January 27, 2007

Killer app

FuGwah was telling me about a week ago about "killer apps". A "killer app" is the one game that causes everyone to buy a particular console system. Despite the Nintendo Wii absolutely *crushing* the PS3 in the war of new consoles, it has been Xbox 360 with Gears of War that has been flying off the shelves. Furthermore, because of the difficulty of finding an available Wii to buy, some people walk into a store, find there were no Wii's, pass on the available PS3's, and pick up an Xbox 360 instead.

There's absolutely no compelling reason to buy a PS3 right now for most people, except fanboys. As an anti-Sony person, I could not tell you what game I think might be the PS3 killer app. However at the same as a Nintendo Fanboy, I cannot tell you what I think might be the killer app for the Wii.

I think for Nintendo, because it has several exclusive franchises such as anything related to Mario or Zelda, resulting games from these franchises might contain a killer app. But then again when I look at today's gaming world and what people are looking for in general, it is about expandability, games that can evolve and have rolling content. For instance for a game like GoW, you could have new maps to play, online play will always be different depending on who you're playing. However with Nintendo, games like Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Brothers, Wario games, Mario Party, etc etc, have no expandability. They're like arcade games.. you can play until you're sick of it, but the games themselves will never change.

Will the Wii ever have a killer app? Perhaps a new Mario game, or a Zelda game -- but you would only find fans of these franchises buying this games, and most of these people already have Wii's. Will Wii buck the trend of a console needing a killer app to survive? So far it has, but will that last, I am thinking probably not.

Of course the concept of a "killer app" is somewhat foreign to me. I've never been that kind of a person to buy a console just for a particular game, unless you count upgrading my computer for certain computer games. I didn't buy my GameCube for any particular game. I almost bought a PS2 just for Guitar Hero 2, and I doubt that game was considered as a Killer App. We had a Nintendo, and an N64 -- none of those consoles were bought for the purpose of playing any particular game. Perhaps there IS some hope of a successful console with no killer app..

Anyway, the only reason I thought of this entire subject was because I heard about a computer game that was in development. This game, is something that I have dreamed about for 9 years. As franchise, this game approaches the Warcraft franchise in terms of my favorite franchises.


I read recently that Bethesda Softworks were now several years into the development of Fallout 3, and they were hiring more developers (graphics?) to get this thing into full gear. I must say when I heard this, my heart nearly skipped a beat. A game that I had been waiting for since the *second* I finished Fallout 2, has a strong possibility of being released in the near future.

I also read rumors of Fallout 3 coming out on Xbox 360. If there was ever a "killer app" for the 360, for me, this would be it. I would gladly pay $600 for the console just to play the next entry of this beloved franchise. Of course if it still comes out on PC, forget all that..

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