Posts tagged PS4
In the wake of today’s Tomb Raider news I thought it would be important to talk about the word “exclusive” and what it has come to mean.
A few days ago Editor in Chief of Kotaku, Stephen Totilo and I had the following exchange on twitter:
His initial link points out that Rise and Dead Rising 3 were both announced as Xbox One exclusives and now they are both coming to PC. Those two announcements (two months apart) have come in the midst of the commonly used phrase “timed exclusive”. It’s exactly what it sounds like, the game is exclusive to a platform for a set amount of time.
Activision has had timed exclusives on Call of Duty DLC on Xbox for a few years. It makes Microsoft happy because they get to say “we get this popular thing first” on stage at big events and the die hard fans of that franchise are more likely to buy the game on that platform.
But in the past when third party games were exclusive, they were really exclusive. Final Fantasy games were exclusive to Sony platforms for years, for example. So were Tomb Raider games.
The first chink in the armor of “exclusivity” I can remember was BioShock in 2007. The first BioShock is one of the best games I’ve ever played, won tons of Game of the Year awards, and was touted as being “Only on Xbox” – words they even printed on the box.
14 months after it came out on the Xbox 360, a PS3 version was released.
This story is become more and more common. On the one hand, I love it. I love that GTA, BioShock, and Final Fantasy are playable on every platform. It’s great for gaming, it’s great for gamers, and it’s great for people who can only afford one console.
(Yes, as long as console makers continue to publish games you’re never going to get to play 100% of games released, but you can play 95%, and that’s pretty good. At least in the near future you wont be playing Halo on a PlayStation and you won’t be playing Uncharted on an Xbox.)
But on the other hand, we’ve cheapened the word. People don’t trust the word exclusive when especially when Microsoft says it. Just look at the news about Rise of the Tomb Raider, almost every outlet reporting it casts some doubt about the length of this exclusive. Not a single report that I’ve read is certain that Square / Crystal Dynamics will publish Tomb Raider only on the Xbox. Everyone is expecting Sony to have Tomb Raider in 2016.
Microsoft has warped the meaning of the word exclusive to mean exclusive-ish, or exclusive-for-now. They’ve also cheapened the value of their console. When you look at the landscape of games coming one or two games may nudge you to choose one console over the other.
Stephen Totilo is right, “it set’s a precedent” and lying about a game that’s exclusive devalues your console and just makes your consumers upset.
It is still unclear weather the the new Tomb Raider is actually exclusive to Microsoft or if it’s just a timed exclusive. The fact that it’s been more than four hours since the news broke, and outlets still seem to be debating the definition of exclusive and what it means in this instance, is in of itself a problem.
UPDATE: Eurogamer has confirmed that the Tomb Raider deal “has a duration”
It’s PlayStation 4 review day! I’ve done a little bit of the dirty work, reading reviews of the PS4. I read three to completion and pieces of two more. Here are the two I’d recommend reading right now:
- Polygon. Justin McElroy’s review is not only beautiful, but the most informed review I’ve read. There’s a also a very concise video that rounds out the whole thing. You should definitely read this review.
While Sony in 2006 was focused on driving adoption of the Blu-ray standard, envisioning another home media boom that never quite materialized, Sony in 2013 has no such distractions. The PS4 isn’t built to sell 3D TVs, or Blu-ray discs or any other corporate mandate. It’s a gaming console, a clear message that Sony has been quick to repeat.
- Kotaku. Stephen Totilo’s review is very good. It’s the kind of thing he really likes diving into.
The PS4 is just starting, and as it is, it is hard to experience the PS4 without thinking about the machine that came before it. The PlayStation 3 made an incredible journey, from rotundResistance and Lair-playing machine to the console of The Last of Us, Puppeteer and The Unfinished Swan. The console got skinnier. It got better. And it wound up playing some of my favorite games ever.
Both Kotaku and Polygon will be updating their reviews as time goes on. As the libraries change, as software is updated you’ll see the scores increase… well hopefully they’ll increase and not decrease. It’s a very interesting method to reviews, but one that I support 100%.
During their press conference, Sony said that they “support used games,” and “that they won’t require an online check in.” Polygon is reporting a little bit of a backpedal:
“Well, I mean, we create the platform, we’ve certainly stated that our first-party games are not going to be doing that, but we welcome publishers and their business models to our platform,”
Tretton received a standing ovation at yesterday’s Sony E3 press conference after announcing that gamers would be able to share their games as they wished without worrying about licenses or 24-hour checks — policies adopted by the Xbox One that have proven fairly unpopular for Microsoft’s platform. Today’s comments seem to walk that announcement back somewhat, giving third-party publishers leverage to use their own copy protections on the platform; though the PS4 still won’t have platform-wide restrictions like the aforementioned daily online checks.
Sony responded to the Polygon article by adding:
“Similar to PS3, we will not dictate the online used game strategy (the ability to play used games online) of its publishing partners,” a Sony representative told Polygon. “As announced last night, PS4 will not have any gating restrictions for used disc-based games. When a gamer buys a PS4 disc they have right to use that copy of the game, so they can trade-in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever.”
It sounds like they’re being very choosy with their wording. They’re saying they “do not dictate online used game strategy of it’s publishers.” So if Activision want’s to build in a check in every 24 hours it sounds like they are at liberty to do so. Kind of a bummer. Regardless of the policy, Sony got the applause, and the initial press saying no DRM. It’s a win for Sony, maybe not so much for gamers.
PS4. 399. This holiday season.
I’m absolutely shocked that this is less than the Xbox. Wow. Good for Sony. They brought EXACTLY what gamers wanted. This plays into exactly what I said about their conference in February, they’re putting the gamer at the center.
I think Sony won the day. They were a little slow to start, and there was a lot of “we don’t have enough time to talk about this” in some places but, overall, we saw some good looking games and they appealed to gamers. And really, that’s what E3 is all about.
Sony takes a direct blow to Microsoft. Jack Tretton made sure to announce that the PS4 can play used games and that it doesn’t need to check in online. Ouch. That one is going to hurt in the morning.
The PS4! This is what it looks like.
I’ve got to say. It looks better than the Xbox One.
EDIT: Updated with official pics from the PlaystationEU Blog.
With the official pictures, I can’t help but think that the PS4 looks a lot like the PS2. I’m into it.
Obviously the biggest news from Sony’s PS4 announcement was that they never actually showed their new console. Fine. But what about what they did show. Now that we’re more than 18 hours removed from the conference, and I’ve watched it again, I think I can wade through all the noise. Ready? Ok.
First, I don’t care how many developers Sony had on stage or which games they were showing off. The console isn’t out yet, so we have absolutely no idea what the games will look like, or what the hardware is actually capable of (yes we have specs but specs don’t mean anything).
We don’t know what it will look like, but we know what it will feel like.
Right at the top of the show, not 5 minutes in, Andrew House said:
"The living room is no longer the center of the playstation ecosystem, the gamer is.… With mobility and the ability to share content and experiences becoming an increasingly important part of the gaming experience, connectivity between devices and the ease with which they connect has been essential to meeting the demands of today’s casual or core gamer."
While we didn’t see what the box looks like, Sony did show us a new controller. They’re calling it the DualShock 4 and it looks like a DualShock 3 with an added touchpad along the top.
But forget the touchpad for a second, the most interesting part of the new controller is a share button. Yes, nestled right in between the D-pad and the touchpad is a button labeled ‘share.’ The share button can capture the video on your screen and broadcast what you’re doing to your friends. They’ve baked in live streaming capabilities via UStream.
They also alluded to the PS4 hooking into existing social networks to enhance your experience. I can imagine something like starting a live broadcast and tweeting the link. Or making a Facebook post of a video you’ve recorded.