David Jaffe Wants a Single Console Future

By Aaron Linde, Jan 11, 2008 9:16am PST Outspoken God of War and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe (pictured left) is the latest industry figure to show support of a single console model for the gaming industry.

"We have [an industry standard] with DVD, we had it with VHS," argues Jaffe. "Sure, you miss out on a cool feature here, a neat feature there. But weÂ’ve gotten used to this in so many other hardware products and—in doing so—reaped the many more benefits of a single system."

In a direct response to a counterpoint issued by Game|Life, Jaffe concedes his belief that "80% of the game innovation I care about comes via design, not tech."

Jaffe's suggestion that the industry move towards a single console hardware scheme settles him among other proponents of the model, including Denis Dyack and John Romero. Advocates of the model argue that a movement towards a single console would ease development and resolve fragmentation of the current console market.

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35 Threads | 121 Comments

  • If i could buy one console and play any game out there i would but one. But sine i have to buy three to play all the games I would like I have not bought one. I could see maybe getting a PS3 when the next price cut comes just for the blue ray and then maybe get some PS3 games since they should have a selection to choose from by then.

    This would give any game designer a target crowd of anyone who owns a game console. So if they make a good game they will make more money then they do in the current market. If game ls like SMG could be played on every console its sales would of been doubled. More money to make more good games.

    Console designers would just compete to see who could make most preferable machine cause people would not buy a machine based on what games it would have.

  • An issue I see with this is that new standards tend to start with a high entry level price. Look at HD-DVD and Bluray. The initial customers are people w/ a lot of money to spare b/c they can throw $800 at a player. They will have some content to watch because movie companies can spend a small amount of money to release their movies on that format and still get the bulk of their income from regular DVD's and hte movie actually being in the theater.

    If a new "standardized" console comes out with a high entry level price (similar to the standardized media formats) then its not worth the investment for gaming companies because there will be very few initial adopters and they don't have any other formats to release their game on.

    I guess there would need to be a big first party push to get people to adopt the new console.

  • I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they're being absurd. Imagine what would happen in our industry today if the single console that was allowed to exist in the market was the PS3.

    You'd have a complete meltdown of the industry if the one console that existed was a failure in any way. What if something is wrong with it? What if its too expensive because they insist on building in an overpriced HD disc format? You need competition in this industry.

    I can sympathize with having to support too many platforms, it sucks to have that pressure. But the market has proven it can handle 2 or 3 major players at once. The real problem here, I think, is the pressure that developers are under by their publishers to go multiplatform. If it were up to the developers, they would choose their fav console and build for that and ignore sales realities.

    I think these guys ought to be thankful for competition among consoles. Could you imagine if the 360 was the only one and there was no Wii? What about innovation in interface and other areas, do we really expect one console manufacturer to do all the innovation themselves? The whole reason why the Wii exists is because Nintendo realized it was fruitless to compete on graphics in an industry that was growing stagnant on HD, and so they expanded the market by going in a different direction.

  • Exactly what benefits have we reaped from CD and DVD? Companies charging consumers top dollar for 10 year old media? Cd's are still fucking $15-$18, and the medium costs less than a penny. DVD's were super expensive until they figured out they could flood the grocery store line with shit movies for $6 and people would buy them.

    Industry standard help the producers of content, not the consumers. Consumers are benefited best by competition. Haven't we learned this yet? Doesn't it sound vaguely familiar?

    The Nintendo was $200 in 1988. $200 in 1988 was like $600 now. So our $249 Wii and $349 x360 are technically cheaper and vastly superior in every way. This would not happen with Industry Standards.

  • While I do not see this happening anytime soon. I do, however, see the possibility of it happening eventually. Maybe in 15 or 20, or even 30 years from now, technology may stabilize enough that a software and basic hardware standard for each console generation arises. I do not think a 'one console' would exist. I still think there would be more then one, because the market is so diversified in it's wants and needs, that from a marketing point of view, it would be easier to do in multiple products.

    Think of a future, where you still have your Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, or because it's the future, someone new. But as a developer I could now make a game that works on ALL of them without the need to do separate multi-platform development. Each console could offer different features, outside of the standard, and if a developer wanted to, they could take advantage of those features at the cost of their product not working on the other consoles. Basically becoming an exclusive.

    So in a way, things wouldn't change to much, but at the same time for the developer, the publisher and the consumer, it would and everyone would be better off. I wouldn't miss out on a lot of the good multi-platform titles that exist today (i.e. the ones that are PC/360 only, or 360/PS3 only, leaving Wii users with either crap or nothing), because even if I bought the new Nintendo console, I know it will still play all these other titles, besides the ones Nintendo takes advantage of their system with.

    I just think it is extremely foolish of people to scream, 'NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!' when it comes to some kind of standard. It may not come to pass, especially as Jaffe wants it to, but it is still quite the possible future for us as an industry. Especially when you look at the current trends in engine development to ease cross platform development. While one console in the future is highly unlikely, a software standard and a base hardware standard is likely to come to fruition.