Here is this week's video! I hope everyone enjoys it. As always, any feedback is appreciated!
Here is this week's video! I hope everyone enjoys it. As always, any feedback is appreciated!
Hello everyone! I was planning on making another video this week, but the scope of it grew and I didn't want to rush it. So I decided to write a short article instead. I would also like to, again, apologize for the lack of content. I am still trying to push through the stress and figure things out. Feel free to message me if you have any thoughts!
E3 may be over, but there is still a lot of discussion to be had. This week, I would like to take a closer look at a comment made by Phil Spencer during Microsoft’s Keynote. Here is what he said:
"Our hardware team, the same team that delivered unprecedented performance with Xbox One X is deep into architecting the next Xbox consoles."
Even just mentioning the next console generation is exciting, but the most interesting thing of note here is Phil saying “consoles”, meaning more than one. While it is possible that he is talking about something completely different, I believe he is revealing that Microsoft intends to release two separate consoles at the start of the next generation. And if that is true, Sony is likely considering the same strategy.
Releasing more powerful versions of consoles is nothing new. With the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and even the New 3DS, each of the console makers has done this. But all of those systems launched years after the original console. The idea of releasing a PS5 Pro at the same time as the base model would be something very different, and potentially very exciting.
There would be several risks and challenges, however, with launching a PS5 Pro so early. And one of them is the price. The PS4 launched to tremendous success at a $400 price point, and I imagine that Sony will want to stay close to that in the future. But a Pro version would have to offer much more power at a reasonable costs. Personally, I don’t think they could go above $600 for the Pro model. That is how much the larger storage PS3 cost at launch, and even then people were not happy. But I think they could get away with it, as long as it provided much better visuals and performance.
This would be a great move for consumers if Sony were to take this route. The PS4 launched at $400, and so did the PS4 Pro years later. So if you are like me, you would have bought the original model at launch, only to have to spend the same amount of money for the improved version. Overall, it could cost someone $800. But the option to buy a more powerful version of the PS5 at launch would negate having to buy a second console.
But that only works if Sony doesn’t release an even more powerful version years after the initial release. I know a lot of people would jump at the opportunity to purchase a PS5 Pro right out of the gate. But I don’t think anyone, including myself, would be happy if an even more powerful PS5 was launched years later. The only reason a Pro version at launch would be appealing is if it acted as a future proof system. Sony would have to unequivocally guarantee that it would be the most powerful PS5 for the whole generation. And I’m not sure they would be willing to do that.
Overall, I think launching a PS5 Pro at the same time as the base model is a great idea. It allows consumers to spend a little bit more money for a more powerful product at the start of the generation. But it also means that Sony might lose their chance at selling people the same console twice. So whether or not it actually happens is anyone’s guess. I just hope that Sony thinks more about us in this regard, instead of themselves. As unlikely as that may be.
E3 is over, and the dust has settled. This year we saw a total of 7 publishers/developers host a keynote, and I am here to rank them. Starting with the worst, and working up to the best, here is what I think:
Square Enix - Square Enix comes in last, not because their conference was bad, but because it didn't really feel like a press conference. It was only 30 minutes long, and offered nothing more than slightly interesting reveals. Babylon looks interesting, sure, especially since it is developed by Platinum Games. But I don’t put too much stock into CG reveals that show no gameplay.
Kingdom Hearts III was present and looked great, of course, but this is a game that has already had a lot of gameplay showcased before. New trailers of it were also present at other keynotes, which further diminished the impact it had during Square’s. If they had saved the release date reveal for their keynote, it could have made a difference. But that too was announced a couple of days before.
Sony - Sony just barely avoided being bottom of the pile this year. I was immediately suspicious when Shawn Layden announced that they were doing things a little differently this year, because that is almost always code for “we don’t have much to show so we have to mask that somehow”. Unfortunately for everyone, the masking only made things worse.
If having to sit through two separate out of place musical performances, as well as a weird intermission where everyone had to switch buildings was the only problem with Sony’s keynote, I think they would have been okay. But even when their conference started to build up it disappointed. The footage of their games we saw looked great, assuming non of it was scripted (looking at you, The Last of Us II). But the show still lacked any big surprises, or a deep dive of any of their titles. Resulting in a very disappointing E3 for them.
Ubisoft - Ubisoft’s conference wasn't anything too spectacular, but it certainly wasn't a disappointment. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Beyond Good and Evil 2, and the Star Fox and Donkey Kong announcements made for a pretty solid lineup. Just like the other keynotes, a big surprise reveal could have taken it over the top, but I am satisfied with what they presented.
EA - EA’s was fairly similar to Ubisoft’s in that they were both standard press conferences that featured exciting content but lacked a huge surprise. I actually had trouble placing these two, but in the end I gave the edge to EA for a couple of reasons. The first was a great gameplay showing of Anthem. I feel it is always important to not only show gameplay, but to show it how players will actually experience it. That means having a UI and controls readily apparent.
The other reason was the announcement and launch of Unravel 2. I’ll talk more about this later, but I always appreciate when publishers actually launch games at E3. It gives gamers more than just things to look forward to, and I feel not enough publishers do that these days.
Bethesda - Bethesda also had a pretty good show. It was full of odd announcements that felt a little out of place a gaming’s biggest event of the year, but they didn't detract from Bethesda’s reveals in the end. The bulk of the show went to the recently announced Fallout: 76, a game that I was ready to write off the second multiplayer was mentioned. But I actually walked away impressed with the vision for 76. I am still a skeptic, but I plan on watching the game closely before release.
Having said that, if Fallout 76 was the final reveal for Bethesda, I would have been let down. But the Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI announcements saved the show. I do hate that we got nothing more than a logo for each of them, but knowing that Starfield exists is enough for me.
Nintendo - Nintendo comes in second this year because, despite not having too many announcements, they did provide an exciting E3 by giving more to gamers now. An Octopath demo, Hollow Knight, and the Splatoon 2 expansion were all surprise launches that made Nintendo’s showcase about more than just the future.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also gave Nintendo a significant lead this year. Not only does the game look incredible, they also provided those watching with a ton of real gameplay. They even hosted a tournament that allowed professional Smash players the chance to play the game and voice their impressions to those not lucky enough to attend.
Microsoft - I’m putting Microsoft on top this year because they were one of the few that had what I would consider a real press conference. They announced some interesting exclusives for Xbox, talked about more than just games, and even got to reveal exciting 3rd party titles like Sekiro and Cyberpunk. At the end of the day, the gaming experience is still going to be best with Playstation, as the best games Microsoft announced will also be on PS4. But as far as keynotes go, Microsoft has risen above all others for the first time in years.
Those who have previously played Fortnite on PS4 will see the above message if they try to use that same account with the Switch version. To be clear, this is 100% the doing of Sony, and not Nintendo or Epic.
This is a disgusting practice that needs to be changed as soon as possible. Hopefully the outrage will reach Sony, and a fix can be implemented soon.
Reports are coming in that a new survey is being distributed by Sony asking participants if they would like the ability to change their PSN IDs. Going even further, the survey explains that users would be able to change their PSN ID for free, but only every 6 months.
But the survey itself reveals that Sony still doesn't know if this would be possible with the following quote:
“We can’t be sure whether this feature will be added or not, but we can be sure your opinions on the matter will be heard”
On a personal note, I don't understand why this survey is necessary. Sony is well aware that people desperately want the ability to change their PSN IDs, and they have known it for years. Why do they need to keep asking us if we want it?
Sony has announced a new version of their Gold Wireless Headsets, which will go on sale by the end of this month.
Priced at $99.99, these headsets feature a new design that works better with PS VR, and updated over-ear cushions.
Pre-orders are not yet available, but I will be sure to update if that changes.
Sony has announced that Jim Ryan will be their new SIE Deputy President, starting today. You can find the official press release announcing this news right here:
SAN MATEO, Calif., January 16, 2018 – Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) today announced that Jim Ryan, Head of Global Sales and Marketing of SIE and President of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE), has been named Deputy President of SIE with immediate effect. In addition to his existing responsibilities, as a Deputy President, Jim will work together with John (Tsuyoshi) Kodera, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Kazuo Miura, existing Deputy President, to further reinforce and accelerate the PlayStation® business on a global scale.
Jim joined SIEE in 1994 and has held a number of senior positions over the course of his twenty-three years with the company. In 2011, he was appointed president of SIEE with responsibility for leading the PlayStation business in more than 100 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. He has also served as head of Global Sales and Marketing at SIE since April 2016.