Even Among the Misinformed, You’re Misinformed [ COMIC ]

When I first read this article I thought that Michael Pachter was way off basis. Of course there would be a PlayStation 4, an Xbox 720 and a Wiiii (Wii 2, get it?). But then I started thinking…

As the development costs of games continue to increase, it’s in the developers best interests to push for a single console to develop for. Now this doesn’t mean that there will only be one company developing video game consoles. No, this just means there will be standards, requirements and a specific OS these systems will be designed to run. Imagine televisions, DVD players and radio. All of these are manufactured by various companies, but there’s no exclusive channels depending on the television you buy, exclusive movies depending on the DVD player you purchase or exclusive stations depending on the radio you steal. It’s pretty much standard. True, the quality can drastically change depending on who makes it and how much you pay for it, but the final content is still the same.

Accepting this theory as fact, who will be the dominant console in the end? The general consensus from media “experts” is Sony. I can see where they’re going with that, but I’m going to have to disagree. Personally, I’m going to have to say Microsoft. With the development of more and more video games shifting towards the west, I see the dominant console coming out of there as well. Also, for all of Microsofts short comings they still are poised better to create an OS strong enough to handle the expectations of a universal console than either Nintendo or Sony. Hell, there might be a Linux, Mac or Android console, too… but I wouldn’t count on it.

Right now, this are nothing more than speculation. And as far as what’s been rumored, the three contenders are already hard at work on their next generation of consoles and we should start seeing them hit the market as early as 2011. So who really knows… besides The Shadow, of course. The Shadow knows. The Shadow always knows…


  • Zachs K

    “Hell, there might be a Linux, Mac or Android console, too…”
    Linux got that covered a while back, check this out: http://gp2x-emulation.dcemu.co.uk/
    And let’s not for get the DS sized: http://openpandora.org/
    Enjoy both! I want a Pandora…

  • db0

    To tell the truth a UNIX-based console would make the most sense. UNIX is already a standard template for an OS that has been in use for ages and it would really have standarization time. Not only that but it would mean that games for UNIX would easily port on PCs as well,

  • Problem is you need to sell people on UNIX. Microsoft/Windows has already been accepted by the masses. You need to convince them that a UNIX system is the way to go.

  • Screamer

    The next generation standardized console already exists in beta, it’s called OnLive :P

    but seriously, this “standardized gaming platform” really already exists, it’s called a PC. It runs everything, is built by lots of manufacturers and supports multiple Operating Systems that in some cases run the same game (UT and Quake run on Windows, Mac and Linux).
    just my 2 cents

  • Stephane Hockenhull

    “need to convince people that UNIX is the way to go” ?
    hum, let’s see: Mac OSX:Darwin/UNIX, iPhone & iPod touch:Darwin/UNIX, EEEPC:Linux/UNIX, Google Android:Linux/UNIX,…
    think of all the Macs running OSX and iPhones out there. ppl dont need a lot of convincing, they just need to be told they’re already using POSIX (“UNIX”) and dont know it.

  • Goz

    It’s the merging of PC and Console that will be the future. Pc Computing AND Gaming…Just like I’m already doing with my home-built PC (HDMI output, wireless keyboard and mouse/joystick.)

  • @Screamer PCs aren’t on ginormous 60″ tvs and aren’t in your living room for you and your family to play. I would hate to try Wii Fit on a PC.

  • Mike Labrow

    You really should look at OnLive, that thing is mind-blowing

  • db0

    @Steve, PCs can very easily handle HDTV (and a wiimote for that matter). Sure, you may have to move the PC to the living room or buy a second gaming rig for it but that’s not much different from buying a console for this purpose either. Alternatively you may work around this through wireless controllers and some smart drilling ;)

  • @Mike Labrow I am intrigued by OnLive. Hoping it’s not another Phantom, though.

  • Croyd

    On an odd, but very groovy note…

    Wouldn’t it be so fucking awesome if they made a Shadow video game? Cloud men’s minds, shoot stuff, use martial arts! Save people and make them your Shadow agents with a fancy decoder ring! Sneak and take out the evil Yellow Menace!

    D: All in a classic 20’s veneer.

  • A11smart

    Interesting, but I can totally see where “the end of consoles” could have merit as well: simplify. People flocking to the iPhone because it unifies so many basic utilities people want to have (personal media, cell phone, internet access a la webbook), all in a device that doesn’t add extra clutter to their lives. In a similar fashion, I have no doubt that’s why Microsoft and Sony are pushing so hard for their machines. A central media device—situated in the living room, capable of games and discs—that could wirelessly stream video and web access to remote monitors (or remote hdtvs) wouldn’t just streamline the process, it’d be a godsend for people that just want the goodies without jumping through setup and compatibility hoops. PCs are so diverse in capability yet requiring of IT prowess that I’m never surprised to see the boot-surf-play generation of consoles bring the industry to its knees.

    I wouldn’t even count Apple out of the mix, either. All PC manufacturers are casting worried eyes on the growing mobile web and the diminishing PC market; the device that the whole family can use and be familiar with, a gaming/media mainframe, could promise the kind of ease people want out of technology.

    Did you know you can install a net-sharing router through existing coaxial cable lines in a household? That means houses already could have the networking infrastructure; they just need the hardware to tap and connect it all, without going through ServicePacks or GeniusBar well-wishing.

  • Jhereg

    Actually until just recently all cars did use the same engine, an internal combustion engine based on oil products (gasoline, diesel). They crushed steam engines for example.

    I don't know if this will ever happen, but there's been a trend of people wanting their home entertainment simplified to something that plays the majority of stuff out there. Examples are the early standardization of television, Beta/VHS, Blu-ray's recent win, etc.

    I'd be curious if Microsoft's considered a console that can play Xbox games, PC games and connect to the Zune/IPod's for music/video selections along with Blu-ray. The more they can connect with other entertainment sources without increasing the price dramatically (like PS3) the better they are situated in my view.

  • cheezewheel

    I’d say, that’s not going to happen. it’s like saying, cars are all going to have the same engine. it’s just not going to happen specially when there’s money to be made, and copyrights to be infringed on. it would be a great idea though like Communism, sounds great doesn’t work.

  • Joe

    Personally, I pray that consoles don't disappear. Not that with the bandwidth to back it up that services like OnLive can't be successful. Unfortunately, I expect them to be EXPENSIVE. Rather than purchase a console and a couple games, you're now forces to pay a subscription fee, which will probably be just as overpriced as cable or DirectTV.

    It's a scary thought that, when it applies to games, my money doesn't result in some manner of physical ownership or stronger "owned" licensing of a game.

  • Typhon

    This whole homogenization of gaming–homogenization of media period–has already become a big deal in the game industry with a certain resistance to that change; “core” gamers complaining about a lack of console-exclusive titles. The PS3 and 360 have their share of exclusives that are really console defining, but the fact of the matter is that most third parties see the easy money to be made from optimizing their titles for multiple consoles and can’t resist. Why limit the player-base? The game developers would prefer a simpler market, with a few programming standards or a single OS to work with.

    Not that plenty of developers don’t love the concept of focusing on the unique specs of different consoles, but those types are a dying breed. The differences between the capabilities of old SEGA and Nintendo consoles were vast, with SEGA being much more capable of the then-popular arcade to home ports, and Nintendo being the popular place to plant your experimental titles. Once we hit the last gen (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube), the lines between the consoles specs have begun to blur. Nintendo has made a valiant (conceptually) attempt at mixing things up with the Wii, but I think we can agree that they’ve chosen to drift from the competitive “console war,” leaving two fairly similar systems left to decide a victor.

    Two weeks from now, Nintendo and SEGA join to announce a next-gen Wii/Dreamcast hybrid, and EA reveals a revolutionary new console, both in competition with the PS4 and the Xbox Next, and all of these speculations become moot.

    I believe the word you’re looking for is “dominant,” not “dominate.”

  • Th3 Ep1c R0gu3

    the whole uniconsole thing kinda scares me….. i mean itd be nice and all that everyone would be able to get the same games and hook up on the same network, but if it was just “here are the specs, have fun”, any yahoo with a conveyor belt can go make them. Id be too scared that itd end up like computers, you have to do some bit of research to make sure ur not getting a PoS, and even then itd just be another “who can make the best one” war that keeps going until the next generation comes out. I had enough trouble deciding on which type of 360 to get, i can only imagine if every technology company/workshop starts putting out their version of the next console, how much of a pain in the ass it could end up being…..

  • Overlord David

    Actually there already IS a Linux console. It came out in 2008, it’s called the EVO. I don’t think it really compairs to the PS3 or 360 though.

  • Royce

    I have to disagree here with the idea that gaming would come down to “one console” standard; That’s been tried, tested, and doesn’t work too well with PCs, at least not with the gaming market, part of the reason the market tends towards consoles rather than PCs, at least at the moment, is that a console is a guaranteed architecture. Among every 360, among every PS3, among every Wii, you’ll find the same stuff in each device, making it easier to make games that y’know, work.

    I will say for all that I dislike them as a company (I fix computers for a living so it comes with the trade…) Microsoft does seem poised to take the most advantage of this, assuming they take advantage of what they did with Halo 2 and allow you to simply put the game in and play with no install, (well, minimal install) much like a console game. It’s a necessary step in the right direction.

    Please note that I do think while the industry could take advantage of a unified architecture, the benefits of the competition between Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft for gaming consumers is another factor that shouldn’t be ignored; This has lead to great strides with things like the X-Box LIVE service and the PSN service; in addition to achievements and trophies, and not to mention the Wii’s control scheme and various other unique traits.

  • 1337g33k

    Dang, thats some flawed logic.

    Hardware may be standardized across platforms (e.g. my dvd player for Fedora is the same as for Windows), but computer OS’s aren’t at all standardized. If developers for console games think they have it bad, its nothing compared to compiling for PC’s and Macs. The more complicated things get, the more people will differ on how to implement it. I’ll be surprised if we settle on a single console before a single Computer OS, and I’ll be surprised if we ever settle on a single Computer OS at all

  • nt-121784

    Actually, the word for “two” in Japanese would be “nii”. Therefor, the funnier title for the “Wii 2” would be “Wii Nii”

  • @nt-121784 That’s hilarious. Thanks for making the internet better.

  • Wii Nii is an awesome idea.