Next-Gen Gaming: What is it worth?

Jan 31, 2013

I have been really interested in this next console coming out, I guess we all are to some degree but do you remember a time when a particular gaming machine came out and you just had to have it? Well, the last time that happened to me I was in junior high school waiting to get my hands on a N64 and the latest Mario titles. Now, many years later, I find myself itching to see what is under the hood of the new hardware and more importantly what that translates into from developers.

Along with these enthusiastic feelings I also have concerns about the very same “power” we hope to witness sooner than later or perhaps a few of us out there still cling to our PS3 or Xbox system and do not wish to be converted to a new toy as of yet, that is ok!

My concern with new power is the cost. The specs of the system have not been officially released but as per our last podcast, there is some talk and teaser-type information out there that suggest these systems are going to be behemoths next to what is currently out today. What will that cost us? In the past, many companies, like Microsoft for example, lost money on their hardware (Xbox) as they effectively subsidized the cost to produce this machine with the sale of software to make up the difference and ultimately turn a profit. Will that happen again? Or is there so much financial burden on companies to be in the green, they will sell their respective hardware at a much higher price at launch? Most likely new hardware will come at a higher price, to what degree it’s impossible to tell but that is my opinion. Distribution is key to price for launch sales. If people “feel” they may or may not get one, it is entirely plausible to think people will spend more money to “ensure” they get one.

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It also means software could see a price hike. For Nintendo fans, remember back to the SNES? New games were around $75, we’ve touched on this before. I realized times are different but in the not so distant past our parents, during the “golden age” paid big money for the same stuff we now pay $60 for. Could it be higher? It could but I don’t think our market would bear anything over $80, unless it was a collector’s edition.

Many developers had a great year and others struggled. Some of my childhood pastimes like Final Fantasy, though I enjoyed them, had a rough go with fans of the series, not financially but on the forums. Final Fantasy 13 has been called a “mockery” of the series and 14 struggled perhaps more than any other Square title to date and is being re-released in hopes to turn the over weight ugly duckling back into the swan they were hoping for. They also spent a tremendous amount of money developing the Luminous Engine and posted losses for 2012. My point is, if they released a new game, it looked great, sounded great and critics were giving it a 9.5/10, how much is it worth to you? Is $75 too much based on the way they have responded to customer complaints or is it justified based on the fact that everyone says it’s good?

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In my opinion the last few years have been a roller coaster. Great games and bad games, surprises and epic let downs, especially this last year. Diablo 3, though a good game was nothing what it should have been. Square Enix is trying to do nothing for it’s fans and continues to spin their wheels on Chocobo Tale-type games and mobile crap, neglecting us fans. Whatever you believe about gaming, it is true a new console generation is on the horizon and my question to you is: “what would you pay to play games that are truly worth your time?” Nothing, you want to keep your current console? A little bit, it depends on launch titles? Alot, I have to have the next teeny-bopper Call of Duty for my friends and I to have a conversation with each other? Or perhaps it’s like me, I’m tired of paying companies to make garbage and I’d pay alot for a developer to care about my purchase, whatever the cost may be!

Food for thought: Anyone can make a well polished piece of crap but it takes a developer with dedication to their fans and a passion for gaming to convince us that “nugget” is actually a gem. -Geeks, Games, Wives.. till death do us part! – OR for you green skinned savages, “For the HORDE”

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