I was checking around what this year’s E3 would show. Everything was going good until people showed some disappointment towards some of Microsoft stances. I did not properly research so much during this E3 so I had to go through some past features here and there. I just thought why not I just put my own views on this.

First thing’s first, I have decided that I am going to buy PS4 and also probably WiiU rather than Xbox One. I am talking on a customer’s perspective. I have been stuffed up with enough information why I should skip Xbox One and go for PS4 and WiiU. Microsoft might be hell angry with me and may start badmouthing me, but I do not care, since this is my money that I will be investing on. Before I carry out my rant on this I should just explore a little bit more about the decision these companies took.

I should start on the hottest topic right now: Used games. This is very true that used games are being a headache to the developers and console makes altogether, since they are being ripped off with so much revenues. This is one of the reasons developers hate used game sales, as viewed by one of my professors. Yes it is indeed true that piracy and used game may just kill the small industries one by one due to lack of revenues, provided that so much money is being invested upon. Assassins Creed 4 is being developed by 8 studios. Bungie is developing Destiny with 450 people on board. Those are huge investment. I also remember about Square Enix president resigning his post since he could not make the game sell as his expectation, even though Tomb Raider sold a whopping 3.4 million copies in less than a month. Still the company is facing loses. This raise up an alarming question: are the game industries spending too much money just to satisfy us?

This simple question can lead to so many other questions related to game development or business strategies that I can think of. Game development became horribly expensive it raises panic towards developers. Some developers spend overnight just to meet up development. Is it the big publishers fault to set up strict deadline? Why the publishers are even setting up such deadlines? Is it because if they cannot release the games, they will just close down or such? There are so many factors to consider and for a CEO of such company, this is not an easy thing to handle. Even so it is just us who are fueling these developers and it is us who decide what we should play and what we should not. We always want good games and we usually ask in forums and game sites to focus on quality and quantity. I am sure the developers and publishers are looking at our comments, but still focus remains on lots of games with 60 dollar price tag that cannot be justified at all, considering the fact it has got little to offer. So are these 60 dollar games with little to offer and has got only one year of product lifecycle be the fuel of the gaming industry? If so then we are screwed since we will be getting more of such games in the coming future (we are getting a lot of them anyway like regular installments of sequels and such). People are fed up with so many games that they are bound to save money by buying used games or exchange for another game. Or the game is not just simply not worth to keep it for lifetime? If the used games section did not exist and if this game development practices existed then video games would have been a toy for only rich people. A majority of audience cannot the $60 dollar price tag.

The always on internet policy is also big issue too. This is acting as a catalyst to prevent the usage of used games anyway by verifying the authenticity of the game. The model will work on US (provided Xbox One has got built in Wi-Fi since few people I think to do not like to hook up their console with the router through LAN). Still there will be people who do not proper internet connection and this will deprive them of owning Xbox One. I have not left out the customers around the world yet where people use shared bandwidth through LANs (mainly for connecting a single PC) or no connections at all. These people will also be deprived from using Xbox One. This further strengthens the fact that there machine is a rich man’s toy.

If I think it my way such practices are wrong. Games should be made to make people get amazed with the complete package, not just for only one thing. You cannot satisfy a gamer only with the stunning graphics in the game, however good graphics are needed too to make the customers go wild. It is like getting a car, where lot of factors matters for a customer: like safety, good looks, driving experience, comfort, power and so on. Due to increase in gamer’s expectations, naturally it is justifiable for the developers to rise up the barriers or else everything will go down the drain since the developed game does not meet customer expectation and therefore would not be sold. So why not the developers focus on developing fewer games? It will provide a lot of time polishing and perfecting the game and allow more room for innovation. Or it is as I mentioned above that making fewer games won’t even let the industry survive and so keep on making games with nominal changes and with one year product lifecycle. Or it is because the publishers want so much revenue in the pockets that they are forcing the developers to work harder. Or is it because the shareholders are pressurizing these publishers to release games on frequent basis and with a price tag that is not justifiable? Oh my mind is blown right now.

I have been reading this Forbes article which emphasizes the dire situation in gaming industry.

That article in Forbes questions about the large the audiences going to be. At past, video games are considered to be considered to be enjoyed by kids and teens. It slowly appealed to the adult gamers, but now things are going in a way that only the adults will enjoy gaming, leaving out kids. Kids love gameplay more that good graphics. Let’s get back to E3 then. If I think on Microsoft’s side, they might be thinking that used games are destroying the developers and console makers, mainly because of loss of revenues.

I still do not get the fact that why Microsoft should do this on the first place. Sony is not complaining (or should I say not “whining”). Nor even Nintendo. Sony and Nintendo are in the gaming business long before Microsoft showed up so there decision should have stemmed from a business reason. Microsoft should not expect that customers will simply buy of their views. After all they are end-users and these end-users are also primary stakeholders in their business. If you are so arrogant enough to tell these end-users to “Deal with it” or saying that you have an offline device called Xbox 360 for offline people, then you are committing form of marketing suicide by pissing off the consumers. It is after all the sales figures they need. If they keep on this stance then then should have proper reasoning for the customers but you still failed to mention your reasoning in E3. MS could not give a proper pitch and thus could not reach out to consumer rather they distanced themselves from them. Sony on the other hand capitalized on this bad move and they are indeed successful. Currently PS4 is taking the early lead over XBoxOne in pre-orders in Amazon.Going back to development concerns, Sony made a good decision on offering a platform that is easier to develop for developers than the Xbox One. Senior producer in Ubisoft Montreal Dominic Guay revealed that it is easier to develop and push more boundaries in PS4 while developing Watch Dogs. He had put inclusion of PS4 8 GB GDDR5 RAM (GDDR5 is twice faster than GDDR3 RAM mainly because of increase in bandwidth of how much data it will be able to pass on a given amount of time) made the developers and artists work with less limits. Marble Madness creator Mike Cerny PS4 being Easy to Work With “Saved About a Year” of Development on Knack according to the article in Playstation Life Style. If Sony keeps on helping the developers by providing them developer friendly console and less time to work on, I don’t see any reason why Sony should whine about used games anyway on the developers’ perspective. If the developers can make super solid game with more freedom and time for the consumers than these consumers will buy the game by paying full 60 dollars, because the game is worth enough to keep it for a long time and never thing of selling it used.

This is what emphasized by Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo of America, who said that if the developers are too concerned about used game sales, then they should make games compelling enough so that the gamers don’t trade-in their titles. Nintendo indeed has lower trade-in frequency then the industry average. Heck I still have not traded my Nintendo titles to anyone or even in Gamestop. I still enjoy playing some rounds of Smash Bros. on the Gamecube console along with my friends and I will keep on doing this in future too if I get some chance to hang out in game nights. Nintendo also showed up with great titles, most importantly Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze and Bayonetta 2. They have also got Super Smash Bros and Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo, although seems not much bothered about this console war (they already survived one historic Nintendo vs Sega war), are indeed doing something good for the consumers. You never know Nintendo might topple Xbox One in sales during this holiday.

If I summarize the whole E3 in general, Sony definitely won this round, followed by Nintendo. Microsoft is clearly at bottom. So here is the thing to Microsoft, it is pointless to be arrogant and whine about the stance you are making. It will eventually backfire. I am kinda afraid that Xbox One might end up like the original Xbox if Microsoft does not explain their stance properly to the consumers, cause every decision Microsoft has made has went against the customers. Once the fanbase dies down (and so the fanboy wars), it will be very hard to re-strengthen the fanbase. Understand your consumers and the developers very well before you proceed with something ambitious. Oh yes! Please focus on gaming side rather than make into an entertainment hub, since you will be facing hurdles in this particular section. Did you forget that there is something called a SmartTV?

Thanks for reading.

Koshai (which is an Xbox ID) and who went in favor of 360 rather than PS3 at start.

comments powered by Disqus

Related Blog


View All

Popular Articles