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When Consoles Lose, Everyone Wins 100

Ground Glass writes "Does the traditional knowledge that 'history is written by the winners' hold true with consoles? Perhaps, but there's more to it than that. Sometimes, systems that fail do so because their most salient concept was one no one was ready for - these provide future 'innovations'. Sometimes their loudest message was one only a niche group would ever want to listen to - they provide much needed perspective. In an early medium, the failures are the ones questioning what a game should be. It's no wonder the winners keep writing their ideas back in."
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When Consoles Lose, Everyone Wins

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  • Everything Evolves (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Real World Stuff ( 561780 ) <real_world_stuff ... om minus painter> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @01:37PM (#15751177) Journal
    The value to any one person is based on perception. If you perceive worth, then it is valuable.
  • Dreamcast (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Durrok ( 912509 ) <calltechsucks@@@gmail...com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @01:43PM (#15751210) Homepage Journal
    What a great console. First to have online gameplay (for all 4-5 games that had it) and it was night vs day compared to the PS1. Too bad piracy, Sega pissing off EA, and a multitude of other problems caused it's downfall. It served it's purpose and paved the way for what we have today but think about what the world might be like if Sega was still in the console business...
    • Re:Dreamcast (Score:4, Informative)

      by MightyPez ( 734706 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:07PM (#15751379)
      First to have online gameplay

      Perhaps as a first party feature, but online gaming was available during the SNES/Genesis era. Xband [wikipedia.org] was released in the US in 1994.
      • That's crazy, I never knew that existed. Would have loved to have that back in the day. Let me put it this way then: First broadband online play.
      • The Atari 2600 I beleive had an online service that predates that even. I think it was gameline? [wikipedia.org]

        heck, just auto-wikipedia any proper noun I use. make it easier.
        • You could upload high scores and download games but you could not actually play the same game together. Different, yet I guess for the time that was "multiplayer".
      • They also had the Sega Channel, which kicked ass. For $13/mo (I think it was), you had access to 50 games, most of which were full version, and new games were added every month or so. It was perfect in college when we didn't have money to buy the actual games. Ok, that's not entirely true, but there were other priorities, like beer, which demanded the lions share of our funds. Anyway, it was a great way to get a lot of games (legally) on the cheap. The sucky part was that my roommate would always downl
    • Re:Dreamcast (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Mistshadow2k4 ( 748958 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @03:14PM (#15751862) Journal

      Yes, I'm sure piracy was a HUGE factor, just like it was in bringing down the recording industry when cassettes became standard and everyone could copy songs freely. I'm so sick of people immeditately blaming piracy for the downfall of this or that product just because it's become fashionable with the RIAA and the MPAA -- there's no evidence that piracy has truly ever hurt any market. I think if it did MS wouldn't be a powerful corporation because Windows was pirated a great deal even before 3.1 days and their target market was much smaller. So consider that: if piracy hurts businesses so much, how did Microsoft survive when Windows and Office were pirated so much and their target market was much, much smaller in those days?

      From what I've heard over the years one of the problems the Dreamcast had is that it was made by Sega, and developing games for it was too costly because they got too greedy. I don't know for sure because I wasn't there but I've heard it too many times from different sources to just ignore it. Sucks, because I wanted one. I wish it hadn't been like that because I think console tech would be at a higher level now than it is, but of course, this is a matter of speculation.

      • if piracy hurts businesses so much, how did Microsoft survive when Windows and Office were pirated so much and their target market was much, much smaller in those days? Maybe it has something to do with how much Windows and Office sell for compared to how much a new video game sells for. They make back a lot more for each legitimate copy sold, letting them survive through a higher piracy rate.
        • actually, piracy could be said to have HELPED windows. It could be argued that the largest share of sales for office and windows is from corporate licensing- massive piracy of windows on the consumer end only helped to drive up marketshare so that companies had almost no choice but to go with windows and office as it was "what everyone was using."

          It doesn't make sense to crack down on every joe and jane who makes a copy of windows to use at home, but there's BIG money in pursuing licenses from corporate c

          • Yeah, but there's no big money licenses to pursue from corporate clients with video games.

            So again, piracy definitely had a role in the DC's fall, especially considering that it required no modding.
        • I've always been under the impression that the majority of MS's revenue from Windows comes via the bundling of it with virtually every PC sold.
      • Re:Dreamcast (Score:3, Interesting)

        by c_forq ( 924234 )
        There is a huge differnace wtih software piracy vs. music piracy. With bigger bands they receive royalties from radio play and all bands make money playing shows. With software/games you have only the sale. That is it.
        • With bigger bands they receive royalties from radio play and all bands make money playing shows. With software/games you have only the sale. That is it.

          And site licensing, and service contracts. (For software used by businesses, not so much for games.)
      • I seem to recall Dreamcast did not require a modchip to play pirated games. You only needed a special boot disk of some kind which makes pirating way easier. Compared this to getting a modchip on a PSX that could totally fry your PSX, and you're in a constant game of cat & mouse as newer PSX games would try to detect older modchips and disable themselves (assuming you buy some legit games at some point). Not to mention companies like Sony and Nintendo are far bigger and thus more well-equipped to abs
        • Re:Dreamcast (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Abcd1234 ( 188840 )
          I seem to recall Dreamcast did not require a modchip to play pirated games. You only needed a special boot disk of some kind which makes pirating way easier.

          Oh, no no, it wasn't that hard. All you have to do is burn a CD. That's all. Granted, the format is *slightly* unusual, but you can burn a working DC disc using cdrecord quite easily. This is one of the reasons why it's such a fantastic homebrew platform (I picked up a used one just for that reason).

          However, the DC also supported a weird hybrid CD w
      • the last few third party developers. Half-Life was a done deal, and never release, and not just because Sega and EA didn't see eye to eye (EA didn't like competing with Sega's better sports titles). The only other console in history that you could pirate games that effortlessly for was the Famicom Disk System, which was officially killed by piracy.
    • Dreamcast wasn't the first with online play. The Famicom (similar to our NES) in Japan had an extensive network, with not only online play but other features such as online banking, as early as 1988.
    • Too bad piracy, Sega pissing off EA, and a multitude of other problems caused it's downfall.

      The biggest problem the dreamcast had was the same problem that killed off the Saturn, 32X, Sega CD, Genesis and Master System.

      Being produced by Sega. Sega so often brought better technology to market but fucked up the advantage that they had. The NES murdered the Master System because Nintendo understood the importance of getting good game franchises. The Genesis beat the SNES to market by well over a year and could
      • I hear this story about the NES and SNES beating the Master System and Genesis (Megadrive) all the time. It wasn't like that everywhere, you know..

        In Australia, certainly in the area I grew up, it was almost exactly the reverse. Sega dominated here, and almost nobody I knew owned a Nintendo.
      • The NES murdered the Master System because of the monopolistic business practices Nintendo engaged in at the time. The Genesis was a stunning success considering it went up against a company who had near-100% market share at the time. SFII was released for the SNES long before it was released for the Genesis, with only the technology limiting content (animation frames removed due to differences in memory between the arcade boards and the SNES.)

        The Saturn had superior 2D to the PS1, but its 3D was crap. In t
    • PS1 and PS2 had much bigger piracy...
    • I don't think Sega intentionally pissed off EA. I think EA was just envious that Sega could make some amazing sports games. NFL 2k and 2k1 still play better than most football games I've gotten my hands on in the past few years. I've got a buddy that buys Madden every year (now on 360) for the updated roster. But even he says the DC games were better.
      • Okay, let me see if I get this straight: the increasing (well, really depends on where you are) ubiquity of always-on high-speed connections leads to consoles adding features to take advantage of them (XBox Live, for instance). This, in turn, enables console games to be expanded via post-release downloadable content (Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, I'm looking at you!). All of this is a good thing.
        It also means that there's no reason why these sports games can't offer new rosters as downloadable conten
        • Good call. Very good. But with the roster you'd need texture updates for player's faces (not that I'd care). And any uniform changes would require more textures.. Buy you're right. That should be made available. Besides, I don't know anyone who doesn't turn off Madden's voice first thing. So sound updates wouldn't be neccesary.
  • Perhaps, but there's more to it than that. Sometimes, systems that fail do so because their most salient concept was one no one was ready for - these provide future 'innovations'.
    So we'll see the Virtual Boy again!
    • by EnsilZah ( 575600 ) <EnsilZah AT Gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:09PM (#15751399)
      Screw the Virtual Boy.
      I want a PipBoy 2000.
    • I was thinking about the virtual boy last night actaully and how it was a shame that the idea seemed to fail and never come back. I know it wasn't perfect but it was a hell of an idea, if people had stuck by it and nintendo had kept working at it and improving then we might have really good virtual reality today (maybe not... but I would like to think so). The first steam boats periodically blew up and killed everyone on board, because people stuck with it the kinks got worked out; comparitavly a little si
      • by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:37PM (#15751581)
        Well, the biggest problem with the virtual boy was the headache you got even after short periods of play. That's going to be a symptom of any oscillating mirror technology. I do have to say, it was a fully immersive experience which hasn't been duplicated again though. The other big problem was it was marketed as a portable system, and the games were essentially portable games, but it was a decidedly non-portable system.
        • Well, the biggest problem with the virtual boy was the headache you got even after short periods of play. That's going to be a symptom of any oscillating mirror technology. I do have to say, it was a fully immersive experience which hasn't been duplicated again though.

          I've played my Virtual Boy for extended periods since I bought the thing (I always turn off the 'this game will pause every fifteen minutes so you can go look at something else' feature), and I have yet to experience my first headache because

    • I have one perched atop my entertainment center at home. I have to see the dreaded thing every day as a reminder to not repeat history. Please don't tempt others!
      • I still say that technology advances should now make it possible to do the Virtual Boy right - actually make it lightweight and portable, actually make it full-color, and it should sell.
    • Yes, but you probably won't recognize it.

      Right now, Nintendo is poised to release the Power Glove again (the Wii-mote). But while you know it's the same idea, you also know that technology and design have improved to the point where it won't suck this time. So there's a recycle period of approximately 18 years (3 console generations). The Virtual Boy was released in 1995. We've had the GBA and DS since then (portables only, since the VB was supposed to be the next-big-thing for portable games). So we need o
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2006 @01:47PM (#15751226)
    In an early medium, the failures are the ones questioning what a game should be. It's no wonder the winners keep writing their ideas back in.

    Was this submitted by Nietzsche?
  • ...and why should she get a Dreamcast?

    From the more cryptic than usual subtitle up through the ambiguous main title (I thought at first glance this was going to be one of those PC vs. Console flamewar threads), right down into the body of the summary, this whole thing is incomprehensible.

    Ever since that whole "Carnival of Games" debacle I have upheld that Zonk posts certain stories because he's either lost a bet or is banging the submitter. Even the blatant slashvertisements manage to slide through here wi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2006 @01:54PM (#15751281)
    That zonk's bias isn't towards the 360, but rather consoles. I don't mind his stories, and neither do most people. The ps3 fanbois just cry a lot because it's all bad news about their consoles. They never stopped to consider that it's simply because there's no _good_ news about their infamous ps3.
    • If I had mod points, oh insightful AC, you would be getting some. But alas, this week I have come up dry.
    • Claiming to speak for "most people" as an AC? Needling the straw man of PS3 fanboys? Insight isn't what it used to be.

      (For that matter, the original post here is in a deep muddle. The headline about "when consoles lose" implies that consoles as a whole should go down, not that failures in the business often seed future development.)

    • I have read interesting, and positive, things on the PS3 off and on ofer the last year.

      None of them ever made it to Slashdot.

      It's pretty easy to understand your ignorance however, if all you read is Slashdot games then the primary view you'd have of the PS3 would be negative. If however you broaden your console reading to other sources you can find positive material for all three consoles.

      There's nothing wrong with reporting neagitve stories; I welcome negative stories about any console, as it can be help
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:04PM (#15751357) Journal
    The big problem I have with the TFA is that it states that the purpose of niche products is to drive innovation among the market leaders. From a whole-market perspective, that may be the role they end up fulfilling, but that is not their purpose at all... their purpose is to make money for their producers. Failure to enter the market strongly is still failure.

    In any established industry (as the videogame industry has become) there are market leaders with enough 'mindshare', and enough resources, to adapt innovations for their next release. As large companies, and given the nature of consoles, they are not likely to take a big risk with a major release (as stated in the article). Other, small, companies take those risks, and the next generation of major consoles will incorporate some of those innovations. This is just like a lot of industries -- look at the airline industry and how most of the large airlines now have regional affiliates modeled on JetBlue's pricing and service.

    What's important to note, though, is that the Wii (which, in the end, is the focus of the article) doesn't fit the bill as well as the author would like. Nintendo is not a new, small company taking a risk by innovating. Nintendo is a former giant that that still commands a loyal following, yet is now more agile than its main competitors. What Nintendo has recognized is that there is no room for three 'major' consoles. So instead they opt to compete at a different level.

    Not to knock on the Wii, but it really reminds me of Go-Bots... transformers for people who don't want to spend as much cash. The differences are that they have a following that will continue to love them despite the inferiority of their machine, they have a gimmick to promote interest in the new console (the controller), and the game franchise history they've established will sell consoles and games.

    In the end, I think the Wii will be successful -- not because of any innovation, but because of pricing and because Nintendo will stick with the tried-and-true focus on games for kids.
    • by soft_guy ( 534437 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @02:11PM (#15751411)
      I tend to disagree a bit with you. I think Nintendo is doing the right thing with the Wii - trying to make a cool console that will appeal to someone.

      It seems to me that with the PS3, Sony is making an assumption that they will be the market leader and then building a console around the question "How can we cash in and also gain leverage into other areas of business with our console that we assume will be #1?"

      I think Sony's approach with the PS3 takes their eyes off the prize. Since they already had market domination with the PS2, they started to look elsewhere instead of trying to figure out how to hang onto their dominance. Because of this, I think it is likely that the PS3 will not be the #1 console.
      • Well, two issues there. The first is Nintendo making a cool console that has appeal. That's the gimmick that I mention. I don't think Nintendo is really trying to change the industry (thoug hI'm sure they wouldn't mind) -- I think they are trying to define a space for themselves. I happen to think they'll succeed. I personally will buy a Wii, not because I think it will be the best console, but because it's cheaper and it's a game console, not a media center. True-to-form for the industry.

        This brings
        • I think they are trying to define a space for themselves.

          It's true. All Nintendo wants to do is ensure that they don't go out of business. They realize that they don't have the resources that MS and Sony have to throw around in research and development. Since both of those will probably out power (statistically) anything Nintendo can through, they're taking the third road, not compete. By flat out removing themselves from the competition, they stay alive. They're attempting to cater to a different brand of

      • I think Sony's approach with the PS3 takes their eyes off the prize. Since they already had market domination with the PS2, they started to look elsewhere instead of trying to figure out how to hang onto their dominance. Because of this, I think it is likely that the PS3 will not be the #1 console.

        I think from what little that I've seen this time around Nintendo will come out on top in this round. I've been a historical Nintendo customer until the PS2. I bought the PS2 mainly for all the FF games that were
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I certainly agree, but the issue I have is when people base a console solely be its processing power (Re: "despite the inferiority of their machine"). The general public has been duped into believing that more polygons=better system.

      It's not hardware alone that makes a gaming console. I would say that the games themselves play a bigger role in my purchasing decision. Blue-Ray, HDD's, and all that fancy jazz are, at least in my opinion, just filler attempting to make up for inferior games.

      Nintendo will pr
      • I certainly agree, but the issue I have is when people base a console solely be its processing power (Re: "despite the inferiority of their machine"). The general public has been duped into believing that more polygons=better system.

        Obviously there's more to a system than processor speed, but what is possible for a console game depends a lot of the processer speeds. I would say that a slower console IS inferior[1], because I'm judging by potential (as one has to when the life-cycle isn't complete yet). H

        • by ukyoCE ( 106879 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @04:52PM (#15752540) Journal
          I definitely understand where you're coming from, but this just isn't the case anymore. In fact, I'd say it hasn't been for several generations. I can't think of a single console since we made it to 32-bit that has had processing power be a make-or-break issue. If the processor is a little slower, they take out a few polygons, and things might look a *little* less sharp, but really, who cares? The game is still there, it still does everything it should, and as others have pointed out, it's still *fun*.

          This is obviously what Nintendo is banking on with the Wii. They can run anything the xbox360 or ps3 can, and probably at a level of detail where consumers can't even tell the difference, especially not on most people's little 25" tube tvs.

          The things that make or break consoles, and are intimately tied together, are:
          1) ease of development
          2) third party support
          3) fun games
          4) price

          The Saturn and Nintendo64 both failed due to #1 and #4, which both led to a failure in #2. The only reason either console "survived" is due to great first party games. However without the 3rd party support, they went on to have problems with their next consoles, the Dreamcast and Gamecube, despite the consoles having entirely adequate processing power and much better developer support.

          The Wii looks ready to dominate in all four categories. Processing power hasn't mattered in a long time, and will do nothing for the xbox360 or ps3 if they're missing those 4 things that are actually important.

          The PS3 in particular looks ready to fail in all of these categories. It sounds like they've got really crazy and bad hardware, that will be extremely difficult to take advantage of. They've got a ridiculous price, which will make it very hard to gain any market share. Because of those reasons, they will have a lot of trouble getting third party games, and thus will be stuck much like the Saturn and Nintendo64, relying almost entirely on first party games and exclusives to sell the console.

          Nintendo will need to do something really stupid to screw up their shot at the title this generation.
          • > Nintendo will need to do something really stupid to screw up their shot at the title this generation.

            Never underestimate the ability of a large company to jump the shark despite any free-kicks their competitors may give them.
          • This is obviously what Nintendo is banking on with the Wii. They can run anything the xbox360 or ps3 can, and probably at a level of detail where consumers can't even tell the difference, especially not on most people's little 25" tube tvs.

            You also forgot to mention that I'm not buying a hi-def tv just to play games on. Heck, at the price that they want for a hi-def tv I'm not going to be buying one for 5-7 years or until the price drops to the $300-$500 for the hi-def tvs. I think that I'm not the only one
            • "I think that I'm not the only one that could care less about "the future of TV" just for the sake of what I'd consider small resolution enhancments."

              I couldn't agree more. I have seen absolutely nothing positive about "upgrading" to HD (or flat panel!) so far. Just a lot of risky new technology, both for the flat digital screen and the brand new ultra-restrictive DRM. And they want me to PAY for it. Pay a LOT. No thanks!

              And as you point out, much less will I shell out 600$ for a game system that suppo
    • I disagree with you by saying the console is marketed towards kids. It's just like the xenophobes who blame the xbox 360 for failing in japan because of loyalty to japanese product. Nintendo has branched away from the kiddie stereotype and focus on making good games for all ages, just because there's no blood or boobs does not make a game "kiddie".
      • just because there's no blood or boobs does not make a game "kiddie"

        how about round, bubbly characters and lots or primary colors [nintendo.co.jp]? does that make it a "kiddie" game? if you say no, think of these things [teletubbies.com]...
        • So? Just because Nintendo has had a number of games directed towards the young gamer demographic doesn't mean that they're a kiddie console. That's like saying a Windows computer is kiddie (compared to a Linux box) because it has some childish games. Or saying that the Mac is a kiddie system because of all the pretty graphics. The fact is, some childish games (Spongebob) or games with "kiddie graphics" (Wind Waker) happen to sell well. Nintendo is merely targeting a different section of the market. You have
        • I say no - Mario 64, while obviously playable by kids, was certainly not only for kids.

          Showing that some round bubbly characters with lots of primary colours are aimed solely at children doesn't mean that all are - that's bad logic. It's like saying that because Lego is made up of colourful bricks that you can put together in different patterns and is aimed at Children, then Tetris must be a "kiddie game".

    • The big problem I have with the TFA is that it states that the purpose of niche products is to drive innovation among the market leaders. From a whole-market perspective, that may be the role they end up fulfilling, but that is not their purpose at all... their purpose is to make money for their producers. Failure to enter the market strongly is still failure.

      There are many different ways to look at the purpose of a thing. You seem to be identifying the intention of the company which owns the console.

      • Well, acceptable usage of purpose in this construct would hold one of two definitions, both of which pose problems with that interpretation:

        The first would be 'purpose' as in 'raison d'etre' -- and the problem with this is that it implies either (1) human characteristics to the console, so that it could determine its purpose, or (2) an omnipotent being or force that determines the destiny of the console.

        The second would be 'purpose' as in the intended result of its existence, which is the usage I infer
  • the future (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spykemail ( 983593 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @03:03PM (#15751784) Homepage
    Nintendo and Microsoft aren't really taking any risk, Sony is. Microsoft has lost so much money on their console business that throwing the XBOX 360 out there as quickly as possible made sense - it gave them all of the customers who didn't want to wait for Nintendo and Sony. Nintendo is releasing by far the cheapest machine that, except for the controller, is full of very solid technology. Very little risk there since the controller is a great gimmick and they can always change and they will always have their own games to rely on.

    Sony, on other hand, doesn't even want to admit its box is "a mere console" and it is completely full of expensive new technology that gives it a huge price tag. Worse, it's hard to develop for and its price tag has to be making developers nervous. This probably means more expensive games for a more expensive console.

    Sony and Microsoft seem to want to turn the console industry into something else while Nintendo is very happy making boatloads of money doing what it knows best. I don't know about you guys, but I am not in the market for a media center or another PC. Personally, I think the concept of a media center is some sort of corporate attempt to make me pay for a bunch of crap I don't need and won't use. And I definitely do not need another PC, especially one made by Microsoft. If I wanted to play PC games I'd play them on the several thousand dollar computer I already have, not a few hundred dollar console.

    Here's my question: if the PS3 flops where will Sony's followers turn? Microsoft? Nintendo? Or will they abandon consoles entirely? I'd like to say they will turn to Nintendo, but I'm not so sure. I'm certain the Wii will do well, but I seriously doubt it can steal Sony's market share back. My fear is that certain developers will turn to developing solely on the XBOX and Nintendo / games / console will become the next Apple / OS X / Mac situation.

    Of course, the PS3 is not here so this is all theoretical. Only time will tell if Sony's big investment will pay off, but if it fails I sincerely hope Microsoft does not get put in a position to dominate the console industry the same way it has dominated the OS industry or non-PC games are doomed.
    • Microsoft has lost so much money on their console business that throwing the XBOX 360 out there as quickly as possible made sense

      First of all, I had to comment on this line which I thought had some really odd logic behind it - losing money? Throwing it out faster should help!

      I believe the old saying goes "throwing good money after bad".

      Not that I think the 360 is a bad console but it's gotten there with booster rockets spouting pure money, and it's yet to be seen if ther overall choice to fire the boosters
      • ... which I doubt will happen, as even with the insane price tag, Sony 'Losing' means that it'll probably only sell 10 million of the things compared to the PS2's 100 million, and those numbers still beat the 360 either way...

        If it happens, Nintendo wins by default because we know the 360's Japan support is weak. Like it or not, Japan is the driving force of the consoles, Which means in the end it's either Sony or Nintendo. Without a strong Japanese base, the 360 is irrelevant.
      • Keep in mind that the 360 loses less money than the original per unit (considering the 200$ per unit loss on the original that isn't too difficult). They're still throwing money out but at a slower rate.

        What I'm not sure about is if this isn't predatory pricing. Leveraging a monopoly to sell a product in another market below cost? MS has been convicted of having a monopoly and as such shouldn't be able to legally do that.
        • While they are losing less per console now, they also have a large 360 R&D cost to recoup. On top of that is XBox Silver service offered for free (though Sony is going there as well with a free online service as well).

          I think they are safe from monopoly persecution in this case because they are not a monopoly in the game industry - interestingly there is nothing illegal about using a vast sum of money you have got from a different monopoly to attept to storm a different industry through sheer ability t
          • While they are losing less per console now, they also have a large 360 R&D cost to recoup.

            The only option to avoid those would be to make no next-gen console at all so the early release didn't hurt it.

            On top of that is XBox Silver service offered for free

            That doesn't offer many features though. Since silver accounts are used for accessing the marketplace as well that probably brings in more money than it loses.

            interestingly there is nothing illegal about using a vast sum of money you have got from a dif
    • Here's my question: if the PS3 flops where will Sony's followers turn? Microsoft? Nintendo? Or will they abandon consoles entirely? I'd like to say they will turn to Nintendo, but I'm not so sure. I'm certain the Wii will do well, but I seriously doubt it can steal Sony's market share back.

      For Nintendo, I don't think it's about market share this time: the rules about owning a given fraction of a market no longer apply when one product is so much less expensive than that of other parties (the XBox and PS3

  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Thursday July 20, 2006 @03:17PM (#15751883)
    So if the article's premise is correct, and the failures are the most interesting consoles to have... and the mainstream ones are the least interesting...

    I guess I'm getting a PS3 after all!
    (ducks)

    BTW, this comment from the article: 'Who would have ever thought that Mattel's unlikely Power Glove would become a prototype for Nintendo's primary controller?'

    Um... everybody? I sure did. It was a freaking VR glove! I swooned when I saw that thing! Like the Wii Remote.... er. oh. hm.

  • Sega launches the Genesis, and people went "ooooooooooooooooo... Altered Beasts looks just like the arcade version!" and Sega smiled. Countless arcade ports, Madden, and fighting games later and, arguably, the most innovative game released for the console is still prety much unknown. Herzog Zwei can credit itself for bringing us Dune II, Warcraft, Starcraft, and pretty much every other RTS game being released, but was a flop by 1989 standards (or any other for that matter).
    • Herzog Zwei is an awesome game. I have an emulator that i still play it on from time to time.

      To add to the discussion, I think a lot of people are holding out for more information from Nintendo. Nintendo does such an AWESOME job of cutting off all knowledge of their system, and itleaves many people screaming for more - its how hype works. Keep people on a trickle of information, and they salivate after every drop. Give it to them all at once, and they fill up and move on to something else.

      Those gen

  • Amigas? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stnf ( 982894 )
    Though by popular definition you might well call them failures, without your Sega Saturns, your Atari Jaguars, your Amigas and GameCubes and NeoGeo Pocket Colors, the industry would be an autocracy, governed by a single dictate - indeed, one of limited perspective and shallow, if broad, concern for growth.
    Surely not the Amiga 500? Maybe I'm biased as I'm european though =)
    • Surely not the Amiga 500? Maybe I'm biased as I'm european though =)

      Possibly so.

      In North America, pretty much the only thing the Amiga line was known for was video editing when attached to a Video Toaster, or for being the source of several badly-ported generic European platform games released for Sega Genesis.
  • Which is the only console that can win the next generation console wars? The console that contains no next generation components, just tried and true parts beefed up from the last generation!

    I wonder which console THAT could be...

    In fact the 360 is so tried and true they even removed a standard component from the last generation (the hard drive), just to be sure they were totally tried and true.

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