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Old 10-07-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
fishbang
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The Cross-Platform Episode

The Monday, October 6th episode is now available here.

This week’s live hour begins with congratulations for the newly-wed co-host Jeremy, and marks the first point at which the married hosts outnumber the free ones. We hope this won’t be a problem, but married people always seem to know what’s best for the single folk, so there’s no telling what’s in store for the unwed among us.

Sadly, this episode continues the recent (and hopefully short-lived) trend of bagging on Nintendo for the manner in which they’ve raised the new DSi as their “third pillar”. Opinions on the show have long been split regarding the Wii, but we have a universal love for Nintendo handhelds, and would far prefer to cheer it to success than to use it as grist for the anger mill. But take a note, Nintendo - region locking and points exclusivity don’t make friends.

The Bioshock demo on the PS3 gets the talk treatment, wherein we're sad to confirm the reports of graphical footdragging, and we discuss our largely positive reaction to the news of how Deus Ex 3 may differ in some basic design categories from the beloved original.

We also field calls from awesome fan Ravenlock, whose tastes clearly run akin to those of co-host Daniel, and equally awesome fan Virodeath, who leads us directly into the turbid waters of cross-platform MMO discussion. But fear not, we sail these waters often and come well prepared.

Thanks to all of our live listeners, callers and email contributors, and thanks to you dear podcast subscriber. Your next episode is on deck for Wednesday, and your chance to guide the live talk comes again next Monday. We’ll see you then, right here on In-Game Chat.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:11 AM   #2
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Another great show that I listened to on my new Nokia N96 whilst on the way to work this morning. Some interesting points raised and ire over the region locking of downloadable games onto the DSi. I've already spoken about my feelings on this here so if you want to know read that.

As for MMO's on consoles it troubled me to hear everyone speak about them as if they have never been in existence. I can cite two notable console based MMO's that whilst not shining examples of MMO's they were certainly the first stepping stones in to having this PC/Mac dominated genre enter the console fold.

The first is EverQuest Online Adventures. A PS2 MMO which was a half breed cousin of the original EverQuest. It did a reasonable job of replicating EQ onto the console with support for keyboard for comms. It was very successful in North America but failed abysmally in PAL territories. I believe it's still running in the US but is no longer available in Europe due ton lack of take up.

The other is of course Final Fantasy XI. This game runs on 3 platforms at the moment as far as I'm aware and is oddly popular. First appearing on the PS2 it eventually found a home on the PC and XBox 360. It's by no means a WoW killer with it suffering from the grinding nightmare that most Far Eastern MMO's seem to have. Nevertheless it is an MMO on a console, even it if it is a bit 'meh'.

Keep up the good work.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:01 AM   #3
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As far as console MMOs there are huge barriers:
Cost of infastructure for a very narrow audience. How many people are willing to pay? MS still refuses to release hard gold subscriber numbers or online players for games.

Short cycles. MMOs operate for decades. Consoles change every 4 or 5 years. In the time it takes to design the MMO you are rekeasing on a 1 or 2 generation(s) old console.

The net code on consoles is horrid. 8 players is a lot for the Xbox. Sony brags about 64 players. Tribes 2 had hundreds per game a long time ago.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Short cycles. MMOs operate for decades. Consoles change every 4 or 5 years. In the time it takes to design the MMO you are rekeasing on a 1 or 2 generation(s) old console.
This is actually something I'm sorry we didn't bring up. It's an excellent point, and I believe one of the real barriers to the penetration and sustainability of a standard subscription based console MMO.

Seeing the available market as being too shallow makes sense, but I'd argue that it only appears that way because it doesn't really exist now. This is precisely the sort of thing you create a market for, as opposed to identifying and exploiting. It's a lot of issues, nonetheless.

I don't see any problems with connectivity, though. The issues aren't so much with the consoles themselves, as they are with the peer-to-peer networks that define their current multiplayer environments. The infrastructure necessary to host a massive, persistent environment should largely or completely deal with the sorts of things you're referring to.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kropotkin View Post
EverQuest Online Adventures and Final Fantasy XI
I avoided FF11 intentionally as I was trying to work my personal view that any entry into this particular market should avoid distribution across the PC-console divide. I sort of took it for granted that FF was there and was well understood since other theoretical entries seem to be hedging their bets in much the same way.

EOA, of course, would have served me well in my argument, but I'm dumb and altogether forgot that it existed.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:58 AM   #6
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For me, the PC evolved the games and platform at the same time. Consoles were the same, essentially for 30 years. The barriers are the catch up needed. Paradigms need shifting. The audience, decelopers, and hardware need to all catch up.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbang View Post
I avoided FF11 intentionally as I was trying to work my personal view that any entry into this particular market should avoid distribution across the PC-console divide. I sort of took it for granted that FF was there and was well understood since other theoretical entries seem to be hedging their bets in much the same way.

EOA, of course, would have served me well in my argument, but I'm dumb and altogether forgot that it existed.
Actually, I think FF11 would have served your argument even better. It found a niche to survive in, but completely failed to generate enough excitement about the MMO genre on the console to really get the ball moving toward a critical mass of consumer demand and publisher interest for it. You could easily make an argument that a failure to focus solely on the console was a (if not *the*) major contributing factor in that.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:13 PM   #8
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Whatever you guys did different, this finally shows up under "podcasts" on my Zune. Makes it a bit easier to find.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:14 PM   #9
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Pretty much, I'm a genius. That is all you need to know.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:25 PM   #10
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Pretty much, I'm a genius. That is all you need to know.
All men named Daniel are special.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:20 PM   #11
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All men named Daniel are special.
For certain values (or definitions) of %special.
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