Tag Archives: PS4

#396 Buying Games vs Buying Game Time

Two things happened in the fast world of videogames that caught my eye that I want to discuss. Recently both EA and Sony announced and started rolling out their plans to sell American/Western players game time subscriptions to their recent AAA games

 

 

This is nothing new, in the Asian gaming market this method is a popular way of paying for their MMO subscription Blizzard has already have this option available for the Eastern World of Warcraft Players.

The question is now, “Can this new payment option of paying for hours instead of the right for a game work in the west?”

 

For the sake of keeping this blog post related to videogames and steering away from an American Studies term paper, I am going to not talk too much about the mentality and/or philosophy of American purchasing habit but I will say that the American dream is owning a white picket fenced house.

For today I just want to talk about the viability for the game time pass can comfortably work in the PC and Consoles on this side of the world.

 

Could this work on PCs?

This is very tough to say, just like the Asian Market I could say that it could be more efficient (money wise) to paid subscription MMOs I would say that if we are not already in the mists of the F2P + microtransaction MMOg trend it could stand a better chance.

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League, and every other ARTS/Moba game

Not mentioned: Dota 2, League of Legends, and every other ARTS/Moba game

 

But as we saw with EA advertisement, there are plans to sell game time for AAA multiplayer game titles, like Titanfall. At this point this could be successful if we did not have the likes of Steam Sales. While we do not legally own the games titles on Steam we do have unlimited game time forever, that we all got for pennies on the dollar.

 

I very much doubt that Steam will adopt this renting games per hour payment method for their non-MMO multiplayer games, unless huge lobbyists from the Activision, Ubisoft, and other game companies. Until then I think game time passes are going to only expand on the EA/Origin exclusives, which might benefit them in the long run by giving the company a different edge over steam in the free online market.

 

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.

 

But PC is not the only platform for gaming, so lets take a look at consoles.

 

Can this work on Consoles?

This is a strong possibility for a new payment option for the consoles. I, and everyone else, have said it before but this console generation is built around a constant internet connection and with that the game time passes could be implemented with ease. Especially with the (unwanted) push to an always online connection, with that connection there would be an easy way for companies accurately keep track on how much time you bought for a game and a up to the minute statues on how much time you have left.

Especially with the multiple multiplayer games that comes out yearly for the console library with the Xbox One and PS4, This could act as a nice sample for players to get a legit hands on feel for the games they might be hesitant buying. In the old days, what I just described was called a ‘demo’.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (when ever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (whenever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.

 

With the early introduction of this payment plans I am hesitant about it simply because it is new in the West and we already have a certain mindset and we have another popular MMO payment option, by supporting F2P PC games through microtransactions.

As I said, it could provide a nice legit sample of the gameplay of the newest AAA console games but there might be a need to keep an eye on the price of renting vs the price of going out and buying a secondhand copy of the game somewhere else.

 

I will say that it is always nice to have a variety of ways to consume videogames to lower the barrier to entry for everyone, whether it be playing on PC, consoles, smart phones, or how you play those games or different payment plans. The problem with companies becoming early adopters for new plans is that it is far too soon to know if this plan will fail or usher in a new trend of gaming.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#395 The Bipartisan Lego Company

Monday’s Steam Summer Daily Sales had it’s scheduled update and with that The Lego series went on sale for the amazing price cut of 75% off. With that I was able to pick up two items that have been on my wishlist for quite a while.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steal, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

I saw a kid playing Batman 2 and when he flew around the city as the Man of Steel, the classic Christopher Reeves theme song started playing  Insta-buy just on that fact alone.

 

As I was hitting the ‘purchase for myself’ button I came to the realization that I was just about to buy both a Marvel and DC comics licensed game that was created and produced by the same third party game developer team. Which blew my mind.

It seems that in today’s gaming industry world, that third party companies are forced to side with one game company over the other. In the past of years we have seen the company pairings of Sony’s PlayStation for Taco Bell, we have seen multiple promotions for Mountain Dew and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and One and we have even seen Nintendo making Mario Spaghettios with Campbells.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mnt Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

it’s funny to see that Pepsi-Mtn Dew or just Pepsi never tried to double dip with both consoles market/fan bases considering that Pepsi and Taco Bell are both owned by the Yum! Brands, Inc.

 

Even with Third Party game developers have seen the exclusive deals with one of the big three console companies, the most obvious is the deals Sony has with gaming companies (Ubisoft) providing special and unique downloadable content for the PlayStation version of the game.

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin's Creed comunity because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

An hour more content just a fragmented part of gaming/Assassin’s Creed community because they decided to play on a PS3, instead of an Xbox or PC

 

And During my years at PAX East over the multiple and multiple game developers panels everyone there constantly talk about how gaming retail companies like Best Buy, GameStop, and even Walmart goes up to these developers demanding/begging to be given an exclusive DLC, special editions of the game, or physical giveaway with the game’s launch.

With the exclusive nature of promotional gaming world, it feels a bit like some the most diverse version of national politics. Creating a atmosphere where people who subscribes to one party or belief are expected to constantly and exclusively side with that one side for the rest of their careers.

With all of of the exclusiveness deals and contracts going on it is surprising and refreshing to see a company work across the aisle to get the two major competing media companies to licence almost all of their creative universe and images to create a 3rd party game.

Something that is a bit more awe inspiring than that is how the Lego games have been able to grab other big name film licensees like, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Harry Potter saga and LucasArts’s Indiana Jones and Star Wars series.

 

When Lego approced DC and then Marvel it didn't hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

When Lego approached DC and then Marvel it didn’t hurt that they had an established track record of amazing games

 

 


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#327 The Touchy Subject of Steam’s Newest Controller

The one of the more interesting bit of news to from Valve’s during Steam Dev Days event is that the Steam controllers will be dropping their touchscreen in favor of more physical buttons below the two track pads.

a side by side of the new design compared to the prototype

a side by side of the new design compared to the original

The developers say the change was from the feedback they received from their beta test  and the new design was for the best option for backward compatibility with the older games in Steam’s Catalog.

When I heard of the announcement I was a bit sad because the Steam Machine was the only next-gen controller that looked different and unique, rather than a slightly updated model of the previous console controller that was just based off of the perfectly designed Super NES controller.

My current USB controller is starting to show its age (the poor thing has a mashed in ‘A’ button from my playthrough of Telltale’s The Walking Dead along with some other dents and scratches)  and soon I will be looking around the electronic stores for a replacements.  I was interested in the PlayStation 4 controller because Sony was the only company that thought that it was a good idea to release PC drivers on the same they release their product but the new trackpad seems to be a bit of a risky gamble right now, since we have not seen many how many non-PS4 exclusive titles will be incorporating the new trackpad into their games.

I know the console is only a few months old but the gamble comes from paying for the a feature on the controller I might not use in multiplat or pc exclusive games

I don’t want to pay for a feature on the controller I might not use when I’m playing PC exclusive games

What kills me is that Valve could have help start a new wave of controller design with Sony, by keeping the infinite possibilities of the touchscreen on their controller  and then both companies could encourage the third-party game developers to use the track pad and touch screens into the core mechanics of future products.

As much as it is to want and dream about the future of videogames, the people at Valve received way more data from their internal focus test groups and their Steam Machine beta tests then I could ever imagine of and the people in charge of the Steam Machine product are much more qualified to make the final decision of what stays in the final version of the Official Steam Controller than this blogger.

It is still nice to dream about what could have been.


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#305 iBuy’s bid for the living room

It seems like November 2013 is going to be remembered as the month of new consoles. Sony launched the PlayStation 4 in the US on the 14th, Microsoft’s Xbox One was last Thursday and the rest of the world gets their PS4s this Thursday.but as well this week we had the announcement of the first commercial third-party version of the Steam Machine to hit the market.

This Steam Machine prototype is produced by iBuyPower with the following specs; a multicore AMD CPU,  AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card, 500gb hard drive with both bluetooth and Wifi abilities and the product is priced at $499.

If someone wants a creative writing task, write a Romeo and Juliet/star-crossed lovers story of this Steam Machine breaking away from the PC family to be with the console group

If someone wants a creative writingprompy, write a Romeo and Juliet/star-crossed lovers story of this Steam Machine breaking away from the PC family to be with the console group

 

This news story is amazing in two ways, while I am not technically savvy enough to know the computer parts interact with each other, I am assured that iBuyPower’s  prototype is better than the two consoles and can run major game titles at the elusive 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second at the price of this competition but for me what gets me excited of this product is what the Steam Machine includes. This Steam Machine comes with a Steam Controller and the copy of the free Steam Operating System, this means that this particular Steam Machine could drop another $60 or so if iBuy just wanted to sell their machine without Valve’s patented SteamController.

Once the hype died down I found it funny that after moving to the living the only bit of hardware they will be making is the controller

Once the hype died down I found it funny that after the announcement of moving to the living the only bit of hardware Valve will be making is the controller

 

 

Depending on how well received this product is after launch in 2014 it could open the floodgates for other computer parts companies. My personal prediction is that by the end of 2014 companies like Nvidia, AMD, and ASUS will announce their plans for releasing their own Steam Boxes with their own hardware. Without having to spend additional resources buying the rights to operating system product keys for mass production private organizations get their foot in the door by making their own companies out of their garages and producing custom Steam Machine orders for anyone on the internet.

I said it once and I will say it again, I will pay good money (specs pending) for an honest to goodness purple GABECUBE.

designed like this even down to the four USB ports in the front for multiplayer

Designed like this even down to the four USB ports in the front for multiplayer


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#304 The Presidential Console Cycle

Boom! It has been a full weekend since Microsoft’s Xbox One went live and both consoles came out of the base swinging with the announcement that the PS4 and XBox One sold a million products within their first 24 hours (I do wonder what is the percent of PS360 players that bought new consoles on day and did the percent increase since last generation).

I was going to do a prediction on who will win but all the research I have done everyone else said the same thing. Unless the XBox One  releases a Deux Machina patch that doubles the resolution of all of their games Sony has secured the upper hand in marketing and multi-platforms titles.

This is the first time I have been following the lead up and launch of new consoles and looking back on the entire saga reminds me a lot of the United States Presidential election cycle. If you follow me on this blog, on Twitter, or in real life it is not hard to notice that I love talking about politics and I have almost no problem connecting everything to politics in one way or another.

 Hey its a way to validate my four years in college to earn my BA in Political Science.

That’s right I’m kicking off this Monday with another political/gaming blog post. But hey it’s a way to validate the four years it took me to earn my degree in Political Science.

Each side, Microsoft and Sony, starts months or years in advance getting to work behind the scenes crafting the concept of their newest candidate that is supposed to appeal to everyone. With the lead up to the official announcement there are some juicy leaks and rumors while everyone and their dog starts throwing around their speculations of the new products and the current base starts getting hyped again for some new blood and innovation and what it means for the future after it is all said and done.

This goes on for a few months, and even if all of our guesses are right we still have to wait until the official ceremony with the press and viewers a like are invited to tune in as the announcement of the new candidate is made.

If you pay attention the PS4/XB1 reveal were almost the same as the democrats and republican nomination ceremony. Picture from The New York Times

If you pay attention the PS4/XB1 reveal were almost the same as the Democrats and Republican nomination ceremony.
Picture from The New York Times

Then in the final stretch to the big day, that will decide who will win, the two sides pulls out the big guns; the major press releases about each one’s policies, the marketing money, and the ad space on the important TV channels and websites all for the one purpose of showing off the product in the best light and swaying the vital few who are on the fence this time around while doing everything in the company’s power to get the third-party companies to support them post launch. All the while the fanboys on both sides tear each other apart on the internet forums with logical fallacies.

Birthers. XBONE. PS4 has no games. seeing Russia from my house. 47%

Birthers. XBONE. PS4 has no games. Seeing Russia from my house. 47% ect.

The main difference between an US political election and the next generation console war is that both parties in the console war gets to have their product win. After the launch both Microsoft and Sony then enter a friendly Cold War while the rest of us comes to terms with the unfilled promises from the campaign.

yeah tell me that they did it for the gamer not for the companies

Tell me with a straight face that they didn’t tweet this for the free PR from the press and not for the other company

P.S Lest I forget in this comparison the Nintendo Wii U is like the winner of the local elections, the only place where real innovation and change happens without the threat of big money and market testers watering it down. And the PC is like the Illuminati as in it is as old as dirt, longest lasting party, and does everything the main two consoles can do but better all the while pulling all the strings in the industry.

Everyone laughed at the Nintendo's past two consoles but who's laughing now? Not the people who now have to hook up their Kinects and out this Fridays buying vistas for their PS4 dual screen mechanics

Everyone laughed at the Nintendo’s past two consoles but who’s laughing now? Not the people who now have to hook up their Kinects to their TVs and going out this Fridays to buy Vitas for their PS4 dual screen gameplay mechanics


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#300 What is Steam OS’s target demographic?

We have not heard much about the newest Steam product, the Steam Machine and the Steam Operating System, since it was first announced. We have seen a prototype around the web but none are sent out to the beta testers….yet

Me and the 421842 other Steam Hardware Beta Candidate are eagerly waiting to see if we get one of the 300 lucky conformation emails

I and the 421842 other Steam Hardware Beta Candidate are eagerly waiting to see if we get one of the 300 lucky confirmation emails

 

While we are talking about the Steam Machine I want to ask, who is the target demographic for Steam Machine and the Steam OS?

When valve first announced the Steam OS I made a comment that Valve is following the same business model as Google when they went with their plans to release the Android OS, a more technically capable OS and because it was open to third parties it should bring down the cost of the devices. I am talking about it now because I read a report that said the Android phone is currently dominating the smartphone market with 80% of the phone population.

Andriod

But looking back Android OS worked because when the program launched back in 2008 it was in a limited field with Apple being the only real candidate for touchscreen smartphones in the American market. 

The difference between Android and Steam OS is that there is no native monopoly on the next-gen console market. We have the WiiU, the newly released PlayStation 4, and Microsoft’s Xbox One coming out next week and each of those systems have their own demographic and established brand loyalty

And Steam’s players (PC players) are not a reliable demographic to download the Steam OS because most of us already have an operating system that came with my computer and as Tech News and Reviews said, the Steam Operating system (as far as we know) does not cut it as a desktop Operating System.

Despite the negative tone for this post I am still holding out hope that Steam OS becomes as successful as Android in the few years. I will say that it was brilliant for Valve to outsource the hardware specs to other companies, thus giving those computer companies the burden of going through the hassle of finding the target demographic while marketing their own Steam Machines over the main three consoles AND any other Steam Machine competitors.

Then Valve can go around and collect the sales data from those companies, it's magnificent

Then Valve can go around and collect the sales data from those companies, it’s almost to brilliant for words

To be honest, if Valve really wanted Steam OS to be successful they would just have to add an exclusive  Team Fortress 2 hat that is only achieved by launching  TF2 on the S.OS just like they did when they announced that the game is now compatible with Apple OS X and Linux.

lets pray that Valve never releases a special hat that is only unlocked after voting for one party during a presidential election...they could dominate western democracy for decades

lets pray that Valve never releases a special hat that is only unlocked after voting for a specific party during a major election…they could dominate western democracy for decades


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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