Ben's Week In Review: October 11
Well, at least I don't have any more sports games to review.
PlayStation 4 price drop was the right thing to do
The holiday season is always critical for a console manufacturer, so perhaps it was inevitable that Sony would cut the price of the PS4.
I know the system has continued to outsell Xbox One even after the latter dropped its price earlier this year, but the sales difference in this country is a lot slimmer than people understand, I think. Since Xbox One's price fell, it has competed very favorably with Sony's console in the U.S. and heading into the most important period of the year, it was still cheaper and had several huge exclusives.
That's why I'm convinced - as Sony was as well, I bet - that Xbox One would indeed outsell PS4 without too much trouble if it remained $50 cheaper than PS4, and had the benefit of Halo 5: Guardians, Forza 6 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Hell, the new Halo alone would probably be enough for Xbox One to win the holiday battle. I know Sony thinks Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection can be a system seller but let's face it; a compilation of older games isn't going to outstrip three brand new highly anticipated titles on a competing platform. I actually wonder if PS4 can stay ahead of Xbox One in the U.S. this holiday season even with the price drop; I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft cut into the overall lead.
That being said, I think we all agree with Xbox boss Phil Spencer when he admits his company made some serious mistakes when Xbox One was first announced. He doubts, as I and many others do, that Microsoft's console can ever catch PlayStation 4. Yeah, well, that's what happens when you prove you've never cared an ounce about gamers from the start, and you're solely interested in coercing the consumer to spend every dime he or she has got. Microsoft reeked of manipulation and arrogance at the start of this generation; Sony catered entirely to the gamer. No surprise who's ahead, if you look at it that way.
Is it even possible to add up the total number of fixes delivered by patches for The Witcher 3?
I was wondering about this when I saw that the latest gigantic patch brings over 600 fixes to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I mean, that's the third or fourth major patch, I think, and each one has supposedly given us hundreds and hundreds of fixes, improvements, additions and enhancements. I'm sorry, as much as I love the game, all this really proves - over and over again - is just how busted the game was when it first launched. It's pretty much the only reason I couldn't in good conscience give out a 9+ score but of course, after all the updates, it's easily a 9+ game now. It also brings one back to the ongoing argument concerning those first reviews and scores: If the game is a lot better than it was after it first launched and consumers are interested in buying it for the first time, wouldn't those original reviews be misleading?
It's ridiculous to say critics should issue entirely new reviews; after all, all this would do is tell developers and publishers it's okay to release half-done products. Let's not be enablers. At the same time, I think there should be some disclaimer in the original review after a developer provides players with gigantic updates and patches that substantially improve the experience. I'm thinking about doing that with my review, in fact. It only seems fair, as it's equally fair that I will not change the score.
Personal gaming update
I'm lying in wait for the Hearts of Stone expansion for The Witcher 3 (here's the launch trailer in case you missed it) and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. However, I'm also playing Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance and Dragon Quest Heroes for review purposes and thankfully, I've got some time to do it because both games are pretty huge. Don't care much for the latter, as it's basically Dynasty Warriors with a DQ skin. This shouldn't shock anyone, as the developer is Omega Force. It drives me up the wall to see what certain Japanese companies are willing to do to completely decimate and/or drastically alter a revered franchise, and for no good reason. If I wanted to play Dynasty Warriors, I would. What if I actually want to play a Dragon Quest game? Oh right, I forgot; it has to be "updated" to make it a mainstream twitch-lover's production, like all modern-day titles.
Well, whatever. I might try to review Rock Band 4 as well.
10/10/2015 Ben Dutka