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#27 Jun 02 2013 at 2:26 PM Rating: Decent
So now that the **** has stopped spraying out of the fan momentarily, and we are all getting a nice breeze by the rapid backpedal being done by both companies (Sony apparently had plans to follow suit that are now over source), where are we going from here, do you think?

Will the big two companies try to kill off used games and backwards compatibility, or will they actually smarten up some?
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#28 Jun 02 2013 at 2:32 PM Rating: Good
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have a better source than some forum post?
#29 Jun 02 2013 at 2:37 PM Rating: Good
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KTurner wrote:
have a better source than some forum post?


Of course. This forum post.

Sh*t may have stopped spraying out of the fan, but it's still coming from the fans. Smiley: smile

Edited, Jun 2nd 2013 4:37pm by TirithRR
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#30 Jun 02 2013 at 3:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Pawkeshup, Averter of the Apocalypse wrote:
Will the big two companies try to kill off used games and backwards compatibility, or will they actually smarten up some?

Of course they will. They (console manufacturers and publishers) make money off new games sales. They don't make money off used game sales. Since they're in the business to make money, they will continues to try and push for new game sales as exclusively as possible.

I'm guessing a focus towards the softer approach of account-locked DLCs included in new game packages. You can buy a used copy of Elite Ninja Dino-Warriors but you'll only get the Triceratops laser helmet and Diplodocus marine units if you buy new.
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#31 Jun 02 2013 at 3:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's not that simple though. They make money by people buying their console, and subsequently buying games for it. The more people who buy the console, the wider the range of their potential profits.

Right now, gamers only generally buy big-name titles that they really want, because a $60 price point is just too expensive for the others. Greatest Hits titles will fall to a more reasonable price in time, yeah, but it's not a super fast process.

But the appeal of a gaming console isn't just big-name titles, it's the full package. Up until now, that has included cheaper, used titles to supplement your gaming library.

If I have to pony up $300, I'm going to feel very differently about doing so in a world where I'm only looking at owning 7 big budget games that year compared to a world where I would own 10-15. That makes me far more likely to purchase the console in the first place, and 7 titles' worth of publishing fees is certainly better than 0.

It's a balancing act. And I don't know what the answer is. EA has been using their online passes, but now that's going out the window. And those were essentially just DLC packs.

But I also feel very confident about one thing - used games aren't even on a list of publishers' true woes. They're the red herring here. I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of used games sales are on titles that the consumer would not have purchased at full price anyway, meaning the publisher doesn't actually lose any money there. In fact, I'd argue they gain it in the long run. That player purchasing the used game is a potential new fan of your studio or series. Used games are a way of extending your advertising into an audience you weren't appropriately reaching before (and because you weren't getting them to buy your games, they weren't making you money anyway).

Now, if it was the case that all of these gamers WOULD buy enough big-budget titles before their price dropped officially, without used games, it would be a different story. But I don't believe that it would be enough.
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#32 Jun 02 2013 at 4:29 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
If I have to pony up $300, I'm going to feel very differently about doing so in a world where I'm only looking at owning 7 big budget games that year compared to a world where I would own 10-15. That makes me far more likely to purchase the console in the first place, and 7 titles' worth of publishing fees is certainly better than 0.

My guess is that they feel that console purchasing as a whole across the gaming community is fairly inelastic. People inclined to play console video games are going to buy one method or another and probably aren't likely to move to PC gaming for various reasons. Many of the consoles are likely purchased as gifts or by parents where costs of games isn't as heavy a factor. And the take on seven games purchased at full retail is greater than the take on four or five games purchased at full retail and a million-thousand games purchased used. Provided MS and Sony are on the same page, all those people who want to play Call of Duty or Madden are going to wind up buying one console or another. What else are they going to do -- play CoD on the Ouya?

Quote:
But I also feel very confident about one thing - used games aren't even on a list of publishers' true woes. They're the red herring here. I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of used games sales are on titles that the consumer would not have purchased at full price anyway, meaning the publisher doesn't actually lose any money there

But if the used game sales weren't available, it's likely the customer would purchase some quantity of new games. Maybe not at the same ratio but even if they only buy 25% as many games new as they'd buy used, that's still a percentage of $25 going towards publishers for every $100 customers used to spend... and from which MS/Sony/publishers got $0.00

It's like if they stopped offering deep deals on PC digital downloads. Obviously I wouldn't buy as many games but I'd still buy some. I'd just be much more selective on which games I bought. But my general gaming budget wouldn't suddenly go to zero dollars.

But, like I said, I'd expect to see a soft approach where buying new becomes increasingly more desirable than buying used so the more restrictions placed upon used games, the smaller the population is who seriously cares since they've become accustomed to buying new anyway. If they can couple that with a push towards digital sales, so much the better.

Edited, Jun 2nd 2013 5:33pm by Jophiel
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#33 Jun 02 2013 at 5:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:

It's like if they stopped offering deep deals on PC digital downloads. Obviously I wouldn't buy as many games but I'd still buy some. I'd just be much more selective on which games I bought. But my general gaming budget wouldn't suddenly go to zero dollars.


Which, if anything, is what I'd argue is something the console market seriously needs to be looking into. If Microsoft had begun their no-used presentation with a discussion of the PC gaming market, and pledged to offer the same opportunity to console gamers (and, in so doing, assure players that they wouldn't be missing used games anyway), then this would have been a very different scenario.

I doubt they have to offer sales to the extent of PC gaming, but it's in their best interest to do something. I don't think the market is at a sustainable price point. Particularly not where smaller studios are concerned (and not when smaller studios can only generally work on indie games, because publishing on the consoles is far too painful).

As for the actual console market, my only point there is that any gamer already playing used games is going to consider it a strong strike against the console for them to be unavailable. In some percentage of sales, that's going to cost them all new game sales, instead of winning them some sales in conjunction with used games.

So either used games are an actual problem, in which case publishers are losing a lot of money, and stand to lose FAR more by alienating those players completely. Or used games aren't really a problem, and they stand to lose a lot of money by completely alienating their fanbase by coming off as the major corporation that doesn't give two ***** about the quality of life of their fan base where it doesn't make them money.

Because here's the thing. Used games aren't pirating. It's also a practice that's been firmly upheld legally under the first sale doctrine. Trying to cast that entire industry, and the people making use of it, as leachers... is obviously going to **** off your fanbase. And ******* off your fanbase at precisely the time you want them to be as excited as possible is not really a good plan.
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#34 Jun 02 2013 at 6:13 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
As for the actual console market, my only point there is that any gamer already playing used games is going to consider it a strong strike against the console for them to be unavailable. In some percentage of sales, that's going to cost them all new game sales, instead of winning them some sales in conjunction with used games.

So either used games are an actual problem, in which case publishers are losing a lot of money, and stand to lose FAR more by alienating those players completely. Or used games aren't really a problem, and they stand to lose a lot of money by completely alienating their fanbase by coming off as the major corporation that doesn't give two sh*ts about the quality of life of their fan base where it doesn't make them money.

Your conclusions are built on a faulty premise. A game player may consider it a strike against them if they can't buy used games but that only matters if they have an alternative. At some point, MS and Sony will jointly decide to block used games (or somehow monetize it) and, again, where will the console players go? Wii U? Just stop playing video games?

Probably not. They'll spend the same budget on fewer games, purchasing more selectively. And MS/Sony will get a full cut of each sale rather than missing out on an entire market.

For that matter, a shift to digital downloads likely won't happen until it's jointly decided between MS and Sony, just because of publisher concerns.
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#35 Jun 02 2013 at 8:09 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
As for the actual console market, my only point there is that any gamer already playing used games is going to consider it a strong strike against the console for them to be unavailable. In some percentage of sales, that's going to cost them all new game sales, instead of winning them some sales in conjunction with used games.

So either used games are an actual problem, in which case publishers are losing a lot of money, and stand to lose FAR more by alienating those players completely. Or used games aren't really a problem, and they stand to lose a lot of money by completely alienating their fanbase by coming off as the major corporation that doesn't give two sh*ts about the quality of life of their fan base where it doesn't make them money.

Your conclusions are built on a faulty premise. A game player may consider it a strike against them if they can't buy used games but that only matters if they have an alternative. At some point, MS and Sony will jointly decide to block used games (or somehow monetize it) and, again, where will the console players go? Wii U? Just stop playing video games?

Probably not. They'll spend the same budget on fewer games, purchasing more selectively. And MS/Sony will get a full cut of each sale rather than missing out on an entire market.

For that matter, a shift to digital downloads likely won't happen until it's jointly decided between MS and Sony, just because of publisher concerns.


On the contrary, I would argue that you are placing limitations on the group without sufficient reason to do so.

For one thing, there's a meaningful difference between console gamers and gamers who play on consoles. The first group is the significant minority, and were always going to purchase a console, regardless of how worthless the generation leap was. They probably already knew which of the next generation they'd be purchasing (if not both) long before any rumors or specs about the next generation even came out.

But we're moving into a market where there are far, far more options. The gap between your average pc and a gaming console is closing quite rapidly. A $400 laptop is already capable of playing just about anything on the market at more than passable levels, and the next generation of cpus are showing an even greater increase in integrated graphics. The barrier to move to pc gaming has literally never been lower.

For the graphics-obsessed, that might not be a selling point. But I'd wager the majority of gamers who just happen to use consoles aren't caring all that much what's under the hood. And PC gaming has never before been so accessible. Particularly not with MMOs like WoW introducing so many new players to the system.

I'd also argue that more console gamers are likely purchasing their own systems than ever before, as the market has aged up with time. Most gamers aren't high school kids anymore, they're people in their 20s and 30s. Not because there are fewer high school gamers, but because former high school gamers grew up.

Plus, the notion of gaming has changed a fair bit recently. Gamers who are looking for a way to pass time are going to be more open to the idea of just using their standard devices for the task, because their standard devices (phones and tablets) are doing it increasingly well. And that market is growing fairly quickly.

Is there a decent population who won't care? Of course. Call of Duty is going to sell a LOT of consoles to gamers who don't even have particularly intentions to play anything else. As will Madden (etc.) games. That's a relatively guaranteed market.

It's also not one I imagine overlaps with the used game market at all. The used game market is filled with gamers trying to keep an eye on their budget. Those gamers are going to have to make a decision if they want to join the next console generation. And considering the options available, I'd be surprised if a decent bulk of them didn't pass it up.
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#36 Jun 02 2013 at 8:29 PM Rating: Good
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Out of all my coworkers (25-35 y/o males) who play games... I'm the only one who owns a PC capable of doing anything beyond web browsing, if they own a PC at all. They all still play the AAA titles on the 360 and PS3.
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#37 Jun 02 2013 at 8:58 PM Rating: Good
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If they've bought a pc in the past two years, chances are it can play most games on the market at low settings at playable frame rates.

If they're going to buy a new console, they can DEFINITELY get a PC at the same price point, or lower, that will play games at acceptable graphics levels/framerates (particularly since intel's next gen budget chip line will have launched by then).

If they aren't early adopters, as most gamers aren't (because you get a sub-par product for a higher price), the quality of the pc will go higher. If they aren't looking for a laptop, the quality goes higher. All without ever spending more than you'd spend on the console.

And remember that more and more gamers are becoming aware of how cheaply you can game on the PC.

If none of them would even consider pc gaming, then they're pretty clearly in the minority console gaming demographic that was going to buy the console anyway. They are not indicative of the general audience anyway. I feel the need to point this out, since you tossed out the age/gender like it meant something. Just because they fall into groups with higher rates of gamers doesn't make them representative of the group at large.

And to be frank, I'd VERY MUCH argue that a small sample size in which having a computer is noteworthy is not going to offer us any valuable insights into the gaming population at large.
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#38 Jun 02 2013 at 9:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
Out of all my coworkers (25-35 y/o males) who play games... I'm the only one who owns a PC capable of doing anything beyond web browsing, if they own a PC at all. They all still play the AAA titles on the 360 and PS3.

Yeah, the console gamers I see in other forums are constantly very adamant about having no interest in PC gaming or have various reasons (of varying legitimacy) for why they stick with consoles. I just don't see them shifting to PC gaming. Even when the issue of costs comes up, it's "Yeah but a gaming PC costs so much money so you're actually paying more... etc etc". It might not be true but they have zero interest in finding out. I regularly see people who are convinced that it's 1994 and running a game requires days of fiddling with .dlls and IRQs before you can get started.

I'm not debating whether or not a PC is an adequate replacement, even at the same price points. But I'm completely unconvinced that "We'll drive them to PC gaming!" is even on the radar of MS/Sony concerns when designing consoles.
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#391048jack1, Posted: Jun 02 2013 at 11:59 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Previously, we reported that Na'Vi might head to China and prepare for TI3 (related news), but we got no further specifics. Many players think Na'Vi will cancel their journey to China and stay in Europe to train considering the excellent performance of Alliance’s suppressing three Chinese power houses on G – 1. However, sources suggest Na'Vi has already decided to head to Shanghai, China on June 24th. But we have no idea whether they will stay for a long time or attend some exhibition match. from gameguyz.com
#40 Jun 03 2013 at 8:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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But I don't think the majority of console gamers care, to be honest. Console gamers who are actually active in gaming culture are generally on the defensive (and typically for good reason).

I seriously doubt they're the norm. I think they're at one end of the spectrum. At the other end you have the super casual fans who'll buy a console just because it's easy, and because they don't know of any alternative (a la gamers like my brother, for whom the xbox is a CoD box).

It's the people in between I think they stand to lose. The people with a stronger sense of what the gaming landscape is like, who are more interested in the actual advantages of their machines. With the fairly strong move towards gaming-specific marketing in new PC sales (since they can actually substantiate that now, even without dedicated cards), it's only becoming stronger.

Considering there's a decent chance they'd buy a gaming-capable laptop regardless, there's a decent chance they'd move to try it at least.

I just don't see the minimal increase in game sales actually countering the loss of console sales. And the more I think about it, I think it's generally true that gamers are either going to pay for a game at $60 or they won't. I don't think most people keep a mental tally of how much they've spent on games in general, when it comes to the actual practice of buying. They'll buy a game that looks interesting once it's low enough. They won't buy it before that. And until we start getting up to large sums of cash, I doubt their overall budget will matter.

If publishers aren't going to offer their games at a low cost, they aren't going to see an increase in sales just because you can't buy the game used anymore. The players just won't buy the game.

But I DO think that the initial evaluation of a console will take the actual number of games you expect to play into account. If it looks low, because you'll have to pay full price for everything, I expect it'll lose a fair number of buyers.
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#41 Jun 03 2013 at 9:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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I get what you're saying, I just don't think it's a bell curve between "Casual, Because it just works" and "Consoles-4-eva!". If anything, I think it's more of an inverted bell curve with the extremes making up the majority of console players and people who make an informed, impartial weighing of their console vs PC options the definite minority. I think most console players are either opposed to PC gaming (actively or passively), want console exclusives or want to play with friends/family who are also console gamers.

Edited, Jun 3rd 2013 10:17am by Jophiel
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#42 Jun 05 2013 at 4:33 PM Rating: Good
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Yahtzee's take on it all.
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#43 Jun 05 2013 at 4:45 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
I get what you're saying, I just don't think it's a bell curve between "Casual, Because it just works" and "Consoles-4-eva!". If anything, I think it's more of an inverted bell curve with the extremes making up the majority of console players and people who make an informed, impartial weighing of their console vs PC options the definite minority. I think most console players are either opposed to PC gaming (actively or passively), want console exclusives or want to play with friends/family who are also console gamers.

Edited, Jun 3rd 2013 10:17am by Jophiel


That's quite possible. I suppose we'll see. If Microsoft doesn't do a 180 on these policies, that is.
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#44 Jun 05 2013 at 4:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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TotalBiscuit's views on used games:
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#45 Jun 05 2013 at 5:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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I agree with their take.
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#46 Jun 05 2013 at 5:17 PM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
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I laughed at 17:50. "LUL NO!"

And... I wonder how true the next statement is though, about the reason for Steam/Digital Distribution prices. Makes sense, but I just don't know how true it is. I would imagine it has to be a factor.

All in all, it's a well thought out video (or... audio). I'm all for used game market disappearing and PSN/Live/eShop opening up in a Steamy way.

Edited, Jun 5th 2013 7:17pm by TirithRR
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#47 Jun 05 2013 at 6:17 PM Rating: Good
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The thing is that there's competition with Steam for direct distribution. Without similar competition for Sony/MSoft, I don't really see why they'd have the same kind of deep discount sales.
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#48 Jun 05 2013 at 6:20 PM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
Without similar competition for Sony/MSoft, I don't really see why they'd have the same kind of deep discount sales.
I would imagine it could be used to draw their audiences away from physical medium and more towards digital distribution since that's probably in their best interests.

Edited, Jun 5th 2013 7:44pm by xypin
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#49 Jun 05 2013 at 6:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
And... I wonder how true the next statement is though, about the reason for Steam/Digital Distribution prices. Makes sense, but I just don't know how true it is. I would imagine it has to be a factor.

I assume it's a factor but, more so, consumers are just used to an initial MSRP that's largely consistent across platforms and likely in the $40-$50 range. If publishers have us used to dropping $49.99 for a game at release, they're never going to say "Just kidding, it's actually just $39.99 now since it's on Steam!"

I'd guess that the physical costs for the game are a pretty small part of the overall cost anyway and the savings aren't really significant for a new title vs game development and marketing costs. For older titles, the price can drop because they don't have to press physical discs for a game with limited sales appeal. But, for the new stuff, they'd be cranking out the discs and boxes no matter what.
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#50 Jun 05 2013 at 7:00 PM Rating: Good
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#51 Jun 06 2013 at 5:25 PM Rating: Good
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Looks like Microsoft is responding to a lot of the feedback they have received over the past few weeks:
http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/main


I don't know if all of this was originally intended and everything just blew up or if this includes a lot new policies.


Few important points from the article:
The X1 will need to connect online once every 24 hours.
There will be no fee for transferring/selling games imposed by Microsoft, but other publishers may do so.
You can log into your account on up to 10 X1's and play your games on all of them.
You can control the privacy and voice settings of the Kinect (not that this means much anymore with Verizon in the news and consoles getting hacked)

Edited, Jun 6th 2013 6:30pm by xypin
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