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Not So Sneaky Move, Sis!

October 27, 2014

For those of you on the fence about getting the additional One for your living room, or an extra for your bedroom, wait a couple of days. As of November 2nd until the beginning of January, the One Bundles(!) will be $349. Isn’t that the same price as the 360 right now, at least at some of the stores!? For the One, it is a good deal whether you like the hardware or not. Does this mean early adopters are screwed? Not at all. We all bought knowing the risks, 1) that hardware hasn’t been tested and it might have to go through some iterations before all the kinks are worked out – fortunately, it looks like there are none (Kenny was right), 2) bundles will be made and prices may even drop. Both happened. Had we waited until now, 4GN could buy 4 for the price of three and have two handfuls of games to go with them, plus $100! Shoot! Still, it is what it is. Early adopters pay for the thrill of owning the cool new thing.

A brief analysis of the move is that this is what I said they should do back in February. Offer the non-Kinect, price reduced version, and pull their pants back up to their knees at least. It is a smart bluff on Microsoft’s part. I say “bluff” because if Sony decides they want to match MS’s prices, Sony won’t be able to keep PS4s on the shelf for the second Christmas in a row, even without a pack in game. Were I running Sony, dropping the price is exactly what I would do. Slam that door! What is 50 bucks on a console, when it gets you into living rooms where a single downloaded HD movie costs 24.99? Not to mention the subscription fees to any of the other tens of services they offer. That is why it is a complete no-brainer for MS to offer this deal in the first place. I hope Sony’s hubris and short-sightedness keeps them from price matching, and that MS sells everything they have on store shelves, and everything they can ship through the holidays. I want gamers to play against in my MPvs adventures – populate those lobbies.  Game Informer also has their own analysis (which I didn’t read until after writing this).  Basically, gamers win.

And, I am going to just add this.  I was wrong about Brink and have often admitted such.  But I was bang on regarding the negative impact of the Kinect, the unbundling, and the price drops.  I called that shit in private and in public from before launch until March of this year.  What feels good about being right is that it is still early enough for Microsoft to build a healthy install base regardless of losing this gen’s rights to the number one title.  This is one of the few options left for them to do so.

By the way, Sunset Overdrive is getting solid reviews. It is Insomniac going back to what they do best, colorful, humorous, platform-shooter fun where wacky guns are appropriate. Even if fifty bucks seems high, that price shared between friends isn’t.

Sunset Overdrive is not the best game I’ve played on Xbox One, it’s the best game I’ve played all year. From start to as finished as an open world game can get, the game keeps you engaged, dangles carrots enough to keep you motivated, and injects such a fulfillment of power fantasy that the game sticks with you. Sunset Overdrive energizes, and proves that giving an extremely talented studio like Insomniac the trust and funds to do what they creatively envision on a new IP is a huge bet, but one that Microsoft saw value in. This bet pays off in the best way imaginable.  Examiner

Outside of the mission monotony, Sunset Overdrive is an immensely rewarding experience that has a look and style all its own and a great gameplay package to complement it. It’s a colorful return to form for Insomniac games, and a hell of an exclusive for Xbox One.
Game Informer

 

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9 Comments
  1. October 27, 2014 10:44 pm

    OT

    Adapters!!! I may be able to salvage some of my money from that peripheral after all!! WOOT!!! This is also great news for Oculus devs!

    http://www.shacknews.com/article/86832/xbox-one-kinect-adapter-kit-allows-connection-to-windows-8-pcs-and-tablets

    http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/10/22/microsoft-releases-kinect-sdk-2-0-new-adapter-kit/

  2. October 28, 2014 11:08 am

    Sunset Overdrive is an absolute blast. Great writing, VERY pretty and absolutely funny. One of the most unique games I have played in a very long time.

    Good news regarding the holiday price drop and the kinect sdk. I still use my kinect constantly for voice commands, but the camera is essentially completely unused (unless video skyping or twitching).

    With Microsoft’s vision for a unified windows (Xbone, Windows Phone and Windows PC all running on a single OS platform), we are going to start seeing an app ecosystem similar to Iphone / windows store. Releasing the Kinect to developers will eventually feed back innovation to the xbox. Then microsoft will steal/buy the best ideas a la Apple and build it into their core experiences.

    It will be interesting to see how the console looks in 5 years.

    • October 28, 2014 4:16 pm

      About the unified system: I’m very much leaning towards getting an iPhone after having the WP for about a year now. I thought when I picked up my WP that it was going to have superior functionality with the One. That was when Mattrick was in charge, and he had me fooled with his immaculate speeches that he did.

      I may stick to WP for a while longer to see how this unified Windows service holds, but that was not one, but TWO times I was fooled by MS.

      Granted, like I have said multiple times, I’m very happy I got a One on release day. It’s had it horrible moments with the whacky bugs and the like, but I have had nothing short of a great experience using the Kinect for its voice commands and trying out MS’s new vision of gaming and media.

      Sunset Overdrive is FUCKING. AMAZING. Such an innovative title that gaming has needed for a very, very long time.

    • October 28, 2014 5:33 pm

      Although WP will be a part of the unified vision, I believe developers are more likely to deploy cross platform apps from PC/XB1, as the infustrure is VERY similar. Scaling down to Phone hardware will likely require a lot more work.

      I hope they prove me wrong, but who knows. I think the best news so far is that the Surface has actually made Microsoft a lot of money this last quarter. More units sold = more developers investing in the smaller screen platform. Surface/WP cross platform would make a lot of sense for devs.

    • October 28, 2014 10:57 pm

      Thanks for the impressions and info guys. Great to hear Sunset is in the mix and that it is good. Cornie was lovin’ it yesterday, but didn’t dig deep so that he could save the experience for when his friend visits on the weekend.

      OT

      Titanfall Seasons Pass is now 67% off ($8.25). Three maps packs for the price of one, basically. The digital version of the game is only $25 bucks now! I am lovin’ this trend!

  3. October 28, 2014 11:13 pm

    Just an FYI Suns, the game is full of adult language. There is a content filter that will presumably change the dialog or bleep it. Cornie is obviously fine, but perchance the friend goes home and ends up “sharing” some of the (hilarious) one liners with his family LOLOL.

    Just wanted to let you know! LOL. I think you will really enjoy the humor in the game though, packed full of meta jokes about gaming, pop culture references etc.

    • October 29, 2014 8:34 am

      Thanks, Zos. We noticed that in the preview vids and checked out the options (for guest purposes) before we even bought it. lol Good stuff!

  4. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    October 29, 2014 5:52 pm

    I got it back in April? whenever Target released the Titanfall Bundle for $350 and a membership. I thought it was a great deal at the time except that there where no games. Titanfall proved to be too light, only now with the free co-op mode and the dlc for $9 it feels like a complete game sort off, but now it is empty.

    Same thing with all the other games I bought for the One. CoD, Dead Rising, etc. The install base was nowhere to be seen.

    That’s why I went back to the 360 after Titanfall died down. Diablo 3 and GTA V were enough to hold the old gen in place.

    Kinect is just a waste. It was a waste on the 360, never getting a good integration in a game, and that still holds true today. It works half the time, even with the tv on mute.

    I gotten used to “Record That” not working I have Game DVR snapped and just end the clips for 1min instead.

    The Snap feature and getting Digital games ready for day 1 are the main reason I have to look forward for the future of xbox one.

    The servers are so much better than PSN, and being able to play while watching Hulu Plus trumps anything that PSN might do for now.

    Sony doesn’t have to go lower right now. They have developers catering the resolutions to their hardware. They have a bigger install base.

    If I were MS i would put the Kinect bundle at the discount price. We need a bigger install base, plus the Kinects already built will probably not be sold anyways.

    They were banking on being a cable box/Gaming Console, and more people are cutting down on the cable services, so all the extra bells and whistles were a wasted enterprise.

    They have to admit they are the port console this generation and eat their own expenses permanently like Sony did.

    Still this is the best thing that could happen for use. Hopefully we will see more discounts on first party games and dlc (like the Titanfall Pass but hopefully when there’s people playing)

    We are hopefully not going to see a XBL membership hike in this cycle.

    Lastly this might kick in the great “Free Game” frenzy we enjoyed in the last years of the old gen. I can’t even count how many free games I got from both systems.

    I really felt by the end of the last gen it was the gamers who really won the console war with all the freebies and discounts. So by all means let the war go on!

  5. October 30, 2014 10:36 am

    Speaking of gamers winning, Sony has apparently brought party chat broadcasting to their videos. We have had many epic gaming sessions where the chatz were darned near as entertaining as the games themselves. This is a feature I have been wanting for a long time. If Sony is offering it, it won’t be long before Microsoft follows suit.

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2014/10/29/you-can-now-broadcast-party-chat-via-playstation-4-share.aspx

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