System seller?
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 March 2013, 5:30 am
Pete from Dragonchasers recommends Fire Emblem: Awakening, saying "If you have any interest at all in strategy-RPGs, get this game, even if it means buying a 3DS to play it on. Yup, it is a system seller, in my opinion.". In Europe the limited edition 3DS XL with Fire Emblem: Awakening is coming out on April 19, and it costs €219 ($285). While that isn't completely unaffordable, it still is a heck of a lot of money for a single game. Is that worth it?

The more general problem here is that game platforms appear to be multiplying. There are different consoles, with yet another generation currently being announced from various companies, and being incompatible with previous generations. There are different handheld consoles. And there are different tablet / smartphone platforms. Do I really want to have an Android tablet plus an iPod/iPad plus a Windows 8 tablet plus a PSP Go plus a PSP Vita plus a Nintendo 3DS? And that would just be the handheld gaming platforms, in addition to which I'd still need several consoles and a PC to cover the rest.

The other option is going for just a few platforms (in my case PC, iPad, PSP Go, and PS3), and missing out on the games that are exclusive for the platforms I don't have, like Fire Emblem: Awakening, or Skulls of the Shogun. As my growing library of unplayed Steam games proves, even with that limited selection of platforms I already have more choice of games than I have the time for. Just like there are more games for the PC than for the Mac or Linux, there are more games on iOS than on Android or Windows 8. The consoles are more a matter of what *type* of game you like, with certain genres being more prominent on certain consoles. Thus by making some strategic platform choices you can, while not covering every single game, still cover a majority of them.

So I'm questioning the concept of a "system seller" game. When is it still a viable option to buy a system to play a game, and at which point do you just have to give up and realize you can't play everything?
Tobold's Blog



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