: Sunday Meditation: Welcome To The Other Next Generation

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Sunday Meditation: Welcome To The Other Next Generation

Perhaps it was naive of me to think this generation change would go over like the others.

Since console gaming has become closer to PC gaming I should have guessed there would be some more hiccups, but I think it's console software publishers taking advantage of the situation in order to conduct money making experiments that are to blame.

Instead of a nice clean transfer of old games fading away and new full next gen games coming in we instead have this nebulous no man's land between generations where gamers, developers, and publishers are fumbling in the dark while trying to navigate a rising industry that is expensive for gamers, game makers, and financial backers.

What are the features of this new “other” next generation? I've smoked out a few of them but please feel free to list your own.

The Cash Grab:

It's not especially easy to draw a line on which games do and do not deserve a full super HD remaster for the new systems, but some of them are undoubtedly a way to make more money. Square Enix is guilty of this, probably because they have insane sales standards. While I defended Tomb Raider DE for the extra work done, the detractors certainly had their good points about why the Definitive Edition wasn't reasonably priced. Even if you want to give Tomb Raider the benefit of the doubt, now I see that Sleeping Dogs is getting a super version. It's nothing against that game or its extras, it was a great experience. It's old though, a thing of the past, and now it seems the floodgates are open. There's talk of more collections like Final Fantasy XIII, again from SE, and also an Uncharted collection from Naughty Dog. The Last of Us? Sure it was late-gen, but there are only so many viable excuses. Beyond: Two Souls may have a hard time not fitting into the cash grab section unless they fix those vacant controls.

Basically there is a flood of old games on their way back over. It's one thing to deal with a year of cross-gen games but this is a whole new level of cross-gen. The ability to do this is facilitated best by the fact that new systems are not at all backwards compatible, something I wouldn't be surprised to see again even with the new PC style architectures.

The Indie Content Gambit:

Indie games were a little cherry on the top of gaming last gen. Good and great ones came now and then, even changing the landscape by getting GOTY nominations. They don't really feel that way anymore. In hopes of nabbing the next huge thing like Angry Birds or something (mobile games coming fits into this category) indie games have become a stopgap measure to dump onto the digital stores and pad the thin PS Plus subscription freebies in order to report big game numbers without recognizing the fact that the true next gen experiences just aren't coming for the time being.

The Split Decision:

Rather than decide whether or not to place all resources into big, innovative next gen experiences we see that Ubisoft is leading the way in making full use of the giant install base for the former systems. While Assassin's Creed: Unity is coming for PS4 and Xbox One, Ubi has no problem releasing a new last gen AC as well. At first glance it seems like they are being nice to everyone, but don't you think that the new/old Assassin's Creed won't be brought back up to snuff and sold again on the new consoles?

The Straight Up Lie:

This is when developers assure us all that a cross generational game, say Dragon Age: Inquisition, will take full advantage of the new systems. This is a thing which is not possible. The vision for the game is clearly big, much bigger than before, but any game first created to function on less powerful hardware can't exactly spread its wings unless there is going to be a ton of content chopped off for the last gen version. We know the world could be bigger, the graphics better, the physics tighter, the stories more numerous, the dialogue options more plentiful etc if the game was not also being produced for old hardware. The only hole I see in this is for games like Destiny which will be able to keep growing and thus have the ability to leave the PS3 and Xbox 360 behind.

The Anything Goes Strategy:

This covers just about everything questionable. PS4's still can't play our own digital movies or music and I doubt that's just something they couldn't have ready at launch. Sony wants their services to sell. Needing PS Plus to play online is another issue with Sony. Technically they didn't break their word since free online play was part and parcel of PS3, but they did make some statements about free online play in the past that made the requirement of a subscription service not quite kosher. Needed to be profitable? Perhaps, but they are lucky gamers feel like the extras they get cover the cost.

In Xbox land they shotgunned out a bunch of crazy DRM ideas that got them in trouble, then launched a Kinect anchored Xbox One in order to get an extra hundred bucks. Those things did not help them, but they were part of the “let's see what these people will put up with” experiment.

Pricing is another piece of this puzzle. Things are a little less steady. When the original The Last of Us Remastered price received a little backlash it was quickly cut down to $50, an alteration that might have aided Tomb Raider DE. On another front entirely, I think anybody surfing the Playstation Now beta will have a few things to say about this pricing/rental structure. I wouldn't be surprised to see these change down the line. It really would have made more sense to go with a Netflix interface.

Finally in the anything goes we have the dirty play; do I need to even say what I mean? Third party exclusives like Rise of the Tomb Raider are now up for exclusivity sale and boy doesn't that just leave a foul taste in one's mouth? Keep an eye out for this one, I think in 2015 it will only get nastier during this kind of in-between other next generation.

8/16/2014 David D. Nelson

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Comments (11 posts)

Knightzane
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 2:37:35 AM
Reply

Very good read dude.

The entire thing about HD remakes being brought to the next gen. Its very true that it would be difficult to decide what does and does not. I don't think Sleeping Dogs deserves it because anyone who wanted to play it, did. People who had an xbox and jumped to ps4 didn't get to play uncharted or tlou or even beyond two souls.

The MC edition is great for those who were always sony or nintendo console goers who jumped to xbox (which lets face it no one did) but still, its hard to choose what does and what does not. But at the same time, even if they do that as long as the main team is working on the NEW and letting new people work on the ports, I think its great. That allows smaller companies redevelope those older games giving them work and experience while the big companies can focus on creating newer stuff, while getting some revenue from people buying the next gen iterations.

Theres good and bad of that entire thing but at the end of the day, you don't gotta buy it again.

Now Square re-releasing FF13 on the next gen, a complete slap in the face. OH YOU WANT THOSE GAMES WE ANNOUNCED LAST YEAR OR MAYBE EVEN A DISSIDIA CONSOLE PORT?!! NAH LOLOLOLOL HAVE MORE LIGHTNING!

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Shauneepeak
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 3:33:17 AM

Sqaure really does seem to take a few steps forward than a half-dozen steps back. =S Thankfully the few this time are pretty significant at least. They Finally Put Versus XIII in the spotlight by making it the next main entry so they are much more pressured to get it out. They finally showed off Kingdom Hearts 3 and said we would see more of it along with XV at TGS. Also let's not forget the little treat many people seem to have missed. The Western world is finally receiving Type:0 which from everything I have heard is much closer to what we imagine a Final Fantasy game to be. It is being remastered for the PS4 and the original version is being ported to iOS.

So while it absolutely disgusts me to continue to see XIII if they actually bring these things out I won't be as harsh on them.

Also let's admit it while obviously a quick effort to get people to jump to Current Gen the MC collection IS pretty damn cool 4 major games for the price of one with all being touched up with #2 getting a complete overhaul. I'll probably pick it up eventually only one I ever played through was Halo 2 on coop mode.

I am just glad we have so many great games on the Horizon I think the drought might finally be about over.

Also agreed great article.

Last edited by Shauneepeak on 8/17/2014 3:35:34 AM

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godsman
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 8:42:53 AM

I agree not every hd remaster works. TLOU was near the end of PS3 and an exclusive so I agree many ps3 and xbox owner never played it. Sleeping dog was out and in the bargain bin and a multiplatform, its just a waste of manpower. SE thinks therea 150 million ps3 and xbox 360 owner that never played and will want it on next gen. THAT is why they never meet aales expectations

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 11:26:42 AM

Thanks KnightZane :)

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Bonampak
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 4:02:12 PM

It's been already discussed at some sites like Gamasutra, but the REAL reason why we're getting all these remakes and remasters is because we're going to see less AAA games from the big companies this gen.

The reason behind that, is a logical one: it costs more to make current gen games.

So in order to fill the void, most companies are rehashing their relatively old games for current gen consoles. And then we have indie developers taking advantage of that void. By producing games that will use the spotlight that was previously reserved for AAA games.

Game developers are also trying to find ways to finance these AAA games for current gen consoles. For instance, Ubisoft no longer has the Wii to create casual games for. The Just Dance IP sold over 20 million units on the Wii alone. The profits from those sales were funneled into their AAA game development.

So now these companies are trying to find similar 'cheap' ways to get some easy money to finance their game production.

And that helps explain why they went back to making exclusivity deals with hardware makers (see TR deal with S-E and MS). Which was something that was suppose to have died last gen.

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godsman
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 8:02:35 AM
Reply

I really hate the ps+ free games now. A bunch of free indies games that I feel like a waste of bandwidth. At least give us a choice of two games. Only the ps3 ps+ is worth it. At least theres a full discbased game from here to there.

Now that ben mentioned rental. I wonder if gamestop would go away if psn introduces online game rental for a week foe half the price of the game

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 11:28:19 AM

I'm taking on those PSNow prices next.

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Nerull
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 3:41:40 PM
Reply

I agree with pretty much everything here, but especially how much better Dragon Age (and Shadow of Mordor) could be if they weren't cross-gen.

Of course it's always good to remind people how the ps4 has been out for 9 months now and still can't play music without paying for music unlimited or digital movies. Allowing 3d playback was a step in the right direction, but I feel if it's not brought up every now and again Sony will think everyone has forgotten about it and will leave it out indefinitely.

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Karosso
Monday, August 18, 2014 @ 2:30:21 PM

Not getting the PS4 until it does media like the PS3. My PS3 is twice the console the PS4 is!

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surfer
Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 4:50:44 PM
Reply

Good points.

You wrote "PS4's still can't play our own digital movies or music and I doubt that's just something they couldn't have ready at launch."

One of my biggest problems with Sony especially with the 3d blu ray update they could have given to consumers before as well but waited until Xbox announced it.

Also you wrote "Third party exclusives like Rise of the Tomb Raider are now up for exclusivity sale and boy doesn't that just leave a foul taste in one's mouth? Keep an eye out for this one, I think in 2015 it will only get nastier during this kind of in-between other next generation."

This is true and Rise is just the beginning. It is happening now with Sony and Xbox. For example, the new Silent Hills only had the demo on PS4..Evolve beta coming to Xbox early and Destiny timed exclusive content coming to PS4...Rise just took it to another level and it will get worse. All of these games are multi-plat


Last edited by surfer on 8/17/2014 4:51:32 PM

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Monday, August 18, 2014 @ 1:56:43 AM
Reply

yeah i'll agree with you here on all these and i'll say things could only get uglier or i might just be being a bit pesimistic.

happy gaming

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