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RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

Ok, you are using a very different classification then I would use.  I do not associate PC games with having a steep learning curve, per se.  The principle of "easy to learn, difficult to master" is simply a principle of good game design, whether it is on the PC or console or arcade or a board game or whatever.  The average PC game in the 80's and 90's did, in fact, have a steeper learning curve compared to the average arcade or console game, but that is because of another more important reason, which I'll state in a bit.  I remember playing Warcraft 1 and 2, though.  These games are extremely easy to learn.  In reality the main campaign for these games is actually a huge tutorial, but it doesn't feel that way, because the games are so well designed including being very easy to learn and yet difficult to master.

There are plenty of pure PC games that I like and there are plenty of pure arcade games that I like, and here are the main differences I see between the two platforms.  (This especially is referring to 20th century games).

Arcade:  Short, intense, focus on intuitive controls, easy to die, mainly challenges the body (i.e. coordination, timing, reflexes, etc...).
PC:  Long, slower paced, content heavy, focus on cutting edge graphics, mainly challenges the mind (i.e. strategy, puzzle solving, etc...).

Just going by these qualities I've stated, neither arcade nor PC gaming is inherently better than the other.  However, since PC games challenged the mind, they tended to have a steeper learning curve just to make that challenge interesting.  Arcade games, on the other hand, did tend to be simple, because a person needed to feel they had a meaningful experience in about 3 minutes.  So, arcade game designers did tend to be better at executing the "easy to learn, difficult to master" principle.

I think that there needs to be a "PC evolved" category, just for the sake of making discussion easier.  I would call NES games like The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Metroid, Castlevania, and Mike Tyson's Punch Out, "arcade evolved".  Their basic gameplay comes from the arcade, but they are also longer, with more content, than a pure arcade game.  They are mostly on the arcade side, but borrow somewhat from PC design.  I would call games like Dragon Quest and Fire Emblem "PC evolved".  They borrow from a PC genre, but they are also made simpler and more intuitive for the console.  I would also call a game like DOOM "PC evolved".  This was the first time an action game became really popular on the PC.  That was a big part of it's appeal.  To me it felt like a "casual action game" in the same way that Dragon Quest feels like a "casual RPG".  The controls on consoles were better than keyboard and mouse.  In reality though, they borrowed a few elements from arcade game design to make DOOM.  However, it came to PC first, because PC could handle 3D graphics better than consoles could.  The graphics focus makes it a PC game, but the action part is why I would call it "PC evolved".

It's not about declaring one better over the other, it's about recognizing differences and that's the basis for the placements of consoles in the table.

Said placement then provides the answer why certain constellations don't cut into each other's sales like most others did, particularly in those cases where there is a horizontal gap (one empty cell or more) within a given generation. These situations create an additive scenario rather than a zero-sum game for total console sales, because the two sides arcade and PC have a relationship of supplementing each other rather than one being able to replace the other.

As I said, it's a condensed version. A more elaborate version would have more columns and list more consoles, including handhelds. If I had used more columns here, the formating wouldn't have worked anymore because there's only so much space that can be displayed flawlessly.

Regardless, one takeaway is that Nintendo will remain very successful if they stay on their path because neither Sony or Microsoft are interested in moving in that direction. Another takeaway is that neither Sony or Microsoft will find success on their current path in Japan because the country has never warmed up to PC gaming.

Lastly, a more personal response to you because apparently you've made a bet with curl-6 that the PS5 won't sell more than 80m units. This thread explains why Switch isn't going to cut into PS5 sales to this degree. While Switch can and will hurt the PS5 in Japan due to the unique circumstances of the country, the same thing cannot be replicated on a global scale. Switch serves the traditional console market while the PS5 is the leader in playing PC-style games on console, so in most of the world that will result in both consoles being successful with no ifs or buts. It would have to be Microsoft who has to limit PS5 sales by a large degree to keep the PS5 under 80m lifetime, but through now four generations Microsoft hasn't shown an ability to solve their ongoing problems, so their potential to damage Sony isn't particularly big. In other words, curl-6 has it very easy.

Oh, I see.  You think the Switch is like the Wii.  You think it is attracting a new crowd of people or maybe bringing back the old Wii crowd.  That is why you are defining "arcade" in terms of accessibility.  

The problem with this reasoning is that the Wii was a whole lot more accessible than the Switch is.  The Switch has no Wii Sports type of game.  If you are thinking "arcade" means accessible, then the Switch needs a mega seller that is as easy to learn as Wii Sports.  It doesn't have this.  You shouldn't put the Wii and the Switch in the same vertical column on your table, because their library of games is pretty different.

Switch is not successful because of extreme accessibility.  Switch is successful, because it is a handheld system.  Nintendo has never been defeated in the handheld space.  They are leveraging their extreme success in the handheld market and bringing it into the home market as well.  That is why the Switch is successful.  It is not about extreme accessibility.

The "arcade gameplay" on the Switch is actually pretty similar to the "arcade gameplay" on the N64 and Gamecube.  Switch's big arcade-like games are Mario Kart, Smash Bros and Mario Party.  You could find these same types of games on the N64 and Gamecube.  You could also find these types of games on the 3DS.  They sell better on the 3DS.  Now they are selling well on the Switch.  That's because the Switch is bringing in all of the handheld gamers and then bringing in some home console gamers too.  It's not bringing in the Wii crowd in big numbers.  It's merging the home and handheld markets.