EpicBattleCry - Skirmish 235: A CD Community

Put down that sensor bar and pull up those pants, we’re disconnecting our Kinects to talk all things Microsoft as they reposition the platform heading into E3. Plus, why Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive keeps us up at night, Nintendo looks to Infinity (and beyond), a new Unreal Tournament and much, much more on this sensor-tive edition of gaming’s most brutal video podcast!

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GAUNTLET:


TOPIC: A MAJOR DISKINECT - In a surprise move leading up to E3, Microsoft has announced the unbundling of Kinect from the Xbox One and will offer a version of the console without the sensor for $399 beginning in June. In addition, entertainment apps are no longer behind the Gold paywall and the Games with Gold program has been detailed for the Xbox One. Team EBC discusses these recent developments and evaluates the impact they’ll have on Microsoft’s latest platform moving forward.

 

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MEMBER: DefGeoff256

Interesting to hear the Destiny budget talk on the show.  It's usually impossible to know how much money is really spent on a game/release/advertising in total over a franchise's lifetime for various reasons but I would caution taking Activision at their word.  I mean, how much of that money is actually Activision's?  Are they counting the cross promotional money as well?  Remember Mountain Dew/Doritos commercials for Modern Warfare, the Jeep Commercials, platform specific ads for platform specific content?  That is a lot of money that was spent ostensibly on a single game, but it's money that didn't necessarily come out of Activision's coffers... It'll be interesting if they will go that route with Destiny, where every piece of media content you see for an entire quarter has a Destiny tie-in of some kind.  

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Tags: EpicBattleCry, podcasts

Comment by DefGeoff256 on May 15, 2014 at 10:21am

BOOM! I made the Member Battle Cry!!  WOOOOO!  Now I'll HAVE to listen to this one!

Comment by Miguel Ramos on May 15, 2014 at 10:25am

Hi guys good show. I'm the first one to applaud any change that is consumer friendly, either because of the initiative of a company, low sales, because of user backlash or because of the competition. It's great. No matter if it's an 180, or whatever. Better to admit to the mistakes made and improve, than to be deaf and blind, holding to your guns just for the sake of "being right". But... when will Microsoft learn to shut the f**** up? Their big mouths is what puts them on the spot. Even now Microsoft Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi says that the XBox One is selling less than the PS4 because people enjoy the 360 more than the PS3. Really? Come on! Haven't you learned to just shut up? These policy changes look ridiculous just because they said they would not do it. The same thing with the first 180, they said it couldn't be done, and then they did it. Microsoft has a mouth too big to their own good. But hey, at least they are moving in the right direction. 

Comment by StarBound on May 15, 2014 at 12:05pm

The driving force behind me buying a console has mainly been its games (except the PS3 that got me bluray). The xbox is underpowered compared to the PS4 but so was the sega megadrive to the SNES and I preferred the MD games.

With both consoles now sharing the same price tag and MS basically copying Sony with how PSN+ works both systems can go head to head and do battle where it matters namely the exclusives.

While I won't get an xbox this move can only be good for all consumers. Both companies will need to step up their game.

Comment by Yoshi on May 15, 2014 at 12:13pm

This may sound angry... I own both consoles... why because I like games... As a fan of games im kinda annoyed... I have to disagree with Microsoft listening to the fans and more on listening to the money not coming in their pockets. I mean think about it, if you were selling a white T shirt... That's all you were planning to sell and you were not planning on changing that. The fans wanted a pink one.. you'd change that way of thinking if your white T shirts weren't selling. I mean its ridiculous... They are making policy changes constantly and praising themselves on features that already existed with other devices? Like not being able to stream netflix unless you have live? "Taking down pay-wall? It was dumb in the first place to have one.

At this point looking into the future I can see that a bulk of my games will be on ps4. Just because I'm slightly finding it hard to support someone that isn't genially working for its core audience... "gamers" Instead they spend more time trying to figure out how to get the console in "anyone's" living room. gamer or not... I hate the wish-washy tactics they have going on... Xone may have all the "gimmicks" I mean "gadgets" but seem to have forgotten that we only wanted the xone because like the ps4 it was supposed to take us in the next phase of "console gaming" entertainment. Don't burn the ones that will actually invest in your product in the long-term, just to get a few extra bucks up front from people who may not stick around.

I hope this way of thinking turns around and that they understand that we gamers aren't complete suckers. We got burned once... Lets hope at E3 we get a sense that they will be catering to gaming.. On that note.. I'm praying for a Gears of War trailer!

Comment by DefGeoff256 on May 15, 2014 at 12:48pm

Re: Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive = Ambivalence Overdrive for me.  I want so much to be excited about a game from the people over at Insomniac.  I love the Ratchet games and I think the trailers and gameplay footage really serve as a great summation of all the innovation Insomniac has made over the years when it comes to fun, easy to pick up, gameplay.  But maybe it's the main character, maybe it's the milk toast ad campaign, maybe it's the lack of variety in locale styling... but I just can't seem to get excited as I want to be about this...And I hope they are successful with this title, but I wonder if the MS game studios touch of death has claimed another unsuspecting victim.

Re: Unreal Tournament

Fantastic!  Unreal 4 is amazing as an engine and it's great that Epic has made the decision to not only showcase their tech, but bring back a game that arguably solidified the competitive FPS as a staple of the games industry.  This, coupled with their new consumer-centric engine pricing system, has real potential to bring Unreal 4 into the same realm as say Unity as far as Indie developers go while still acknowledging that the greatest amount of creativity and volume of creativity comes from the avid Modding community.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

Re: MS's Aboutface on... everything

Great, Kinect is out of the picture! Finally!  For a peripheral that was just about as popular as the PSP-Go (PSP-Go anyone?... anyone?!... eh?!) it's nice to see that MS has finally acknowledged that developers don't know how or why to use it with their games and thereby give consumers a reason to have it.  Lower prices mean that everyone wins, so I'm for it.  The chances I'll get a PS4 and an Xbone have just gotten $100 better. As for that apology that TG wants, screw that.  You ride the bleeding edge and you'll get cut sometimes.  

Also, TG... I drop rhymes like dimes

Comment by Colin Richards on May 15, 2014 at 3:04pm
On the Unreal Tournament topic in this week's Gauntlet: Had Epic's announcement included a working model, a pre-set direction, I have to question whether the game's community's thinking would not be super-focused on fulfilling that, effectively building walls, that may not be best for the game. I think the way they decided to manage their announcement and plan was, actually, probably the best for what they want to do.
Comment by Tim on May 16, 2014 at 11:44am

My battlecry goes out to my disappointment in the failure of the kenect. Let me explain. Since the kenect was announced, everyone (myself included) knew it was not going to be successful. Sure, it was a very interesting idea, but it was doomed to fail from the start, because it has zero support from anything the hard core audience cares about. Imagine having a 4K tv, but the only people who supported it was nickelodeon. Sure, you might own an impressive bit of technology, but hardcore moviegoers and television watchers have no use for it. This is the core audience that would buy this technology, not kids. This is how I feel owning a kenect. It has potential, but no support. It seems Microsoft had not further plans besides releasing a motion capture camera with voice commands. What did they expect was going to happen? How did they not see this coming? 

On top of that, Microsoft has dedicated fans who stood by and defended Microsoft, hoping they would do something with this technology. These fans were called horrible names on the internet. I've seen everything from questioning their sexuality to death threats, but they still stood by Microsoft. I am not one of these people, but it pains me to see this happen every day on nearly every website. Don't get me wrong, part of me is very glad kenect is out of the picture, but I wish Microsoft proved me wrong by doing something innovative with the kenect as apposed to backing out. Not only have they confirmed I spent $100 for nothing more than an impressive paper weight, but they let the bullies win and don't seem to have any plans for rewarding their dedicated audience. 

What do you guys think? Perhaps I'm being too dramatic.

Comment by Tokyochuchu on May 16, 2014 at 9:11pm

I really don't feel like praising Microsoft for simply 'listening to consumers' (AKA - practicing common sense). Microsoft's attitude coming into this generation was so arrogant and disrespectful to gamers. They basically said "We know best. We don't care what you want. You get what you're given."

It's hard to have any good will for a company that comes at you with that attitude. Add onto that the repeated lies ("Xbox can't function if it isn't online. It's impossible to disconnect the kinnect because the system won't work.") and the backtracking and you have a portrait of a company that is lost, deceitful, untrustworthy and would seemingly sell their own mother to make a buck.

Being applauded for not standing by your principles? No chance. It's going to take a long time for Microsoft's company image to rebound from this debacle in my opinion.

Comment by Ivan on May 17, 2014 at 10:25am

The console companies are stubborn masters.  Look at Microsoft trying to force Kinect, always online, and convoluted DRM down our throats as if we would conform to their despotic wishes.  Seriously, THEY wanted always online.  THEY wanted DRM control over our gaming practices.  THEY tried to ram a camera install base down out throats at out pockets expense.  They took away choices from a consumer group that prides itself in choice whether it be to approaches to game play or how I decide to purchase my game (rental, used, digital download, new etc.)

Then you have Nintendo bringing a finely tuned Toyota Camry to a Ferrari and Lambo race thinking that a damn tablet controller and shaky third party support will allow them to compete.  Did these fools not watch 300?  Your past, army size, and wished mean nothing when you try to fight through the Hot Gates. 

Sony has learned from their mistakes and has listened to gamers and are relishing in the rewards.    This industry is about listening to consumers and anticipating their needs and giving them what they want.  If you do the opposite, you will get poor results  and play the fool.     CRY HAVOC!

Comment by Supersymmetric Singularity on May 19, 2014 at 6:20am

Destiny? Don't PC? Don't care.

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