Web3, in Console Form 🎮

If you’re going to try to convince gamers your hilarious-looking Web3 console is worth checking out, you need more than a render and the promise of the blockchain.

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This render is already out of date because they have to redo the logo, which looks like the GameCube logo.

Could there be a worse place to bring Web3 to than the console wars, the home of a whole lot of folks who can smell BS from a hundred miles away?

Yeah, it’s a bad spot to lean into the Web3 drama. But despite this, someone is trying to do it. The Polium One, a game console project announced over the weekend, is making the case that it will play powerful games while attaching everything to Web3 concepts.

Speaking of concepts, this is not, like, a video game console you can buy in a store right now. Much the opposite. It is essentially a set of renders with some tech specs attached.

https://twitter.com/Polium__/status/1543939763971018758

Gamers were quick to give this idea the mocking it deserved. Some pointed out that the basic idea for the Polium logo was the same as that for the Gamecube. (They’re redoing the logo.) Others pointed out that the tiny box that they’re promising is offering better capabilities (8K HDR?! A fingerprint scanner for some reason?!?) than mainstream consoles that are like six times the size of the render.

And given that the console isn’t even built yet, yet seems to be annoying a bunch of gamers who are already predestined to dislike a game console designed around Web3 concepts, the hardest road seems to be that of convincing gamers to care in the first place.

“It’s extraordinary just how much information will be provided later this year, as if the announcement of its phantasmic product came as a surprise to Polium Underscore Underscore,” Kotaku’s John Walker hilariously put it.

The thing is, even companies that seem like they potentially have the pieces in place to make it work often find this an extreme challenge. A modern-day Intellivision, which attempted to sell a casual gaming console called the Amico, has a close association with Tommy Tallarico, who is a bonafide gaming industry legend. But when things started getting shaky, Tallarico found his reputation taking a hit because of his willingness to directly attack critics. (To be fair to the critics, they kind of have a point, given the fact that the console, on paper, is about as powerful as a five-year-old smartphone, yet costs $250.)

Eventually, Tallarico left the CEO role of the company, and the Amico seems to be throwing Hail Mary passes left and right to get something working.

It’s been in tailspin mode for months, and it was promising nothing near the power of this Web3 console everyone already hates.

The game industry lives and dies by track records. Even startup companies with industry veterans at the helm who succeed at shipping something, like Ouya, often find breaking into this market a difficult road. And companies with no track record (or no recent track record, in the case of Intellivision) are the riskiest choices of all. (It’s telling that Playdate, a console that promised relatively little but came from a well-loved company with a decades-long track record, actually met most of its goals.)

The rest of the tech space has BS-driven products like this for sale all over the place—just look at Indiegogo one day, as an example. But in a lot of ways, gamers (already used to being nickeled and dimed, and sold a hill of beans even by the big-name players) see through a lot of this.

So if you’re going to hit gamers with a Web3 concept out of the gate, you need to show why it matters to the gameplay. And if you can’t, you’re setting yourself up for years of mockery at the hands of people who are good at mocking other people because they play competitive video games.

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Ernie Smith

Your time was just wasted by Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, and an active internet snarker. Between his many internet side projects, he finds time to hang out with his wife Cat, who's funnier than he is.

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