Ok, let's see... Well, I am Brazilian, speak both portuguese and english(none of them properly ;) ), have 32 (Yes I am old, shut up) and work at a cable manufacturer. My first videogame system was an Atari 2600 when I was 8yo, then the Sega Master System at 11, a PC, then all the Playstation Family(PS1, 2 and 3 and the PSP).
Nowadays my primary gaming platform is the PS3 and my favorite game is Battlefield Bad Company 2, so if will wanna play or get some help with a trophie, my PSN ID is Man_w_no_name. Feel free to ask me to add you as a friend. My favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy VII and the worst I have ever saw is Danger Girl for PS1.
Aside gaming I love movies, books, anime and manga, Doctor Who and weirdness. So that is it. Hope to find good friends here at Destructoid.
Thanks to falsenipple for the header image! It is awesome as the creator.
The PS Vita Tv is basically a Vita without buttons and screens. It will be able to play Psone classics, PSP and Vita games. At first, it sounds like an incredible bad idea, but when you start thinking about it, it can just be the greatest idea ever, one that will only help Sony and the Vita. Why? well, because several things.
First, it will come in two flavors, vanilla and gaming ready. The 100USD (approximate values) one is just the Vita TV, and it will allow video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and probably any other video service available for Vita. It is unknown if it comes with a simple remote (which it should, but unknown if will). It is cheap and perfect for people who only wants a stream device. Also, if you already have a PS3 you can just sync your Dualshock 3, put a Vita game and play. It comes with 1GB of memory for saves or the small downloaded title. So anyone wanting a cheap way to play that Vita game you wanted but can't justify the 200USD of the Vita. Or if you just want to use Netflix on that other TV.
The second flavor, priced 150USD comes with 8GB and a DS3 is the perfect cheap console. It have enough space for games, specially the non-retail ones and PSone classics, and yet it allow for Vita and PSP games, giving it a huge catalog of games from the start. And still works for Netflix. So if you want a cheap console that do streaming stuff, the Vita TV makes sense. It have an extensive backlog of great titles, and if you are into indies, it have a lot of already released indies and more to come.
Not only that, it will allow Remote Play with the PS4. So you can have the PS4 in your bedroom, for example and Vita TV on the living room. So when friends come over, no need to move around and deal with cables. Plug the Vita TV and play away. Not only that, you can play Vita games on big screen and show your friends. And it is small enough to just go to a friend's house with it and play with him.
Sure, some stuff need to be sorted. Touch controls will be relegated to pressing L3 and R3(and I am guessing R2 and L2, buttons that aren't available on Vita) to simulate the touch controls. But probably many future games will come with full Dualshcok 3 support (and probably the DS4 when it launches) resolving those issues. And I hope Sony put even a small remote with it for streaming purposes. It will not work as well if you ask a DS3 to be used for stream only people.
Also, the memory cards are still too high priced. A second round of price cuts would help move devices to people wanting a cheap console and don't mind it almost be download only. If Sony can solve the controller issue and the price of its proprietary media, people interested would rise.
All that put OUYA and Gamestick (and any similar device) in a rough position. Those devices don't have the great game catalog Sony has to offer, and Sony is actively hunting great indies for it. Sony also have its own exclusives to push, and the Vita TV is not more expensive than the OUYA, but promises a way better device with way better games from the start. So I can see anyone who wants a cheaper device with a known brand preferring a Vita TV instead of the avalanche of Android consoles.
Another factor that will decide the Vita TV success is how Sony market it. Well done market could get people who only are interested in streaming on board, but also getting people who don't want a portable but want to try some Vita titles on board. And with a bigger user base, the Vita will very well get more games, meaning a win-win to everyone.
So, I believe the Vita TV have a great chance of success. All depending on marketing and support. Everything else is already there, so I am greatly interested to see how it goes.
Microsoft's Xbox One, their newest console, haven't had an easy ride since its reveal back in May. And a lot of it is due to MS ineptitude to proper communicate what they wanted to achieve with the machine. So many things changed that the current Xbone and the one they revealed is vastly different now, from hardware specs to on-line policies to even what is in the box. But why is that?
To me, it smells too much that MS rushed the Xbone to fight Sony. Remember, Sony said before the PS4 reveal in February that they weren't going to announce before Microsoft. And then they revealed it to many people's surprise. Microsoft couldn't let them go freely, so they announced the Xbone a few months later. And that haven't gone as smoothly as MS wanted.
One of the problems that make me believe it was rushed is the lack of an unified message. MS main quote between the reveal and before the first 180° was 'more details coming in a later date'. Big companies usually don't do last time decisions. It takes a lot of meeting to do a decision. And the fact they couldn't answer a lot of question meant they just showed what was decided already, but it is apparent they haven't decided all that should have being decided before being ready for the reveal.
Then there was the now infamous 180°, where they changed the dreaded DRM policy. It was a victory for many, but the fact that they said they couldn't do it, to do it a week later, show me they weren't ready. Than there was the headset being not included, to be included later, the GPU and recently the CPU overclocking, the inclusion of FIFA 14 to European markets, the fact they reduced the number of markets the Xbone will be available in November 22nd from 21 to 13, all that pointing they were making decisions on the fly, instead of a careful laid strategy decided beforehand.
It comes with a PS2 tough... Wait, no, that is the damn power brick.
There are rumors, denied by MS, that there were problems with the production of their next gen console. It is not hard to believe when they have changed so many things. The most recent signs of rushed development is lack of support for many of the voice command features (including in English speaking countries like New Zealand, and no, the accent shouldn't be a problem when they will release it in UK, with Welsh and Scottish accents) and that external HDD support, a feature promised long time ago, will not be available at launch.
Of course, it doesn't mean the Xbone will be a failure, or that it will have a big failure rate for its hardware as the first 360. But all of those are worrying signs, and I believe that yes, Microsoft is rushing their new console to not let Sony gain any lead for being out longer. Maybe they can have a very finished product at launch, while Sony can still fuck it up badly.
But for now, there is worrying signs that Microsoft isn't taking the needed time to deliver a well made, finished product, and that they may use their early adopters to beta test their console. So, I would wait before buying it. And people waiting to see could do more harm than good to Microsoft new machine.
Game rentals was a past of my gaming habits when I had my Sega Master System (shut up, Nintendo only really started to invest in Brazil with the N64) and I would always rent some games on weekends. But nowadays rentals in my country is pretty much dead. I haven't rented something like movies or games since forever. And here it is something that publishers and platform makers are losing a huge opportunity with. Allowing digital rentals.
Imagine you can rent a game via digital stores like PSN or Steam? In a perfect world, you would pay 3.99(24 hours), 6.99(48 hours) and 9.99(72 hours, games whose buying price is lower than rental prices couldn't be rented). Download the game (the clock only starts to count when you load the game for the first time), play the game and when the time is up, get offered to buy the game.
Again, if companies where smart, they would allow you to buy rented games at a discount, maybe even the total value of the rental. PS+ (and other similar services) would give you discount on rentals. It would be a win for everyone involved.
Players could try out games without losing time and money. Like the game, buy at discount, don't like it, let the discount expire. You could rent multiplayer games for just a weekend party (and party games for parties) and save money. The publisher, developers and stores would receive a bit of money anyway, cutting out middleman like GameStop out of the equation and profiting more. New IPs and mid-tier games would have a better chance to sell.
So, in my opinion, I can't see how digital rentals would be a bad idea. More money for game makers, players can save money to buy the games worth keeping(and maybe developers would try harder to make games worth keeping). That is why I defend digital rentals.
Let’s put this out of the way first. No, Nintendo is not doomed. The company will not disappear due to one of their hardware not pushing as many units as would be desirable. Nintendo itself holds a lot of value due to their worldwide famous IPs like Mario and Zelda. Nintendo have a lot of money in the bank, so they can survive years (some say decades) before being in financial trouble. But all that doesn’t mean that their home console, the hilariously named WiiU isn’t in trouble right now, or that the perspective of it turning around this situation is actually good. On contrary, Nintendo is doing close to nothing to safe its next gen console.
First, the WiiU itself is not a bad machine. It doesn’t have any inherent design flaw, or some kind of stupid component that make gaming harder. The gamepad may not be the best controller ever in my opinion, but it is not making gaming harder. It is not fully utilized, even by Nintendo, but it offers some cool tricks like off-TV gameplay. And except by the big screen in the middle, it is pretty much like Sony’s or MS’ pads. The problem Nintendo is suffering is lack of compelling content.
Why should anyone buy a WiiU instead of a Playstation or an Xbox? That is the question that Nintendo is failing to answer. Sure, the biggest Nintendo fans will answer that Mario and Zelda is reason enough, but that is only reason enough for fans of the traditional Nintendo games. And that may be a big surprise, but there aren’t as many Mario fans as the fans might think. And it is easier to back it up by numbers.
The bestselling Nintendo console is the Wii. So, how many Mario Galaxy sold in it? The first sold 12 million units, and the second 7 million. In a 100 million Wii sold, only a tenth of its buyers bough a Mario game. It means that Nintendo’s biggest franchise can move, at best, 12 million WiiUs. But of course, not all Nintendo fans are Mario fans. So, how big is the Nintendo fandom? 22 million people, as that are the people that bought the least successful Nintendo home console, the GameCube.
Nintendo fans love to say nobody buy Nintendo consoles for 3rd party games. It is a lie. The Super Nintendo, the 16 bit console from Nintendo, was filled with great 3rd party games like Chrono Trigger and Street Fighter. In fact, the SNES sold 50 million units worldwide. Saying 3[sup]rd[/sup] party doesn’t matter is a lie. Also, it makes clear that not everyone will buy a WiiU and another console or a gaming PC. In fact, the majority of people will buy only one console. We must remember that the main consumers for consoles aren’t the ‘hardcore’ gamers who visit sites and post blogs like us, neither that they see value in buying all consoles.
Nintendo fans also love to use ‘if’ and ‘can’ in defense of the WiiU. Nintendo can price cut. If they release more games they will be fine. They can use the vast money reserve to save the WiiU. If they start an ad campaign, people will know the console exist. But what Nintendo is actually doing? What is Nintendo actively doing to help its console to sell? I haven’t seen any movement from them to make the WiiU a more appealing console.
Nintendo Directs are great for the people who already have WiiUs and for Nintendo fans that plan to buy one. It assures them that the games they bought a WiiU for are coming, like Smash, Zelda and Mario. But it does nothing for people who aren’t on the internet actively seeking information on the console. There is no mass, main stream media campaign to tell consumers worldwide why they should buy a WiiU. Nintendo is right saying that games move consoles, but outside the internet and it and dedicated gaming fans, people are unaware of that.
It doesn't help when people doesn't understand this is not just another Wii accessory.
Second, Nintendo games will sell only to its fans. There are no new franchises, and the only game Nintendo have that is outside their traditional franchise is Bayonetta 2, whose first game sold something akin to 1.5 million units. Not what Nintendo need to move hardware. There is no movement from Nintendo to bring more games. No incentives for 3rd parties, no buying of new studios (they bought Monolith, but that is one studio whose game, Xenoblade, sold less than a million copies.
Nintendo is doing good to lure indie devs to its machine, as it can help to realize the full potential of the gamepad and fill some niches on the consoles, but I doubt anyone would buy a WiiU for titles they can buy in other platforms like the PC, PS4 and their tablets and phones. So, while indie push helps, it is not the WiiU salvation.
I expected the WiiU to be price cut during E3. Moving the Premium edition to the 300 bucks bracket and getting rid of the basic would have helped. As it stands now, the WiiU is not cheap enough to be competitive against a PS4. They can price cut later, but the longer they take to do it, the shorter time will be to them to capitalize before having to fight directly against the PS4 and Xbone.
‘Ifs’ and ‘cans’ will not save the WiiU. Nintendo need to stop asking people to wait for the day that the WiiU will magically become a great console. That huge amount of cash in the bank is useless if they just let it sit. When Sony was struggling to gain 3rd party support on the PS3, they started making games themselves to fill the niches. It gave us Killzone and Uncharted. Nintendo need to fill those niches themselves and stop hoping that a benevolent 3rd party will save their console for them.
'Please help us by buying three WiiUs. You love us, so go and do it!'
The WiiU tried to use the same formula the Wii used. Cheap, unusual controller and Nintendo franchises. But the Wii was a fad, which was left to gather dust after a few years. Nintendo failed to realize that and used the same formula expecting that lightning would strike twice, but ignored that the same formula that worked seven years ago could not work again, in a completely different scenario that Nintendo doesn’t want to accept is reality.
So, no, Nintendo will not die if the WiiU fails. They have enough resources and the 3DS to keep them afloat to try again. But Nintendo, right now, is doing nothing of the ‘ifs’ and ‘cans’ that could save their console. And if they keep waiting, the WiiU could replace the GameCube as the worst home console in Nintendo’s otherwise brilliant story.
I will be short here. Many people started complaining on the benefits of Microsoft forcing its DRM on us would have. While some policies like being able to access your games on any XboX One as long as you log your account were detailed, others like the Family Sharing, cloud computing stuff and the Steam like cheaper prices are far from being thing Microsoft promised or/and detailed.
Microsoft never detailed the Family Sharing plans beyond saying ten people would be your 'family', no need to them to be actual family or live in the same address. But they never said what strings they were attaching except that only one person would be able to play the shared game at any time. Rumor says that the person on the shared family would only be able to play one hour tops before the game stopping and a store prompt appears.
If you think Microsoft would kill used games and just allow ten people to pay 60 bucks and play a game in full, you are lying to yourself. Microsoft would never lose money selling less copies of a game when their old DRM was made to sell more copies. MS didn't detailed the plan before because they likely knew the details would make the feature less appealing.
Second, cloud computing. Microsoft is saying how much better games will be with it, failing to tell people all the bad things about it, like lag, the fact that it needs big servers to do it(way more than to just handle on-line matches). Also, the fact that all this benefits only work as long as their servers are online. What happens if they go down? Or that they decided that your old game doesn't deserve space on the servers?
Last, people say Microsoft would push gaming prices down going the route they were going. Why? What reasons we have to believe MS would low their prices, when they would have total control over the games? The only digital store in the Xbone is the MS one, and they could as well say the retailers that want to participate on their trading program would need to follow their rules on pricing. Steam prices only get cheaper on sales and promotions, and because there is several other online stores you can go to.
So, any attempt into making Microsoft dropped DRM seeing good is by wishful thinking. Nothing in their announced policies state any of the benefits many people want to believe they could get. I am glad MS dropped their policies, but in no way they would take a hit for the benefit of the customer.
Microsoft, in the last few months, was the bad, bad guy of gaming. Its obscure, confusing and certainly anti-consumer DRM gained the rage of gamers. The fact the Xbone(how I will always call their new console) is more expensive, less focused on games, region locked and it comes with the Eye of Sauron AKA Kinect 2 didn't help it to gain consumer's trust.
During the few weeks after their reveal of the Xbone till yesterday, Microsoft defended that all their decisions would benefit the customer and would make everything better for us. They utterly failed to make this message being heard. Instead, they garnered more hate, and every time Microsoft executives(specially Don 'Chipmunk' Mattrick) opened their mouths they made their product seeing worse.
Here is the first thing. MS actually believed that their decisions would be more profitable to them. No company is there to be your friends (Sony, Nintendo and any other big company doesn't care about you, they care about money) but no company likes to lose a sale. MS probably expend a lot of time in meetings discussing how to make more profit, and of course they put in the equation how many customers they might lose due to their decisions. And in the end, they decided the Xbone and all its policies would be more profitable.
They likely decided their new target audience (hint, not us who like games a lot) would be more profitable and wouldn't mind all their restrictions. They also decided that us, people who love games, would buy an Xbone as long as great games were available only there. They also believed that Sony, the one that they likely consider their main rival, would use similar policies.
Let's not be naive here. 3rd party publishers probably was putting pressure on both Sony and MS for anti-used measures. Maybe they didn't give an ultimatum, but they certainly send messages on how they would benefit of it. MS decided it was worth to conquer the 3rd parties and made their system with them in mind.
On E3, they showed lots of good games, that actually would make many interested in giving MS a chance. All depended on Sony being similar in their proposition. Sony instead killed Microsoft at the show. No DRM, no always connected and a smaller price tag by not adding an accessory most wasn't interested. MS expected Sony to be similar enough to make everyone stop and think. Sony make it easy to most to choose. Or better yet, MS make their main competitor looks better by mostly just keeping the status quo.
Even after that, MS still believed their target audience would love them and would ignore their flaws. Until yesterday, they were adamant their DRM policy would benefit the customer. But them the pre-order numbers starts coming in. Sony was leading pre-order interest. An Amazon poll showed that 93% of customers where interested in the PS4 instead of the Xbone. GameStop employees said that MS put only 10 pre-order units per store, while Sony put 30. Even the mainstream media was aware and unhappy with their policies.
The internet complaining may not being the only factor that made MS change its policies. But it helped. That combined with bad PR, Sony policies being less draconian and the fact that they was becoming the bad guys at the public eyes made them do the now infamous U turn.
'Thanks for making our console looks better, Microsoft!'
While this is going to help the Xbone to sell a bit better at pre-orders, by making Xbox fans more happy with he console, the uphill battle will continue. MS needs to fix all the PR damage they made to themselves (gagging Don 'Big Mouth' would help) and they still need to prove to the public their machine is better than the PS4. It will be hard and long.
Even after the DRM drop, MS still have the most expensive machine, they still have the never-blinking Kinect 2 (it is up to you to thrust Microsoft will not spy on you, no matter how much they promise they won't) that must be connected all the times and we must remember if they could just flip the switch to turn DRM off (something they promised they couldn't do, so here is your thrust) they could just turn it on again later if they want to.
Microsoft did a good thing by dropping the DRM and the region lock. They reacted to the bad reception of its audience. But remember it was them that created the problem for themselves in first place and until yesterday they utterly believed they were right.
Microsoft made the first step to have a chance in the console wars. Now their machine is not an undesirable piece of shit, but a console many will take in consideration. But they are still in the uphill battle. They still need to fight against a lot of bad will they created in their possible customers. They still need to make their most expensive machine, Indie unfriendly, with a camera that needs to be connected all the time seems a better option than its competitor. Games can help that.
But for now, Microsoft and its Xbone is the underdog, and not the likable kind.