Thursday, May 23, 2013

Xbox One [Dawn]

The Xbox One reveal was this past Tuesday, May 21st. It wasn't the greatest of reveals, but at the same time there's only so much you can cram into a 60-minute presentation, so I think they did well enough for the time they had. Feedback on the presentation has already been hashed and rehashed enough, I don't really need to add to it. Not to mention I'm not one of those going "OHEMGEE MICROSCRAP, YOUR SO STOOPID". Actually reading a lot of the complaining about the Xbox One has only gone to show the direction that gamers as a whole are going, and it's not very pretty.

Honest Tim Buckley, of Ctrl+Alt+Del fame pretty much summed up my exact feelings in his latest strip blurb. The whole entry is huge, so I'll just stick to some of the more relevant points I agree with.

"Where were all the games?!
Eh. Sony had a lot more eyecandy at their PS4 presentation, but half of it was tech demos. It was nice to look at, but at the same time they didn't show us any hardware. Or any UI/feature functionality. They promised a lot of really neat stuff, but couldn't show any of it working. People are acting like because Microsoft didn't show a ton of game trailers yesterday, the X1 won't have any games. Seriously?

E3 is in what, two weeks? It makes no sense for Microsoft to blow their load today, when they can get the press for the console reveal now, and then get all of the press next month when they unveil a ton of new games.

They promised 15 exclusive titles coming to the console, more than half of which are brand new IPs. Plus all of the games that developers are making for any system that can run them. Are people really freaking out because they didn't see them all today?

Used Games
Ugh. This where things get really messy. And the information about how exactly this works is even more convoluted. For real, take nothing about this as fact right now.

All games will be installed to your X1 console. The game you buy will come with a code that connects that game to your profile. If you give/sell your disc to someone else, all that gives them is the raw data to install the game. To play it, they'll need to purchase their own access code at full MSRP. This is an attempt to curb the used games industry, and it's a sore spot with a lot of gamers.
This topic is fodder for an entire article of its own (and has been), and I really don't want to rehash it here. I'm just going to address a couple of arguments.

"I'm allowed to sell the car I own. I should be able to sell the video game I own. It's my property."
When you sell a car, you get less money for it because its used. Its overall lifespan and value has decreased. The person buying your car is getting a less valuable product than you got when you bought the car brand new. It's got miles on it, maybe some dents and dings. There are unknown mechanical problems lurking under the hood that the new buyer may have to address.
There is a tangible value disparity between a brand new car, and a used car that accompanies the differences in price. However a video game that is used is exactly the same product as it was when it was new. The programming does not deteriorate. Bugs and crashes aren't going to suddenly pop up due to age. No matter how many times the game is resold, the used product remains identical to the new product.

If you walked into a car dealership and there was a brand new car sitting there for the same price as a used, beat up model of the same car, anyone in their right mind is going to take the new car for the used car price. And it's the same with used video games. Why would someone pay $60 for a game when they can get the exact same game for $40?

Except now your money is going to GameStop, not the people that made the game. 

Now you can say "But they already got their money from the original sale! Car companies don't get a cut every time someone sells a used car!" That's true. But somebody shopping for a used car is not in the market for a new car. A used car buyer is not "stealing" a potential new car sale. However a used game buyer is stealing a potential new game sale. So whereas the developer might have sold two games, they have now sold one, and GameStop has sold one. It's not about ownership or "its my property", it's about used games presenting a threat to new game sales.

And you can also say "But people who buy a used game will then go on to buy other games from that developer." Sure they will. I'm sure it happens. But mostly it doesn't. That's like the people who justify their pirating of games by saying "It's only to try it! I totally go and buy the game afterwards!" Right. Again, I'm certain that happens, but more often it doesn't.

People who buy used games buy used games. When faced with the same product for cheaper, they aren't going to buy new just to support a developer. They're going to buy in favor of their wallet.
Now, you can argue the morality of used games all you want, but the bottom line is that developers feel it takes money away from their business, and so they have every right to try and combat it. The most definitive thing you can do is simply not buy the console if it's a big deal to you, but let's be honest... you were clearly going to buy the games used if that's the case, so the developers won't know the difference. They weren't getting your money either way.

But again, this whole issue needs a lot of clarification from Microsoft. I don't really care which way they go with it, but the misinformation floating around is making the situation far worse. When this came out, people were upset that you apparently couldn't take a game to a friend's house due to the restrictions. Now it turns out that you absolutely can play a game at a friend's house, you just have to sign into your profile. No big deal. But people spent a few hours going batshit crazy about this.
This needs to be addressed before E3 in my opinion. Tomorrow would be nice. Letting cloudy facts run rampant is doing Microsoft no favors. Even if they just come out and say "Yeah, fuck your used games" so that people can just decide not to buy the console and get on with their lives."

 Honestly though, I think the last little bit summed up everything perfectly.

"Or who knows, maybe Microsoft will cave and backpeddle on the bigger sticking points. There's still roughly half a year before these consoles hit store shelves, and a lot can change. I don't think it's worth so much anger until things are cast in concrete."

I think it is far too early for everyone to get their panties in a twist. There is still so much that has actually been confirmed one way or the other. I reserve judgment on either system until after E3, and I really wish others would do the same.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[press start] - Dawn

More than likely if you're reading this, you found our blog via the Geek and Gamer Girls fanpage on facebook. If so, THANKS! If you happened to just wander here, that's fantastic as well.

I'm Dawn, half of the admin duo of the aforementioned Geek and Gamer Girls page. This blog was started because sometimes we just want to make big TL;DR posts, go off on tangents, or just jot down something outside of the usual GX3 norm. This won't replace the page by any means, but just be a side project to go along with it.


Hi, I'm Dawn. Twenty-something mother of a toddler, wife to a fellow geek, and housemate to two Alaskan Huskies. I enjoy video games, reading, anime, cross-stitching, napping, coming up with so many brilliant projects and then realizing there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish them all, and cursing my ADHD. (Seriously, a 30 minute entry for normal people can take me like two hours. It sucks.)

I have had a controller in my hand almost as long as I can remember, since about age three or four, and I don't foresee that changing anytime in the near future. I think it's a bit crazy to see how video games have evolved in my lifetime, and how much they'll evolve during my daughter's lifetime as well. Whereas I first got my taste in the 8-bit NES era, her first experience is Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster for the Xbox 360.

Video games are my main geek passion, and I believe you're never too old to play video games. Video games, especially today's video games, are basically the love child of books and movies. There are these great stories to be told with such brilliant visuals like movies, but you're able to immerse yourself and become apart of the story much like reading a book. Video games have also gained an even greater social element than just grabbing a friend and a second controller. Now you can game with friends all around the world, without the awkward social etiquette requirements like pants, or even a bra.

Stay geeky my friends!