Where I May Have Missed The Point Of The Booming Low-End Gaming Industry.

This is where my point is. Below is what I missed.

When you look at the entire video game industry, almost everyone can be categorized into groups:

The Big (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo)

The Small (PC/Linux, Android devices, Many Others)

and Apple... but I don't feel like talking about them for this post. This post is about getting two things straight...

1) The Big capitalize off of proprietary services.

For those who may not understand, let's look at Nintendo. In comparison to Microsoft and Sony, this company's products are a bit on the basketcase side. It doesn't have the ecosystem that either Sony (owning movie studios and record labels) or Microsoft (a little thing called Windows) has to play to it's advantage. As a result, Nintendo seems to take the route of making devices that look like they were made by someone who was slightly insane. These mofos thought the only thing wrong with the original DS was that it was too two-dimensional.


As a result, you don't get these experiences anywhere else than at Nintendo. It's usually not a good idea to even try developing your Nintendo game anywhere else. The same can be said regarding the Wii. Motion controls are not a designer's best friend, but they are the best friend of the first party publishers.

Ultimately, these unique features have benefits in terms of gaming, but are attempts to separate a company from the others for the whole purpose of... separation. I'm not saying this in itself can't lead to good results. I'm just saying that the benefits are the same as Gamestop's Power Up Rewards Card benefits; they're there, but just as an incentive to keep you coming back, and far away from the competition.

Yes, there are many multiplatform games, more now than ever... but how many of those games outsell Halo on the Xbox, or Gran Turismo on the Playstation? Very few. Most tank in the face of nearly any first party exclusives. Yes, Sony offers some Playstation Mobile games for Android, but those games (1) were all developed in the previous century, and (2) are purchased through Sony from products verified by Sony (through unannounced requirements) to run them. Sony still has it's hands in all of this thanks in no small part to the leniency of Android. Speaking of which...

2) The Small capitalize off of delivering content.

With the exception of services like Steam, these guys barely give a crap about where you got what. They don't have an ecosystem to sell you. They make the games and you buy them; that is the M.O. and they stick to it. Developers will make a game with a controller mapping or a keyboard/mouse mapping, or even touchscreen. For most games, that's actually easy. The critical element is that you get the content, and when you have more ways to control a game, you get more accessibility, which means more people playing.

This is what I missed when criticizing the Ouya and Gamestick. It's not about the idea these Kickstarter projects are adding in unnecessary parts or causing redundancy in the android ecosystem. It's about a way to access a massive amount of games. That is the critical element. When it comes to these specific devices, the question you should ask is "how does it interfere with the collection of games I want and have?" and unless the device at hand is the Xperia Play, you pretty much can't do much wrong, here.

So I recant my original post, and here I say that these android consoles are doing the right thing by selling this new hardware to this new generation of gamers. Any good device that makes gaming more widespread is a good one, regardless of how many other devices consumers use to experience content. The more, the merrier.

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