Consoles Are Dead
by Ankur Pansari
27 June 2012
Consoles are dead. It’s time to lay down the controller, and pay our respects.
For the last 25 years, I’ve owned almost every single console that there was. From the original Nintendo, to the Playstation 3, I count over 15 consoles and portables. Many were epic, like the Nintendo 64, while others wore out their welcome a little too soon.
Some of my favorite memories were when my friends and family would gather around a new game and we’d duke it out for hours. The really great games and consoles usually nailed one thing really well: Multiplayer. There was nothing like the thrill and competitive spirit of nailing the perfect Dragon Punch or getting the red shells in Mario Kart’s battle mode. Twenty years later, my friend Yuji and I still fire up Street Fighter II on an original SNES.
Lately, it seems like some things have gotten lost. Games sometimes resemble movies more than they resemble games. Gameplay has been replaced with cut scenes. Fancy graphics and recycled sequels turned into fancier graphics and fancier sound. Gamers like myself were seduced back to the computer to play games like Counterstrike and StarCraft while I waited for the next Halo to come out.
Unfortunately, as a gamer on the go, these don’t meet my needs anymore either. I’m looking for something rich yet something that I can pull up when I want. Something that I can play with my friends and something that is as accessible as pulling up a website. Millions of people are playing social games, but most of them are still just isometric resource-collecting games. We’re not faulting anybody — we all need to make money. However, we see a better world out there.
It’s time to kill the console… or better yet, build a better one. One that lives in a browser and can be accessed from any device. One where I can play against my brother just by sending him a link and we’re dropped into an experience together. We’ve assembled a team to bring back that joy back again.