It’s a weird feeling to have all three consoles of the seventh generation behind me, namely in the form of a Playstation my friend lent me so I could play The Last of Us and talk about it for days on end. But I’m also typing this while listening to a fandub of an anime intro where one of the first lines is, “Be gentle, this is my first time.” And am a few minutes away from rewriting the introduction of a Gimpsuited twelve year old boy with a vagina because I think it’s funny… This is my life, and I adore every aspect of it!Okay, now for the big story that I separated this post into two for. As literally everybody who would be reading this undoubtedly knows, Microsoft changed their online policies. I already got my Kukukuku out at them for having such little foresight that either both of the big new consoles would have DRM of some for, which is unlikely, or neither of them would. Now, this is a very clearly slapdash approach if the policies I liked to prior are any indicator. With many very positive ideas like the family sharing plan, which I personally pointed out as a neat idea, being effectively destroyed by this shift. Now disks are that game in a physical form that can be sold, while downloads are permanently owned clumps of data.
In terms of highlighting what exactly they were thinking, I’m quite more or less stumped. I believe the general idea was hoping that by 2013, the world, let alone the United States, would have decent quality wifi everywhere, or at least broadband in every home. Hoping to take advantage of this new cloud technology, when in reality the only device to heavily used such technology for games went bankrupt. The future is new and exciting, but when making a system that will cost you billions and billions to develop, sustain, and manage for the coming years, it is best to stick with what you know. And even then, most games will probably need online cloud processing to do all the keen things, which are hidden behind multiplayer in the end.
However, that does not mean that Microsoft is off scot free and up to the snuff I’m leveling Sony at. While I personally found the libraries shown at E3 of both companies, and Nintendo while I’m at it, to be lacking, Microsoft seems the most confused as to forming a system identity. A gritty reboot of Dead Rising, Swery’s next project, Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive, along with the most likely doomed Ryse and Killer Instinct. I’m not sure what the system is going to be and the wishy washy presentation of the whole thing with a scoff towards people who would want to upgrade and sell their old system makes it hard to like them enough to give them $500.
I also feel as if I should mention their relationship with indies, or lack thereof. The exact details, provided by the PA Report, make me more than a bit furious, but I’ll just try to summarize everything wrong with the system. First off, the whole lack of self publishing after Microsoft basically said, “Indie games made us a billion dollars!” You need either an outside publisher, who also needs to make retail games, or go through a 6-9 month process with Microsoft to get your game published. If your game comes out on the PC after being on Xbox Live, your publisher for just XBLA very often gets proceeds from your game everywhere it is sold. Although, you would still need to give more to avoid exclusivity. All tied to this absurd slot based system where you need to pay someone else for the privilege of being able to talk to microsoft about making some money. It is a bass ackwards practice, and just trying to wrap my head around it makes me want to no longer buy a single thing off of XBLA.
Although, the more time passes, the more it looks like the jump to Gen8 as I’ll call it from now on, will be a slower grab for the majority of peeps. With titles like Destiny, Watch Dogs, Titanfall, that new Wolfenstein, Assassin’s Creed IV, and now Thief are going cross generational. I’m a bit curious as to why anybody thinks this would help though. It both provides the excuse of, “I can play those Gen8 titles on a Gen7 machine.” and the desire not to buy them because they are stripped down low res versions of the true game. Which themselves will likely be below what a gaming PC can muster. I get the theory that it will be available to a larger audience, but playing a vastly inferior version of a game is only a fraction as fun as playing something you know to be the best version. At least I’d assume so after playing Rain Slick 4 on XBLIG (Review coming Tuesday).
Yet out of all of the listed titles, Titanfall is the most unexpected one to be crossing into two generations. Taking advantage of the Xbox One’s cloud system to deliver a ton of dynamic mechanics that would theoretically make the Multiplayer feel like single player. However, there will apparently no way to examine how well they did their job, as single player will be absent from the final product. I’m no so much upset about that idea, as much as I am that the game will be $60 at the end of the day. With controlled distribution by EA, so it will likely stay there for a while, as most people buy the 360 version that I predict to be rubbish, seeing as how another team will be making it.
I understand limited resources though, and so does Nintendo, as if their very, how do I put this, quick to make titles of the past few years have shown. With two platforms to support, and one for them to carry mostly by themselves, it’s a wonder they get out as much as they do. Which is largely the reason why we shouldn’t expect an F-Zero until Gen9, and Nintendo plans to increase their staff. A bold idea, but how hard is it to find a Next Level Games, or a Retro Studios? I understand a commitment to quality, but when the idea of remaking Majora’s Mask is more exciting than what’s cooking in the Zelda pipeline, I’m not sure if new staff is the best idea.
And in that inflated batch of stories, I’m done for the second part of this week, with a normal schedule coming back to cap off the month. Now I’m off to continue my hunt for a new PC, and the ability to play a wider variety of games! Like Magrunner, a Quantum Conundrum/Portal-esc puzzle game, except it is about Lovecraftian horrors… Yeah, I’d shove a $20 through my future computer’s disk drive… Crap I messed up the words, magnified all my flaws!