Weekend Short-Takes: 11/15/13

A 500GB PlayStation 4 Will Give You About 400GB of Storage

 

Simon Wu: 

This was A: completely expected, and B: not good news. We've voiced our concerns about the amount of space that these machines initially come with, and I'm not convinced that we are at a point yet when streaming games and cloud saves are able to pick up the slack. The hard drive is not nearly big enough to compensate for the increase in game size. Sony is at the same time touting games that are 50 GBs so that they are super complex and graphically intensive, but also noting that you need to download all games you buy, disc and download. Of course, it's not nearly as bad as the Xbox One, because, with a little tinkering, you can replace it with any hard drive bigger than 160GB. 

Max Gruber: 

Now that the size is completely irrelevant, I'm starting to question the decision to utilize a 500 GB HDD, when the device can only hold 400 GBs from the apps and other features on it. It really starts falling off when you decide to download a game—especially when you take into account the mandatory install requirements on both systems. However, I do sort of praise the PS4 for allowing the user to upgrade the HDD to their liking, swapping one out for a larger HDD, or even an SSD (I know Simon is giddy with excitement), as opposed to the Xbox One's non-removable HDD. I acknowledge that you can use a flash drive for the Xbox One, but you don't nearly have as much space as a hard drive can offer. I really do plan on getting a Terabyte HDD somewhere down the line so that I can manage to hold enough information to play these massive titles. 

Alex Miller: 

As Simon said, this is not unexpected. Its becoming more and more common for hardware manufacturers to advertise the full size of a hard drive and not the available space as we all know larger numbers are sexier. Now that we are moving into the range of 100GB off the mark though my thought is when this begins to cross the line into false advertisement. That said, it will be interesting to see which of the two console's efforts to deal with this problem are. Sony offers the ability to replace the hard drive with any 2.5" hard drive of your choice, though this does mean opening up your console and I am not sure how many gamers without PC experience would be willing to do this. For the unwilling, the Xbox One's solution of allowing external drives is easier but more temporary, though just as able because USB 3.0 allows read speeds close to any hard drive. 

Kotaku 

30 Minute Gameplay Demo of Dragon Age 3 From Digiexo

 

Simon Wu: 

Bioware is certainly keeping busy while masterminding the next Mass Effect, and this installment stays pretty true to form for the quality we've come to expect. But what I'm most excited about is Bioware's commitment to continuing save file transfers across generations. I imagine transferring over my Mass Effect 3 save, with the thousands of variables, and while it won't contain Shepard at all, I hope that the universe is in some way affected by all the decisions I made. Also, we'll see how well Bioware responds to fans; this is the first major release since Mass Effect 3. 

Max Gruber: 

Everything shown off in Dragon Age 3 is just blowing my mind already. Just the sheer size of the environments is a complete far cry from the more narrow and funneled experience that was DA2. I'm also falling in love with the mix of the fast, in the moment combat with the more tactical, over-the-head strategies with the tactical view. What I'm more interested in is how they're going to work out the game importing between current-gen systems to next-gen systems. Remember, Dragon Age 1 & 2 were on the 360 and PS3, meaning that if you want to play Dragon Age 3 on a next-gen console, you have to transfer your files from an older system to a brand new one. They have come out and said in GameInformer that they're working on a way for this to work, meaning that people who played on a 360 and switch to a PS4 will be able to continue using their strung-along save files. 

War Thunder On PS4 Supports Keyboard And Mouse

 

Max Gruber: 

I find this very interesting for two reasons: One, it gives people two methods of play. You can either play with a very approachable controller, or a larger, more readily accessible and easier to operate K&M setup. The second is that War Thunder is also cross-platform with PCs, meaning that you need that extra advantage to compete with everyone else using K&M. But, the one thing that I'm wondering is, how would a K&M setup work on a TV? Do you require a small table of operations in order to use a keyboard and a mouse at the same time? What if your TV is perched high above, where your head would have to be constantly bent up in order to view the action? 

Alex Miller: 

This is an interesting development. As War Thunder is currently a PC game, mapping over that control scheme makes sense as it allows current users another way to play. However, beyond the surface what this says to me is that Valve might be hedging their bets. They know they can't outsell the PS4 or the Xbox One, so getting games they publish to be a success is where their focus is despite the upcoming Steam Box. They have had a good working relationship with Sony for the last several years and this might hint at future collaborations. 

Ubisoft: PS4 Preorders Topping Xbox One's

 

Simon Wu: 

It's still way too early to know what's going on; this process has seesawed back and forth many times since the PS4 took the lead at E3 and the Xbox slowly reversed its way back into the front spot. I feel like depending on whichever day you look at the numbers, you could see one or the other in the lead. We'll see. The PS4 is now out, and the Xbox is ramping up for launch in just a short week's time. 

Max Gruber: 

This is something I sort of touched up on in my video discussing E3, but I think people just want to play video games on these devices—they don't necessarily care about these services that are offered to them. They just want to play with their friends and others, which is why we saw the PS4 take a demanding lead after E3. To that end, while I won't be surprised that both Sony and Microsoft—Nintendo is irrelevant—will continue to supply us with more and more services, the people buying either-or, or both of them, don't want these devices just to use the services—they want to play. I know Simon and Alex will not agree with me on this, but that's my take on the whole thing. 

Xbox One getting free games in Game with Gold program

 

Simon Wu: 

It's worth taking a look back at the history of this program and seeing where we've come. This program was announced at E3 for the 360, for Gold members, and was basically just supposed to be a bone thrown to the faithful as kind of an ICYMI and maybe ever so slightly to incentivize new 360 purchases and Gold resubscriptions. The games were all oldies but goodies, such as AC2 and Halo 3. The program was only supposed to last until the One came out, which would have meant that we would have had our last game, A World of Keflings. Wow. Instead, the program was extended indefinitely, which was a wise move to keep us happy as we wait for the inevitable price drop on the One. I anticipate, though, that this will be much more like what PSN+ was; that is, 

Max Gruber: 

While we're apparently on the subject of Twitter from Alex below, I might as well plug in my Twitter handle. Ok—back to the subject. Much like the bonuses of PSN+, this is meant to incentivize people to have Gold subscriptions so that they can get free games. The problem with this, is that the plan only starts some time in 2014, between two (2) to five months in the future. While that's happening, I'm sure Sony will continue their spree with their own free games plan that has been going on since the conception of PSN+—though it could prove to be a similar problem for Sony, as the consoles are just being launched now. 

Alex Miller: 

As I said last night when I retweeted the announcement by Major Nelson(follow me at WGG_ram. I'm shameless I know), this is a good move by Microsoft. PSN+ has had a series of free games on offer for a couple years now and Microsoft has only very recently begun to counter this. This program was a good PR move this summer and it continues to be one now. However, given that A World of Keflings, an XBLA title, was the game on offer last month, simply continuing the practice won't be enough. PSN+ offers legitimate AAA titles fairly soon after launch, and Microsoft is going to have to do something similar they want this program to be an actual marketing point. 

gamespot.com

Whiplash's picture

Welp. Definitely have to upgrade to a Terabyte SSD with the PS4.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is looking incredibly promising, but can the stigma of Dragon Age 2 be mended with DA3? I personally don't think anything can repair the damage, but it's a noble attempt nonetheless. The idea of the cross-platform save file imports seems really problematic, as you're trying to convert formats for a 7-8 year old system to a brand new one—that is, of course, if you have a PC, then you don't have to worry about this. How would they address this? Would they require you to upload your save files to a website (presumably Bioware/EA's site)? It will be really interesting how it would work. But we'll see in time how it will work.

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