I’ve been thinking about the current state of the video games industry for a little while now. I’d already come to the conclusion that the current console generation has been holding the graphical fidelity of video games back. I couldn’t even imagine trying to make video games for seven year old computers, so why would I make games for other forms of seven year old tech?
I was watching videos of some of the more current games, such as Halo 4. I saw some very clever design decisions, like making the characters gun take half the screen so as not to have to render as much of the game world and thus allowing higher fidelity graphics. Very clever indeed. Most of the console gamers I’ve talked to haven’t even noticed it or don’t seem to have any problems with it, and neither do I, to tell you the truth. I’ve seen all the ways that consoles have tried to stay in the light as a viable way to play video games, and I cannot deny how powerful it is to be able to sit on a couch and play video games. However, I also see the gimmicks that MS, Sony, and Nintendo have come up with to try and stay profitable. They’re almost the same gimmicks we saw when the arcades were dying. Weird interfaces that you could only get by going to the arcade.
I’m sure you can remember these things, or something like them. They’re trying to sell an experience that you just can’t get anywhere else. I see the same pattern in the consoles now. Sony’s move, MS’s Kinect, and Nintendo’s Wii and WiiU.
I’m not saying that they are going anywhere soon, but at their current state, they are headed out the door. In their place is probably going to be platforms that are more open-minded about new business models and indie games in general. MS has done a pretty good job with their indie game market, but it’s very restricted in terms of what business model each game has. You want a free to play model on 360? Forget about it. I’m not wishing that consoles disappear, on the contrary. I think that AAA games are the biggest and fastest way to advance the gaming industry from a tech standpoint and also from a social acceptance standpoint. I don’t think that we’ll see any indie companies come out with any hardware that will be able to compete with modern PCs for any reasonable price. I also think that the AAA market has helped the game industry to gain some validity within society. Gaming certainly is not some fringe thing anymore, and I don’t think it has been for quite some time. I think a lot of that has to do with the AAA market and the publicity that consoles have given to video games.
On a side note, I’m really disappointed by what I’ve heard and seen of the new consoles.
The idea of the blog is to get you to think about the topics and try to come up with your own opinions. So, do you think I’m right? What do you think of the next gen consoles?
I’ll keep working on this blog, trying to get the post size down a bit and trying to improve the general readability of the blog. I’m going to try and post more often. How often I don’t really know at the moment. If you follow me, you’ll be notified of my next post.