Weekend Short-Takes: 1/24/15

DayZ Sales Reach 3 Million

 

Summary: 

Steam Early Access pioneer DayZ has now hit three million sales, despite being an unfinished product not scheduled for completion until at least 2016. 

Analysis: 

DayZ took just four weeks to reach one million sales, then another five months to reach two million. It's now taken another eight months on top of that to break another million in sales. The fires have definitely cooled surrounding this game, and it reminds me of another phenomenon I've seen around gaming: total conversion mods. As a huge fan of both Halo and Star Wars: Empire at War (a fabulous RTS), I was incredibly excited to see two big Halo mods for Empire at War. After some initial successes with small single unit replacements, team members drifted away, or just became too busy, and eventually the whole initiative just... faded away. While I'm not suggesting that the Bohemian team will call it quits, who knows whether the people who got DayZ in the heat of the craze actually even care enough when the full game comes out? State of Decay, a game with a very similar premise, already exists for both the Xbox 360 and One, and Dying Light is coming very soon to next-gen consoles as well. 

Spencer on Xbox One's new dash, updates and how Windows 10 will arrive on your Xbox

 

Summary: 

At its Windows 10 consumer preview event, Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 software would eventually land on Xbox One, Xbox will have a bigger gaming presence on Windows 10 PCs, universal apps will span the phone to console, and Xbox One can stream content to Windows 10 PCs. 

Analysis: 

Wow. This is big. Of course, everyone is focusing on Hololens at the moment, but honestly, this represents the first real gaming centered initiative on PC for Microsoft since Games for Windows. I'm not joking. It is amusing that part of their demonstration of gaming on Windows 10 involved Steam, but the ability to record like Xbox One, stream Xbox One games, and play between PC and Xbox One represents the culmination of a vision that was attempted on the 360 but unable to be fulfilled due to technology limitations at the time. It's not quite streaming games entirely yet, but with the universal apps, I wonder at what point we will stream to Windows Phones. Destiny or Halo on the Windows Phone. Game over. That being said, it's important to note that the original problem that sank the 360 implementation still exists: the difference in accuracy between a mouse and controller. For that reason, I expect this cross-platform integration to be limited to cases where it isn't so necessary, like Minecraft. 

The Elder Scrolls Online drops subscription

 

Summary: 

In March, Bethesda is removing the subscription requirement for its MMO, which will be retitled The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. A subscription will now enable access to additional content. 

Analysis: 

This is the fate for many MMOs currently out right now. Star Wars: The Old Republic, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Trek Online, and now Elder Scrolls Online. It's always interesting to see how a studio changes their subscription based MMO into a F2P one, since it requires significant changes to the overall game; things like an in-game marketplace for buying gold, skins, mounts, etc. However, I find it odd that they're still including the subscription in the overall package, since it's still considered a subscription-based MMO, even if you aren't required to pay for a subscription to begin with. This happened with PlanetSide 2, which has been mixed since it first launched. Still, it's free now, so I'm sure it'll stay alive for a while longer. 

Xbox Boss Ponders HoloLens' Potential on Console and PC

 

Summary: 

At its Windows 10 consumer preview event, Microsoft also unveiled a new augmented reality headset with both gaming and productivity use cases. 

Analysis: 

The implications for Microsoft's new headset are enormous. It has taken Google Glass and Oculus Rift, combined them, and made an even more compelling product than either taken separately. Furthermore, you can see the other areas of Microsoft's core business strengths really come into play. There were cases for using it to visualize business outcomes, allow you to contact experts through Skype to help fix things such as electrical issues, but also, to let you play Minecraft virtually. Right in front of your eyes. This is the most excited I've seen the otherwise Microsoft-skeptical Apple-toting tech press about a Microsoft product in quite a while. This is what Kinect should have been to begin with. 


 

OmegaZero's picture

Hnnnngggg HoloLens. I want.

abrown1986's picture

Wow Microsoft actually made a product that looks pretty cool!

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