Update: Firefall CEO Clarifies "Consoles Are Dead" Statement

| 28 Mar 2013 17:24
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Mark Kern said he's going all-in with the PC for Firefall.

Update: Mark Kern clarified his thoughts a bit in an interview with me at PAX East. He admitted that he his tongue was firmly in cheek when he said it, and it's a very general statment. "When I say consoles are dead," Kern said, "it's a broad statement but it's really about how the current iteration of consoles is kind of brain dead. The old publishing model, the old 'Let's compete by putting more graphics in there' isn't working anymore."

He also sees great potential in smaller, niche consoles for independent developers. "I'm not saying that TVs and controllers are dead, in fact, I'm really excited by Ouya, for example," Kern said. "It's like 'Hey, no one cares about the hardware anymore, just get the great games on it and make it open, make it accessible to indie devs and everybody else.' That's, to me, where the future of consoles should be so I guess there's a qualification to that broad statement." So consoles aren't dead, they are just being reborn in much smaller packages, according to Kern.

Original: The hot-button topic for the game industry, even here at PAX East, is the impending next generation cycle of consoles. The PlayStation 4 is coming this holiday, oh yes it is, and Microsoft's as yet announced console is on its way too. With Blizzard's Diablo III coming to the PS4, and another PC gaming stalwart like EVE Online creator CCP releasing Dust 514 for the console, everyone's wondering if more MMOs should follow suit. With Firefall's strong concentration on shooter mechanics, it actually makes more sense than most to jump to the TV and controller setup. Mark Kern, CEO and Creative Director of Red 5 Studios, doesn't think so.

"Consoles are dead," he said when asked if Firefall would ever be playable on the PlayStation 4. The crowd assembled for Red 5's presentation laughed raucously. I'm not exactly sure Kern was joking. Well, within every joke there's always a nugget of truth.

For a more technical answer, Kern said the team is concentrating on a DirectX version of the code, which depends on the Windows platform, but they are voraciously working on an Open GL version of the client which will open up Firefall to a whole bevy of platforms.

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While this conversation has become another PC vs Console dickwaving contest, I'll chime in.

Back in 2009, I bought a Xbox because I thought the PC was really on its way out. The majority of notable games were coming out on the consoles, and anything that did reach the PC usually was a shoddy port. As a PC gamer, it was starting to feel like the games I bought were more of a bone being tossed at me instead of a genuine effort to sell me a product that a company could be proud of.

Fastforward to 2012, and the outlook has reversed completely (I attribute Steam to this turnaround). While consoles are hardly on the ropes like I felt PC gaming was in '09, their outlook seems even bleaker than PCs ever were. They are all tied to companies that control every aspect of your experience, and in many cases (particularly on the Xbox) the focus has changed from gamers to literally everyone on the planet, leaving games out of the equation. This forum alone has shown a lot of staunch console gamers getting fed up with the consoles, or just needing to go out an experiment with a new expereince on the PC. That does not bode well for the consoles. I hardly think that consoles are going to die, but their need in the market is waning, or becoming something entirely different, and that does make them seem dead.

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Battlefield 3:

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Crysis 3 (looks and plays WAY better on PC):

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The above are multiplayer stats, hence they obviously include PC digital sales.

Isn't Firefall a multiplayer shooter-esque game, just like the above two games?

Sorry what was the CEO saying again?

I couldn't hear him over the sound of consoles dying.

If consoles are dead then why are me and people around the world still buying and playing them?.

Sounds like someone's too lazy and high up to say something like that and consoles will always be around.

dead? no.

but Sony and Microsoft seem to actively be trying to kill it >.>

Monsterfurby:

Entitled:
Consoles are dead, and so is the PC!

Considering they are inanimate objects, that's a reasonable claim.

Something has to have been at one time alive, in order for it to be dead. Thus, no, it is not a reasonable claim.

In other words, he doesn't want to make games for consoles so he claims they are dead?

Well, whatever makes him feel better I guess, console gaming and PC gaming are still going strong.

Meh, I'm planning on switching to PC once I get a job this summer to afford some upgrades on my OS and video card and possibly another stick of ram after one of my two shorted out.

Speaking of which, if anyone would be kind to recommend some decent upgrades that a 16 High School student could afford that don't suck or will be severely outdated within two years, I would appreciate it greatly.

Consoles aren't dead if you choose synthesis.

Because I don't really know how else to comment on this. What a ridiculous statement. This is coming from a PC gamer.

Firefall has been in beta forever now. How could they possibly even consider PS4 when they can't put out a PC version. I would rather not see consoles die, despite being a predominantly PC-centric gamer. I think we have a few more years at least of consoles. You can't say they are dead based on the sales or anything now because it's the tail end of a console cycle, the tech is old, no one is doing any really stimulating games on them.

Overall it comes down to preference and games. I LOVE playing games like Red Dead Redemption or Need For Speed on console. Yet they feel SO out of place on the PC. But on the other-hand I could NEVER imagine not having the ability to easily play games like Total War: Shogun 2 or Crusader Kings 2 on my PC.

Wintermute:
He's right. And I have proof that he is right. The last console I owned was a Sega Master System II.

Anyway, it's kinda funny, as a PC gamer, to see all this silly talk of "CONSOLES ARE DEAD!!1" after hearing so much of the same thing regarding the PC year after year.

Yeah, it's quite funny seeing the people claiming PC gaming was dead accusing others of making baseless claims.

Yeah, like your game !

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He has said this before. I enjoy Firefall and respect what everyone at Red 5 is doing. It a shame that he keeps up with this statement as it is obviously not the case. Console are alive and kicking, unless Sony and Microsoft really screw the pooch next generation they will be in the mainstream for a very long time.

Honestly, this makes him come off as kind of a tool, which I know he is not. :(

Good for him. You should try running a story every time an industry figure says something, no matter how baseless it may be. You'd probably never run out of material!

The way it sounds, next gen will have us doing mandatory installs and putting in activation codes for every game, maybe even making us be online to play a game. I am not seeing any advantages to buy a console anymore.

Joccaren:

Evil Smurf:
A console will have AAA games that support it for the life of the console, which may be a decade. Can you say the same for a PC?

Uhh, yeah?
Never had a problem with my old rig running out of AAA games to play, and that thing lasted 8 years before I decided to upgrade it to max out BF3 at 2560*1440, and the new rig isn't running out of AAA games either. What it is running out of is an interest in AAA games, but that's another issue entirely.
I'll give that both have their place, but that entirely depends on the situation of the person, and not of any intrinsic value of either that makes it better than the other in some way IN ALL CASES. Consoles are not always cheaper than gaming PCs, however PCs aren't a practical option for some people. For the next generation at least both will be fine. Too far off to tell how things will be a decade in the future at the end of this generation though.

I don't mind being wrong. Thanks for your experience.

Andy Shandy:

hazabaza1:
hazabaza1 says "Firefall CEO is a fucking idiot."
Make a news story outta that.

Escapist user starts one-sided feud with Firefall CEO

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After hearing a statement from the CEO of the company behind the MMO Firefall, one Escapist user in particular has taken umbrage with Mark Kern's view that "Consoles are dead".

hazabaza1, a relatively well recognised Escapist forum user (at least by this writer's standards) has decided to potentially start a war of words with Mr Kern, by launching a foul-mouthed volley in his direction.

"Firefall CEO is a fucking idiot" the man with the QI avatar (seen rather fuzzily to the right) said. This is the first time in particular that hazabaza has levelled such an outburst specifically at Mr Kern, but with the Firefall CEO's continued existence, and therefore possibility of making a statement, this may not be the last we hear about these two.

Whilst we here on The Escapist forums have no idea as to whether Mr. Kern will respond to these curse-ridden comments, we will, as always keep you up with any developments in this engrossing story.

hazabaza1 is exclusive to PC. As is Firefall apparently.

Permalink

I...I think I'm in love. The avatar helps.

OT:

Consoles are dying
PC Gaming is dying
Gaming Market is crashing
Just gotta wait for the mobile market to die I suppose. But thankfully I got put off of MMO's a while a go, so I can just laugh and go 'Oh Poppycock'

...Though Mabinogi isn't exactly a good comparison to others, the entire online experience of it all just did it in for me.]

He's right. And I have proof that he is right. The last console I owned was a Sega Master System II.

Anyway, it's kinda funny, as a PC gamer, to see all this silly talk of "CONSOLES ARE DEAD!!1" after hearing so much of the same thing regarding the PC year after year.

Evil Smurf:
A console will have AAA games that support it for the life of the console, which may be a decade. Can you say the same for a PC?

Uhh, yeah?
Never had a problem with my old rig running out of AAA games to play, and that thing lasted 8 years before I decided to upgrade it to max out BF3 at 2560*1440, and the new rig isn't running out of AAA games either. What it is running out of is an interest in AAA games, but that's another issue entirely.
I'll give that both have their place, but that entirely depends on the situation of the person, and not of any intrinsic value of either that makes it better than the other in some way IN ALL CASES. Consoles are not always cheaper than gaming PCs, however PCs aren't a practical option for some people. For the next generation at least both will be fine. Too far off to tell how things will be a decade in the future at the end of this generation though.

Entitled:
Consoles are dead, and so is the PC!

Clanking rocks together primed to make huge comeback, invest in Builders League United today!

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