Ben's Week In Review: June 9
Guess this is the big week. We'll finally get to see what that PlayStation 4 unit looks like! :)
Would you be surprised if the PS4 debuted at only $350?
First, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said that based on the bill of materials he's seen, the PlayStation 4 might debut at only $350. Only a few days later, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia essentially agreed with that sentiment, saying his firm anticipates a sub-$400 price point as well. This is even lower than earlier estimates of $420 and $520 for two separate models and to be honest, I'm a little surprised. I mean, I know Sony is using much cheaper components this time around, but I never would've expected a $350 console. Let's not forget that when the PS2 launched way back in 2000, that was $300. Now, 13 years later and we'll get a system with the capability of the PS4 for only $50 more...? Really?
On the one hand, it concerns me a little that the architecture is a little too cheap for comfort. On the other hand, lower prices are key to getting new hardware rolling. Well, that and general availability, which has always been critically lacking for each new PlayStation hardware release. Even if the top-end PS4 model is $399 or something like that, if you deliver a fantastic launch lineup and plenty of systems to go around (for the first time in the brand's history), I'd say Sony will be off to a good start. Don't you think so?
Here's my attempt at being optimistic about Lightning Returns
I know I've been down on Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII pretty much ever since it was announced. I could defend that by saying every FF fan on earth has been down on the new entry, but that's not really fair. So let's try this- first, take a look at the new E3 trailer. Now, a few things come readily to mind: Firstly, that doesn't look like an RPG. Secondly, it doesn't look like a Final Fantasy. Okay, but so what? That doesn't mean the game can't be good, right? After all, most games aren't RPGs and most aren't called "Final Fantasy." So if we put all the bitterness aside concerning Square Enix's total, depressing decimation of a once-fabled franchise, we might be able to enjoy a pretty decent...um...action/adventure game.
Remember when I said we should just think of it as something else? Like a new IP? Try that. The only problem is that it still has "Final Fantasy" in the title. They're still saying it's an official entry in the legendary series. So long as they keep doing that, I will be increasingly incapable of viewing it in this optimistic light. I will, however, desperately try to be as objective as possible when it comes time to do the review. Who knows? Maybe I'll love it!
Personal gaming update
It's all about The Last Of Us. That game is so unbelievable, it's really hard to describe. The review could've been twice as long because I could've continued to praise it to high heaven. I expected great (it's Naughty Dog, after all), but I'm not so sure I expected elite, masterful, top 5 of the generation. I had a few very small reservations but they disappeared after the first hour with that game. And I thought I might actually have a quandary because Remember Me got to me at about the same time. And you know, it had a ton of promise. It really did. It was disheartening to see the developers fall so short, especially when the game had so many good ideas. They aimed so high and I wish it had come out better.
Anyway, you can also expect reviews for Grid 2 and Time and Eternity this week (if I can get around to the latter). Thankfully, there really isn't anything I desperately want to play between now and September (Grand Theft Auto V is out September 17), so I can play a bit of catch-up. ...maybe I'll even start a new game of FFT or FFVII, because I haven't had my fix in a long time. Sometimes, I just can't help myself. ;)
6/9/2013 Ben Dutka