Weekend Short-Takes: 2/22/15

Report: New Rock Band in development for PS4 and Xbox One

 

Summary: 

According to sources from Bloomberg Businessweek, music game developer Harmonix is expected to announce a new game in the Rock Band franchise sometime in the near future. Bets are we might expect some kind of announcement around PAX East. 

Analysis:

To be honest, I think now would be a good time to see music games have a resurgence in the mainstream. Sure, Harmonix already has a number of other projects on its plate already (such as the upcoming Amplitude reboot on PS3/PS4 and Chroma on the PC), but now music games have become somewhat of a niche genre that is usually favored by the hardcore, such as the avid fans of Japanese music games like Jubeat or Hatsune Miku Project Diva F. I'm not trying to generalize anything, but the only thing we have close to a music game now is the Rocksmith series of guitar trainers by Ubisoft, so maybe another music game wouldn't hurt a bit. As long as we can import our songs from the last gen, then we should be alright. 

Report predicts large lead for PlayStation 4 over Xbox One

 

Summary: 

Strategy Analytics projects the PS4 to sell 80 million units by 2020, and the Xbox One 57 million in the same time period. 

Analysis: 

Sales of the PS4 and Xbox One are ahead of previous generations, which bodes well for many of the people who have been predicting the death of the console market. 23 million units of a difference should be a clarion warning for Microsoft. The Entertainment and Devices division at Microsoft has already taken a hit from lower sales. Now, as we well know, consoles are loss leaders, but that still means you need as many units out in the wild as possible in order to increase game saturation. I suggest that Microsoft cut the price of the Xbox One by another $50 to make the decision a no-brainer in the Xbox's favor. It's the only way they can counter this tremendous deficit and make the race anywhere close to competitive. 

Retailers Now Giving Away PlayStation TV

 

Summary: 

GameStop and Best Buy are giving away the PS TV (MSRP $80) as part of a bundle when buying a PS4 and a year subscription to PS Plus. 

Analysis: 

This is actually far better than the $50 discount given for the Xbox One. For a much better deal actually, one can almost get the entire PlayStation back catalog of games to stream. And since PS Plus is required for PS4 multiplayer anyways, the services work together anyways. With such a simple move, PS4 has now countered the one slight advantage the Xbox managed to work out for itself. If this furthers the gap mentioned above, then I wholly expect Microsoft to grit its teeth and lower the price of the Xbox again. 

Final Fantasy XV is 60 Percent Finished

 

Summary:

Development on Square Enix's largest game is slowly moving towards its end goal, as the game is currently 60 percent complete. 

Analysis:

This intrigues me for several reasons. First, in September on the same day (22nd), they announced that the game was 55 percent complete—an increase of only five percent now. Whether their time was mainly spent on creating the demo that will come with Type-0 or that the game itself is massive, we won't know until they make a statement. Second, with regards to their new 40 minute gameplay footage that was recently released, it's looking more and more evident that this game will finally see the light of day. Given how long ago it was since the game was first announced (back in 2006), it's crazy how much time has passed since then. 

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