|December 26th, 2008|
In another display of the ways in which the world of PC gaming is shifting, laptop shipments exceeded that of desktops for the first time ever in the third quarter of ’08.
A big part of the reason? Netbooks, which are
- skimpy on graphics hardware, and can’t run big AAA games
- often don’t even have an optical drive from which to install big games
- super-portable, thanks to small screens that have resolutions as low as 1/4 the resolution of a desktop monitor
- fundamentally designed to be connected
The shift here is notable, because it all speaks to convenience rather than immersion. Small bites, not big ones. In fact, the Acer Aspire One netbook was the #3 seller in consumer electronics, behind a 52 inch TV and the 8GB iPod.
I was struck by the fact that there’s a whole song on the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog DVD commentary musical “Commentary!” (uh… just go get it, it’s too hard to explain) that is about a game. Not Far Cry 2. Not Left 4 Dead. No, it was about Ninja Rope. Usually if our industry gets big shoutouts from other media, it’s for a AAA game… But they played Ninja Rope on an iPhone — a transitional device halfway between a phone and a netbook itself.
Meanwhile… Amazon doesn’t even mention the PS3 and the 360 sales this holiday season, focusing instead on how the Wii dominated the charts; going into Xmas, there were as many Wiis in households as 360s and PS3s combined. Again — lower res, simpler controls, simpler games (which has some folks really mad!).
I wonder what a true AAA game designed for a netbook would look like?