There has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility of a single-platform video game industry, where all games play on one system. Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack says this is not only "inevitable," but it's actually essential.

In speaking at the Develop Conference in Brighton, Dyack participated in a session called, "Design: Video Games as The Eighth Art," and he said the game industry must follow in the movie industry's footsteps and "adopt a universal medium." As reported by VideoGamer , Dyack had this to say:

"Because we have the three consoles we're in this really weird state. The cycle right now for movies has become pretty well established. For video games it's become hyperbolic almost. There were 300 or so games released last November. We're in a state of performance over supply. We're making more games than consumers can possibly consume. Marketing is having a disproportionate effect over the success of games because there's so many out there people are ignoring us. Sometimes it doesn't matter if your game's good or not; if you don't have that marketing support it won't happen."

To combat this, Dyack said they need a universal media outlet rather than five or six different platforms and in the end, he says "we're being slowed down by the multiple consoles." Dyack also adds that it's beginning to cost hardware developers more and more to perform research on their next game system, and publishers find it more and more difficult to make a good profit. Nowadays, it's tough to decide where your game should go, but Dyack referenced the old days when Nintendo was dominant; back then, if you made a game for the Nintendo platform, at least you were assured of "getting about 80 or 90 percent market penetration." But nowadays, "it's a real gamble."

"The market forces are eventually going to overturn, or the publishers are going to start going out of business and no-one's going to be making games, until someone stands up and says look we're going to have one universal console, it's what it has to be, we don't want three copies or three different versions of the same game, we don't want to have something special for this controller, or some special character for this downloadable platform, we just want to make our game and we want to make money from it and we want, as entertainment developers, to create our one vision. That's eventually what's going to follow because it has to."

Hey, we just want our games; doesn't matter to us where we play 'em. However, we hope Dyack realizes that if this universal platform does happen, he will effectively kill off the fanboy regime that essentially rules the Internet…we're not complaining, of course (all of them can go suck rotten eggs, as far as we're concerned), but entire sites dedicated to fanboy "journalism" and arguments/hating ('cough' N4G, Destructoid, 'cough') will disappear. …no, wait, get that single platform in here now .

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The Stig
The Stig
11 years ago

But surely having more than one console creates competition, and in turn creates inovation and progression in the console industry.

If there was only one console I could see the games industry progressing at a slower rate.

Itdoesntmatter
Itdoesntmatter
11 years ago

The flip side of that is that the multiplat games are always made in the least common denominator system and so the gamers of the superior system have to suffer…..much like all multiplats on 360 put out crappy ports to ps3….and then fanboys everywhere THINK the 360 is better and that false notion spreads like forrest-fire….

so in that sense, the games industry is already probably moving slower than it has to be


Last edited by Itdoesntmatter on 7/16/2009 11:27:59 AM

GlavinChris
GlavinChris
11 years ago

However we will have to deal with pricing issues, if one platform rules all, they will be able to price at a place where most consumers will buy (but not all). We may see 80 buck games…

-The Glavin

Buckeyestar
Buckeyestar
11 years ago

Doesn't anybody realize that a single console would be no different than DVD, CD, or even TV? All of these are a single format yet nobody worries about "lack of competition". Having one console standard would operate the same way. The only real competition is the content.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Eeeh, sorry buck but your wrong. Yes a Bravia and a Vizio are both tv's but which one is better? *retorical question* competition forces companies to create and innovate. It's not hard to understand.

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

A universal console would hurt consumers bad. It would take out competition which would drive quality way down. The price for each console and each game would be extremely inelastic so they could put it at any price almost. Plus this would mean that Sony and Microsoft would have to play nice which I don't think would work out.

@Buckeyestar: There is product differentiation between TVs so it isn't the same thing at all. One console would destroy product differentiation and create a monopoly. Whoever "owned" this console would have too much control over the content available for it, something that the owners of DVD and Bluray lack.

I really don't see this happening any time soon or maybe even ever. Each company would have to have a very great incentive money-wise. What we may/probably will see is smaller developers/publishers going out of business which is kind of sad, but it is business. It's all part of supply and demand.


Last edited by NiteKrawler on 7/16/2009 1:58:14 PM

NightHawk17
NightHawk17
11 years ago

Yea that is true but even if there was 1 system then developers would be competing with each other. In order to best each other in specific genres like RPG's, FPS's, Racing,Puzzles, it might actually be more competitive than now

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Nighthawk, better games come with better consoles. Without competition In the console market what reason would the monoply have to innovate new consoles? Oops, sorry NaSaH. I commented again.

Gregory Freeman
Gregory Freeman
11 years ago

in order for this to succeed, one lucky company would retain their company and product, while the other 2 go pull a Sega and Atari… and how would this one system be established??

or if someone comes from nowhere and proclaims "My system will be the only platform in the 8th generation of gaming!" whats stopping Sony and Microsoft from saying "Ugh….. No…." and ignore them and create their respective consoles.. (Onlive anyone??)

and if the current companies were given cash, how can they out buy a company like Microsoft, and still have enough money to buy off Sony and ninty?? hell, they aren't ran by bill gates here! (lol) they'd buy them, go under due to bankruptcy, and the big 3 thank them, keep their money, and go back to what they were doing??

a big shift, and it'd have to be big, would need to occur to free up the competition for one be all/end all console to rise up from nowhere…


Last edited by Gregory Freeman on 7/17/2009 4:06:50 PM

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

You're right. It'd cost too much money to pay off all three of them. The only way it would happen is if Wal-Mart decided to make a console. 🙂

bamf
bamf
11 years ago

Who would make this one universal console console? If it was asked for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to come together to make the one console, we would never see a console again as they would never agree with each other.

I think with competition comes hardware progression. If we never had that and lets say only Nintendo produced and released a game console, how far in terms of progress in technology advamcements would we be at now? Would we still be playing on a snes, there would be no need for Nintendo to release a more powerful console if there's no competition.
Not only that, with one console, you would not please everyone and the industry would be much smaller. Arcades would probably still rule and PC gamers would laugh at the console gamer.

Akuma_
Akuma_
11 years ago

My friends…. i give you…..Soninsoft.

hahahahaha.

Sony handles hardware specs,
Microsoft creates easy dev tools,
Nintendo just sorta sits around and points, also in charge of peripherals.

With Sony and MS cooperating on the software side of things for the machine.

Potentially the best console ever created.
But it would fail, due to the fact that i dont think all 3 would get along very well.

b3mike
b3mike
11 years ago

Umn no…..
There has always been more than one console out at a time. Why is he bringing this up like its something new?

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

Because Too Human (a 360 exlusive BTW) sold like crap.

I'd have more respect for Dyack's words if he was developing multiplat games instead of 360 exclusives.

As a developer of an exclusive game, he is only working on ONE platform; so his words ring hollow!

Buckeyestar
Buckeyestar
11 years ago

Because the video game industry flies in the face of all other media. All CD players play all CDs, all DVD players play all DVDs, all TVs give you access to TV broadcasts. Yet not all game consoles allow you to play all games, it doesn't jive. Just because it's always been that way doesn't make it the right way.

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
11 years ago

Multiple company's make DVD,CD,MP3,Blu-Ray players. One companys Blu-ray player to expensive for you? Go to its competition… Video games are a completely different medium. If we only have one system to choose from, It will only be from one company. They will have no competition, and so they will never have to drive to improve. They will also have to luxury of charging a arm and a leg and the consumers will have no other options besides not playing games anymore.

Competition is good, and pushes the industry forward.

Dancemachine55
Dancemachine55
11 years ago

Don't people understand that video games are an interactive medium, not an observational medium. That is why there are multiple consoles, because games are designed around a specific consoles to use its hardware to create something incredible and complex.

DVD, BluRay, CD, etc. are all passive mediums which involves it simply playing out with little interaction.

Also, Dyack, you may want to get your facts right. DVD players can't play blu ray discs, yet the premises are both similar, you watch a movie, its just one is different, much higher quality. The same thing goes with consoles, they have the same premises of playing games, but one is of different or better quality than the other, hence some developers and parties support one over the other, who knows? We may see a blu-ray exclusive someday that DVD just can't handle.

Now is it just me, or is Dyack disguising this argument as an anti-PS3 and anti-Wii argument, trying to defend the surprisingly average 360 simply because he can't be bothered trying harder to make something incredible with better hardware (PS3's storage and processing or Wii's motion controls).

Anyone here agree with me?

Soultaker
Soultaker
11 years ago

If there was only 1 console for all companys it wouldn't motivate the developers to make any decent games they'd just start putting out crap games for another paycheck.

whooka
whooka
11 years ago

Sounds like pinko commie/socialist crap to me!

mackid1993
mackid1993
11 years ago

there needs to be variety, there needs to be competition. if we had one system innovation would die.

mackid1993
mackid1993
11 years ago

there needs to be variety, there needs to be competition. if we had one system innovation would die.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Agreed. The day one console rules the market is the day gaming dies. Which ever company it is can essentually charge what ever they like for the console and will have no incentive to create new and better ones. This is the stupidest comment made by anyone in the industry. Who is this guy anyway? And hasn't this been said before? Before MS entered the market and before Sega gave up? There's a need for multiple consoles to exist inorder for the games to advance. If 3rd party devs go out of buisness that's they're fault. Not sony's nintendos or MS's. What a douche bag.

PS3addict
PS3addict
11 years ago

OK, that makes no sense at all.
I do not want to play my PS3 games on my Wii.
I do not want to play my Wii games on my PS3.
I do want some 360 games on my PS3 though!!

They are different and fun in different ways and the only one complaining should be the end consumer because we need more than one console. If she is having issues selling games, then they need to develop thier games for all 3 systems at the same time.
If you make a game for the wii and it is good, people will buy it.
If you make a game for the PS3 and it is good, people wil buy it.
If you make a game for a 360, we hope we get a good port to the PS3 and we will buy it…

Ignorance is slowing them down. If it does slow down like she states that it will, well then;
Publishers will have to get pickier when it comes to choosing an IP to publish, and that makes developers make better games so that they can get published.
Which system to write the game for depends on the type of game, the graphics you create, the engine it runs on, and the characters that you are using if they are not original.

Yes in a perfect world there would be only one console, but where would the competition be? An exclusive title makes the competing developers work that much harder to make one of thier own that tops it.

englishgolfer
englishgolfer
11 years ago

while we're at it he could also call for all car makers to make one type of car, phone makers need to make one type of phone (bye, bye iphone?), they should be no pc and mac debate as there is only one type of computer, they should only make…. oh you get the picture. it'll never happen.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

"bye bye iPhone" blasphamy!!!

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
11 years ago

Comparing the movie industry (dvd in particular I assume) to the console market doesn't work.

A dvd player now is the same as one 5 years ago. The quality of the content is very much the same.

Each console is technically superior to the one beofre making better games a possibility.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

@ The Stig, I completely agree. Not having competition would be a bad thing for all gamers. Sure there are pluses and minuses to having conformity but I believe that the negatives would greatly outweigh the positives.

@b3mike, The argument against your statement would be that games were much less expensive to produce in the past. Prior to HD quality video and gaming. I agree with you that there have been multiple consoles but the cost factor is what's killing off the game designers and producers.

@Soultaker, Your statements are quite correct as they go hand-in-hand with The Stig and b3mike. I wanted to reply to each of you but this seemed the easiest.

We can all agree that one single console would make it SO much easier for us to know what games to get and what not but then we would truly never know what greatness would have been born out of the exclusives. Just look at what exclusives there are coming from Nintendo, Microsoft-owned (or sided) developers and Sony's production teams. It's a sad thing as I'm sure there are many of us who have multiple consoles and wonder which ones will give us more bang for our buck. I'm constantly reading up and watching videos on games that interest me and I even pay attention to the negative reviews to see what it was that they complained about that I would probably find useful for my experiences.

I like having the Wii, DS, PSP, Xbox 360 and PS3 because I'm now entitled to choices but the market sure is flooded with shovelware so people like me have to do more "investigative" work to find the games that we won't want to turn around and sell in a day or two. I even find myself talking to other games, whether in forums, on PSN, or at the game shops and comparing "notes" to see if I may like a certain style of game.

Imagine if we didn't have competition in the PC arena. Intel has AMD to thank for a lot of their recent success because AMD forced them to not be comfortable, resting on their laurels, just taking the consumers money for not excelling at more than a walking pace.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

I think it is healthy to have some competition, like soultaker said that they would just put crappy games just to make a small profit. I think they should have two consoles, one for hardcore and one for casual. The wii proved that there is a huge market for those types of games but the ps3 and 360 showed that the hardcore game market is rapidly growing. What i think is happening is that people buy the wii and then they want more and move onto the ps3 or 360 and become hardcore gamers. So like i said, 2 consoles, one hardcore one casual and then let the consumer choose what console they want.

The ps3 and 360 war is just stupid. They are very similar consoles, i don't understand why they don't just blend them together. Because when i am at school and some kids are talking about a halo match i feel left out because i don't have a 360, and i am sure the people with the 360 feel the same way. And just to play a halo or gears match for another 300 or so dollars is dumb.

okay i am done my rant. 🙂


Last edited by kevinater321 on 7/16/2009 11:36:33 AM

GlavinChris
GlavinChris
11 years ago

PS3 = X360. Apocolypse is near.

-The Glavin

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Halo sucks anyways. Your not missing out.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

yeh i know it is over hyped but other games like CoD that they have tournis on 360 only, it's flippin retarded. It is not as bad now but like 2 or so years ago when i tried to play resistance with some of my friends they would say…"Whats that?". like wtf.

anjpikapp3
anjpikapp3
11 years ago

to kelvin….are you even a gamer? how can you say that the 360 is in anyway similar to the PS3?!?! the numbers are not even close…i own both PS3 and 360 and in no way can i say the 360 has held up to the PS3 (to date – past 2 years was a different story). Just like any computer (and since MS did nothing to the original xbox except give it more ram and a new graphics card) the 360 was nothing but an upgraded xBox which made it outdated with in the first year. Dont believe me…look at your computer…outdated.

As for the PS3….it was ahead of the game….only now are developers really utilizing its power.

Similar…..ha.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Yea kenvin. Saying the PS3 and the 360 are similar is like saying Windows Vista is similar to Mac OSX. They're only similar cause they both operating systems like the PS3 and 360 are both consoles. The PS3 is vastly superior like Mac OSX.

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

LOL.

They are also only similar where multiplats are concerned because the devs strive for parity in their PS3/360 games.

I've asked this question before, and I'll keep asking this question.

How come developers in the last gen weren't concerned with parity among the PS2/Xbox games?

Any game that came out on both systems, whether or not it came out on the PS2 first or not, received a graphical boost on the Xbox.

Where was their cherished parity then?

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
11 years ago

Kevin, you said yourself that some competition is healthy. Having one console for the hardcore crowd, and one for the casual crowd would take out that competition almost entirely. If you don't believe me, does the PS3/360 have competition from the Wii? Maybe a miniscule amount. The competition between the 360 and PS3 is what really drives the innovation and quality on both systems. The PS3/360 war may be annoying sometimes, but it's a price I'm willing to pay to keep the competition around.

Cpt_Geez
Cpt_Geez
11 years ago

It will never happen.

kevinater321
kevinater321
11 years ago

off topic but i am going to a green day concert today!!:D 😀 😀

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Eeeehhh…….nevermind.

CONTRABAND
CONTRABAND
11 years ago

im sorry to hear that… … …

Banky A
Banky A
11 years ago

That's sweet man ^_^
Concerts are cool. Enjoy it.

But I have to put this out there..
I hate Greenday lol

We have no problem with you.

Hexen
Hexen
11 years ago

Bring the universal console already, I'm bored of fanboy crap.Hopefully it will be Sega that provides this console if not they could just release a console with the other three still around I just want Sega back.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Sega sucked. I'll counter your longing for one console industry with Apple should enter the market.

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
11 years ago

to say Sega "sucks" (i presume that word is negative), is ridiculous.

They innovated and paved the way. Dreamcast was one of the most innovative consoles ever.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Then where is the Dreamcast now? Seems the majority consumers have always prefered Sony and Nintendo over Sega. Why? Cause they make better products. Every Sega console did poorly against the competition.

Hexen
Hexen
11 years ago

Lotusflow3r hit the nail on the head.It's funny how Dreamcast motion rod was just as accurate as the wii mote and is 11 years old,but Sega didn't make a big deal out of it did they.Sega always tried to bring something new to gaming like the Sega CD or online gaming,but it would always make that system more expensive than the competition which would result in failure;Long story short Sega4life.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

@JDHexen and Lotusflow3r

Sega were cool, I never had a DreamCast – and for personal reasons that actually have nothing to do with the consoles themselves, I detest the DreamCast.

However, The Sega GameGear(1991) was *far* ahead of it's time. Compared to the Nintendo P.O.S. that it was competing with at the time it was state of the art. It was the fore-runner to the PSP, it had a similar style, you gripped the unit on each side, with the D-pad on the left and AB buttons on the right – the same standard layout of a modern controller and the PSP. Good grief you could even get a TV tuner for the thing. A friend of mine had one and I 'borrowed' it long term with a couple of games. Looking back, the games were pretty crap – the best of the ones I borrowed was Wonder Boy – but the GameGear was way ahead of the GameBoy from Nintendo in so many ways.

So, Sega gets an eternal thumbs up for the GameGear itself, and possibly seeding the handheld market for the PSP so long ago.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 7/16/2009 3:15:16 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Aaaaah….but the question is left unanswered. Let me ask again in another way.

If Sega was so great then why did every console they released fail to beat the competition?

Genesis vs SNES. Fail!
Saturn vs PSOne. Fail!
Dreamcast vs PS2. Fail!

Sega sucked. Get over it.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

I'll put it this way, Sega pushed gaming far harder than Nintendo did. Nintendo's hardware *always* observes the limits from afar. Sega pushed those limits. I honestly believe that PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PS3 would not be what they are (and have been) without Sega's role in video game console history.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

I won't disagree with that Highlander. Just seems to me Sega did somethng very wrong every generation and failed to attract enough gamers to stay afloat. I myself always prefered Nintendo and Sony over Sega.

AntDC
AntDC
11 years ago

"Then where is the Dreamcast now? Seems the majority consumers have always prefered Sony and Nintendo over Sega. Why? Cause they make better products. Every Sega console did poorly against the competition."

So because Sony's lagging behind the competition this generation, are we assuming they suck to? And you seem to think that Sega suck because they failed when it came to sales. Since when have sales equaled quality?

It's people like you that look at the sales numbers for the 360 and then think "Hey, the Xbox is selling better, it must be the better console, I'm gonna buy me one of those!".


Last edited by AntDC on 7/17/2009 7:51:20 AM