First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

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CaptainCruch
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First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby CaptainCruch » June 26th, 2019, 2:26 am

Before the successful launch of the PlayStation in 1995 a lot of other companies tried to launch CD-ROM based consoles without much success: Sega CD, Philips CD-i, 3DO, Amiga CD32, Commodore CDTV, Apple-Bandai Pippin (and probably some more). I see those platforms as a kind of in between generation of consoles that were necessary to develop and mature CD-ROM based game consoles.

Now I a see parallel with streaming technology. It seems were in a in between phase. The streaming consoles of today (and yesterday) seem to turn out to be similar flops as some of the first CD-ROM based consoles. Of course, I'm talking about platforms such as Ouya, Valve's OnLive and more recently the new Atari VCS and Google Stadia. I'm not a fan of streaming consoles (old-fashioned, I like to buy physical copies), but I still feel the next generation of streaming consoles will actually mature the technology and be more succesful, in the same way as it happened with the CD based consoles. What do you think?

ActRaiser
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby ActRaiser » June 26th, 2019, 8:18 am

Well, for streaming to be effective you need a fast connection. My little 40mb DSL connection won't cut it. If we can get 5G broadly available then we're talking.

If 5G lives up to half its hype we may have something. Although it's going to be years before it's innocuous enough everywhere.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » June 26th, 2019, 5:34 pm

The CD medium gave more to the players. Streaming takes it away.

The biggest problem isn't the concept, it's the greed of corporate America. Internet providers spent the money they were given to upgrade their services on Washington lobbyists, instead. They've gleefully announced plans to piss on the grave of net neutrality - hope you enjoy your datacaps.

Meanwhile, Stadia is looking for new ways to complicate the Netflix model, because it doesn't shake the customer down for enough money.

It's all very stupid, and the failures of everyone involved are more than deserved.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 28th, 2019, 9:27 pm

Interesting topic!

I think the premise that CD technology "gave more to the players" is debatable. Sure gamers got bigger games, but what was taking up that extra space on the disc? Digitized music and full-motion video? The games were generally the same, except now with load times. I think the advent of the CD was more of a benefit to the publishers, who could pump out CDs for pennies on the dollar, instead of chip-packed cartridges. Did they pass on the savings? To some extent, maybe.

The problem with streaming is that your entire gaming experience relies on the company you hate most - your ISP. Can anybody really say with a straight face that they trust Comcast or Verizon? If you said yes, you're probably not paying the bill. I don't want these companies having me by the ballz. There is a lot of talk about data caps now. This is your cable company's attempt to cash in on streaming. You think they aren't going to get their piece of the pie?

djc
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Joined: September 24th, 2016, 3:42 pm

Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby djc » June 29th, 2019, 12:30 am

Very fitting topic as the Ouya servers just went offline effectively rendering them semi-functional (and new old stock or factory reset ones as paperweights). I'm still annoyed by this - I actually like the Ouya.

In the early 90's when CD-ROM based games were starting to take hold (with consoles like the TG-CD or Sega CD in the US), some games made great use of the technology (like Batman Returns or FIFA on the Sega CD). Others were just straight ports of their cartridge counterparts with load times and occasionally better sound and music.

Eventually with the more powerful systems like the 3DO, PSX, and Saturn, the ability to hold larger games was put to good use and the medium flourished.

strat
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby strat » June 29th, 2019, 12:27 pm

Did they pass on the savings? To some extent, maybe.


Nintendo was continually panned for using carts with N64 because the games were typically $10-20 more than a PS1 title.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » July 1st, 2019, 7:40 am

The first CD consoles gave us RPGs with stories and characters that didn't need to be compressed into a Megabyte or three. You only need to look at Secret of Mana, which was originally designed for CD, and had to be gutted to fit into a cart.

From the Escapist:

The game is an exciting wonderland of exploration and discovery. Yet, once you meet Flammie, the adorable child of the legendary white dragon, the script and story just.... stops. You are abruptly launched from a game of adventure to "fly here, do the palace, move along." Sadly, this is because North American players like myself missed out on a large portion of the game.

Secret of Mana was originally designed to be released in North America via SNES CD add-on. Near the end of development, the deal between Nintendo and Sony fell through, with Sony deciding instead to develop the SNES CD into PlayStation. The designed game was salvaged by cutting a significant amount of data in order to make it fit onto an SNES cartridge. A large portion of the story's script was cut after a certain point, as well as possibly a few mini-games (the carousel, for example) and sprites (like the melting snowman.) Various different routes which would lead to different endings were removed and substituted with linear gameplay.

Designer Koichi Ishii estimated that roughly 40% of the game's content was cut, and producer Hiromichi Tanaka has stated that the original storyline had a much darker tone. Due to the drastic cuts, there is virtually zero character development present.

The graphics were a bit repetitive, the sprites were bright but lacked detail, and the palaces had almost no accompanying additional tasks. You fly to an island that is essentially completely vacant with the exception of the Tree Palace - nothing to see or do here, guys. Just beat the big house and move along! Likely the most disappointing was the Moon Palace, which was made entirely of a five-minute star maze to the orb and the elemental Lumina. It drastically differed from what game enthusiasts had come to expect from a Square title.

Several glitches are present as a result of the content cut, the most frustrating being the glitchy combat system. While not making the game unplayable, your allies might accidentally get stuck in a wall after using charge attacks, and both your damage delivered and your weapon hit direction will be inconsistent. In extreme situations, you may be forced to soft reset and possibly lose progress. There is also an instance where you enter Sage Joch's cave amidst green fields, and leave moments later to find yourself atop a cliff surrounded by sky - this could have either been a scrolling error or an additional explorable area that was cut.

MSR1701
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby MSR1701 » July 1st, 2019, 11:42 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:Interesting topic!

I think the premise that CD technology "gave more to the players" is debatable. Sure gamers got bigger games, but what was taking up that extra space on the disc? Digitized music and full-motion video? The games were generally the same, except now with load times. I think the advent of the CD was more of a benefit to the publishers, who could pump out CDs for pennies on the dollar, instead of chip-packed cartridges. Did they pass on the savings? To some extent, maybe.

The problem with streaming is that your entire gaming experience relies on the company you hate most - your ISP. Can anybody really say with a straight face that they trust Comcast or Verizon? If you said yes, you're probably not paying the bill. I don't want these companies having me by the ballz. There is a lot of talk about data caps now. This is your cable company's attempt to cash in on streaming. You think they aren't going to get their piece of the pie?


If you research early CD-ROM systems, one common issue was what to do with the extra space granted with the new storage medium. Going from very small storage mediums (or tiny, if you look at the British micro computer scene) to something that could hold many times the size was not going to be easy. And many programmers comment that at the time the only thing they could do was throw in more music or video, as they usually did not have time to use the space with code that the machines of the day could use. While some machines might have been able to make use of the CD media to pull off tricks never seen before (such as the Jaguar CD, Amiga CD32), we will never know due to the fact that they never gained enough traction to push the respective systems, or were too complex to program for.

For streaming systems, I agree that your enjoyment of them will depend on your ISP, which can range from no worries (if you have access to something like Google Fiber) to hellish (Windstream) to non-existent. In northeast GA, there are large "territories" carved out by the ISP services that are run by one provider, who gives the bare minimum of service. These providers are so notorious for lousy service that every politician in the area campaigns on reworking the system. And this is an area that could have internet serviced easily; I hate to think of large chunks of the mid-west in areas like the Dakotas and the Rocky Mountains, where getting internet is a pain. Remember the XboxOne issue before launch where the Microsoft rep said he would not want to live where one consumer was, as they did not have viable internet?

MSR1701
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby MSR1701 » July 1st, 2019, 11:44 am

strat wrote:
Did they pass on the savings? To some extent, maybe.


Nintendo was continually panned for using carts with N64 because the games were typically $10-20 more than a PS1 title.


At the time they were certainly panned, though in hindsight Nintendo may have won, as the carts are far more durable and hold up far better than the CD counterparts of other systems of the time in terms of still functioning.

Plus, N64s are far more resilient to the usual aging system issues that the PS1 and Saturn had.

Edward M
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Re: First CD versus vs First Streaming Consoles

Postby Edward M » July 7th, 2019, 10:33 am

I hate hate hate the idea of streaming consoles. This will completely remove any ownership of games. As soon as those servers go down, you can never play your games again. However, I assume this is what the game companies want. They want complete ownership of games themselves, and make gamers have to repurchase games over and over again. However, games that get stuck in legal hell, such as the Scott Pilgrim downloadable game did, will no longer be purchasable. And if the only way it was ever made was for streaming, you won't even be able to pirate it at that point, and the game will simply disappear from existence.


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