Sony’s PS4 has no used game restrictions

Your move, Microsoft.

The announcement that Sony’s next system will not change the way we play used or borrowed games was met with nonstop deafening applause.  Promising gamers that the system will not have restrictions on used games and that we’ll be able to borrow and sell games at our leisure, the PlayStation 4 seems to be the game console that people were expecting.

Today, Sony proved that the future of gaming doesn’t need to be this dark, dismal place where people are limited on what they can do with their property.  Hooray.

Additionally, the PlayStation 4 doesn’t need to do online checks with disc-based games.  It’s been reported that the Xbox One will require an internet connection at least once every 24 hours to verify ownership of games.  PS4 does not have this restriction.  Another win for Sony gamers.

Mad Max coming to PS4 (Update: Trailer)

A game based on the Mad Max property is headed to Sony’s PS4.  The system will have exclusive content for the game.  There was a very Mad Max teaser with the announcement which is now posted below:

Mad Max is coming next year and will be available on current and next gen systems (minus Nintendo’s consoles) as well as PC.

Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III

At Sony’s E3 conference tonight, Square Enix announced Final Fantasy XV, which looks to be a rebranded and retooled Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PS4.  Additionally, a trailer was shown for the much wanted Kingdom Hearts III.  The franchise which was birthed on PS2 skipped this last gaming generation save for a few spin-offs on handheld systems, so fans will be pleased to see that revived, I’m sure.  Both games are coming to the PS4 with Sony avoiding using the word “exclusive” which is a good indicator that the games will be multi-platform.

In other Square news, Final Fantasy XIV will be heading exclusively to Sony’s consoles.  The game has long been promised to be coming to the PlayStation and that seems to be coming closer to realization.

Watch_Dogs E3 2013 Trailer

The more I see of this game, the more excited I get for it… and I’m really damn excited.  This trailer shows off the seedy human trafficking side of the fictional Chicago.  Crazy stuff ensues.  Just watch.

Dying Light trailer

From the studio behind Dead Island comes Mirror’s Edge (With Zombies).  It’s a CG trailer, but the promise behind this game is interesting, so I’m keeping my eyes on it.

Sony’s PS4 may incorporate DRM

PS4Logo

Microsoft has been receiving a lot of bad press lately surrounding their Xbox One reveal.  They weren’t exactly open with certain platform policies (such as an always-on connection, locking out used games, and blocking borrowing) which has drawn a lot of criticisms and gamers have sworn their allegiance to the PlayStation 4.  While a lot of the speculation surrounding the Xbox One has been unfounded rumors (the system won’t be “always-on” but will require a periodic connection to authenticate games; used games are a part of the business and will not be blocked, though Microsoft and publishers will now see a cut of the profits; and borrowing and lending games is still much alive), it still looks, for many consuemrs, as though Sony is the better choice.  It’s worth noting that Sony was equally elusive after the announcement of the PS4.

Little details beyond the fact that the PS4 is coming and it will, indeed, play games were confirmed.  Sony, after the conference confirmed that the system will play used games, but didn’t specify anything beyond that.  While Microsoft was a bit foolish in, well, talking and breeding speculation, Sony took what might be the smarter route by being quiet in not stating any potential scenarios.  While many believed this to be a confirmation that Sony won’t be trying to get their slice of the used game pie, it may have easily been omission to make themselves more appealing.

GameTrailers’ Geoff Keighley has stated that it’s unlikely that developers would allow one platform (Microsoft’s Xbox One) to enable them to retain some of the profits of used game sales without the other embracing such a feature.  There’s been a lot of hubbub surrounding this speculated used game DRM and fans have been crying out to Sony to not allow such a feature in the PS4.  It’s worth noting that whether or not the developers and publishers see a cut of the used game sales, the consumers will likely be completely unaffected by this implementation.  Business will carry on for us as usual–we will be able to buy, sell, lend, and borrow games as we normally would, just the workings behind the scenes would make the selling and buying of used games more ideal for the people who actually made the games.

Personally, I haven’t made any sound decisions on either console.  I know I’m likely going to end up with both of them, but there are too many uncertainties to be, well, certain.  I love gaming and I prefer doing it on a console, so I’m going to continue doing that until it is made incredibly undesirable to enjoy my games from my couch.  E3 is right around the corner, so I’m sure a lot of these rumors for both systems will be cleared up soon.

 

Source:  GameSpot

Xbox One installs as you play

With games being stored on blu ray discs, Microsoft’s Xbox One will require games to be installed on a hard drive; it hasn’t been specified if this is a requirement for all games.  With this inconvenience, it’s nice to know that you will be able to play games as they install–a feature that had been previously announced for the PS4’s mandatory installs.  For current-gen systems, if you choose to install a game, you have to wait for the process to complete before you can resume any other tasks.  While game installs on the Xbox 360 are done at the gamer’s discretion (perhaps to alleviate stress on the disc drive or reduce load times), game installs on the PS3 are often mandatory and an inconvenience for gamers to have to wait to play their games.  It’s nice to see both console manufacturers embracing a more immediate approach to allowing you to play your games as they install.

 

Source:  Joystiq

Commentary: Xbox One Reveal

New-Xbox-One-ConsoleI’ve been trying to stay on top of things with the latest on Xbox One news, and it’s been difficult with certain life obligations getting in the way, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I’ve seen a lot of opinions on Microsoft’s upcoming console.  Positive, negative, neutral.  Something that seems to be pretty uniform, though, is the disappointment about the reveal event.  “Where were the games?!”  Everyone is asking.  Well, Microsoft answered that question even before the event took place.  The games are at E3.  The May 21 reveal was supposed to be about the system itself; they were pretty clear on that from the beginning, and it’s pretty ignorant to complain about the lack of games when they were upfront about what the reveal event would cover.  We got an Xbox One reveal–the next generation of Microsoft gaming is within reach.  With the hardware reveal taken care of, now we can focus on games in two weeks at E3.

Now that I’v got that rant out of the way, what are my thoughts on the system?  Well, it’s hard to say.  I’m almost positive that I’m going to buy the Xbox One at launch, but will I have the same enthusiastic dedication to this new iteration as I did to past Xboxes?

I’m never shy about admitting my fanboyism.  I love the Xbox.  It has the games I want, the system’s interface is user-friendly and intuitive, the online community is excellent (and when it’s not it’s just a simple button press to forever silence someone), and it works the way I want it to.  I’m also not shy about being vocal about my disappointments with the system over the past several years.  We’ve been starved for new IPs and exclusives, and we’re drowning in Kinect shovelware.  It’s been a pretty rough twilight for the 360, but I’m still a loyal customer.

With the Xbox One, it’s a whole new story.  They’ve got an internet connection requirement for every 24 hours for the system to operate, is attempting to curb used game sales by requiring a fee for additional user accounts to access a game, has an extended focus on everything not games, and is downright ugly.  Some of these things I can live with, but can everybody else?  Are the risks Microsoft taking with the Xbox One going to pay off for them, or will this system’s life be cut short due to the restrictions they’re putting on their customers?

Xbox-One3

Most of what we’re coming to know about the Xbox One has been expected.  We’ve been hearing rumors about an “always-on” system that attempts to block used game sales, but we were all hoping that these rumors would turn out to be unfounded.  In our modern time, it’s almost a given that you’ve got an internet connection at home, so what’s the big deal about a system that requires a connection every 24 hours?  Well, what if you don’t?  I’m not really living in an ideal area for a decent internet connection.  I’m not exactly financially stable.  How can I be certain that I’ll have an internet connection for the system by the time it releases?  I can’t be.  I’m primarily a single-player gamer and the fact that I’ll need to have an internet connection to play the games I want to play seems like an unnecessary restriction to force upon gamers.

The additional fee does and doesn’t bother me.  I don’t buy used games.  I refuse to.  So, for me, this isn’t a big deal since I’m going to be paying full price anyway.  However, I do like borrowing and lending games.  From the sounds of things, if you’re not logged into a system, then your buddy isn’t going to be able to access your game.  This seems to rule out lending unless you’re going to lend yourself out, too.  This is ridiculous.  Microsoft said something about incorporating a trading system in the future which will allow gamers to trade their titles with friends over Live, but they said this is something their “working on” and, as such, it’s safe to assume the feature won’t be available at system launch.  It would be nice to have a “lend” feature if you do decide to let a friend borrow a game; a feature that disables the game on your account temporarily and activates it on your friend’s account thereby giving him or her access to the game you own.  Will it happen?  I don’t know.  If it did, would it be a completely unnecessary hurdle to jump to enjoy a buddy’s game without having to go out and buy it yourself?  Absolutely.

Those are the big negatives I have against the system so far.  And they’re pretty big.  While I might be able to live with them, how will the rest of the gaming world feel about them?  My guess is:  not very welcoming.  I’ve got the feeling that a lot of dedicated Xbox users will be migrating to Sony’s platform if it can promise gamers traditional console experiences without all of these ridiculous restrictions.

QuantumBreakSo, why, with all of that, would I still be willing to buy an Xbox One?  Because it’s still going to have the games I want, the service I love, and the controller I find to be the most comfortable (just so you know, I love the controller redesign; it looks sleek and comfy).  I’m dedicated to the universe of Halo, I’m looking forward to the next game from Remedy Entertainment because I’m a huge fan of their past creations, I’m dying to see what Crytek has in store with Ryse or if Rare will make a comeback as a AAA game developer (instead of a Kinect pusher working on Avatar clothes).  Microsoft promised 15 exclusives in the first year alone, and I’m excited to see what they have in store.  I love Xbox Live–it’s an amazing service that is constantly defining what I expect from an online community service.  The features they showed off with the fluid app switching and multitasking was impressive and something that I’m sure I’ll use liberally.  Sure, one can argue that the Xbox One is basically a controller-operated PC, but is that really a bad thing?  As long as RYSEthe flashy features don’t get in the way of what really matters–the games–then I’m okay with having an all-in-one box.  The convenience of it all is something worth having, just as long as I get my games, too.

I am questioning the decisions Microsoft has made with the Xbox One, and I’m certainly not pleased with all of them.  I’m not embracing the system with the enthusiasm I thought I would as a dedicated fanboy, but I’m still looking forward to having one.  The months ahead will really determine if the next Xbox will be my go-to entertainment system or if I’ll be using it sparingly for console exclusives as I migrate to Sony’s PS4.  Time will tell and as disappointing as some things seem right now, it’s too early to say for certain just how much of a con all of the restrictions are.  In the end, it really comes down to the games.  Which system will have the games I want to play?  With E3 just over two weeks away, it should be long to find out which system has the larger, more enticing lineup.