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Pachter: Next-gen games cost $70, no more consoles after

Mar 10 // Tony Ponce
GT.TV's Geoff Keighley was in attendance, snapping photos of Pachter's PowerPoint presentation and uploading them to Twitter. In addition to claiming that PS4 and Xbox "Durango" games will likely retail for $70, despite what Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton insists otherwise, Pachter also offers his thoughts on the quality of tech. Clearly, Wii U is nothing more than a DS split in half and offers no significant potential for software innovation, while the PS4's large RAM pool means games on that machine will probably be super innovative. [embed]248325:47505:0[/embed] Even though console gaming's days are numbered, total hardware sales will remain steady. The Wii U is projected to only hit 30-50 million, down from Wii's roughly 100 million. Based on all its innovative RAM, PS4 will achieve 85-95 million, up from PS3's 73 million. And we know absolutely nothing about "Durango" -- it'll have a TV tuner maybe? -- so of course that ensures another 85-95 million, up from 360's 75 million. If that's the future of this market sector, it's totally obvious why all the major console manufacturers will jump ship. Those numbers sound terri-bad! Where would we be without your awe-inspiring insight, Mr. Pach? @geoffkeighley [Twitter via NeoGAF]  
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But that won't stop consoles from selling big
[Update: Keighley has produced another slide in which Pachter predicts that "Durango" will be the generation leader because it has a TV tuner and Skype. Also, there will be no more publisher bankruptcies. Yeah, fat chance.] W...

The ten most meaningful videogame quotes of all time

Mar 02 // Anthony Burch
10. "John Romero's about to make you his bitch" Hubris. It invariably arises manifests in the top personalities of any profession, and the games industry is certainly no exception. Prior to the release of John Romero's Daikatana, the long-haired developer -- still riding high from his Doom and Quake successes -- released a rather striking, minimalist, full-page ad in multiple gaming magazines. It read: "John Romero's about to make you his bitch." And nothing else. Well, nothing else other than Ion Storm's logo and an equally pompous urging that gamers "suck it down."  From there, everyone knows the story: Daikatana was delayed, then sucked complete balls upon release, and Romero faded into relative gaming obscurity. His fall, and the arrogant advertisement which started it all, nicely epitomize developer douchebaggery moreso than any other single sentence in the English language. Whether we're talking about Derek Smart touting Battlecruiser 3000AD as "the last thing you'll ever desire," or George Broussard's hilariously silly and underwhelming "trailer" for Duke Nukem Forever,  or Julian Eggbrecht's suggestion that those reviewers who hated Lair actually weren't playing it correctly, big egos, big gaming budgets, and big failures often go hand in hand.    9. "You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." Simultaneously immersive and frustrating, beautifully worded but logically irritating, this one line epitomizes both the strengths and flaws of the classic text adventure. "You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike" is -- if you'll permit me to be absurdly nerdy for a moment -- a very well-constructed sentence. It is a statement of mystery and ultimate possibility. It's brief, yet descriptive enough that your mind can fill in all the blanks: the details of what the maze looks to are ultimately up to you, but you're given enough information about the current location to make an informed gameplay decision. Sort of. Because, when you really get right down to it, "a maze of twisty passages, all alike" is a horrendously confusing thing to read when you're trying to make your way out of a maze. How many passages? Alike how? What the hell am I supposed to do? It is this mixture of attraction to the language, yet utter confusion in conquering it, that makes me give up every text adventure I can find after ten minutes of play.   8. "You were almost a Jill sandwich!" Gamers are no strangers to horrible, horrible dialogue; whether we're getting haphazardly-translated Engrish from our friends in the Orient or simply suffering from lazy writers, awful dialogue and videogames tragically tend to go hand in hand. I find it hard to pick just one example of horrendous writing to stand for literal decades' worth, but, if only because I'm loathe to give "All Your Base" any position on any top ten list, Barry Burton's famous line from the original Resident Evil will do. If you ever wonder why so many gamers have a hard time taking interactive storytelling seriously, "you were almost a Jill sandwich" is the reason why. Far more irritating than those games which simply elect to have no story whatsoever are those which try to be entertaining, terrifying, or cleve but fail miserably in the attempt -- namely, games like the Resident Evil series.  Ben Croshaw partially covered this in a recent video, but consider the ridiculousness of a survival horror game which, despite containing insanely supenseful gameplay, has one of the most laughably convoluted and poorly written plots in gaming history? Where, after almost being squished to death, a character responds not with a relatable statement of surprise like "JESUS CHRIST ARE YOU OKAY WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE," but by making a snarky joke about sandwiches? The adorably bad writing found in so many, many, many videogames serve as a constant reminder to better, more story-conscious game developers: this is what you need to be better than We'll never be truly rid of horrendous dialogue and plot -- every storytelling medium has its share of lazy creators -- but it's nice to have cringe-inducing lines like "Jill sandwich" to remind us that games could, and should, be much more than just decently entertaining gameplay wrapped around an irrelevant or stupid story.   7. "That's the second biggest monkey head I've ever seen!" This is the single best quote in all of (non text-based) adventure gaming. Period. Spoken by Guybrush Threepwood upon seeing an absurdly large monkey head idol (which, over the course of the series, he tends to do more than a few times), it epitomizes the brilliant writing found in some of the best games of the adventure genre's heyday.  Leisure Suit Larry dealt with sex jokes, Sam and Max dabbled in anthropomorphic absurdity, and the Monkey Island series, with its insult swordfighting and fiendishly difficult puzzles, nimbly jumped back and forth between the high- and lowbrow. In many of the most popular franchises during the late 80's and early 90's, adventure fans experienced a quality of humorous or dramatic writing which, to my mind, has rarely been matched in the years since. When the player wasn't scratching their head over how to get past one of any number of frustratingly difficult puzzles, they were rewarded with some of the sharpest, most clever writing in the history of videogame storytelling. From a writing point of view, everything the Monkey Island series is -- and everything the best adventure games were -- can be found in this quote.   6. “Didn’t we have some fun though? Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and I said ‘Goodbye’ and you were like ‘NO WAY!’ and then I was all ‘We pretended we were going to murder you’? That was great." Remember how I was talking about adventure game writing of the late 80's and early 90's? Remember when I said that the level of hilarity achieved in those seemingly simplstic games had rarely been matched since? Portal is why I used the word "rarely." Portal fever swept the Internet literally overnight after its release. Less than 12 hours after the Orange Box hit Steam, you could find gamers singing the praises of the Weighted Companion Cube, showing appreciation for the snarky-yet-scary characterization of GLadDOS, and chanting "the cake is a lie" as if it were scripture. Apart from containing a technologically astounding gameplay mechanic, Portal helped remind gaming cynics like me that games can not only be fun, innovative, and challenging in today's world of endless sequels and ripoffs, but friggin' hilarious as well. GLadDOS constantly drops darkly humorous hints considering the character's past and future. The player is forced to care for a cubic hunk of metal as if it were the love of his life. The final showdown with the evil AI constantly jumps back and forth between the suspenseful (as you attempt to defeat her before she floods the room with poison gas) and the hysterical (as one of her personality spheres recites a recipe for cake). If we're lucky, future game writers might take a few cues from Erik Wolpaw and learn that where humor is concerned, we gamers are much more likely to latch onto dark, witty irony than idiotic machismo. Portal's writing doesn't quite match the level of a Monkey Island or a Sam and Max, but it gets close enough in a time of awful one-liners and obvious jokes that it is, in its own way, slightly more uplifting and meaningful.   5. "Hey dudes, thanks for rescuing me! Let's go for a burger...Ha! Ha! Ha!" Ah, the mid-to-late 80's. A time of relative innocence for the videogame. Before the time of Mortal Kombat or Hot Coffee, when arcade games still came equipped with "Winners Don't Do Drugs" disclaimers, absurd fun was the name of the game.  Anyone over the age of twelve can nostalgically remember a time when videogames, despite being considered an exclusively "nerd" pastime, had a happy-go-lucky quality to them. You could inextricably describe a game's plot and story in a single sentence ("you're a chef and you have to make hamburgers by running over the different ingredients and avoiding bad guys"). This was the time of the arcade; the time where you had to actually go outside if you wanted to play something new and awesome.  The quote which defines this era will differ for each gamer according to which game he or she played most frequently. For my money, though, the final lines of Bad Dudes will never be matched, in grandeur or hilarious tone, by any other game from the period. Or ever.    4. "Prepare for unforseen consequences." Half Life: Episode Two taught me that videogames can be better than movies. They can elicit a greater emotional response, and, given their extended running times, the player can get more of a chance to become attached to his or her NPC co-stars. Originally spoken to Eli Vance just moments before first entering the test chamber at Black Mesa, the G-Man's mysterious message to a then-unconscious Alyx Vance actually gave me the goddamned chills.  As the shady, sallow asshole with the weird vocal rhythm leaned down to manipulate a character who I had come to admire and feel empathy for, I almost yelled at the screen. I wanted the G-Man to stay the f*ck away from Alyx. Not because it would affect the gameplay in any way. Not because I was worried about what it meant for the plot. Not for any number of legitimate reasons, other than the fact that I simply cared about Alyx. I knew what the G-Man represented, and I wanted him to stay the hell away from my friend. Upon hearing the G-Man whisper those words to Alyx, I suddenly understood that I had been wholeheartedly enveloped by Half-Life: Episode Two's story and characters. I'm sure most gamers didn't get the exact same reaction out of this scene that I did -- to the best of my knowledge, I may be the only person alive who considered Episode Two the single best part of the Orange Box -- but no one who has spent several hours with Dog, Alyx, Barney and Kleiner can deny their personal, emotional attachment to those characters.  Additionally, this quote speaks volumes concerning one of the Half-Life saga's main themes -- namely, the constantly chaotic, unpredictable, seemingly contradictory nature of life. Everything the player does after first exiting the tram in the first Half-Life ends up having terrifingly far-reaching and unforeseen consequences. Gordon fights through Xen and destroys the Nihilianth, only to find that his initial actions in the test chamber may have summoned an even greater evil. Later, while under the thumb of the G-Man, Gordon kills Wallace Breen and seemingly harms the Combine -- and is suddenly robbed of his victory by being put into stasis once again. In Episode Two, Gordon is finally free from the G-Man's control and heads to White Forest...only to find that the G-Man actually wants him to go there. Is Gordon free, or a slave? Is the G-Man good or evil? No game series has ever had me so interested in the answers to the questions it posed.   3. "War. War never changes." Even after most of the world has been turned into nuclear ash, even after the world governments have crumbled and the social infrastructure decays into anarchy, even when, after the greatest and most horrible war of all, the human race has every reason to band together in an effort to save one another from total annihilation -- they don't. War never changes. Fallout may be one of the most cynical, nihilistic game franchises in existence, which also makes it one of my personal favorites. Rather than half-assedly cultivating a world-weary tone through a sepia color scheme and needlessly gruff-sounding protagonists (I'm looking at you, Gears of War), the Fallout series tells the tale of some people who try to act with common decency in a world utterly lacking in it, and who are subsequently tortured and killed and exiled for their troubles. Cormac McCarthy would be proud.  In the world of Fallout you can do varying amounts of good on your quest through the Wastelands but, more often than not, your efforts can be just as easily undone by bad luck or the corruption of others. You can save the Ghouls of Necropolis from starvation, only to hear of their slaughter at the hands of Super Mutants. You can help the Brotherhood of Steel find new technology, but they'll use it to further their war-driven, quasi-fascist agenda. And no matter how much good you do in the original Fallout -- no matter how quickly you save the denizens of Vault 13 from dehydration and destroy the Super Mutant base -- you will always be cast out by a hypocritical, bureaucratic Vault Overseer who claims that your heroism will make you a bad role model for the other Vault Dwellers. Without getting into a current sociopolitical discussion, let me just say that the themes suggested in Fallout (punishment of morality in an immoral world, the hypocrisy of authority, the petty and violent nature of humankind) can be seen quite clearly even today. Wars are driven by greed, necessity, stupidity, or fear -- and even after the cities have been burnt to cinders and the countryside irradiated, war will never change.   2. "...But our princess is in another castle!" Videogames, according to Warren Spector, are work. We enjoy playing them, yes, but they also take a great deal of effort and frustration to actually complete. Before getting our ultimate reward, whatever it may be (a cool ending, a beautiful cut scene, a clever bonus level), we actually have to work to reach it. This quote, repeated lord knows how many times throughout the original Super Mario Bros, represents this fun/work dichotomy better than any other I can think of. When working their way through a Bowser level in Super Mario Bros, a gamer's thought process goes something like this: "Crap crap crap crap crap JUMP wait wait wait JUMP run run crap crap crap run CRAP DODGE THE FIREBALL crap crap crap haha take that you stupid Koopa King woo this is awesome I get to meet the Princess HEY WHAT THE HELL." Perhaps it was my feeble, insipid, six-year-old mind getting ahead of itself, but I fully expected the Princess to be waiting for me at the end of every goddamned castle. Sure, she wasn't in the last one, but hey -- life is full of infinite possibilities, and a game this fun wouldn't dream of continually frustrating me over and over by dangling the carrot of possible victory in front of my nose, only to yank it away once I've seemingly reached my goal, right? Right? Wrong.  It was fun getting to the not-Princess every time, don't get me wrong, but after continually not-finding her over seven worlds of gameplay, the Nintendo Entertainment System began to feel a little bit like work. The kind of work I'd be absolutely ecstatic to go to everyday, granted, but work nonetheless.   1. "Would you kindly?" Not only is this a moving, shocking, and all-around incredible quote about the consequences of blindly accepting authority, but it also represents one of the single most insightful statements ever made about videogaming in general. Cut scenes are a form of gameplay slavery. They rob the player of control, take him out of the moment, and force him to passively witness as the events of the game -- the events he is supposed to have some degree of local agency over. Ken Levine knows this, and chose to exploit it in creating one of the most memorable story twists of all time. When the player finds out that he has been subliminally controlled by Atlas throughout the entire game, he or she experiences a very sudden, shocking reassessment of values. Having gone through the game thus far with the single-minded intent of beating Andrew Ryan to a bloody pulp, the player is suddenly forced to ask a question most other games would never dream of proposing to the player: "Why am I doing this?"  Why, upon first entering Rapture, do you inject a Plasmid into his veins for seemingly no reason? Why do you follow Atlas's every instruction? Why do you kill the innocent, nonviolent-unless-provoked Big Daddies? Why do you want to kill Ryan? The answer is depressingly simple: you did these things because you were told to. Not because you necessarily had any personal investment in the action, but because someone asked you nicely. Even after realizing this, the player remains completely powerless to stop himself. In an older article I wrote ("Exploring BioShock's storytelling flaws"), I had this to say about the final "would you kindly" cut scene:  Noninteractivity is used brilliantly within the context of the scene: for perhaps the first time in the entire game, the player doesn’t want to kill Andrew Ryan, but Jack’s violent nature and refusal to question his orders are too much and the player is forced to watch, horrified, as he mercilessly and uncontrollably batters Ryan to death. It stands as the single greatest noninteractive cut scene in gaming history. Ever.  As a storytelling device, noninteractivity is used as a weapon against the player: you don’t want to question why you’re doing what you’re doing? Fine -- you’re nothing better than a mindless, robotic slave, and you have essentially given up the human gift of choice. Having control taken away is, within the context of the story, a tangible punishment for accepting things on face value and blindly following orders.   BioShock wants us to question authority and instruction not just for the big stuff -- politics, work, education and so on -- but for videogaming, as well. When Cortana asks you to pistol-whip a bunch of aliens in Halo, why not stop for a moment and really think about why you're doing it?  One might suggest that questioning authority in a videogame, where structure is more or less mandatory and even the most nonlinear games still have an inescapably linear storyline, would be an ultimately meaningless gesture. But if you're willing to take everything a videogame presents you with at face value, how much more are you capable of accepting without question? If the player is asked to mow down armies of faceless baddies simply because they are "evil," what does that even mean? For these reasons, "would you kindly" is, quite simply, the most meaningful videogame quote of all time. It deeply affects the player on both emotional and intellectual levels; not only that, but the intensity of the former inspires the latter. As the player feels hatred and betrayal from his amiably-worded induction into slavery, he becomes much more likely to take Andrew Ryan's dying words to heart: A man chooses; a slave obeys.    Check out more classic Destructoid articles in our Golden Archives
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An exaggeratedly titled top ten list? On the Internet? Surely you jest!
[This month, Destructoid turns 7 years old! Here's the top article of this weekend back in 2008. You can browse more of these in our Golden Archives. Nostalgic yet? -Niero] Call me a weakling, but it's been more or less forev...

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Pach-Man

Pachter talks more about Nintendo's Wii U 'mistake'


Clarifies the company's not in danger, but its glory days may be over
Feb 19
// Jim Sterling
Following yesterday's angry protests from Nintendo fans, industry analyst Michael "Fishy Sunday" Pachter took to NeoGAF to clarify his statements.There was uproar when Pachter said the Wii U was a mistake Nintendo may never r...

Pachter: Nintendo may not recover from Wii U mistake

Feb 18 // Jim Sterling
The answer to the problem, for other analysts interviewed, was games. Software is the only way Nintendo can crawl out of its hole, according to the market brains.  "Games, games, and more games," emphasized Lewis Ward of IDC. "The relationship between key releases -- primarily first-party titles -- and hardware sales is especially clear in Nintendo’s case. The sooner they get titles like Pikmin 3 and Wii Fit U on the console side and Pokémon games and titles like Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS side on store shelves, the better." Pachter, however, is not so hopeful, and thinks this may be it for the house of Mario. Of course, one thing the analyst does not yet know is that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has a Luigi hat ...  Therefore, his argument holds no water.  Analyst: Wii U a ‘mistake’ for Nintendo [GamesBeat, thanks RJ!]
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Analyst declares system a costly error
Industry analyst Michael "Chewy Homunculus" Pachter has been saying for years that Nintendo missed the boat on an HD Wii followup, and now he believes his predictions have yielded fruit. Framing the Wii U launch as a disaster...

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Pachter

Pachter predicts PS3 price plummet


Analyst expects a cut next week
Feb 15
// Conrad Zimmerman
Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter seems to think that a price drop is imminent for the PlayStation 3. GamesIndustry is reporting that the analyst expects the console to have its MSRP reduced to $199 on February 21st,...
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Pachter: UK retail scene is a joke


Analyst comes down hard on price cut mayhem
Feb 11
// Jim Sterling
Industry analyst Michael "Glowing Tooth" Pachter has criticized UK retailers for their constant attempts to undermine each other in videogame price cuts. The situation is nothing more than a joke at this point, according to t...
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Office Chat

Office Chat: Infinite horizons and limited vision


Another casual discussion from the Dtoid news room
Jan 16
// Conrad Zimmerman
Now arriving with an alarming consistency, I bring you the latest installment of Office Chat. In this episode, I'm joined again by Jordan Devore and Brett Zeidler as we address the controversy surrounding Star Wars: The...
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Analyst: Wii U software attach rate is 1.2 in US


One in every five owners bought a game at retail
Dec 10
// Jim Sterling
Analyst James Hardiman claims the software attach rate for the Wii U since its November US launch is 1.2, with only one in five buyers considered to have bought a new game on top of packed-in software. Hardiman offers tw...
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Pachter: Activision should charge for Call of Duty online


Analyst says a money-thing for game-angries!
Dec 07
// Jim Sterling
Michael "Thigh Majesty" Pachter is a man of business, which doesn't always make him a friend to consumers. His latest suggestion, that Activision should charge a fee for Call of Duty, isn't a new notion, but it never wins him...
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Yahoo: Microsoft can't afford to keep Xbox brand going


Financial writer paints doom and gloom everywhere
Dec 04
// Jim Sterling
Financial writer Jay Yarow of Yahoo paints a dismal picture of The 'Soft -- one that suggests it cannot stay in the game console business. In an editorial titled, "Steve Ballmer's Nightmare is Coming True," things are made to...

Analyst: PS Vita must cut its price in order to succeed

Dec 03 // Jim Sterling
Trouble with Sony is, it's an arrogant company. As we saw years ago with the PS3's original price, the PlayStation owner believes it has the same zealous and loyal fans as Apple, and can get away with charging customers anything. Sure, Sony has some customers who will literally spend whatever they're told to spend, but nowhere near the number required to get away with charging obscene prices for proprietary nonsense.  Nintendo fell on its sword and reduced the 3DS' price when the 3DS was in a better position than the Vita currently is. It might not be "fair" that Apple can get away with gouging its customers and Sony can't, but them's the breaks. Offering free games along with a memory card that's too small to fit the games on is not going to tantalize the public.
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Sony must swallow pride of be damned
Inside Network analyst and awesome-name-haver Billy Pidgeon has declared that Sony must follow Nintendo's lead and cut the PS Vita's price if it wants the ailing handheld to succeed. In addition, he has called for more and be...

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Wii U predicted to start strong and then falter


Ask your local psychic for more information, today!
Nov 12
// Fraser Brown
With the imminent launch of the Wii U so close to the holiday season, Nintendo are anticipating some monster sales. According to a report from IHS Screen Digest, the new console is predicted to sell 3.5 million units from its...
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Darksiders II sells 247,000 in North America at launch


Humble start for Vigil Games' superb sequel
Sep 09
// Jim Sterling
Darksiders II managed to sell 247,000 copies in North America during its launch week, despite being pretty decently marketed and damn fantastic. Analyst Michael Pachter has estimated global sales at around a million.  Th...
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Pachter upsets Nintendo fans, says they'll buy anything


Aug 13
// Jim Sterling
Industry analyst Michael "Elder Foot" Pachter recently joked that Nintendo fans will buy anything related to Nintendo. Ironically, Nintendo fans totally bought it, and are raging hard at the silver-haired love machine.  ...
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Analyst: Medal of Honor: Warfighter sales will suffer


Jul 31
// Jim Sterling
Analyst Doug Creutz has warned investors that EA's annual attempt to start a fight with Activision won't do too well this year. He believes Medal of Honor: Warfighter will lose sales due to the poor quality of the last M...
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Pachter: 3DS XL not compelling, PS Vita too expensive


Jul 27
// Jim Sterling
Michael "Sinewy Eyes" Pachter has aimed his bolt of judgement at the handheld gaming space, not only criticizing Nintendo's latest portable efforts, but roping in Sony for a bit of a lashing too. According to the mightiest of...
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Pachter: Wii U is not going to work


Jul 16
// Jim Sterling
Industry analyst Michael "Pink Toothbrush" Pachter has stated that the Wii U will not succeed as intended, and criticized Nintendo for believing that it can do something novel and come out on top.  "I don’t think t...
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Pachter: on-disc DLC is 'just plain greed'


May 28
// Jim Sterling
Industry analyst Michael "horse sponge" Pachter has chimed in on the controversial practice of shipping games with "downloadable" content locked on the disc. While he said that he didn't think the delivery method mattered in ...
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Analysts: Sony could strip down free PSN features


Apr 16
// Jim Sterling
While I have no problem with analysts in theory, I really hate some of the bad ideas they try to give publishers. Take, for example, today's cavalcade of opinions that suggest Sony could strip down its free PlayStation Networ...
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Pachter: Orbis/PS4 to suffer if it blocks used games


Mar 30
// Jim Sterling
Industry analyst Michael "Bumblecrumbs" Pachter has responded to rumors that Sony's next generation PlayStation will block used games, believing that the pros are far outweighed by the cons. According to the smooth opera...
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Pachter suggests the Wii U may be Nintendo's Dreamcast


Mar 13
// Jim Sterling
It's been a while since we've had a quote from Michael "Stink Pouch" Pachter to infuriate the masses, so here's one of him being cynical towards a Nintendo product again. In fact, he thinks Nintendo is going to "Dreamcast" it...
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GDC: How important review scores are to game sales


Mar 09
// Dale North
In a morning GDC session packed full of interesting game sales trend data, EEDAR's Geoffrey Zatkin shared some research on how important game review scores are for sales. While it would stand to reason that highly rated ...
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GDC: EEDAR's five universal truths for top-rated games


Mar 09
// Dale North
Research firm EEDAR tracks just about every quantifiable attribute of videogames and then mines that data to help their clients, which includes developers and publishers. In a GDC session on how games get reviewed, Erik Brudv...

Divnich Divines: Do Japanese Vita sales spell trouble?

Jan 14 // Maurice Tan
"The lifeline of any new hardware comes down to the software," Divnich points out. "If Sony can launch with strong first and third-party content, I don't see any cause for concern with the Vita. Their keystone title Uncharted: Golden Abyss is already getting rave reviews; a title that is more targeted towards the Western markets than Eastern ones. "The Western and Eastern markets operate very differently, and success in one doesn't always translate to success in the other -- the same is true of failure. It would be erroneous for consumers to take any positive or negative sentiment coming out of Japan for the Vita and apply it to the Western markets." Since sales in the Eastern markets are not a good indicator for the potential of the new handheld's success in the West, we can stop worrying about those Japanese sales numbers. But what about the potential of the hardware itself? And will the Vita need a price drop relatively shortly after its launch, similar to the 3DS, in order to stay afloat? "I certainly wouldn't write off the Vita so quickly," Divnich says. "From the titles I've played at various PR events, I am quite impressed with the technologies and capabilities of the Vita hardware. The hardware really does give third-party developers a blank canvas to create some truly amazing and innovative products for the Vita platform. "I don't necessarily believe that pricing is a concern at the moment. Again, it really comes down to the quality of the software and while what happened with the 3DS early on was concerning, I think we can all agree that the slow start of the 3DS was primarily the result of the software line-up, and not the price point of the hardware. Even when the 3DS dropped to $169, it still didn't move and it wasn't until a few strong first-party titles came out that the 3DS hardware began to take-off." Divnich's comments touch on four important aspects: the strength of the software line-up, third-party developers, pricing, and developers embracing the hardware. As Dale has stated as well, the software line-up for the 3DS was initially lacking and after there were a lot more quality titles to choose from, it started selling better. The PlayStation Vita's launch line-up is looking pretty strong, and several big IPs -- both from first and third-party studios -- are already in the pipeline for a Vita release in the months and years ahead. Besides, you know there will be a Vita iteration of any Sony IP that did well on the PSP.  (God of War, anyone?) As Divnich points out, the pricing is not the biggest issue for a handheld as long as the quality of the software supports it. Perhaps none of the launch titles stir your nether regions right now, but unless you hate handhelds, there's a good chance you'll slowly start to rationalize the price of entry as more games from your favorite genres are released. It's the same process we all go through whenever there is a new console or handheld. The question is how long that process will take for the Western market as a whole. So the price is not as important as the software that supports it and the potential for a strong software line-up from both first-party and third-party studios is looking good. What about the hardware? The Vita's marriage of touch controls with traditional controls certainly allows for innovative new ways of play. Whether we'll see a large amount of games that will actually offer truly new kinds of gameplay that will blow us away, as opposed to just implementing some unnecessary touch elements to what could otherwise simply be a shinier PSP game, that's something time will have to tell. Another aspect we shouldn't overlook is the PSN store. This gives the Vita access to a more matured digital distribution platform besides retail, and adds to the total amount of available software to support the handheld on the whole, but it also has the potential to make it easier for popular mobile games to make the jump to the PSN store down the line. Although some mobile games are fine as they are with touch controls alone, some others could definitely benefit from some analog sticks and buttons. An entire generation of kids might be growing up with mobile and iPad games right now, but that doesn't mean people won't want to play an even better version on a handheld for a few bucks more. I don't think any of us are really craving an Angry Birds Vita, but a Vita version of Chaos Rings for a few bucks more? Sure! As long as proper developer support and forward thinking on Sony's side allows for it, the tired argument of "mobile vs. handheld" may even cease to exist in the near future. For now, the outlook for the PlayStation Vita is still pretty positive. Let's not focus too much on those continuous weekly Japanese sales numbers from now on, and just see where we are a year from now.
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[In Divnich Divines, EEDAR Vice President and videogame analyst Jesse Divnich traverses the bogs of sales data, hype, and good old fashioned game geekery to give you his two cents on hot topics in the games industry] The...

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Pachter: Wii U 'all but assured' of poor dev support


Jan 06
// Jim Sterling
This year, the Wii U is scheduled to bring Nintendo into the HD era, but analyst Michael "Love Curdle" Pachter practically guarantees that it will fail to get developers on board. He also urges the company to stop living in t...
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Analyst says PlayStation lacks consumer excitement


Jan 06
// Jim Sterling
There's no denying that Sony isn't at the top of the gaming mountain anymore, after crushing the competition with the PS2. 2011 especially had Sony encounter more than its fair share of problems, but analyst David Cole t...
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Analysts say the 3DS is 'clear of the woods'


Jan 05
// Jim Sterling
Guys, Nintendo isn't doomed anymore like we all definitely said! A number of game industry pundits, including Michael Pachter and Jesse Divnich, have declared the 3DS to be in safe waters, with the system having cleared its i...
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Pachter: Rumors of new Xbox in 2012 are silly


Nov 22
// Jim Sterling
Many gamers have already assumed that the next generation of videogames will officially kick off next year, and a number of rumors suggest that we'll be seeing the third iteration of the Xbox soon (I won't say "Xbox 720" beca...
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Analysts: Xbox 720 will be a hybrid console


Nov 17
// Dale North
Analysts think that the next Microsoft console will be a hybrid, using both cloud-based and media-based delivery. We're not ready to take it all to the cloud yet, they say. I hope you have storage space for more discs. DFC In...
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Pachter: Call of Duty: MW3 will hit $1.1b in six weeks


Nov 03
// Dale North
It doesn't take an analyst to tell you that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is going to make some major money this holiday season, but it does take one to hone in on how much it's going to make in a set time frame. Michael Pac...

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