today is every bit as innovative as yesteryear's games, and then some.

Yes, there were some gems, but then, as today, there's a lot of crap as well, and you just have to be a bit careful in sniffing out those gems. Sure, I like popping in an old NES game (although today it's with the Wii virtual console or my DS), but after a few minutes of nostalgia, I quickly crave something a bit more substantial. And whether that's jamming with friends on Rock Band, shooting it out with Call of Duty 4 online, getting in some platforming fun with Super Mario Galaxy, or playing a quiet game of chess against my Xbox... You have to admit we have it pretty good as gamers these days.

Re:Not shocking.. (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770842)

Sony usurped nintendo because nintendo made a dire mistake (didn't understand technology), in this "competition" it was quite artificial. I should have qualified the comment "Market economics does not necessarily apply", with 'it is more complex then 'simple' economics'.

Human beings have a tendency to see their ideas in everything and backwards rationalize it, any perceived called 'improvement' as a 'force of the market', rather then 1) Supply being available from amount of time worked, oversight, error, etc, and then spin it off as 'competition' rather then simply a self-fulfilling prophecy of a) Passionate people wanting to make games 2) people willing to pay for games and 3) the improvement simply being a state of the environment one is put in and the feedback cycle it creates. i.e. you have people who need to eat, survive and earn a wage, therefore necessitating one continues to work, etc, feeding back into the cycle.

We could argue that piracy is healthy competition for the gaming industry after all they are adding value by giving customers what they want, at a price they want. See now wasn't that easy?? and I could spin it as 'piracy as competition is healthy for any industry'. After all that segment of the market is being served wonderfully and not being served very well by the gaming industry.

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees, in every object, only the traits that favor that theory. ~ Thomas Jefferson

In the case of Nintendo and PS1, it was quite obvious that N64 failed because they lost their library. Libary and Platform exclusivity was the road to #1 success, the PS1 broke down Nintendo significantly with the PS1. I wasn't meaning to make the NES era some panacea of gaming, just that there was more variety in the games and experimentation since costs were lower, as production costs go up, the range of experimentation one can do goes down.

All the sequels to previous games from the SNES era were now on PS1 by and large, where exactly was the gamer to go? It wasn't exactly competition, it was rather a migration of gamers from platform to platform to play the games they wanted to play, someone would always be there to pickup the slack as long as money was being made.

Re:Not shocking.. (0)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770722)

Xbox360 will continue to dominate PS3 because of Xbox Live
Xbox has already peaked and is on its way down. PS3 has pulled ahead in sales everywhere.

Economic Conditions (5, Insightful)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769468)

It's interesting how high sales are despite a stalled economy. Maybe it's cheaper to sit at home and play video games instead of going out, given the price of gas.

Re:Economic Conditions (4, Interesting)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769500)

interesting point. Watch as movie theater revenues plummit and game sales sky rocket. Average movie length: 2 hours. Average game length: 30-50 hours. Which is the more ecconomical entertainment medium? Games, by a long shot. Less trips to Blockbuster or the Cinemaplex means less money wasted on gas.

Re:Economic Conditions (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769532)

I always find the cost-per-unit-time argument somewhat curious. You can pick up a copy of Ulysses from a used book store for something around $2. It will keep you occupied for 40-50 hours. Yet more people will probably play GTA4 or see Indiana Jones this year than the total number of Americans who have ever read Ulysses in their lives. U. p. up. What kind of perfume does your wife use.

Re:Economic Conditions (2, Insightful)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769604)

If you don't like reading, then the cost of reading Ulysses is higher than $2.

Re:Economic Conditions (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769694)

but conversely, there are very few popular games that have no words in them.. ;P

Re:Economic Conditions (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769824)

Unless there's a new Rambo video game in the pipeline. The last movie only had two pages of dialogue.

Re:Economic Conditions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769764)

Correct... and if you don't like playing games, but like watching movies, the cost of a video game "per occupied hour" is equally meaningless.

Re:Economic Conditions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22770424)

You can seriously get through Ulysses in only 40 hours? I mean not just parse the words but actually derive some meaning from them?

Re:Economic Conditions (2, Interesting)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769848)

> Watch as movie theater revenues plummit and game sales sky rocket.

You mean, like this [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Economic Conditions (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769672)

I used to spend like £80 on a night out about 3 times a week here in the UK a few years back. Then I went back to playing Ultima Online followed by Dark Age of Camelot and suddenly my entertainment costs dropped to like £9.95 a month or whatever it was for subs, life certainly got a whole lot cheaper that's for sure ;)

£900+ a month down to £9.95 was quite the jump and I didn't even have to lose friends because I got them hooked too! ;)

Expenditure has gone back up for me nowadays as I'm playing Wii/360 games and buy about 5 a month at around £30 a peice so around £150 a month but that's still a whole lot less than in my clubbing and pubbing days. For me it wasn't the cost of fuel but the cost of beer, taxis, club entrance fees and a meat feast pizza or kebab to soak it all up before bed!

Some might call it sad that I gave up going out all the time to play games, but I found it a lot nicer not suffering hangovers, having vast amounts of savings available and still finding time amongst gaming to do productive stuff.

Re:Economic Conditions (1)

DeepZenPill (585656) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769688)

While this generation has been full of great games already, with even more on the way, you have to wonder how far this boom will go on given the dismal picture of the economy that some economists paint. The Fed just used a Depression-era rule to bail out a non-member investment bank, Bear Stearns, on Friday and just oversaw a fire sale of the bank today for $2 a share down from it's 52 week high of $159. That's a bank failure of colossal proportions and likely not the last major crisis we'll see in the financial world. The dollar is going to continue taking big hits with news like that, which combined with rising prices of fuel and food is going to take a lot of steam out of entertainment markets like video games.

Not just the price of gas (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770168)

Going out all the time isn't cheap. One of my friends got hooked on World of Warcraft and commented about how much money it had saved him. Why? Well prior to that, his normal weekend was occupied by going out to things like a movie, a bar and so on. Real easy for a single weekend to add up to $50 without doing anything extravagant. However when he started playing WoW, his typical weekend was holed up at home playing games. Despite the monthly charge, he was saving money, and not a small amount.

Re:Economic Conditions (1)

Leviance (1001065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770516)

Not to mention you get to drive way cooler (or greater variety of) vehicles in GTA4.

gas prices = training a whole new generation of delinquents.

VG's are an interesting phenomenon (0)

jasonmanley (921037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769480)

I think that it is interesting that although we are more 'connected' electronically speaking, we are chosing to spend more time isolated - physically speaking - in front of consoles in our lounges and studies. Typing messages over a keyboeard to a pseudonym we'll never meet. Yes I do know that there are gamers who have in-house organised gaming sessions - but I think that the typical player would be a - in my house - alone - type player.
And then there is the content of the games. Just like some of the more successful movies I guess, we seem to crave the idea of pain, mayhem, slaughter, rebellion etc
Sure they are challenging but I wonder if there is something deeper going on here.
I guess (nearly?) all sports are built around the same psychology (defeat, crush, destroy, out perform) it's just that more people can vent the same energy without the physical restriction.
Hmmm I wonder if other art forms would be as successful if they catered more to this spirit?
Peotry, Art, Sculpting and such

Re:VG's are an interesting phenomenon (-1, Troll)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769572)

Heavy Metal is the testosterone soaked "Action Movie" of the music industry.

Consoles are social gaming machines (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769822)

I think that it is interesting that although we are more 'connected' electronically speaking, we are chosing to spend more time isolated - physically speaking - in front of consoles in our lounges and studies.
You must be confusing consoles with PCs. It's the PCs that isolate, as their typical multiplayer scenario is one player per machine over a dormitory LAN or over the Internet. Lockout-chipped consoles, on the other hand, typically have dozens of major titles with shared-screen multiplayer. Some console titles, such as the Smash Bros. and Bomberman series, are great fun for four players.

Re:Consoles are social gaming machines (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769948)

Funny, all of my computers are sitting in the same room. In fact, the office area of my house is set up so as to allow LAN gaming very easily. No one can see anyone else's monitor, but everyone can easily communicate both verbally and visually. Shared screen multiplayer works great for stuff like Bomberman and Super Smash Brothers, but then again, those games don't require the dread split-screen.

no spore? (0)

Pvt. Cthulhu (990218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769482)

article doesnt even mention spore. from the demos i have seen, it will likely be the last game i ever play.

Re:no spore? (5, Funny)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769684)

Why? Do you plan on mangling your fingers and eyes out of boredom?

Re:no spore? (1)

Pvt. Cthulhu (990218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769732)

what? no, there will be no need for any more games. it will be that good

Re:no spore? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769742)

I plan on mangling the creature's fingers and eyes out of boredom. Well heck, if what Will's saying is true, expect the whole Spore meta-verse to be subdued by goatse guy.. oops.. I mean chickens...

Blizzard will also be dropping big games (1, Informative)

Sithdemon (1257398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769726)

With Wrath of the lich king and everyone praying Starcraft 2 comes out this year, that might over shadow alot of these big console games. Lich king especially will move big numbers, since it's just a expansion, so it's hard to screw up, and if it is, Blizzard can easily fix it, being a MMO and all. Also with "10 million players" it'll be hard not to capaitalize on even half those people. However Starcraft 2, "IF" it delivers the magic that the first one had, a few people might put down the controller and pick up that mouse and keyboard again. Sure it's a different era in the interactive media world, lots of top teir RTSs right now look much more advanced then Starcraft 2 (Compay of heroes, Supreme commander, world in conflict, Total war, and more) However as a multi player game, and blizzards balance and polish obsession the quality might outshine these other games. Lastly Blizzard tends to make the requirements EXTREMELY LOW, for the Minimum specifications, so there's a good chance most desktops and even laptops might be able to run it.

Re:Blizzard will also be dropping big games (1)

Myrcutio (1006333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770112)

I think many people are underestimating just how much demand there is for starcraft 2. Almost every gamer 10 years ago played starcraft, and most of them are older with jobs and money now. Not to mention that blizzard has NEVER made a pc game that didn't sell millions. Take a look at some of the gameplay videos for SC2 sometime, it will definately give a much needed boost to PC game sales. Oh, and don't forget Spore!

Re:Blizzard will also be dropping big games (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770172)

Lastly Blizzard tends to make the requirements EXTREMELY LOW...

Sure you used all capitals, but even that does not emphasize this point enough. Starcraft is hugely popular overseas because of this. In fact, I used to play it on a 66Mhz Mac, back in the day (with a monitor that kept dropping the R and B from RGB until you hit it enough). It played solidly, without a hitch except for garbling the audio for the cut scenes (which was actually kind of cool I thought, nothing like playing on a system that that changes to all green tints occasionally and spews slowed down gibberish between stages to get that sci-fi grunge sort of feel to come through).

block banner years (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769766)

generally speaking, I don't like banner years. This [mozilla.org] may be helpful...

Re:block banner years (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770442)

Ha-ha, I get it! It's a pun.

Good sales? Not likely with a depression around. (2, Interesting)

boomka (599257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769788)

It is very likely that economy is sliding into depression. No record sales in such environment, sorry. Wall Street has been convulsing in a crisis for 6 month now, and things are getting worse by the day. We just had one of the largest investment banks collapse on Friday [blogspot.com] . Events of such significance have not happened since the Great Depression, and don't for a second assume this will not pull the broader economy down.

Re:Good sales? Not likely with a depression around (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769860)

Yet the Republican party (especially Bush himself) is running around claiming the economy is "Fundamentally Sound." Sorry, we've heard that song and dance before, Herbert Hoover spouted the same bullshit after Black Thursday, and for the next several years http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5063/ [gmu.edu] .

It is astonishing just how fast Laissez-Faire and deregulation causes unrestrained capitalism to self destruct. We'll have gone from reasonably well-regulated, stable Social democracy with an acceptably egalitarian income distribution in 1970 (Life wasn't perfect, but it arguably better in many ways than it is now), to ground zero triggering of a full blown world economic crisis in less than 40 years.

Re:Good sales? Not likely with a depression around (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769868)

Except that games are cheap. People need entertainment, even in recessions. If money is tight, expect high prices entertainment like trips to a movie theater to go down, and spending on games where you can get hundreds of hours of entertainment for your purchase to go up.

Re:Good sales? Not likely with a depression around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22769942)

Booze and prisons also do well during economic downturns.

(Last year I put together a "disaster portfolio" of stocks to buy this year.. booze, prison operators, video games, debt collectors, consumer staples, gold, foreign currency, etc).

People gotta do something when faced with the bleak reality around them.

Movie theaters did great during the Depression for instance. Like you say, I doubt they'll do as well this time around, with so many other choices.

(I guess I should start saying "the *first* Depression" now huh?)

Re:Good sales? Not likely with a depression around (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770212)

Well that and the analysts predicting the good game year are probably using some real forecasting, rather than doomsday crap. I'm sure you've noticed by now that Slashdot, like many web forums, is inhabited by a bunch of people who are real "The world is coming to and end!" types. They look for and believe news that everything is going downhill in whatever their chosen doomsday scenario is, and the economy is not surprisingly one of them.

I'm going to guess the industry analysts are a little more grounded in reality and realise that an economic slowdown isn't the same thing is nobody having any money.

Re:Good sales? Not likely with a depression around (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770288)

Entertainment always does well in a recession/depression. Perhaps a little historical revision is due. People stop putting gas in their cars, stop paying their mortgages/rents/credit cards, stop buying clothes, but yet they still manage to find a few dollars for "escapism". It used to be Hollywood films - the box offices did quite well in the "Great Depression", but now I think you could add computer games to that category.

And yes, I'm a day trader, I follow the news, I know about the 25 basis point cut and JP Morgan buying Bear Sterns for 1/10th of what it's worth, and the 20 B "guarantee" by the fed , etc. The economy is in the shitter, and I keep making money every day. Mostly shorting stock, but sometimes I buy at the bottom too.

I sure wish I had had some TTWO before EA threatened a takeover though. $7 a share is very nice indeed. Oh well. I'll keep making my money 5 cents at a time.

Slashdot mindset (1, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769876)

The sales figures surpassed what many analysts were expecting. Game hardware sales rose 19 percent during the month to $480 million, NPD said late Thursday. Of this, the portable Nintendo DS was the best-seller with 587,600 units, followed by the Wii at 432,000. The Xbox 360 sold 254,600 units even amid supply constraints.

Going strong since its launch in 2000, Sony's PlayStation 2 continued to outpace its successor. The PS2 sold 351,800 units compared with 280,800 for the PS3.
It's so funny to read the comments on here sometimes. How do so many people miss that the two best selling platforms, by far, are the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii? Even the Playstation 2 is outselling the XBox 360 and PS3!

I'm sure the next GTA will be a popular game, as will Metal Gear. But c'mon, the 360 and PS3 aren't driving this train - and it's not even close.

Re:Slashdot mindset (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22769984)

"How do so many people miss that the two best selling platforms, by far, are the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii?" So what? In South Korea there were 800 000 NDS lite consoles sold, and only 500 000 games in the first year. That's because of flashcarts like the R4DS etc, plus don't forget that the relatively few games that are sold are much cheaper than xbox 360 or ps3 games..

Re:Slashdot mindset (2, Interesting)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770564)

So...

Games on the Wii and DS cost significantly less to develop. They have a larger user base than the PS3 and 360, so publishers make back their investment faster. And it's a sad truth, but shovelware, which is quite abundant on the WIi right now -- because of its huge popularity -- generally earns more money for the publisher than higher budget games. The Wii is basically on track to replace the PS2 -- the current shovelware king -- in this area.

I have a R4DS, but I still buy DS games -- I use it for SCummVM/Hombrew. Here in the states -- the biggest game market -- flash carts owners are a minority. Most households won't know where buy one, know how to use one, let alone be able to find "pirated" games for it.

The Wii and DS are decimating the 360 and PS3. Developers are jumping ship to the Wii,since overall sells for the PS3 and 360 aren't good enough. MS's 360 isn't even doing as well as its original Xbox, which had sold more units in the same period of time.

<]=)

Re:Slashdot mindset (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22771058)

Significantly less to develop? Care to back that up? I would say *marginally* less - the level of content required is the same, the level of code support also... SDKs also cost an arm and leg... Licensing fees are comparable to industry averages. You might get away with a bit less cost since you don't have to care about purty graphics so much, but I don't think it's really THAT much cheaper. We know that game dev costs are going up, and this is true for all consoles.

Here in the states -- the biggest game market -- flash carts owners are a minority.

Hee. Maybe because I'm a young 20-something, but EVERY SINGLE PERSON I know with a DS has a flash cart. The problem is so serious that Nintendo has actively gone after R4 - not even Sony targeted a single modchip in their quest to stop pirates.

The Wii and DS are decimating the 360 and PS3.

Again, hee. In terms of hardware sales the Wii and DS are owning the hell out of 360/PS3, but in terms of software sales it doesn't even come close. Developers are still on the 360/PS3 train because the attach rates ($ spent on games per console) is MUCH higher on the 360/PS3 than it is on the Wii. People buy the Wii, play Wii Sports, and basically nothing else. Now that we have Brawl we might see some adoption on that - but the vast majority of Wii owners I know have maybe 2-3 games they play... As compared to the average PS3/360 owner, who has a shelf full.

What the 360/PS3 lack in user base, they MORE than make up for in the fact that hardcore gamers spend MANY times more money on games and accessories than casual gamers.

Re:Slashdot mindset (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770004)

Why are consoles the only thing that count? I don't even have a console, but I dropped $40 for CNC3. Red Alert 3 is supposed to be coming out this year, and it looks awesome. Won't that generate a lot of sales? Are PC games really such a minority?

Re:Slashdot mindset (1)

peskypescado (869865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770534)

They focus on the Xbox 360 and the PS3 because they account for so much revenue. According to NPD the Xbox 360 had six out of the top ten selling games last month. Also according to NPD, 60% of all console game revenues have been spent on the Xbox 360 since it launched. Who cares (in the business world) if people are buying PS2s now and only buy used games? The PS2 isn't driving anything. It doesn't even have a single game in the top ten for the last year. In the end, console gaming is about selling games, and the attach rate on the PS2 is ridiculous.

Re:Slashdot mindset (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770630)

Because of the higher development cost, publishers/developers need to sell way more units on the 360 and PS3, than they do on the Wii, in order to see a profit.

From what I've read, it takes about 165,000 units for a dev to make a profit on a Wii game, where as it takes 500,000 on the PS3/360 before they sees a return.

<]=)

Re:Slashdot mindset (2, Interesting)

denton420 (1235028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770690)

What you have said is true. I feel that it is important to note that this signals an important shift in the gaming industry that is happening faster than ever. These numbers support the fact that gaming is heading more towards the mainstream market (As it has been doing since its inception, has it not?) where price is king and most video game purchases are made at wal-mart by people who dont know what a polygon is or what quality textures add to a game. It is nice to see the masses making video games a little bit less nerdy one step at a time!

Blood sports (-1, Troll)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770268)

Video games have become blood sports. In a society that decries the carnage of a bull ring, the hunting of a whale or the clubbing of a baby seal, children are encouraged to play "Grand Theft Auto", "Super Smash Bros" and some kind of "Brawl". In fact, grown people are told that these titles will be a big force in gaming in 2008 and everyone proceeds to debate not the content, but the relative chance of success of these titles.

It is like we are talking about which grenade or anti-personnel mine will help drive the arms industry, without stopping to consider if we should be talking with such enthusiasm about weapons designed to end lives. What on Earth are we doing, encouraging people to play such games? I don't get, yet I've played all kinds of games for 45+ years of my life.

Answer: "Grand Theft Auto".
Question: What are three words to describe a major crime, Alex.

I typed "What is Grand Theft Auto?" [google.com] into Google and the original meaning of this criminal act was nowhere to be found. But I did learn that there is a video involving both GTA and LEGO [youtube.com] that I'm sure parents will be thrilled to watch with their kids.

How did this transference of violence from one unacceptable form to another get legitimized? What happened to hand-eye coordination? Solving a puzzle. Juggling. Dribbling. Passing. It is not that these things can't be achieved in video, console or wii-style games. It is that they aren't encouraged at any level. Why? When did we turn our minds off to video game butchery?

Oh well, at least I can count on the group think to vote as one on my post.

Re:Blood sports (3, Informative)

RichardX (457979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770584)

Oh please.
I'm a grade-A long-haired sandal-wearing granola-eating pacifist hippy, and even I don't think you have a leg to stand on here.
GTA is not presently, nor ever has been marketed at children. The video you linked to was made and uploaded by Joe Random and has nothing official whatsoever to do with GTA or Lego. I suspect that the uploader of that video is more likely to be sued than endorsed by the respective owners of the properties involved.

What happened to hand eye coordination? As far as I can see it's alive and well and making record profits on the Wii.

What happened to puzzle games? Not sure.. perhaps they've undergone something of a record resurgence of late, with web based 'casual games' for the PC, various offerings on Xbox Live, and the usual 'classic game' compilations for all major consoles, not to mention the DS and titles like Puzzle Quest..

As for dribbling and passing.. I'm not much of one for sports games myself, but unless basketball and football have changed very dramatically since last I checked then I'm pretty sure those are still available in whatever the latest seasonal update to the big sports franchises is (is the FIFA series even still going?). In fact, I hear there's also some kind of crazy high tech virtual reality system where you can go to a store, buy a REAL ball, and pass or dribble it outside with your friends - and it doesn't even need a network connection!

When did we turn our minds off to videogame butchery? You're a bit late getting on this bandwagon my friend. Apparently you totally missed Mortal Kombat, Bloodstorm, Robocop*, Hitman, Carmageddon, all of the previous GTA games, and a million other titles which temporarily escape my mind.

There's a simple solution to this - if you don't like the games, don't play them. And if you're letting underage kids play games like GTA then you're downright irresponsible.

I don't mean to sound all smug and glib about this, even though I know I probably do sound that way. Personally I have a similar issue with movies - I find the torture-porn genre which has become so popular of late (Saw, Hostel, Captivity, etc) to be utterly repulsive on just about every possible level. I can't understand for the life of me why anyone would want to watch movies like that, let alone make them.. but at the same time I wouldn't try and take away other people's right to watch that kind of thing if that's what they're into, so long as they're mentally capable of dealing with it in a mature way (i.e. they're an adult, for one thing)

*Yes, the Robocop game (from the 8/16 bit days) caused a minor storm, in the UK at least. "The movie is 18-rated! How dare you let children play this!", the daily mail readers screamed...

Re:Blood sports (1)

PopeGumby (1125507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770618)

Why? When did we turn our minds off to video game butchery?

When we decided butchery was more entertaining and exciting than solving puzzles? When we decided that our leisure time would be better spent fulfilling inner fantasies rather than solving puzzles?

green screen (0, Offtopic)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770320)

I think what the video game industry needs right now is to reintroduce the text adventure game, a la ADVENT. I really think that this is what serious gamers, with overclocked machines, huge CPU fans, high end graphics cards, and all kinds of other nonsense hardware, want. In green text on a black background, like in the good ol' days.

Starcraft 2 (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22770470)

As former posters mentioned, lets not forget the vapochill powered pc platform. Starcraft 2 screen shots are brining back some good feelings...
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