Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t see the death of the console as a realistic thing in the same way that I don’t see real handheld gaming dying.
Yesterday I talked about “The Future of Handheld Gaming” wherein I said quite definitively that phone-gaming is a bit of a fad and true handheld gaming can (and hopefully will, survive).
Somewhat related to that is the news that Ouya — the open source console powered by Android — pulled $8.6 million dollars via Kickstarter. They’ve lined up some companies, too, and well, are now accepting pre-orders. This is huge news, of course: while the Vita has been stumbling its way through cross-play gaming, with an Android console that becomes a huge reality — taking games with you on your cell phone seems to be a real possibility.
The only question is, will developers jump for it?
Katsuhiro Harada — Mr. Tekken — recently said that he believes that a one-console future is the way to go, and while that would make things a cinch for devs and likely help the big three settle their differences, it at one point seemed unlikely. I remember imagining as a kid that that would be the future… I kind of doubt it these days, but with projects like Ouya going big, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are going to have to find a way to compete. Ouya will likely feature tons of free games — courtesy of Android’s already huge library — as well as premium content designed for the Ouya itself. Something open source like this will be ripe for piracy, too — SNES/NES/GB roms on your Android powered console? Probably.
God knows console sales have been interesting over the last little while, but with a retail price that pretty much trounces the competition, not to mention the 3DS and Vita, I’d be worried if I was one of the big three.
I don’t like talking about “the future of handheld gaming” because whenever you do, someone almost immediately mentions how the handheld console is dead, and long live iOS/ Android. It is a bit of a loaded idea for two reasons:
1) Phones cannot handle “serious” gaming and
2) It is typically said by someone quoting someone else.
“Non-gamer” websites frequently refer to this statement, citing sales numbers and so on, like the insane success of something like AngryBirds. These are the same fools who will then go on, saying how the mega-success of Facebook games like FarmVille are proof of the decline of the game industry itself. It’s typically said by someone who doesn’t know anything, kind of like people who claim to be “social media experts” or “gurus” because they’ve figured out how to use HootSuite. It’s a meaningless sentiment that doesn’t look at much beyond itself. Read the rest of this entry »