Gamers Likely Won't Welcome Pricey Next-Gen Hardware
At this point in time, gamers seem less likely than ever before to shell out lots of bucks for anything related to the video game industry.
Maybe it's just this palpable sensation I get that everywhere I turn, I see people who are very much unwilling to spend too much...on anything. Not that that's a bad thing (I am a very practical and even frugal person) but when it comes to leisure activities, people in this country often spend a whole lot. In fact, more than they should.
But over the past few years, that trend seems to be reversing. I have gone so far as to call gamers a bunch of whiny spoiled brats and for the most part, I'm sticking to that unfortunate assessment. They don't want to pay for extra content (which, to some extent, I can understand), they don't think $60 is a fair price for a new game (and they're right, given inflation and the technology involved, it should by all rights be around $100), and the biggest issue surrounding new consoles is indeed price.
In recent generations, price was always a factor, of course. But I distinctly recall the shift from the PS1 to the PS2, and the primary topic of conversation centered squarely on the new machine's capabilities. The price was discussed as well, but to a far lesser extent. I knew of quite a few big gamers who really didn't care what the price was going to be. In my estimation, that's sort of what hardcore fans are...but this time around, I'm not sure any such freewheeling philosophies exist. Price is not only a concern, it appears to be by far the top priority and in fact, the determining factor. Completely illogical but true, I think.
The bottom line is that this generation has undoubtedly seen far more whining than any other generation in gaming's history. I will certainly concede that some of that whining was warranted, and I too have issues with how the industry is being run. But the spoiled brat syndrome is still running rampant and an expensive new piece of technology might go over like a lead balloon. Toss in games that are almost guaranteed to be more expensive than they are now, and you've got a full-fledged revolt on your hands. I'm not entirely sure why, as inflation is inflation, technology gets better, things get more expensive, etc. It isn't tough to comprehend.
But really, I'm sensing a very large community that isn't willing to pay much of anything for anything. Sometimes I think we're a tweak away from a bunch of people going, "Yeah, we should just be getting this stuff for free. Or maybe it can be government subsidized." They're definitely not eagerly waiting to dump a lot of cash on any new product, even if it is part of their favorite hobby. ...and that could be a serious problem in the near future.
7/26/2012 8:58:01 PM Ben Dutka