Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion)

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Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion)

Postby Woopate » Fri May 24, 2013 8:18 am UTC

With the next-gen consoles announced, we can start mass speculation about how things will turn out. Obviously there's a lot left to announce and the situation may change significantly, but there are already things to talk about.

I think that both of the announcements were dissapointing, and did not garner the sort of reactions that Sony or Microsoft wanted (Wii U's sales jumped by 400% on Amazon following the Xbox One's reveal). I think that the PS4 so far looks like a much stronger contestant for all the barriers they are removing for indy development, and that people (even the average consumer) will be super creeped out that Xbox One requires a Kinect(included) to be plugged in for it to operate, especially since there are rumours that the Kinect is going to identify if the owner of the game is in the room while the game is being played. I think that the guarantee of it being on every box will allow developers to use it creatively, and they won't be pressured to use it as a gimmick to sell units since it's bundled(though not guaranteed, since the Wii did the same thing and things got gimmicky fast) I think another large negative is that it requires an internet connection at least once every 24 hours.

Backwards compatibility is still a thing of the past. I had hoped for one console to do it and the other to ignore it, and observe a marked difference in the sales, but that's not to be I guess.

One thing that's standing out for me is that hardware is MUCH less of a concern this generation. It seems like "yeah consoles were due for a hardware update so we upgraded the hardware, but let's talk about everything ELSE we're bringing to the table." I think that this is a positive step. Last generation's battle, the speculation was all on hardware and performance (though ultimately this didn't matter, as the Wii quickly took a HUGE lead out of the gate, and Xbox 360 winning the long battle, while the PS3, powerhouse of the generation, sold comparitively less than either).

The biggest factor, the games, are largely yet to be announced. Exclusive titles are sure to be a large factor in this. I hope we don't see a billion new-IP shooters that we won't care about in a year, with continuations of current shooter IPs as the bulk of the lineup.

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Sytri » Fri May 24, 2013 9:20 am UTC

The thing that I don't really get with the whole hysteria about having the kinnect always plugged in and always on for the Xbox to work is the fact that if you're that bothered by it, why can't people just unplug it when you don't want to use the Xbox? You can just have it as a standalone piece of kit and enjoy it as that.

Personally I don't mind having it on, privacy is becoming a thing of the past. As long as it's not abused and that somewhere in the agreement we sign with Microsoft is that they wont spy on us with kinnect I'll be fine with it. I understand why people wouldn't want it but I honestly think that the Xbox is just the first to openly point out how companies track you and now everyone is becoming aware of how much we give away online.

I've not seen the PS4 launch but watched all of the Xbox one and I just hope that the features they showed will be available in the UK. I'd love to be able to use my sky box via the Xbox and then lazily update facebook whilst watching Hannibal. I'm looking forward to see what the graphics and gameplay will be like if MS use their massive amount of servers to do the grunt work of gaming.

But what did the PS4 launch show? Are they integrating TV, Internet and gaming? Bringing in more servers to back their games?

I'm more annoyed about the announcement that we may not be able to lend games to your friends without them paying a fee. I should be allowed to give my friend or anyone a game that I've bought for any amount of reimbursement. Without the company saying that they want more money again.
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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Xenomortis » Fri May 24, 2013 9:51 am UTC

Though I long since stopped caring about consoles, here's some quick observations.

Hardware-wise, the PS4 and XBox One are pretty similar, and they both use the same/similar CPU architectures; x86-64 from AMD (I don't know how true this was in the previous generation, but both used PowerPC architectures).
Slight concern on the RAM situation for the XBox One; 8 gigs with 3 reserved for its juggled Operating Systems - I know I have PC games that can easily suck up that much memory. I don't know if this would be prohibitive in the long term.
I'm not clear on the PS4's memory situation.
500GB HDD for the XBox One, non replaceable; that could be a frustration. No information on the PS4's storage as far as I can tell.

Wikipedia's list on announced games suggest an advantage to the PS4; although the release dates on some of them are still a way off so it's not much to go on.

Since I don't actually keep up with the news, I'm just going to comment on some things I noticed whilst glancing through the wikipedia article.
Wikipedia on PS4 wrote:The PS4 will feature technology that attempts to determine games a player is likely to purchase next, and then automatically downloads those titles in the background in an effort to save time.
I don't think that'll last. Maybe it will, but they'll have to come down hard on people who try to break into their console for fun (and profit), and that isn't fun (and may not be profitable). :(

Sony will not prohibit the usage of second-hand games purchased in physical form
Definitely a point in their favour.

on XBox One wrote:The Xbox website, Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb, and Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison have stated that an internet connection will be required for the Xbox One. Phil Harrison has also stated that single player games will require online verification every 24 hours.
That's a point of contention; a few months ago, I went without an internet connection at my home for around a week (and I live in the UK) - this could be an issue in some markets.

Phil Harrison has stated that game discs could be installed and played on more than one console. Games are tied to Xbox Live accounts. An unlock fee will be charged to play a registered game under a different Live account
Well that isn't unreasonable. Whilst I think Sony have the advantage on the consumer front, the XBox's approach here doesn't seem unreasonable.
My concern now is that punishments made against your account become incredibly severe. But this isn't new; PC gamers have had this with Steam for years and online distribution has often helped bring down prices (but not always) and hopefully we'll see the same for both consoles.

The integrated Kinect is actually, in a way, a good thing; much better than selling it as an add-on later. Developers can make a game for the Xbox One knowing that everyone will have this device, rather than taking a large risk. Although we know have to trust developers not to be stupid and use it for the sake of using it.
The "always on" and "face recognition" features are not too concerning for me; unless the authentication becomes necessary. There are many ways to circumvent a camera with a little home engineering, and a microphone can be similarly disabled.

The XBox has a definite advantage on the controller front. Although the pictures I've seen aren't quite clear, the PS4 controller still looks like its great-grandfather.


All the other little software extra though... I don't know how much they'll matter. Maybe I'm just an old luddite trapped in the past*, but when I use a console, I just want to play a damn game and not piss around with anything else. I don't want to use a stripped down computer; I already have a perfectly good computer - I don't want another one with less abilities and a hobbled input device, I want a device to play games on.

*Not actually old, but quite possibly trapped in the past.


Edit:
Sytri wrote:I'm more annoyed about the announcement that we may not be able to lend games to your friends without them paying a fee. I should be allowed to give my friend or anyone a game that I've bought for any amount of reimbursement. Without the company saying that they want more money again.

As I said, this is not a new thing. It's common for things to be tied to an online account in the PC world (which is better than the terrible system of connecting them to specific machines).
The second-hand market is something we are still working out (publishers and developers really do lose out).
But I'll be interested to see if the difference in approaches will work to anyone's favour.
Last edited by Xenomortis on Fri May 24, 2013 10:01 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Woopate » Fri May 24, 2013 10:01 am UTC

Sytri wrote:The thing that I don't really get with the whole hysteria about having the kinnect always plugged in and always on for the Xbox to work is the fact that if you're that bothered by it, why can't people just unplug it when you don't want to use the Xbox? You can just have it as a standalone piece of kit and enjoy it as that.


I don't have a citation for it, but I've read that the Xbox One will require a plugged in kinect to function. That doesn't mean you can't poin it at a wall, but there's nothing that doesn't also say it require visible human forms too.

EDIT: possibly misread your post. I read it as "if your against it watching you, unplug it" which won't be possible. I now realize you probably meant "if you have privacy concerns, unplug it when you are not using it." if the second is the case, my above statement is entirely irrelevant.

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Sytri » Fri May 24, 2013 10:24 am UTC

Woopate wrote:
Sytri wrote:The thing that I don't really get with the whole hysteria about having the kinnect always plugged in and always on for the Xbox to work is the fact that if you're that bothered by it, why can't people just unplug it when you don't want to use the Xbox? You can just have it as a standalone piece of kit and enjoy it as that.


I don't have a citation for it, but I've read that the Xbox One will require a plugged in kinect to function. That doesn't mean you can't poin it at a wall, but there's nothing that doesn't also say it require visible human forms too.

EDIT: possibly misread your post. I read it as "if your against it watching you, unplug it" which won't be possible. I now realize you probably meant "if you have privacy concerns, unplug it when you are not using it." if the second is the case, my above statement is entirely irrelevant.


Yeah, it was more of the fact that if you aren't using it, unplug it and be worry-free. And I would assume that somewhere in the T&Cs it will state that they wont spy on you at any point whilst the xbox has power supplied to it, or at least spy in the sense of taking information not relevant to what you are doing with the Xbox.
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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby SecondTalon » Fri May 24, 2013 11:50 am UTC

Edit:
Sytri wrote:I'm more annoyed about the announcement that we may not be able to lend games to your friends without them paying a fee. I should be allowed to give my friend or anyone a game that I've bought for any amount of reimbursement. Without the company saying that they want more money again.

As I said, this is not a new thing. It's common for things to be tied to an online account in the PC world (which is better than the terrible system of connecting them to specific machines).
The second-hand market is something we are still working out (publishers and developers really do lose out).
But I'll be interested to see if the difference in approaches will work to anyone's favour.[/quote]
A big difference is the price. For a AAA game - or several even - paying under $20 for sales is not only regular, but expected.

When was the last time a new game, six months after release, as $10 on a console for a weekend?
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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby rmsgrey » Fri May 24, 2013 12:34 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:The second-hand market is something we are still working out (publishers and developers really do lose out).
But I'll be interested to see if the difference in approaches will work to anyone's favour.


Yes and no - the direct effect of a second-hand sale is that someone who hasn't given money to the publishers/developers now has a copy of the game. If you could just drop a second-hand sale into the universe without changing anything else, then, well, then the publisher and developer don't lose out because they get exactly the same in both universes, but it does seem a little unfair for someone to get their product without paying them for it.

But you can't just drop a second-hand sale into the universe without changing other things. The model that people opposed to second-hand sales would prefer people used is one where the second-hand sale replaces a direct sale. So, assume it's about ten years ago, and someone wants to buy Halo. They toddle down to the shops and find two copies on the shelf - one new at full price, and one second-hand at about 80% of full price. If he buys the full-price one, Microsoft and Bungie get their cuts, and he has a little less money; if he buys the second-hand one, Microsoft and Bungie get nothing, but he saves some money. So far, so bad for the resale model. But things don't stop there. This gamer now has more money to spend - if he keeps buying second-hand titles at 80%, then, after buying 4 games he would have bought at full price, he can afford to buy a fifth second-hand game that he otherwise wouldn't have. The second-hand market thrives, and some of that money comes back to the guy who bought the original copies at full price, which means he has more money to buy more games at full price. It's still disadvantaging the games companies under the assumption that both people would spend the same (net) amount on games if there was no second-hand market - both customers end up with none of it, but the retailers get a second slice before passing the rest of the money up the pipeline.

On the other hand, the games aren't the only thing competing for people's luxury budget - the guy who's willing to buy Halo second-hand, and the guy who pays full-price but trades it in later, both of them are willing to buy Halo at the (effectively) reduced price. Paying full price, either of them might decide to find something else to spend their money on - cinema trips, dining out, a board game, saving up for something... Particularly the guy who buys games on release, plays them for a week, and then trades them in - he doesn't want old games cluttering his home, so if he couldn't sell them second-hand, he'd be throwing them away, and, psychologically, paying $60 for something and then selling it for $10 is a lot more appealing than paying $50 for it and throwing it away.

There are also people who don't purely buy full price and trade-in nor purely buy second-hand and keep, nor buy purely full price and keep, nor purely buy second-hand and trade-in. There are people who buy a bunch of games at full-price, keep the ones they like, and trade-in the rest - keeping some games they wouldn't have bought if they didn't have the option of trading them in if they didn't like them. There are people who buy games they're pretty sure they'll like at full price, and ones they're not sure about second-hand - which means that, from time to time, they'll discover a new series or new developer that they buy new games from at full price.

Overall, it would require an extremely clever study to figure out what the actual effects of the second-hand market are on games companies' profits - the naive "that's a sale they're not getting money from (directly)" isn't convincing.

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Sytri » Fri May 24, 2013 12:53 pm UTC

The thing is, and I don't want to derail this thread too much, what is the difference between a computer game and a book? Or a car? What is it in a game that means that when you re-sell it, some of the profit should go to the company that created it? You don't have that with almost any other thing that is created and then sold. Music is seeming to be the exception, but there you go.

I just hope this all gets cleared up at E3 when Sony and MS announce more of what they're planning. I think companies this big should understand what not answering questions as they come up can do. If they don't have an answer then they shouldn't have invited the question.
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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby infernovia » Fri May 24, 2013 3:08 pm UTC

Writing a game is expensive and they are being sold at a really cheap price.

Anyway, on to the console analysis. First of all, I think the CPU+GPU integration that both consoles are doing is interesting and I am curious to see if they will gain anything substantial out of that. It could be just market speak to eliminate PC as a competitor/port but I have to imagine some physics engine/sound engine will be built to optimize on the newer architecture. I am excited about the larger memory capacity for both consoles, although I really wonder if many games will use the 8GB that the PS4 is going to push (microsoft seems to be consuming a lot of it for the OS). Maybe that will increase the capacity of videogames in interesting ways. The two consoles being so similar also means that they are selling their services and platform and exclusives more than they seem to be competing in the hardware realm. I am certainly not a developer though and I do not know if one actually is more advantageous than the other.

Out of the new games, the one that interested me the most is probably Deep Down's. So right now PS4 has an edge, but XBO can certainly try to make up for it in E3.

Edit:
Woopate wrote:One thing that's standing out for me is that hardware is MUCH less of a concern this generation. It seems like "yeah consoles were due for a hardware update so we upgraded the hardware, but let's talk about everything ELSE we're bringing to the table." I think that this is a positive step. Last generation's battle, the speculation was all on hardware and performance (though ultimately this didn't matter, as the Wii quickly took a HUGE lead out of the gate, and Xbox 360 winning the long battle, while the PS3, powerhouse of the generation, sold comparitively less than either).

The Wii might be the most prolific netflix box ever, but it was a total bust as far as game consoles go due to the total lack of third party support. It's basically a non-competitor compared to the 360 or the PS3.

As for the two big markets, the 360 has some advantages but the PS3 has been competing fairly evenly or better every year it's been out. We can definitely say Microsoft made more money than Sony though from it's live service. The PS3 was supposed to be more powerful, but I don't think game developers could utilize the advanced hardware so it didn't show.

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Woopate » Fri May 24, 2013 10:15 pm UTC

I dunno that you can call the Wii a bust, it sold 11 million units before the others had sold 5 combined(before it had Netflix, even) and it never, ever sold at a loss, which is something both other consoles had to do. It may be collecting dust on shelves now, but it's collecting dust on almost EVERY shelf.

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby EmptySet » Sat May 25, 2013 1:05 am UTC

Woopate wrote:I dunno that you can call the Wii a bust, it sold 11 million units before the others had sold 5 combined(before it had Netflix, even) and it never, ever sold at a loss, which is something both other consoles had to do. It may be collecting dust on shelves now, but it's collecting dust on almost EVERY shelf.


Current retail sales figures, according to http://www.vgchartz.com/:

Hardware:
Wii: 99,544,889
PS3: 77,183,123
X360: 77,221,659

Software:
Wii: 844,795,543
PS3: 666,017,403
X360: 758,602,775

So despite all the jokes about the Wii being the best dust collector this generation, it's still sold more hardware and software at retail by a substantial margin. Make of that what you will.

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Mordus » Sat May 25, 2013 1:30 am UTC

I did not know that it had sold that much software. That's pretty darn impressive actually. As much as I think the Wii was a stupid system, you can't argue with those kind of numbers. I don't think they are going to repeat that with the WiiU though.

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Jack21222 » Sat May 25, 2013 3:02 am UTC

infernovia wrote:Writing a game is expensive and they are being sold at a really cheap price.


This is way too big of a generalization. Triple A games are expensive to produce, and they're being sold at a price which still gives the studios a nice return on investment (60 dollar range). Indie games are not expensive to create, and are sold at a "really cheap price," in the 5-15 dollar range.

I used to be a console gamer way back in the day. I had an Atari 2600, NES, SNES, Playstation 1, and Playstation 2. I had to quit consoles after that simply due to the price. Say what you want about Steam and not being able to trade or sell games bought there; the games are cheap. My girlfriend bought Scribblenauts Unlimited for the WiiU a few months ago for 60 dollars. Sixty! I went online and showed her the exact same game on Steam on sale for 20 dollars (regularly 30.)

I got the Humble Indie Bundle last year for 6 dollars. From that, I got 7 games, 3 of which I've played extensively (50 hours into Binding of Isaac, 30 hours into Dungeon Defenders, 10 hours into Legend of Grimrock). You simply cannot get deals like that on consoles.

It's really a wonder why people bother with consoles at all. You can get a PC running Steam hooked up to your computer, put it into Big Picture mode, and play with a controller. In many cases, you're playing the same games as on consoles. Valve is coming out with the Steam Box to facilitate this setup.

I'm going to make a crazy prediction and say that this is the last generation of dedicated consoles we're going to see. The next "generation" will be just dedicated gaming PCs optimized to work with a television.
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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby rmsgrey » Sun May 26, 2013 1:43 am UTC

Jack21222 wrote:I'm going to make a crazy prediction and say that this is the last generation of dedicated consoles we're going to see. The next "generation" will be just dedicated gaming PCs optimized to work with a television.


Okay, but what's the crazy prediction?

More seriously:

The selling points for consoles over PCs when I was younger were:

1) Ease of use - if you want to play an N64 game, for example, you put the game in the machine, turn on the power, and, maybe, switch the TV to the right channel - no Windows, no navigating a directory structure, no command line arguments - just plug-and-play.

2) Superior hardware - or at least better optimised for gaming (unless you paid top dollar for a bleeding-edge gaming rig)

3) Lower prices - when the N64 was new, a new PC could reasonably cost 5 times as much as the console did (I got mine at an unreasonably low £30 when new PCs were easily costing £900 without being particularly gamer-friendly).

4) Not having to memorise a stat-sheet to know whether a game would work - if you buy a PS2 game, it will run on your PS2 (regional compatibility issues aside)

5) Better native multiplayer.

6) Startup speed - you could be halfway through the opening cutscenes of FFVIII on PS1 before a PC finished booting

For all of those, where it's still true, the gap has been closing - modern consoles present you with a menu rather than passing you straight into the game, while Windows increasingly tries to give you the program you want rather than making you find it. At least since the original PC-in-a-box XBox, consoles have been tending to use off-the-shelf components rather than breaking new ground. The PS3 was more expensive than a decent home PC. PC games are being more modest in their hardware requirements, while consoles come with a range of specs. Consoles are tending away from split-screen multiplayer, and toward online, while improved VOIP allows online gaming to capture at least some of the feel of split-screen games.Consoles still boot faster than PCs, but slower than they used to.

So, yeah, with consoles losing their edge over PCs, and the games costing twice as much, it may come down to things like the Steam Box or the Ouya to reclaim the traditional strengths of the console...

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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby Jack21222 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:50 pm UTC

Zero Punctuation has weighed in on the next generation consoles:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... yers-Guide
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Re: Ultimate Combat of Perfect Shooters (Next gen discussion

Postby emceng » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:37 pm UTC

I wasn't excited about the XBO, but was interested in it. Considered making it the first console I got at launch. I've been worried about the rumors, but not that much. Then I saw this:

http://www.abload.de/img/drm4yjrw.png

Unless these things change, I'm not getting an XBO. I've used my 360 more than any other console and have loved some of the games on it. I'm not putting up with their DRM bullshit though.
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