Ben's Week In Review: December 14
Christmas is getting closer...got all your shopping done? ;)
PlayStation fans know what patience is
The AAA exclusives aren't here yet for PlayStation 4 but Sony isn't wrong when they say "the best is yet to come."
PlayStation consoles have historically improved drastically during their lifespans. This has been true since the original PlayStation console; developers have always needed time to grasp the new hardware, and that's why we saw the defining games later on in the life-cycles of the PS1, PS2 and PS3. The only caveat with the PS4 is that it's supposed to be a very developer-friendly machine, as opposed to the previous three systems. That could be cause for concern, as could the PS4's recent loss to the Xbox One in November.
Of course, Microsoft dropped the price and offered plenty of great holiday bundles, and I'm sure Sunset Overdrive and that Halo: Master Chief Collection helped a lot, too. And really, we just need to wait. Once the next-level PS4 exclusives show up - and I'm still convinced they will - I don't think Microsoft has much of a chance. As for whether or not consumers choose the PS4 because of better multiplatform experiences, that seems highly unlikely to me. In my experience, most people have no clue about that stuff; only core gamers do, and they tend to take a lot more factors into account, anyway.
PlayStation thrives on evolutionary exclusives, plain and simple.
CD Projekt Red only gets away with these delays because they're well-liked
So, as you've probably heard by now, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been pushed back to May. The developers need those extra 12 weeks, as they recently explained. But here's the thing: They're only getting an obliging attitude from gamers because CD Projekt Red has a good reputation. They're giving away all the game's DLC for free and of course, if you give anything away, you're already in a consumer's good graces. On top of which, they have a history of interacting with the fans on a routine basis; i.e., getting feedback, reacting to suggestions and criticism, etc.
Okay. Let's say Ubisoft had promised, as CD Projekt Red did a few months ago, that a new upcoming game would "never again be delayed." Then they turned around and did what the Wild Hunt team did and knocked it back another three months. Do you really think the reaction would've been the same? And let's not forget that despite everyone freaking out over Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft has been responding to it on a daily basis. Those who were paying attention saw constant updates and by the way, the fourth patch for that game is due out Monday and the game hasn't even been out for a month. Admittedly, Ubisoft shouldn't have released the game with those bugs, and I understand that.
But it's difficult to find fault with how they've dealt with it since. And yet, had Ubisoft done this exact same thing - or another equally disliked developer right now - they would've burned at the stake for doing what CD Projekt Red did. I just want everyone to acknowledge this.
Personal gaming update
I really appreciate what Telltale Games offers this industry, I really do. Finally, a developer that understands the importance of a great story! The first episodes for Game of Thrones and Tales From the Borderlands were great, and I definitely recommend both to the respective fans. On the other hand, I have difficult recommending Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed even to die-hard lovers of Japanese culture. It's just a little too bizarre and...well, beyond adolescent in its premise.
Still playing Unity; the game is just stupid huge. I think I've been playing for probably 25 hours or so and I'm only 1/3 done according to the progress tracker. This is precisely why I don't care about delays for Batman: Arkham Knight (June) and the aforementioned Wild Hunt. These massive titles require a lot of time, damnit.
12/13/2014 Ben Dutka