[VJ] "Games Kids Play -- but Not on Macs"

edited December 2001 in General Discussion

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  • edited December 1969
    By Charles Haddad

    Games Kids Play -- but Not on Macs

    Apple needs to get game developers to release their hottest creations for the Mac simultaneous with PC versions -- or first

    http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/dec2001/nf20011212_8377.htm

    [url=http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/dec2001/nf20011212_8377.htm]Games Kids Play -- but Not on Macs[/url]
  • edited December 1969
    Re: "Games Kids Play -- but Not on Macs"

    By Charles Haddad

    Games Kids Play -- but Not on Macs

    Apple needs to get game developers to release their hottest
    creations for the Mac simultaneous with PC versions -- or first

    Someone should point out to him that one of the best companies to do that got gobbled up by Microsoft last year.
  • edited December 1969
    Re: "Games Kids Play -- but Not on Macs"

    Someone should point out to him that one of the best companies
    to do that got gobbled up by Microsoft last year.

    Should have been gobbled up by Apple first. Halo Mac-only. Ha. But I'm getting tired of saying the same thing as that article every year.
  • edited December 1969
    Another out-of-date opinion

    By the time you read it in a business oriented magazine, you know it's out-of-date.

    Playstation2, X-Box, the Cube and even simple DVD players are about to dramatically change where kids play games and it won't be your dad's PC. As soon as HDTV becomes common, gaming companies will be asking themselves why they should port to desktop PCs at all, whether Dell, Compaq or Apple.

    As another article in Business Week once said "Every household in America that wants a PC already has one". So why would anybody buy a new one? If the only reason to upgrade your PC is to play games, wouldn't it make a lot more sense to buy a new, fast and fancy console unit rather than a much more expensive (and boring) PC? Especially since you've already, or are about to, buy a nice new fancy big screen HDTV to go along with that new DVD player and surround sound system?

    We know that web surfing is no longer driving PC sales (broadband is going nowhere) and that the only enduring use of a PC for the average person is email, so it's not hard to understand why Microsoft launched the X-Box. This is the future of gaming.

    The older kids you talk to will have grown up using (or wanting) the best gaming platform, which was Windows 98, because consoles couldn't handle the best games. That's not gonna be true too much longer and I'm talking months, not years. Microsoft will guarantee it.

    -benwillies


  • edited December 1969
    Broadband, computers, and games, oh my

    We know that web surfing is no longer driving PC sales
    (broadband is going nowhere) and that the only enduring use of a
    PC for the average person is email, so it's not hard to
    understand why Microsoft launched the X-Box. This is the future
    of gaming.

    I don't think we know these things at all. If there's anything that the past couple years should have taught us, it's that pundits don't know jack about the directions technology is going in the next few years.

    A lot of companies, including my employer, are betting a large chunk of their future on the long term prospects for broadband. I believe far too much is being made of the rocky road broadband is having. When the overall economy ihas been in recession for nearly a year (not officially, but actually), you can't blame the non-expnoential growth of broadband on broadband. It's just a bad time to be building out a service around a luxury item.

    As far as not buying new PCs is concerned, if it was true that everyone who wanted a PC already had one, Microsoft would be out of business. The only way they keep people ponying up every few years for a new OS release is to fill the new OS full of features that won't run effectively on older PCs. People have to buy new systems to keep up with the features they use at work, or that their friends use, and so the Microsoft cash cow rolls on..

    Besides, the statement "every home in america that wants a PC has one" is absurd on the face of it, if it implies that nobody's gonna buy PCs any more. Every home in America that wants a car already has one, and you don't see car manufacturers rolling over and dying.

    The underwhelming success of WebTV showed that surfing and email are not the only reasons people want computers. Will adding internet features to consoles do the trick? I dont' think so. Certain classes of games will never get developed for console systems, because their markets are too small, or skewed too mature, or a dozen other reasons.

    The sea change that bothers me is the way games are being made. Just as the movie theaters are full of market-saturated demographically-targeted, uncreative, mostly sequel and remake dreck, it's getting harder and harder to find a good game. On any platform. It's all about the size of the market and catering to the lowest common denominator. Or what game marketing specialist MBAs think is the broadest demographic.

    Apple gave up on the gaming market years ago. The occasional nods to gaming (GEforce BTO option, for example) don't change the fact that when Jobs back the reins, Apple once again became a high-margin specialty hardware shop. That business model is inherently incompatible with gaming.

    _/ C

  • edited December 1969
    Well said, Carch, but...

    ...in the long run, the general-purpose PC is bound to be replaced by more specific-purpose machines. Not for everybody, but for the vast majority of casual users. If for no other reason than they are just too damn complicated to use. This is much different than a car, which is incredibly easy to use, so people buy new ones primarily for lifestyle reasons, not to mention that nearly every adult person really needs a car. This actually worked for Apple Computer (once again, think normal person, like your secretary), for awhile (as long as people thought they needed the Web, why not buy a stylish computer).

    Broadband is just a delivery system. It reminds me of the arguments about AM vs FM. It's true that you can do more with FM (stereo) but it would be difficult to find a radio that didn't have both bands. In the end, it's about what is being delivered and not how (or how fast). And if and when broadband truly makes sense, that will only hasten the migration of gaming to the new consoles, because that is where the DVD content will be coming from, too.

    And I think that just about everybody has hit the wall with Office 2000. I've never used half the new features and never will, so I don't care whether a new version comes out or not. In fact, it really annoys me when I have to upgrade because of some OS change (like MacOS X), and I'm not the only one. So what worked so well for so long isn't working anymore (or at least not nearly as well), hence Microsoft's new strategy of the X-Box.

    And of course, the problem with making general purpose computers less complicated is that they start looking like consoles (the look and feel of Windows XP reminds me of a game).

    And I agree with you about Apple blowing smoke about games. Sure, they want developers to make stuff for their new OS, whether for gamers or not, the more the better. But their strategy of high-margin specialty hardware coupled with specific purpose software (or should I say specific purpose users) will continue to be successful, because all those casual users will be buying consoles :)

    By the way, I am truly saddened that Corporate America is turning its back on PCs and returning to the old days of highly centralized, tightly controlled, carefully monitored, massive data centers tended by jerks in white lab coats. For it is these guys who will ultimately be piping stuff out to all those consoles.

    Maybe then some of us will get to play Robert De Niro as he was in the movie Brazil. Hey.


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