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EAPidgeon avatar 2:47 PM on 05.02.2012  (server time)
PC, Valve, and Steam: Is digital retail forcing console's hand?

Corruption or Desperation
It's no question that console gaming and its policy choices have come under a great deal of flak lately.
Yet what caused the inspiration for this post was the article by Jim Sterling, and what Iwata of Nintendo said, proposing price matching for digital and the retail pricing for games. Despite Nintendo being both a trendsetter, it is also still backwards, but this isn't important. The questions are, is console gaming beginning to feel its old age, are consoles unable to meet the challenge of the next generation, and if so, where do we go from here? (sweet child o mine :P)

Stumbling Giants
With the current console generation at its limits or reaching them in the next year or so, one must beg the question are consoles ready yet for the next generation. With mobile devices already becoming capable of running console classics like Dead Space and FFT(Final Fantasy Tactics) it's clear consoles need to act. The question is, how? Consoles each iteration near always employ casino like tricks to keep system purchase prices down and usually the -assets per system (pulling a guess here) run close to at least 150$. So how can consoles still go positive, it's the casino tricks, but it may come as a shock to the next generation of would be buyers, unless a new casino trick can be found, consoles won't be cheap.

The Next Trick?
Being mainly human beings, and having some level of functioning right or wrong, we can tell when something isn't right, and with games we aren't any time soon putting down a fresh green benjamin for just 1 game when it only cost 50$ last year. We like to feel what we're paying for is worth its value, even if its not, but with a need for stronger hardware and a new console, the next generation is being rushed into existence and to some executives dislike, too soon to use the same tricks.

Remember the argument over the attempts to prevent used copies from being played again on a different system? This is the next generations scheme to keep prices down, there's just one little problem, the retailers who rely on a used games for a large amount of their profits, the ones who sell these consoles new games, they aren't going to like it, and probably won't even let it happen.

Killing the Messenger
Now that we've come nearly full circle it's time to explain why Steam may be forcing consoles to reveal their tricks, for if consoles must survive by going digital, steam is the behemoth they'll have to face.
And now after taking you through these hopefully poetic thoughts, I must go as I am out of time but I leave the question, if consoles are between two hard places, Steam and Time, can they survive, and if so, where do we go from here?

Written on a phone, forgive the spelling/grammar.

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