Opinion: MMOs on Consoles is a Good Direction
I was a happy participant in the latest beta phase of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn like many other souls. However, I was a lucky recipient of a beta key for the PS3 version. I only had a few hours of play before real world duties interrupted, but I had to say that I really enjoyed playing the MMORPG on a console.
First off, it helped that they optimized it for the console. Some people were concerned about how the myriad abilities would work with just a few buttons on the PS controller, but using the triggers in conjunction with the d-pad and main buttons was decently convenient. As you play, it will eventually become second nature.
Secondly, if you have a computer that can't handle the graphics of FFXIV all that well--it's functional at best but lags hardcore--then the PS3 option is great. It felt amazing being able to zip around without waiting for characters or environments to render and not be slowed by all the different players conglomerating in various areas of the town. While the graphics don't look as good as they would on a computer with a high-end video card, they still look nice.
Third, it feels like the pace is much quicker. Playing with a controller might be what's doing that instead of by traditional MMO means, but it's hard to say for sure. I leveled up faster playing on the PS3 than I did on the computer (all other issues aside). I also felt more engaged, but many variables could have contributed to that.
This was just for Final Fantasy. I think that playing Guild Wars 2 would lend itself well to a console because you aren't handed fifty thousand different abilities over time. With the limited amount of abilities, it would be easy to assign them to different triggers and buttons without worrying about switching constantly. Then there could be a button for switching weapons and a combo for using weapon abilities.
As for other MMOs, it would take a lot of time optimizing for a console. For example, WoW probably wouldn't do so well because of the myriad abilities you acquire and will most likely use. Not to mention the huge MMO following that would never want to convert to console. MMO's traditionally belong on computers when they have extreme detail, combinations, etc. However, the ones that have gone down a simplified (but well-made) route may be able to expand their market. And why not? If your console is constantly connected to the internet, it's not so farfetched.
So I advocate MMOs on console and computers with discretion. As always, people just want high quality games. Giving people the choice between computer or console versions is probably the best action, like FFXIV, because it gives traditionalists their cake and the console-friendly theirs.
What do you think? Should MMOs expand or should they keep to computers?