Xbox, More like PS4 than we wanted, Are you stupid? Creative con-fab..not and more!
Seems Microsoft wants to take a page out of Sony and Blizzard’s playbook. There’s news that the next XBOX will not only have a blu-ray player but require an Internet connection to use it, that’s the Blizzard part. It also won’t play used games, that’s the Sony part. That’s fine, I say full steam ahead. If there’s anything that will save PC gaming this is it. At $60 or more per game plus the requirement to have an Xbox account which will likely be useless without the word “Gold” attached to it you can be sure that Both Microsoft and Sony will price themselves out of the market. In case you still care, the new Xbox will have an AMD 8 core CPU running at 1.6GHZ, 8 GB of DDR3 and a new version of Kinect. The Code Name is Durango which is meaningless except for something I heard Mary Jo Foley of allaboutmicrosoft.com say. on Windows Weekly a few weeks back. She was told that Microsoft codenames that use cities are directly related to how close the project is to completion. The closer the city is to Microsoft HQ in Redmond the closer it is to final product. Durango is a town in Colorado so take from that what you will.
By the way, I’m just going to say it straight. If you think it’s perfectly fine to be forced to be online and pay a subscription just to play your games you’re just stupid and should immediately send me all your money. You obviously don’t know how to manage it.
Doubly so if you think it’s perfectly ok to force a gamer to pay full price for a game and not be able to resell it when he/she is done with it. For decades game licenses have been transferrable spawning a thriving secondary market and the chance to recoup at least some of your investment. That runs contrary to a business plan that counts on trapping gamers in a tightly controlled ecosystem.
They’ll justify your gaming prison with claims of enhanced security and superior service and… it will be a lie. Dice games will still be hacked, Internet connections will still be flaky and you’ll have a heck of time getting your money back when they do you wrong.
The reason for this “locked down and hooked up” approach? What else, greed. You see digital (as in online) sales were up compared to Physical (retail box) sales. That stems from fewer retail locations selling triple-A titles, online incentives from digital subscriptions and pre-orders and an aging demographic that chose to feed their kids over spending the better part of $100 for a game.
At the least, it’s a misread of the gaming consumer. At its worst, it’s blatant abuse of the DMCA and if you think this kind of thing is going to stop with games you’re blind. Stand up against corporate greed and protectionism! Boycott the corporatocracy!, Boot up your PC, slap in an indie title and game to your heart’s content on Windows 7!
This is far from an idle threat if you take a look at recent numbers from the NPD group show gaming revenues in general fell 9% from 2011. That’s 14.8 billion down from 16.34 billion in a year that had an even worse economy. That’s a shrinking market no matter how you get your content and it’s their greed that’s making it that way. Make them fight for every one of your dollars instead of sheepishly taking their abuse. Since when does a market get dictated by sellers instead of buyers anyway? Games aren’t food, clothing or medical care. We can take them or leave them. You have the power to remind them of that.
Well two of my least favorite people, Gabe Newell of Valve and J.J. Abrams of the Star Trek reboot fame apparently had a pow-wow on stage, in front of everybody, at the DICE summit. There, they laid out their individual philosophies on games and movies. In short JJ’s got an idea for a game that he’d like to partner with Valve to produce and Newell wants to see about JJ doing a Portal or Half Life movie. Why not? Half Life is a very stylized game that would translate well to Abrams “Fashion Runway” vision of Sci-Fi and Gabe needs a friend.
New numbers are out for Wow subscriptions and it looks like Mists of Pandaria may have been a short lived bounce. Down from 10 million subscriber numbers have dropped to 9.6 million. Still good numbers for a game developed over half a decade ago but down nonetheless. I guess the LARP guys got a deal on used panda costumes and let their subs lapse.
Finally, if you’ve recovered from the Facebook 404 hijack this week you may want to check out the following article about a new Call of Duty game due out this year. Not many details but it’s likely to come out around the time BF4 launches.