Mid-Week Musings 2/26/14

Mid-Week Musings 2/26/14

I'm a little late to the party this week, but that won't stop a good Monday column from arriving on Wednesday! The show must go on! Let the random thoughts commence!

The PlayStation 4 has finally launched in its native homeland of Japan!  Shocking absolutely no one, the thing is selling like glazed donuts at a cop convention.  Over 322k sold in the first two days on store shelves, and that's before any of the software that caters to the Japanese market is even out (with the exception of Yakuza Ishin, which is also available on PS3)! The PlayStation 4 is now a global phenomenon and Sony has a runaway hit on their hands.  This is spectacular news for PlayStation fans.  The install base is spreading like Cordyceps, and that means more PS4 games for all of us.  Developers want their games where the most people are available to play them, and at least right now, that place is on the PS4...

Meanwhile, Microsoft is gearing up for a little game called Titanfall (perhaps you've heard of it?) to release on its brand new console.  And by gearing up, I mean dropping the price of the Xbox One in the U.K. from 429 to 399 British pounds, and throwing in a copy of the aforementioned Titanfall to boot. While VGChartz may not be entirely scientific, if their numbers are anywhere in the ballpark, the PS4 is outselling the XB1 in the Europe (U.K. included) at a clip of around 5:1.  Drilling down into the U.K. specifically, and let me reiterate again these are not official figures, the gulf between the two is much smaller, though the PS4 is still in the next-gen lead.  We don't know exactly how accurate these numbers may be, but seeing as how Microsoft is trying to heighten demand with a price drop and a copy of Titanfall thrown in, we can extrapolate that there is at least something they're seeing in the sales numbers that they don't like.  The U.K. was a huge market for the Xbox 360. Sony's PS3 was the dominant platform through most of Europe during the last generation, except in the U.K. where Microsoft had a foothold on the territory for the entirety of the generation. Titanfall is in position to be a huge hit and system seller for Microsoft, and even a small price drop a few months after launch seems out of character for Microsoft. Then again, this is a separate market I know absolutely nothing about, so maybe this is not a big deal over there. One thing's for certain though, Sony is making a huge impact on the global gaming scene and Microsoft is definitely taking notice and changing strategies...


"The Playstation 4 is now a global phenomenon and Sony has a runaway hit on their hands. This is spectacular news for PlayStation fans. The install base is spreading like Cordyceps, and that means more PS4 games for all of us"

I'm fascinated to see how Titanfall sells, specifically on the Xbox One.  Generally speaking, online only games have typically only found success on PC platforms.  I'm racking my brain, but I can't think of any big console game that didn't have a single player component and sold like gangbusters.  A number of MMOs have hit the console space, especially in recent years, but none of them have been blockbuster hits.  Whether this is down to the need for subscription fees, the lack of a single-player option, or something else entirely is unclear. While it's true that many people purchase Battlefield and Call of Duty strictly for the multi-player component, they've always been able to fall back on the single-player campaign if need be, even if they never touch it.  I guess we'll find out how much single-player really matters in a first-person shooter come March 11th...

And by the way, don't expect an Xbox One price cut in North America anytime soon.  This is an isolated United Kingdom thing.  While the PS4, by all accounts, continues to outpace the Xbox One in terms of sales here in the USA as well, it's not nearly as pronounced as the aforementioned situation in the European market.  North America is a first-person shooter dominated market, which is why Titanfall is so important to the boys up in Redmond...

The Order: 1886 looks unbelievable!  Super excited for this one...

That sound you just heard?  That was me euphorically screaming at the top of my lungs at the possibility of Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition for PS4 not only being a thing, but maybe even a free PlayStation Plus thing!  Ridiculously fun game with great co-op... now all we need are the Vita version and a PS4 sequel and we'll be all set!  Clearly this has to be a prelude to a next-gen sequel, right?...

Apparently all will become clear in the next 24-48 hours...


"I guess we'll find out how much single-player really matters in a first-person shooter come March 11th..."

Oh, and I like how people like to think they know everything there is to know about a game and pass judgment on it after a two minute trailer.  This is probably why you should never give the press a five or ten minute demo and expect them to be able to accurately preview the game...

Big rumor of the week: Sony is planning to unveil their VR headset at GDC in March. Supposedly, this was originally intened to be revealed at Gamescom last year, until it was pulled from the lineup at the last second.  Sony's VR headset has apparently been in the works for some time, now.  I'm curious about Virtual Reality, as I have little to no knowledge about it.  It's one of those things you talked about as a kid like, "When I grow up I won't even need controllers!  I'll be in some Lawnmower Man VR set kicking baddies with my feet!"  The Occulus Rift has been garnering tons of positive press, so the idea of a similar device (at least in theory) for a home console is definitely intriguing.  Word on the street is this thing is being shown off with some kind of DriveClub demo, sporting a fully featured cockpit you can look around in and all... 

Here's the questions that come to mind when I think about VR:  1) How much is this technology going to cost?, and 2) Can this be applied in a cool way to anything where you are not in the cockpit of a car, plane, mech or the like?  This seems like something where the price could immediately relegate this product to niche status and nothing more.  Super skeptical, but super intrigued to find out more.  Maybe at GDC...


"That sound you just heard? That was me euphorically screaming at the top of my lungs at the possibility of Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition for PS4 not only being a thing, but maybe even a free PlayStation Plus thing!"

I was sorry to hear about the group from Sony Santa Monica Studios that was laid off recently. Our condolences to all those affected. What's equally as sad?  A new IP from this talented developer may never see the light of day... 

Having a lot of fun with the Strider reboot on PS4.  It's a solid take on the "Metroid-Vania" formula with some terrific, fast-paced and fluid action.  This one's got "future platinum trophy" written all over it.  Check out our full review of the game here...

Infamous: Second Son has gone gold.  'Nuff said...

Thief - Review In Progress

Thief - Review In Progress

A Short Pause Conversation: Strider

A Short Pause Conversation: Strider