Four Player Co-op 08.29.12: Nintendo Power, NBA Elite 13, 38 Studios, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 08.29.2012
Is Halo 4 our most anticipated game for the final few months of the year? Will EA release NBA Elite 13 or is the franchise dead? Should Sony seriously consider a PS3 price drop given the age of the system? The 411 staff debates these topics and more in the latest 4PC!
Adam Larck has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Greetings, and welcome to Four Player Co-op, the show where people with no credibility or industry experience debate gaming news and sometimes manage to sound smarter than people who have both. Replace "gaming" with "wrestling" and you have the description for my other work here at 411. Dammit, I made myself sad again.
Start the game!
QUESTION ONE: The obvious place to start is with the demise of Nintendo Power, the very long-lived gaming magazine that was dedicated to absolutely everything Nintendo (well, duh). Sure, at this point it had become roughly 75% ads, but at least a few of you have to have some good memories of its years of existence, right?
Unfortunately, I really don't. I didn't read much of the Nintendo Power magazine outside of occasionally borrowing a friend's mag to read. I read a lot more GamePro and EGM instead. Still, this is a big loss for the gaming community as another magazine gets ready to shut down.
I was never a subscriber of Nintendo Power, but I would pick up the occasional copy now and then. For some reason every time I think of that magazine, the cover that pops into my head is the cover they did for Super Mario 2. I couldn't figure out why Mario was carrying a turnip. I remember thinking "that's not a fireball, what's Mario up to? He's crazy." Okay, maybe not all that, but for some reason that is the image I get in my brain every time someone mentions Nintendo Power. Thinking back now, I don't even think that was the cover for Nintendo Power, that might be the box art for the actual game... Yeah, the magazine cover was done using clay sculptures if I remember right. No real outstanding memories from Nintendo Power, I guess. I was an EGM guy.
Negative Quizmaster. I have zero positive memories from this series. There were only two magazines worth reading growing up, Tips and Tricks and Game Informer. I'm sorry that I don't have any worthy memories to put into this question.
Well, if our players are a useful statistical sample (because I'm sure they must be useful for something), then I guess there's a good reason why Nintendo Power is cancelled. No points for anyone!
QUESTION TWO: So, do you remember NBA Elite 11? That would be the last time we heard from EA about their official NBA simulation franchise, and even then, it was to announce that the game was being shelved, literally right before it was to be released, with early copies even available in some places, because, and I'm completely serious, you can't make this up, EA had looked at the final product and decided that it sucked so much that they couldn't justify releasing it. After taking a year off, we're here, about two months from the start of a new NBA season and we have…almost no information on NBA Elite 13, which was intended to be EA's triumphant return. What are the chances that this game sees release, or even that the Elite franchise ever sees the light of day again?
The Live franchise will definitely make an appearance again, because EA likes to make money and sports sells. That being said, I still think we'll have a NBA Live 13 this year, even if we haven't heard much yet. I'll bet EA remains quiet on this until about a month out, then starts releasing some info or even a possible delay. Still, I don't see this getting shelved again.
The chances we see a release of '13 may still be slim. But the franchise simply holds to much value, not to mention the licensing has to be costing EA a fortune to hold onto, they simply can't let it lay dormant for too long. They have to be paying out the ass to the NBA for the right to make the games. That alone makes it seem like a crazy idea that they would not want to make the games anymore. Perhaps they are just planning to keep the NBA Jam franchise running, and that would be just fine with me.
I'm going to go optimistic with this and say I'm betting it comes outthink year. EA knows that the real failure last year was releasing the demo that ruined the game. This year, no demo and we get a barely working title. Come on, people will buy it either way, so let's release the game and make some cash. Make it a special edition and toss in last year's too.
Dan's cynicism masquerading as optimism makes me smile, for 652 points. Still, if Elite 11 got all the way to nearly being released and it sucked so much that EA hasn't brought the franchise back for two years, what are we supposed to infer if the only existing footage of Elite 13 is ten minutes of leaked video footage created from a very rough pre-alpha build?
QUESTION THREE: The 38 Studios saga continues to flail around in its death throes, as many former members of the defunct studio that created Kingdoms of Amalur continue to discuss the MMO they had in development when the company went under, which would apparently have used the free-to-play model, and depending on whether you believe Curt Schilling or other anonymous employees, was either pretty dull or a fairly fun experience. What possible purpose could there be to putting all this information out there, given that the company is dead and the game will never, ever be made?
There's two reasons. One, to let fans know how the game was shaping up after releasing Reckoning. After all, they had an interest in the world and wanted to know what else could be explored. The better reason, though, is to try and drum up some interest from other companies I think. Sure, the studio is closed, but the IP rights are still out there. What's to keep another company from scooping it up, along with some possible old employees that know the system. It's a smart move that hopefully pays off.
Blowing smoke? Trying to improve the image of all of these people who went down with 38 Studios? To keep people talking about the game, thinking maybe the great state of Rhode Island will decide to put the studio back together to let them continue what they were doing if perhaps they can get enough people to keep talking about it that the game suddenly becomes a 'wanted' title. Who knows, and who cares?
his seems to be a great legal idea. If you say that you have a great product that is being made and are trying to make a case that the state of Rhode Island slandered your company and ruined a deal, this is what you do. You keep stating how awesome the game is and say how it would've been free. You keep gaining publicity and force the state to give you money to shut up.
Man, I must be in a bad mood about human nature today, because Todd's getting 1634 points for his answer. Any other day, he'd probably…get fewer points.
QUESTION FOUR: An interesting article caught my eye, suggesting that Sony must cut the price of the PS3 this year, citing that at the same stage in their lifetime, six years after initial release, the PS2 was already down to $129, and the original PlayStation a mere $99. Currently, the PS3 retails for $249, and the next generation console is more than likely just around the corner. Sony has already said that they won't cut prices on either the PS3 or Vita, and instead have been heavily promoting upcoming games, as well as the upcoming Cross Play feature. Still, after six years of release, do you think a price cut down to a sub-$200 level would re-stimulate PS3 sales enough to make it worthwhile?
I'm not really sure if Sony can cut costs much more and still make a profit. If you look, the lowest price goes up during each console cycle because of the parts needed to make it. Considering all the PS3 has inside it, this might be the lowest the current system can go price-wise. However, if a more streamlined system was released with less features (maybe no built-in WiFi, for example), the price may be able to go down more, but who knows if that will happen.
I think at this point, rumors of the next gen consoles are running so rampant that a price cut, while it could give them a great boost for the holidays, is not really necessary. Everybody is looking to the next generation now, Dropping the price could get a few parents to buy the system for their kids, but I'm not sure it would boost things greatly. $250 is a good price for the PS3, considering all the value you can get out of the machine.
I think it would be foolish to drop the price. Sony has a great concept of giving a free copy of the game if you buy the Vita or PS3 versions. Also, by heavily promoting your exclusive titles, you are setting yourself up for great sales. Nintendo will allow this generation to keep the price up as well because WiiU still isn't on the same level as Xbox 360 and PS3.
While I said the article was interesting, I'll have to make it unanimous with our players, who must therefore split 6249 points amongst themselves, in that there's no way the PS3 gets a price drop until at least the time that the PS4 is officially announced and has a release date. It's easy to say that earlier systems had lower prices at this point, but much like wrestling's famous "boom/bust cycle" theory, nobody says that every single new console cycle has to last exactly the same amount of time and happen exactly the same way. Plus, something about inflation. What, I'm not an economist, you're lucky I knew the right word.
BONUS QUESTION: With August nearly in the rear-view mirror, we enter the final quarter of the year, and the time when a decent amount of big releases come out just in time for the holidays. In the final months of 2012, what's left for you to look forward to in games?
The biggest game for me has to be Borderlands 2. I was a huge fan of the first game and want to spend a lot of time in the second as well. After that, I guess it would have to be Dishonored to hold me over until BioShock Infinite comes out, then Skylanders Giants. Of course, it can't be a complete year without some shooters, so I may look into Halo 4 and even Black Ops 2 as well. I'm a bigger Treyarch fan than I am an Infinity Ward fan, so I'm more likely to actually give the latest CoD a try.
Resident Evil 6 is the last big release I am looking forward to this year, unless we somehow get an announcement that GTAV will hit stores in time for the holidays. WWE '13 has me very curious, but I'm just not sure if the Attitude Era is worth a purchase as awesome as it could end up being. The Gears of War prequel, while looking interesting, happens to follow Baird, one of my least favorite characters from the first trilogy of games. I'm sure I will get to it eventually but it is not screaming must have.
I'm really excited about Borderlands 2, Halo 4, Need for Speed hot pursuit 2, and Assassins Creed 3.
Please wait…Host is calculating scores…
TARGET TERROR WINS
YES, I WAITED A WEEK ON PURPOSE
HAVE I MENTIONED I'M AN ASSHOLE?
COME BACK NEXT WEEK TO TRY AGAIN