Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Death of Home Consoles

I just finished watching an engrossing and shocking presentation by Ben Cousins of ngmoco (I'd never heard of him either) that persuasively outlines the impending "death" of videogame consoles as we know them. To be fair he doesn't say they'll disappear completely as much as fade into irrelevance/niche markets, but being compared to arcades is pretty much equivalent in my books.

Check out the presentation for yourself below. It's 26 minutes long but if you have any interest in gaming then trust me it's worth it:

As the video itself makes clear, this is far from the the first time someone has pondered whether the mobile gaming industry might displace home consoles. However, Cousins' presentation is the most tangible and immediate the mobile threat has ever seemed. As someone who grew up with home consoles it's a little saddening to see such sobering evidence that they're going the way of the dinosaur.

I only recently began testing the waters of mobile gaming, and while I've been pleasantly surprised by its depth and quality, I can't help but sense that there are ways in which the mobile platform is fundamentally lacking. It's less immersive by design given that it's portable and public (in the sense that you use it in public, often people can reach you on it, and it's a gateway platform with other functionality). On top of that the controls often create more of a distancing effect, from the perspectives of both users and programmers. All this adds up to the fact that while I thoroughly enjoy mobile gaming I don't and can't get lost in the experience. Maybe that's also a product of age (I have noticed a similar problem with some home console titles lately), but the inherent qualities of the mobile platform don't do it any favours.

(Via Kotaku)

PS: I promise I have some non-videogame related posts in the works!

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