Weekly Wringer #88: The Internet Age and Museums

At some point in our lives, hopefully all of us is lucky enough to stand in front of a piece of history. We see something old, important, artistic, innovative, educational, or maybe all of these at once. This is what the museum is meant for – a chance to experience history, art, or science in our own world. But the Internet offers a whole new world of information and learning. So where does that leave the old museum? Today the Commodore talks about museums and their role in the Internet age. Then its time for a question for next week about new consoles from CES 2013! It’s the Weekly Wringer!

Download the MP3 version here: http://www.clanofthegraywolf.com/wp-content/uploads/WWAudio/Weekly_Wringer_88.mp3

26 Comments

  • MegamanX4321 MegamanX4321
    Posted Jan/21/2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Hello again everyone. Sorry I didn’t leave a contribution to last week’s discussion but it looked like most people shared my opinion so I didn’t really have anything to add. I think the idea of combining the real world museum experience with the online capabilities is awesome and just might be enough to keep the museum business going.

    As for the future of consoles I’m really optimistic about the all-in-one console designs. I’ve primarily been a home console gamer most of my life because that was all we could afford back in the day. Only in the past few years have I gotten into PC gaming and I’ve never really had the chance to use handhelds or portables extensively. I really like the idea of having everything in one system. If the convenience and portability of the handheld aspects work, yet it still has the power to play AAA home console titles, it seems like a win-win to me. No more having to buy a separate system and game to be able to play on the go. The only downside I could see to this is the fact that many developers and game series have created a niche in the handheld market and some gamers may not like the idea of the handheld and home console scenes merging into one. As I said before I never really played any handhelds so I can’t speak to that sentiment myself. But for me, the idea of one system that can do it all is something I’ve been wanting for a long time. I haven’t played the WiiU yet but I plan on buying one very soon. The system may not be perfect yet but I think it’s a step in the right direction.

  • KuraraII KuraraII
    Posted Jan/21/2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I am ambivalent towards a unified console. I wouldn’t mind being able to do a variety of things such as playing some older games, watch movies, etc etc. What I really worry about is less about the capabilities and more about what it would mean for the market.

    I am the opinion that having one dominant device with limited ways of interaction will limit the breadth of varied titles. Think of it as a sort of hyper-pong machine; it’s the big unified console that all the large and small developers are on-board with. The device would in part dictate the development on it and we would see a glut of pong clones on this machine. What we need is a variety of input devices and real restrictions that occur with design choices when it comes to controller layout, graphics specs, game storage media, processor power, etc. This usually arises when we have varied approaches to creating a console (See the Wii vs PS3 or XBOX360; DS vs PSP). These hard limitations forces ingenuity and creativity in the design and execution of a game.

    What we would see is that a single devices creates a monopoly if it is successful enough; this monopoly will stifle market growth or innovation as a star product under a monopoly will likely fall into the position of (cash) cow. With how so many mobile games are developed and marketed, I feel that we also risk creating a sort of contradiction of one buyer vs one seller; The console is a monopoly selling to the monopsony of mass market casual gamers.

    A lack of diversity in console hardware results in a lack of choice for a very varied market that may not all fall into line with this development. Would we still see niche titles for such a mass-market device? What will development costs be? Will prohibitive licensing fees prevent many games from being developed if they can’t forecast enough sales by not being able to place the product in the right place for the right audience?

    I am ill so this may seem like the rant of a Dionysian Priest on mushrooms, but I imagine a single device being a horrible cacophony of mixed mass-appeal products pushing everything else aside as only the biggest could vie for our attention. Imagine having to look through 2 million games while we apply Sturgeon’s Law! What a chore!

    Now that I think of it…If we have too many large companies invested in a single device that tries to replace everything…We have a problem that arises with Cartel businesses developing and possible price-fixing or anti-trust scandals; ugh ugh ugh.

    I can only hope that there will be alternatives to one-in-all consoles.

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted Jan/22/2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know if Commodore was referring to an “all in one” console as in a unified platform or a console that has multiple functionality as handheld, a console, a media player etc. all in one device.

      A unified platform would be interesting. I doubt it will ever happen. Some argue a unified platform already exists in the form of a PC but I personally count it as a separate platform along with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. If there’s ever going to be a unified platform for gaming it’s probably going to be PC and console gaming eventually merging.

      However, the prospect of buying a single console being able to play all the console games in a generation would be incredible. No need to buy a Nintendo system to play Zelda and Mario and Xbox to play Halo etc. One purchase to access a whole library of available games. Some argue that a unified platform for console would kill innovation in gaming but I argue that it would only shift the focus innovation away from hardware towards primarily software as competition will shift from hardware to software as well. One positive of a unified console: no more console wars = less fanboys trolling video game forums.

      • KuraraII KuraraII
        Posted Jan/23/2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I should mention that I ran with the unified device with the possibility of it becoming so prevalent that manufacturers join a cartel.

  • Posted Jan/22/2013 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    I certainly am very uneasy about the idea of an all in one console. Taking the Vita as an example, there is practically nothing, but glorified ports of games already made instead of new, exclusive games for this particular console. And this whole “all-in-one” trend seems to me like an excuse to jack up the price for consoles thanks to “features” that you may or may not want; what if I already owned gadgets with the same features as these consoles such as a Blu-Ray player that can stream Netflix and Hulu+, or an Ipod for storing and playing my music. But this is coming from someone who buys consoles and handhelds purely for a gaming experience, with multiple exclusive titles available on each console to justify my purchase. (hence why I do not, and will not own a PS3 or Vita :))

  • Red Mage Red Mage
    Posted Jan/22/2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really care about an “all in one” type console. It’s probably the way of the future. The next evolution of the Wii U is probably going to be the gamepad will doubling as the console that connects to the TV as well as the handheld device. I don’t find that prospect particularly interesting although it would be really convenient to buy a games and be able to play it home or on the go.This is nice because a gamer doesn’t have to buy a collection of games for their handheld and their console if there’s a all in one console. Sony has experimented a little bit with this idea with Cross Buy if one buys a game from a limited selection on either Vita or PS3, the buyer can play the game on both platforms.

  • NightWolf
    Posted Jan/22/2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    While the idea of an all-in-one console sounds great, what really matters is their execution. The best idea in the world means nothing if your final product doesn’t deliver on its promises.

    The biggest concern I have while waiting for these consoles to release is the fear that they will try to accomplish too much. I think that it’s not too much of a stretch to say that many of these companies, who have never made a gaming console before, could be a bit too ambitious. Their consoles can have as many features and uses as they want, but if every feature doesn’t perform as well as the dedicated product that did it better the first time around, what’s the point?

    I feel I should also bring up the Xbox 720. Microsoft is planning for this console to not only be a gaming console, but an all-in-one “media center” where you can watch blu-ray DVDs, go on the internet, download apps, etc. I can already do all of that with my computer and TV, so why make me pay more for the next Xbox for features I don’t need?

    I miss the days where video game consoles did one thing: played video games. All these other extra features being added are just detracting the focus from the machine’s core purpose.

  • DTX180
    Posted Jan/22/2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    I think this a case of “in theory great, in practice not so much”.

    Competition drives the market, and usually benefits the consumer. Obviously graphically capabilities reaching a peak is slowing down new consoles right now, and I could maybe see some appeal for an “all-in-one” because of that.

    I could also see appeal for an all-in-one because games released now are always trying to be multi-platform, and sometimes developing a game with multiple consoles in mind can limit the gameplay of the finished product (on all systems it gets released on). Maybe I’m talking myself out of this one lol.

    I just still have to go back to the “competition drives industry” thing. I just see it too many times when consolidation and buy outs occur too frequently, the consumer tends to get screwed over. Especially in entertainment industries (and banking lol).

  • JohnC911
    Posted Jan/23/2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Commodore,

    I think that an all-in-one console is not a matter of if but when. This comment may sound weird but hear me out. The console wars are getting very costly for any company to invest in an exclusive Console that runs a restricted OS. No other company bar the current three have been able to stay in the console race. This is due to the amount of time and money required to compete has been raising and will be continuing to rise. Also the investment made not pay off and could lose of lot of time and money. Just take a look at some of the loser of the past consoles wars. Sega is still alive but lost of lot (almost going bankrupted in 2001) and cut back after the Saturn and Dreamcast. Atari once a console leader in the 70s after the Jaguar failed, the owners sold the company. Philips disaster cost the company in money and gave it a bad reputation. This made of also delayed or completely stop people (in the West) from investing in watching movies on CD (or any disk format) until DVD (Can only imagine if the Ps2 failed). SNK collapse not long after the two failed consoles, the Neo Geo pocket and the Neo Geo home entrainment system.

    • JohnC911
      Posted Jan/23/2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      The Xbox 360 and Ps4 have only just been making money in the last year. This means that investment is at this current time to take on average of 6 to 7 years before you can make profit. The Wii the only console to of made money in the first year or two of the last consoles war and could be the last one, also note that the last few years the sales were dropping fast off the market. The WiiU has not made the sales of the Wii and looking to be more like the 360 or PS3 in terms of first year sales. Also note that most consoles since the PlayStation have been using more parts that are from other companies. There are example of most companies using processing chip, sound cards and graphic cards instead of making it themselves. Systems are also starting to become more like different versions of a PC. Not to mention that PC is becoming a lot cheaper for a consumer to invest in. With a lot of PC games not needing or requiring the new hardware and internet stores such as Steam selling games for cheap or even free. The next console race made look very different and could very well be the second last. The Ps5, Xbox 1080 and WiiU2 could be PC with a console look. They made be able to play the same games from any console but you chose from purely looks, requirements and uniqueness of style.

      • JohnC911
        Posted Jan/23/2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

        Sorry if this post is too long. I felt I needed to explain my point.
        PS I hope I didn’t offended you with what I said about the weekly topic #87. I was not attacking you, just stating what i believe.

  • Posted Jan/23/2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    To be honest? I have mixed feelings about “all in one” anything. I think I’m showing my age here and feeling a bit technophobic as the future closes in around me.

    I just recently upgraded my phone to one with a keyboard on it, not even a touch screen or so called “Smart phone”.

    I feel like, I want something to do a job, I want it to do that job alone and do it well. My Wii playing Netflix or hulu is extra fluff, and it weirds me out a bit honestly. I mean, it weirded me out the first time I remember a game keeping track of the last time I played it. Game consoles, to me, have always been there to do one thing – play games. I didn’t trade in my DVD player when I got a PS2, or my CD player when I got my Saturn.

    My phone, even without being a latest model android or iphone, does a ton of things I generally have no use for or feel like another device could service better. GPS for example. I added a GPS service while I was on a trip, and I feel like a dedicated GPS (And I’ve borrowed one before) would do a better, more accurate job.

    So… part of me really wants a handheld system I can take where I want and essentially play those high quality games with, and also be able to proudly display them on a large screen. Another part of me feels like it makes my traditional consoles invalid suddenly. Where will this take the future? Digital downloads replacing cartridges and discs? It’s already starting. We lost the arcades, and the experience left with it. If we lose the consoles, well… I feel like GameStop and places like it will be the museums.

    But people still play board games, so why wouldn’t they still want to play a physical console in the future?

    Other things to consider about the all-in-one and downloadables though is… What happens when the controller, which is also your console, starts to fail? What happens if the console fails and the downloads stop? I’m not so concerned about that with Steam, but a newcomer on the block…

  • Mr. K Mr. K
    Posted Jan/23/2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m against a unified console, because it’s a further way to reduce personal property.

    We’re seeing with Bruce Willis’ lawsuit against Apple and the way Windows 7 back door datamines every OS sold that device homogenization is going to cripple property rights. The corporate ownership/personal property debate will be the legal cause of this decade– if not century.

    Commodore, you talk a lot about how you have a modified XBOX. You love the thing, because you’ve told us about it. If you do that to a 360, Microsoft will brick your console. If a unified console is released, bricking a console will affect EVERYTHING you have attached to it. Do you really want to take that risk?

  • Posted Jan/23/2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I see it being a trend and I hope it fails. The more we rely on one single unit to do everything, the more we have to lose when it dies. Due to the great power this console would demand as well as the use it would get, it would surely breakdown and be a total disaster. Electronics built these days don’t seem to have the ability to last very long, so placing a greater dependence on the unified console is ridiculous.

    Along with this, I don’t want to pay for all of this extra junk. Every time something new gets added that a majority of the population won’t use, I have to pay extra for it.

    As mentioned, the vita is a great example of this being a problem. I own a vita and I love some of the games offered such as Uncharted, Gravity Rush and Dokuro, they are simple incredible games to play, especially on the go. I want a portable gaming console, I don’t need all of this extra junk which does not matter and has no timeless quality to it. I just want quality games on the go, but yet I had to pay extra for all of this extra garbage attached to it.

    I want a dedicated gaming console so all attention will be focused on quality and not fad-like gimmicks. The all-in-one does not have my vote and I hope it crashes and burns.

    Sorry for any redundancies, I know a few points have been mentioned.

  • AkiraVGA
    Posted Jan/24/2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Project Shield got a couple of raised eyebrows out of me at first but in the end I felt that taking everything that can be good about gaming and smooshing it into one unit doesn’t mean it will be worth buying. “Shield” specifically; the thought of the price tag came to mind. There was no mention of the cost at CES but I expect it will be about $350. I believe many people will get one to build their existing access to games but few will decide it is their new centre of entertainment or the future. Two questions come to mind for me when deciding if new hardware is worth the price; “What does it do that I don’t already have?” and “What else is there out there that costs this much and which one is better?” I’ll leave that with mostly questions but the Nvidia Shield will not last as something big in my opinion. I do however believe it will be great to hack.

    In time, I feel new hardware will have far less to do with gaming buys than it does today. Rather than look for a new console based on the specs and developers backing it, I think the market will turn to what “service” is best. With things like Google Fiber spreading, how much faster does a connection need to be to stream HD picture at 60fps and perfect 7.1 sound while still able to send back input at 1:1 response to the game? If that can be done… well, once that can be done, the home hardware doesn’t really need to be so beefy. In fact, it really opens the door for the core servers to send and feed back to some insanely powerful machines. In other words, what we would have is a service that could be inserted into any home entertainment system made for TV, movies, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or gaming which supports the stream fed gaming library of your choice….. for a monthly fee of course.

  • The Male White Mage The Male White Mage
    Posted Jan/25/2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    I have replayed the question a few times to hear where the topic could go and for me the main thing that I keep coming back to is why not hook a PC up to your TV. With a PC you have access to pretty much any online service without the need for an App that is sub-par compared to actually visiting and using the website itself. With videos and pictures it doesn’t need to be in certain format to work and if it is in a format that your PC doesn’t recognize you can download a program or codec to play it. And if a piece of hardware needs to be replaced it can be replaced.

    As for me I don’t like all-in-one devices since with more features there will be more problems that will arise, also there will be Apps that can not be uninstall or removed.

  • Maze Maze
    Posted Jan/25/2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Jack of all trades, and master of none. I actually don’t want just ONE console that does EVERYTHING because I would be the last person in my family to ever get to use it. Kids suck FTR. I’ve gotten to play Warriors Orochi on the WiiU that I paid for once since X-mas. At least now I have lots of alternatives. I don’t want to have less alternatives. =(

    • Maze Maze
      Posted Jan/25/2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Not too mention the fact that though a console may be able to do many things, how well does it do them? Does it do them as well as a more specialized piece of hardware?

  • Lioran Waters
    Posted Jan/26/2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    We have to face that one day everything will be cloud based and all we are going to carry is a screen but are we going to see this in our life time? If yes its probably going to be in our eighties.
    So a unified console that mix handheld and console in one sounds more like the futur. A good exemple of this is onlive,handheld or on the big screen? you decide. It will be more about what provider you take rather than what piece of hardware you use, as computers are reaching their limits according to scientist and should have reached it in few decades before we start seeing quantum computers.
    So I think the real question should be is it ahead of its time rather then is it a good thing because it is happening.
    As for myself I believe it is a good thing and a good time for it. It is a small step toward a type 1 civilization. We all need to leave the ship once it reaches its destination and it is almost time.

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted Jan/26/2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    i’m not too educated on this topic, and i might chime in later after i’ve had time to read up on it. my initial question is the same as always: Will it have good games? as long as something has good games, i’m in favor of it. what i don’t care for is the “convenience” of having all this stuff in one, being something’s selling point. i don’t care if i can do this, that, and the other thing with a console if i could live without the games. the nvidia shield makes me think of the ouya (i’m not 100% sure what that is either); i guess what i’m saying is that i’m not very interested in playing cell phone-esque games on my t.v. … i’m not really interested in playing them on someone’s cell phone.

  • mrandycretin mrandycretin
    Posted Jan/26/2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    “Jack of all trades, and master of none.” -MAZE nailed it, for me. (except for the bit about kids and orochi…i wasn’t paying attention) but yeah. i don’t want a gadget that does a lot of stuff, but isn’t good at any of them. i don’t like playing games on an iphone, or using the internet on a ps3 etc.

    • Red Mage Red Mage
      Posted Jan/27/2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      An all in one device doesn’t necessarily have to be a “jack of all trades” Theoretically, if a company puts in the development effort, they could come up with a device that does everything really well and just as good as specialized devices. The problem is that the cost of such a device is likely to be high.

    • Maze Maze
      Posted Jan/29/2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      “except for the bit about kids and orochi…i wasn’t paying attention” <—- typical man. (that's a joke FTR.)

      "The problem is that the cost of such a device is likely to be high."

      High prices kill systems. People don't seem to have a problem dropping $2-400 on multiple pieces of technology, but show em a price tag for one device over $700 and the majority'll freak out. Some kindof quirk of human nature. Pennywise and pound foolish. Why cpu gaming didn't really take off until you didn't have to have a computer built specifically for gaming requiring constant updates and outlays of cash to keep up w/ spec. req.'s for the newest games.

  • RetroGamerTy
    Posted Jan/27/2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    So Nintendo has been a more “casual” gaming company throughout the Wii’s lifetime for the most part in comparison to Sony’s PS3 and Microsoft’s Xbox360 (and PC). With the new guy on the block, Nintendo’s WiiU, we have seen casual and hard-core games combining into one console with a new way to play, meaning the touch screen. I don’t know if it has caught on with the hard-core gamers that have religiously played their Xbox360′s and PS3′s because now they are devoted to these gaming platforms. It may be some time before the hard-core crowd looks at the WiiU seriously, especially with the PS4 and Xbox720 right around the corner to be announced soon according to IGN and Machinima. Now that Nintendo is trying to cater to the hard-cores as well as their casual players, Sony and Microsoft may try harder with their new consoles to cater to the wide variety of gamers as well which could mean a fight for consumers and possibly one company dropping from the console race. Handheld-wise, Nintendo is still the king in sales and games no matter what. It has some hard-core games, casual games, puzzle games, download titles, etc. which means it is for everyone no matter what the person’s gaming preference. I can’t wait to see how this year ends and how everything pans out, especially when Microsoft and Sony release their consoles (which will probably be as large as your tv how they get bigger as they make new consoles). Also, if it’s not obvious, I AM a Nintendo fanboy :)

  • Mog Mog
    Posted Jan/30/2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I can’t talk badly about an “all in one” console. I love it. It’s awesome watching youtube on the WiiU. The forums aren’t that well organized, but still fun. Cloud gaming is popular for a reason. Following your friends to whatever game works. PC has always been “all in one” and it works. Write a novel, make a presentation, surf the web, play a game, watch a movie,… Only thing I don’t want is for like one console to “win”. Like PC and Windows. I’ve always hated Windows, but it’s only gotten worse and worse. Eating more and more memory and being more and more of an annoyance. Especially windows 8. It sucks soooo hard. Just shutting the cpu down is a ten step process. Getting something on your desktop a two hour adventure. When there is no competition is when they get lazy and don’t bother with quality or innovation.

    But yeah. PC have always been “all in one”. Are popular for a reason. Consoles are just catching up.

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