Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Playstation 4 forced subscription fee's for online play and other ramblings

Well as many a fanboy would tell you the war is won apparently.  Microsoft will blink out of existence in a few months and Sony will remain dominant for all time in the console market.  In their dreams clearly, as much as I like Sony and it's consoles the recent E3 announcements aren't going to end the console wars, more likely it will make them more competitive which is good for the consumer in the end.

What I liked about the PS4 is the fact that it doesn't use the abusive DRM that Microsoft are employing and used games aren't to be effected in any way (although my position on the used games market has been made clear previously) along with the rather nice price point of the console.  £349 is a great price and not that far removed from the PS3 when it arrived over in blighty back in 2007.

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It isn't what I expected but I will still buy it
The presentation was a little yawn inducing and at times pretty confusing.  Why mention your continued support for the Vita when you have zero games to show off for it?  Not the best way to support your technically impressive but struggling handheld now is it?  The director is the companies entertainment division talking for a few minutes was dangerously close to the XBOX ONE reveal with it's emphasis on sports and TV. 

I did like the Infamous second son trailer, nice choice of music and the new character looks fun to play.  His powers seem somewhat similar to a familiar character from Infamous 2, so I wonder if Cole McGrath will have any impact on events?  Drive club is Ok....I guess?  Driving games are fun but I don't see the appeal of this game, even if it is made about 10 minutes from where I live.  Knack looks shit, but the kids will like it probably.

Probably the biggest gaming announcements/reveals came in the form of FF15 which looks interesting but also about as coherent as any other final fantasy released in the last 20 years.  Kingdom Hearts 3 got every single fanboy squealing with joy, while gamers who aren't still mentally six years old cringed at seeing yet another outing from Disney in gaming.  Destiny on the other hand does look cool and certainly a game to watch with interest considering Bungie basically laid the groundwork for the original Xbox with the highly popular Halo back in the days of PS2.  If Destiny has the same kind of appeal that Halo did then it will probably be a flagship franchise for both Sony and Microsoft.

On a side not from the Microsoft conference, I did like the look of Titanfall.  It being out on PC is a big plus for me since I won't be getting a XBOX ONE.  I liked the mechanics of the demo and if they can deliver that kind of experience for release it should be a lot of fun.

Anyway back to the Sony side of things.  Killzone Shadowfall is still a mystery to me because it has yet to be explained to us why both the Helghan and Vektan people live on a planet with a massive wall dividing them?  Is this a prequel?  God knows but it does need explaining soon.

The biggest gripe for me though with regards to the PS4 was the slyly slipped in note that you will now require to pay a subscription on top of your Internet subscription to play games online.  I know it isn't massively expensive and there are offers and the like, but really?  After paying £350 for the console, £40? for a game and then paying to play it online each month?  It kind of takes the piss to be frank.  What was wrong with the current system?  People still paid for DLC, PS+ and more, so why the sudden charge?

This was the only thing that let me down with Sony here.  I really would like a more official statement from Sony about this, because I really hope the PS+ thing isn't mandatory to play online, because they won't be getting money from a lot of people over this.  For instance if High moon studios release another Transformers game and it will be out on PC as well, I will buy it on PC because I won't have to pay for PS+.  Some games like Killzone Shadowfall will be a miss for me also because I don't see why I have to pay more for something I am already paying each month anyway.

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Not sold on the controllers personally
I guess the argument is that the PS+ subscription keeps the servers running blah blah blah, but if that was the case then Sony would have done that from day 1 of the PS3.  It's just greed and numbers.  Numbers specifically related to the people already subscribing to PS+.  Sony look at the numbers of subscribers and then decide "well if this many people are subscribers, then we will just charge everyone anyway".  Sound logic from a business perspective and it's great that Sony aren't screwing over current PS+ subscribers by allowing their current sub to continue into the PS4 store, but I don't like the idea of being forced to pay for features of my game that I already paid in the area of £40 to access by paying £4.99 a month.

A fiver might not sound like much, but then you may as well factor that into all future game purchases because that is what it effectively is.  This doesn't I won't be getting a PS4, and will likely have to pay the subscription fee simply to enjoy all of my games, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

In regards to the console I don't really mind what it looks like provided it plays PS4 games and doesn't explode on me.  Some people seem so fixated on the appearance of a plastic box these days as if it loses some of it's appeal because it's too angular.  Tech wise it is said to be better than the competition but compared to my PC it doesn't stack up :)  Sorry console fans but PC's are the best gaming device out there.


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