Staff Editorials

The Costs of the Future
Posted: 05.08.2008 08:33 by Comments: 6
When it comes to the future of gaming, I am nervous. I am nervous because by the time it arrives I'm going to be older, hinged down with responsibilities that I don't have now, and pockets that will likely be nowhere near deep enough to afford the almost assuredly expensive systems that will replace those of the current generation.


Not even the systems alone but the games as well. When you have a fixed income, sixty dollars a game becomes quite steep very quickly, and while long-time gamers will be quick to tell you that a number of systems have been proportionally more pricey in the past, it doesn't exactly make your wallet feel any less light.

The price of developing games has gone up across the board. It isn't uncommon anymore for developers to spend as much money developing a single game as they would have on ten games years ago and one can only expect that as the technology behind our favorite hobby becomes more complex, that costs will continue to rise.

What this could mean for us all is perhaps a less diverse experience on the horizon for gaming. After all, if a developer is putting their entire budget behind a single game it would be understandable for them to opt for a more guaranteed money maker instead of something more experimental that could flounder and leave them bankrupt. At the same time it could also mean an increase in the quality of games. After all, if you split your resources you might end up with a few fair titles, but by combining everything you have into a few top-notch efforts, its more than reasonable to expect the games could be better.

On some level, I wish in the future, some of the things that have been driving prices up would halt. For instance, it doesn't take a genius to realize that the reason the Wii is so much less expensive than the PS3 is the fact that it is essentially a revamped Gamecube. Nintendo managed to keep prices down by simply doing some creative with existing technology and while what they've done with the Wii since may be questionable, they've released a number of games that are undeniably as good or even better than the best of what the more advanced competition has to offer.

Perhaps a viable option for the future would be for Sony and Microsoft to take a similar route. After all, games aren't made by graphics alone and the stuff under the hood of the PS3 and Xbox 360 both seem more than substantial for that purpose, amongst others. Maybe the future of consoles would be better if they followed the Nintendo route, with some variations of course. How incredible would it be if the PlayStation 4 were a Wii like console geared toward more core gamers rather than the casual crowd? What if instead of choosing to purely upgrade their technology, the big three let innovation be the face of the future?

New consoles perhaps?
...nothing officially confirmed yet of course
 
Wouldn't that be something? Wouldn't it be nice to not spend an entire paycheck a console? After all, quite a few us don't have our parents to buy our games for us anymore, and things will get worse once we start having children of our own to buy for. The way things are now, it just seems that the current trends are unsustainable. Gamers and game makers alike cannot afford for things to keep going as they are, because as much we all might like to joke about it, one really can only go so long buying video games instead of groceries.
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Comments

By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Aug 05, 2008
herodotus
There are 2 things folk can\'t do without (aside from living needs): Real Estate and Entertainment. The impending Recession has hit real estate very hard already, and I\'m afraid entertainment is next. The future of Retail Gaming stores is already threatened by Direct Download, but this will push them right out of the picture. M$, Sony and Nintendo are just going to have to realize that we don\'t have the dosh to splash out as we used to.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Aug 05, 2008
herodotus
Goodness, did I really say all that \"span\" stuff?
By madpuppy (SI Member) on Aug 06, 2008
madpuppy
The problem here is that complaining and worrying isn\'t going to change anything, first off I remember buying games that one programmer pumped out over the course of a week or so for 40.00. I mean look at the games of the past, Activision\'s \"barnstorming\" I think one guy programmed the thing. Imagine paying 40.00 for that game? Game companies were almost a pure profit business sans cartridge production, manual and box. \nnow games are 60.00 and still costs less than a Hollywood \nmovie to develop. imaging paying 60.00 for a dvd or blu-ray disc movie? even with the amount of consoles not being as great as the dvd player they are doing fine. the work involved developing a game is just getting closer to being worth our money compared to games of the past like wizards of war or ladybug.
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Aug 06, 2008
Wowerine
Yeah, and if games were so expensive, no one would do the low budget stuff. And games costing 1k$ would come out once or trice a year. But if games like those aren't able to achieve a 100% financial hit on the market, the whole project is a fail...
By madpuppy (SI Member) on Aug 07, 2008
madpuppy
one more thing, Please God don\'t let the next consoles look like pokemon balls!!!
By BlitzKrieg (SI Veteran Member) on Aug 12, 2008
BlitzKrieg
man that ain't good, but then again im quite rich, though this is still a big problem to other's who don't get enough $$$$