411 Games Fact or Fiction 11.29.12: Sony's Credit Rating, Dice Studios, Telltale Games, and More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 11.29.2012
Is it a good thing that the studio behind Battlefield is branching out toward other games? Will Sony sell the Playstation 4 at a loss? Is a version of the next Xbox being made for casual gamers a smart move? 411's Todd Vote and Stephen Randle debate these topics and more in this week's Fact or Fiction: Games!
Hello everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week. Hope everyone had a good week, and were able to get back to work without feeling like you lost a step. This week saw my favorite time of each year, the release of a new Dresden Files book. All hail the Za Lord. Anyway, this week we have 411's Stephen Randle going up against Todd Vote. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) The downgrading of Sony's credit rating to "junk" by a major credit rating agency means that Sony will have to actually make money on the upcoming PS4 and not sell each console for a loss.
Todd Vote - Um... Fiction?: I'm not a big financial guy, but isn't it commonly accepted practice that new consoles sell for a loss? Not sure how Sony's credit rating would change this.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: At least I hope not, because I assume trying not to sell the PS3 for a loss led to a 600 dollar price point. I don't know the finances of it all, but I feel like a lot of Sony's losses were more related to taking a bath on 3D TVs and Apple eating everyone's lunch in the tablet/phone departments. Although I could be wrong. What I hope this leads to is Sony really focusing on the PS4 launch, ditching the hubris, and actually trying to sell us the system (perhaps with a stacked launch lineup?) rather than just assuming we'll buy whatever they put out
Score: 1 for 1 - Sony is in financial trouble right now. Not to the point where they are about to collapse, but they are on the road towards it. Sony cannot afford to take as big a hit as they did with the PS3 and still expect to be a force in gaming.
2.) It is a good thing that DICE studios is not just focusing on Battlefield games.
Todd Vote - Fact: Let them spread their wings. Game designers are a creative lot. The best thing to do is to let them flex their creative muscles from time to time. Not only does it give a chance to stumble upon the next big thing, but it also can go a long way to keeping the designers happy. Would you rather eat steak all day, or would you like to eat steak, and then some chicken, and even a bit of lobster thrown in there?
Stephen Randle - Fact: As much as the big boys like to rely on yearly franchise releases and riding their top titles while mostly eschewing innovation, one only has to point to the meteoric rise and subsequent crash of the Guitar Hero franchise to show that a) you never know what the next big thing will be and b) the next big thing can crash and burn without warning for any number of factors. Just as you can't blame DICE for making more Battlefield games, you have to be glad that they're also putting part of their resources into finding a secondary source of revenue.
Score: 2 for 2 - I don't have a problem with this. Providing a different outlet for creativity is a way to keep people from getting burnt out (and from jumping ship to other developers). Overall, I think this will be a positive move.
3.) You like the rumors that the new Xbox will have a system for casual gamers as well as one for hardcore gamers.
Todd Vote - Fiction: I think they are going to confuse the hell out of the casual market. Come the holiday season after it is released, you are going to have a lot of pissed off young gamers, who's parents picked up the cheaper version of the console, wondering why they can't play Call of Duty 6. I think it would be better to offer a core system similar to what they did with the Xbox 360. Sell one without a hard drive, and one with a hard drive.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: Mostly because I don't really see the market for a console that only plays "casual" games. If people want to play games, they're going to buy the console that plays all games. If they don't, they probably wouldn't buy a console and instead just stick to Facebook and iOS games. And what's with this whole line Microsoft's trying to draw, here? Are gamers not allowed to play both Halo and Bejeweled, or at least not if they aren't going to take their Halo playing seriously?
Score: 3 for 3 - Let's ask Zynga how good of an idea it is to build things only for casual gamers. I think this will confuse people and make some people mad at getting the lower capable system. Only thing that might make this work is if they call the casual system something other than a Xbox.
4.) You are happy to hear that Telltale Games is expanding.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Telltale has really made a name for themselves with their games based on cult franchises (am I the only person who bought Poker Night at the Inventory?) and the very well-timed and well-received Walking Dead series, and I'm interested to see what they can bring with a larger base and maybe some bigger budgets and licenses.
Todd Vote - Fact: Though I am a little leary. What if the thing that made Telltale games so successful was that they were a small focused group? I'll admit they have won me over with the Walking Dead series, and I will now follow them pretty much into anything they do. I hope they are able to find the same success with a broader scope.
Score: 4 for 4 - I think Telltale has proven they can make good games. Expanding will mean they can make more good games at once. I was glad to hear about a video game company doing well as opposed to the news about THQ, Zynga, 38 Studios, etc.
5.) The Wii U bricking if the massive two hour update is interrupted is inexcusable.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Any console bricking is unacceptable. The RROD was the deciding factor that steered me away from the X-Box, and if you're installing an update that takes that long and any blip in your Internet connection could reward you with a 400 dollar paperweight that you probably had to fight two parents in Toys R Us for, well, that's no good at all, no sir. I mean, I know Internet connections are more stable these days, but are you willing to risk your console on it?
Todd Vote - Fact: That would most definitely suck. I'd be beyond livid at that point. What is Nintendo doing to rectify this situation? If I am not mistaken on the terminology here, a system bricking means it is basically a large paperweight now, right? This doesn't bode well for the Big N and their new console.
Score: 5 for 5 - How can Nintendo do so well in some areas, and be complete idiots in others? All consoles have issues (especially in first runs of production), but this takes it to a whole new level.
6.) You picked up at least one game during Black Friday.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Although I did not personally partake in the madness, I had some family who do make an annual trip south of the border, and thanks to my birthday and people who were so insistent that I should ask for anything, no matter how lame, I'm now the owner of a Vita, Assassin's Creed: Revolution, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Lego Batman 2, and MLB 12. Hopefully Persona 4 Golden will follow for Christmas!
Todd Vote - Fact: Picked up Max Payne 3 for $15, and was hoping to get a copy of Arkham City, GoTY edition, but they were all out. Score: 6 for 6 - I thought about getting a new game, but there was only one I wanted and I didn't want to deal with the insane crowds to get it. This was the first Black Friday that I didn't have to work in a store so there was no desire to leave my apartment.
Bonus Question: By the time this posts the new Dresden Files book will have come out so talk about whatever you want, I am going back to reading once I get this written up.
Stephen Randle - No spoilers! I'm on full non-buying embargo so that there will be things for people to buy me for my birthday and Christmas, so I won't be able to read the new Dresden until December 25th at the earliest. Between that and the final Wheel of Time book in January, I should have enough reading material for…about three days. What? I read fast.
Todd Vote - Yup... I got nothing.
That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Todd went 6 for 6 showing that as we get closer to the holidays miracles can happen by getting a PERFECT SCORE. And since Stephen didn't want any spoilers I will be nice and just say that the book is amazing and has a lot going on. I think any fan of The Dresden Files will enjoy it. I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.