Ben's Week In Review: February 22
I'll be out to shovel after I write this. I've missed it so. No, really.
PS4 will have a 40 percent market-share lead over Xbox One in 2019...?
I'm not saying it won't happen. I'm just wondering how it will happen based on the current market landscape.
A new report claims PlayStation 4 will have a huge lead over Xbox One by the time 2019 rolls around. I'm all for it (mostly because I can't stand Microsoft as a company) and while I don't doubt it's a possibility, I question Sony's potential domination.
Right now, I'm not even sure that PS4 is a better buy according to most consumers. Xbox One is officially cheaper, most games released these days are multiplatform, and both systems have proven relatively stable. In fact, I've seen more PS4-related problems in the news (typically due to a firmware update) than Xbox One-related hiccups. Sure, a lot of high-profile multiplats have boasted better tech numbers on PS4, especially in regards to resolution, but the overwhelming majority of consumers don't know or care. They really don't, trust me. And as far as I can tell, Sony's first-party exclusives have been coming up short thus far in the new generation. Not that Xbox One's exclusives are faring any better but even so, things appear to be on an even keel.
How does the console that costs more and doesn't necessarily guarantee a beter gaming experience result in "PS2-like domination?" The PS2 was a perfect storm in the industry and you'll never see that again. The idea that PS4 will even come close to PS2 in terms of overall worldwide sales seems laughable to me. PS3 sold about half what the PS2 sold and while the PS4 has certainly started much better, the competition will remain. Xbox and GameCube really weren't competition. I guess I just don't get how they came up with that 40 percent number.
The Last Guardian ordeal is just painful
So, first we think it's dead and then Sony resurrects the IP and returns it to "live" status. The explanation being that after the trademark office sent them a reminder last July, they just forgot until now. Who buys that? Seriously?
If it was really an active project, I seriously doubt that would've fallen through the cracks. But even if I give them the benefit of the doubt, and this is really what happened, I've never understood Sony's approach to The Last Guardian's PR. It's just absurd and it doesn't fall in line with any other title they've ever promoted. They never say anything about it and frankly, neither does the development team. It's like the game doesn't really exist but they keep telling us, "don't worry, it does." It does? Really? Why is it such a big secret? Why keep it under wraps like this? They have to know that such a tactic only creates more widespread suspicion and eventually, after years of delivering nothing, apathy.
Unfortunately, while Guardian was once one of my most anticipated titles ever, apathy has indeed taken over. And it's entirely because of how Sony has handled things.
Personal gaming update
If you didn't play Unmechanical on PC and you're interested in taking on a unique, challenging puzzler, you should definitely try Unmechanical: Extended Edition for PS4. It's really quite enjoyable for those looking to flex their problem-solving muscles.
But of course, it's really all about The Order: 1886. I won't rehash everything I've said about the game but I will remind everyone of one thing: For months and months, I was accused of bashing on the game. Then, leading up to the launch, I was accused of defending it. In truth, I never did either. I simply asked the questions most people were asking. I voiced concerns because there were concerns; then I defended the concept of such a game, not the game itself (as all these articles were written before I ever played it). I will always defend the idea of a narrative-driven linear adventure because I don't believe they're inherently inferior to open-world games, and I don't believe the reason they're disappearing is entirely due to technological advances.
I will say that while I often applaud my fellow reviewers, I'm disappointed with how many of them approached this particular game. I've read dozens of reviews now and it seems clear to me that personal preferences and bias, along with a complete dismissal of the excellent elements of the game (as if they just don't exist), hints at something rotten. Unfortunately, The Order does not live up to my expectations; it's not the GotY contender and AAA exclusive I'd hoped it'd be. That will be reflected in my score. However, there's a lot to say concerning this game and I'll say it soon...expect to see the review on Monday.
2/21/2015 Ben Dutka