Console exclusivity is…

Exclusivity in video games is polarising matter to handle. It might be strange to find out that while I am all for the customer always, I am a solid supporter of exclusivity when it comes to video games. As such, this is one of those rarer posts where I will voice a clear statement that is mine, rather than from a point of view that I might or might not agree with.

 A common argument why most, if not all, video games should be available on all platforms is that this would enable the customer to choose whatever platform he prefers and purchase those games for it. It sounds really good argument and tickles the hardcore crowd’s funny bone in their lower backs. A general customer would then ask Then what would be the point of having multiple machines?

That’s a question that thickens the plot and makes the spider spin its web. Why DO we have all these consoles? After all, the machine’s purpose it to run the game, and the machine shouldn’t matter, right? If all games would be released on all consoles, shouldn’t that increase the competition? Or if we just had one console, shouldn’t that increase the competition too?

Well, the very reason we have multiple consoles is that we would have different companies running their machines in our houses over the other. At the moment we have three competing machines, two of which are basically the same shit in a different package and then one that has a screen on its controller. On the handheld side we have a machine that’s barely successful and then one that repeated every fault its predecessor had and added new ones. In contrast to this, on the fourth generation of video games we had around nine consoles running against each other and at least three handhelds and buttloads of Tiger Electronics games.  And fourth generation of video games was insanely successful and popular in contrast what we have nowadays.

And all those consoles had large amounts of exclusive games and nobody complained.

As the Neo HD-Twins are the same shit with different package, the devs are having perhaps the easiest time of porting games from those to PC or back. Wii U is the only machine that they’re having trouble with, but according to an article it’s mostly because Nintendo themselves screwed a lot of things up with their devkits and helpdesk organization. Thus, Wii U will see lesser amount of stuff than its competitors. Then you add the cost of HD development, which again went up with the generation shift.

I don’t want game developers to have easy time. Their work is already relatively easy, as all they do is sit inside in front of their computers and type shit down while they chat and drink coffee. Most of them barely want to do the math how to take all they can out of a system anymore, and just want the best and most powerful machine out there so they can go all wild and not care how well their game is formed up. This might be shocking to hear, but I’d love to see games made with care, with high level of coding and so that it wouldn’t take three to six years. We’re barely getting a new real Zelda games twice a decade now, and we haven’t seen a well made 2D Super Mario game since Super Mario World. In hindsight, New Super Mario Bros. got a freepass because it was the first 2D Mario game in a long time. Now that Nintendo has milked half-assed 2D Mario to death, they’ve been forcing 3D game elements into 2D Mario and its failing.

A successful company is for the customers’ best. A successful company that has tough competition is better for the customer. A successful company that has successful competitors need to put our good amount of high quality products and hit the Blue Ocean market in order to eclipse their competitors, and this is good for the customer.

What I mean by this that the current situation is all kinds of wrong when you look at it properly. We’re seeing the exact same games repeated in slightly different forms, or in Fifa’s case just with a skinjob. Just as the Neo HD-Twins are same shit, their games to a large extent are the same with a different package. While there would be nothing wrong in having the same game on all machines, it does take out the uniqueness of each released game. Say you have ten games released on three different system. You’re basically left one unique game in that set of ten, because three games would be on three systems, effectively making you have either three to four games depending on the system of your choice. The competition is screwed, and even more so if that one game is for a whole other platform from the three others. On the other hand, the devs could make one of those games a multiplatform game, and the rest would be unique standalone titles. We would see seven different games that wouldn’t only compete with each other, but would also compete with the platforms. We would see a thing called variety.

When you have a large amount of variety aimed in different parts of the Blue Ocean with the aim of making the possible product, magic starts to happen.

The most successful console has the most games. Most of these games are also exclusive to this console. When it was said that the NES had the best games, it was true. It saw the most sales, and numbers don’t lie or change. People lie and change, and are prone to be biased. While quantity does not mean quality, there is a higher chance of having quality products in high quantity set than in small quantity set.

When you start thinning out all the multiplatform releases from the last generation, the overall amount of single games released starts to look a bit strange. A multiplatform game barely matters; it doesn’t sell consoles. However, games that sell consoles matter always, and the most games that move console sales are exclusives.

There are also sad sides on exclusivity, such as that it creates fanboys. The common customer doesn’t actually give a damn if they’re playing a Nintendo or Microsoft, all they care for if they have games they’re interested in. It’s the small hardcore crowd that cares if they have a certain console over another. I can completely understand the existence of Nintendo’s fanbase, as they’re basically the only hardware and software manufacturer nowadays, but seeing that most SONY and Microsoft fans always put multiplatform gaming on a pedestal and compare the exact same product side-by-side to see the minuscule differences, I don’t understand why these two would even have an issue with each other? Most of their competition doesn’t even come from the games, but from the company producing the machines. At least during the 8-bit and 16-bit Console Wars we used to compare games against each other.

There’s also the interesting point, that while the hardcore and the rest of the industry just laughs at Nintendo, they can’t help but say how much they’d love to play their games. In comparison, very rarely does Nintendo owners have a feel to play games on other consoles because they had ports of games or other games that filled the same niche.

And that where it all actually lies; by having these companies creating different games for different platforms, even within same genre, there would be competition to outwit the other. Even better if this would happen inside the developing companies too.

And when companies compete with each other, and with themselves internally, that can be highly beneficial to the customer.

Sadly, the game business is warped nowadays, and not just because of Neo HD-Twins being completely dumbed down PCs rather than game consoles and the hardcore crowd driving the industry further down, and the industry actually listens to these Red Ocean  people rather hitting the Blue Ocean with all their might and making money. Of course, the macro-economic situation doesn’t help in this either.

As such, I stand on the side that wants to see more different games populating the console libraries rather see the same games populating all the consoles. The customer would have much wider selection to choose from, as well as more reasons to pick one console over the other. As such, the customer would have the option to pick from multiple games rather than just one on many platforms. And naturally, this would also be good for the console business.

Music of the Month; Ritmica Ostinata

This December we’ll avoid using the Christmas-y music I’ve been aiming here and there a we return to something more brassy; Akira Ifukube’s Ritmica Ostinata.

The last few months have been rocky to say the least. There was a lot of… mishaps first of all with increasing amounts of deadlines, and then my main desktop broke down, forcing me to get a whole rig that has been running pretty decently for a time now. There was also a death in the family, which kind of forced me to stop everything I had planned, thus pushing planned things back as well as just dropping some altogether due to all the lost time.

Nevertheless, I was lucky enough to get my editor run the blog for the time I needed to get things sorted out. Not all the plans are abandoned, their timings have just been thrown out of the window. That’s life to you.

There’s going to be few things left for me to do outside the Internet that are keeping me busier than I’d like to be, which means that some weeks may see a post break. Then there’s this small thing that yours truly is going to Scotland in mid-January to study industrial design for around a half year, so updates will get somewhat uncommon. I intend to find another person to keep this site up with me, so the flow won’t be cut too much. However, just like with everything, there are obstacles in this, mostly in that finding the right person is insanely hard.

Have you noticed how similar the Xbone and PS4 ultimately look like? They both are split into and share sort of chocolate piece look, and their main colour is black out of all. Without their few details, they’d just be black blocks of plastic. They look decent, because they really don’t look like anything.  The NES was made to look like the entertainment electronics of the time, namely a VCR deck. The MegaDrive, SNES, Saturn and bunch of other consoles do not really look like run-of-the-mill appliances, which asks the question if modern game console design has gone insanely bland because nothing is designed to have shapes any more? Of course, the 00’s and by extension, the 10’s have been very sleek, no-nonsense looks and surfaces, a thing that Apple started.  I can’t say that I personally like it, as that kind of design is rather easy to do. iPhone’s design is pretty… well, the design it has is there to justify the phone looks. That’s it. So, does the same apply to Xbone and PS4?

No, because the question is unanswerable. We know what kind of basic design a phone should have in that it needs to sit well in your hand, is able to capture your voice clearly near your mouth and have a speaker you to hear from. That dictates the core design quite a lot, unless you want to be an asshole and make a three part phone. What kind of design is necessary for a game console, or any media device?  First of all, it needs to accept the media it’s designed around, like SD cards, USB sticks, discs or cartridges. Then you have the controller, which might or might not be a separate entity from the package, ie. cordless.

I was asked What are designers needed for? recently, and the question I provided was Designers are there to fulfil your needs.

A  designer is there to take a look how something works, observe its use, and then make it work better, faster, stronger, better. It would be a selfish thing just to do whatever you want, designer whatever you want, to whomever you want, whenever you want and disregard the reason a designer as a field exists.

As such, the answer how a game console should look is dictated by its function and use, and this is why game consoles, other entertainment machines and most household appliances are hard to design; if they don’t work as intended because of the design, they’re badly designed. I’m not talking about the looks here, but also about the functions; how well a machine vents air, how the casing shells the inside mechanisms and takes impacts and how well all of it comes together as a whole piece. Both SONY and Microsoft have been failing with their console design for some time now, and it’s because they haven’t paid attention to design of their products. The looks should come naturally from the core design, but I’m afraid that too many times the process if backwards, where the design and design come from separate origin. We can have design, but we don’t need design.

These two designs are two separate things that share the same name. The first one is what I answered, the one that dictates all and everything, and then we have the second, which is people splattering stuff somewhere in order of aesthetics and good looks. We call people who use the second design as artists for good reasons and only the Lord knows why they’re in a field where they are doing more disservice than anything else.

I’m just saying that the people who design the consoles have exactly one job, and there’s no defending the fact that they failed when a machine breaks down.

Now how did Microsoft manage to put millions of dollars into the development of the Xbone controller? I have no idea, but all they had to do was to fix the D-Pad and they would have been ready to go. Ergonomics is a well researched field, and human hands haven’t manage to evolve into a new shape within a decade, so fixing what wasn’t broken seems to be the wrong thing to do. Then again, Microsoft is seeking to gain more profits from keeping you re-using any 360 gadgets with the Xbone. Sometimes it just seems they’re making new shit up just to justify the existence of any design department in any corporation.

Technical burnouts

I have to wonder what has been going on in the Microsoft and SONY research and development laboratories during the days when both Xbone and PS4 were under development. Both of these consoles have been gaining far too much negative press on the systems’ faults rather than on the games. What sort of engineers and designers are proud of a machine that is too delicate?

It’s a good thing that both of the companies have admitted the problems with their consoles, but that’s too late now. The damage has already been done. The negative press is out there, and a well informed customer will steer far away from the launch consoles for some time now.

However, we live in the era of the Internet, where even the faintest fart in Sahara desert will be reported as a massive methane explosion in the middle of nothing.

All the reported breakdowns of Xbones and PS4s are a small number of all the sold units. That’s a fact, but it is also a fact that as these small number of units are faulty, there is a possibility that units produced with same components in same batch can have the same breakdowns. The only really reliable way to know if any of the problems with these consoles are common is to check if there’s more than one in your friend circle.

The PlayStation was a faulty console en masse as it used to cook the laser, and pretty much all of my friends fixed it by turning the machine upside down. The revision of the PS1 fixed practically all of the issues with the console, and is build a bit more sturdier too, except the lid that was built to break after the first two times you insert a disc in it. I’ve seen original PlayStations scratching the game discs too, which just prompted my friends to buy pirated games from Russia even more, as you could get something like ten games for twenty marks. That’s around ten games for four euros, and they just bought new games like that because the machine kept eating old discs.

The  360’s Red Ring of Death was also a major issue, as one popped up in the middle of a game session years back. When you have three friends cursing the 360 for the same reason, there’s an issue. Personally, I never had my second-hand 360 die on me, but then again I did change the fan to a more powerful one and tinkered with its insides to prevent any problems with overheating. PS2 units also had a lot of troubles from what I’ve heard and read on the news, but I have seen none die personally. Then again, it was commonly reported that watching DVDs on your consoles would consume the laser faster, but who would want to watch their movies on a console anyway? That’s why you have either a PC or DVD/BD player.

Then again, I do admit that I watched one disc of Raijin-Oh on my Wii.

There’s also the problem that people were expecting these mechanical faults and jumped on them as soon as possible. Microsoft already admitted the disc drive problems and SONY blamed on the console faults as shipping damage, I have to question how these machines are built. The 360 had an awful quality control, a thing an electronics producer should never overlook, and now there’s been two instances of the magic smoke that makes electronics running has escaped Xbones. Whether or not this smoke issue is true is an open question, as mentioned in the forum.

What causes these problems is pretty rarely mishandling, but the way the physical console is designed. For example, the Xbone seems to drain so much power, that its power brick has its own damn fan. Everybody hates the separate power brick, especially now that Microsoft seems to have moved towards their own locked-design power cords, that just have an extra nudge to prevent you from using any other power cord than Microsoft’s own. Which is bullshit. Apple has done the same thing with their products, and it’s just as bullshit.

There’s a problem with modern consoles… well, modern is loosely applied here, as even some of the machines from the 90’s apply here as well, but the problem is that in increasing amounts these machines are designed for ideal use and environment. You can’t put anything on top of them any more, they barely can withstand one nudge and the goddamn piano black surface will get scratched to hell the moment the machine is out of the box.

Let’s be straight here for a moment; game consoles are consumer products that exist there to be used in a normal family environment. They are bound to get hits, bumps, moved around when they’re on and the occasional fall due to children and adults alike. A basement dwelling hermit that barely goes outside is not a proper comparison point. If these machines are deigned to exist in an environment that barely exists and asks the consumer to treat them like newborn babies, that’s a completely idiotic way to design anything. Design your machine to last and work for a long time, and the customers will like it more. A satisfied customer is good press, and a returning customer to boot.

GameCube wasn’t the best console out there, but it could take a sledgehammer to its side and play games. It could be dropped from few meters to a concrete floor, and it would still boot up and most likely play games just fine. It was build to last, much like the GameBoy, which could survive a bombing during the Gulf War. Nowadays you close your 3DS and it scratches the upper screen by itself. The Wii was reasonably well built too, surviving pretty bad drops and still be completely fine.

And now you’re thinking that Nobody treats their machines like that. It’s not about how they’re treated, it’s how a normal family life is. If these companies really want to sell their product to everybody, the machines need to withstand daily life. If not, then they can keep selling to the hardcore nerds and their small market, and finally wither away.

I can’t even buy a PC game from a store without it forcing me to subscribe to Steam. That’s just bad design all around.

Microsoft has been changing their Xbone policies a lot.

Ever since Microsoft was laughed at by pretty much everybody in and out the game industry, they’ve been periodically changing their policies with Xbone. It’s a very positive thing to see Microsoft taking in all the flak and reassessing their position with the console. They’ve had so much negative press since the E3 that it would have been a sort of miracle if they had stayed with their initial plans rather than taking a different approach.

Now Microsoft has made another good step, which emulates SONY’s policies, which dictate that the console is free of region locking. Free region home consoles are becoming a standard, which is a definitive welcome change in the overall scenario. Now if the rest of them could be free of region limits outside the account the user is tied to.

SONY has been rather good example on their account system, where the user is able to open an account to any region store where he wants. There’s some gray area what needs to be to fully utilise them, but that’s something that hasn’t been hurting anyone and mostly has brought more profits to SONY and its partners.

While Nintendo was initially somewhat a forerunner with the whole ‘net connectivity with the Famicom, they’ve been far behind how the current world functions. There should be no restrictions why I shouldn’t have the option to have one account that works on all Nintendo systems that have the ability to function with their current Virtual Console or whatever it’s called now.

Microsoft has been rather humble while still trying to lift their image. Still, what we’re hearing from the is just about the console, what it does, what doesn’t need to be attached to it in order to function and so on. Mostly we’ve heard stuff that isn’t really relevant for an actual game console to have to function, and no region locking is actually the first news that has some level of impact on what people will play on the console. Now, Xbone has larger library of games, if you’re willing to import.

Nowadays importing has become just as easy as any Internet purchasing. I’ve have no idea how customs are handled in various other countries, but locally it’s as simple as getting a letter, which states that the customs officials have taken package until the customs are payed. From their website you fill in a form and pay the customs according to the form and the package is released. Even after customs most games will be cheaper to import form outside Europe rather than buy them locally, which is pretty sad when you think about it. Back in 1997 importing was hard. You had to know certain people who knew certain people, or had an access to a random import service. I have no real recollection if ’97 saw an Internet shop that was willing to ship abroad from US, but I think there was at least one. Back then some of the prices were about as much inflated as the worst eBay prices.

Microsoft also took out the compulsory Internet connection a while ago, which makes the machine itself rather import friendly as well. It’s sad to think that home consoles are doing better on the region free front rather than the hand held consoles.

What region free consoles gives to the customer is power to decide over their purchase in more free way. With the Internet there are no boundaries where or how you can get your item, whatever it may be. Only legislation stands in your way. Only electronics seem to have bullshit limitations why you shouldn’t be able to use them in any given region. GameBoy didn’t have region, as you could buy any game from any region during holidays and play it on your machine.

As region free console allows the consumer more freedom on choice on his purchases, this also means a slight paradigm shift how the company has to approach their systems. SONY’s account based system is a good middle ground, but it’s unfortunate to see that they still enforce use of PSN Cards, as an European credit card can’t purchase US/JPN games those regions. This is somewhat comical, as I’ve been able to buy Japanese Virtual Console game with my European console. Is the system intended to work like that? No, but at least it works and they’re getting my money for the product I want to purchase.

It’s damn weird that the user has to cheat the company in order to purchase their product in more legit way.

With region locked consoles and games the companies have been established that the software won’t work within certain region, which on the other most likely has lessened number of complaints and similar contacts. I know one person who called local SONY branch and complained that his game didn’t work on the PlayStation he bought from a ship validated by them. Turned out the had bought the game from Russia. General source of complaints from older times would have been picture being a mess due to wrong signal, black-and-white screen and with machines their power overloading due to different output from the wall socket. That’s why we have power bricks and socket adapters. This is also why I’d rather see hand held consoles using real batteries, and you wouldn’t be tied down to a rechargeable battery. Unfortunately, the 3DS and Vita consume way too much power for any sensible use of AA-batteries in them.

Honestly speaking, there’s very little chances that we’re ever going to see completely region free console, if it has an Internet based service. This is because of various business contracts with distributors between regions varies widely between regions. Then you have the in-game license issues, which actually prevent some of the older games being released on modern consoles… like Mega Man Legends 1 and 2. And that’s mostly because CAPCOM refuses to pay money to get more money.

However, you wouldn’t find me complaining much if the future consoles and their account systems would have similar loopholes as PSN.

Well, it’s a good thing that Xbone is region free, as it’s a glimpse of sanity in a place which wants to see what you’re doing all the time.

Whoa, Microsoft just popped its head out from their ass

Sometimes companies do listen to the customers, but this is something I never expected. Microsoft actually listened to the customer critique on Xbox One’s functions such as needed Internet connection and locking games to one account. They actually changed their policies.

It’s mindbogglingly laughable and admirable really. It’s a step to the right direction on Microsoft’s part. This is what they should do ; listen more to their customers more often. After the brutal feedback that Windows 8 got, as Microsoft reworked many elements of it for Windows 8.1. It’s still piece of shit even after that, but at least now it’s slightly less so. Nevertheless, one still has to question why did Microsoft ever think these policies they’ve backed down on were a good idea? Who the hell ever thought they were good idea in the first place? Well, at least everybody’s happy to see these changes… except few people.

Kyle Wagner is stupid. I’m astonished that this person is even writing on Giz- oh wait, video game journalism. Pretty much all of his complaints have no basis. I’m laughing at his idea of publishers reselling digital games at some sort of hubs. That’s like saying Steam would begin to allow its users to sell their games to other Steam users like the EU courts are demanding. It just won’t happen. New games wouldn’t be cheaper either.

This person doesn’t understand that the industry is going down (all industries are going down) and games won’t get cheaper because the industry refuses to drop the AAA hardcore titles that drain money like no end. Add huge marketing campaigns, paid reviewers, long development times and that added extra 150% of the wholesale price (which is +50% of the production costs) and you end up games with high price. Publishers are not losing money on used games sales; they’re losing money because their games suck. People want to buy their games used because they do not want to pay full price for a game that is both low in quality and expensive. Thus people expect price drops or buy the game used. And nobody wants end of discs. Physical media is not going to go anywhere, much less from anything Xbone does. Digital form of products is still less than what physical media sells. Wagner also seems to think that it’s hard to loan your game disc to a friend is hard. It’s only hard when you have no friends.

But seriously, there’s no basis on Wagner’s complaints. He wanted Xbone to be hardcore game console, and now we’re getting a better one instead. We already have a Steam console, both in digital form and the upcoming physical form, and Microsoft shouldn’t follow in its wake. Microsoft should see why Atari survived in the late 70’s and why the industry crashed the second time in the 80’s. They should investigate why Nintendo managed to revive a dead industry with the NES and why the Wii and DS made money more than anything else. Xbone’s now taking a course for the better, but dear lord it still has problems, like the ever watching Kinect. That’s illegal in certain nations, y’know. Invasion of privacy is no laughing matter.

Even discarding all of Wagner’s hardcore gamer rants, the core reason why Microsoft did was because they listened. Microsoft was devastated by SONY’s presentation at E3. Thus, they did what they should have done in the first place; look at what customers want and what they don’t want, and then continuing from there. It’s like Microsoft almost grasped on the concept of giving your customers what they are looking for and fulfilling their needs.

Seeing that this change has received highly positive reception within a day, it’s somewhat safe to assume that there was more people for the change than against it. The vision what people seem to think the overblown limitations represented never was there. It wasn’t about moving away from physical markets or allowing your friend to loan the game virtually. No, it was just to limit the customer even further down and to tie him down to a chair. Now hardcore people seemed to love the idea of being tied to a chair by a big black box while recording everything they do, but now at least we have the freedom to move outside the room even if the big black box still records everything.

The Xbone has similarities with Steam, and these changes are actually step away from it. That’s good. If we are to have multiple game consoles, then they might as well be different from each other in overall appearance and through the interface, but the core functions and what they allow us to do should be rather universal, as it’s the games that run the show. This is where Microsoft needs to step up again and listen to their customers. Ryse was just bad and the Drivatar, while nifty idea, got an apt comment from an automobile enthusiast I know; Now why the hell would I ever need to drive against me or my friends? Why should I make the game drive itself? Now that I think of it for a second, the Drivetar sounds neat, but if it makes the game play itself, then we’re back to the black 90’s FMV-hell, except with prettier graphics.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Microsoft will be doing something else to improve their console design. In the meantime enjoy the Midsummer night festival this weekend.

It does everything else except what you want

I thought I would have no reason to type anything about Xbox One, but I need to get it out of my systems.

Xbox One is a travesty even before it has been released.

Xbone is the anti-game machine. It is designed to be the multimedia centre of your home. It is designed to play music, video, movies, TV and then perhaps add some games in there. Xbone is not a game console. It has more in-common with Apple computers than game consoles with its way of thinking. It is hatred against games personified.

I want to know what Microsoft’s execs where thinking while designing this console’s functions. First of all, Xbone’s constant surveillance on the customer is unethical. It is practically invading one’s own privacy. No wonder there have been some reports that it has been deemed illegal in certain countries. Of course, many theories have already been thrown out why such a function exists, and some of them are probable. Data mining is one, as Microsoft is clearly very keen on making money on everything else but video games. That’s a huge problem.

I’m sure you’ve already read what Xbone does in general outside games, and all these bits are a symptoms of the larger problem within the industry; video game industry absolutely hates making money on games. They want to remove competition from every area where possible, they only want to compete with Hollywood styled million dollar games that take friggin’ five to seven years to finish and with staff that has more useless people working on the games than cheap whores have crabs. The question they need to ask is why they aren’t getting their money back from their games. The answer is simple; the customers refuse to pay for shit. Why do the developers expect you to pay for a product that has been under work for far too long, is far too short and lets you down? We have abundance of games already on the table for us to pay for through companies’ own services, through XBLA, PSN and Virtual Console, not to mention GoG and STEAM. All these current games are directly in competition with older games that are actually making money. That’s just the digital downloads. Now Microsoft wants to remove GameStop styled stores from the equation, and now you’re supposed to pay money for used games.

And that, dear readers, is stupid. 

If a company notices that their current product is making less money than products of the past that are just as easily available, the right choice is not to remove the competition, but to create a product that would make the past products useless. But oh God how game industry hates competition. It damages the developers creativity, it forces the developers to think the customers’ best and to actually do their damn job. In all of design, the most important part is to disregard your own wants and wishes and do what is expected from you.

And this is why Xbone ticks me off. I refuse to call it a game console. The Wii was a game console. When you add useless properties on your console, it becomes more and more like a computer that can’t do everything it could. It becomes a dumbed down PC, and with it the games become more dumb and less about quality.

When the last game console generation was released, economics were completely different. Now, the customers are refusing more than last time, and pushing out any console that has even little similarity with PS3’s release will fail like a fish on land. We are in a slump, and money is tight. We all know it and it affects us all. A company that would want to make money would recognize this and design their product to meet the demands of the time. The STEAM Box, whatever it’s named today, will fail for the same reason as Xbone. How the hell they’re going to sell a 500 dollar toybox that has nothing to play on? We already have things that play movies and music, we already have a perfect way to watch TV and we don’t need extra equipment for those. Why do we need more equipment to do the same things we already are able to do? I have never watched one DVD on my game consoles. Well, I watched one DVD on my Wii, but that’s that. I have watched one BD on my PS3 just to test it out. If people need a box that does everything, they have a damn PC for that. A lot of my friends who are into Apple have set their Macs to run the music while controlling it through their iPhone. [Editor.I have a friend who does that, too.] Most of them have a separate DVD/BD players simply because the history has proven that people tend to like products that do one thing well. Nobody will Xbone to watch TV, post on Facebook, browse the Internet, listen to music or anything like that. All these things already can be used on better machines. The only thing Xbone should be competing with is the games, because that’s why game consoles exist, and they’re not emphasizing on the part that sells the machine. On top of it all, they’re further enforcing the industry to not compete. In the end, we’re going to end with similar situation that Atari had in the early 80’s; companies spewing out software and hardware people simply won’t buy.

Whenever you hear something is selling well, ask how much profit is the company making on that product. Video game industry is barely making profit, and the larger sums we see mean nothing if there is no profit. Is video game industry bigger now? Yes. Is it making more money than it used to? No. Simply looking at the numbers of sold products is never enough. You need to take notice on population growth, current macro-economics and everything between, you should notice rather soon that the amount of profits these companies should be getting is nowhere near they think they are. There are no winners when everybody’s losing. There isn’t a better console over another when none of them are successful. There isn’t competition where there is only one mildly successful machine. The 3DS, whatever its success is now, is very there simply because the Vita has barely anything to offer. Much like the Xbone, the Vita is in no-competition place, and with no competition there will be no quality to offer, and no-quality products will not make profit, and companies that do make profit will suffer.

How am I supposed to buy something when then companies are offering nothing?