Originally Posted by bd2003
I don't think MS forced the industry to follow PC game design.
Maybe "forced" is too strong a term, but MS absolutely steered the industry in that direction.
With the original Xbox, MS brought into the console industry a lot of development tech, hardware design, and game genres that had traditionally been PC only. That brought a lot of PC developers and gamers on board. With the 360, MS solidified the PC-like qualities of console design and game development. Early in the PS3's lifespan, Sony tried to stake out a traditional console market. But the 360's PC-friendly architecture and features forced Sony to follow suit as the generation continued (more open development tools, greater online presence, streaming media like Netflix, etc). Sony needed PC-centric Western developers, and they needed third parties more than they had in the past.
It was something most console gamers had little experience with after decades of Japanese dominated development. I think people just liked what they played and wanted more, simple as that. The traditional Japanese console devs just haven't been able to keep up.
It had little to do with what consumers wanted, and more to do with what was available and cheaper (for developers and gamers alike). Japanese approaches to game design became too expensive to sustain (CGI, localization, console exclusivity, word-of-mouth marketing, quality over quantity, etc). And over the last few years, Western developers have also started hitting the budget ceiling, but not before being able to gain market dominance. The genres that hit big this generation were the "niche" genres of PC gaming in the '90s, so it clearly has little to do with what people want. It was much more about there being more favorable budgets for PC-based design; then marketing teams at big Western publishers did the rest.
I also put off buying a 360 or PS3 for a while because I felt like my PC did everything it could do better, and while the console experience of today still feels dominated by the PC devs of yesteryear, there's still just as many traditional console games. The room is just way more crowded.
The room is actually much less
crowded than it used to be. As has been repeatedly pointed out in the press, the total number of releases has dropped dramatically over the last few years. Traditional console gaming has become the niche (seeming almost as "quaint" and "outdated" as arcade gaming), while PC-style gaming has risen to ascendancy on consoles. There are of course exceptions (like the Nintendo library), but on the HD consoles, traditional console gaming isn't the market force it used to be. That's one of the big secrets to the 360's success.
I'm clearly not making an argument "for" or "against" PC gaming or console gaming. Just saying that MS has done a lot over the past ten years to steer console gaming toward a PC-centric model.