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Discussion in 'Gaming' started by mattCR, Feb 1, 2013.
Looks like Sony is preparing a "Major Playstation Announcement" for February 20th.
Not sure if you posted it already or not, but some reasonably realistic looking specs have leaked: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Development-Kit-Orbis-PlayStation-Bulldozer-Vita,20660.html
This one has some different specs, including a single 500gb sku: http://t.co/25A1YLVN
The Wall Street Journal has an article saying it is, in fact, the next console being announced and it will be out before the end of the year. I like the idea of announcing hardware less than 12 months before it comes out. Nintendo NEEDED to announce the Wii U when it did but it's annoying to wait 18 months for stuff. I'm curious to see how the purchase of Gaikai factors into their plans. I imagine that the 360's successor (latest rumors have it just being called "The Xbox" which sounds better than anything else I can think of) being similar in power to the PS4. I don't think power differences have really been a factor in a while so I want to know what will make each console unique.
It will be interesting to see which rumors have been true or not:
[*] UltraHD support
[*] No optical drive (hence no Blu-ray support and no local backwards compatibility)
[*] Backwards compatibility via cloud services only
[*] No more physical media (this may anger some retailers, especially those that thrive on used games)
[/list] I've been hearing the same rumors about the next-gen XBOX as well.
While I agree that Nintendo did need to announce the WiiU at the 2011 E3, they should have announced pricing and release dates at the 2012 show, especially after they missed the original rumored time-frame on the 3DS (which inevitably hurt initial sales when it finally hit store shelves in March 2011). Many of the gamers I spoke with at E3 2012 were wondering if Nintendo was actually going to release the WiiU in Q4 2012.
The Gaikai acquisition will likely be two-fold, allowing access to previous generation console games (PS3, PS2, PSOne) as well as an option to purchase PS4 games either as virtual copies (accessed and stored in the cloud) or as a download stored locally on the hard drive.
Pretty much all of these will guarantee a non-purchase from me.
No more physical media? So everyone that owns a gaming console has internet of sufficient bandwidth or internet at all?
So everybody here thought you were playing "from the disc" on the PS1/2/3? All they are doing is skipping a step. I just hope when you register online you get a "failsafe" of your games...cause it would suck to have to re-earn everything when you need a new hard drive. Heck, I'm on Tmobile 4G internet using the Jet 2.0. I have no problem playing internet based games that chew on more data than the PS4 ever will. Heck I downloaded a Steam upgrade that was 2 gig and it was done in a little over an hour. $60 a month for unlimited internet(cause my phone is also Tmobile). I frequently chew on 15g a month. January, because of Steam updates to 3 different games, I'll go well over 20. (saying January in a future tense, cause I won't see the usage till Fed 20th)
The "no backward compatibility" thing is a hardware issue. The PS2 literally had the PS1's guts inside of it to play PS1 games. Same for the first run of PS3's having the PS2's guts (but the PS1 was emulated; the removal of the PS2 hardware is part of the reason why the PS3 was able to get a price cut at one point). I don't think Sony wants to include a whole PS3 Slim inside their new console and still keep the price reasonable. However, I don't see how they will get away with not having PS1 and/or PS2 disc support. I don't think they'll abandon physical media. Didn't Satoru Iwata, Pres. of Nintendo, just say that internet bandwidth will never replace the desire to own physical media? If Sony does drop physical discs, then they better be willing to cut prices for new games from $60 to, at most, $40. About 1/4 to 1/3 of a game's price is solely the cost to make the disc and case then put it in a store, so if that cost is removed then the final price better reflect it. I doubt they will have some sort of "anti-used games" measure implemented, though I could see them having some sort of more passive "online pass" system. The latest rumor I heard was NFC chips in every disc that will tell the console whether the game has been "registered" to that console or not. This would make it so the console would just know if you have an online pass or don't. Unfortunately, this may either tie that particular disc to the console (meaning if the disc breaks you need to get a new online pass) or just tie the online pass to the console. Not sure, really. Sony and other companies don't feel the effects of used games, primarily because the only options to cheap used games are cheap old games or buying fewer expensive games. The profit margin doesn't really see an impact, even though game companies would have you think it does. If the Gaikai thing turned out to be something like "play PS4 games through the internet on PlayStation certified devices" like how you can play games on OnLive with an iPad, then that would be neat but I don't know if the feature would take off. If it's going to be streaming of PS1/2/3 games then...eh...I'll keep my PS3 plugged in for now.
I don't believe that amount even a little. Movie on disc, game on disc is the same and I doubt it even costs $4 per unit for manufacture and ship to retail. Now if that cost includes the royalties paid to Sony to be allowed to make a game for the PS and the margins that retailers require to put it on the shelf, then fine but those costs don't disappear just because it was downloaded. This reminds me of book publishers. In the past "Why are your books so expensive, especially hard cover?" "It costs a lot of money to print a book." After the advent of e-books "Why are your e-books just as expensive as the hard cover?" "Well... you see the actual cost of printing a hard cover book is only about $4 so there really isn't any savings in e-books."
My problem with the no backward compatibility is what happens to all my PSN purchases? Is all that content now junked and unusable on the PS4? It would be like buying a steam update and now all the games you purchased prior no longer work and have to be re-bought at full price. It's a bunch of bullshit that sounds right up Sony's alley. Don't even get me started on my rockband library... I can see them ditching on disc games, the companies have been moving in that direction for years. Eliminating the bluray drive (at one point the finest bluray player available) effectively kills the PS as being the media center of your house. If that happens, Xbox is going to DESTROY the PS4 in the next 3 years. Gamers already know that the PS3 is a bit of a bitch in regards to games, they always seem more buggy then the xbox equivalent. Kill the media playing aspect and you've killed the system.
Russell - I don't see how your example is "up Sony's alley." The launch PS3 let you play PS1, PS2, and PS3 games. I'd say this is a turn away from what they normally have done in the past. That said, I'm guessing that your content would transfer to your account (the PS Vita even shows what your PSN ID account has done on PS3, so I imagine this would be the case) and let you use old content and DL games somehow. The big rumor is Gaikai's streaming service to play old stuff through the internet because it's too hard to emulate it on the PS4. The reason games are buggier on the PS3 is because they are developed on the 360 then ported to PS3. The 360 is the lowest common denominator and the limiting factor in quality and many game licenses will include contract stipulations that the 360 version has to be as identical as possible to the PS3 version. This unfortunately means more time spent making the 360 version and less time bug testing on the PS3, which is harder to develop on and more complex. But if you compare the best looking PS3 game to the best looking 360 game then it's clear the PS3 is more powerful. Since the PS4 and next Xbox are rumored to have pretty much the same chipsets, the differences will be the games available and controller. Chuck - About $20 of a game's cost is due to the manufacturing process, shipping the disc/case/booklet, and money going to the retailer for putting it on the shelf. Only about $35 or so is profit to the publisher/developer and console-owner royalties. When a brand new PS3/360 game is available to download for $60 then that just means they're making more money off of you than if you had bought a physical copy. Further, I think the price should go down because you can't trade in or return a physical copy, so the money they make from a digital sale is purely money for them so only you can play that 1 copy of the game. That's part of the reason PS Vita games for download are usually about 10% cheaper than physical copies.
I am quite willing to bet that the $20 is broken down like: $2.50 Manufacture game, case, booklet, shipping to retailer $17.50 Retailer So when they go to download only they will argue that they only saved $2.50 versus physical copy and the $20 has to go to the download service provider to pay for the server, bandwidth and profit. Don't think it is that cheap? Blu-ray cases 25 for $14 so about $0.60 each retail Blu-ray recordable disc ~$1.50 Printing my own cover art
Here's a good story on this from 2 years ago: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/02/anatomy-of-a-60-dollar-video-game.html The issue isn't how much it costs to put games in a store as much as it is how much of that money the developer actually "needs" to collect for the purchase. In short, about $35 of a $60 game's price pays for the fact that this particular game was made by these particular developers and put on this particular platform. For Xbox 360, you pay for X-Box Live which means the cost to service providers and for servers is covered by your annual fee. There is absolutely no reason a brand new game released digitally on that platform should cost that much. Every physical product also has a certain amount of its cost set aside to account for returned items, stolen items, defective items, etc. and digital downloads negate pretty much all of that (with the exception of game-crippling bugs, which aren't THAT common and get patched, anyway). Also, if you want to look at "cost to run online services" as an added reason to charge more for digital games, then that would be negated by the royalty fees that are collected (about $7 per sale, included in that $35 price). Digital sales are good for publishers because: 1 - They make a larger profit due to decreased costs to produce/distribute physical media 2 - You cannot return or trade in your game, even if it's terrible or you bought it by accident 3 - The cost to bring the game to you is minimal or nullified by services you pay for There was a good article I read recently about how the price of mobile games (around $0.99 to $5) is achievable because of how cheap and easy it is to produce a game and make it available to a huge audience. That's the idea, in general, behind digital distribution. If a publisher normally makes $27 in profit per unit sold and is now eliminating about $25 of cost but still keeping the same price, they just reduced their required sales targets nearly in half and doubled their profit per sale. Clearly, this is a great thing for companies that make great games that sell well, but I think its idiotic overall. If Sony, MS, and Nintendo are competing for marketshare with Droid and iOS mobile devices, then they need to adapt a similar pay structure. It's part of the reason why Square Enix is being ridiculed for its iOS game pricing and why the PSPgo didn't succeed.
So as I said, the only savings going to all digital downloads is $4 or less and that is assuming it doesn't actually cost more to maintain the servers and the bandwidth that keep adding cost 24/7/365 for as long as the game is available over keeping stock in a store, which incurs no additional direct expense other than opportunity cost of putting something else there instead. All the same arguments were made to push e-books about how much the expenses would be reduced and so on. Here we are several years into e-books and the price is the same as print. The reason console games cost $60 (and e-books cost the same as print) is they are console games and what else are you going to do because the platform is closed and heavily controlled by the console maker (publisher)? That will not change and in fact will probably get worse going to only digital downloads because it will effectively kill the used market. A console is not a PC where anyone can write a game with zero barriers between them and the customers. Big gaming companies are free to price their games anyway they want on the PC but not so much on a console or at least all agree to follow a pricing convention.
Only about $7 of a $60 game goes to the platform holder as a licensing fee. The cost of keeping up servers is either swallowed by the platform holder, is offset by online service memberships (XBox Live or PS+), or is covered by that $7. The reason why digital releases of anything (books, movies, music, etc.) costs the same as the physical version is simply because people like the idea of "I'm paying the same but this is so much more convenient" and will do it. It gives the company making the product more profit. The cost to maintain a server to deal with digital content sales is so extremely miniscule. The fact that MS still has a fee for XBox Live is ridiculous, especially since all you get for that fee is the stuff that Sony and Nintendo are giving customers for free. They charge the same price for digital/retail content simply because they can and people will pay it. It has nothing to do with being representative of the cost to make the product and make it available. Sony just released Sly Cooper 4 on PS3 and PS Vita. You can buy the cross-buy version (the PS3 copy with a free download of the PS Vita version) for $40. Why? Because they can and they want to.
Chuck: The entire history of Steam begs to differ with your beliefs =) I'm not saying that MS and Sony will ever get near the level of efficiency that Steam is wrt matching prices to willing customers, but digital distribution not only removes the barrier of moving physical goods around but turns the entire economy of sales on its head. With an organization (like Valve) willing to mine that, it is glorious. http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/economics/
Sam, the reason Steam for the PC is in no way comparable to digital downloads for consoles is PC software is quite close to a free market system. Consoles are closed markets and therefore prices are controlled. I am confident that digital downloads for consoles are equivalent to e-books and e-books did not causes prices to drop even though e-book eliminated all that manufacturing and shipping cost, which are far higher than any software package. The fallacy is thinking that the price of software is somehow a cost plus model set by the software creator so that if the cost goes down, the plus remains constant and the final price drops. $60 is what people pay for new console games and have been for years. That is at least what they are going to be paying going forward regardless of the reduction in any other cost unless the console manufacturer decides to reduce their fees and institute a system wide price reduction on all games for their platform. Wii games were maxed out at $50 but when the WiiU came out, Nintendo went to $60 just like the other consoles. No reason for it since the games manufacturing and shipping costs did not change.
If you believe that consoles can continue to exist and enjoy success with their even-stricter-rules-than-apple-has mentality, sure. I don't see how consoles can compete in a world where better choices exist tho. This guy seems to agree and he was in the first 10 members on the xbox project: http://ilikecode.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/stupid-stupid-xbox/
Are you saying that for consoles to survive, they must become open systems like the PC? Ask IBM how much money they get for each PC sold. Oh wait, they lost all that when the didn't keep tight control on the PC. The big lesson of the PC that every manufacturer of hardware of any kind has learned is that you make sure you keep total control of your hardware system and/or platform and you always get paid when someone else makes money from your platform. This applies to gaming consoles, any movie player like DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-ray, smart phones, tablets, etc. The PC as a free market platform is an anomaly that will likely not be repeated unless another big company creates a ubiquitous product and screws up their patents and licensing.