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Forums - Sales Discussion - The evolution of the console market over time

IcaroRibeiro said:
RolStoppable said:

Another example would be the JRPG genre which is an adaptation of PC RPGs; while in a PC RPG the player had a lot of options for the character build, the stat and talent growth with level ups was significantly streamlined for JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. In all examples in this paragraph I am refering to the very first game in each series.

There is a nice video about it I watched while a go explaining this 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fJiwn8iXqOI&feature=youtu.be

Basically Dragon Quest became popular because it brings a more accessible approach for the very complex PC RPGs (that were mostly based on the rules of board RPGs in mind)

yeah DQ and FF are child of Wizardly and Ultima, the arcade version and streamlined of these games.



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RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

This is an interesting categorization.  Probably the main thing that isn't quite so clear is what gets categorized as a "PC game" and what is "arcade evolution"?  I would probably call Animal Crossing a PC game, since it is a life sim.  However, it has never been available on PC.  On the other hand I'm not sure how I would categorize games like 3D Mario and 3D Zelda.  They don't feel like arcade evolved games or PC games to me.  I guess they are arcade evolved, but they are just a further iteration away from pure arcade games?


The other thing that isn't quite so clear is why Dreamcast and Gamecube are considered "Balance", while the N64 and Saturn are considered arcade evolution.  I do admit that I've never owned either a N64 or Saturn though.  From what I can tell N64 and Gamecube had very similar games, especially for the major releases.  Does this classification have more to do with third party games?  (But then again the Wii's third party library was not really strongly in the arcade evolution category.)  Dreamcast actually had a whole lot of arcade games: Marvel vs. Capcom, Powerstone, Guantlet: Dark Legacy, plenty of shmups, etc....

Arcade games and PC games used to have very strong differences, but much like the definitions and borders of video game genres, it begins to blend into each other over time. That's why younger people are probably unable to tell a difference for the most part.

An arcade game had to be instantly understood to get players hooked, because otherwise people would just walk over to the next cabinet. This created a very different setting for software competition than on the PC where games could afford to have steep learning curves. A logical result of this is that arcade games needed very few buttons for their controls whereas games on a PC worked with the keyboard and had virtually no limit on the keys being used in games.

The example of Animal Crossing has similarities to Fire Emblem where you may feel inclined to assign it to the PC side because you associate the genre itself with the PC, but in both cases the games have a distinct feel to them because their approach was not to get a PC game to work on a console, but rather to adapt a PC genre by working from the premise of console game design, which means that only a few buttons cover all important functions while at the same time there's a focus on only the key ingredients instead of offering dozens of options. Another example would be the JRPG genre which is an adaptation of PC RPGs; while in a PC RPG the player had a lot of options for the character build, the stat and talent growth with level ups was significantly streamlined for JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. In all examples in this paragraph I am refering to the very first game in each series.

3D games on console like Mario and Zelda can be called a further step away from pure arcade games. There's certainly some bloatiness and timewasting involved that isn't present in their 2D counterparts, so they aren't quite the same. I'd say that comes with the added dimension for gameplay that necessitates a bit more complexity in both controls and level design.

The classification is based on what console manufacturers went for. The Saturn and N64 should probably be a half-step between Arcade Evolution and Balance for the above mentioned reason that 3D games don't have the same purity as older arcade games in quite a few genres. Both the Dreamcast and GameCube had their manufacturers adjust to be more like PlayStation, so it would be correct to say that both major first and third party software efforts determine where a console is placed. I say "major" because you can find something of almost everything on modern consoles, but the key is where the emphasis is.

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".

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 27 March 2021

IcaroRibeiro said:
RolStoppable said:

Another example would be the JRPG genre which is an adaptation of PC RPGs; while in a PC RPG the player had a lot of options for the character build, the stat and talent growth with level ups was significantly streamlined for JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. In all examples in this paragraph I am refering to the very first game in each series.

There is a nice video about it I watched while a go explaining this 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fJiwn8iXqOI&feature=youtu.be

Basically Dragon Quest became popular because it brings a more accessible approach for the very complex PC RPGs (that were mostly based on the rules of board RPGs in mind)

Accessibility is a big factor.  The video kind of hints at the other factor though, but doesn't quite come out and say it. 

To a Japanese person, playing Dragon Quest feels like a manga turned into a video game.  There isn't much story in DQ1, so it might not be obvious.  However, if you look at how JRPGs evolved, with a huge story focus, then it becomes more obvious.  The Japanese play RPGs to feel like they are playing a manga.  The main way DQ1 accomplished this is to get a professional manga artist to do the art design of the game.



The_Liquid_Laser said:
IcaroRibeiro said:

There is a nice video about it I watched while a go explaining this 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fJiwn8iXqOI&feature=youtu.be

Basically Dragon Quest became popular because it brings a more accessible approach for the very complex PC RPGs (that were mostly based on the rules of board RPGs in mind)

Accessibility is a big factor.  The video kind of hints at the other factor though, but doesn't quite come out and say it. 

To a Japanese person, playing Dragon Quest feels like a manga turned into a video game.  There isn't much story in DQ1, so it might not be obvious.  However, if you look at how JRPGs evolved, with a huge story focus, then it becomes more obvious.  The Japanese play RPGs to feel like they are playing a manga.  The main way DQ1 accomplished this is to get a professional manga artist to do the art design of the game.

This also remember another key difference from JRPGs compared to western RPGs. Western RPGs follows the premise of board RPGs where you create and customize a character, the focus is in the role-play. I can't tell much about how was gaming during the 80's, but the PC RPGs I used to play such as Dota, Lineage, Ultima, WoW, etc were always very focused in "Let the player be whatever the player wants"

While JRPGs are overall an anime/manga story that you can play. The characters have a well defined story and set of abilities and you rarely can so much more than what are designed to them before hand



I like it. I'd swap PS1-N64 or maybe moved N64 over to PC priority if you hadn't qualified it with the manufacturer's approach.

Nintendo's attempts to evolve killed SMB and Zelda's arcade gameplay and replaced them with 2 PC games. This left N64 only having Mario Kart, GoldenEye/PD and Smash v sports, tons of racers, 2.5D platformers and fighters with simpler controls.

Intentionally or not, X360 out-arcaded PS3 with it's heavier focus on online shooters, Kinect and XBL-Arcade despite it's crappy d-pad.



Nov 2016 - NES outsells PS1 (JP)

Don't Play Stationary 4 ever. Switch!

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IcaroRibeiro said:

From Switch top 10 best sellers:

BOTW differs nothing from Sony/MS games,  I'd say it's closer to a PC game

Mario Kart is Arcade Evolved, no contest

Odyssey seems more like a balanced maybe? 

Smash is also more like an Arcade game

Sword and Shield is a classic console RPG but with very few focus in story and plotline, I don't know exactly how to classify it 

Let's Go is a mixed smartphone game and a classic Pokemon game 

Animal Crossing... I'm not sure. I don't get the same feelings playing AC as I do playing other simulators, I guess the fact the game meet major success playing in handhelds where people could play in small little sessions is their best selling point. I might consider it another thing altogether, maybe closer to mobile games than either PC or Console games 

Mario Party is... no idea. How do you see party games? 

Splatoon 2 is a PC game played on console. Anybody who disagrees with the single player campaign in mind don't really understand the popularity of the game lies on its multiplayer 

New Super Mario Bros U is also an arcade game

Bonus (future top 10): Monster Hunter Rise, also a balance between arcade games and PC games

Overall Switch strikes me more in the Balanced category than arcade evolved. Switch library being diverse is one of its selling point 

BoTW is arcade compared to previous 3D Zeldas. Party games are arcade. Splatoon like most online shooters is arcade. RFA is arcade. Switch Sports will be arcade.



Nov 2016 - NES outsells PS1 (JP)

Don't Play Stationary 4 ever. Switch!

Pyro as Bill said:
IcaroRibeiro said:

From Switch top 10 best sellers:

BOTW differs nothing from Sony/MS games,  I'd say it's closer to a PC game

Mario Kart is Arcade Evolved, no contest

Odyssey seems more like a balanced maybe? 

Smash is also more like an Arcade game

Sword and Shield is a classic console RPG but with very few focus in story and plotline, I don't know exactly how to classify it 

Let's Go is a mixed smartphone game and a classic Pokemon game 

Animal Crossing... I'm not sure. I don't get the same feelings playing AC as I do playing other simulators, I guess the fact the game meet major success playing in handhelds where people could play in small little sessions is their best selling point. I might consider it another thing altogether, maybe closer to mobile games than either PC or Console games 

Mario Party is... no idea. How do you see party games? 

Splatoon 2 is a PC game played on console. Anybody who disagrees with the single player campaign in mind don't really understand the popularity of the game lies on its multiplayer 

New Super Mario Bros U is also an arcade game

Bonus (future top 10): Monster Hunter Rise, also a balance between arcade games and PC games

Overall Switch strikes me more in the Balanced category than arcade evolved. Switch library being diverse is one of its selling point 

BoTW is arcade compared to previous 3D Zeldas. Party games are arcade. Splatoon like most online shooters is arcade. RFA is arcade. Switch Sports will be arcade.

I don't see shooters as arcade games



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.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

It was a good read ^^ And by synthetizing most of your points, it prolly made most of your classification understandable.

Still, I must really despise Sim games if I can't even get into any arcade sim games such as Animal Crossing lol



Switch Friend Code : 3905-6122-2909 

RolStoppable said:
IcaroRibeiro said:

Ok  but what exactly make Switch games so different from, PS3 or PS4 games besides production value? Some of best selling Swtich are nothing but Wii U ports 

Or are you basing your list only on hardware aspects? 

The list is based on what the manufacturers expect their consoles to do.

Ah, that makes sense now. Because I felt Dreamcast might have fallen into Arcade Evolution, but it definitely did have a goal of balanced approach.

Anyway, I really like posts like this one.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.