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The Daily Grind: Are consoles the future?

Samuel Axon

The MMO genre was born and raised in the PC culture. The reasons are obvious, of course -- personal computers have been connected to networks for a long time, the keyboard was more effective for communication before the advent of Voice-over-IP. That said, a lot has been done to make platforms like the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 more attractive for MMO developers and players.

Funcom plans to release Age of Conan for the 360. DC Universe Online, The Agency, and Free Realms will all be available on the PS3. In fact, noted MMO developer SOE was not long ago moved into what is basically Sony's PlayStation division with the explicit intent to focus on console MMOs. Blizzard has hired workers with console experience to work on its unannounced "Next-Gen MMO." Clearly, this generation is going to greatly expand on the pioneering efforts of past console MMOs like Final Fantasy XI. Surely if the genre doesn't explode on today's consoles it will in the next batch, right?

Are you looking forward to leaving behind the mouse and keyboard so you can lounge on the sofa with a wireless controller, or are you concerned that too much will be lost in translation? Maybe you think that attempts like The Agency will fail, and the bubble will burst before anyone even really notices it. There are a lot of problems, such as the expense and hassle of the process of authenticating patches in a tightly-controlled service like Xbox Live. Are problems like that deal breakers?

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