In today's Gamasutra feature
, game designer and Gamasutra veteran Ernest Adams presents the latest installment of his ongoing "The Designer's Notebook" series, giving a unique perspective on the next-gen console wars. Which console offers more opportunity for a designer, the impressive horsepower of the PS3 or the unique control scheme of the Wii?
In this excerpt, Adams says that determining the 'winner' of this next-gen console war is a question that - contrary to the thinking that says a system lives or dies by its games - lies outside developers' control:
"So now we’re at another generation. The Xbox 360 came out swinging early, and it’s a good solid machine. Then there’s the PS3, which is the undoubtedly the most powerful game console ever built but too expensive, and the Wii, which has taken a radically different approach. Who’ll end up as the also-ran?
The answer will have to do with a lot of factors beyond a game designer’s, or any game developer’s, control. Sad to say, while the quality of the early games for a console does matter, good games alone cannot guarantee a console’s success. More important are its price (to the casual players), its hardware features (to the hardcore players), and even its form factor (the Japanese are reputed to have ignored the first Xbox because it was just too big and clunky for their apartments). The media, both gaming and mainstream, are busy comparing the new consoles. But what are the pros and cons from a design standpoint?"
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, with more from Adams on what human-computer interaction buzzword 'affordance' has to do with it (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).