Game designing legend and producer of the Tekken franchise Harada San is tired of the ongoing console wars. He believes the era where people were forced to pick a side in the conflict is well over as people move to play on multiple consoles or alternate devices - and yet the major console creators continue to duke it out.
The idea of the big three getting together and making one console makes him “very happy”, and one can see why. This is the sort of pacifist argument for console gaming - a perfect ideal that seems so obvious and yet will never happen. Oh, but only if it could happen… The possibilities would become immediately open. Console games could actually function like DVDs or Blu-ray discs, where the focus could be put on the games instead of what specific hardware they’re meant to be played on.
When you stop and think about the situation, it’s incredibly bizarre and off-putting that console games can only be played on certain players owned by specific corporations. It’s something that I tend to believe has gotten in the way of actual evolution in the medium - but I digress, on to the actual news. Here’s the full quote from San:
“For a long time, the game industry has been able to control the way people play games. There was a platform that people used solely for their gaming needs, and the industry had control of the trends and such that occurred. [Now], people are able to not be tied down by consoles, and it doesn’t stop with phones; we have browser gaming and all these different platforms.
“I think it would be interesting if Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo got together just to make one console. It makes me very happy to think about all the possibilities that could occur because of that.”
Essentially, San sees a world where gamers are no longer forced to choose specific platforms for their games, but where the embedded industry (namely the console makers) has yet to really take note of this trend. He praised Sony for their efforts to remove region locking on the PlayStation 3, but further believes that real innovation can come from the big three making a singular console.
As I mentioned earlier, it does seem ridiculous that there are multiple formats for gaming. Films have singular output options, and so the movie is the focus. Can you imagine if Sony, Panasonic and Samsung all made different DVD players that only ran certain DVDs, and where specific production companies (like Fox or Miramax) would have to sign contracts with only one or two of the DVD players? It would be asinine.
And yet, that’s the exact situation we have with gaming. Can this sustain itself indefinitely? Might this be the key to ensuring console gaming’s future success? Comment away!