Valve’s entering the hardware game. As masters of service delivery, they’ll soon be deploying licenced third party hardware in the form of Steam Machines; little Linux-powered set-top boxes that die-hard Pc gamers can wilfully ignore. I’m far more interested in Valve’s revolutionary controller with its odd haptic feedback.
May’s NPD stats are out, giving us a wee bit of insight in to the retail sales of games and hardware within the United States. As is usual, the NPD doesn’t cover digital sales or second-hand, so only paints a small part of the picture – but it certainly looks as if the videogame industry’s health is getting better, and much of that renewed vigour is because of the PlayStation 4.
There are a great number of people who believe that mobile gaming is taking over. It’s the casual mobile stuff that accounts for most of the time people spend playing games, and it’s leaving regular gaming in the doldrums. According to a study by Nielsen, the same people who monitor TV-watching habits, that’s not true. Yes, people are spending an inordinate amount of time playing mobile games…but they’re spending more time playing proper games too. In general, people are just spending a lot of time gaming.
PC gamers have been hearing about the death of Pc gaming for years. They’re also told, whenever there’s a shoddy port of a game on PC, or when a PC release is nixed that they’re a bunch of pirates and the real money’s on consoles. Only that may be a load of codswallop.
At first I was going to make this editorial only about gaming being an expensive hobby, but something I’ve noticed is how much of this discussion is also related to piracy as a solution.
There are five major advantages when it comes to gaming on a console. Firstly, consoles are a lot cheaper than going out and buying a new PC. They offer a fantastic price to performance ratio, offering better visuals than you’d get from similarly priced PC hardware. With consoles, you pop the game in, and it plays. No installs, no fussing with patches and nonsense. You get to sit on your couch and play, on a large TV with a confortable controller. And most importantly everything just works. Only hardly any of that is true, or exclusive to consoles anymore.
For those of you who can’t afford or find a console to play those hawt games from yesteryear on, there’s always been a morally grey area to fall back on. The emulator has come a long way since the days of the VisualBoy Advance, giving gamers a backdoor into those games. Xbox 360 and PS3 emulators have been notoriously unreliable in the past however. That could, theoretically, change with the latest consoles.
On the latest Xbox podcast, I made fun of Xbox guy Graeme Selvan for imagining that he'd find a woman who wanted to play Diablo with him. Most of my teasing was about the fact that she will have probably have moved on to a different game, and part of it was simply to troll him because it's just too easy. However, I have been thinking a lot about women who game, and the idea of couples who game together.
The Xbox One has been available globally for a week now, and the PlayStation 4 sees release in Europe and much of the rest of the world tomorrow. Unfortunately, you can’t have them. The PS4 is out here in two weeks, and gourd alone knows the Xbox One will be coming to South Africa. Here’s 5 more consoles you can’t have. Ever
The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One will soon both be available, kicking off yet another round of silly (but endlessly entertaining) console wars. According to Pachter, in ten years, it isn’t even going to matter.
With digital distribution the dominant force in the video game industry, due to its low overhead costs and ease of access, physical collectors editions and disks are likely to be phased out with the onset of next generation consoles and hardware.