Video game standard touted by EA boss. What is this? Trip Hawkins talking about the 3DO? Sorry, wrong EA boss, wrong machine and ten years later. At least.

So why would I be against this? And why am I for software patents? And why do I think Free! and Open! software all sucks? Who knows if I really do?

But anyhow. This open, standard platform then. Why bother? Oh, wait, it makes your life easier. Well, if that is the case, EA, then why not go make your own machine? Oh, you tried that and no one bought it? Ah, right then Ted. Yes, it would make everyone’s life easier. Or so they think. Because reducing choice is always a good thing. You can have whatever you want, comrade, as long as The Party stamp is on it.

But anyhow. Think of the developers, having to make multiple versions of the same game. Of course, it isn’t as if they do that already. Platform exclusives, anyone? I know there are those who say that if the Nintendo geniuses weren’t tied to the Big N, then more gamers would get the benefit of their excellence. Hang on, no one forced you to buy Sony. Go buy a Wii. If I want to play certain PlayStation games (and there have been a few I have wanted to), then I should go out and buy that machine, not the communistic utopian one.

Maybe that is it. I don’t want to be forced to not have a choice. Yes, there is still the choice of game, but that is still not the same. And why should companies be forced to comply with this, either? Whenever Sega came in to the market in the early 90s, people made the mistake of thinking they were different, that they were all street and cool, and not like Nintendo. They all made a mistake. Sega didn’t want to be different from Nintendo, they wanted to be Nintendo. And if some new company comes along with their XStationKillerDS360ii, why shouldn’t they? It will do well on numerous issues, like price, games, timing, yadayadayada, all the nebulous bits and pieces that make anything a success.

Didn’t the PC try to become some gaming-platform standard? I know not, having not upgraded any x86 hardware since I bought the newly released 16Mb 3DFX card way, way, way back. And anyhow, my circumstances dictate that playing games is multiplayer, and in the front room. So not on the PC. On a console.

I don’t want to see standardisation. I want to see innovation. How would the Wii have got to market if there was one standard? Do we form a Wiimote steering committee, decide on the standard (the thing about standards is you can pick and choose the ones you want), draft some papers, and maybe get it into the next revision. Which means everyone has to upgrade.

I don’t want to see homogeneity. I want to look enviously at other machines, other games, and have some feeling of passion in my life. Do we also have an Ethics Board that gives the politburo seal of approval to everything on this standard box? I am sure EA would love that. Or not, as it might mean the end of six-monthly FIFA cash-cows for them. Who buys minor updates? Seriously, if you love the game, played it to death, wouldn’t it distress you to buy FIFA Q407b for fifty quid a month after buying FIFA Q407a?

As I keep telling people, don’t use me as a basis for your decisions. I don’t need a new phone, and telling me why I need one won’t work, because my mileage is varying. I don’t need a new iPod, as my Abby works fine, holds way more than I need, and supplies Caitlin with tunes. I will buy a sequel to a game if it is different, extends the franchise and won’t bore me. Metroid Prime 3 is coming soon, friends, and I can’t wait.

We only have one console plugged in to the idiot box right now, and there won’t be anymore. Much as the odd time I would like one. Spiel Macht Frei! (Yes, I know.)

Long may we have console wars. As ever was, ever will be.

  1. OK - I’m with you on the gaming thing .. but you’re for software patents? Really? No. Really?


    Raymond Lesley
    Wed 24 Oct, 4:59PM

  2. I keep hearing the same arguments about software patents, how can you patent this or it is crazy to patent that. What is generally said is inconsistencies in the system, not any reason why software patents (over and above any other type of patent) are bad. Having worked for two explicit IP companies in my time, and a few software houses, I really don’t see an issue with patenting your own developed tech, be it soft- or hardware.

    Or maybe I am just a degenerate troll. History will decide… :)

    Stray Taoist
    Thu 25 Oct, 7:44AM

  3. History doesn’t need to decide. You are a degenerate troll. Oh and opinionated too, all those fabulous things.

    Software patents are an insanely bad idea. In fact, patents are a bad idea, a really really bad idea.

    Fri 26 Oct, 5:07PM

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