The tide (and prices) rises
Has someone else noticed how expensive our beloved hobby of gaming is becoming? A good PC costs a lot, to keep on the loop on consoles we will need to spend at least 400$+ (or local equivalent, as crazy as they may be), and games will most likely get more expensive as a rumor surrounding EA wanting 80$ for next-gen games is already around the Internet.
You may argue that games at the SNES era games where way more expensive, even more if you take monetary inflation and so forth. But hey did become more accessible since them.
What I`m trying to say is that now there is the not so crazy notion that “gamers” are willing to pay for their “hardcore gaming”. Mobile can grab casual people that don`t give much value to games overall. If you want to take gaming as a hobby you have to be willing to spend a lot. The price we pay will become more and more related to how hardcore we are and to what we do. The simple notion of “hardcores” thinking they are better because they are hardcore is just ridiculous, even more when the requisite to be hardcore is be able, or willing to, pay more for entertainment.
The only way to proof them wrong is to not buy their stuff. But we love games, and we will go out of our way to buy the best games, the latest launch, the next overrated Modern Military Shooter. Well, I do not intend to blindly follow that. I`ll do the best I can to be a responsible consumer and deliver the message that they cannot feed whatever they feel like to me.
The battle has begun and will be decided in 2014.
Sony and Microsoft presented their cases on E3 this year. Short version is: while Microsoft restrict user ownership of their games on Xbox One, Sony will not make any changes to their current disc ownership model, meaning you can lend, trade, burn or do anything else you like with your PS4 discs.
For consumers the decision is most assuredly made. I`m sure some people will buy the Xbox One, but the PS4 will dominate the sale numbers. Now remains the question: Will sheer number of sold consoles convert in a bigger bottom line for 3rd Parties?
My point is: 3rd parties will use the first game releases to decide if they will keep investing on ports for both platforms or if they will let one of them die. I don`t think, the way things are set to happen, that will be as close as 360xPS3 sales. One console will dominate and the deciding factor will be witch one brings more money to the 3rd parties, so they keep supporting it. This may mean the comeback of the PS2 era where all games where at the PS2 and the other consoles just cried with one or another first party title.
I really hope consumers will buy PS4 games as they never did before to ensure that user ownership is justified, otherwise who will laugh in the end is the megalomaniacs at Microsoft with their pockets full of someone`s money. Either way, if the stances are kept this way we, as an industry, will learn a lot.
P.S.: Don`t you think it`s weird that Microsoft was so confident with this online connection requirement and game ownership rules? I think they may have been victims of industrial espionage double agents. Not saying they are not capable of doing shit, but still… something is not right.