Originally Posted by lordikon
Consoles in the past that have allowed "upgrades" have done terrible.
Sega 32X, terrible.
N64's memory expansion requirement, hurt game sales.
Kinect and Move have done somewhat ok, but there's a reason why many kinect games don't require kinect exclusively.
Allowing upgrades on a console means at least one of two things for developers, neither of them are good:
1.) Your game now has to work on multiple hardware sets, increasing development time, testing time, costs, number of bugs, etc.
2.) Or, your game only works on the newer/better hardware, which means your game will now sell fewer copies.
Customers are often hesitant to purchase upgrades for consoles because they often cost as much or more than a game, and generally they only want the upgrade just for a single game anyway. For some games like FF11 on the PS2 I understand the exception, but in general upgrades for consoles have been a failure, and unless something changes I don't see them as a good idea.
That's the difference, I'm not talking about requirements, I'm talking about optional hardware to increase the capability of the machine. Not everyone has a 4K TV (considering they are $20,000 right now), why limit your product that is going to be around for at least 4 years by making it impossible to upgrade?
1) Not necessarily, if the API is the same, the console's firmware would handle whatever graphical changes needed to occur (this currently happens to a lesser degree with the different versions of the PS3 hardware, not graphical changes, but the firmware handles the slight differences in the hardware using the abstraction layer).
2) Not necessarily, Crysis required a beast of a machine when it was released to be played at max graphics settings, but setting it to low still allowed average boxes to play it. (Plus, this point was the developer's fault, not the console's). The fact that the base unit would be the same for everyone makes that really easy to plan for. If someone is fine with the same level of graphics through the life of their platform, that's fine! They can leave it; they just may not experience the eye candy others do.Expansion does not need to mean exclusion
If it were me designing these platforms, I would design them so that they could last as long as possible while still remaining competitive. Allow newer graphics cards that handle higher resolutions as TV resolutions grow. Allow people to bump up their graphical experience if they have the money to (in a lot of cases, would probably be cheaper than buying a new console). Support the losses you incurred releasing the platform on the expansion products.
Hell, maybe I should go make a console!
(Or maybe I'm way off base and should go think about something else...)Edited by SectorNine50 - 11/2/12 at 2:05pm