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Tag Archives: PlayStation

Ouya controller

Ouya controller (Photo credit: Saad Faruque)

So, there’s a new console about to break ground called the Ouya, and it looks to fill the indie nitch like no other console before it.

Many consoles have tried to tap into this market before.  Xbox Live and the Playstation Network host independently developed games; even the original Playstation had some indie hits.  But the cost of entry can still be pretty high.

Enter: Ouya.  An Android-based consoles with pumped-up tablet specs that hopes to drive gameplay to a whole new level.  Call me old-fashioned (or just old), but I hope it brings back the good old days of the 8- and 16-bit era of video games.  Some of my favorite games of all time are Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG, and you just can’t find anything like them anymore.

Here’s to hoping that the Ouya brings something new to the table.  I’m looking at this from an optimistic viewpoint.

GameStop logo

GameStop logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article over at CNET strikes a chord with me, so I figured I would make this my first post on my new blog.While I was growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, buying new games as a kid back then was wishful thinking.  If I got anything new, it was during Christmas or a birthday, or at the absolute most I would save up every penny I got and put it towards a game I really wanted.

Most of the time, though, my games came from rental places.  I rented games like no tomorrow.  It did help that I had a sibling who worked at a Movie Gallery, so I was able to get the games for free or cheap, but even when that source ran out, I still rented games whenever possible.

Fast-forward to my teenage years, and I started moving towards the used game market.  I didn’t have a local GameStop, though, so for me it was buying the older games that Movie Gallery was selling off.  When I went to college, though, I discovered GameStop and found my hobby picking up steam again.  Most games I experienced were used, and not new.

Nowadays, I sometimes buy used games.  Most of my gaming content, though, comes from online purchases through Steam or upgrades to MMOs bought digitally.  I do play games on my cell phone too, so there is that digital ecosystem that I purchase through.

I say all of that to say this: most of our content nowadays comes from online purchases.  Was it only a matter of time that this moved to the console systems?  I honestly believed that most console systems would move to a digital distribution system in the next generation of consoles, and remove physical media entirely.  Not only would this (hopefully, although doubtfully) lower prices, but it would also absolutely destroy the used game industry, which even Best Buy just got into.

It appears now, though, that console makers are going to stick to physical media (maybe offering additional options through digital), but are trying to find ways to circumvent the use of used games on their systems.  I was already prepared to mourn the loss of used games; I grew up using them through various means to get my gaming fix whenever I could.  But content is being distributed in vastly different means nowadays, and I can see why console makers would want to get in on that.  When you purchase a game on the iOS App Store, you can’t trade it in, you can’t sell it, you can’t lend it to a friend (you can buy another copy and have it sent as a gift in some cases), you can’t buy it used at all.  It means all purchases have to go through Apple, which means Apple makes money for them all.  Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo make nothing when a used game is purchased, and they would rather not have that happen.

GameStop supposedly is rumored to be taking a stand against these actions, claiming they will not carry the next-generation Playstation if it has this technology.  The problem, though, is that almost all of the console makers will be trying to add this tech to their consoles, so eventually GameStop won’t be carrying any of the new consoles.  If they did go through with this, it would be a test of whether or not they carry the weight of game sales.  More than likely consumers will find the console through other carriers, causing GameStop a serious loss in revenue.  I don’t think GameStop could carry out their claim and stay in business.

Rental games will probably be affected as well.  I do not see any way for console makers to block off purely used game use and yet somehow allow rental games to proceed.

As with most things in life nowadays, this all boils down to money: who’s getting it, who’s not getting it, and who wants to get it.  Doing this, though, will affect far more than just the consumer, putting possibly thousands out jobs over time.  Realistically, though, this shift was probably going to happen anyway.

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