Monday, November 02, 2009

Neither up nor down?

I must really ask if the next gen, you know, the one takes us by the hand for a psychotic trip into the few-ture, full of high tech gadgetery and flashing gimmicks, is really worth it.

The industry has been rushing forward relentlessly, perhaps even headlessly if I may say, and this breathtaking ride has more to do with a bunch of savant monkeys reckless "manning" a ten tons lorry down a motorway in works than with the elegant battle of formula-one sports cars using the highest technology available to squeeze every bit of speed out of their powerful engines and lustrous hulls (this, being the ideal we're supposed to believe in).

I read this today:

Sony’s games division has reportedly suffered almost $5 billion in losses since the company launched the PS3 in November 2006.
According to VG247, figures from Sony’s investor relations website show that total PlayStation division losses since the console’s release stand at $4.7 billion.

In comparison, the site claims that Microsoft’s Xbox division suffered losses of $4.2 billion in the four business years following the original Xbox’s November 2001 launch.

Oh well, only that. Billions. Mind you, this is nothing new, but it still takes its toll on the sane mind, to think of such amounts. Smells like someone's been playing with Daddy's money at the big casino.
Microsoft patiently waited at least four years to start getting something positive out of their new machine. Which certainly means, in all logic, that we're not going to see any new console anytime soon.
But we'll obviously be served with a gazillion Halo games until we ALL succumb to the Master Chief wallpaper craze.

Only Nintendo and their cheap plasticky gimmick sells like hot cakes.
And the PSP is beating it.
The PSP, aka the PS2 in Urz pockets. The PS2 and its fantastic God of Wars series, and portable Monster Hunter hits.

Next gen consoles take around half a decade to start scoring true gains... only to fill the $ billions wide holes first.
Next gen games takes years to develop, drain the life out of worker armadas, cost tens of millions, if not some hundred now... and are completed in less than a day or two.

Yet, when you look at the core of the engines of such games, the difference is truly minimal.
Essentially, a multiplayer made out of ODST would hardly play any differently than Quake World (it would actually suck in comparison :p ).
There is no doubt in my mind that there's a need for a new business model.

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