System Exclusives: A Way Of The Past

26 06 2015

PastFuture_iStock

I’ve written a lot about system exclusives and how I believe the landscape is changing from what we as gamers have seen in the past. If E3 this year is of any indication, which I believe it is, then we may finally see the shift in philosophy that I’ve seen coming for a few years.

While the advances in technology, production value, and expectation have given us gamers a more immerse experience it has also ballooned budgets on the developer side. A misstep no longer is a small setback but instead could cost the company millions. So why would they exclude a possible section of their customer base by having a title exclusive to one system?

We have seen this portrayed more and more over the past years with titles like Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto and more recently Titanfall losing their exclusivity rights and become multiplatform. It appears developers haven’t been wrong either as you look at the top ten rated games of last year a vast majority of them are multiplatform titles and not exclusives.

This transition has left Sony and Microsoft so starved for exclusive content that instead of titles being a system exclusive we now have timed exclusives like that of the new Tomb Raider game Rise of the Tomb Raider for Microsoft or Sony’s timed exclusive  No Man’s Sky. I saw this coming a long time ago as I wrote about it 6 years ago when I saw system exclusives falling to the waste side.

What will the new landscape look like? Well like I mentioned in a previous post when I revisited this topic 4 years ago, its exclusive content. We have already seen this develop over the past year with Destiny and Batman: Arkham Knight and the exclusive content for PlayStation users or with Dragon Age: Inquisition’s timed DLC for Microsoft users.

Obviously this excludes first party developers but in my eyes this makes these developers even more important in this current landscape of gaming. Sony and Microsoft need to do an even better job of recognizing talented teams to add to their holdings as the games they produce will be a large factor in differentiating themselves from their competition as titles like Uncharted, Halo and even the newer Bloodbourne have proved.

Without these third party exclusives to fall back on I believe Sony and Microsoft beyond looking for quality developers to shore up, or providing exclusive content to their system need something more to further differentiate their platform. These systems are no longer ‘just’ platforms to play games on but an entertainment hub in your living room and if either of these companies want to pull ahead this is where I see the most ground can be made.

I personally turn my PlayStation on more to watch Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video than to play games. Therefore these collaborations with the companies listed above and others such as Hulu Plus, Spotify, NFL, NBA and the recently announced PlayStation Vue will be the future game changers.





109 Year Sentence Upheld in PlayStation Slaying

27 05 2011

A local Superior Court judge, Gary Orozco, recently upheld his previous life sentence ruling regarding a slaying over a PlayStation 2. Jonquel Brooks, then 19, was initially sentenced to 109 years to life in prison for shooting and killing Brant Daniels while wounding two others in a dispute over a stolen PlayStation 2 in May of 2007.

The incident initially brought national attention since it occurred just weeks after the Virginia Tech massacre where a student gunned down 32 fellow students and 1 professor before taking his own life.

The confrontation started when Brant Daniels, a supposed friend of Jonquel Brooks, along with three other friends Roderick Buycks Jr, Drew Pfeiff and Kodi Shiflett confronted Brooks at his University Village apartments accusing him of stealing Buycks PlayStation 2.

At this time an angry Brooks, who claims self defense, retrieved a gun from his bedroom demanding the Fresno State students to leave before firing shots at the victims hitting Buycks in the neck, Pfeiff in the shoulder and Daniels who later died in the back.

Brooks appealed the initial ruling stating the students ‘premeditated the conflict’ by going to Brooks’ apartment and accusing him of theft. The Appellate justices of the 5th District Court of Appeals ordered the presiding judge to take a closer look at the verdict and gave Judge Orozco three options: a new trial, modify the verdict with a lesser sentence, or let the verdict stand.

Gary Orozco decided to uphold his previous verdict and subsequent sentence of: 25 years to life for 1st degree murder, 25 years for using a gun, 59 years and 4 months for 3 counts of attempted murder totaling 109 years to life. Orozco explained his decision by stating that Brooks elevated the confrontation by coming out of the bedroom with a gun. Also stating that Brooks had ample time to consider his actions since while in the bedroom he called a friend to back him up in case of an altercation.

Before leaving in shackles the now 23 year old Brooks told Judge Orozco he again plans to file an appeal.





Why The Move Will Succeed and Kinect Will Not

5 10 2010

The PlayStation Move has officially been released and with that the next step in motion controlled gaming has been unleashed. It’s a new war between two giant hardware manufactures that may have already been won by a third manufacturer many years ago.

Whether or not a victory has already been won with the release of the PlayStation Move and the upcoming release of Kinect Microsoft and Sony are directly competing with each other for a slice of that Nintendo success. Here is why I believe the PlayStation Move will succeed and Kinect will not.

In order to declare a winner we must first define what success is. Is it units sold? Is it attachment percent? Or maybe its related software sales? In the context of this article my definition of success is none of the above but instead will be which device I think will provide a superior gaming experience.

Personally as a gamer when I play I need that tactile feedback an actual controller provides. This will not be possible with Kinect and because of that I believe the interactive function which is a cornerstone in all games will suffer. PlayStation Move on the other hand can provide that feedback while tracking your movements on a more precise level granting an even more interactive experience.

Speaking of games PlayStation appears to be more serious about supporting games with this motion technology take Killzone 3 and Heavy Rain for instance where as Microsoft is taking compatibility out of major franchises like Fable 3. Also despite being announced after Kinect PlayStation Move has announced many more titles including first party titles. While on the other hand Kinect has fewer titles and the one exciting title is a third party developed game.

Not to mention the games that are scheduled to release for the PlayStation Move appear to be more of the games I want to play. One great example of this is Dead Space: Extraction, granted it was previously released on the Wii but it will now be introduced to a whole new audience and will provide value to PlayStation 3 owners who plan on purchasing the game. Kinect on the other hand is having a difficult time being implemented into games or the way it is being implemented is just not something I see myself playing. The PlayStation Move also provides a good variety of games, from the Wii like clones of Sports Championship to a more in-depth title like the aforementioned Dead Space: Extraction. At this point I just don’t see that diversity with Kinect.

In my eyes PlayStation Move seems to be more of a game platform obviously due to its similarities with the Wii where Kinect while it has incredible tech and possibility appears in its current form to just be a concept. This is why I believe the PlayStation Move will be successful and Kinect will not.

Which motion controlled device do you think will succeed?  Do you plan on purchasing either of them?





E3 2010: Sony Press Conference Highlights

15 06 2010

As you most likely have already seen a dozen or more other places the Sony Press Conference was full of information some of which we expected and some of which we didn’t. After experiencing the conference first hand I will give my thoughts and opinions on what I thought the highlights were along with a bunch of pictures for good measure.

  • Killzone 3 Live Demo in 3D – The trailer looked absolutely stunning in 3D, the actual gameplay mechanics didn’t appear to be much different but the inclusion of different environments was nice to see. A tentative release date was revealed to be February 2011 and will be compatible with PlayStation Move at launch.
  • 3-D Sly Cooper Collection – A huge section of the press conference was dedicated to 3D gaming and how Sony expects to be the industry leader in that aspect. One of the titles they choose to showcase for that section was the re-mastered Sly Cooper Collection from Sucker Punch Productions who are also hard at work on inFamous 2.
  • Gran Turismo 5 – Along with a trailer that I must say looked amazing a release date for the US was announced to be November 2, 2010. Right, we have seen this game being shown before with release date after release date coming and passing lets just hope this release date sticks, it does however seem a bit more concrete.
  • PlayStation Move – I have criticized PlayStation Move in the past and while I won’t retract those statements until I have actually had physical time with the device I am more open to the idea. Sony unveiled a brand new title developed exclusively for the PlayStation Move called ‘Sorcery’ which had me at least seeing the possibilities of such an accurate device such as the PlayStation Move. Hopefully I get a chance to play one of the titles so that I can see for myself. Sony also confirmed that PlayStation Move will be available September 16, 2010 and will retail for $49.99.
  • Kevin Butler – He easily stole the show with his witty humor and trademark punch lines which had the whole audience laughing. During this rant he took a few direct stabs at Microsoft much to the enjoyment of the audience.
  • PSN Plus – These rumors have been floating around for weeks now and for the most part they are all true. The service will premiere later this month for $49.99 a year and you will own all of the title you receive for the duration of your subscription. Other features will include exclusive offers to betas, PS1 titles along with a subscription to Qore.
  • EA & PS3 Exclusivity – While none of the titles EA showcased will be PS3 exclusive both Metal of Honor and Dead Space 2 will feature exclusive content on the PS3, Dead Space 2 for instance will be bundled with Dead Space Extraction with Move support for the same $59.99 retail price. By its self i don’t find this to be a highlight but in an old post I discussed the future of exclusive games and how I thought they would eventually come to an end, besides first party titles of course, and with this announced along with many others we are beginning to see developers offering exclusive content instead of exclusive games.
  • Portal 2 – Valve has adamantly expressed their beliefs of consoles and more specifically of the PS3 however those thoughts most have changed as Portal 2 will be available on the PS3 and according to Gabe Newell will be the best console experience available.
  • Twisted Metal – Despite David Jaffe declaring he wasn’t working on a Twisted Metal game nor would he be at E3 his game development company Eat Sleep Play showcased their upcoming game Twisted Metal. It will feature 16 player multiplayer, 2 and/or 4 player co-op and for the first time ever introduce flight into the series. No release date was even talked about however the live gameplay did give me a ‘Sweet Tooth’ to play Twisted Metal.

Well that’s the Sony Press Conference through my eyes, I hope to post more detailed opinions of the whole process along with some of the titles I was able to get my hands on. In the meantime check out the photo gallery below of all the pictures I snapped throughout the conference. If you have any questions or feedback I welcome your comments below.

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PlayStation “Move”s in a New Direction

22 03 2010

Earlier this month at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) Sony officially announced their new motion controller hardware the PlayStation ‘Move’. The concept has been known about since E3 2009 however until now the name and any games has all been a mystery. Now that I have a more concrete idea of what the ‘Move’ is and how it will work I must say I am disappointed.

I understand the need Sony felt to release a motion controlled device as the success of the Wii can not be over looked even Microsoft will be making the transition later this year with Project Natal. But back to the PlayStation, when this device was unveiled as a prototype we as gamers were promised a sleeker design along with a device that would offer something different then what the current market already has. What did we effectively get? A PSWii complete with wand and nuns chuck, I mean sub-controller. They did do a lot of work regarding the design of PlayStation Move, wait it looks exactly the same as it did in protégé form. I know what you may be thinking, I am just complaining about visual aspects and the important issue is that it functions correctly.

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