Les Comments

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  • Sony had more wow moments, but Microsoft has closed the competence gap

  • Les 10/06/2014

    What appears to be saving both consoles' bacon is the fact that the gap with the previous gen was so long. Gamers were basically waiting till they finally could spend money on new hardware. It's going to be interesting to see if they can both maintain their relatively strong starts. Personally, I haven't really seen any true advances in gameplay yet. But it's still early in the cycle. The first year or two is typically reserved for just pushing more pixels.

    MS screwed up initially and would have been in a much worse position now if their online service hadn't been superior the previous two generations. These days, there's much more to consoles than just the power numbers of the hardware.
    Reply +2
  • Xbox One without Kinect "levels the playing field" with PS4

  • Les 13/05/2014

    It will be interesting to see if this will really close the gap with PS4 (or at least stops it from growing further).

    It is good that Microsoft tries to take hints from the marketplace and adjust its behavior.
    Reply 0
  • John Carmack accused of stealing tech from id for Oculus

  • Les 02/05/2014

    It's quite irrelevant whether any of the work he's ever done has been patented. Patents are just one form of intellectual property rights (and one that should die as soon as possible for as far as I'm concerned). Code for example would typically be covered under copyright. Reply 0
  • PlayStation 4 update 1.70 detailed, will let you pre-load games

  • Les 29/04/2014

    @tiptup The problem that Sony, Nintendo and MS face (or think they face) is that they do rely on these shops to sell their consoles. PC's don't face that problem and hence there's not much that a Game can do against Steam pricing.

    But if they'd start to refuse putting demo units of PS, Wii and Xbox in their stores, this might affect the sales numbers for the consoles. These demo units are thought to serve a purpose, even if people end up purchasing the consoles via online stores like Amazon.

    Perhaps this impact is overestimated but I don't think the console platform owners are really wanting to take the risk and find out.

    And then there's also the fact that it may not really be in the platform holders' best interest to have software prices drop too much. While it doesn't look like current consoles are sold at a loss (when looking at the components at least; may still be once you factor in R&D, marketing, etc.), the margins are small and the platform holders count on software sales to generate the bulk of the profit over a console's life.
    Reply 0
  • Les 18/04/2014

    @Mintydog

    Now drop the price so that I'll actually WANT to buy a digital game in order to pre-load it.
    Not going to happen as Sony doesn't want to piss off the brick & mortar stores that it to a large extent depends on for selling the console itself. And once consoles go download-only in the next generation or two, there won't be a competing games market around anymore to drive prices downwards.

    In other words, current console game digital prices are likely as good as it gets, unless they start to feel even more pressure from other platforms like mobile.

    Another way to look at is is that if you're willing to forgo a certain level of convenience, you can get games cheaper in a physical format. So rather than saying that digital games are expensive, their physical counterparts are cheap.
    Reply +4
  • 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil review

  • Les 16/04/2014

    "The use of fully licensed stadiums might be especially helpful for the workmen still building them."

    lol
    Reply +1
  • Firaxis announces Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

  • Les 13/04/2014

    :) Reply 0
  • Oculus Rift: Step into the game, step out with two billion dollars

  • Les 26/03/2014

    @A_FAN

    Not saying that's my POV. Just what I think is behind some of the reactions.

    I personally don't care much about VR. Not as long as it is bound to headsets. I do think the level of concentration that's going on right now in the tech industry is a shame. Having just a few corporations control the space may not really be conducive to innovation.

    Wouldn't know how to change that though. It's the downside of the ridiculous valuations of some of the tech companies. At some point the bubble will pop and the cycle will start all over again...
    Reply 0
  • Les 26/03/2014

    @Kasjer

    And now you have problem with Oculus being bought by corporation?
    Interesting straw man you put up there but people don't appear to be upset that OR is being bought by a corporation. They are upset about the particular corporation that bought it. Given Facebook's statements ("we're not a hardware company"; "we're not trying to buy ourselves into gaming"), it's hard to make the case that this acquisition is good news for hardcore gamers. And this is a website targeted at gamers in the end.
    Reply +3
  • Les 26/03/2014

    @kangarootoo

    If you are in a position to be parted from $2B of your own dosh, you have to have done something right.
    True. Even if you're exploiting a bad system, that still requires skill (in addition to huge doses of luck).
    Reply 0
  • Les 26/03/2014

    @man.the.king Exactly. Zuckerberg thinks VR is going to be the next great computing platform and wants in early. Facebook stated it isn't trying to break into the gaming space.

    As long as VR is tied to anti-social headsets/glasses, I don't share his optimism about its potential as a platform. People are social beings after all. He may be a smart guy but smart people are about as successful at predicting the future as less gifted ones.
    Reply +1
  • Les 26/03/2014

    @Tsumoro

    I say this as the KS is not a 'gift' its a pledge/backing and an investment because there is a chance you might lose your funds if the company fails.
    The investment or backing is not tied to purchasing equity in the company. You don't buy into any upside other than the company at some point in the future giving you the things they offer for the tier you pledged to. If you don't agree with not sharing more in the upside, don't invest through Kickstarter.

    It's a very cheap way of getting funding. Funding through a bank loan or seed capital from a VC firm would be much more expensive.
    Reply +2
  • Les 26/03/2014

    I don't really understand the Kickstarter-related outrage. Kickstarter is about donations for pledges, you're not buying equity into the company you're sponsoring.

    I do understand people who are concerned with Facebook being the company buying OR. Facebook sells data of its users to its true customers. Ad purchasers' interests will always trump those of the users. That doesn't seem to gel well with the traditional gaming industry business model.

    Another concern is the concentration of user data with a single party. No matter how good Facebook's security is (or Google's) eventually hackers will be able to get in. In my opinion regulators should step in and curtail what user data can be stored, for how long, for what purposes, at what level of detail (e.g., individual users/persons vs. aggregated) and what (if any) can be sold to third parties.

    User outrage over deals like this may eventually push the lawmakers in the right direction.
    Reply +1
  • Les 26/03/2014

    @dailygeek The problem is that Facebook's core business model is selling user data, not selling directly to users.

    It saw OR as a potential threat (or opportunity, depending on your point of view) to the time users spend with their service and thus their value to advertisers.

    Also, Facebook's track record with acquisitions isn't really great. Push Pop Press went from an interesting direction eBooks may go into Facebook Paper. Instagram got ads.
    Reply +3
  • Les 26/03/2014

    @jefranklin18 Yeah, markets are by and large irrational, driven by mass psychology. Unfortunately, so far it's the best method humanity has been able to come up with to make judgments about the future in order to determine where to invest resources.

    Markets are like democracy: hugely ineffective but still much better than any other option we've been able to come up with.
    Reply 0
  • Les 26/03/2014

    @technotica Yes, I think it's pretty similar to what happened before. Once again we're faced with unproven business models that, if successful, could be the gateway to untold riches. Investors are terrible at distinguishing the good from the bad and with the stakes so high will get caught up in crazy bidding wars. Eventually the bubble will pop, like all bubbles do, and the 'proper' economy and our pensions will suffer the brunt of the expense. Reply +1
  • Les 26/03/2014

    The business model of the current tech bubble is to come up with something cool, don't worry about the business model, get as many non-paying users or press attention as you can muster and hope you get bought by one of the 'established' tech companies. Whose leadership will have cashed in most of their stock and options by the time it becomes clear there's no actual money to be made and/or they've been taken down by the next big thing. It's a crap shoot and it's kind of a shame that a significant portion of humanity's potential is wasted on trivial things like this. But that's capitalism... Reply +11
  • Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2 billion

  • Les 26/03/2014

    Given the anti-social aspects of VR glasses, it seems like a perfect fit...

    Curious to see how Facebook will fuck this up. It's a bit of a shame that the tech bubble allows companies like Facebook to throw money around like it's nothing.
    Reply +2
  • Misogyny, racism and homophobia: where do video games stand?

  • Les 24/03/2014

    @craigm @terminatahx

    The point the the guy makes though, is that right now, developers or publishers make the decision to not have as much diversity in characters as one would expect based on the make-up of the world's population (or even just that of the Western world) as they are afraid it might hurt sales.

    So writers right now may want to include diversity in their video game stories but either get overruled or censor themselves, anticipating the actions of the higher-ups.
    Reply +1
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @Frybird What I meant with my remark about that Rockstar should be worried if they want to reach a truly mainstream audience is that the current console public is pretty homogeneous and not a good representation of a mainstream audience. So GTA V may do very well with console's narrow demographic but as (if?) that demographic widens, they may end up leaving a significant market untapped if they continue as is. Reply +1
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @parkboyer No. That's also not what I'm saying.

    Not every game needs to high-brow. It's all about the mix across games.
    Reply 0
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @Sephiroth1550 There is no contradiction. A white male protagonist is not by definition a hurtful stereotype. Unless white males feel offended by being portrayed as gun wielding heroes saving the universe.

    However, if for some reason all people writing for video games, can only come up with stories with white male protagonists, that is an issue. It's a diversity issue though, and not a stereotyping issue.
    Reply 0
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @Frybird I think the whole focus of the debate you're having with PlugMonkey et al on a single game is missing the forest for the trees. The problem is not an individual game (not going into whether or not it propagates stereotypes), the problem is all games together.

    Like once upon a time mainstream TV used to show just white people. That luckily has changed. But that doesn't mean that there aren't nor shouldn't be shows anymore with an all-white cast. Some stories may call for it.

    Non-casual gaming has nowhere near the diversity of mainstream TV. If it ever wants to become a true mainstream form of entertainment, it should.

    As for Rockstar being unable to create convincing female characters. If they ever want to reach a true mainstream audience, rather than the majority of the homogeneous console-buying public, they should be worried about that.
    Reply -1
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @parkboyer I'm pretty sure that's not the point the guy is making (besides it being so broad that it pretty much represents all underrepresented groups rather than picking the side of any particular one).

    It's not that there is or should not be no room for dumb, testosterone fueled shooters with white protagonists for example. It is that if the industry wants to become truly mainstream (and mature), there should also be games that appeal to and represent, other groups. There should be diversity when you look across games, not in each and every individual game. That should be driven by the story that the writers want to tell.

    However, propagating hurtful stereotypes is never OK.
    Reply +1
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @Lateralus2001

    The reason is women's organisations/charities influence with those who hold the purse strings.
    I think the primary reason is men's fear for prostate exams...

    And probably the fact that it can be discovered in earlier stages through uncomfortable symptoms, unlike breast cancer. In other words, men with prostrate cancer are more likely to timely be discovered through 'regular' doctor's visits vs. women with breast cancer.

    Making a distinction is not necessarily discrimination.

    As for your comment regarding men being disadvantaged in divorce proceedings, again there's a pretty good reason for that: the brunt of the costs of a divorce are carried by women, as they are still the primary care-taker of children, forgoing or stalling a career/career growth for the benefit of the family. If it turns out stay-at-home dads get treated differently than stay-at-home moms, or men get treated differently in cases where there are no kids are in play and you're talking about two full-time working people, then you have a case.
    Reply +2
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @Redcrayon

    Real-world shooters, where using the realistic guns, vehicles etc is part of the appeal, absolutely, of course a male cast makes perfect sense.
    May come as a surprise but in many modern democracies women can and do serve in the military. They even get to shoot realistic guns and drive vehicles...
    Reply 0
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @Kendrene

    I think what he is trying to say is that we are all made up of ggod and bad qualities- I know as much as I try there are things I am closeminded about.
    Perhaps but that's not what I got from the original comment. My point is that natural biases are knowable and addressable (within limits, but those are pretty broad). The fact that a trait occurs naturally doesn't make it good nor does it make it a fait accompli.

    As for the overall article, I don't think the guy is saying that GTA and Gears/God of War should feature female/homosexual protagonists. But that big budgets shouldn't be reserved solely for the shooters with men on steroids. If story-driven games ever want to truly become mainstream, that is.

    But developers/publishers do have a social responsibility to not encourage sexist, racist and misogynistic stereotypes in general. As all people do.
    Reply +2
  • Les 21/03/2014

    @Apaar
    Bigotry and small-mindedness is a perfectly natural part of humanity. We are not getting rid of any of it, so we should accept and learn to live with the problematic qualities of our species.
    Don't confuse 'is' with 'aught'. One of the nice things of humanity is that we have the capacity to reason. As we get to know and understand our 'natural' biases better, we should also be able to better guard against them.
    Reply +6
  • Microsoft talks PS4 sales: "This is a marathon, not a sprint"

  • Les 21/03/2014

    Probably what Sony said when they released PS3. Reply +1
  • How does Project Morpheus compare to Oculus Rift?

  • Les 20/03/2014

    I'm skeptical about the mass market potential of devices like this, because of their anti-social characteristics. They will definitely open up some interesting immersion and gameplay options. However, I'm not sure if I'd be willing to sit in the family room with such a device on my head. And I'm not sure I'd want my kids to.

    As for the Sony implementation itself: would the PS4 be able to wirelessly drive the headset? My understanding is the current implementation has a wire and that seems like a recipe for disaster if you can do 360 degree turns.
    Reply -2
  • Sony announces Project Morpheus virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4

  • Les 19/03/2014

    Not sure if this is really the way to go. It may be able to do cool things you can't do with a regular TV but does that really weigh up against all the social hurdles? If you're a hermit, perhaps, but for those of us with families...

    Consumers don't really seem to care for glassed-based 3D TV's and I can't help but think that the anti-social aspect of wearing such glasses in the house is at least one factor.
    Reply -3
  • Luftrausers review

  • Les 18/03/2014

    Would buy it just to reward the fact that there's a Mac version at launch. But the review sounds great as well :) Reply +2
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes review

  • Les 18/03/2014

    Sounds great. May pick this up if it makes it to PC. On the other hand, still haven't played MGS 4... Reply 0
  • Dark Souls 2 review

  • Les 11/03/2014

    Looking forward to play this on PC someday. If only I could ever find enough time to complete Demon's Souls, let alone the first Dark Souls...

    Demon's Souls is one of those games I loathe to complete. And playing the same sections over and over is so satisfying. It's like not wanting to finish a novel you're completely immersed in.
    Reply 0
  • Titanfall review

  • Les 10/03/2014

    "Is Titanfall the next-gen showcase we've been waiting for? In pure gameplay terms, it's hard to argue otherwise."

    I'd be interested to see what definition of next-gen was used here, given that the game runs on the 360. But it's not incredibly surprising that evolution in gameplay terms has once again very little to do with pushing more pixels faster.

    Given that there's no SP and I don't care for MP, this is not for me. Which is fine. Hopefully with this game some of Mirror's Edge's mechanics will finally make it into more FP games.
    Reply +14
  • Matt Stone: South Park The Stick of Truth censorship "not that big a deal"

  • Les 07/03/2014

    @wesleyrichardhobbis It's because, in the case of video games, in many cases the customers are in fact children. But yeah, parents should play a bigger role in filtering content to their kids rather than just relying on blanket censorship. Reply 0
  • Les 07/03/2014

    Interesting that the US for is more liberal than Europe for a change.

    I don't particularly care for South Park. I think the humor in general is rather unrefined, as is the case with most American comedy. So other than on principle, this doesn't bother me much.
    Reply -3
  • Dark Souls 2 PC release date confirmed

  • Les 06/03/2014

    If the PC port is the best version this time (and it should be, given the advanced age of 360 and PS3) this delay will mean fewer people will play the optimal version, which is a shame.

    But having seen some of the feedback on the first Dark Souls online, I think it's sort of the right decision to not release the game on PC before there are proper keyboard and mouse controls. Apparently there were quite a few people who bought Dark Souls for PC and were rather upset that they couldn't play it with keyboard and mouse.

    You could argue that this game is not for people like that (with which I would agree) but I guess From just wants to prevent their game from being slammed by such (unjust) criticism.
    Reply 0
  • Why Watch Dogs was delayed

  • Les 06/03/2014

    So it was delayed because it wasn't ready. Seems like a fair (if not really surprising) reason. Reply +4
  • King abandons attempt to trademark 'candy' in the US

  • Les 26/02/2014

    What a horrible, horrible company. Let's hope users will get tired of their product soon. Hopefully before these crooks are able to cash in with an IPO. Because I don't think investors will be smart enough without such a signal to realize that the business model of companies like this is not sustainable. Reply +3
  • Twitch app launches on Xbox One 11th March

  • Les 25/02/2014

    @MattEvansC3

    Yeah, that's why I said "best/most", I was hedging a bit. I can imagine the top players are on Xbox Live, given MS's history. Just don't know how loyal they're going to be, given the Xbone's disadvantages as a pure gaming machine vs. the PS4.

    Or is everyone on PC these days?

    Anyway, I can't imagine this having much of an effect on each console's position. But perhaps I'm too out of touch with the online playing community.
    Reply +1
  • Les 25/02/2014

    I am in no way, shape or form interested in Twitch (or watching video streams of others playing games in general). But I guess the most important feature of such a service is to be where the best/most of the players are. Is that Xbone? I have no clue, as my interest in online games is pretty close to zero as well. Reply -1
  • And the new boss of Xbox is...

  • Les 25/02/2014

    He was quite effective at running Nokia into the ground and he's been pretty clear in his ambitions to run MS as a whole. This can result in some interesting infighting. Reply 0
  • Microsoft announces first Xbox One price cut - and throws in Titanfall for free

  • Les 24/02/2014

    "Xbox UK managing director Harvey Eagle told Eurogamer the price cut was not in response to this sales situation."

    Of course it is. Hadn't anticipated MS getting anxious this early in the console's life cycle. With the dearth of actual next gen titles, and strong launches, you'd think both consoles are trending well above internal forecasts.

    Reactions to the Titanfall beta seem mixed so far (on foot great, Titans suck), so perhaps MS was able to get a good deal from EA.
    Reply 0
  • PS1/PS2 games heading to PlayStation 4

  • Les 19/02/2014

    If the PS4 will play disc based PS2 games, I may get one eventually. The quality of the PS2 catalog is unequaled IMHO. Reply 0
  • Dungeon Keeper Android's rating system filters out "1-4 star" reviews

  • Les 06/02/2014

    Shameless. Reply +6
  • Dungeon Keeper review

  • Les 05/02/2014

    @Spuzzell I forgive you.

    And you are right that F2P can be done in a way that's not too grindy or exploitative. The problem is though that the natural tendency of the model is to steer developers in those directions. E.g., the developers of the original Dungeon Keeper somehow got the progression rate right while the developers of this game, who had the original as a template to build on, somehow got it insanely wrong.
    Reply +2
  • Les 05/02/2014

    @Spuzzell I'm getting your point, I just don't agree with it.

    For me, the form of payment impacts the enjoyment, rational or not. With free-to-play I have the feeling the developer is trying to play me to spend more money and I don't like that feeling.

    So if a game would cost $20 upfront and completing the game would have cost me $20 in IAP's, I'd have gotten more enjoyment out of the first scenario, even though the cost to me as the user is the same.

    The problem with IAP's is that you don't know upfront whether it's going to be $10, $20 or $3,000.

    And in the case of ad-funded free-to-play, that annoys me even more.

    So yes, free-to-play is a model that turns me off and I'd prefer it didn't exist so that some of the good games that get created using the model would follow the upfront payment model and I would be able to enjoy them.

    I do realize though that that's never going to happen and that other people view free-to-play differently.
    Reply +5
  • Les 05/02/2014

    @Spuzzell It's not really. The difference between paying a lump sum upfront and paying as you play is bigger than paying with GBP 20 notes vs. other forms of cash. Reply 0
  • Is this Dark Souls?

  • Les 05/02/2014

    Still playing Demon's Souls. Love it. Picked Dark Souls up on a Steam sale and will try that one out at some point. But I still have so much ground to cover in Demon's Souls... So Dark Souls 2 is a way off for me. But I hope the game does well and that From Software will keep on developing special games like these, rather than than the cookie cutter material that dominates the console and PC game libraries. Reply +6