Is there no place in the market for a High End (expensive) Console?

Discussion in 'General Video Gaming Chat' started by Tempest, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. Tempest

    Tempest
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    I've been thinking about this for a while and also with my memories of days gone by with the, dare I say it, very existing days of new consoles hitting the news constantly.

    If I go back 25 years, we had some consoles around the £400 mark, which I'd take a stab in the dark and suggest that would easy be £1000 in today's money.

    Given that people are happily? paying out, easy £500+ nowadays to get a mid-ish tier modern smartphone, some paying up to twice that amount.

    If a company was brave enough to go, let's say "balls out" and work with Nvidia/AMD to develop some high end chippery, and ended up with a console in the £800 ish bracket that really kicked some serious butt. And given the ability to code for known/fixed hardware may leave most custom gaming PC's behind when it came to actual game performance.

    Do you feel there would not be a market?

    I'd certainly love to see something like that be made, for those who wanted the best.
    It would be above, little Timmy's Christmas gift range of course, but just something to stand out at the high end.

    Get us back to the good old days, when you actually had something to wish for, and stand there jaw on the floor at what something built with that price tag could achieve.
     
  2. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Surely you would just get a PC in that case? The benefits of a console would be diminished at that price point.
     
  3. Rocinate

    Rocinate
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    Valve tried it with Alienware steam machines, it was marketed to be high end console. It's failed..

    Steam Machines

    In my opinion if you are spending that much people want full control of what goes in, similar to hifi separates and is certainly the case for myself when it comes to gaming.
     
  4. Getinthehole!

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    It needs to be mass market for online play to be successful.
     
  5. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I guess I'm not really thinking "Let's just cram a PC into a box and call it a console type console"
    With all the legacy issues of x86 chips which have held PC's back for so long.

    Were not Steam machines just PC's in a small box?

    I can see the issue of Online Gaming, but that can be cross platform can it not?

    I know what I'd like to see will never be build.
    A bit like a company saying, ok. fresh sheet of paper, backwards compatible with nothing. Let's contact the chip makers and put together something totally custom hardware wise.

    An impractical pipe-dream I guess

    Consoles are too cheap, or rather, I wish there were more higher end ones. Or higher versions, a bit like what Msoft has done, but even higher.

    Re the "might as well get a PC" viewpoint, well, a Console built to high end, with fresh hardware should leave any PC totally standing, if it's been designed from the ground up for game play and the coders know exactly the hardware they are writing for with zero worries about any compatibility issues.

    I guess I'm frustrated a little at, well it can only be this good as we need to keep to a £399 price point for example, and there we are stuck for the next X years.

    As I say people pay more each year for a phone than a console which lasts many years.

    Of course, it would need to be something special, so special that it made anything on the market now look like an embarrassment.
     
  6. JabbaNut

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    That was the old days of PC, when ever 16 months to 2 years, you upgraded the CPU and or GPU.
    Today's high graphics games have high costs, needing large mass markets.

    It is not the console but the controllers which can be standardised. That just leaves the piracy problem to be designed out. Mass game copying killed the old PC gaming market. Gave rise to consoles.
     
  7. Greg Hook

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    No console will ever leave all PC's standing. It might beat low/medium end ones if it was designed properly with decent components, but the development time for a console will mean by the time it comes out, most medium/high end PCs will wipe the floor with it.

    Even if you designed a console today, using something ridiculous like two 1080Ti GPUs, by the time it came out in a year or two's time, the latest PC would beat it probably with just one of the latest top end GPUs.

    Plus the more power you chuck into a console, the more cooling is required. You can't go too high end without everyone complaining about very noisy fans on all the time.
     
  8. aoaaron

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    This is known as a PC.
     
  9. Tempest

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    But a pc is held back by intel Intel and the need to be backwards compatible eith the x86 instruction set isn't it? I've heard that for years, that and the random mix of hardware everything has to allow for and get in the way.

    I can't believe that if a team sat down with a blank sheet of paper and designed hardware from scratch to play games / fast at polygon type graphics, with no constraints on being compatible with anything, they could not come up with something much faster and leaner than a pc with 37 years of baggage behind it.
     
  10. Rcfman

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    Cloud computing, where the game is streamed. Then bandwidth is the bottleneck, processing power can be kept bleeding edge by the hosts. Surely that's the key as network infrastructure continues to grow?
     
  11. Sonic67

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    The PS3 used a new cell chip. It wasn't the hit it should have been as it required programmers to work specifically for that chip to get the best out of it and it was different to what PCs were using which they were familiar with.

    Now the X-Box and PS4 uses PC hardware as it's easier to program for and what people know. If you use PC hardware then you benefit from the economies of scale, and it's what people know.
     
  12. Liftplus

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    High end consoles wont happen anytime soon. They are made as a cheaper alternative to PC, but that divide is starting to slowly blur. When you'll have a choice: buy a console that cant be upgraded or buy a PC that can be upgraded later for almost the same price, you wont find many people who'll buy consoles.
     
  13. Trollslayer

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    You need a large market in order for games developers to put the effort (and money) in.
    Game development is a lot more complex these days.
     
  14. Tempest

    Tempest
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    It's a shame, as I long for the days, again, where the consoles, as they were custom designed from ground up for playing games, without any of the legacy associated with a computer/pc were the machines that left the computers in the dust.

    Not like today where the console is the poor mans PC, but the console to be made the kind again, albeit at a higher price than consoles are these days.

    Such consoles of the past were probably £1000 - £1500 in real terms today.
     
  15. cmdrmarc

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    I don't get this need for bigger, faster, shinier. What we have already is astounding, but the real point is aren't the best games about gameplay? Machines 25 years ago were built from the ground up to be amazing because they had to be to get the gameplay up to standard. They don't need to be now. We've reached that point and most of the "improvements" are about bigger, faster, shinier. Nintendo have proved you don't need it to make good games.
     
  16. Trollslayer

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    Because that would cause sales to slump.
     
  17. cmdrmarc

    cmdrmarc
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    Nintendo's sales have hardly slumped with the Switch

    • 10 million: PS4 units sold in 8 months on the market
    • 10 million: Nintendo Switch units sold in 9 months on the market
     
  18. King Tones

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    But the Switch was offering something different to say a PS4 or Xbox.
    You can't play a PS4 on your daily commute. You want to play the best looking games, buy a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. You want to play some decent looking games and some Ninty exclusives while on the bus/train/plane or while the wife is hogging the TV then buy a Switch.

    With consoles they should always try and push, we might not have had a huge jump from PS3 to PS4 or 360 to One but look at what you can use a console for now, It can be your central media hub and also be used to stream/record your gameplay. Play 4K discs and games and a be a central part of your living room.
     
  19. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Bring back Clive Sinclair, he was never afraid to try new things.
    Many flopped admittedly but that's how you can take jumps as opposed to just fiddle with the old design each time.
    Perhaps it's just the money men as opposed to the tech geeks, who would just want to do try and do something new for the technical sake of it, as opposed to needing to guarantee financial returns withing well planned time-frames?
     
  20. cmdrmarc

    cmdrmarc
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    Why does "always try and push" have to be about graphics though?
     
  21. King Tones

    King Tones
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    It doesn't and that's why I stated about what the current gen consoles can do over the previous ones.
     
  22. cmdrmarc

    cmdrmarc
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    I think you've overstated the difference though. Plenty of people used a PS3 as a media centre (myself included), so you can't really argue that the main purpose of the PS4 was to improve graphics. I'd admit that the jump from 360 to Xbox One was more useful, but that was mainly to make up the failings of the 360 (such as not supporting an HD format without an addon, and even then they picked the wrong horse to back).
     
  23. Tempest

    Tempest
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    Well, with such a device, it's all about speed of the calculations.
    That speed will always translate to visual improvement of course, and we are still a million miles from where we could be.
    However, just as important that speed can be used to all other aspects such as you mention the game-play calculations, and the AI that's going on also.
    At the moment there are so many clever tricks and fakery used due to not having anywhere near the power needed.
    Current consoles are absolutely amazing.
    It's just a shame hitting a low? ish price could be limiting how far we could move.
     
  24. cmdrmarc

    cmdrmarc
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    There are clever tricks and fakery used because so much of the computing power is being used on the graphics engine. If they scaled back on having make everything shiny and better looking, they could focus on making amazing gameplay. Look at what indies devs are doing with 16-bit looking games. You telling me they're not as fun and ingenious because they're not pushing the graphical boundaries?
     
  25. Trollslayer

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    Except there is a market for fancy graphics in games and Nintendo is also doing well.
     
  26. cmdrmarc

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    I'm not saying there isn't a market for it, my argument is that in my opinion, games should stop being driven by making the next biggest, faster console, and focus on what makes the best, most playable games. If there is no alternative, for now people will keep buying what they're given thanks to marketing, but that's not a positive :)
     
  27. Tempest

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    I could very well be wrong here, but we of course need massive amounts of hardware to power the graphical side of things for spectacular visual effects, especially when it comes to lighting, reflections and shadows which we simply don't have the power to do well yet, even with the very latest 2080Ti cards.
    In addition, we don't yet have the power, well not apart from a super computer? to attempt much in the way of AI, of course a fair amount of that is understanding how to create an AI in the 1st place.
    So both of those things we can keep throwing more and more power at for the next, who knows how many more decades?
    Game Play wise, i presume you are sort of meaning the story of the game, and the puzzles in a game.
    I'm, not really sure that power is what's needed to improve the story.
    I mean, you could have an amazing story/puzzles on an 8-bit machine, it would just have poor graphics and poor AI, if AI was part of the game.

    In the same way, take a storybook.

    You can have better quality paper, better ink, amazing illustrations, superb book binding, with embossed leather, gold leaf etc etc etc. But the story requires none of that.

    I'm in agreement, great, Visuals, AI, Frame-rates, Sounds are all wonderful things, but you need a great story in the 1st place to make it a complete package.
    Or something so open that you can, if you will, create your own story as you go, but of course it has to be built to allow that to happen, perhaps that's where the AI may come in, in the future?
     
  28. cmdrmarc

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    Gameplay is not the same as story, no. It's about an enjoyable playing experience, how does the character handle, what mechanics does the developer employ etc. Look at Super Mario World from 20+ years ago - pretty close to perfect, and a model still used to create 2D platformers today. Same for Mario 64 - all modern iterations still have the same core gameplay - technology has not improved that, good developers have. Yes, Galaxy and Odyssey look nicer, but they certainly didn't need cutting edge systems to run them.

    If things like the latest COD and Assassins Creed NEED to have the latest tech in order to make them enjoyable, something is wrong.
     
  29. wiz

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    I'm no gamer but when you say high end what you really mean is low volume.

    No games house is going to develop / port a game to a platform that is low volume when the big boys bring in more cash
     
  30. Harry Hendel

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    As much as I agree with you and would love to see this, this wouldn't work.

    1. Major console companies are increasingly trying to appeal to the wider public, and not just the traditional gaming community.

    2. The benefits diminish to a point where buying a gaming PC rig would be a more flexible and feasible option for many customers.

    Consoles are fine where they're at. Gaming PCs cover the void where high-end consoles don't exist.
     

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