The Value of a Dollar

I have discussed the dilemmas of downloadable content frequently in the past, and each new piece of news gives us more to chew on. Soon we will be seeing the very first DLC for Tomb Raider: Underworld. You know, the content that was meant for the original game, but eventually wasn’t. We may never know if someone put a gun to Eric Lindstrom’s head in order to change his story, but we’re here to discuss value.

This joystiq newscontains a quote from Crystal Dynamics claiming each piece of DLC will take between three to six hours to complete.… Read the rest

Counting the Game Industry’s Gold

Like most industries, the gaming industry is bound by the conventional economic wisdom that you must spend money to make money. Historically, that’s meant taking a loss on every game system sold (with the notable exception being most Nintendo consoles) in order to tap into selling game after game to console owners. This measure of success is known as the “attachment rate” or “tie ratio.” A somewhat (November 2008) dated Gamasutra chart shows that the Xbox was in the lead, with 6.6 games/system sold, followed by the Wii at 5.5 and the PS3 at 5.3.

This statistic has historically been a powerful metric for measuring market penetration and overall success for a console.… Read the rest

Pachter predicts the PS3 is fucking awesome

Sony is something special. Any other console with the combined hardware and software sales of the PS3 would be considered solidly in third place. Somehow when it’s Sony in third, however, it is simply a strategy to take advantage of a grandiose ten year plan. Imagine how violently you’d have laughed had Microsoft announced a ten year plan for the Xbox.

Predictions from analysts and insiders are only now slowly starting to show that the PS3 may not come out on top this generation. The initial prognostications from ’06 can be forgiven but many refuse to treat Sony like another console maker.… Read the rest

Review – Little Big Planet

Now that the game has been out for a while and I have eased myself off of Fallout 3, I feel it is time for me to kick in my two cents about Little Big Planet. I must admit that prior to the game’s release I was caught up in the euphoria surrounding LBP. I basically bought my Playstation 3 to play it and waited anxiously for each new video that was released in the weeks before the game came out. Once those evil lyrics about Islam had been properly disposed of and the game finally came out, I rushed home and barricaded myself in my room to play the game for almost an entire weekend straight.… Read the rest

It’s all over: MGS4, or the New Gen?

As I feared, the majority of reviews of Metal Gear Solid 4 are disappointing to say the least. Unfortunately, too many critics are interested in remarking about the length and quality of the cutscenes, which really means they like to make the obvious observations that they are “too long” and “too silly.” Rare is the review that compares them to the past entries in the series, which would show you that past cutscenes were less drawn out, and that dialogue in MGS1 sounded much more natural.

Kojima is like a novel writer who refuses to use an editor, and as a result we have scenes in MGS4 where characters can’t utter an important name without five lines of setup dialogue that could only possibly benefit new players (while making the characters look stupid and veteran players feel bored).… Read the rest

That was quick – Firmware 2.4

The much awaited 2.4 update to the PS3 is out, and with it comes nearly all of the remaining features that are already available on the Xbox 360. In game XMB, Trophies, and partial custom soundtracks are all here now, making the PS3 that much more of a complete package.

Many have considered this a major trump card for Sony, claiming that they now offer everything that Microsoft does at no cost to the consumer. This is true only to an extent: features like achievements, custom soundtracks and an in-game system menu are offered to all 360 users. Nothing in 2.4 is reserved to Xbox Live Gold members, and so this is really Sony catching up with some of Microsoft’s basic features.… Read the rest

Sony follows the lonely path

The new PS3 commercial shows a handful of games set to what sounds like a clip from a Gladiator or Braveheart type movie. A warrior with a middle ages accent (ye olde accent) rallies his comrades before a glorious battle. To Sony this console business is a battle, and a bloody $3 billion one so far.

Only declaring war openly and drawing lines in the sand is not what Sony needs to do now. The call for brotherhood in the commercial clearly creates an us-versus-them image but it is this exclusive mentality (remember, the PS3 is like a fine dining experience) that put Sony in third place this generation.… Read the rest

….Metal Gear?

Folks, it’s that time of the month. No not that; the monthly blockbuster is out. Hot off the heels of GTA IV, Metal Gear Solid 4 gives PS3 users a reason to rejoice. It also makes a hell of an excuse for me to finally pick up a PS3. I’m not going to get into the story, but suffice to say it was a bit of a trial to save for and obtain the console, culminating in a fairly easy pickup at the local Walmart early Thursday morning.

It feels good to welcome a new console into the house, and it will mean vl can get more PS3 reviews on the site.… Read the rest

Apple and Agents (of the Elite Beat variety)

The Apple/Nintendo rumor mill has existed for a few years now, usually popping up quarterly or biannually with either a rumor about the two companies, or simple posturing about them. This leads to armies of geeks believing a merger is imminent, even though there is no proof or even any grumblings from either company about it. People simply look at how similar the two companies are, and somehow put two and two together (even if there is nothing to put together).

But maybe we are getting smarter about this inane trend. This time around, Forbes looks at how the iPhone might kill the Nintendo DS.… Read the rest

The next gen consoles then and now

Folks, it has been some time since the “next gen” was actually the next. I think it is about time to call it the current gen, and on that note, I think it is time to re-evaluate the three major players in the race. Much has changed, and my opinion of each console has changed wildly. Note that this is not an attempt to analyze who is going to “win” the console war. I think that it is quite clear that so long as there are games like Wii Fit and Wii Sports released at the right times, Nintendo is going to be unchallenged in total sales numbers.… Read the rest