Monday, May 12, 2008

The Other Bad Console

I've been known on occasion to heap some hate on the PlayStation 3 as The Console Not To Buy (TM). But in amongst what an uncharitable observer might describe as "platform zealotry", there's another important message going unsaid.

What if, let's say tomorrow, Microsoft released a new console. And let's say, for example, that the console had on average the same processing power and online connectivity as an XBox 360, with the following problems:

* games require an install period of 20 minutes to 120 minutes before they can be played
* games regularly require user adjustment before they work; many games will not work at all on some consoles
* some single-player games will only work while your console is connected to the internet
* there is no central tech support for the console; rather, you must contact the manufacturers of each component separately
* some games stop functioning after they have been installed a certain amount of times
* the out-of-the-box price of the console is $1,500 to $3,500
* you will need to replace your console or a significant portion of it on average every 30 months to continue playing top-shelf new releases

Welcome to the world of PC Gaming, my friends! Sure, your average $1,000 desktop is a hell of a machine, able to do a whole heap of functions you couldn't live without, but that extra thousand you spent on making it a gaming rig could have bought you no less than five shiny Nintendo DS box sets. That's a system which has yet to frustrate or disappoint me in any meaningful way.

For those who aren't yet on top of the Spore and Mass Effect PC digital rights furore, check it out in the above links.

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