Weekend Short-Takes: 11/22/13

Ubisoft: "We need to bring excitement back to this industry"

 

Simon Wu: 

The excitement in the industry? I guess they mean the excitement of gamers... because the companies are all pretty excited, what with the $1 billion-plus launches of GTA V and CoD: Ghosts, not to mention the launch of the two next-gen consoles. Of course, that is not to say that Ubisoft's entries in the market lately are particularly enthralling. Honestly, what I see in this statement is more or less Ubisoft saying "Wait, sorry we couldn't get Watch_Dogs and The Crew out for launch. We're still relevant, we promise!" 

Max Gruber: 

Says the studio currently milking Assassin's Creed... Ok, I do admit that these recent games have been stale in regards to excitement. It's something that is mentioned in the 29th podcast, where all these studios have to make these "AAAA" titles, because of the gigantic budgets that are put into these projects—also, while I'm on the subject of podcasts, the 30th podcast is being edited as we speak (or write, more like). It's too early to say this now, but I think next year will be THE biggest year in gaming since 1998, because all these studios are putting everything they have into these titles in hopes that their game will be the biggest title on the lot. And it's important to note that it isn't like in 1998, where the economy was booming; frankly, it's the exact opposite situation. Like I said, it's too soon to say that, but it could be. 

Alex Miller: 

This is at least encouraging if not entirely noteworthy. Obviously with the launch of a new console generation developers, as well as manufacturers, want to raise hype and get people excited, so by saying there's a lack of excitement that they seek to fix they are engineering a problem that may or may not exist and answering it with stock "GET HYPE!" answers. Obviously new consoles will allow you to do new things that couldn't have been done previously, but until we see some new IP with innovative new features this statement doesn't mean much. 

GiantBomb 

New Study Finds That Video Games Aren't All That Bad for Kids

 

Simon Wu: 

I really don't know what else to do except plug Max's excellent and incisive Mindshare that extensively covers this issue. Actually though. Anything I say here will be more or less a summary of his statements. 

Max Gruber: 

I don't think I need to comment any further on this discussion, as I've done just that in the Mindshare I spent 10 days writing. I seriously spent 4 of those days researching and figuring out how it would be laid out. But, while we're on the subject of the Mindshare, we have some incredibly exciting news about it, which we'll discuss in the 31st podcast. But, to throw in a shameless teaser, this is what has gotten us excited. 

Alex Miller: 

This is especially interesting given the timing. Our latest Mindshare, a very well written one by Max, focuses on the history of the portrayal of video games and video game violence, and this study would suggest that he is right in many ways about the media's way of blowing things well out of proportion. While the findings are not as conclusive as some may hope, the results are still intriguing. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see the way this is used in the evolving discussion about the influence of video games on children. 

Kotaku 

Xbox One Counters Twitch with Skydrive Cloud Sharing

 

Simon Wu: 

I think that it's actually also interesting to note that Microsoft is almost on the verge of renaming Skydrive due to copyright reasons, yet are hyping people up incredibly on the name anyways. It's another way to more tightly integrate Xbox into the Windows ecosystem, but I don't know if it will work. Why? Because I can't tune to Skydrive to watch the latest League or Starcraft tournament. All I can do is share a link with my friends. I suppose this would be great if we're going for video game Snapchat. You know what would be really cool though? If Skydrive truly could be a one stop cloud service and I could not only upload, but also share save games with friends. 

Max Gruber: 

Ok. I will admit that this is a pretty cool idea. Since Sony doesn't have any type of cloud storage, it's a hard blow to them, as Microsoft is able to use their SkyDrive service to put recorded footage from Twitch to the cloud for editing and publishing. What I'm more interested in with this, is how it will work. Is there a command in Twitch that allows you to upload the now-streamed footage to SkyDrive? Can you upload your footage to SkyDrive as you stream the footage on Twitch? Perhaps Sony will even attempt to purchase the rights to have SkyDrive on their device, in a similar way to how Microsoft had to purchase Sony's Blu-Ray laser readers for their Xbox One. 

Alex Miller: 

An impressive save by Microsoft. While many have complimented the PlayStation 4 on its sharing services and streaming ability (and as a result taken shots at Microsoft for apparently lacking these features at launch) I think Microsoft has actually beaten Sony at their own game here. Sony used the PS4's sharing ability as a major marketing point, but currently it can only share recorded videos to Facebook and the only editing it can do is trim video length. The Xbox One, meanwhile, has a much more full featured editing system while also being able to share the raw mp4 file with Skydrive, allowing users to take the file and do whatever they wish with it (youtube, other sharing site, etc). And while the Playstation 4 can stream straight out of the box, reports are it is not working as well as expected and if that is the case then I am fine with Microsoft holding back the feature until it is ready to go. 

Leviathyn 

Sony Responds To PS4 Hardware Issues, Affects 0.4% of units

 

Simon Wu: 

We now live in a world where the vocal minority can completely dominate the narrative. Of course the stories about PS4 failures will be the ones that take center stage. I don't think Sony's exempt from this either, the .4% rate that they've responded with is probably a bit rosy to counter the criticism and really make their concerns sound trivial. Also, the console's been out for just a week, so how many units could they possibly have moved already? Oh. 1 million in the first day. Ok. 

Max Gruber: 

While the number is incredibly small compared to the failure rate of the Xbox 360—remember, the failure rate on the launch of Xbox 360s were between 25%-50% of all units—it's still something to consider. I will side with Alex on how no one would comment on this sort of problem when it's bound to happen. But, just because Sony has problems with their console, that doesn't mean that the Xbox One is out of the clear. It just means that both systems have their technical issues that need to be sorted out. 

Alex Miller: 

From what I've heard it seems to be more than the .4% they claim and think the European launch next week will be more important in determining the failure rate. However, all that aside my problem with this is the same as with the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death last generation: if it is a widespread problem that is obviously affecting quite a few consoles (even .01% of a million is a thousand) why hasn't it been sorted out before launch. I understand that they can't foresee all problems, and like I said before the European launch will be more informative as to how widespread this issue is, but you would think something like this would come up in quality control and be resolved. 

thegamefanatics 

EA's Star Wars Game Deal Lasts A Decade

 

Simon Wu:

EA's mandate is very clear. Make Star Wars games great again. It's a tremendous task to get it right. But all the key components are in place. Crysis can became a strong baseline for the next Republic Commando. We already know that the new Battleront is well underway, DICE be praised. Command and Conquer can be the baseline for a new Empire at War. All of our favorite classics can and should live again. We can rebuild. We have the technology. 

Max Gruber: 

My body is ready. I may not be as big of a Star Wars fan as Simon or Alex are, but this is so exciting to hear. It's definitely exciting to see a return of a franchise in hiatus into modern times. It's interesting to see how EA will incorporate the Frostbite engine into Star Wars, as it's not really a modern millitary shooter, nor is it set in a traditional fantasy world. This is Star Fracking Wars. Lightsabers. The Force. Jedi and Sith battles. Laser guns that go pew pew. What I'm also wondering is how they will incorporate the destruction into a Star Wars game. Could you slice through an object with your lightsaber? Can you dismantle objects and move them with the Force? All of these are really interesting and amazing prospects that are really possible with the Frostbite engine. 

Alex Miller: 

Exciting news for Star Wars fans as this deal means we won't see a fizzling out of Star Wars games over the years as we saw towards the end of LucasArts' run. If EA is paying for ten years worth of licensing then they are certainly going to do everything they can to get what money they can out of that deal, and with the Studios they have assigned to that task we might actually get some good games out of it too. Additionally, the line about non move tie-in games is refreshing, as so many publishers fall into that cash grab trap (to my knowledge The Lord of the Rings games are some of the only games to do this well). Matching up game releases to movie releases is fine by me and I pleasantly await 2015 for the first new Star Wars game and movie in several years. 

TheDisneyBlog  

Solifluktion's picture

Holy Shit. I just tried to imagine RC2 (or IC) using the CryEngine. How has this not been done yet? It's a license to print money.

Whiplash's picture

What's this? Video games are not correlated to crime and violent behavior? Unheard of, I say! Now, can we please move on with our lives?

Solifluktion's picture

@Whiplash

Yeah that study is bogus. Everyone knows Hitler played tons of Counterstrike.

So did Emperor Caligula. Damn videogame apologists.

Create New Account or Log in to comment