Ben's Week In Review: September 22
Who's lovin' GTAV? :)
The PlayStation 4 should get off to a running start
I'm big on first impressions. I believe they're critical in all walks of life; they're not limited to social interaction. It's crucial that a product like the PS4 makes a great impression on consumers and in fact, that impression has been cultivated and maintained since February.
I'm actually a little surprised, simply because I still remember well the debacle that was the PS3 launch. I wasn't entirely convinced that Sony would remedy all the mistakes they made with that hardware release but you know, maybe they have. It's even more encouraging to learn that Sony expects to "immediately" recoup losses incurred during the first leg of the PS4's lifespan. Sure, they'll lose about $60 per sale but even when the customer buys one game, they break even. Toss in the required PlayStation Plus subscription and Sony has already turned a small profit. A huge difference when compared to the PS3 release.
All things considered, I think Sony's estimate of 5 million units sold worldwide for fiscal 2013 is conservative. They might do a lot better than that, provided there's at least some availability in all regions beyond pre-orders. It should also help a great deal that the PS4 will be out in all territories before March 31, 2014, even though it will only have about a month's worth of sales in Japan. 5 million? Sure, why not?
I anticipate more GT hate when GT6 arrives
Every time a new Gran Turismo releases, it proves my theory that not all video game reviewers are qualified to analyze simulators. In fact, very few are qualified. I can work very hard to deliver an accurate, informed review for a flight simulator, but it will never be as good as a review written by someone who actually knows something about flying. Same goes for racing. They also seem to forget that when it comes to simulators, it's all about the gameplay and the realism/immersion. The only problem is that in addition to being mostly ignorant about the subject, many critics also gave GT5 flak for feeling "incomplete." That was BS but those same naysayers will be out in droves when GT6 hits, mostly because of what Yamauchi has been saying.
He first said the team would be tweaking gameplay elements right up until the moment of launch, and then he said there's some scheduled content they "haven't touched yet." Yamauchi is a perfectionist so the idea that he'd release a subpar product seems unfathomable; furthermore, with such an ambitious endeavor, there's no doubt that he'll want to be tweaking constantly. He'd tweak for years if he could. But people are just going to point to those headlines and then give the game a 7, despite the ridiculous amount of content that is guaranteed to be included.
Personal gaming update
Grand Theft Auto V is the bomb-diggity and absolutely deserves every penny of that $1 billion in sales. Of course, with any game that scores that high on average, the ego-trippers have to come out of the woodworks and explain why they're right and everyone else is wrong; that there are all sorts of problems the critics are conveniently "ignoring." I can't even begin to describe how senseless that sounds (ask any legitimate reviewer) but that's the way things are. And it doesn't really matter, because so many people are obviously having tons o' fun with the game, and that's all that counts. Just be careful, lest you lose yourself in your "hermetically sealed world" and go insane!
I should get reviews done for Puppeteer and NHL 14 this week, and I also have Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness. It's just so hard to focus on other things when GTAV is sitting in the machine, begging me to take on the next mission, and the next mission...and the next mission...
9/21/2013 Ben Dutka