: Ben's Week In Review: November 10

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Ben's Week In Review: November 10

This time next week, I'll have my PlayStation 4 and so will many of you. Seems impossible, doesn't it? :)

PS4 needs to be outstripping Xbox One at GameStop because...

I know it's only one GameStop manager so maybe it doesn't even qualify as "news," but I have been hearing various reports from local stores that indeed, there are many more PlayStation 4 pre-orders than Xbox One pre-orders. And that's great. I've been saying this all along and I'll repeat it now because it's more relevant than ever: Microsoft owns the casual/mainstream market in this country. They just do. Now, that group doesn't really keep up with video game news; they don't care enough. They've really only known one console for years, and that's the Xbox. They don't pre-order new systems; they'll buy a new one when they get around to it. Therefore, it doesn't surprise me in the least that PS4 pre-orders are outpacing Xbox One pre-orders.

Many of the hardcore gamers are siding with the PS4, and I think the majority of people who want one already have it ordered. On the other hand, I strongly believe that far more Xbox One consoles will be bought off the shelf during the holiday season (provided they're available), because that's the casual market in action. Therefore, if this is even going to be a close race, Sony needs to have garnered more pre-orders. Lots more.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying there are no hardcore Xbox gamers. That's ridiculous. I'm saying that if you're a casual gamer, you will almost invariably choose Xbox because really, it's all you see in mainstream markets (ads, commercials, etc.) in this country.

Easier isn't always better

I was only a little surprised to learn that developing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag for next-gen systems was actually easier than making the game for the PS3 and 360. I knew the new consoles were much more accessible for developers, but I didn't quite expect Ubisoft's comments. The "smoothest" development process ever? No one "getting burned by overtime?" This tells me two things: 1. The PS3 really was just way too difficult to work with, and 2. Don't expect drastic growth in terms of technological capability this generation. I just think it's a matter of logic and math. If game makers don't know a system very well, they'll struggle at first and that will be reflected in the products. That means, as they steadily get better, we see significant, even drastic improvement.

But if you're so comfortable with it right off the bat, how much further do you really have to go? What obstacles are you facing that you must overcome? I'm not saying games won't improve at all in the new generation, I'm just saying we probably won't see as big of a gap between launch titles and late-gen offerings. If we're not prisoners of the moment and we consider the near future, that's somewhat concerning.

Personal gaming update

As you might expect, things have been a little nuts. Call of Duty: Ghosts is fun but I don't like playing online, so I'm basically finished with it. It's an example of a tried-and-true formula that's obviously wearing thin, and I'll leave it at that. I don't want to keep playing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag because I know I'll be playing it on the PS4. Very hard to stop, though...game is fuuuun. As for Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, I was entertained for a while, but there's no reason to go back to it. Gonna go back to GTAV before the PS4 hits the entertainment center.

Then it'll be all about PS4 games for a while, although there's no chance I'll be able to review them all. I'll have to prioritize, and I'm betting nobody cares much about seeing reviews for the sports games. I already analyzed most of them on the PS3, anyway. Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack and Contrast are tops on my list right now. Get ready, everyone!

11/9/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (43 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, November 09, 2013 @ 10:39:49 PM
Reply

While Xbox is the go-to console for the casual and mainstream, and they WILL be mesmerized by the ads, the ones who dare to look at the cost will probably wonder why Xbox costs more. The uninformed are also very price conscious and unless the store biscuit lies and tells them that Xbox is more powerful they may go for the cheaper PS4 instead.

I had a lengthy and harrowing experience downloading and installing Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen that we got free this week. I might write something about it; as a 12.5 gigabyte game I think what I had to do to just to get to play that f*cker is sort of relevant to the upcoming 40+ gigabyte downloads we will be dealing with soon.

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Solid Fantasy
Saturday, November 09, 2013 @ 11:01:49 PM

Hahaha "biscuit"!

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Beamboom
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 2:40:12 AM

I think the price argument will be an important one.

It's not like the casual market haven't heard of the Playstation brand. They all have, they do know of it. So when they now see it is cheaper, and if they do a tiny little bit of research they'll find out they are at roughly equal performance, well then I think price will be an argument in itself, in particular for those who are so casual that they don't even play much online (ergo it doesn't really matter what their friends play on).

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 1:11:48 PM

Beamboom, let me give you an idea of the casual gaming market in the US-

I was in a GameStop the other day, and three or four people were gathered around the Xbox One section. Not only were all surprised that a new Xbox was coming, they were even more surprised to learn that PlayStation's new console was coming, too. One said, in all seriousness-

"Wow, I thought the PS3 died out of the gate. Never thought they'd do another PlayStation."

The PS2 dominated the world. But Microsoft dominated the last six or seven years in this country. They dominate headlines, ads, commercials, etc. Those who do not stay up-to-date on game news only vaguely acknowledge PlayStation's existence. That's the unfortunate truth.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 4:09:59 PM

That's the narrative Microsoft sold, that PS3 died out of the gate. That's why I think they are bad for the industry at large.

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Shams
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 4:19:54 PM

Guy was just talking trash. If he was "geeky" enough to drive or bike over to gamestop, I'm sure he has been "geeky" enough to lift a finger to check out the occasional website and review. Parents are obvious exceptions to this rule. Fact is any gamer, casual or not, who has heard of Xbox, has heard of Playstation. Moreover, they've heard of Uncharted and Gears, despite COD's monopoly on the industry. Playstation is an established brand, even in the US. It doesn't hold a monopoly as it once did, but it still is mainstream.

Last edited by Shams on 11/10/2013 4:20:58 PM

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Akuma07
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 8:06:12 PM

Beam and Ben, seriously guys give up. How long have you two been arguing about this?

Ben, either that guy was just trolling, or he is a moron. Like Beam said, even casual gamers know the PS3. ANYONE who has set foot in a game store in the past 7 years would know about the PS3.

You want to hear something funny. My mother, who is technologically illiterate (bless her), knows there is a new playstation coming out. She asked me a few weeks ago "Why is the new Playstation so much cheaper than the last one you bought?" It's funny because not only does she know about it, but she remembers the price of the PS3.

Last edited by Akuma07 on 11/10/2013 8:11:54 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 9:34:17 PM

You're not getting this. You all live in a really sheltered world that only exists of game fans. Just because you walk into a GameStop doesn't automatically make you hardcore; in fact, the majority of their customers these days are on the casual side.

And is it even relevant if he was talking trash or not (and he wasn't, anyway)? They don't care. They don't notice anything Sony or PlayStation does because they don't CARE. Hang around a GameStop for a full day and see the level of voluntary ignorance the average American consumer displays.

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xenris
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 11:43:48 PM

I only ever visited one Gamestop where the employees were pro Playstation, and I have them all on my PSN friends list. Literally the whole staff at this one near my house loved the PS3 and sony in general.

But even despite this, they still had more Xbox swag floating around the store, more adds, etc.

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Shams
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 11:50:31 PM

As much as I'd love to continue to quibble on anecdotal experiences, or how sincere the kid was being who said he was surprised there's a playstation 4, in my mind, correct me if I'm mistaken, the opposite of "mainstream" is "niche". Playstation ain't "niche". It may no longer hold the lion's share of the market, but it's definitely not niche. Aside from that, I agree with your assessment of preorders, and their lack of reflection on the number of casual customers.

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Beamboom
Monday, November 11, 2013 @ 3:58:45 AM

@Akuma, I were replying to World, not Ben. I never intended to start an argument or discussion about this at all, I merely said that I agreed with World.

And Shams, I agree with you too. The PS is definitely a mainstream product. But where did anyone say anything different?

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smileys_007
Saturday, November 09, 2013 @ 10:52:22 PM
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good for you Ben that you'll be getting your ps4 nxt week.. For me, I'm probably gonna get mine nxt year, at the earliest on May...

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Jawknee
Saturday, November 09, 2013 @ 11:05:39 PM
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Speaking of GameStop, my goodness do they hire social idiots or what? I went in there today to see if they had that Wii Fit meter(they didn't) and I asked if by chance they were taking preorders on the black and gold A Link Between a Worlds 3DS XL which he said they were. Now this irked me a bit because I called that same store when it was announced and asked if I could preorder it there, he said no. It's an online only item. So that's what I did.

Now I asked him if I could just cancel my order online and do one in the store(to avoid shipping charges) but then he started talking about up needing a return receipt. I said "why? They don't charge you until it's ready to ship" to which he replied, "errrr we need it to return your order" I just looked at him and kindly said, "I haven't been charged yet, so there is no receipt". He looked like he didn't understand what I was saying, so I said never mind, I'll just check to see if I can cancel my online order and if I could call tomorrow to preorder the unit then, he said no. That I have to come back to the store. Wth? Is it just me or does GameStop make things more difficult than they need to be and hire people who can't execute their complex business practices? Needless to say, it was quite the frustrating experience.

I see some store already have Xbones on display. Why no PS4's?

Still not much to play but games previously played. Started playing Skyward Sword again. My kids love Link. I made my oldest a little sword and shield out of cardboard like the ones from Wind Waker.

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 8:05:44 AM

I got to play the Ps4 at gamestop and posted what i experienced on the, "New Update Brings PS4/Vita Friends List Total To 2,000" article. :)

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matt99
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 10:11:09 AM

It could just be you ran into an incredibly stupid employee, my dealings with them have always been pretty good and I've never encountered anything like that.

But man that must have been a frustrating experience.

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 12:11:20 PM

You have to go to the store or else anyone can impersonate you and make false orders/changes/cancels etc. Its a good thing. I have too much money on my preorders at gamestop and I'm grateful any changes have to be made in store. I think an ID is also required to pick up your ps4, I'm not sure.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 12:44:35 PM

FWI I just rediscovered The Legend of Zelda animated TV series, I used to watch that as a kid, what a fun show! Poor link is always tryin to get a piece of ass :) Love it.

Ahem

Well that's just one employee, but based on everything I've heard over the years I'd wager they like to employ people who don't know much (since they don't seem to like to have people knowledgeable about video games at their stores) so that they can program them to spew the company line on everything and make sure you always pay more than you need to even if by mistake.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/10/2013 12:46:41 PM

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Jawknee
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 1:34:33 PM

Oh no. It's not just this store or this one person. Granted, I have encountered some normal people who have been helpful but in my experience I've encountered more like this guy. And not just in my home state but in several other states where I've visited their stores.

It almost seems like the socially awkward tend to flock to this kind of job much like the obnoxious gear heads flock to Guitar Center.

World, that's comedy. I was just watching that last night on YouTube. I used to love that cartoon. I love how they stayed true to the sound effects from the game.

Last edited by Jawknee on 11/10/2013 1:38:17 PM

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Akuma07
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 8:15:29 PM

Lol Jawknee. This is just typical retail. SOME people in retail have no idea what they are doing. Unfortunately intelligence is not a prerequisite in a large portion of jobs in our society.

Also, some stores having Xbox One's on display and not PS4's isn't something I would be worried about. Considering 150+ people in the US already have their Xbox one's because Target sent them early, I'd say that Microsoft's decision to send units so early isn't working out for them ahahaha.

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Solid Fantasy
Saturday, November 09, 2013 @ 11:09:53 PM
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I'm leaning towards a day one buy for my PS4, but there really isn't much need. If it weighs too much I won't be able to travel with it. And it's region locked beyond North America anyways.
On the other hand this might be my only chance to get a new console day one and KZ:SF is looking so entertaining!

PGU: still lots of games to played! DLed Dragon's Dogma and it's alright. I'm curious to see where is racks up against Skyrim after I get over the learning curve. Bought Metro: Last light. It's a solid game. The steam punk feel is great and all but it's not up to par with Bioshock infinite if that's what you're into. I like the story so far, but as Ben's review mentioned I fear it will not end as grand as it should or could have. We'll see.

And the vita has been great during deer hunting this week. KZ:M and Kyntt Underground in the middle of the woods adds a nice touch!

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 8:06:23 AM

I dont think the Ps4 is region locked.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 8:15:31 AM

Really!? Hmm... This might change everything.

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Jawknee
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 1:37:02 PM

Yea it's not region locked. If I am correct it's one of the many concessions Xbone had to make when MS was in full retreat to make Xbone more competitive with the PS4.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Saturday, November 09, 2013 @ 11:29:49 PM
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well it''ll be interesting to see how things play out between the US launch and the rest of the world minus japan and then when it comes march 31 next year how the sales are going

happy gaming =)

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Knightzane
Saturday, November 09, 2013 @ 11:32:28 PM
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Nothing really insightful to say this week other than ps4's coming out soon. Yay.

Been playing random games. I think I've put the most of my time in Risk Factions though. Saw it on my downloads list and remembered the good times. I also heard an Indian guy rage at my team after winning in a KZ3 match. He was calling some guy on my team a "typical american camping PoS" I had a good laugh.

My birthdays in 11 days so I get to have a party I don't want with people I don't like. I think I'll use that B-day wish to wish that FF15 won't get screwed by the xbox one. I am still a little on edge about it, especially after hearing more and more about how lackluster the xbox one is going to be in the power region. Also, saw a case of mountain dew with xbox one on it and I couldn't help but laugh. I saw a Meme picture awhile back showing the MS logo in bed with the Doritos and Mountain Dew logo's.


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Norrin Radd
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 12:01:14 AM
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"Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack and Contrast are tops on my list right now."

Those three are on the top of MY list as well - glad you'll be getting to them first. So on the fence about when to get a PS4. Yeah, when, not if.

PGU: it's all about pirates right now. AC IV is my giant time suck and man - it's fun! Although I suck at naval combat. Practice practice practice!!!

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frylock25
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 12:26:00 AM
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havent done a pgu in a while: been playing the hell out of gta v. i love it. probably the best one they have ever made. im very near the end. have spent a lot of time doing all kinds of random things. i love the detail they put in this game and can only imagine what a ps4 gta would be like. i dont want gta v on ps4, i want a new gta for ps4.

sadly the past few months have not been kind to me. i really wanted a ps4. i have one on preorder as of today still. i will be cancelling it. over the past few months i have had someone slash 2 of my tires on my car. $300 in tires gone, they were brand new. after getting some tires back on my car the hinge on the driver door had been failing, then the latch went. couldnt drive the car for a while then i just got it going again. that cost a ton of money. then found out the gf was pregnant. then she got really sick and we lost the baby. at this point im just not feeling like getting a ps4 is a good idea. think ill just wait for infamous as its the only game i really want.

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CrusaderForever
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 5:18:36 PM

Hang in there really sorry to read about the loss of your baby. I have been there 3 times it never gets easier. My son was a miracle! Keep your head up take care of your gf. U two will make it happen and have an even more powerful bond due to your success.

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Shams
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 9:31:25 PM

Condolences, Frylock. Not many difficulties harder to bear than that one. Gotta be strong for two (or the three) of you.

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___________
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 2:21:30 AM
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no, what seems impossible is $ony actually treating territories equally!
really getting tired of this US gets everything first and EU gets the crumbs the dogs missed.
hell even their home town has to wait till next year, thats just sheer arrogance for you!
nah its japan they will wait, yea will see about that.

finished R&C nexus last night really nice to see a return to form for the series, except suffering from the typical discounted game syndrome.
put it this way, it took me longer to finish BF4 and ghosts campaign than it did nexus!
WTF!?
R&C games are normally incredibly long, such a short campaign is just blasphemy!
so disappointed the game finally gets going, the story finally picks up, you FINALLY get some decent weapons and upgrades, you even get some nice winks to the past in the museum and then credits roll.
talk about anticlimax!
A4O was announced you could tell insomniac was sick of the series and wanted to leave it behind.
then they turned it into that random tower defense BS, so i was pleasantly surprised to see them going back to the roots.
but it just feels so stripped back, so bare bones.
you dont unlock anywhere near as many weapons, gadgets, the auto lock on is now gone replaced by a normal reticule making strafing useless!
just some really stupid decisions, some changes that really did not need to be made.
and they hint at continuing the franchise, but why?
you can tell insomniac does not want to do R&C games anymore, they havent for a while, so why continue?
is $ony really that desperate?
i wish insomniac would continue it its one of my favorite games of all time, hell ACIT is still by far my favorite game this gen!
but if nexus is what the results are going to be then no thanks.
let it die with what little dignity it has left!

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Banky A
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 2:30:11 AM

US has many advantages, EU has many advantages.

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___________
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 9:01:19 AM

like?
only one i can think of is sometimes we get better PSN+ stuff, but then sometimes the US gets better and more stuff than us so.
so what are the EU advantages?
we pay more for everything.
we wait longer for everything.
or we plain miss out like allot of the ps1 classics, or global assault.
we miss out on content, be it DLC, collectors editions.
we miss out on services and applications.
we miss out on events.
we miss out on competitions.
we miss out on, well whats happening with the demo ps4 units?
US started getting demo units WEEKS ago, but EU, well..........
*crickets*

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Akuma07
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 8:24:40 PM

Blank Line guy, use your brain for a moment. Your points are all either untrue, or completely explainable.

In the past couple of years it has picked up significantly. A decade ago, a movie would release in the US 3 months before us. Now we get movie releases several days ahead of the US in some cases.

Same with games, we got ACIV, GTAV, COD: Ghosts and many other games before the US.

I have compared the US and EU limited editions of games, and 9/10 times the EU edition is better.

We miss out on services and applications because there isn't much of a market in Australia. And some of those services aren't in AUS at ALL. Other EU regions get them.

Australia pays more because of the Australia tax. Which as you may have heard from recent Parliamentary review, has been considered unjust. Although I doubt the government will put their foot down on it.

We miss out on competitions in AUS because there is no large competitive gaming scene in AUS yet, we only JUST got our own server on LoL and we only have ONE competitive LoL team (who SUCK). EU has a larger scene and more competitions. This is the same with the events.

US got demo units because US is Sony's main focus for the launch. We all knew this. That is Sony's battleground for next-gen. The rest of the world is an easy win. The consoles are also launching 2 weeks ahead of us in the US.

Last edited by Akuma07 on 11/10/2013 8:27:32 PM

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slow and smart
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 3:31:42 AM
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This time around,I don't think that there will be many uninformed gamers even from the casual ones;the internet gives the story 24/7 and so many people are talking about it[M$ messed up gave it extra buzz] that even the casual gamers will get the news from at least one of their friends/family/school whatever :PS4 100,- less/better performance/many x360 gamers that switched to PS4 because M$ had terrible policies in the beginning so that they can't be trusted anymore!
[of course not everybody will turn to the PS4 and will stick to their xbone,but i think that the buzz will even reach a lot of the casual ones]

Last edited by slow and smart on 11/10/2013 3:32:42 AM

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Teddie9
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 4:24:52 AM
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We've heard for years that development on the ps3 was NOT easy going. On top of that I feel that Ismail just felt the need to promote next gen consoles - I imagine there are lots of secrets to unlock. It may take a group like ND to really dig deep, but I don't doubt their capabilities one bit.

Also if you look ahead about a year from now the Witcher 3, Order 1886, Dragon Age, these all look to be a step in the right direction. I'm actually pretty pumped for the order if only because the skill of Ready at Dawn is unquestioned only we've never seen a completely original project from them.

PGU:

Got a chance to play some more Beyond. I've looked past some of the restrictions on freedom and the sequences out in the desert are certainly more interesting so far. Otherwise I'm just busy with school.

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Simcoe
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 9:40:46 AM
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Went to Future Shop on Saturday and was able to trade-in Starhawk and get Battlefield 4 at no additional cost. Then went to Best Buy and traded-in CoD:MW2 for Call of Duty: Ghosts. Tried to get Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag for Motorstorm but the ran out quickly. I'm hoping they'll get new stock in on Monday, if not then I'll probably try exchange CoD: Ghosts in for ACIV at a later date.

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Hand_of_Sorrow
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 10:00:06 AM
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in a way, it seems like it was only yesterday that the PS1 was launched.
now, here we are, the launch of the PS4 is just around the corner :)

my birthday today :)
doing nothing special though, but will be buying myself a PS4
for a late birthday present.

pgu:
beyond two souls (started on a secound play through)
also, gta v & gta o

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Killa Tequilla
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 12:04:25 PM

Beyond Two Souls is such a great game. Cannot believe I almost let ign review base my decision alone for not purchasing it... In the end I bought it and loved it greatly.

I will not trust an ign review ever again.

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PC_Max
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 10:30:07 AM
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That was one of my concerns with the "ease" of development. Well, not really a concern, but maybe just something I suspected. It could be argued... difficulty spurs innovation and creativity. You know, necessity is the mother of invention.

We may... may... see more changes in games and I would go as far as saying that the big change we will see is in programming of AI. Yes, we will have better textures and shadows along with the usual visual effects to make things look... pretty, but the real meat will be with AI I think. As long as the devs don't start whining and complaining in 3 years time about the limits of the hardware stifling their... creativity. I think ND showed that with its games.

As for Assassins Creed IV... I have not really looked at it or watched gameplay after seeing the what AC3 was all about. What I would like to know, if someone here can tell me.. IS this an Assassins game OR is it just really about open world piracy. In other words, is it really just a new franchise about Pirates or is it an Assasincs vs Templar game like AS1 - 2?

In regards to next gen launch.. my concerns there are... system stabilities and the dramatic decrease of RROD and YBOD (Assuming when either system was to fail its indicators are still those). I do not trust launch hardware even though I have been fortunate, I know a number of others who have not been. I do believe Xbox may excel the PS4 at Xmas, but like Ben says, depends on supplies.

Its good to see the excitement in gamers, I hope the studios and publishers deliver the goods. I hope Sony gets off to a great start and keeps going. Its not pay back time towards Xbox, but more like live and learn... and grow.

Keep playing! Enjoy the launch and games. :)

(Not that I am envious... damnit)

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SASSYGIRL82
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 12:54:51 PM
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Well the games that ps plus offers in some of the EU countries seem far better than some of the free games in the US but of course u only see negative huh dash-boy LMFAO

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 4:10:23 PM

we still get the same ones, just a couple months later.

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CrusaderForever
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 7:43:10 PM
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PGU : Trying to finish up Batman AO on hard and it's a strong , strong challenge. Bane owned me 15 times until I broke through! Firefly is next! Looking forward to another awesome Playstation gen. Cannot believe it's this Friday!

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bamf
Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 8:46:50 PM
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I have my PS4 on pre-order. So close was I for not having the money for it, I was almost cancelling my order. Yesterday I finally got my money, now I need some cash for a game, lol. Will be keeping my PS3, that will keep me occupied.

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