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Thoughts on the PS4 after the announcement event

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I don't know how Sony plans to stream high definition games instantly as their goals claim. Gaikai currently isn't even close to streaming PS3 games 720p or 1080p at 60 fps reliably. I doubt even a fraction of the PS3 library will be available on-demand and I'm sure we'll have to repurchase our PS3 games.

A PC platform! This is the best new of the entire press event. The APU, the 8GB of GDDR5, the unified architecture, etc. are all great I'm pleased with the hardware. I do hope this means less exclusivity for consoles but that is unlikely.

Why does my controller need a touch pad, glow light, headphone jack, share button, and stereo camera sensor? Why do I need move controllers now that there is a Kinect style stereo camera peripheral?

I thought remote play already existed with the PS3? Why can't Sony develop smartphone apps to work with the PS3? Some of the new features of the PS4 are disappointing because they could be implemented on the PS3 but haven't been. It's as if they've been holding off innovation for the PS3 and Vita to make features such as remote play and smartphone integration more appealing on the PS4.

As for games I thought Destiny, Watch Dogs, and The Witness all looked interesting but won't all those be on the PC? Maybe not Destiny? The Killzone preview was gorgeous although I noticed some texture pop-in. Where was Naughty Dog? Error 37?!

With games like Destiny and Diablo 3 being developed for both PS3 and PS4 I expect development for the two to overlap much longer than for even the PS2 once PS3 was launched, which lasted for years. I don't plan to buy a PS4 at launch, but I welcome it with wide arms and can't wait to see how it will innovate the industry.

Ramblings of the upcoming half or full generation(s) of gaming

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Next upgrade in hardware isn't necessary until bandwidth speed increases greatly in the US and Europe and 4K resolution is common. The next generation will last even longer than the current generation and won't be due for an update until UHD resolution is common.

I expect the next generation of gaming consoles in 2014-2016 and the following generation after 2030, given the current pace of technology. Consoles will be less expensive but will require more bandwidth and services which will offset the more affordable hardware.

If the next generation of consoles launch in 2014 there will be at least a year in which the current generation's titles will look as good if not better graphically than the next generation and it won't be until at least 2016 that the hardware in next generation consoles is warranted.

Computers and consoles will be more alike and compatible with each other than ever. Nearly all modern PC peripherals will be compatible with next generation consoles. All wireless devices currently being produced will be able to function with next generation consoles in some manner, rather the console simply supply an ad-hoc connection or act as a media server.

A halfway generation jump in hardware is very likely and is what the Wii-U will provide for example. A PS3.5 or Xbox 540 would not be troublesome for software developers. Beefing up the current generation enough to play all games at 1080p rather than 720p and make better use of anti-aliasing while being entirely backwards compatible with the current generation is what should've happened with the remodels (PS3 Slim and Xbox 360 S). Any game released for the PS3.5 or Xbox 540 can still be played on the current generation consoles but will play at a lower resolution with some graphic features disabled.

Software developers should be the primary influence on when next generation consoles are needed. Gamers want their new flashy consoles but there really isn't much they can offer that the current generation can't, other than improved graphics. Developers are still tapping the potential of the current generation and are full creativity, the only games that just scream for newer hardware are the annually released franchises like Call of Duty and Madden.

The next generation of consoles is exciting, and nothing is a better indication of how they will turn out than history of previous generations. Given the failure of the increasing the longevity of a generation such as the 32X, Mega-CD, Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak, etc. a half generational jump might be avoided.

In the year of the Occupy movement only EA could be worse than banks!

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You call the 800 number on the back of your credit/debit card to complain about an unusual charge or an insufficient funds fee. Since you are upset you let a swear word spew out at the unhelpful customer service on the line. Your credit/debit card is now banned and every product you purchased with that credit/debit card you can no longer access. Not to mention your bank's ATM machines have been replaced with inferior machines that are constantly broken and your credit/debit card can only work with their machines. Could you imagine if Bank of America was operated by EA?

 

EA defeats Bank of America as the worst company in America and joins previous winners of the Golden Poo award such British Petroleum, AIG, and Philip Morris:http://consumerist.com/2012/04/ea-responds-to-worst-company-win-by-name-dropping-past-worst-company-winners.html

 

The Consumerist is a blog that conducted a bracket-style survey, in the spirit of March Madness, which asked what company is the worst in America. The results were baffling given that EA, a game developer, marketer, publisher, and distributor with barely five billion dollars of assets was voted a worse company than Bank of America, a multinational bank with over two trillion dollars of assets. Bank of America is also responsible for sparking the ongoing Occupy movement which has encouraged hundreds millions of individuals from across the world to protest the bank while The Consumerist poll collected just over a mere quarter million votes.

 

So here we are almost a year after the introduction of Origin and over ten million installations and the same concerns and criticism remain un-responded to from EA. With the results of The Consumerist's survey and the release of The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3 we should ask ourselves WTF EA is doing and why.

 

Is the internet an appropriate platform to protest a gaming company such as EA?

 

Will EA listen to their customers or continue to ban those who question the company's actions?

 

Are there any advantages to use EA's distribution platform Origin if the same exclusive titles were available on other distribution platforms?

 

Why is EA unsuccessfully attempting to line their pockets at the expense of the quality of their products?

 

And why are gamers still tolerating EA to this day?

Gaming, Gluttony, and Piracy

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There are too many games, I can't play them all but I read their reviews and hear about my friends playing them and want to play them. I even go back to past generations of consoles often to catch some nostalgia, especially when a remake is released, such as Beyon Good & Evil recently, and well the Zeldas almost monthly. However when I look over my collection of games I can honestly say I've only played through half of the games, and I may have never even loaded it up a tenth of the games. In the back of my head I convince myself my collection requires a certain game or I find the game dirt cheap thanks to sites like Cheap Ass Gamer, Direct2Drive, Steam, etc. and have to add more games.

Now how does piracy mix into all of this? Let me ask, first of all the legality of piracy is negligble today as its rarely enforced and difficult to convict those guilty of pirating. I can't delve into details of piracy or say I possess the knowledge to steal any intellectual properties due to Gamespot policy and am by no means encouraging anybody to attempt to pirate anything. Let's ask ourselves if the consumer who purchases Dragon Age: Origins for $49.99 then is to broke to download any of the DLC and pirates them gives $50 to the developer and publisher, etc. lets compare him to say somebody who caught Dragon Age on sale for $19.99 and then went to purchase a handful of DLCs for $5 each, effectively paying $45.

I can make thousands of similar comparisons, but should we pay full price for a game that we won't even play or won't play through entirely? When games drop in price or go on sale do those who purchased it for full price deserve DLC or a refund? Its difficult for gamers to feel difficult pirating expansions, DLC, or games from the same developer when they have actually purchased games for full price, especially when seeing the same games at half price or less.

To an earlier point about playing previous generation's games and nostalgia, how similar is the gaming industry to the movie or music industry in which prices rarely degenerate, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club is still $12.99 on iTunes, was nearly $15 on record in the 60s and 70s, and rarely if ever on sale. Why don't games hold their values as well as music? Is it the length of games that cause them to depreciate similar to books and even some movies?

The gaming industry is still evolving and maturing every day, it has been an interesting beast to observe. This is more of a rant than anything, its difficult to really take a strong position in favor of piracy or against the knockout deals of Cheap Ass Gamer, Direct2Drive, Steam, etc. and purchasing intellectual property half off is a legal steal, even if you might not play through the game entirely.

Consolization

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In response to ZimpanX's Blog post "Consolization" in games.

As a user of Gamespot for nearly a decade and a gamer of every platform nearly every generation since I was ten, this is the hottest debate topic in gaming today and I find the stance that PC gamers have taken to be warranted.

Exclude the monitor, keys and mouse, etc. since we aren't counting the costs of TVs and controllers with consoles; a decent gaming PC costs around $400-$600 and will comfortably play anything for at least a couple years. Not to mention almost everybody already owns a PC and really all they need is a graphics card, which is $200-$300, the price of typical consoles but with several fold more computational power today. The comparison that PC gaming is more expensive and quickly outdated compared to consoles is nonsense.

The world would be a better place if people just stuck to their eastern RPGs, fighting, platform, racing, and sports games on the consoles and their FPS, strategy, and western RPG games on the PC. Hybridizing them is the issue here and anybody who is too cheap or lazy to have a multifaceted gaming experience and enjoy the best of both worlds is detrimental to the issue summarized in this excellent read. I'm all for more games reaching more players' hands but not when my console games feel like PC games and my PC games feel like console games, eventually they all will feel the same and lack the creativity and diversity they once did.

Also the reason that "consolization" is a much bigger issue than "pcization" of console games, is the number of PC developers and PC exclusive franchises that have turned. This article does a great job illustrating a handful of them and reminding us of the roots of developers such as Bethesda and games like Call of Duty or Crysis. PC gamers have a reason to be angry that the games rooted and best suited on PCs have been suffering due to their hybridization for console gamers that refuse to play games on their PC. We don't see Assassin's Creed or Street Fight IV suffering on the console due to their PC ports do we?

This may come off as arrogant but "pcization" requires more code and work from developers which is what gamers should be demanding anyhow, while "consolization" requires a watering down and less effort which gamers should be discouraging not purchasing with open arms because they are too lazy to upgrade their PC.

And finally the most important thing I believe Gamespot can do to help players decide between hybridized versions of games is review each version of every multi-platform game, I'm really sick of seeing every game receive the same review and score regardless of the platform, there are distinct facets of each and Gamespot's reviews should map these out for their readers.