Ben's Week In Review: July 6
Hope everyone had a safe and happy July 4th. :)
I know why Sony didn't expect Microsoft to eliminate Kinect so quickly
Sony says they always figured Microsoft would ditch the Kinect as a mandatory Xbox One accessory, but they didn't expect it to happen this soon. Well, I know why they didn't anticipate it.
It's because they didn't expect the Xbox One to have such a slow start, nor did they expect the PlayStation 4 to be as far ahead (globally) as it is.
Let's face it, after the previous generation, even optimists wouldn't have figured the next Xbox would've been substantially behind the new PlayStation. In fact, many analysts were thinking Sony would be lucky to draw even with Microsoft in North America (although most did believe PlayStation would ultimately rule the European and Japanese regions). Microsoft got rid of Kinect to boost sales, plain and simple. They most likely would've done it later in the console's lifespan - I would've originally predicted holiday 2014 - but they couldn't let Sony grab more and more of the console market share.
I knew from the start that Xbox One was in for a rough ride if it launched at the same time as the PS4, but with a more expensive price. I'm just a little surprised Microsoft didn't immediately make Kinect optional to defray the extra $100; as far as I'm concerned, they waited too long.
I think people need to be reminded about the definition of "beta"
There are too many gamers out there who don't seem to understand the purpose of a beta test. When DICE revealed the myriad of improvements they were making to Battlefield: Hardline as a result of the recent beta, I think some gamers were surprised. I know I've come across gamers who honestly believe a beta is basically just a demo. It really isn't. It's called a "test" for a reason; it's designed specifically for quality assurance purposes. It's not so you can play the game early (and for free); it's so you can spot any problems and report them to the creators. It's the best QA you can find, just because you're utilizing thousands of testers.
When you participate in a beta, you undertake a responsibility. I'm not saying you need to issue a bullet-by-bullet report to the developer; I'm just saying you're supposed to be helping. It's not merely an opportunity for you to play a game early, and it's not the finalized product, either. These are two points that too many gamers miss.
Personal gaming update
I know I should be finishing Grand Theft Auto V but for some strange reason, I started up a new game of Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance last night. I stupidly got the sequel on Xbox (which I don't have anymore), so I'm stuck with the three classes in the original title, but it's still lots of fun. I really do miss games like this, which is why I think I might enjoy Diablo III on the PS4. I got some enjoyment out of the Intercept DLC for Killzone: Shadow Fall but after playing Wolfenstein: The New Order, I'm sorta FPS-ed out.
There's really nothing coming out that I want to play and whenever that happens, I feel like I've got more time than I actually do. So, I invariably end up going back to an old game...yeah, I know, it's a sickness. ;)
7/5/2014 Ben Dutka