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Old 06-03-2011, 05:18 PM   #31
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Some devices, a multipurpose approach cannot be taken due to the complexity that would greatly increase cost. In those cases, those at the peak of the unlaundered despecialization curve will choose lowest cost. That is the primary reason why general purpose devices win out over specialized ones, because even if the general purpose device costs more, buying specialized ones that do the jobs of the general purpose one usually will end up being more money spent in the long run. $400 tablet, that replaces a $150 iPod, $150 eReader, $130 portable game system, etc.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #32
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because even if the general purpose device costs more, buying specialized ones that do the jobs of the general purpose one usually will end up being more money spent in the long run. $400 tablet, that replaces a $150 iPod, $150 eReader, $130 portable game system, etc.
So what is cheaper for those who don't have a use for a portable music player and don't game at all? And in your scenario, the iPod and the portable gaming system are still available... just not chosen. Do you really think iPods, Gameboys and their ilk are going to go the way of the Dodo, too? I don't see any indication of that at all.

It's not that I don't think your argument isn't sound, but rather that it's not all encompassing. There's mainstream and there's niche. Both groups have always been taken care of since marketing became a word.

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Old 06-03-2011, 11:38 PM   #33
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Yes, but for those on the unlaundered despecialization curve peak, there generally is an interest in all of those things. It especially gets to be more of an issue when the price of the multipurpose device drops to the level of one of the specialized devices it is replacing. When it comes to the world of electronics, very often the niche is ignored because from a manufacturing standpoint, the niche can be cost prohibitive to produce for.

Gameboys have gone the way of the dodo. Nintendo discontinued it years ago.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:21 AM   #34
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@Hellmark: Your comments on the costs of manufacturing are sound and IMO, exactly the POV of consumer electronic makers these days.

Though IMO/IME, niche markets for people like us [e.g. enthusiasts] will continue to exist in the long-term [and I daresay, can flourish to a large extent], not just for ereaders but pretty much for every product/service out there, tech or otherwise. I point to the pretty widespread success of smaller scale B&M shops or online merchants that specialize in a select number of products and services, at least in the more cosmopolitan places I have lived in and traveled to like NYC, L.A., London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc. Want to choose from 100 kinds of coffee beans or 300 kinds of tea? Check. Looking for new and old vinyl LPs? Yep. Hunting for those rare, hard to find/out of print books? How about choosing from a selection of over 200 hot sauces? There is no dearth of options for the enthusiast across the entire spectrum of consumer products/services.

A good thing I think.

And yes, while the old classic Gameboys may indeed be gone, interest in dedicated portable gaming systems remains quite steady, if not higher than ever, if my own observations are correct. Sure, gaming on iPhones and tablets/smartphones is quite prevalent, but the increase comes mostly from commuters looking to pass the time away during their daily grind. Think Angry Birds, Bejeweled...hell, even Texas Hold'em and good old Solitaire. But I still see plenty of hardcore [enthusiast] gamers using Sony PSPs and Nintendo gear, something I don't think will ever change.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:09 AM   #35
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Portable gaming for the non-casual is an exception (so far) because serious gamers are consumers in massive numbers. In fact, I'd draw a parallel between serious gamers and serious readers and ask the question: Are there really enough people who care about sun glare and reading-specific ergonomics to justify major companies' long-term investment in e-ink. And even if so, are they likely to see it that way?
As the price of readers comes down, more families can afford to give them to (reasonably responsible) children. The number of those must be comparable to the number of adult "serious readers". And there should be enough public domain reading material of interest to not have to worry about the cost of e-books for a while.

Tablets may well eventually cost less than readers, but I think it will take a while.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:15 AM   #36
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^ Amen! - I really hope you are right. I like gaming as much as the next guy, but I would much rather see kids reading...reading anything instead of being mindlessly glued to watching [admittedly cute] birds hellbent on suicide missions of revenge....Though do appear to be some good structural engineering concepts to be passively absorbed in Rovio's masterstroke.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:08 AM   #37
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^ Amen! - I really hope you are right. I like gaming as much as the next guy, but I would much rather see kids reading...reading anything instead of being mindlessly glued to watching [admittedly cute] birds hellbent on suicide missions of revenge....Though do appear to be some good structural engineering concepts to be passively absorbed in Rovio's masterstroke.
Nonsense. I'd rather see a child of mine playing something like Final Fantasy Tactics (it teaches math, strategy, and the fact that sometimes your opponent is a cheating...) than one of the eleventy-billion Twilight knock-offs that I strongly suspect were churned out by a novel-writing computer as opposed to an actual human being.

I like reading as much as the next girl, but if we're going to be all ZOMG READING TRUMPS ALL OTHER ENTERTAINMENT AS MORE INTELLECTUAL then I call Dead Horse Thread.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:13 AM   #38
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If you look at it as B&N vs Amazon, yeah Mobi would look like the clear winner, but the thing is, it isn't that clear cut.

And yeah, I think dedicated readers will eventually die out, because if you look at things in the long run, that is always how it is. Who uses a calculator anymore? Outside of school, most people use computers, cellphones, etc. General purpose devices always win out in the long run, because to the unwashed masses they're "good enough".
While I would expect the e-reader market to reduce at some point, i don't think they will fully disappear. Not until the is a screen adapted to that.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:16 AM   #39
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Gameboys have gone the way of the dodo. Nintendo discontinued it years ago.
I assumed that my "and their ilk" would have suggested an "insert portable gaming system here" approach to my comment—while at the same time illustrating my point that not everyone "games."

UPDATE: A friendly challenge for those who are convinced that the dedicated ereader will fade away...

I'd like to compile a list of technological gizmos that were introduced as dedicated, single-function devices that were eventually assimilated by a popular, multi-function, Swiss-army-knife kind of device. Easy enough, right? But here's the catch: to make the list, the single-function, dedicated version of the device must be no longer available for purchase*.

* Available for purchase meaning; brand-new, still being manufactured.

I'm sure some will be thought of, so it's not my intention to simply be a smart-ass, but rather, that I'm fairly certain the list will be quite small. Ignore branding and competing formats for this particular exercise... ex. VHS & Betamax were all VCR's—which are still being manufactured.

I'll start with single-game, handheld video games (a la Coleco's Electronic Quarterback).

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Old 06-04-2011, 12:34 PM   #40
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Nonsense. I'd rather see a child of mine playing something like Final Fantasy Tactics (it teaches math, strategy, and the fact that sometimes your opponent is a cheating...) than one of the eleventy-billion Twilight knock-offs that I strongly suspect were churned out by a novel-writing computer as opposed to an actual human being.

I like reading as much as the next girl, but if we're going to be all ZOMG READING TRUMPS ALL OTHER ENTERTAINMENT AS MORE INTELLECTUAL then I call Dead Horse Thread.
K. Got me there...to a degree, vis a vis Final Fantasy.

Though in truth, your CAPSLOCK outburst was not even remotely what I said or was implying. Note, I was referring to Angry Birds specifically and even then I acknowledged certain basic structural engineering concepts which appear to be an inherent part of the game and may indeed have some value beyond exercising simple hand eye coordination skills while playing the game.

Still, we must agree to disagree.

I have no love for Twilight or other similar "literary" dreck and lord knows there are mountains of it out there [though I feel I dislike Twilight more for what I consider its hipsterization of the vampire mythos than for bad, corporatized writing] - always has been and always will be. But what I personally consider dreck might be considered top quality, worthwhile entertainment to others. Who am I to say?

At the end of the day though, I still personally think I would prefer my kids to pick up a book and try to develop a lasting love for reading versus engaging in certain other less mentally "stimulating" activities.

That is, if I actually had any kids. Though I am a new, first time uncle this week...

cheers!
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #41
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Scifi authors are often visionaries who have written of things that come to pass.

Steampunk writers, not so much.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:05 PM   #42
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Gameboys have gone the way of the dodo. Nintendo discontinued it years ago.
And yet the GameBoid emulator for Android phones was one of the top apps in the Google Market until Google yanked it. Apparently Nintendo misjudged the classic gaming market and lost a lot of potential money. Maybe not the BEST case to quote in this argument.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:07 PM   #43
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I'm sure some will be thought of, so it's not my intention to simply be a smart-ass, but rather, that I'm fairly certain the list will be quite small. Ignore branding and competing formats for this particular exercise... ex. VHS & Betamax were all VCR's—which are still being manufactured.
Thank you. I wondered when someone would point out that Betamaxes were around well after they "lost" the format wars.

Although, technically, I think they stopped manufacturing NEW Betamaxes in 200X. 2001, I think. But the point remains -- niche markets linger longer than the "gone in one year" predictions flying around this thread.
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:46 PM   #44
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Nope. Can't think of any.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:15 PM   #45
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II'll start with single-game, handheld video games (a la Coleco's Electronic Quarterback).
Nope, they still make single-purpose handheld electronic games. Battleship is one example, but there seem to be plenty on the market.
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