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

The_Liquid_Laser said:

I think your whole table is a mess.  Your terms are not clearly defined.  When I offered some constructive feedback, you got into an argument about it.  

Here is a more logical version of the same table.

GenerationArcade GamesArcade EvolutionBalancePC EvolutionPC Games
1

Magnavox Odyssey

Atari Pong

2

Atari 2600 

Intellivision

3

Atari 5200 

Colecovision

C64
4

Atari 7800                 

Master System

NES/Famicom
5

Genesis/Mega Drive

Neo Geo           

TG16/PCE

SNES/Super Famicom 

Gameboy

6

SaturnN64PS1
7

Dreamcast                       

GBA

Gamecube

PS2                

Xbox

8WiiDS

PS3          

XBox360      

PSP

9

Wii U       

3DS

PS4          

XB1        

PSVita

10Switch

PS5             

X|S

For reference, I'll use the following terms.
1. Arcade Games: Consoles to play arcade games at home.
2. Arcade Evolution: Consoles to play games that have evolved from arcade gameplay.
3. Balance: Consoles that try to strike a balance between 2 and 4.
4. PC Evolution: Consoles that prioritize playing games which evolved from PC gameplay.
5. PC Games: Consoles to play PC games.

Also I define "Arcade" and "PC" based on what they primarily meant in the 20th century.
Arcade: Short, intense, easy to die, mainly challenges the body (e.g. coordination), uses a variety of controls especially joystick (or d-pad by extension), local multiplayer
PC: Long, slower paced, content heavy, focus on cutting edge graphics (including 3D graphics), challenges the mind (i.e. strategy, puzzle solving, etc...), uses primarily keyboard and/or mouse controls (or touchscreen and analogue stick by extension), online multiplayer

Generation 5: Nintendo doubles down on combining arcade controls with content heavy games (e.g. Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, etc...).  In spite of this there are popular games that are both purely arcade games (e.g. Street Fighter 2) as well as PC Evolution games (e.g. Final Fantasy 6).  The Gameboy largely plays games like the NES and SNES.  The Neo Geo is quite obviously an arcade machine.  Sega is also still focused mostly on making arcade style games.  Some of these are pure arcade ports (e.g. Altered Beast, Golden Axe, etc...) while other games could have easily been put straight into the arcade (e.g. Sonic, Streets of Rage).

I'd have to disagree with your moving the Genesis/Mega Drive from "Arcade Evolution" in Rol's table into "Arcade" in yours.  Games like Phantasy Star I-IV, Dragon Slayer I & II, Shining Force I & II, Shining in the Darkness, Sword of Vermillion, Surging Aura don't fit the narrative of Sega being "mostly focused on making arcade style games".  



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Endymion said:
RolStoppable said:

One reason why I wanted to make this is because it illustrates what you quoted in another post. There's a notable difference in the approaches of Nintendo and Sony/Microsoft, but unlike the conventional wisdom which suggests that Nintendo carved out a niche for themselves because they can't compete, it actually shows that Nintendo stayed true to their roots while it's the other two manufacturers, especially Sony, who changed course. The addition of handhelds would strengthen this point, because there it clearly showed that it's Sony who can't compete with Nintendo, not the other way around.

Well yes, who don't know Nintendo have a hard time to grasp that uniqueness/dokuso was always part of Nintendo's path to success. Funny anecdote: when subordinates showed to Hiroshi Yamauchi their latest products in development he would always ask them why they thought people would buy it when commercialized. If they answered because the product was marginally better than the one from competitors Yamauchi would throw a fit of anger because he always demanded to their subordinates to come up with something unique and desirable. He knew that the company would make more money and the success be more durable if they created new uncontested space instead of stupidly compete with others for what was already established.

A console like Wii is more in tune with Nintendo's DNA than a console like GC (which tried to ape PlayStation). In early '00s Nintendo didn't retreat, on the contrary they leveraged the company core strengths.

As for Sony/PlayStation changing I disagree with you.

I mean Sony, just like Nintendo, had to adapt to modern times, therefore changes happened, but they did so by following their own DNA (just like Nintendo went through modernization following their own DNA).

The roots of the problem is that Sony and Nintendo were always totally different kind console manufacturers, with totally different philosophies. With time these differences became more and more pronounced.

Sony was always a third-party driven console maker which meant Sony decision making was always based on third-party publishers' attitudes. Sony always focused on what is cool at the present (what's "cool" changes with each epoch, it's situational) and always strived to bring videogames near more mature entertainment forms like cinema (note: creators in new entertainment form suffering from inferiority complex compared to other established entertainment forms and trying in some way to imitate them to seek legitimacy was always a common behaviour).

In contrast Nintendo being a first-party driven console maker always took their decisions based on their vision and their games always (at least from early on) aimed to be unique and to base their entertainment value on basic instincts of the human beings because they want them to trascend time.Think at the exhilarating action of sliding down a slope, that sensation is common in every human being, be them male or female, young or old, born in 1900, 2000 or 2100, independent from the cultural background. That's what Nintendo try to use to create games whose value is eternal.

You said that Nintendo remained true to its roots while Sony changed, in reality both remained true to their DNA it's just that the identity upon which they base their success acts differently with changing times.

As for the last sentence, Sony cannot compete with Nintendo on Nintendo's terms and vice versa Nintendo cannot compete with Sony on Sony's terms.Their skillset are too incompatible to compete head on.

Since we are touching the argument, there is another big difference between Nintendo and Sony which pertain the commoditization of videogames. It isn't often talked about but I expect in the future to rise in prominence.

I am late with my response, but I was thinking about what you posted and the different perspective it brings.

I'd say it would be correct to conclude that Sony's fundamental strategy remained the same - namely pandering to whichever third parties had the most popular games of the time - but at the same time this resulted in PlayStation changing over time, because we've come a long way from the early days of the PS1 with Ridge Racer and Tekken to today's Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. Therefore using Sony/PlayStation interchangeably would be incorrect and I am guilty of this.



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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

The_Liquid_Laser said:

RolStoppable said:

(...)

5. The commotion about Switch being in the same column as the Wii is annoying, because apparently it's fine that Switch and the SNES are in the same column, or that the SNES and Wii are in the same column. There's something strange going on here.

(...)

I think your whole table is a mess.  Your terms are not clearly defined.  When I offered some constructive feedback, you got into an argument about it.  

Here is a more logical version of the same table.

GenerationArcade GamesArcade EvolutionBalancePC EvolutionPC Games
1

Magnavox Odyssey

Atari Pong

2

Atari 2600 

Intellivision

3

Atari 5200 

Colecovision

C64
4

Atari 7800                 

Master System

NES/Famicom
5

Genesis/Mega Drive

Neo Geo           

TG16/PCE

SNES/Super Famicom 

Gameboy

6

SaturnN64PS1
7

Dreamcast                       

GBA

Gamecube

PS2                

Xbox

8WiiDS

PS3          

XBox360      

PSP

9

Wii U       

3DS

PS4          

XB1        

PSVita

10Switch

PS5             

X|S

For reference, I'll use the following terms.
1. Arcade Games: Consoles to play arcade games at home.
2. Arcade Evolution: Consoles to play games that have evolved from arcade gameplay.
3. Balance: Consoles that try to strike a balance between 2 and 4.
4. PC Evolution: Consoles that prioritize playing games which evolved from PC gameplay.
5. PC Games: Consoles to play PC games.

Also I define "Arcade" and "PC" based on what they primarily meant in the 20th century.
Arcade: Short, intense, easy to die, mainly challenges the body (e.g. coordination), uses a variety of controls especially joystick (or d-pad by extension), local multiplayer
PC: Long, slower paced, content heavy, focus on cutting edge graphics (including 3D graphics), challenges the mind (i.e. strategy, puzzle solving, etc...), uses primarily keyboard and/or mouse controls (or touchscreen and analogue stick by extension), online multiplayer

Generation 1-3: The focus of these consoles is to port arcade games onto a home system.

Generation 4:  Nintendo actually changes the nature of a home console, because of the Famicom Disk System (FDS).  If you look at the Japanese release dates of every game that came before The Legend of Zelda, you will actually see a bunch of pure arcade games (essentially the black box games).  The FDS introduces the ability to save data while still using the elementary Famicom controller which introduces a new type of game which has arcade controls, but is made for the home like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid.  Sega and Atari are still making systems primarily for arcade games.

Generation 5: Nintendo doubles down on combining arcade controls with content heavy games (e.g. Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, etc...).  In spite of this there are popular games that are both purely arcade games (e.g. Street Fighter 2) as well as PC Evolution games (e.g. Final Fantasy 6).  The Gameboy largely plays games like the NES and SNES.  The Neo Geo is quite obviously an arcade machine.  Sega is also still focused mostly on making arcade style games.  Some of these are pure arcade ports (e.g. Altered Beast, Golden Axe, etc...) while other games could have easily been put straight into the arcade (e.g. Sonic, Streets of Rage).

Generation 6:  All of the console makers move toward the PC side by moving heavily toward 3D graphics.  The PC was making 3D games for several years before this generation came along (e.g. Myst, Doom, Wing Commander, etc...).  Therefore PC game developers have a head start on first party developers when it comes to making 3D games.  Going forward game design ends up borrowing more and more from PC games out of necessity.  Nintendo and Sega only move somewhat toward the PC side, but still try to provide experiences that are somewhat arcade-like and Nintendo even sticks with cartridges.  Sony goes very strongly toward the PC side by adopting both a CD ROM and heavily encouraging 3D graphics from third party developers.  A lot of notable Playstation titles are either PC ports (e.g. Tomb Raider) or heavily inspired by PC style gameplay (e.g. Final Fantasy 7/8/9).  

Generation 7:  More of the same from the previous generation.  PC developers still have the advantage, so now games like GTA (a PC series) fully come into their own.  Nintendo is the sole maker of any significant handheld in this generation mostly because of their approach to hardware.  They go for cheaper/weaker hardware that does not drain batteries.  This philosophy paves the way for the GBA SP, which has a rechargeable battery.

Generation 8: Nintendo regained the top spot in the home market by bringing in a bunch of new customers instead of competing for Sony's customer base.  They also return more to their arcade roots with the Wii.  However, they get even further away from their arcade roots on the handheld side by including a touchscreen which simulates mouse controls.  Their approach to the DS also brings in a bunch of new customers.  They key to Nintendo's success in this generation was neither becoming more arcade-like or less arcade-like, but in offering experiences that would bring in new customers.  

Generation 9:  The Wii U and 3DS were both more complex and more expensive systems compared to their predecessors.  Consequently they both alienate a good chunk of their former fanbase. The Vita fairs even worse, and ends up killing Sony's handheld line.  PS4 gains a price advantage over XB1 early on and then later has a notable advantage in exclusives which guarantees it's commanding lead for the whole generation.

Generation 10: Sony and Microsoft continue to make consoles that are following the same philosophy of their predecessors.  Nintendo merges it's home and handheld lines into the Switch.  Every notable first party game on the Switch has a corresponding title on either the Wii U or 3DS (except RFA).  This shows that the main draw of the Switch is in it's hardware value.  In combining their home and handheld systems they took two low systems that many customers considered low value and made one very high value system.  In buying a Switch, a person essentially gets 2 systems (a home and a handheld) for the price of one.

In summary, the history of the console market shows that customers tend to buy the system that offers new experiences.  With the Famicom, Nintendo actually moved away from pure arcade gaming with the Famicom Disk System, and this move changed console gaming forever.  When 3D came along, success went to Playstation because it was the most PC-like system, and the best new experiences for most console gamers came from the PC or PC-like games.  When Nintendo made the DS and Wii, they were offering new experiences that gamers had never encountered before, and they greatly expanded the market (temporarily).  

However, since the DS and Wii, there has not been a system which came along to offer radically new software experiences.  Sony and Microsoft are following the same path they always have.  Nintendo, likewise, is largely making the same type of software that they have been making for decades.  The new experience with the Switch is on the hardware side.  Home console gamers can play their big budget games on the go if they like (e.g. BotW, Mario Odyssey, etc...).  At the same time handheld gamers are able to play games that are actually a new experience to them, since the Switch can play games much more sophisticated than the 3DS was capable of.  And of course, gamers who were already playing both home and handheld systems, get a very good value by buying one system instead of two.

The Switch is a different type of console than what has come before, because the innovation is purely on the hardware side and not really on the software side at all.  The Famicom, PS1, DS and Wii all innovated on the hardware side to offer different types of games.  The Switch is not offering different types of games.  It is offering better iterations of previous entries, much like the SNES did.  The lack of compelling new kinds of software indicates it will not appeal to non-gamers.  The value is entirely in the hardware, and therefore it is going to appeal to established gamers who understand that it is a better way to play the games they already enjoy.

Your definitions for arcade and PC sides are strange. You construct a definition to shift the DS more to the PC side ("touchscreen is like mouse"), but the Wii-Remote with its infrared pointer which is even closer to a mouse is completely omitted. Similarly, 3D graphics should not be a defining trait of PC gaming. After all, both Nintendo and Sega made notable prominent efforts to have 3D or pseudo-3D graphics on their 16-bit consoles. The storage medium of a console should not define the arcade or PC side either.

I think somebody in this thread already made you aware that Ring Fit Adventure is a big hit on Switch. Same thing for Switch's standard controller which can be broken up into motion controllers similar to the Wii-Remote. Sure, these things aren't going to create the same level of excitement as the Wii because they evolve an idea rather than being the new thing. Similarly, your qualifier of appealing to non-gamers is very arbitrary because in this day and age almost everyone has played a video game at some point with how omnipresent smartphones are in the world.

As for your summary:

In summary, the history of the console market shows that customers tend to buy the system that offers new experiences.

That's not true because there is a bunch of successful consoles that didn't offer much or anything in terms of new experiences. But if that is the conclusion you wanted to arrive at all along, then it explains the logical inconsistencies in your recap of console history.



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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

Mandalore76 said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

I think your whole table is a mess.  Your terms are not clearly defined.  When I offered some constructive feedback, you got into an argument about it.  

Here is a more logical version of the same table.

Generation Arcade Games Arcade Evolution Balance PC Evolution PC Games
1

Magnavox Odyssey

Atari Pong

2

Atari 2600 

Intellivision

3

Atari 5200 

Colecovision

C64
4

Atari 7800                 

Master System

NES/Famicom
5

Genesis/Mega Drive

Neo Geo           

TG16/PCE

SNES/Super Famicom 

Gameboy

6

Saturn N64 PS1
7

Dreamcast                       

GBA

Gamecube

PS2                

Xbox

8 Wii DS

PS3          

XBox360      

PSP

9

Wii U       

3DS

PS4          

XB1        

PSVita

10 Switch

PS5             

X|S

For reference, I'll use the following terms.
1. Arcade Games: Consoles to play arcade games at home.
2. Arcade Evolution: Consoles to play games that have evolved from arcade gameplay.
3. Balance: Consoles that try to strike a balance between 2 and 4.
4. PC Evolution: Consoles that prioritize playing games which evolved from PC gameplay.
5. PC Games: Consoles to play PC games.

Also I define "Arcade" and "PC" based on what they primarily meant in the 20th century.
Arcade: Short, intense, easy to die, mainly challenges the body (e.g. coordination), uses a variety of controls especially joystick (or d-pad by extension), local multiplayer
PC: Long, slower paced, content heavy, focus on cutting edge graphics (including 3D graphics), challenges the mind (i.e. strategy, puzzle solving, etc...), uses primarily keyboard and/or mouse controls (or touchscreen and analogue stick by extension), online multiplayer

Generation 5: Nintendo doubles down on combining arcade controls with content heavy games (e.g. Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, etc...).  In spite of this there are popular games that are both purely arcade games (e.g. Street Fighter 2) as well as PC Evolution games (e.g. Final Fantasy 6).  The Gameboy largely plays games like the NES and SNES.  The Neo Geo is quite obviously an arcade machine.  Sega is also still focused mostly on making arcade style games.  Some of these are pure arcade ports (e.g. Altered Beast, Golden Axe, etc...) while other games could have easily been put straight into the arcade (e.g. Sonic, Streets of Rage).

I'd have to disagree with your moving the Genesis/Mega Drive from "Arcade Evolution" in Rol's table into "Arcade" in yours.  Games like Phantasy Star I-IV, Dragon Slayer I & II, Shining Force I & II, Shining in the Darkness, Sword of Vermillion, Surging Aura don't fit the narrative of Sega being "mostly focused on making arcade style games".  

I put the Genesis in column 1 to highlight that it was much more of an arcade console than the SNES. (And really for every generation Sega is more on the arcade side than Nintendo is.)  There were lots of arcade ports on the Genesis including quite a few by Sega.  I struggle to think of one arcade port on the SNES that was developed by Nintendo.  

On the other hand, you have a point in that Genesis is not a Neo Geo either.  Sega was making other types of games too like RPGs.  What it didn't really do so much was make "arcade evolution" games.  Either they made an arcade game or they made an RPG.  Meanwhile Super Mario World was an action platformer with an overworld and save files.  Sega wasn't really making too many games like this, "arcade evolution", but that was the focus for Nintendo.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 08 April 2021

RolStoppable said:

Your definitions for arcade and PC sides are strange. You construct a definition to shift the DS more to the PC side ("touchscreen is like mouse"), but the Wii-Remote with its infrared pointer which is even closer to a mouse is completely omitted. Similarly, 3D graphics should not be a defining trait of PC gaming. After all, both Nintendo and Sega made notable prominent efforts to have 3D or pseudo-3D graphics on their 16-bit consoles. The storage medium of a console should not define the arcade or PC side either.

I think somebody in this thread already made you aware that Ring Fit Adventure is a big hit on Switch. Same thing for Switch's standard controller which can be broken up into motion controllers similar to the Wii-Remote. Sure, these things aren't going to create the same level of excitement as the Wii because they evolve an idea rather than being the new thing. Similarly, your qualifier of appealing to non-gamers is very arbitrary because in this day and age almost everyone has played a video game at some point with how omnipresent smartphones are in the world.

As for your summary:

In summary, the history of the console market shows that customers tend to buy the system that offers new experiences.

That's not true because there is a bunch of successful consoles that didn't offer much or anything in terms of new experiences. But if that is the conclusion you wanted to arrive at all along, then it explains the logical inconsistencies in your recap of console history.

It's funny you think the infrared pointer is the most defining feature of the Wii remote.  What matters most is how it is used most commonly, especially in the most popular games.  Also, what is the point of this argument?  Do you personally believe that Wii is not an arcade machine now, or are you just nitpicking on stuff that you don't really believe in the first place?

3D is definitely an aspect of PC gaming.  Myst, DOOM, Wing Commander, etc... were all big 3D franchises in the early 90s.  At the same time the arcades had Virtua Fighter and that was about it.  The big 90's arcade games were 2D fighting games.  

The mistake you make is that you think arcade gaming is defined by consoles.  It isn't.  Arcade gaming is defined by the games that were in the arcades.



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The_Liquid_Laser said:
RolStoppable said:

Your definitions for arcade and PC sides are strange. You construct a definition to shift the DS more to the PC side ("touchscreen is like mouse"), but the Wii-Remote with its infrared pointer which is even closer to a mouse is completely omitted. Similarly, 3D graphics should not be a defining trait of PC gaming. After all, both Nintendo and Sega made notable prominent efforts to have 3D or pseudo-3D graphics on their 16-bit consoles. The storage medium of a console should not define the arcade or PC side either.

I think somebody in this thread already made you aware that Ring Fit Adventure is a big hit on Switch. Same thing for Switch's standard controller which can be broken up into motion controllers similar to the Wii-Remote. Sure, these things aren't going to create the same level of excitement as the Wii because they evolve an idea rather than being the new thing. Similarly, your qualifier of appealing to non-gamers is very arbitrary because in this day and age almost everyone has played a video game at some point with how omnipresent smartphones are in the world.

As for your summary:

In summary, the history of the console market shows that customers tend to buy the system that offers new experiences.

That's not true because there is a bunch of successful consoles that didn't offer much or anything in terms of new experiences. But if that is the conclusion you wanted to arrive at all along, then it explains the logical inconsistencies in your recap of console history.

It's funny you think the infrared pointer is the most defining feature of the Wii remote.  What matters most is how it is used most commonly, especially in the most popular games.  Also, what is the point of this argument?  Do you personally believe that Wii is not an arcade machine now, or are you just nitpicking on stuff that you don't really believe in the first place?

3D is definitely an aspect of PC gaming.  Myst, DOOM, Wing Commander, etc... were all big 3D franchises in the early 90s.  At the same time the arcades had Virtua Fighter and that was about it.  The big 90's arcade games were 2D fighting games.  

The mistake you make is that you think arcade gaming is defined by consoles.  It isn't.  Arcade gaming is defined by the games that were in the arcades.

I don't think the infrared pointer is the most defining feature of the Wii-Remote, but it's obviously a prominent one given its usage in Wii Play which contains modern versions of classics like Pong and Duck Hunt. The point is that if you believe touchscreen controls shift something towards the PC side, then you must also believe that pointer controls shift something to the PC side. However, you firmly put the Wii in the Arcade Evolution column while the DS sits in Balance.

My stance on this matter is that mouse controls for PC games were something inspired by the simplicity and accessibility of arcade games, therefore any mouse-like controls do not constitute the original PC DNA, but rather are an alternate form of arcade DNA. That's why I wouldn't shift either one of the DS or Wii towards the PC side because of touchscreen and pointer, respectively. After all, the major DS and Wii games that use these controls are easy to pick up and play and suited for short play sessions which is clearly the arcade DNA.

PCs were more powerful than consoles and 3D graphics are clearly a matter of processing power. PCs getting there first doesn't mean that 3D graphics are an inherent trait of PC gaming. By the way, Myst used prerendered backgrounds while Doom used sprites for its enemies; Wing Commander banked on its FMVs to sell itself and also used spritework for its graphics, so when you call games that aren't 3D actual 3D franchises, then that means you must accept the SNES's Mode 7 trickery as 3D too. Super Mario Kart and F-Zero come to mind as popular titles, then there was also the Super FX chip-powered Star Fox which had polygon graphics, so actual 3D. Looking at Sega consoles and by extension at the arcades, the racing genre grew in popularity. Virtua Racing, Daytona USA and Sega Rally from Sega, Ridge Racer from Namco. The majority of the 1990s in the arcades was defined by 3D games (first and foremost racing and fighting) as shoot'em ups and 2D fighting games continually declined in popularity.

So yeah, while consoles lagged behind PCs in processing power and therefore didn't feature 3D graphics as commonly as PC games, the motherboards in arcade cabinets were different beasts and demonstrated that 3D graphics aren't a defining trait of either arcade or PC gaming, but merely a matter of processing power.



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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

The_Liquid_Laser said:
Mandalore76 said:

I'd have to disagree with your moving the Genesis/Mega Drive from "Arcade Evolution" in Rol's table into "Arcade" in yours.  Games like Phantasy Star I-IV, Dragon Slayer I & II, Shining Force I & II, Shining in the Darkness, Sword of Vermillion, Surging Aura don't fit the narrative of Sega being "mostly focused on making arcade style games".  

I put the Genesis in column 1 to highlight that it was much more of an arcade console than the SNES. (And really for every generation Sega is more on the arcade side than Nintendo is.)  There were lots of arcade ports on the Genesis including quite a few by Sega.  I struggle to think of one arcade port on the SNES that was developed by Nintendo.  

On the other hand, you have a point in that Genesis is not a Neo Geo either.  Sega was making other types of games too like RPGs.  What it didn't really do so much was make "arcade evolution" games.  Either they made an arcade game or they made an RPG.  Meanwhile Super Mario World was an action platformer with an overworld and save files.  Sega wasn't really making too many games like this, "arcade evolution", but that was the focus for Nintendo.

Once Nintendo was able to get their arcade games directly into people's homes, their arcade division became more about porting Nintendo arcade type games from NES/SNES to coin-op rather than developing them the other way around.  See their VS. and Play Choice 10 coin-ops, Dr. Mario, F-Zero, etc.  Sega was more rooted in developing both coin-ops and home console games.  Sega has actively developed coin-ops from 1966 to today while their home console division came and went in less than 20 years (SG-1000 released in 1983 to the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in 2001).  But, that's not to say they didn't evolve their home console games of the time with the changing hardware.  Sonic 3 didn't have an overworld, but it did have save files.  Outside of platformers and previously mentioned RPG's, Sega developed strategy simulation games like Advanced Daisenryaku: Deutsch Dengeki Sakusen, Super Daisenryaku, The Hybrid Front, Ninja Burai Densetsu, Bahamut Senki, etc. all featuring battery backup saves.  Also, compare a Sega developed sports title like Greatest Heavyweights to an arcade ported boxing game like Punch-Out!!  Greatest Heavyweights featured a Create-a-Fighter, a Career Mode (featuring 30 fighters to box until you win the title followed by 8 title defenses against real life legendary boxers), and a battery back-up.  These are the reasons I wouldn't label the Genesis/Mega Drive as strictly an arcade system.



RolStoppable said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

It's funny you think the infrared pointer is the most defining feature of the Wii remote.  What matters most is how it is used most commonly, especially in the most popular games.  Also, what is the point of this argument?  Do you personally believe that Wii is not an arcade machine now, or are you just nitpicking on stuff that you don't really believe in the first place?

3D is definitely an aspect of PC gaming.  Myst, DOOM, Wing Commander, etc... were all big 3D franchises in the early 90s.  At the same time the arcades had Virtua Fighter and that was about it.  The big 90's arcade games were 2D fighting games.  

The mistake you make is that you think arcade gaming is defined by consoles.  It isn't.  Arcade gaming is defined by the games that were in the arcades.

I don't think the infrared pointer is the most defining feature of the Wii-Remote, but it's obviously a prominent one given its usage in Wii Play which contains modern versions of classics like Pong and Duck Hunt. The point is that if you believe touchscreen controls shift something towards the PC side, then you must also believe that pointer controls shift something to the PC side. However, you firmly put the Wii in the Arcade Evolution column while the DS sits in Balance.

My stance on this matter is that mouse controls for PC games were something inspired by the simplicity and accessibility of arcade games, therefore any mouse-like controls do not constitute the original PC DNA, but rather are an alternate form of arcade DNA. That's why I wouldn't shift either one of the DS or Wii towards the PC side because of touchscreen and pointer, respectively. After all, the major DS and Wii games that use these controls are easy to pick up and play and suited for short play sessions which is clearly the arcade DNA.

PCs were more powerful than consoles and 3D graphics are clearly a matter of processing power. PCs getting there first doesn't mean that 3D graphics are an inherent trait of PC gaming. By the way, Myst used prerendered backgrounds while Doom used sprites for its enemies; Wing Commander banked on its FMVs to sell itself and also used spritework for its graphics, so when you call games that aren't 3D actual 3D franchises, then that means you must accept the SNES's Mode 7 trickery as 3D too. Super Mario Kart and F-Zero come to mind as popular titles, then there was also the Super FX chip-powered Star Fox which had polygon graphics, so actual 3D. Looking at Sega consoles and by extension at the arcades, the racing genre grew in popularity. Virtua Racing, Daytona USA and Sega Rally from Sega, Ridge Racer from Namco. The majority of the 1990s in the arcades was defined by 3D games (first and foremost racing and fighting) as shoot'em ups and 2D fighting games continually declined in popularity.

So yeah, while consoles lagged behind PCs in processing power and therefore didn't feature 3D graphics as commonly as PC games, the motherboards in arcade cabinets were different beasts and demonstrated that 3D graphics aren't a defining trait of either arcade or PC gaming, but merely a matter of processing power.

Here it is.  This sentence from the quote above is the actual core of our argument:

"My stance on this matter is that mouse controls for PC games were something inspired by the simplicity and accessibility of arcade games, therefore any mouse-like controls do not constitute the original PC DNA, but rather are an alternate form of arcade DNA."

When you use the words "arcade" and "PC" that is not actually what you mean.  Instead when you say "arcade" you actually mean "simplicity and accessibility".  When you say PC, you actually mean the opposite, "complexity and inaccessibility".  Your original table is actually a 5-point scale for accessibility.  You would actually make your points a lot more clearly if you relabeled it as a 5-point scale for accessibility.  I actually think if you labeled it that way, then I would agree with almost all of the ways you categorized the consoles.  (We would still disagree about the Switch, but that is besides the point.)  If you are saying that the console market has gotten less accessible over time, then I would agree.  I would also agree that a more accessible console tends to bring in new customers, or at the very least, it prevents repelling customers.

However, I am using the word "arcade" to mean "this actually was in the arcade" and PC means "this actually was on the PC".  If you ask any random person on the street, almost all of them will associate the mouse with the PC and not the arcade.  The mouse was also not inspired by the arcade.  It was developed by Xerox.  It wasn't inspired by arcade gaming, because Xerox isn't even a gaming company, much less an arcade gaming company.  Apple stole the idea from Xerox, and then Microsoft stole the idea from Apple.  The mouse then lead to the mass cultural acceptance of home computers via the Mac and Windows.  The reality is that it doesn't get more PC than the mouse.

In short, your table is confusing.  Just change the labeling to a 5 point accessibility scale and it becomes a lot more clear.



Mandalore76 said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

I put the Genesis in column 1 to highlight that it was much more of an arcade console than the SNES. (And really for every generation Sega is more on the arcade side than Nintendo is.)  There were lots of arcade ports on the Genesis including quite a few by Sega.  I struggle to think of one arcade port on the SNES that was developed by Nintendo.  

On the other hand, you have a point in that Genesis is not a Neo Geo either.  Sega was making other types of games too like RPGs.  What it didn't really do so much was make "arcade evolution" games.  Either they made an arcade game or they made an RPG.  Meanwhile Super Mario World was an action platformer with an overworld and save files.  Sega wasn't really making too many games like this, "arcade evolution", but that was the focus for Nintendo.

Once Nintendo was able to get their arcade games directly into people's homes, their arcade division became more about porting Nintendo arcade type games from NES/SNES to coin-op rather than developing them the other way around.  See their VS. and Play Choice 10 coin-ops, Dr. Mario, F-Zero, etc.  Sega was more rooted in developing both coin-ops and home console games.  Sega has actively developed coin-ops from 1966 to today while their home console division came and went in less than 20 years (SG-1000 released in 1983 to the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in 2001).  But, that's not to say they didn't evolve their home console games of the time with the changing hardware.  Sonic 3 didn't have an overworld, but it did have save files.  Outside of platformers and previously mentioned RPG's, Sega developed strategy simulation games like Advanced Daisenryaku: Deutsch Dengeki Sakusen, Super Daisenryaku, The Hybrid Front, Ninja Burai Densetsu, Bahamut Senki, etc. all featuring battery backup saves.  Also, compare a Sega developed sports title like Greatest Heavyweights to an arcade ported boxing game like Punch-Out!!  Greatest Heavyweights featured a Create-a-Fighter, a Career Mode (featuring 30 fighters to box until you win the title followed by 8 title defenses against real life legendary boxers), and a battery back-up.  These are the reasons I wouldn't label the Genesis/Mega Drive as strictly an arcade system.

Our views on this are not that different.  Sega definitely made a lot of great games for the home over the years.  However, they never abandoned pure arcade gaming.  The Genesis, especially, was probably when their arcade games were at their peak.  (Not to mention third party arcade games on the Genesis like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, etc...).

Nintendo basically did abandon arcade gaming in the middle of the NES/Famicom era.  This was about the time that they developed the Famicom Disk System (FDS), which featured games like Zelda 1 and Metroid 1.  After a while, they stopped supporting the FDS, but it changed their game design philosophy forever.  They stopped making pure arcade games after that.  Even Nintendo made games that could be ported from SNES to an arcade are fairly uncommon.

So, where to place the Genesis?  I put it in a pure arcade column to highlight that it was much more of a pure arcade machine than the SNES was.  If a person in the early 90s wanted a console for arcade gaming I would recommend the Genesis.  I would even recommend the Genesis over the Neo Geo, because Sega made better arcade games than SNK did.  The Atari 2600 didn't only have arcade games, but it has more of an arcade focus than the Genesis.  The NES actually had a lot arcade games, but the most memorable NES games tend to be from Zelda 1 and later rather than before Zelda 1, so it barely makes it into the arcade evolution column.  I'd put the Genesis just slightly more arcade than the NES.  Maybe it belongs in column 1.5 rather than column 1 or column 2?  But I chose column 1, because it's arcade focus is significant compared to the SNES.  In fact, every Sega console has more of an arcade focus compared to its Nintendo counterpart, because Sega never really left the arcades, while Nintendo left the arcades in the middle of the NES era.



This is an interesting way to look at the console market. I really disagree with the Wii U though. It's more in the balance category. The Wii U was a pain in the ass to develop games for (that hurts the PC evolution argument), and had an off-screen tablet included.



Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 125 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million)

PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million

PS4: 122 mil (was 100 then 130 million) Xbox One: 50 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima