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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node DevinSmoth's Avatar
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    Another new Android console...

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...s-console-ever

    Well this looks interesting... Too bad that I don't have a screen with HDMI...

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Just buy a HDMI to DVI converter with an audio splitter.
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    From a quick glance: it is an android minipc designed for gaming


    Concerns:
    Same as Ouya: since when was Android good for gaming? Even moreso, since when was android good for gaming that isn't touch-screen based?
    DIfferent form Ouya: Why not just make a Linux minipc with a half-decent embedded graphics card?
    On the controller: Damn that thing looks uncomfortable. And do the "analog sticks" do that same wonky thing the PSP does? because the PSP analog stick annoys the piss out of me :p

    In other words: Ouya with even more risks, (probably) crappier hardware, and even greater cost/space constraints. The Ouya has to fit all its crap in a small box for ~100 bucks. This has to fit everything in a flash drive for around ~80 bucks.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Heh, I actually have one of those (won it in a raffle). If I didn't have a PS3 I would totally use it for watching media on my TV.

    The main issue is the amount of resources available. As a media relay (so streaming stuff from the interwebs or a network file server), it is a wonderful solution. For gaming, it falls short.
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    Android is fine for gaming - mainly because it has, oh, about a million games which work on it!

    I'd say less than 25% of Android games are designed around touch - Android has always had poor (hardware) support for multitouch which means only a tiny handful of games rely on it and most other games are just replacing a pad with some sort of onscreen controls.

    A bigger issue is that TVs are resolutely landscape and quite a few mobile games are resolutely portrait - but there are so many games that we can ignore those...

    It's all going to come down to the cost - a 80-100 device which plugs into your TV and offers games, streaming movies/music and other connected content is a great idea. A device north of 100 is going to die on it's arse because that's 'proper' console country (and Android Mini-PCs are 40!!) - so the cost of controllers etc. will probably be more important than anything else.

    What this market needs to success is SUPPORT - putting all those devices into people's homes requires that you maintain the system software/keep the supply of Apps/Games going and run the whole thing in a sustainable and profitable way. Gillette economics are required - you need the device in there cheap and you score on the 'blades' (Apps/Games/Movies/Music) - problem will be doing that with behemoths like Amazon and Google already controlling those markets already!?

    Also - you bring up Linux so I have to say it - Linux is dead as a client-side platform, it will NEVER succeed in that market and no-one with any sense would even try. People have been whining about it for as long as I can remember and yet what exists for people is SHIT - pointless/quirky/clanky SHIT - I think we should let it die (as a client platform) gracefully, it's ONLY advantage over anything else is that it's free - that's it, everything else it does (as a client platform) is crap.
    Last edited by trjp; 02-01-2013 at 07:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Android is fine for gaming - mainly because it has, oh, about a million games which work on it!
    Crap/"casual" games, but yeah :p

    Don't get me wrong, there are some real gems. But even those are the casual games you play while sitting on a bus/pretending you give a crap about the people who invited you to a wedding in person (seriously, who does that?).

    I'd say less than 25% of Android games are designed around touch - Android has always had poor (hardware) support for multitouch which means only a tiny handful of games rely on it and most other games are just replacing a pad with some sort of onscreen controls.
    So the games will have to either be reworked (there goes the catalog you said good things about) or you'll be moving a cursor with an analog stick. Trust me, that is not fun and will make anything other than a turn-based game a nightmare. You know all those stupid things the PC Master Race says about how you can't play an FPS with a gamepad? In this case, they would actually be right :p


    Also - you bring up Linux so I have to say it - Linux is dead as a client-side platform, it will NEVER succeed in that market and no-one with any sense would even try. People have been whining about it for as long as I can remember and yet what exists for people is SHIT - pointless/quirky/clanky SHIT - I think we should let it die (as a client platform) gracefully...
    Except that Valve disagrees with you with respect to its viability as a (potential) gaming platform. And Valve may have half-assed greenlight, but they still are pretty god damned good at marketing games to their target demographic. So maybe they know something you don't :p
    There are also all the indie devs (and the "real" devs/publishers who are cashing in) who push for Linux. But them, I am not sure if I would say they "have any sense". But Valve does :p

    Also, I use Linux every single day for work (and goofing off on my laptop). The only thing I don't really use it for is gaming (for obvious reasons) and MS Word/Powerpoint (and even then, I am increasingly using Google Docs for the former and Latex for the latter). Your argument held a lot of merit a few years back (and I made the same one). These days? Not so much. Everyone is copying off of MS/Apple in terms of GUI, so we really are reaching the point where "For most users", using Linux is actually smart. We aren't there yet, but we are damned close. At the very least, it is not "dead as a client-side platform". You just have to swallow your pride and use a user-friendly distro. Hell, the latest Linux Mint is more "Windows" than Windows 8 :p

    But fine, if Linux makes you angry, go with a Windows-based mini-pc. Just expect costs to increase dramatically.
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    Why play shitty ungames with a shitty controller when you can pick up a ps2 for 99 bucks and have a library 200 times better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Why play shitty ungames with a shitty controller when you can pick up a ps2 for 99 bucks and have a library 200 times better.
    Why buy anything written in the last 100 years when you have Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, Dickens et al

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Why buy anything written in the last 100 years when you have Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, Dickens et al
    Nah. This would be more like saying "Why buy a crappy knockoff book about mechs when you can get the Blood of Kerensky ebooks for dirt cheap"

    That being said, I do think that suggesting the PS2 as an alternative is pretty stupid. This and the Ouya are competing with the Wii (U?) to be a cheap alternative for people who prefer casual gaming and don't want to blow their loads on a PS3 or a PC (the only two correct choices when it comes to gaming platforms :p).
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Crap/"casual" games, but yeah :p
    Climbing off your high horse for 2 mins you'll agree they are games tho - games which are probably grossing more money than the entire PC 'indie' market is - e.g. "commercially successful" games which people clearly want to play.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Don't get me wrong, there are some real gems. But even those are the casual games you play while sitting on a bus/pretending you give a crap about the people who invited you to a wedding in person (seriously, who does that?).
    I'm a massive advocate of mobile games which are easy to play in short bursts etc - however the market isn't asking for that, it's asking for complex games with HD graphics, loads of levels and allsorts of other gubbins - and so that's what's being developer and pushed and what's propping up the markets.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    So the games will have to either be reworked (there goes the catalog you said good things about) or you'll be moving a cursor with an analog stick. Trust me, that is not fun and will make anything other than a turn-based game a nightmare. You know all those stupid things the PC Master Race says about how you can't play an FPS with a gamepad? In this case, they would actually be right :p
    Ouya seems to have had few issues getting developers onboard - I suspect a lot of people who've been working with Android would love to get 'proper' controls for their games (it's frustrating-as-fuck trying to convert a game designed for a pad to a screen - about 2% of people who try, succeed).

    So long as it's an easy plug-in API it would take most people an afternoon to do it - and there are some nice wireless 'touchpads' available too, which could, in theory, replace a 'touchscreen' for your TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Except that Valve disagrees with you with respect to its viability as a (potential) gaming platform.
    I've said it before and I'll say it again - Steam on Linux is a distraction and a dead-end. There's this idea of a 'Steam PC' or 'Steam Console' but it would HAVE - HAVE - to be Windows based (or have a licensed/legal Windows emulator of some sort) to succeed. Valve working on a Linux version is King Cnut demanding the tide stop, he wasn't an idiot either, he was making a point that even the King cannot stop some things and so are Valve...

    It's easier to say "we did this and it failed - sorry, here's a Windows version" than it is to make that argument having done nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    And Valve may have half-assed greenlight, but they still are pretty god damned good at marketing games to their target demographic. So maybe they know something you don't :p
    I don't think they do - Steam is decent enough but does nothing innovative - change to it is GLACIAL - they're reacting to things and not innovating (see their Community which is basically turning into Facebook).

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    There are also all the indie devs (and the "real" devs/publishers who are cashing in) who push for Linux. But them, I am not sure if I would say they "have any sense". But Valve does :p
    The indie devs who, for the most part, make no money at all - those indie devs? That's a fantastic start for your industry :)

    Linux is DEAD as a client/consumer platform - I've been saying this for 15+ years and it's never been more true than it is now. I load-up the latest releases from time to time and I genuinely hope I've been proved wrong and I'm never less than astonished at how SHIT they are - if anything, Linux 'desktop' is going backwards - I'd rather use a pen and paper...

    I did, for a short time, hold a hope that we'd see a viable 'cloud' OS emerge (ala Jolicloud etc.) but everything I've seen is bloated/overworked/shabby/buggy/requires too much hardware to make it work. That said, Google have unlimited resources to develop CHrome and that doesn't work either so perhaps it was another blind alley.

    The thing that Linux has been trying to do is 'replace' Windows for and for decades it's failed to do that (despite some considerable effort from MASSIVE backers like Oracle) - and then, relatively out of the blue, tablets arrived from Apple and Google which undercut Windows and will continue to do so to the point it might not even be the target anymore. Linux may pass Windows as it's on the way down - perhaps :)

    I read somewhere that there's a plan to release a Linux-based mobile OS and I laughed like a drain too. That's a market where Apple and Google are supreme - Blackberry have been pushed-back to the brink and MS cannot compete despite their wealth - and someone things "I know - Linux" - it's like some sort of Tourettes tick isn't it?

  12. #12
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    Also - interesting you bring up the Wii. In game/hardware terms the biggest failure of the last gen of consoles, and yet probably the only one which made anyone any money :)

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    Android is fine for gaming - mainly because it has, oh, about a million games which work on it!
    The problem I see is all those games are designed to be played using Touch.

    The games I have played of late is all the Humble Bundle Android. Anomaly Warzone took out the avatar to pick up powerups and what not. The game is available on consoles tho. Machinarium was fun to play on touch, tho without having the ability to hover over items you can interact with. Osmos, Eufloria be hard to work with a controller. ExZues could be made to use a controller I guess.

    The problem I see is how do developers end up designing their game? They are trying to design for multiplatorms already. Now its breaking a touch platform into a controller one. Do you design for a controller based Android console and make it work with touch? Only allow controller? Its audience right now is so small, other than indies no one is going to invest into this right away. Even with a simple API to covert touch gestures to controller movement, you still need to invest in QA to make sure it actually works.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Climbing off your high horse for 2 mins you'll agree they are games tho - games which are probably grossing more money than the entire PC 'indie' market is - e.g. "commercially successful" games which people clearly want to play.
    I enjoy playing Draw Something with my friends. I would NEVER buy something like that as a "console" or "PC" game.
    The Sims sells like hotcakes, but that has a comparatively small market (when compared with sports games or FPSes). They just buy every installment, expansion pack, and DLC.

    Thus, the "casual" market is not necessarily the best thing to focus on when you are launching a console. The "casual" players actually tend to have these things called "lives" and either don't want to stay at home playing video games (phone), or want nothing but party games where the Wii is still king.

    I'm a massive advocate of mobile games which are easy to play in short bursts etc - however the market isn't asking for that, it's asking for complex games with HD graphics, loads of levels and allsorts of other gubbins - and so that's what's being developer and pushed and what's propping up the markets.
    Good for you?

    And yes, there are more complex games popping up. And maybe in a few years they will truly be at the level of the existing handhelds (I had fun with the Mass Effect android game for all of five minutes :p). But they'll still be touch-oriented for obvious reasons, which brings us to the original point: Since when was Android good for gaming that wasn't touch-based?


    Ouya seems to have had few issues getting developers onboard - I suspect a lot of people who've been working with Android would love to get 'proper' controls for their games (it's frustrating-as-fuck trying to convert a game designed for a pad to a screen - about 2% of people who try, succeed).
    Is there an up-to-date article on the progress on that? Last I read it was all "A few indie-ish devs and OnLive". And the Wiki-page suggests this to still be true http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ouya_software
    Getting "developers onboard" still seems to be pretty weak. But time will tell on that

    And OnLive works just as well (or can, at least) with Linux and Windows as it does with Android. If not better (maybe not the Linux, I haven't checked in a while :p).

    So long as it's an easy plug-in API it would take most people an afternoon to do it - and there are some nice wireless 'touchpads' available too, which could, in theory, replace a 'touchscreen' for your TV.
    "an afternoon"? Really? I thought you claimed to make games :p
    Or do you just mean "an afternoon" to represent a mouse with a gamepad? So moving the cursor with your analog stick. With that, I agree. But I still think that would be awkward as crap, would be a horrible interface, and would just alienate people. There is a reason that you almost never (The only game I can think of that might have EVER done this is Starcraft64) see a console-port where they just use the analog stick to move the mouse cursor. Even when it would make sense (the PSN store) they make specialized interfaces so that you are moving from selection to selection. Why? VERY similar reasons to why we hate using arrow keys to select stuff in complicated menus (I actually prefer it, but whatever :p).



    I've said it before and I'll say it again - Steam on Linux is a distraction and a dead-end. There's this idea of a 'Steam PC' or 'Steam Console' but it would HAVE - HAVE - to be Windows based (or have a licensed/legal Windows emulator of some sort) to succeed. Valve working on a Linux version is King Cnut demanding the tide stop, he wasn't an idiot either, he was making a point that even the King cannot stop some things and so are Valve...
    Got it, you know better than Valve.

    I am not saying it is gonna be a huge success. But it is not "a dead-end" as you seem to insist on.

    We both agree: the big hurdle is going to be a Windows emulator/whatever wine calls itself. And that is actually pretty reasonable. The people who develop WINE have already done a damned good job, and if Valve put their muscle to it, it is reasonable to assume it would become user-friendly-ish. Hell, as it stands, with a good interface, WINE is sufficient for many back catalogs. RPS actually had an article about that a few months back.

    But even without that: A lot of major developers (and even some publishers) have expressed interest in Linux for various reasons. If Valve makes it feasible for them to distribute to that market, they'll be MUCH more likely to follow the golden boy than they are some random guys with a Kickstarter. So worst case scenario: Your entire back catalog of games stop working. So like almost any console these days :p

    I don't think they do - Steam is decent enough but does nothing innovative - change to it is GLACIAL - they're reacting to things and not innovating (see their Community which is basically turning into Facebook).
    I never said Valve were innovative. In fact, I regularly say they are the opposite. They are just VERY good at seeing what the current trend is and cashing in on it (even Half-Life 1 was an example of this). They have been a bit slow on the social networking aspect thus far, but considering that much of the PC gaming community still throws a temper tantrum the moment facebook or "friends" are mentioned, it might be a smart move.

    And as much as I dislike Facebook (Google+ yo!), it is still the best there is at what it does (and what it does isn't very nice).

    But either way: If Valve thinks the current trend is pushing for a Linux-based alternative: Maybe they have a point. At the very least, they have yet to be wrong. Half-assed, maybe. Wrong? Not so much.

    The indie devs who, for the most part, make no money at all - those indie devs? That's a fantastic start for your industry :)
    Oh, I never said they were intelligent or knew what they were doing (in fact, I was kind of mocking them :p). But it is the same logic behind "Is it wrong to be nice for the wrong reasons?". It doesn't matter. End result is Linux.

    Those crazy bastards with their frothing fanaticism are showing that there IS a market for linux gaming. And publishers wanting good PR will follow along like they used to (just advertising it this time, since I didn't even know there WAS a Linux version of UT until a year or two ago :p). And Valve will be there to cash in on them. End result: foothold.

    Linux is DEAD as a client/consumer platform - I've been saying this for 15+ years and it's never been more true than it is now. I load-up the latest releases from time to time and I genuinely hope I've been proved wrong and I'm never less than astonished at how SHIT they are - if anything, Linux 'desktop' is going backwards - I'd rather use a pen and paper...
    Good for you? Shame that doesn't really seem to be following the opinion of "most" people. And I would really suggest focusing only on the user-friendly distros (so mostly Ubuntu and Linux Mint). The stupid ones get stupider, but those two seem to be focusing on fixing almost all the mistakes of the past.

    Plus, colleges seem to be going out of their way to indoctrinate kids in Linux. Hell, the HS I went to (I still keep in touch with a few of the teachers) is even shifting the computer lab over to a linux distro. It lets them stretch the lifespan of the systems for longer, gives them more curriculum they can teach that isn't "Here is how to type in MS Word", and makes it harder for kids to install video games (said teacher finds Valve's pushing to be hilarious, by the way :p).

    So essentially, all those little kids who go to college thinking "I am gonna make a video game just like in that movie with the rotating cube that built a first person shooter!", take a semester of CISC, and then switch to art history? Those kids are actually gonna be exposed to Linux and might even get around many of the hurtles current users have to face.

    The thing that Linux has been trying to do is 'replace' Windows for and for decades it's failed to do that (despite some considerable effort from MASSIVE backers like Oracle) - and then, relatively out of the blue, tablets arrived from Apple and Google which undercut Windows and will continue to do so to the point it might not even be the target anymore. Linux may pass Windows as it's on the way down - perhaps :)
    Except that, as most people who have gotten tablets with keyboards have discovered: They kind of suck for anything other than checking your email and facebooking (which, admittedly, is what most people do).

    Windows, Linux, and Mac all fill the same niche right now (to varying degrees): A desktop computer. Many people are discovering that they don't need them for anything other than work (and gaming), but you still need to work :p. And as long as there are writers, "writers", coders, artists (the photoshop/maya/max/blender kind, not so much the drawy kind), office workers, and gamers out there, desktops will be a necessity.

    I read somewhere that there's a plan to release a Linux-based mobile OS and I laughed like a drain too. That's a market where Apple and Google are supreme - Blackberry have been pushed-back to the brink and MS cannot compete despite their wealth - and someone things "I know - Linux" - it's like some sort of Tourettes tick isn't it?
    Well, there we agree it is stupid as crap. Which is funny because you are the only one advocating Linux as a mobile OS in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Also - interesting you bring up the Wii. In game/hardware terms the biggest failure of the last gen of consoles, and yet probably the only one which made anyone any money :)
    And now the Wii U is sending Nintendo down the crapper. Even Capcom refuses to do half-assed ports for it. CAPCOM!!! :p

    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    The problem I see is how do developers end up designing their game? They are trying to design for multiplatorms already. Now its breaking a touch platform into a controller one. Do you design for a controller based Android console and make it work with touch? Only allow controller? Its audience right now is so small, other than indies no one is going to invest into this right away. Even with a simple API to covert touch gestures to controller movement, you still need to invest in QA to make sure it actually works.
    Bingo. Which will cause even more of the problem that faces Android: Fracturing. Now developers have to consider at least three major versions of the OS in addition to at least two major control inputs. The former is libraries and testing, the latter is actual game design and thought.
    Last edited by gundato; 02-01-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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    I am more interested in Green Throttles controller, UI device. Instead of buying a separate Android console you use your own tablet.

    You upgrade your phone every 2-3 years. My original Droid/Milestone, on release was the best there is. Just after release there was already games coming out that were incompatible with it, while an iPhone3G S could still play newer games. (similiar specs, release date, but more streamlined efficient OS with iOS). It is hard to say if that will happen now since Android has mature a bit more.

    We just saw the PS2 finally stop production in Japan. Xbox 360 has been around for 7 years, will last 8. I do not see these android consoles lasting more than 2 years until you need to update it. I guess if you buy them under $100 each it still will be less than Xbox 360 at $400 but kinda takes away the casual part needing to upgrade so often.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    I posted (something like) this in the Ouya thread, but worth doing it again.

    Lifespan of the PS3: About 6-8 years it seems
    Cost of PS3 at release: Originally about 500 USD
    Price per year: About $72

    Lifespan of XBOX 360: 7-9
    Cost: 400
    Price per year: 50
    Price of Live for 8 years: 400
    Price per year if you wanted multiplayer and the like: About $100

    And the Wii spanks those, but it was really a different demographic too. And it is best to not consider PC gaming in this as we come out bad if you do any real upgrading of your system (likely).

    So as long as the Ouya/Magic Stick thing can function for ~2 years, they'll be okay in terms of cost.


    Also, a big problem I am seeing: WHen it was just the Ouya, it seemed reasonable. Now that we have (at least) two platforms targeting the same demographic, things are gonna get bad. Because odds are they will both have their own custom APIs to use their gamepads and the like.
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    But if the games are all shite, you pay $50/year for nothing. And I can't imagine something massive like Red Dead Redemption, Gran Turismo, ect. coming out for the Ouya. On the other hand yes there is a possibility that some fabulous indies are made for it. DA GAIMEZ!!

    The idea of an ultra-portable console for the big screen is quite good though. Take it to friends, family, a party.
    Last edited by bad guy; 02-01-2013 at 10:15 PM.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad guy View Post
    But if the games are all shite, you pay $50/year for nothing. And I can't imagine something massive like Red Dead Redemption, Gran Turismo, ect. coming out for the Ouya. On the other hand yes there is a possibility that some fabulous indies are made for it. DA GAIMEZ!!

    The idea of an ultra-portable console for the big screen is quite good though. Take it to friends, family, a party.
    Well, I am of the opinion that if a platform exists, it will get some games and there is bound to be some that are really fun as far as a few people are concerned.

    My bigger concern with the Ouya/this thing is that they will be, at best, good for a small subset of indie games. Maybe those indie games will be REALLY good, but I doubt there is a person alive who ONLY plays "indie" games (and if they do, their definition of "indie" is pretty relaxed). And if I am pooping out money for a console, I want a wide library. Because my tastes may not match perfectly with what the two or three developers who make a half-decent attempt like.
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  19. #19
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    Isn't PC enough for you people,going from PC games to android is like switching from Ducati 999 to Tomos moped :|

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    The thing which stands-out most in the this thread is that apparently you 'gamers' look down on these devices and thus assume everyone else will to.

    Who the people are who are spending millions every day on mobile gaming I've no idea - and you, apparently, don't care - but the makers of these 'consoles' DO care.

    Perhaps they're not aimed at you? Did you consider that even for a second??

    Maybe they won't last - but that's not the point. Almost everyone who bought a Wii had a whale of a time bowling/throwing/chopping and then put it away for the next party - Nintendo made a fucktonne of money from that alone.

    An Android console isn't competing with an XBOX or a PS3 or a PC - the market is different and yes, it might not actually be worthwhile - but what you, as a PC/console gamer think of it - is largely irrelevant.

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