Console gaming vs. PC gaming: the quiet people

If you have not been living under a rock, you know that computer gaming has had a war raging since, oh, forever: PC gaming vs. Console gaming. On the one side, there are the “take a general machine and write software game platforms for it”, and on the other, there is the “built a special gaming machine”. Another look at the participants will reveal that what people usually call PC gaming is really “Windows gaming” — the Linux+Mac crowd are slightly less than any current console. We’ll get back to that point later.

So, who are the participants? We have Windows (XP/Vista) as the PC gaming representative, Wii, XBox and PS3 as the console representatives. Right? You may have noticed that Microsoft is actually two parts of the puzzle, competing with itself for gamers (and games). But is this really the whole picture?

What about those tech savvy people who used to be called the lithium-ion set. The people who travel with 2-5 devices running on lithium-ion batteries, who charge them when they can and discharge them when they must. These people are the proper 21st century heirs of the jet-set. Any device which cannot be thrown in a backpack with its charger is something with limited usefulness. The old PC maxim of “you have a PC anyway, just stick more RAM/CPU/Video hardware in it” breaks down when it comes to laptops — and breaks down even more when we come to netbooks and mac laptops, favourites of the lithium-ion set.

Enter the lithium ion console market, which MS does not have a represetative in: the prime candidates are the nintendo DS and the PSP. Both are light, durable and easy to throw in a backpack. Both, even when combined with the cost of an eeePC, are still cheap enough to compare favourably to a laptop — and both will not cause you to look for incompatibilities with your hardware.

Gaming for the lithium-ion set: it’s all consoles and none of it is Microsoft’s.

PS: If you are thinking of buying the PSP or any other Sony product, please look at a story about Sony which gives good reasons to boycott them for a looooong time and either refraining from a console or buying the DS Lite iinstead.

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7 Responses to Console gaming vs. PC gaming: the quiet people

  1. Chen Shapira says:

    not boycotting Sony. As long as they make the best devices in the market (far ahead of competition), they have my wallet and I forgive them for tiny minor mistakes.

  2. moshez says:

    Oh, some of their stuff is pretty good — that’s important. A boycott isn’t a boycott if you weren’t going to buy it anyway. I know they have lost several sales from me because of that. Calling it a “tiny mistake” is silly — they repeatedly lied about this, and it is likely they will do this again unless there is a shift in management.

  3. herenot says:

    “Enter the lithium ion console market, which MS does not have a represetative in: the prime candidates are the nintendo DS and the PSP. ”

    That market is about to die.

    I’ll give you a hint:

    http://gizmodo.com/5021015/crash-bandicoot-comes-racing-to-iphone-20

  4. moshez says:

    Nonsense….the iPhone costs more and delivers a less solid gaming experience. I have a suspicion just as the PC has not put the consoles out of business, it will be a long time before portable computers will put the handheld consoles out of business. (Crash Bandicoot? Seriously?)

  5. herenot says:

    You may be right. but it’s a bit early to know if the gaming experience will be less solid with the iphone platform (which includes the ipod touch).

    the iphone lacks physical buttons, but does have a larger screen which is multi-touch and displays better 3d gfx, and a accelerometer – we will see if those are good substitutes for the gaming expirience soon enough.

    the other thing is that as a popular mobile platform – there is a very strong possibility that people won’t bother carrring another mobile gaming consule once they get an iphone.

    regarding crash bandicoot – tooche. how about this one, then?

  6. Arobryn says:

    I’m afraid the iPhone doesn’t have the precision to compare to the hand held games – you can’t tap the screen, you have to take a moment and touch it – there’s some lag. I’m sure most gamers won’t be willing to put up with that. However, I bought into the iPhone in order to reduce the number of things I carry and as soon as I find the right case I’ll have it all in one neat little bundle: wallet, phone, music. I want to reduce the number of things I carry around so I would never add a gaming console, however I’ll be very happy with a few not-to-serious games to throw on the iPhone to pass the time.

    But, all in all, I have to agree, the iPhone won’t be cutting into the handheld game console market much.

    I think there’d be value in the handheld game people looking into adding a phone and music to their systems. Then it’d be a matter of priorities. I want music and the Internet so I go for the iPhone – the rest is bonus. A gamer wants games and music, the rest is bonus. Etc. And adding a phone with 3G could open up online gaming from anywhere.

  7. Online gaming on the iphone sounds very interesting 🙂

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