What’s The Bloody Point: Console Based “Communities”
Usually my What’s The Bloody Point articles revolve around ranting at certain aspects of the gaming industry. Although this article is obviously going to involve some ranting, it’s a little different to my previous entries as there’s little reason for it to be other than corporate restrictions.
I’m a PC player at heart although I’m not under any illusions, I’m aware the console communities are larger in size. However, despite the fact there are millions of console gamers they seem to be let down by console developers in regards to community involvement. As a PC player I can access thousands of different forum and website based communities within seconds, I also have access to half a dozen VOIP programs with a couple of minutes of downloading.
Compare this to the console community. The VOIP abilities of the consoles themselves are limited and despite both offering browsing capabilities, neither are easily accessible during an intense match of Call of Duty. So why have console developers decided to use community as an afterthought for their consoles? With the technology available to manufacturers today, they could easily offer gamers far more choice in regards to community involvement, so why haven’t they?
When I pick up my PS3 and slide in Call of Duty, I want to be able to chat to friends while they’re playing other games, at the same time being able to chat to players in a match. This is all possible on PC, hell, I could open Ventrilo, Mumble, Teamspeak and RaidCall, use a different button for each and speak to multiple clans all at once. Obviously games consoles aren’t PC’s but with every generation they grow closer and closer.
The bane of console gaming communities aren’t just restricted to the development flaws with the console and management systems, but it also lays with the available peripherals. If you compare the amount of PC gamers with PS3 gamers, it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that most PC gamers have access to a keyboard, while a fair amount have access to headsets. I don’t actually know any PS3 or Xbox 360 gamers that own a headset and 90% of them will instantly mute players once they enter a lobby.
It’s a sad fact of gaming really. Gamers should be able to get just as immersed in a community as anyone else, regardless of their platform of choice. Maybe with the next generation of consoles we’ll be given a bit more choice in how we communicate and integrate with other players and communities. What are you thoughts? As a console gamer do you feel disconnected from the online world? Or are you just happy to jump in and jump out? Let us know in the comments below.