Friday, April 26, 2013

TheGamerPOV: Why Soul Sacrifice's timing is 100% spot on

We are at a turning point in the games industry. This will be the first new generation that will not come with a huge format change. Playstation One introduced games on CD's in home consoles, Playstation 2 came with a DVD player built in and games on DVD's allowing for much more storage on each disc. 

Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have HD capabilities, the 360 revolutionized internet gaming and a year later Playstation showed the world Blu Ray. This next generation looks very exciting, with or without huge format changes, as consoles becomes more like custom built high end PC's, at least until PC's make the next huge technological step. 

I do think though, and this is purely non-factual based speculation, that console manufacturers this generation are planning for when PC's skip ahead with new add-ons or updated version of the consoles. In which case there might never be a price drop, they could keep PS4 running solid for 2-3 years then release a PS4.1. 

Although I doubt they will flood stores with 10 different versions of the same console, they might keep the last one at a lowered price, and the new one at the same price as it's always been. This method would surely allow Sony and Microsoft to finally MAKE money on their consoles. 

Because when PS4 and Xbox 720/durango come out they will take a loss on their consoles, but in three years the hardware inside the machine becomes so cheap for them to make that if they reduce the price to still get somewhat of a profit, as well as null out the loss of their new updated console, they end up in the green. 

Let me show you with simplified two digit math what I mean; PS4 cost 15$ to make, they sell it for 14$ and take 1$ loss, PS4.1 cost 15$ to make and still sold for 14$ however, now PS4  cost 10$ to make and sells for 12$ after a price reduction, so they make 2$ on that and lose 1$ on PS4.1. So in the end they make 1$ for every one of each console they sell, and most likely they will sell 50 PS4 for every one PS4.1 they sell. 

Anyway, enough speculating. Most surely everyone is looking at the horizon for the next E3. This might be where the next Xbox will be revealed and this is where we will get more information from Square Enix. (Which was the most dissapointing showing at the PS4 press conference with a shown-before tech demo and a "please look forward to E3" comment. A company that has co-operated so much with Sony up through the years and that's all they give them on such an important day for Sony). We might also get PS4 details and maybe the reveal of the actual machine, and many game reveals and announcements to be sure.

So there's not much happening before June. Publishers are holding their cards really close to their chest, except a few publishers who smartly exploit the media silence so there's much more focus on them. So how does Soul Sacrifice fit into all this? 

Well, one console that is not getting too much attention leading up to E3 right now is the Playstation Vita. The vita is considered more as a companion peripheral to PS4 right now and people are more excited about what it can do with PS4 and maybe new functions mentioned at E3. 

So what would happen if this game is the next killer-must-have-system-seller app for the Playstation Vita? Here is an obscure metaphor of what that would be like: Imagine all modern consoles sitting at a desk in the same room tapping all their pencils, nobody paying attention to little Vita, until the day he smashes a huge bat on his own desk. Nobody is looking at E3 now. Little Vita is claiming his spot in the handheld market and people are more anxious to see what he will smash his desk with in two months at E3. Or could it just be an ace title on a neglected console?

My point? Buy a Playstation Vita! This is the handheld for 'hardcore' gamers. If we dont support it, they won't make games for it. I have read so many places 'theres too little thirds party support for it'. 

Well, consider this: Instead of you looking at third party publishers with a raised eyebrow saying: "Well, are you going to support this?" Imagine the third party developers looking at you with a raised eyebrow saying: "Do you want us to?"

Sony is doing all they can to support the Vita, releasing great games and features for it and improving remote play. It just seems like a silly endless circle, third party publishers wants a bigger userbase, users want more third party support. 

If you want a 'hardcore' handheld game system you have to support it, if you support it, so will third party publisher. Use the Playstation 3 as an example: When it first came out, it did not have a lot of momentum. However, as the userbase grew, so did the third party support and game library. 

The success or failure is up to us here. If we don't buy Vita, we can't complain about casual gamers and 3DS sales and games, because we had our chance. If we do buy Vitas, we get more games, better games, more often. 

My name is Tommy, and that was my point of view.

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