411 Games Fact or Fiction 5.29.14: Oculus Rift, Star Wars: Attack Squadron, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 05.29.2014
Will WWE 2K15 end up being a disappointment? Are we surprised that Star Wars: Attack Squadron was canceled? Will the PS4 have higher profits than the PS2? 411's Stephen Randle and Jeremy Thomas debate these topics and more!
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. How is everyone enjoying Watch Dogs? Do you think it is the amazing game that it was hyped as until it was delayed? Yeah, from what I have seen and played, I don't think it is either. Not saying it is bad, but it was hyped as more. Anyway, this week we have 411's Jeremy Thomas going against Stephen Randle. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) You were surprised to hear that Star Wars: Attack Squadrons was canceled given how far along it was in development.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I think this is a surprise, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. I'll be honest; the very basest concept was interesting but I didn't really have a lot of enthusiasm for it. The reports make it seem like Area 52 is being put on another Star Wars-themed game, so I'm willing to bet that Disney/Lucasfilm saw what was being developed and liked what they saw, but realized that the game wasn't going to be huge and so they threw them another project. Far as I'm concerned this is probably an upgrade for Area 52.
Stephen Randle - Fact: I'm very surprised, since the game was already in closed beta (I believe Daniel was actually in it, although of course he wasn't allowed to admit that at the time) in January, and once you hit that level, games generally get out the door by hook or by crook, simply because it's a nearly-finished product that the company has presumably dumped a bunch of money into. I don't know if the game was any good, but given the license involved, it must have been incredibly broken for them not to just say "Screw it, what's another mediocre Star Wars games, let's shove it out and at least make something off of it". I know, it was F2P, but microtransactions!
Score: 1 for 1 - I did play in the beta, and while I thought it was fun, I do not think it is something that I would have paid money for. I would like to see a full game developed around this idea so we can have a spiritual successor to the X-Wing/TIE Fighter series.
2.) The PS4 will not exceed PS2 profits.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: It will, and I'll tell you why: inflation and the PlayStation Network. You can argue that it isn't fair to lump PS Network profits in with the PS4 (or the PS3) and I'll agree with you to a degree, but it doesn't mean that it won't be counted. That's just the way it works. The PS4 will not outsell the PS2 in numbers because that's just not the market we live in; there is more competition for gaming consoles these days. But I am fairly sure that the Playstation 4 will top its grandfather in terms of total profit for those reasons.
Stephen Randle - Fact: I feel compelled to say this because the term "profits" was used instead of "sales". The PS4 is well on its way to out-selling the PS2, assuming the console doesn't start randomly exploding a year into its lifecycle. However, with the shockingly low price point given the technology involved, and the fact that consoles are generally sold at a loss, I'm not sure that Sony is actually making money off the console itself, at least right now, and are relying on software for the profits. Plus, the PS2 (if I'm not mistaken, and I may be), was pretty much the most profitable console ever, and faced mediocre competition from the original XBox and the Gamecube, neither of which really had a shot at offering much threat. Sony may be winning right now, but the XBOne is still stiffer competition than the PS2 faced back in the day.
Score: 1 for 2 - If we are going to count PSN money then yes, the PS4 will have more profits then the PS2. If we are not counting it though, I think the PS2 will still reign as the most profitable console.
3.) Minecraft only costing $5 on PS4 and Xbox One for people that had it on the 360 and PS3 is a good move and will see a lot of people pick it up for the price.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I don't know how many will and I won't because Minecraft just isn't my thing, but I think a good number will take the bait. This is the smart kind of thinking; you spent less to port it over, so hook people in and get them to shell out for the upgrade. It's pretty basic marketing strategy and I don't see how it doesn't pay off. People hesitate over spending another $25-plus on the same game for a new console. People are much more likely to do it for $5. Works for me.
Stephen Randle - Fact: For as long as we're stuck in this limbo of releasing games for both generations of consoles (and releasing games that already exist on the old generation with few to no changes), I fully support any game willing to offer a massive discount to allow people to upgrade to the next generation version, and both Sony and Microsoft should support that plan as well, since the whole idea is to get everyone off the old consoles and buying the new ones as soon as possible. For five bucks, I can see a lot of people who already own Minecraft (and really, who doesn't at this point, kids are using it in schools, for crying out loud) ponying up so they have another reason to put the PS3/360 in the closet.
Score: 2 for 3 - This is a good idea to get some money from people who already own the game on an older console. A lot of people would not have bought Minecraft for their new console, but making it only cost $5 makes it more attractive.
4.) WWE 2K15 will end up being a disappointing wrestling game with no major upgrades to the engine.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Given the game's history, yeah, I'll take the odds on that one. Much as I hope they'll have a whole new engine for the new console generation, it really seems like, for 2K15 at least, they'll probably stick with what's been working so far so that they can keep the game on last-gen consoles and make a few more bucks and save time and money. The problem is, the graphics are going to look even worse on the new gen, and they've already burned Attitude Era and WrestleMania modes to hide the engine's age behind cool stuff, and I'm not sure what they can possibly come up with to put lipstick on this particular pig this year.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I don't know for sure about the disappointing part, but I don't see it radically altering things and obviously that will make a lot of people disappointed. I think WWE 2K15's biggest selling point will be the Xbox One/PS4 availability and the greater graphics that come with. 2K Sports has a decent game with what they have right now and I don't think they need to make major upgrades but some tweaks certainly wouldn't be amiss. I think that's what we'll get and the perception is that it will be a disappointment, even if it's not all that disappointing. So Fact.
Score: 3 for 4 - I heavily doubt that there will be any upgrade to the engine of the game, which means there is only so much improvement they can make. I really would like to see them take a year off to have time to develop a new, next-gen, engine for a new game. Never will happen though unless the game flops from a sales perspective.
5.) The ZeniMax and Oculus Rift lawsuit will end up being quietly settled.
Stephen Randle - Fact: I assumed from the beginning this was all pretty much about ZeniMax suddenly going "oh shit, look at all the money those guys made, we've got a semi-legitimate claim, so let's try and get some of it", and I figure at some point they'll get tossed a few bucks and told to go away. Facebook spent two billion dollars to acquire Oculus, they're probably not going to let ZeniMax drag them through the mud in court when they could pretty easily make it go away for a relative pittance.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: It doesn't matter if ZeniMax has a legit case or not...and for the record, I think their case is weak. These kinds of lawsuits are always--ALWAYS--settled quietly out of court. The reason is simple: Facebook has a huge amount of money invested in Oculus now. They are looking at some potentially major profits and it's easier to pay off the plaintiffs than let it drag out in court and have even a small chance of losing. That's why it'll settle, and we'll not hear much of it until then.
Score: 4 for 5 - Facebook is probably looking at this lawsuit and is debating if it will more damaging to the Oculus Rift's image to fight the lawsuit or settle it out of court. I think they will take the common decision and settle. After all, if Suits has taught us anything it is you can't lose a case if you settle.
6.) You like the idea of the ability to play a game on Xbox One while Skyping with friends.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: I mean, I (and everyone else) love voice chat, and use it when available. But I can already do that on my PC without having to worry about having my game and Skype running on the same thing at the same time. I guarantee you, running Skype and any game will cause performance issues of some sort. Plus, true multitasking is physically impossible, so unless you're talking about the game you're playing (and for that, most games already have voice chat), either your gameplay or your conversation is going to suffer, so what's the point? I guess I'm just still not on board with the whole idea of rapidly switching between fifteen different apps on your console at the same time, it all feels so...unnecessary. Man, I sound old and cranky. And I am.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: I play games or I Skype or I watch TV; I don't do all at the same time. My multitasking skills lie in other avenues, and while I could do that I don't see a reason to. There are a lot of great things about the Xbox One but this just isn't one of the things that interest me. But hey, more power to people that like it and I'm glad it's being implemented for them. Now for God's sake, can we please get improved PC-to-Xbox One video streaming? How hard is that??
Score: 5 for 6 - I understand why Stephen and Jeremy answered how they did, but I can't help but picturing myself playing a game and using Skype to do the podcast below. I love the idea from that viewpoint.
Bonus Question: Mind is on Dresden Files (Skin Game released on 5/27). Uh….What are you looking forward to most from E3 at this point?
Stephen Randle - The hope that something will be announced for this calendar year release that we don't already know is coming. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to be disappointed, as early word is that most of the cool stuff that's set to be revealed isn't due until 2015, but until it doesn't happen, I can hope, right?
Jeremy Thomas - A Halo 5 full trailer would not go amiss, because I won't lie; I'm actually really curious to see how the new game looks. I would like to see some new details on Quantum Break, which I thought looked interesting last year. But the #1 thing I want to see is more information on Star Wars Battlefront. I love the previous games in that series and I want to see what they can do with next-gen console technology.
That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Jeremy went 5 for 6 coming one answer short of a Perfect Score. As always, I will go ahead and talk about Co-operative Multiplayer. Here is last week's show, and I hope you will join us for the live broadcast:
I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.