411 Games Fact or Fiction 06.27.13 Xbox One DRM, Square Enix and More
Posted by Adam Larck on 06.27.2013
Are we happy to see General Zod join Injustice: Gods Among Us? Did the Xbox One reversing its policies on used games come as a surprise? Has the Xbox One/PS4 fanboy war gotten too heated? 411ís Stewart Lange and Sean Garmer debate these topics and more!
Welcome to another week of Fact or Fiction. I'm back for another week as Daniel takes a well-deserved vacation.
This week, we have Stewart Lange taking on Sean Garmer. Now, on with the questions!
1.) You were surprised at the big Xbox online reversal.
Sean Garmer - Fiction: No I wasn't, because a large part of me felt that Microsoft had to know they were going to get this kind of reaction from gamers. I think they were more likely testing the waters to see what exactly the reception would be to these new ideas, knowing they could pull back if it became too much. Microsoft actually shot themselves in the foot more often than not because of their horrible PR they demonstrated more than anything else. For a while, it felt as if Major Nelson was the only guy that thought critically about what to say to the media.
I do think that we will slowly start seeing Microsoft introduce some of these things via updates like the digital sharing and being able to play games without a disc during the life of the Xbox One. But I don't think there is anything that will change the imprint they have left on the minds of many gamers "we don't care about people who don't meet the standards we've set for our system." is horrible PR. That line of thought is never a good one for a company that wants you to pay $500 for its new toy.
Stewart Lange - Fiction: Not at all. I've been saying since E3 that there is absolutely NO chance of Microsoft releasing a machine with such a massive issue. Would anyone have bought one? Yes, they would have, but seriously- it would have been suicidal of them to have not gone back on things and all I've pointed out is that someone at Microsoft is going to realise that before release. It's not fanboy-ism, it's not that I'm a future-telling genius, it's that I realised that one of the biggest companies in the world is going to listen to feedback.
Score: 1 for 1 - This was a good move by Microsoft after hearing the loud com-plaints from gamers. Sure, some of these features may make a reappearance later in the console life span, but maybe by then they will be better thought out.
2.) There is no excuse for software updates bricking consoles.
Sean Garmer - Fact: None whatsoever. Obviously, accidents happen with everything. However, it has more to do with how you respond to the accident than anything else. If your system update bricked a console to the point to where it doesn't work anymore, then the company responsible should replace the console plain and simple. This is another reason why the PC architecture being added into next generation consoles is a very good idea. Because I should be able to do other things while it updates. I should also have it tell me when the update is finished, restart the system if necessary, and then return to what I was doing previously with no issues. If my console bricks then somebody didn't do enough testing with it.
Stewart Lange - Fact: I can't really comprehend this at all. Bricking consoles? Come on. At any scale, that is unacceptable. First off, it's not like it's the first update for the PS3, so that right there is worrying, but secondly, was the update not tested? Did they rush release it? Give me a break.
Score: 2 for 2 - I know patches are tested before they hit the public, but I really can't figure out why the PS3 one got out and was allowed to cause a lot of destruction before it finally got taken down.
3.) Square Enix's handling of franchises, other than Final Fantasy, is counterproductive.
Sean Garmer - Fact: Oh Lord YES!!! How on earth can you say that Tomb Raider bombed? You cannot tell me you had epic expectations for a reboot of a series that did not star the same Lara? Or forget that it had been a long time since anyone had seen a meaningful update to the series. I bet any other company not named Activision or EA would have been ok with those numbers. Hitman is a different story, but it didn't do too bad. Square-Enix has actually done a great job stringing fans along with Kingdom Hearts. I thought they did fine with Sleeping Dogs too. However, what worries me is that Square's attitude towards these non FF releases makes me wonder if we will ever see them reboot an old franchise again? Their sales department needs to lower their expectations and their development heads need to learn to take what made a game great and grow on that, not strip that from it.
Stewart Lange - Fiction: I'm only saying fiction because of the wording here. Square Enix have mistreated all of their franchises, but INCLUDING Final Fantasy. Since, probably 10, Final Fantasy has been a bit of a joke. Sure, they get right behind it but the games themselves haven't been what gamers want, on the larger scale. The treatment of Tomb Raider, as far as it being "unsuccessful?" Seriously? Give me a break. Not doing Madden or Call of Duty numbers is hardly a failure.
Score: 2 for 3 - Definitely have to agree here. Tomb Raider sold great, but Square Enix has way to high of an expectation if they consider it a failure. Hopefully, some changes at the top can help change expectations and turn SE around in the future.
4.) You are tired of the constant fanboy flaming going on when PS4 and Xbox One is discussed.
Stewart Lange - Fiction: Nah, because it's fairly funny in small enough doses. This is the thing, I've been all Xbox this generation. Am I a fanboy? No, because quite frankly I don't care enough. The PS3 has lots of features I'm jealous of- built in Blu Ray, better premium online perks, exclusives I'd prefer to play such as Infamous over boring Halo- but ultimately, I prefer the Xbox controller and that's it. Fight it out amongst yourself. Tell me I'm wrong for preferring something- it's funny because I just don't care enough to get upset.
Sean Garmer - Fact: It doesn't really matter what I say here because someone will come out and say I'm a fanboy of something. Can't we all just enjoy gaming? These systems are virtually identical except for some specs and I don't mind the people hating on Microsoft for forcing people to change, instead of making it optional. By next console generation I think MS will have a point, but not right now. But the amount of people that take time out of their day to go on every console related news item and start a console war in the comment section have too much time on their hands. Who cares? Why does it matter so much whether you are a Sony person? or a Xbox Person?
I have a Xbox 360 because it was a Christmas present, I've never had 250 disposable bucks at one time to be able to buy a PS3, but I still want to own one. I have a LG 50 inch plasma (also a gift), a Sony Blu-Ray Player, a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone (paid for thanks to T-Mobile's fluctuating family plan,) Sony headphones, and a DELL computer. Is anyone really so loyal to Sony or Microsoft that they aren't going to buy the other console if they ever have the opportunity? Because for one, you aren't really being that loyal. I can bet you have other products from other companies in your home right now and no one is flaming you about that.
Score: 2 for 4 - I tend to just ignore the flaming for the most part. Both will have its own strengths and weaknesses, what's the use in fighting over them before the system is even out?
5.) You are interested in getting Man of Steel's Zod in Injustice.
Stewart Lange - Fact: Yeah, why not? I'm still to pick up Injustice as I'm not massive on fighting games so generally wait a while to pick them up, but it's on my radar and as long as he's not like 800 points, then a few extra characters can't hurt!
Sean Garmer - Fiction: The only DC character I really like is Batman. Other than that, I am a Marvel guy. I like some of the other ones like Flash and Green Lantern but I can live without them. I'm also not the biggest fighting game fan so I've never played Injustice. I've heard great things and anyone that does love the game and likes Zod, will want to download the DLC.
Score: 2 for 5 - It's good timing considering the Man of Steel movie, and seems like a character that will easily fit in with the roster.
6.) You are tired of hearing developers using "value" to justify high prices.
Stewart Lange - Fact: Honestly, I'd much rather they were honest than try and push that bullshit. "We want to charge you £70 instead of £40 because we want to satisfy our shareholders." Yeah, okay. That's fine because we know that's what you really mean when you say "extra value." Seriously though, let's all call a spade a spade and admit the days of buying a cassette with 400 hours' worth of Fantastic Dizzy on it for a couple of quid are gone.
Sean Garmer - Fiction: That's used to justify the price of everything and really always has been. Isn't that what essentially "getting more bang for your buck" means? Developers for the most part, do pour their hearts and souls into these games. We should be lucky they aren't going to make us pay $70 for games and $600 for consoles for next generation. The newer the tech, the higher the cost usually. Microsoft is essentially charging people $100 for their Kinect because it is built-into the Xbox One. They feel it adds value to the console so they feel it should be $499. Many others could wipe a monkey's ass with the Kinect and feel it is a waste of money. Sony doesn't have an added machine in their console so they feel that they can afford to sell the PS4 at $399. But we aren't the ones making the system, the game, the controller, or whatever to know what its real value is. Value is very much like beauty, in that it is always in the "eye of the beholder."
Score: 2 for 6 - I don't mind hearing value if you can see the immediate value, it's when you can't see any value and companies try to imply future value that it's tiring.
Bonus Question) The 180 from Microsoft is causing you to reconsider your thoughts on the Xbox One.
Stewart Lange - Fiction: No, because if they hadn't changed their mind I wouldn't have bought either console, certainly not immediately. Now though, I'm going to. I'm just not bothered about the PS4 and the only thing that would have made it a tough decision would have been Kingdom Hearts being exclusive. The fact it isn't just removes a pang of doubt. I know everyone has their own opinion, that's mine.
Sean Garmer - Fact: I was for sure really leaning towards PS4 with an eye on the XB1 before the switch. Now that MS changed their tune I think I might just stick with Xbox. I am still thinking about it though because I have a year of LIVE paid for and I don't like the PSN. But the PS4 exclusives and the Gakai BC possibilities have me on the fence, plus almost all my close friends are PS3 owners already so that may lead me to switch. I don't care about price and I like the Kinect. I probably won't make a decision till I see more gameplay stuff. I am not buying one till at least April of 2014 anyway.
Adam Larck - Fact: I probably would have ended up with one either way, but this definitely helps Microsoft's efforts to get me to buy a console. I still didn't have a lot of a problem with the previous stances, but think this will be better for gamers overall. I just don't know when I'll be able to make the purchase.
The pair finish this week going 2-for-6. What do you think? Agree or disagree with their answers? Let us know. See you in seven!