Ben's Week In Review: July 28
During the summer lull, make sure to check the PlayStation Store for hidden gems you may have missed. :)
Availability is key for the PlayStation 4
The headlines for Sony's new console remain mostly positive. A recent poll shows the PS4 might be almost 50% more popular than the Xbox One, Sony continues to show it's support of indie developers, and there's more good news from a hardware and design standpoint. However, all of that means nothing if Sony can't put enough units on store shelves come launch day. That's the concerning part because they've had extreme difficulty doing that in each of the past PlayStation generations. Of course, this new system is much easier and cheaper to produce so Sony shouldn't have as much trouble.
And yet, analysts are thinking we'll see more Xbox Ones available this holiday season, and that wouldn't surprise anyone. Some make snippy remarks like, "Yeah, that's because the XBone won't sell well." In this country, however, we know that isn't true. No matter what publicity edge Sony may hold going into this console face-off, it won't mean a thing unless they can at least keep up with pre-order demand. The good news is that Amazon has been resupplied in some capacity, so Sony is definitely responding to that demand early. Let's hope it continues.
I hope everyone was listening to the former Eidos Montreal boss
We've all assumed that Square Enix had internal troubles. We had ample evidence to believe that, of course, but outside of the atrocious - and very public - financial results, we've never really heard much in the way of outside comments. Those finally came when former Eidos Montreal founder Stephane D'Astous basically said Square Enix was a mess. "Lack of leadership, lack of courage, and the lack of communication" were painfully evident. I hope everyone understands that in the world of corporate speak, those are extremely bold and even harsh claims. It essentially says Square Enix has no idea what they're doing on any front. This explains a lot, doesn't it? It's interesting because the downward spiral appears to be a result of losing all touch with their hard-earned fans.
For instance, Tetsuya Nomura honestly believes the things he says will be well received by those long-time fans. So when he uses terms like "quick action" in regards to Final Fantasy XV and explains why it has to be "more dynamic," he's expecting applause. He really thinks this is what the fans want. He's not saying, "Yeah, we're going for a new audience." Square Enix has never said that (although they do want to appeal to a wider audience). No, when they make such statements, they're making them with the long-time Final Fantasy followers in mind.
And that's just sad.
Personal gaming update
I avoided finishing The Last Of Us for as long as I possibly could, but it's done. It's just way too good to ignore for long, but I did manage to make it last nearly 20 hours. Now, I'm looking forward to Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which should hopefully be one of the better games of the year. So long as it's a return to true stealth form, I'll be happy. And believe it or not, in only about seven weeks, Grand Theft Auto V will be here. That just seems incomprehensible to me, but that's how time goes...
Oh, and some might be very interested in Saints Row IV, which is due out in late August; it's wacky over-the-top craziness, which is precisely what some people want. And again, I have to repeat- during these relatively bare summer months, don't forget about the PSN! :)
7/27/2013 Ben Dutka