I have been a reader of your articles and blog since Birdmen and disagreeing has been more exception than a rule. My views on the Wii’s success, the DS, the 3DS and the Wii U basically align with yours and I have a lot of respect. No other video game blogger that I have seen writes in such a curious manner.
However, I could never think of a question to send to you because you often elaborate what you mean through other emails.
Now, I am writing this because I would like to present an article to you that our recently founded site has put up and I am very interested in your opinion on it.
The subject at hand is rising budgets in video game development and the numerous developers who fell victim to mismanagement, ‘artistic vision’ clouding business sense or other factors. The intent was to position the “hardcore gamer” notion that the next Xbox and the PS4 are going to leave the Wii U in the dust graphics wise and we would see a repeat of this generation as an irrational proposition.
I was the editor of this article and I personally made sure that the author keeps it light on hyperbole and includes a lot of research and facts.
None of us are professional business analysts but I would humbly say this article has a more solid base than 90% of what paid video game “journalists” put up.
Here is the link.
People say the Wii launched ‘cheap’. No, it wasn’t. For what the Wii was, the price fit the hardware appropriately. There are advantages and disadvantages to the ‘power’ of the console. The advantage of the Wii path was that it could launch at the price it did and remain profitable. Another advantage of the ‘lower power’ is greater console survivability. What good is a powerful console like the Xbox 360 in 2006 when so many Xbox 360s broke down? That doesn’t sound good for the consumer. More power often means more things can go wrong with it.
Instead of focusing mostly on the rising development costs, I would have focused more on the declining consumer base. If it were not for the Wii and DS, the Seventh Generation would be nothing but decline. Rising development costs were not seen as rising due to the increase in audience growth (caused mostly by population growth and economic prosperity). With the trend of audience decline, rising costs become a great concern.
We’re back at the same question that started Generation Seven: how does gaming grow? Will greater graphics grow the audience? It hasn’t been. What did grow the audience was interface changes.
Even if development costs remain the same, the decline in the audience should be terrifying.