Jun
03
2019

End, the Console Wars will?

Maybe, maybe not. Via somebody on Twitter who I can’t really link to:

One of the more surprising stories of 2019 has been Microsoft’s pivot toward supporting other consoles. Minecraft and Cuphead are currently the #1 and #2 games respectively on Nintendo Switch, with Cuphead set to eventually feature Xbox Live integration. There were reports that Xbox Game Pass might come to Switch. Microsoft and Sony have even set aside their respective differences for a deal involving Microsoft’s Azure cloud services.

Why is Microsoft suddenly being so friendly to its rivals? One reason is that its console business has fallen firmly into third place, with the PS4 selling more than double the units of the Xbox One, and the Switch experiencing massive success of its own. Nothing spurs creative thinking quite as much as desperation.

US Gamer

This actually fits what goes on, inside my house. We do have a Xbox 360, which is currently being used as a DVD player; I saw no need to upgrade. But the PS4 and the Switch are the gaming platforms of choice for my kids, while I’m still getting my games mostly for the PC. We get along fine without needing the Xbox, frankly, and I might just remove it entirely and use the PS4 for movies. Seriously thinking about it, in fact. It is a convenient DVD player, though.

Anyway: as the article goes on to note, Microsoft is at its best when it plays to its strengths as a software company. Moving to a model where they provide material to the two current winners of the console wars at least sounds smart. It would also reduce the amount of hardware in my house, which would be lovely. I tend to acquire a certain amount of digital… stuff.

Moe Lane

8 Comments

  • acat says:

    I am currently console-free .. if I ever manage to scrape enough together, I’ll most likely buy a solid game PC with an HDMI port and just use that.
    .
    I do miss Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, but .. there are quite a few bills to pay before a new – let’s call it what it is – time sink gets acquired.
    .
    Mew

  • Belcatar says:

    I think it would be detrimental to gamers to have the console wars end. Competition, and all that. I haven’t picked up a game since I finished “The Surge” a few weeks ago.

    Where is the next generation of games going to come from if Sony isn’t trying to outdo Nintendo, and vice versa, and Microsoft tries to catch up?

    • acat says:

      … maybe they’d focus on writing better *games*?
      .
      Mew

      • Luke says:

        Define “better”.

        • acat says:

          Having a solid meta-plot for a series, consistent mechanics, no nerf, no obvious munchkin or minimax ‘sploits,, more open-world opportunities, and a good sense of humor..
          .
          Mew

          • Luke says:

            Except that…
            .
            A solid outline that *anyone* can follow makes it cheap to replace you.
            .
            An outline invites executive meddling.
            .
            Developers backstabbing each other in turfwars almost always ranks above actually making the game.
            .
            The things you mention do not make a AAA game, might scare away casuals, and the lack of multiplayer actively works against players racking up hundreds of hours of playtime and spending money on microtransactions.
            .
            Critics want innovation.
            .
            Investors want quantifiables and continuing revenue streams.
            .
            Oh, and a large number of consumers are vocally wanting you to fail.

  • Luke says:

    Crossplay is good for consumers.
    .
    Bribing game companies for exclusive content is evil.
    .
    The differences between systems are much smaller than they’re made out to be.
    .
    Most gamers don’t have a solid handle on what tech specs mean to them, but the most ignorant loudly bloviate on every available forum. (I seriously cannot tell you how many times I was sneered at for saying Microsoft was certainly capable of creating a 360 emulator for the One. That M$’s main business is code, and it knows more about backwards-compatibility than the rest of the world put together, evidently does not outweigh the word “architecture” used incorrectly.)
    .
    Game consoles (and games themselves) hit a point of diminishing returns a few years back. And none of the major players seem to have a good idea what to do besides throw ever more resources at increasing the bits that are easily quantifiable. (M$ briefly tried, but they went all big brother and panopticon about it. They forgot to follow the Evil Overlord list and employ a five-year old to run the plan past. This, more than anything else, is what I think hurt their market share so badly. )

  • Compound says:

    Microsoft is working on a very simple strategy right now. They’re in third place and they’ve come to the conclusion that if they want someone to buy their next console, they need folks playing their games. So they’re going cross platform. With Minecraft, well, they’d port that to the Atari ST if they thought there was a market for it. But with everything else, they’re trying to expand their gaming reach again. That’s why Halo is coming to Steam “Very Soon (TM).” (I’d expect that to go live during E3 personally.) That’s why their “play our X-Box library with a sub” service is coming to PC. Get them playing Microsoft games again so that they’ll be onboard on the next venture.

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