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“The bottom line is the historical model on consoles and one of the differentiators is the ability to buy/sell/trade the games.”

This is the most relevant argument I hear about this topic, it’s a good point in terms of consumer perception. I just don’t think it’s enough to declare that anything that fundamentally changes (or removes) the way it has been done in the past instantly qualifies as “anti-consumer” or the equivalent of figuratively “pissing in our faces”.

Take into account that historically the differentiator for consoles was also that they were delivered on propietary cartridges with region-locking and other primitive piracy measures in effect. It has always been this way to some degree since the beginning. But times have changed, technology has advanced, and the reality is that the medium itself has changed the way this content is delivered to consumers. This manifested itself much sooner in the PC world because of the immediate and more easily adaptable nature of that platform in general, so why should it be so different for consoles? I remember a time when I could trade my PC games and I don’t feel the current model on Steam is unfair or exploitative. So why should it be so different for consoles? Why is it such a “piss in our faces” offence to even attempt to shift to the same model when ultimately disc-based content will inevitably no longer be as practical as digital anyway?

Just consider the fact that the disc drives themselves are no longer efficient enough to even play the games natively on the machines that are designed to play them. You have to install the game locally to the hard drive on both systems before they are playable for sake of stability, speed and access time. Discs are a remnant of an interim media solution that has nearly run it’s course, just like cartridges, or floppy disks of the past. They are husks that serve retailers more than the consumer in this regard and I would argue the disc-based market has been exploited by retailers like GameStop to the game industry’s detriment – and yes I am referring to the pricing model which has always been inflated directly to serve retailer’s interests for the sake of their profit margin that is in turn passed on to consumers anyway. How is that not “anti-consumer” by definition?

Switching to a newer model for consoles that has already proven itself and has been widely embraced by a similar and very relevant comparative market doesn’t qualify it as anti-consumer simply because it has been done differently historically.


It’s because they serve "different masters" that I am comparing them, that’s kind of the point.

Aside from that though, are you really going to sit back and suggest that the proliferation of closed, online-authenticated models such as iTunes Store and Steam as a means of delivering digital content for media that was historically hard-copy retail-based only, that consumers have adopted worldwide over the past decade and to
the tune of over $10 Billion in purchases last year for iTunes alone and over 65 Million users on Steam, has absolutely no bearing or relevance on a similar content delivery/authentication model for consoles, a platform whose content is inherently digital, simply because there is a segment of people who do not ascribe to either iTunes, or PC games but play only console games?

Just to back up a bit, we were speaking to the merits of the MODEL itself as being "anti-consumer". That is what we are comparing – not the "masters" themselves. A model that has already proven itself across multiple market segments as an overwhelmingly embraced retail platform.

But PCs and console "serve different masters" with absolutely no cross-over or cultural relevance or impact on each other so comparing anything between them "does no good"? Really, you’re going to hang your hat on that? Have an opinion on digital retail sure, but be better than intentionally obtuse or blind, absolute reasoning like "PC not console so nothing" because that’s flat out ignorant.

The A to B to C logic of "It was anti-consumer so people didn’t want it because facts" doesn’t really check out when you take into account the reality that both PS4 and XB1 sold out at launch with identical "consumer" policies that haven’t changed since then. There’s clearly other reasons PS4 gained such a larger market share in the past 6 months, and perhaps why XB1 has seen such a recent (relative) surge in sales; A more likely scenario is that it likely had more to do with price from a mass market appeal, and Sony had one hell of a head start in that department so far – and good for them for driving competition and forcing the kinds of change we’re seeing from Microsoft to fight for our collective consumer dollars.

I just don’t buy the whole "anti-consumer" fear machine label so many seem to lazily throw around or easily default to (especially theoretical ones considering none of what we are talking about actually came into existance). Or how personal so many seem to think the business of videogames actually is to publishers like Microsoft or Sony or Nintendo as if there is some evil lair where CEOs raise their pinky fingers to their lips and cackle maniacally over how much they will screw over the people they need to buy their product in order to succeed in the first place – especially when the model in question is based on the most successful consumer-adopted retail models in recent history.


It’s amusing to see commenters who don’t actually articulate an argument hide behind garbage hashtag-speak they don’t seem to understand or even bother to substantiate. Feel free to join the conversation, you clever wit you.

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I always find this to be a flawed argument.

I can only assume that by “anti-consumer” features you are referring to the planned always-online authentication and digital delivery of games as a means of controlling ownership or proof of purchase, as trading or sharing disc-based games was still always an option (that no one can actually speak to since the policy in question never ended up seeing the light of day).

It’s impossible to ignore the over 65 Million subscribers to the Steam model that supports a nearly identical infrastructure these policies were based on.

If anything it represents an anti-retailer (read anti-GameStop) feature that provides more support for the developers and doesn’t actually cost the consumer anything in the process. It cuts the retailer out of the equation and allows the developer and publisher more freedom with less restraints and deadline influence from retailers. It’s a more direct sale from content producer to consumer. It forces more transparency on potential piracy.

If it’s a disc-based games argument and falls back on “trade-in your games” in terms of long-term feasibility or even practicality, I think it’s an even weaker one.

In reality though “anti-consumer” made for a better headline, an easier to package twitter response or forum comment that spurred mob mentality without having to dig deeper or think about what the actual implications would have been or how they would have impacted the market in terms of relevant pros vs. cons. Consumers are more easily influenced by negatives anyway, whether it’s related to politics, videogames, or culture. It’s much easier to avoid ideas and more of a risk to change perception or embrace something different.

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This is a good point, it’s not hard to see why the strategy going into the Xbox One was the larger entertainment and connected experience when that is what ultimately helped it gain such momentum coming out of the previous generation. That, and the massive diversification of content delivery and the overarching entertainment environment these new consoles found themselves competing against, yes outside of just video games, allowing for a larger platform capable of appealing to a broader base of consumers for the sake of sustainability alone seemed like it would have been the smart choice at the time.

IMO Campbell has it wrong here though. It wasn’t the “all-encompassing entertainment super-box” component that hurt MS with the launch of the XB1. After all, Sony also propped up the PS4 (and continues to do so) with similar non-videogame-content offerings and apps. Instead, people clung to panic theories about always online, digital delivery of games, conspiracy theories surrounding the kinect including reaction to the recent NSA events at the time and the dubious “Thanks Obama” mentality. All things directly related to the game-centric experience of the XB1 in particular as opposed to auxiliary functionality. And then word of mouth and internet rage helped take care of the rest of the core opinion. Oh, and the price point was $100 different.

People spoke with their wallets and the PS4 has a stronger market share because all things equal the PS4 offered what the XB1 was offering strictly as a machine to play games but at $100 less for a solid half of a year. Period. That was the cold hard difference for the mass market.

As an owner of all major current consoles (Wii U, XB1, PS4) I think it’s odd that the author glosses over with a sweeping line that suggests the PS4 has “a growing library of games” when in fact, despite the success of the PS4 so far, compared to the competition on all fronts, the PS4 is the platform with the weakest current existing library and selection of games in both quantity and quality – the crux of this entire argument at the end of the day.

It’s not as simple as Campbell suggests here though. The reality is that if people only wanted a box that played games for a cheap price point, the Ouya wouldn’t be such a laughing stock and Steam Boxes would have way more mass market appeal behind them at this point. There’s no secret formula here, by and large Sony lucked into the market position they are in as opposed to deliberate actions and decisions they made a couple years ago in the final stages of production on PS4 development.

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…. or Chris was just offering his own personal experience and relevant insight as to why the quantity of layoffs isn’t necessarily qualified as “absurd” in a measured response to the op, rather than speaking to personal moral integrity regarding humanity.

Your position seems to be that just one person losing their job vs. 18,000 is just as tragic/devastating because of the human element – but no one is contesting that with these comments. If anything I think Chris helped illustrate why this 18,000 is more akin to just 1 which speaks to an “absurd” number, not the impact – because the human impact is common sense that doesn’t really merit explanation, as you said “we’re not stupid”.

It also speaks volumes about people who judge someone’s integrity based on a 10 word quick reply comment posted on an internet forum, no?

Just ask Adam Orth.

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Keep your fingers crossed, but do not pre-order this game to get the original cast voices and missions DLC this trailer shows. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the original series or not, pre-ordering this content only benefits the publishers and doesn’t let Polygon offer you a review prior to your purchase so you are wrong to want this free bonus content as a choice being a consumer. Even though your pre-order is fully refundable and doesn’t cost you anything more.

Ben Kuchera wants this to be a good game too, but because they are offering this DLC as pre-order only content means this game is bullshit. Because pre-order DLC and all pre-order incentive content is bad for you because it can only be good for them. Don’t you know that all retailers only use pre-orders to create false scarcity even though you can download the game at any time if that’s your choice and I have never seen a game disc sell out entirely before it could be re-stocked by most major retailers, like, ever?

Instead, don’t pre-order anything, wait until the game comes out and the game is reviewed with an arbitrary out-of-10 number rating so you can be sure that you personally will enjoy the game based on their opinion before purchasing it and then realize that you won’t get this bonus content you probably wanted as a fan of the series because you didn’t pre-order in the first place even if what was just for the fun of it.

March those hate machines into the sun!!!

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Despite the thinly veiled and somewhat misplaced journo rage of Ben Kuchera over IGN scooping exclusive views and clicks for the trailer, or the tacit implication that pre-orders summarily belittle his existence as a game journalists altogether, I agree in theory with his general stance on the current implementation of pre-orders for games today.

What I find more interesting is his presumed divisive stance, using his same logic, that Kickstarter should not exist in any capacity relating to the creation or sale of videogames whatsoever. After all, there is no way you can defend Kickstarter and not Pre-Orders by the same merits, yet for me, I would argue there is value to be had in both given the reality of modern retail and the future health of the industry in broad terms.

Not unlike movies, music, or popular literature the reality is that videogame week one sales are key to their financial success or failure. Gamers by and large are a cynical and fickle bunch (bless our souls) which a stable, viable marketplace does not make. In a way we are all responsible for the existence and sheer need of the pre-order model. I guess where I diverge from Ben’s oversimplified opinion is where he suggests that the publishers and retailers are the only ones who benefit. Every successful entertainment property grows and thrives as a result of their fan community (just ask Nintendo) and pre-order incentives, while unabashedly serving the publishers’ and retailers’ financial concerns, also feed the wants and passion of the loyal core fan base, no matter how superficial or inconsequential it may seem, which in term helps promote success and growth for that property and the industry longer term. If the game comes out and it’s terrible, no one is going to be successful or recoup enough of their losses anyway to because it simply is not a sustainable practice.

It’s a little juvenile to assume that publishers look at pre-order sales figures and say “welp we’ve got their money already so let’s just pinch off this turd now because no one will notice or care next time”.

I am genuinely curious to know Ben’s thoughts on Mighty No. 9 and that whole Kickstarter campaign. To me, that serves as a convincing argument as to why publishers aren’t going to abandon the pre-order model anytime soon and why consumer wants of gamers in general justify it’s existence.

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I already have the camera, I agreed to pay for it at the price it was offered at the time. Also I’ve been using it for the past seven months so why do they need to pay me back for the use I’ve already gotten out of it in the meantime? (I’m still talking about the car btw).

I bought a pack of gum that had special flavour crystals, I didn’t want the flavour crystals, I just wanted the plain old gum – but I wanted the gum at the time, in that moment, because I needed some sweet sweet next gen gum chewing satisfaction to next-gen freshen my breath. Wouldn’t ya know it, HALF A YEAR later they started offering that gum without flavour crystals for $50 less even though the gum WITH flavour crystals was still the same price. They done owe me $50 for that flavour crystal -assed gum I chewed back in the fall right? Right?! Somebody!! Tell the gum company how to treat their loyal gum chewing fans before anarchy reigns!!!!!

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I bought a new car in November. Since then I’ve driven it, used it, and maybe even enjoyed the luxury of having it available for the past 7 months.

But get this: Half a year later the dealer is selling the exact same model but with the option of rear-assist backup camera and cash incentives with better financing – I DEMAND FULL REFUND BECAUSE BROKEN LOGIC AND MISSING THE POINT!!


I really enjoyed the first inFamous on PS3. In the wake of Crackdown-inspired superhuman open-world mayhem it was a lot of fun. But 5 years later, even the beautiful glossy new coat of paint couldn’t hide the monotonous lather, rinse, repeat formula of this series for me.

At this point I’m more hopeful for the new Crackdown and Sunset Overdrive to at least shake up that genre a little bit. By that point I hope there will be more games to play on my PS4, otherwise it will continue to collect dust.

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I would argue there aren’t even any killer apps on the PS4 at all at this point, let alone any actual exclusive games to play despite the sales success it has received in the West.

PS4 won the popularity contest because of it’s price point and perceived groundswell support generated by the core, but in my opinion there’s nowhere near enough compelling content available for the system to justify it’s reception in North America, Europe, South America, let alone Japan. It has less to do with Japanese developer support than it does with the fact there just aren’t any games or new experiences to be had with this console right now, period.

Second Son looks great but it’s a sequel of a sequel and is frankly, the most boring and repetitive game outside of Watchdogs this generation. Killzone is in every way just another Killzone – looks good but nothing new. And then a handful of re-release indie greats that everyone has already played or is playing elsewhere. Where is DriveClub btw? Where is any unique, compelling content at all?

I bought into PS4 hype early on but to be honest I can’t think of a single reason to recommend it to anyone at this point, so I’m not surprised it’s not exactly burning up the charts in Japan as much as it was thought it would by now. I guess greatness will continue to wait for now.

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After playing through the alpha, I don’t see what all the hype is about. At this stage it came off as just another floaty weapon HALO FPS with gorgeous environments but boring combat, convoluted story, and no crunch. What’s new here? The fact you can level up your character and make gear like other games are doing better already? That’s just my dumb impression so far of this unfinished game that people seemed to get way too hyped over just because Tyrion’s voice is featured.

So long as publishers continue the trend of releasing alphas on Playstation, betas on Xbox One, gammas on Wii U, deltas on Ouya, and pre-release epsilons on PC, a couple days apart I think I’ll stick with good old fashioned finished gold masters with unbiased, proper reviews before digging in.

btw has Inafune started another round of crowdfunding for an extra colour to be used in the digital box art yet?

Personally, I’m looking forward to “The Last of Us – Laster Edition Redux” with exclusive 2-day alpha access only on Playstation first. It’s going to be mega hype. After that I’m on to GTA IV 2.a only on Xbox One for 3 days in August before the final version of Watchdogs has simultaneous worldwide multiplatform beta access in September.

And then I’ll be playing Crackdown Zeroes alpha/pre-beta paid demo, I heard they got Matthew McConaughey to do his True Detective voice saying “that villain came from the moon” and it was worthy of a hilarious gif spawning thunderous laughter around the globe because of it’s sheer relevance to nothing worthwhile at all.


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I visited North Tonawanda once, the entire country of the United States of America must be a boring suburb…

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