||16th July 2012 12:11 AM
Might work, but I have serious doubts. You need about 2 million users for a platform to be worthwhile nowadays and they're no where near that.
Also, currently consoles are pretty much end of life right now. The models those devices were designed around have totally calcified - there's no Indies making consoles games anymore, 5 years ago? Sure, but now? None. At some point the publishers realised that instead of paying indie studios 20 million to make a game, they could not pay them anything for while (because those publishers were pretty much their only revenue stream) then just buy out the entire studio for 10 million and have them make their own games. Ubisoft, EA, Activision, even Sega, they've all been doing this over the past 5 years (I speak from first hand experience) - all those "studio x shutting down" news stories, it was the publishes taking over. That part of the industry has initialized itself and now only the "sure things" get backed for console development - the call of duty's or assassins creeds. All the indies are doing mobile/social games now (the only exception to that rule being Valve, technically they're still independently funded), kinda like screen media is split into Film, Television and Advertising games are diverging into direct revenue, social and gamification (games design for business applications or branding). The console/aaa titles - that's our Hollywood. Hollywood cranks out the same kind of sure-fire films every year, because when you're dealing with ~that~ much money, you can't really afford to mess with what you know will work - right now that's pretty much anything involving super heroes and/or giant robots. The exact same thing has been happening to big budget games - we see less and less new/innovative titles in this space each year. That's not necessarily a bad thing, we have a decently broad vocab of designs to iterate on for this practice to be sustainable.
However, the dev industry/publishers are not the console makers. If you think Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony aren't looking at the iOS/Android/Facebook eco systems and thinking about ways to leverage the same models with their new systems (downloadable/social/freemium games) then you'd be a fool. Of course they will, they're not stupid, they're effectively making the game's industry's version of what a HDTV is to screen media - a good slice of all things. Onya isn't doing this, it's like a HDTV that will only show you low budget 4:3 ratio shows - a bit crap when you think about it. I have a feeling the next gen consoles will crush it without mercy.
I'd like to be wrong, I really really would, but the realist in me just can't see it happening.