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May 23, 2013, 05:53 PM
 
The One's 'killer feature'?
Microsoft Xbox Australia on some of today's lingering Xbox One questions - Stevivor.com

When asked if Xbox Australia had anything specific to add for gamers in this country, Pollington said, “We don’t have any specific Australian announcements to make, but one thing that I do think is particularly exciting for customers of the Xbox One in general, and also to Australians, is the power of the cloud. We touched on it briefly in our press conference, and I think it’s a really important point and a key differenciator for Xbox One. Essentially, no longer are we constrained to the processing power of Xbox One in terms of hardware; we’re able to do a lot of processing that was traditionally done on the box, in the cloud.

“It’s also been stated that the Xbox One is ten times more powerful than the Xbox 360, so we’re effectively 40 times greater than the Xbox 360 in terms of processing capabilities [using the cloud]. If you look to the cloud as something that is no doubt going to evolve and grow over time, it really spells out that there’s no limit to where the processing power of Xbox One can go. I think that’s a very exciting proposition, not only for Australians, but anyone else who’s going to pick up the Xbox One console.”
Not a very strong one, IMO. Is MS going to let publishers utilize these resources for free? Will they run well on the average internet? Will they be easy to implement?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, I think you'll be seeing this feature limited to first party titles only.
     
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May 23, 2013, 06:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Kuchera has always been kind of a twit.
     
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May 24, 2013, 05:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
That's what I'm referring to. How so? I don't see anything that benefits the consumer.
Ben explained it better than I can, but really, it's simple: too much of the money spent on games ends up in Gamestop's pocket, and not enough is left over to the developers. This is the reason so many developers are closing, it is the reason for online passes and overpriced DLC, it is the reason why it is so important to "splash" to sell lots of games early. We get fewer games and lower quality games and we get nickel-and-dimed for things that should have been included in the game.

If you buy a game for $60 and sell it back for $20, you paid $40 for the game - but the store now has a game that it can resell without giving the developers a cut, effectively competing with them. If instead everyone buys the games for $40, then the gamers pay the same as they always did but with less hassle; the developers get a cut of the sale price for every game, so get paid more; and the only one to lose is Gamestop. Alternatively (and perhaps more likely), $50 games and sales á la Steam.

This transition needs to happen, or consoles will die. It's already happening - the place to make money now is mobile. Small cheap games, but you get 70% of the price every time and piracy is not a big problem. Either way, Gamestop is the parasite that is killing its host. The parasite is dying - the only question is if the host dies along with it.
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May 24, 2013, 06:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
If anything Gamestop and Steam has shown year in and out that the price point of these games is too high, but consoles are the only ones that refuse to see it.
Everyone knows that it is too high, but it is the only way they can make any money, because these days they make zero off physical sales after the first two weeks or so. The only way they can make it work is to charge high prices and count on their customers getting some money back on the used game.

Note that a thriving market for used goods is not a problem for the original manufacturer per se. You wouldn't pay the kind of money you do for a car if you didn't think you'd get some money back - the used car value factors in to your purchasing decision. From the publishers point of view, you should get $50 back if you sell that $60 game early, because that means that the game only cost you $10. The problem is the parasite that makes your game cost more (effectively) without bringing any revenue to the publisher.
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May 24, 2013, 10:56 AM
 
Or make games that are good enough that by the time you're finished playing them there's no demand for them anymore.
If someone can drop $60 on you're game and play thru it over the weekend then you have to expect that they're going to resell it.
     
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May 24, 2013, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Kuchera has always been kind of a twit.
I found his opinion on ars to be generally agreeable.
     
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May 24, 2013, 11:30 AM
 
Don't get me wrong, I almost exclusively play games like that. I think the only two games that I paid full price for in the last several years that I truly "finished" in a week were Deus Ex:HR and Max Payne 3. Both of them were because I loved the previous entries. It's a bit much to expect all games to be like that, though - I have had a lot of fun playing through beautiful (for the time) 12 hour single-player games with a good story, and I'd like developers to be able to make such games. That is currently not financially doable, unless you're making something with the marketing potential of CoD.

But hey, if it doesn't work out for the console FPSes, I'll survive. I have other games. I just think that it's frustrating how many gamers refuse to understand the economics of the situation.
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May 24, 2013, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Ben explained it better than I can, but really, it's simple: too much of the money spent on games ends up in Gamestop's pocket, and not enough is left over to the developers. This is the reason so many developers are closing, it is the reason for online passes and overpriced DLC, it is the reason why it is so important to "splash" to sell lots of games early. We get fewer games and lower quality games and we get nickel-and-dimed for things that should have been included in the game.
What lower quality games are we getting as a result?


Originally Posted by P View Post
If you buy a game for $60 and sell it back for $20, you paid $40 for the game - but the store now has a game that it can resell without giving the developers a cut, effectively competing with them. If instead everyone buys the games for $40, then the gamers pay the same as they always did but with less hassle; the developers get a cut of the sale price for every game, so get paid more; and the only one to lose is Gamestop. Alternatively (and perhaps more likely), $50 games and sales á la Steam.
XBOX Games on Demand so far has demonstrated no Steams like sales, even with the near constant incentive of doing so because physical media almost always was priced cheaper than the digital version.


Originally Posted by P View Post
This transition needs to happen, or consoles will die. It's already happening - the place to make money now is mobile. Small cheap games, but you get 70% of the price every time and piracy is not a big problem. Either way, Gamestop is the parasite that is killing its host. The parasite is dying - the only question is if the host dies along with it.
Ah, here is the critical error. The current revenue system isn't working and needs to change. Ok, I can accept that – developers are going tits up all over the place. The solution, however, seems to be trying to strangle the consumer than – wait for it – changing the way they make games.

Case in point: Square financials: Tomb Raider, Hitman & Sleeping Dogs fail to hit sales targets | VG247



Aside from Sleeping Dogs (which is a new IP, divorced from its True Crime beginnings, I believe) those are some pretty solid sales figures. However all the games are 'failures'. Is the second hand market really to blame for that? Or is that every damn publisher is fixated on every game being a AAA release? Can Hitman only be made if it sells 5 million copies? Why can't they slash the budget and make a game aimed at appropriate demographic?

----

Gamestop isn't the only company doing used games, its just the most visible. What they do isn't any different than a car dealer, either. Car manufacturers have started doing certified pre-owned in response, and I challenge Publishers to find a similar method to compete. Right now second hand sales are the only thing keeping pricing in the games market competitive (Much like piracy does the same for movies & TV). Giving them a chokehold on the market isn't going to improve things.

PS – A big reason games don't have very strong tails on sales is the focus on accruing pre-orders. Who can we thank for that? (Also, the internet does a good job of quickly disseminating whether a game is worth buying or not).
     
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May 24, 2013, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
But hey, if it doesn't work out for the console FPSes, I'll survive. I have other games. I just think that it's frustrating how many gamers refuse to understand the economics of the situation.
*ahem* Two-way street.
     
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May 24, 2013, 11:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I found his opinion on ars to be generally agreeable.
Try mentioning the Gerstmann incident. I wonder what he'd say now that Gerstmann himself has confirmed all the worst suspicions of what happened.
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May 24, 2013, 11:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Try mentioning the Gerstmann incident. I wonder what he'd say now that Gerstmann himself has confirmed all the worst suspicions of what happened.
You'll have to link to something, because I have no idea what you're talking about.
     
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May 24, 2013, 12:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
What lower quality games are we getting as a result?
The retreads of a tired concept on the same engine. All the CoDs are a great example: CoD 1 was a good game that got a so-so expansion, but after that, every other CoD has been Treyarch reusing the same engine and the same ideas to just squeeze out more money. Those developers could be making the game of their dreams.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
XBOX Games on Demand so far has demonstrated no Steams like sales, even with the near constant incentive of doing so because physical media almost always was priced cheaper than the digital version.
MFN deals, I'm telling you.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Ah, here is the critical error. The current revenue system isn't working and needs to change. Ok, I can accept that – developers are going tits up all over the place. The solution, however, seems to be trying to strangle the consumer than – wait for it – changing the way they make games.

Case in point: Square financials: Tomb Raider, Hitman & Sleeping Dogs fail to hit sales targets | VG247



Aside from Sleeping Dogs (which is a new IP, divorced from its True Crime beginnings, I believe) those are some pretty solid sales figures. However all the games are 'failures'. Is the second hand market really to blame for that? Or is that every damn publisher is fixated on every game being a AAA release? Can Hitman only be made if it sells 5 million copies? Why can't they slash the budget and make a game aimed at appropriate demographic?
Yes, this is exactly the problem with the second-hand market! If you don't make an AAA release, you don't make a splash, and if you don't make a splash, you don't get your sales in that all-important two-week window. You can't rely on word-of-mouth and good reviews after release, because any customer who might be interested at that point is likely to get a used copy. On the PC side, you can still see games whose sales increases to the second month, or have a long tail, or launch at $30 or $40. That never happens with console games, because at retail, console games basically don't earn a dollar for their publishers after those first weeks. The exception then is sales to non-gamers - e.g. the holiday season - and games like Skyrim that truly keep people engaged for weeks and months.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Gamestop isn't the only company doing used games, its just the most visible.
True, but Gamestop is the only company that throws its weight around to try to block alternate forms of distribution. Remember the coupons that they ripped out of Deus Ex:HR boxes?

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
What they do isn't any different than a car dealer, either.
It is very different. I made this exact point above, but it seems I cut it for brevity - and because I've made it before.

When you buy a car for $X, you know that you will be able to sell it in three years for $Y. This means that you are in effect paying $(X-Y) to use the car for three years. This mechanism means that car manufacturers can charge more for a better car, because they know that their customers get their money back.

This does not hold true for games, because Gamestop has margins usually reserved for drug dealers and the music industry. If you sell that $60 game for $20, you're out $40, and you think that the game is too expensive. But waiting a few weeks to get the game used doesn't help you much, because the price for a used game has only dropped a few dollars. And so you blame the publishers for skinning you, and think that Gamestop is the only place to let you save even a little money.

It is this margin that is such a killer. If they had given you $40 back for the game instead, you'd only be out $20. In effect, you can buy twice as many games for the money you have.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Car manufacturers have started doing certified pre-owned in response, and I challenge Publishers to find a similar method to compete. Right now second hand sales are the only thing keeping pricing in the games market competitive (Much like piracy does the same for movies & TV).
Right. So since Gamestop (et al, but let's use them as shorthand here) went hog wild with used game sales, game prices have come down and there is less nickel&diming? They haven't gone up to $60 for ever less gaming per title, to make way for DLC?

No. Gamestop prices their used games a few bucks under the new games, and if game prices went up to $80, they'd price their used games at $75. No sense in leaving money on the table.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
PS – A big reason games don't have very strong tails on sales is the focus on accruing pre-orders. Who can we thank for that? (Also, the internet does a good job of quickly disseminating whether a game is worth buying or not).
The pre-orders are a case of Gamestop's interests being aligned with the publishers. GameStop needs to know how many games to order (so that they don't get stuck with unsold games with the returns come in...) and publishers want to get their sales early on because that's the only money they see.
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May 24, 2013, 12:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
You'll have to link to something, because I have no idea what you're talking about.
Jeff Gerstmann was the editorial director at Gamespot. The marketing department at Gamespot often sold out the site to certain big game launches, and when those games got a bad review, they called up the Gerstmann to get him to tone them down. He refused. At one point, it crossed some sort of line. Gerstmann himself gave Kane & Lynch a 6.0 rating at the same time as the entire site had been skinned with the game. Gerstmann was fired shortly after, and just about everyone suspected that this was for giving an honest review. He went on to start Giant Bomb and recruited all of the good reviewers there. Giant Bomb was eventually sold to CNET (which also owns Gamespot). As part of the deal, Gerstmann was released from the gag in his old contract, and could basically confirm all the dark suspicions about his firing.

Penny Arcade - The New Games Journalism
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May 24, 2013, 05:59 PM
 
Xbox Live's Major Nelson Xbox One and used games :

Over the past few days, we have been reading comments and message boards following the Xbox One announcement. There are a few questions regarding used games. I wanted to clarify and provide this official statement:

The ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox. Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future.
Good lord MS, learn how to PR. First they were getting flogged because of the always online rumor for weeks before they finally put out a statement that read that gamers would be able to use it 'offline' (which we now know means offline for a limited period), now they claim you'll be able to use games. If the past is any indication there's a huge ****ing asterisk missing.
     
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May 24, 2013, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
What's really funny is Kuchera now works for PA. I wonder if he and his bosses have ever discussed this issue.
     
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May 24, 2013, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I found his opinion on ars to be generally agreeable.
Me too, and I read Penny Arcade Report sometimes too. But when he decided to go out on a limb, he really goes out there.

He's also often unfair and inconsistent. For instance, he'll condemn some game for being "too linear" while praising other, much more linear games very highly.
     
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May 24, 2013, 06:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Try mentioning the Gerstmann incident. I wonder what he'd say now that Gerstmann himself has confirmed all the worst suspicions of what happened.
Ok, can you explain this a bit better? It seems to me that Ben's opinion on this is fairly conventional:

The GameSpot controversy as a window into the world of gaming journalism | Ars Technica
     
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May 24, 2013, 10:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Everyone knows that it is too high, but it is the only way they can make any money, because these days they make zero off physical sales after the first two weeks or so. The only way they can make it work is to charge high prices and count on their customers getting some money back on the used game.

Note that a thriving market for used goods is not a problem for the original manufacturer per se. You wouldn't pay the kind of money you do for a car if you didn't think you'd get some money back - the used car value factors in to your purchasing decision. From the publishers point of view, you should get $50 back if you sell that $60 game early, because that means that the game only cost you $10. The problem is the parasite that makes your game cost more (effectively) without bringing any revenue to the publisher.
Thus why I think you must adjust your pricing. If your pricing is more in line with what the market can afford or is willing to pay you can address it far better than trying to strong arm your customers. Charging more each time is what created the market for GameStop to thrive. Look at Steam, this is proof for years that if you have fair pricing this model works.
     
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May 26, 2013, 07:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Ok, can you explain this a bit better? It seems to me that Ben's opinion on this is fairly conventional:

The GameSpot controversy as a window into the world of gaming journalism | Ars Technica
Read closely. He explicitly does not say that Gerstmann was fired for posting that review - he says that it looks bad that the events are correlated in time. In another article (and its comment thread) a year or so later, he said that there is no evidence that review scores are bought and paid for - instead basically rehashing this piece about how sites that are dependent on gaming advertisements will avoid posting a bad score in general for fear of antagonizing ad buyers. When the Gerstmann incident was brought up, he responded directly by saying that we didn't know enough, and basically implying that there were lots of reasons to fire Gerstmann.

Yes, he works at PA now, so maybe he has been in contact with whatever mole delivered the news to PA initially. And anyway this is no secret anymore, as I mentioned above.
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May 27, 2013, 01:23 PM
 
     
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May 27, 2013, 02:36 PM
 
I'm almost certain that MS had one thing planned and then got a nastygram from Gamespot, which forced them to backpedal, and now they don't know what they're going to do. Clearly EA was counting on this when they retired the online pass.
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May 27, 2013, 03:07 PM
 
Nothing says shitfest like pre-emtively defending a policy you claim has to be clarified yet.
From Xbox One to Xbox None: The risks of an internet-required gaming console | Polygon

"Now, with Xbox One, we're stretching the canvas again so creators can design for the cloud with every game they make," he said. "In the next decade, every great game will tap the power of the cloud to deliver richer, more immersive worlds. We have a great offline game system in Xbox 360 that gets better when it's connected. We could have made another offline console, but then offline would have been the lowest common denominator design point for developers. We chose to take the progressive path."

NeoGAF got spunky last night and launched a hashtag campaign that seems to have caught wind.
Sony Responds to Fan Backlash Over PlayStation 4 DRM Rumors
The hashtag #PS4NoDRM has quickly gained momentum on Twitter, with users pleading for Sony to avoid the widely rumored, but still not confirmed activation fee that Microsoft is deliberating for the Xbox One.

John Koller, Head of Hardware Marketing at Sony PlayStation, was spotted by Gameranx posting the following tweet: “This is why I love PlayStation fans- the passion bucket overflows #playstation.”
     
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May 27, 2013, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar
Nothing says shitfest like pre-emtively defending a policy you claim has to be clarified yet.
From Xbox One to Xbox None: The risks of an internet-required gaming console | Polygon

"Now, with Xbox One, we're stretching the canvas again so creators can design for the cloud with every game they make," he said. "In the next decade, every great game will tap the power of the cloud to deliver richer, more immersive worlds. We have a great offline game system in Xbox 360 that gets better when it's connected. We could have made another offline console, but then offline would have been the lowest common denominator design point for developers. We chose to take the progressive path."
And this may be where I have problems with the "always online". Where they use the cloud or servers to help them, especially if it's a single player part of the game. Eventually it will get so that if you're having problems with your internet connection, you won't be able to play anything, even single player games, because they use the "power of the cloud". This seems to be happening in the mobile market right now.
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May 27, 2013, 03:38 PM
 


     
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May 27, 2013, 04:00 PM
 
Well, I finally watched the XBO reveal, and i kinda wish I had that hour back.

It looked like a bunch of frat-boy-marketing-manager-types trying to talk like 'visionaries'/'technologists'. They talked TV, sports and CoD. meh.. Even the applause seemed forced.

The PS4 reveal actually had some in game footage and was focused on, dare I say gaming. The PS4 had its "marketing" cliche's as well, but not nearly as much as Microsoft's event.
     
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May 28, 2013, 12:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The retreads of a tired concept on the same engine. All the CoDs are a great example: CoD 1 was a good game that got a so-so expansion, but after that, every other CoD has been Treyarch reusing the same engine and the same ideas to just squeeze out more money. Those developers could be making the game of their dreams.
CoDs are a terrible example – they're the modern day sports game. Annualized with a guaranteed fanbase. There's little difference between them and Madden.

It's the single player games that the market struggles with. I'd say Tomb Raider and Hitman were higher "quality" games than the market needed because every publishers thinks that only AAA games sell. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. There's a huge gap in the market for medium-cost games (more than $20 XBLA title, less than $60 AAA) that no one is interested in exploiting. No one wants to appeal to niche audiences even though they'll pay a premium for what they want (We're Apple users, we know this!).

Originally Posted by P View Post
MFN deals, I'm telling you.
Huh?

Originally Posted by P View Post
Yes, this is exactly the problem with the second-hand market! If you don't make an AAA release, you don't make a splash, and if you don't make a splash, you don't get your sales in that all-important two-week window. You can't rely on word-of-mouth and good reviews after release, because any customer who might be interested at that point is likely to get a used copy.
Bullshit. See: Borderlands. Under the radar title, suddenly got good buzz nearing release and at release and then became difficult to get in stores because the demand wasn't expected.

You know why the second hand market gets flooded? Because everyone is buying at the same time! Massive day one sales = massive week two second hand copies. Slow burn on sales = slow trickle of second hand copies.

I think the publishers would rather have that guaranteed revenue.


Originally Posted by P View Post
That never happens with console games, because at retail, console games basically don't earn a dollar for their publishers after those first weeks. The exception then is sales to non-gamers - e.g. the holiday season - and games like Skyrim that truly keep people engaged for weeks and months.
In the day of DLC you're wrong. If the game is good, gamers will keep it to play more – DLC averts more potential second hand copies. Then, as a bonus, DLC converts some second hand buyers into direct purchasers.


Originally Posted by P View Post
True, but Gamestop is the only company that throws its weight around to try to block alternate forms of distribution. Remember the coupons that they ripped out of Deus Ex:HR boxes?
Which was raving bullshit. But instead of punishing Gamestop, they're punishing the consumer, because they're sackless empty suits. They hate everything Gamestop is doing and hand them exclusive preorder bonuses. Meanwhile, the people actually buying their shit they stab in the back because its far easier. Its vile and emblematic of the utter retardation that exists in business.


Originally Posted by P View Post
It is this margin that is such a killer. If they had given you $40 back for the game instead, you'd only be out $20. In effect, you can buy twice as many games for the money you have.
Honestly I think they'd be doing better if their margin weren't so utterly insane. But it ignores that 70% of what they payout for used games gets reinvested in new. That's a lot of money to just remove from the market wholesale.


Originally Posted by P View Post
Right. So since Gamestop (et al, but let's use them as shorthand here) went hog wild with used game sales, game prices have come down and there is less nickel&diming? They haven't gone up to $60 for ever less gaming per title, to make way for DLC?

No. Gamestop prices their used games a few bucks under the new games, and if game prices went up to $80, they'd price their used games at $75. No sense in leaving money on the table.
You're failing to consider other outlets. I can get games cheaper new on amazon than I can used at gamestop, the same way I can get a game cheaper used at gamestop than on Games on Demand.



Originally Posted by P View Post
The pre-orders are a case of Gamestop's interests being aligned with the publishers. GameStop needs to know how many games to order (so that they don't get stuck with unsold games with the returns come in...) and publishers want to get their sales early on because that's the only money they see.
Preorders are a relic of a time when demand was harder to gauge. It came to fruition during the PS2 era, when games like GTA III became hard to get after launch because they sold out due to word of mouth. If you had interest in playing a title day one, you literally had no reliable option. Nowadays, supply chains are much more solid and availability more widespread, so preorders are superfluous – which is one of the reasons you see so many bonuses now compared to yesteryear.

Publishers that couldn't meet demand in 2001 were likely losing money – a player is already at the store and has the money in hand. If they can't get what they want, they'll just get something else instead. Now that's no longer a risk but nobody is gonna give up up front money.

You know Gamestop and EB sold used games then too, right? What changed?

Well, buying used became the new renting. Renting had become a terrible deal by the 2000s – $5 for a few days on a game you're going to get nowhere close to beating (unlike the old SNES days). With used games you could take a flyer on a impulse purchase and if it sucked no big loss. Those people aren't going to buy new if you eliminate the market.
     
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May 28, 2013, 12:38 PM
 
What is it with console makers and the third iteration? They always reek of hubris.
News: Xbox One: "if all you want is gaming, you'll still pick us" - Xbox 360 - The Official Magazine

Shades of "You'll get a second job to buy a PS3" here.
     
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May 28, 2013, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Huh?
MFN=Most Favored Nation - basically a deal that you can't sell your stuff cheaper anywhere else.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Bullshit. See: Borderlands. Under the radar title, suddenly got good buzz nearing release and at release and then became difficult to get in stores because the demand wasn't expected.
It sold OK - it wasn't a blockbuster by any means. And it was multi-platform besides.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
You know why the second hand market gets flooded? Because everyone is buying at the same time! Massive day one sales = massive week two second hand copies. Slow burn on sales = slow trickle of second hand copies.

I think the publishers would rather have that guaranteed revenue.
They've tried it both ways, and found that they make more money this way. If you have that slow trickle, a bigger percentage of those sales come out of used sales. Put another way: after four weeks, there are more used games available for purchase than after two or zero weeks.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
In the day of DLC you're wrong. If the game is good, gamers will keep it to play more – DLC averts more potential second hand copies. Then, as a bonus, DLC converts some second hand buyers into direct purchasers.
DLC merely mitigates the problem. Even the best DLC only sells to a small part of buyers.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Which was raving bullshit. But instead of punishing Gamestop, they're punishing the consumer, because they're sackless empty suits. They hate everything Gamestop is doing and hand them exclusive preorder bonuses. Meanwhile, the people actually buying their shit they stab in the back because its far easier. Its vile and emblematic of the utter retardation that exists in business.
They can't hit back at Gamestop anymore than a PC manufacturer could hit back at MS in the nineties - too much market power. The only way to win was to get out in time - like Valve - or never get in at all. Once you're in the system, Gamestop is such a big part of your sales that anything you do that reduces them is such a massive hit to your revenue that the stock market punishes you.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Honestly I think they'd be doing better if their margin weren't so utterly insane. But it ignores that 70% of what they payout for used games gets reinvested in new. That's a lot of money to just remove from the market wholesale.
There is an old riddle that you may have heard before. Three men come to an inn and want to rent rooms. The price for all of them is $25, but they do not have exact change and pay the innkeeper $10 each. The innkeeper sends a bellboy out to make change, and then sends him up with the $5 change in singles. Still unable to make change, the three men take $1 each and give the bellboy $2 as a tip.

The men have now paid $9 each, or 3*$9=$27 in total, plus $2 as a tip makes $29. What happened to the last dollar?

That's what is going on here. Gamers spend a certain amount of $ every year and don't want to spend more, and don't want to have fewer games. Publishers need more revenue. Only way to make that happen is if less of that $ goes to someone other than publishers. The neutral way for both gamers is if the price of new games drops by enough to compensate for the lack of resales, but that is blocked by the MFN deals.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
You're failing to consider other outlets. I can get games cheaper new on amazon than I can used at gamestop, the same way I can get a game cheaper used at gamestop than on Games on Demand.
I get all of that - you're trying to get as much as you can for your money - but if you're buying a used game, you might as well pirate as far as the health of the gaming ecosystem is concerned. Gamestop doesn't really care if you buy the new games somewhere else - they don't make any money off that, what with stock-keeping costs. They live and die by their used game sales.

Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Publishers that couldn't meet demand in 2001 were likely losing money – a player is already at the store and has the money in hand. If they can't get what they want, they'll just get something else instead. Now that's no longer a risk but nobody is gonna give up up front money.

You know Gamestop and EB sold used games then too, right? What changed?

Well, buying used became the new renting. Renting had become a terrible deal by the 2000s – $5 for a few days on a game you're going to get nowhere close to beating (unlike the old SNES days). With used games you could take a flyer on a impulse purchase and if it sucked no big loss. Those people aren't going to buy new if you eliminate the market.
So? The publishers aren't making a single dollar off of them today - why should they care? They might as well threaten to stop pirating.

More likely they will start buying cheaper games a year or so out, as the MSRP drops, in which case they're even added revenue compared to today.

What changed since 2001? Everything. The market back then was exploding, and the growth hid the structural problems. The costs to make new games has risen. Gamestop is pushing used games harder than ever, and the higher prices - instituted in part to compensate for losses from used games - made the used games ever more attractive. If you look further back, games didn't always have subsidize consoles the way they do now - now even Nintendo sells consoles at a loss.
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May 28, 2013, 05:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
There is an old riddle that you may have heard before. Three men come to an inn and want to rent rooms. The price for all of them is $25, but they do not have exact change and pay the innkeeper $10 each. The innkeeper sends a bellboy out to make change, and then sends him up with the $5 change in singles. Still unable to make change, the three men take $1 each and give the bellboy $2 as a tip.

The men have now paid $9 each, or 3*$9=$27 in total, plus $2 as a tip makes $29. What happened to the last dollar?
What happened to the last dollar is that your math is wrong. Your math assumes that the men paid $24 for the room.

To correctly divide it up it would be each guy paid $9.33 (or $9.333) for the room.
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May 28, 2013, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post
What happened to the last dollar is that your math is wrong. Your math assumes that the men paid $24 for the room.

To correctly divide it up it would be each guy paid $9.33 (or $9.333) for the room.
Close but no cigar.

 
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May 28, 2013, 08:49 PM
 
WTF kind of "riddle" was that? Are people really that bad at math &/or reading comprehension?
     
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May 29, 2013, 08:31 AM
 
It's not so much about math as it is about critical thinking.
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Jun 3, 2013, 02:47 PM
 
     
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Jun 3, 2013, 05:30 PM
 
That's some tough news for the team, I'm sure. What a terrible way to lose someone.
     
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Jun 3, 2013, 05:34 PM
 
The infamous Michael Pachter strikes again:

Industry analyst Michael Pachter believes that the total bill of materials required to construct the PlayStation 4 will cost Sony around $275 – some $50 less than the components needed to build the Xbox One. The divisive Wedbush Securities employee revealed the tidbit in a note released to investors ahead of E3, justifying his recent $349 price tag prediction for the machine.

“For the PS4, we remain confident that the new console will have a lower initial MSRP than the PS3, which had a lofty starting price of $599 that we believe negatively impacted its long-term popularity,” he wrote. “We expect the PS4 to debut at $349, as our estimate of the bill of materials is $275.”

Pachter added that the Xbox One will likely cost $399, as this is the same price tag that the firm attached to the Xbox 360 in 2005. “Our estimate of the bill of materials for the Xbox One – based upon speculation regarding many of the specifications – is around $325, suggesting that Microsoft could make a modest profit at the $399 price point,” he continued.
Who knows if this guy will ever be correct about anything, but estimated build material costs being this low for both systems speaks well about avoiding a potential $500 price point for each.

Surely Microsoft wouldn't allow Sony to release a console $50 cheaper at launch, though. Would they? I know they've shown some PS3-launch, Sony-esque arrogance lately, but I'm sure they're aware of their bad start with the gaming community.

Also:
     
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Jun 3, 2013, 11:47 PM
 
I stopped posting his shit a while ago. Either he's an idiot, a troll, or both. He doesn't deserve the attention.
     
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Jun 4, 2013, 05:42 AM
 
Estimating the PS4 might be doable - we have a reasonable SOC die-size, we can figure out what the memory must cost, HDD, PSU, Bluray etc. The open point is what AMD makes out of all of this, but one can get in the ballpark by looking at what they made on the last generation. Estimating the X1 is going to be a fool's errand. We know the SOC is huge, but a lot of that is tightly packed eSRAM with high fault tolerance, so the yields can be all over the place. We also have no idea what the new Kinect costs.
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Jun 7, 2013, 01:39 PM
 
     
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Jun 7, 2013, 03:45 PM
 
Straight from the horse's mouth:

How Games Licensing Works on Xbox One

Any game can be bought online. Great, but we know that this is the top slice of the shit sandwich, so...

Any game installed on "your" Xbox can be played by anyone. This means that there will somehow be a "main" account on each Xbox.

A game is locked to your account, but you can put games in your shared library, which means that any "family member" can play them at any time. You can have up to 10 family members. This seems to allow for sharing games with friends, but I'm sure they have something to block that.

"Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games. "

The publishers can enable you to trade in games, meaning that they can elect to not let you do so. Not charging a platform fee doesn't mean that publishers won't charge a fee. Same wording on the paragraph about giving games.

So, basically as we guessed, yes?
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Jun 8, 2013, 02:48 PM
 
Summarized: used gaming is still dead.
     
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Jun 8, 2013, 10:23 PM
 
Vote with your wallet.
     
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Jun 9, 2013, 06:37 AM
 
Come along to the PC/Mac gaming and b*tch about the terrible console ports with the rest of us. A least we have cheaper games and steep Steam discounts.
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Jun 10, 2013, 03:55 AM
 
E3 starts tomorrow. Let's hope the keynotes don't disappoint. (Yeah right, who am I kidding.)

Two games I'll be keeping an eye one.
- Destiny (Bungie will reveal gameplay footage during the PS4 event.)
- Titanfall (The leaked the title of the debut game from Respawn Entertainment, the studio founded by ex-Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella.)

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Jun 10, 2013, 08:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Come along to the PC/Mac gaming and b*tch about the terrible console ports with the rest of us. A least we have cheaper games and steep Steam discounts.
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Jun 10, 2013, 10:14 AM
 
Everyone seems to be waiting for that one - only 2GB versions out so far. So, gaming at 1440p, then?
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Jun 10, 2013, 10:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Everyone seems to be waiting for that one - only 2GB versions out so far. So, gaming at 1440p, then?
No, going to be using X-Plane and apparently the sceneries with all the bells and whistles eat up GPU RAM.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 11:25 AM
 
Before the multi-presentation Monday gets rolling, let me drop this little piece of news:

Desilets sues Ubisoft to get control of 1666

The story thus far: Patrice Desilets creates Assassin's Creed while at Ubisoft, goes on to create AC2 and AC:B, at which point he leaves due to "creative differences". He recruits a chunk of his old team to go to THQ and work on a new game called 1666. Ubisoft keeps churning out new AC games while the THQ goes under and in the ensuing sale, Ubisoft decides to purchase 1666 and team behind it - led by Desilets. Now Desilets has been fired again, 1666 is cancelled and everyone is now headed to court. It's Infinity Ward all over again.

What I don't understand is why Ubisoft purchased a game and a team only to cancel the game and fire the team lead.
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Jun 10, 2013, 11:29 AM
 
They wanted the developers back.
     
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Jun 10, 2013, 12:23 PM
 
Sure, but if the other developers left to follow Desilets last time, why wouldn't they do that again now?
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Jun 10, 2013, 01:53 PM
 
Is there another THQ to go too? With the failure of 1666 Desilets may not have the pull needed.
     
 
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