According to results on a poll done by DealNews.com, the main factors for gamers next generation buying decision came in form of brand loyalty, price, and to a lesser extent specs. According to the results in the poll of just under 1,747 of the sites readers the following numbers have been observed:
PlayStation 3 Owners:
- 51% bought the PlayStation 4 (loyal gamers)
- 8% bought the Xbox One (swing gamers)
Xbox 360 Owners:
- 42% bought the Xbox One (loyal gamers)
- 14% bought the PlayStation 4 (swing gamers)
- 35% bought the PlayStation 4
- 23% bought the Xbox One
Also according to the results brand loyalty remained the top reason for staying on their current system. 32% of Xbox 360 owners reported this and 30% of PS3 owners reported brand loyalty as a reason for their purchase. Also of note in this poll is the fact that two times the number of Xbox 360 users cited console price for not buying the next generation version rather that of PS3 owners who did not purchase a PS4 for the same reason.
According to the poll conducted, 14% of Xbox 360 owners bought the PS4 over the Xbox One, conversely only 8% of PS3 owners opted to buy an Xbox One. These numbers are represented above in the swing gamers characteristic in the percentages above.
What about those who have owned or do own both consoles? 35% of these console owners picked PS4 over Xbox One, and 23% of these owners purchased an Xbox One over PS4. The main reason cited it specifications of the consoles.
Just 2% of PS3 users bought both the PS4 and Xbox One, and 1% of Xbox 360 users both PS4 and Xbox One.
Other close margins had to do with the amount of users who did not buy either next generation consoles. 42% of Xbox 360 users did not buy either PS4/Xbox One compared to 39% of PS3 owners who did not buy either console.
I stress that this is just a poll of roughly 1,750 particapants and not close to the actual number of video game owners whether next gen or current gen, but I find these numbers interesting because they actually reflect what I think most PS4/Xbox One buyers thought about when they made their decisions. Surely in some cases, money wasn’t an issue so buying both wasn’t a problem and I think that’s great that these people are well off, but not everyone had that choice, and that is what makes the buying decision so difficult for many.
Madden 25 was released on PS3 and Xbox 360 back in August, and while it is a solid game. In fact it is a game I still plug in from time to time usually on Sunday’s before the weeks games. But despite it being a solid game, nothing overly impressive but solid, there are still plenty of things that drive me batty about this game.
1. Slow Menu’s
I didn’t really notice how slow the menu’s were in the game until I played NHL 14 and realized that the gripes I had with NHL 13 seeped into Madden 25. I am hoping that in the PS4/XBOX One version this is fixed. Because I couldn’t imagine that carrying over into the next generation with the consoles being 16 times more powerful. There would be no excuse for it in my mind.
Also add in the fact that the simulation speeds are slow as hell and you really have a major headache on your hands.
For this game to be a success on PS4 and Xbox One they really need to streamline things for Connected Careers, because none of this would fly on those consoles.
2. Connected Franchise
Connected Franchise is clearly intended for one player, and here is why I say that. Say for example you have two players in an offline Connected Careers mode, and you are at the re-signing stage of the off-season you can start out doing that process using either coach which is all fine and dandy but when you are done you have to switch coaches, and that is a bit of a wait, and then you have to skip to the actions screen to make sure there is not other issues to deal with before you go to re-sign your players.
That is just one example, of how time consuming and annoying it can be to do this mode. Tack on the added time for the draft because the process is the same for all parts of the off-season from the draft, re-signings and free agency. The switching is a major pain in the ass and it needs to be addressed in future maddens. Remember in the old Maddens where you could just go from one team, to the other and not have to press R3 or the right joy stick on the 360 to select the coach? That was so much faster and easier to do.
The mere fact that Madden 2005 had a better concept for multi-player franchise than Madden 25 is kind of laughable. The problem with this is the slow menu’s, if Madden could just make it as simple as scrolling from one user team to the other in the same screen it would A) be easier to navigate and B) faster to do so. And to me, that is a win win for all parties involved.
3. A Deeper Experience
Madden feels stale to me, Madden has not added a mode they really captured me in a way that would make the game feel fresh and new. And I think Madden needs that extra kick. Yesterday I posted a story on the Xbox One exclusive feature called CoachGlass which is meant to take advantage of Microsoft’s SmartGlass and really give Sony the middle finger. But that is a nice little feature, and it will give Xbox users a new feature they can try out and possibly like.
But even that won’t be enough to make the game feel new or fresh. The game needs a new feature, something that EA can work off of. And I am not talking about another mode, but maybe modifying an existing mode such as Connected Careers. I think this would be a great mode to work with, I am thinking that EA could go NFL Head Coach in this mode, add in meetings with coordinators, scouts, and so on.
The more I think of it, maybe make a deeper mode for coaches only, would probably fit this more than adding onto Connected Careers. God knows Connected Careers is already a mess in itself, adding something to slow it down would be a disaster. Regardless adding features that were in NFL Head Coach into it’s own game mode would feel fresh if it is done right AND added on to.
They could also make scouting a little better, I think every player should have some ratings revealed to one extent or another. Whether it is the C? extent or the actual rating should vary. You should also have strengths and weaknesses sections that can outline as few as one trait up to five traits. Believe it or not, these sections if done correctly can give you can idea if he fits the scheme, I remember NBA Live having this and I made decisions on how to draft bases on up to 3 lines of info I got, I mean sure there were other factors, but that weighed more heavily than ratings, player comparables and so on.
I am not as deep into football as I am hockey, so I can’t even begin to think of other ways to add depth to Madden, but someone needs to think of it since it can give us gamers something new and fun.
Note: The release is 8 years to the day that Xbox 360 was released.
This is a big week for Xbox One! I am pleased to share a few exciting developments as we continue our journey to deliver the best Xbox ever.
In a blog post released today Microsoft released a blog and there are 13 markets still set to receive the Xbox One in November which are: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand.
Also in the post they list markets who will have to wait for the launch of Xbox One which can be viewed in the quote below:
We remain committed to launching Xbox One in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, as soon as possible in 2014.
While we wish we could launch Xbox One simultaneously in these markets, there are many factors that determine the timing of specific market launches. This includes work to localize the Xbox One dash, incorporate additional voice and languages, and build partnerships to bring apps and meaningful local content to each country.
So it seems Microsoft is releasing these consoles later basically to add functionality to the machine, which is all fine and dandy, but it is annoying that the people in these countries now have to wait into 2014, and hopefully not longer, to resolve a problem that shouldn’t even exist. And people might be thinking that I am being harsh on Microsoft, but they’ve had ten years to get this right, and now people in this select countries they have to wait longer to play next generation games, when in a lot of markets gamers will be able to use the Xbox One.
I feel bad for Microsoft, I really do, it seems like whenever they take one step forward that they manage to mess something else up. And I want Sony and Microsoft to be on a level playing field and both doing well, because when that happens it is a win for gamers. And that is what everyone should be looking for, regardless of what companies console you prefer. As much as people want to have fake console wars, they need to consider that without one company competing with another, there will be no reason for Sony or Microsoft to put everything into the bread basket sort to speak. Because not for nothing Nintendo isn’t going to be able to compete with either company.
Anyway, all the details can be found here: http://news.xbox.com/2013/08/xbox-one-confirmed-markets
According to an Q and A with IGN.com with Chief Xbox One Architect Marc Whitten the Xbox One will not require the Kinect to work. An explaination is given in the blog, which has more info in it about Cross Console party chat (from the 360 to the Xbox One). You can read the entire Q and A here. Below is the part that talks about the Kinect.
Since Kinect must be plugged in for the Xbox One to function, what happens if your Kinect breaks? Like if it falls off the top of your TV onto a hardwood floor or something? Will the console cease to function?
WHITTEN: Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in. It makes gaming better in many ways – from the ability to say “Xbox On” and get right to your personalized homescreen, to the ability to control your TV through voice, Smartglass and more. Kinect allows you to search for your content, instantly move between games and your personalized dash and more with just your voice. Kinect helps you pick up and play by automatically knowing which controller you have in your hands. No more need to interrupt your friends game or navigate through multiple UI screens to sign in and tell the system which controller you are holding. It will even bind the controller to the console if its currently unbound – no searching for special buttons! Of course – these are just a few of the system wide benefits of having Kinect. Games use Kinect in a variety of amazing ways from adding voice to control your squad mates to adding lean and other simple controls beyond the controller to full immersive gameplay. That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor.How “off” can Kinect be when the system is in use?
WHITTEN: You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode. You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.
Is this enough to save Microsoft or is it too late for them to be saved from a PR standpoint? Time will tell, but the good news is that they appear to be listening to the customers wants and needs. Which should only stand to serve them well in the future. Now it seems like they are on par with the PS4 in all areas but price point, but with this device being more of an entertainment unit, some buyers might not mind spending the extra $100 for it.
Don Mattrick has decided to leave Microsoft in favor of Zynga and become its CEO. Mattrick was with Microsoft for 6 years and has been in the middle of the public relations mess Microsoft was involved in after its failed Xbox One reveal and an even bigger mess leading into E3 with its Xbox One requirements of having to log online on the Xbox One and restrictions on video game rentals and so on. Microsoft later backed off on those main two requirements, while having the Kinect 2.0 is still a requirement and one fan boys are still using as bait to bash Microsoft with to this day.
Below is an internal memo to Zynga employees according to an article from Kotaku
To our Zynga employees, players and shareholders,
Today is a big day. I’m excited to announce that Don Mattrick will be joining us as Zynga’s new CEO and member of our Board. I wanted to let you all know why I made the decision to recruit Don and what I think it means for all of us.
Over the last few months I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all that we have achieved together as a company. We have pioneered social gaming and helped make Play a core part of millions of people’s lives. But Zynga has so much more potential ahead, the opportunity to be an Internet Treasure and deliver on our mission of connecting the world through games.
As I reflect on the past six years, I realize that I’ve had the greatest impact working as an entrepreneur with product teams, developing games that could entertain and connect millions.
I’ve always said to Bing and our Board that if I could find someone who could do a better job as our CEO I’d do all I could to recruit and bring that person in. I’m confident that Don is that leader.
If you’re not familiar with Don, he’s an entertainment and game industry innovator who’s been making products and scaling teams and businesses for the last 30 years. Don’s had major leadership roles at Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Distinctive Software, which he founded when he was 17 years old.
Don is unique in the game business. He can execute in multiple domains – hardware, software and network, and he’s been the person responsible for game franchises like “Need for Speed,” “FIFA” and “The Sims.” He’s one of the top executives in the overall entertainment business and he’s a great coach who has inspired people to do their best work and build strong, productive teams.
He deeply understands the value of a network and the importance of creating lifelong consumer relationships. He turned Xbox into the world’s largest console gaming network, growing its installed base from 10 to 80 million and transformed that business from deep losses to substantial profits. And he has grown the Xbox Live player network from 6 to 50 million active members.
Going forward I’ll continue in my role as Chairman and Chief Product Officer. I’m excited to partner with Don and the rest of our team to return Zynga to its leadership role in inventing and growing Play as a core human experience.
Don officially starts next week; however he’ll be joining me tomorrow to host an All-Hands meeting so you can all have an opportunity to meet him and ask any questions. Please feel free as always to post your questions and vote up questions on our Zyntranet here.
Thanks and see you tomorrow.
It remains to be seen as to who replaces Mattrick at Microsoft, and also remains to be seen as to how Zynga proceeds from here after having a mess on their hands already with declining stock value.
On Wednesday Microsoft announced that is has removed its online requirement and all of its games can be used all over the place.
They claim it was done because they were listening to the fans, but I don’t believe that. Here’s why, do you think that if Xbox One pre-orders were good that Microsoft would do this? Not that I have pre-order figures, BUT overall I feel like the PS4 is going to dominate sales judging from reactions from multiple web sites. Which is why I think that the Xbox One sales aren’t where Microsoft wanted them to be, and in all reality, they did this to themselves.
Lets go over the decisions Microsoft has made since May 21st, they announced the console and focused on the all in one aspect of the console as opposed to pushing games like they should have, especially considering that it is a game console. To give Microsoft credit however I felt like they had a great showing at E3 in terms of games, so that aspect won’t be a disappointment but the restrictions were never addressed at E3, And on that day and night pre-orders started for the PS4, and Xbox One and once Sony announced that the PS4 was going to be $100 cheaper than the PS4, the PS4 was a clincher for Sony in all reality.
Which is why I say that I feel like Microsoft is only doing this because their pre-order numbers are not up to par compared to their internal estimates and they wanted to do something to get momentum going.
My main question now, and maybe the readers can add some input in the comments, but is it too late for Microsoft? Did Microsoft permanently damage their chances of winning not only this next gen battle, but future next gen battles? Did Microsoft ruin the future of their Xbox brand?
I think Microsoft will have to take advantage of people like me who will most likely end up owning both consoles at one point or another, I know during the PS3/360 era, I owned both and I ended liking PS3 more than the 360 and eventually sold my 360 and remain on the PS3.
So as it is Microsoft needed to wow me with their reveal, and while the all in one concept is nice and will be a great feature, it isn’t a selling point for me. And since that was Microsoft’s driving force with the show the reveal didn’t wow me.
However lets just say that Microsoft was first to reveal their console, I might have been a little more impressed with the presentation since it would have been the premiere of next generation games and I think anyone would have been impressed by the showing.
NOTE: I started this post on Tuesday June 18, 2013 and it is being posted on Wednesday June 19, 2013. Later today it is rumored that Microsoft will announce that a couple of their Xbox One requirements will be lifted, so this piece was mostly written before this news came out, so I am going to post it as if Microsoft isn’t going to make any announcements
In terms of video games Microsoft appears to have recently hit a wall when it comes to good publicity, but bad publicity has been a staple for Microsoft for awhile now.
After Windows 8 bombed badly with it’s redesign Microsoft pretty much gave its customers the middle finger by not trying to take the feedback and running with it. Think about this, Microsoft claims to have heard the customers and added a start button to Windows 8.1 which is essentially a patch for the clusterbleep and it includes a start menu that takes you to the tiled mess that is the home screen. To me that comes off pretty much as a middle finger to the customer base giving us the start button but then going out and having it take us to the tiled mess that Microsoft calls a home screen.
Now lets move to how this translates to the Xbox, because there is a direct connection here and if you pay attention to both angles you get it, but if not let me lay it out. It all started with the Xbox One reveal on May 21st in California when they introduced the console and instead of focusing on gaming, they decided to show off its entertainment values as an all in one console, it could control your cable box, TV and console, which is nice and all, not what I want in a console but it’s a nice option. But at the reveal they failed to gain much momentum going into the E3 expo last week because A) A lack of games were shown and B) the restrictions the console presents to the gamers.
To explain the restrictions lets look at them one by one, in order to play offline you MUST sign in once a day, which if you’re always online on Xbox Live that is not a big deal, but if you live in the middle of nowhere, or somewhere in a country surrounding with limited internet access then signing onto Xbox Live will be a challenge. But don’t worry about that, if you want an offline console Microsoft’s executive Don Mattrick says you can buy an Xbox 360 for offline games. But what Mattrick doesn’t realize, or seem to comprehend is that a lot of people who were interested in the Xbox One are probably already Xbox 360 royalists as it was, so to make such a comment is stupid and quite frankly off the mark.
Another issue is that the Kinect is a requirement. Firstly for those who typically search for PC articles and came across this might be wondering what it is, the Xbox Kinect is a camera, like a web cam in a way that can connect to the Xbox Console and Kinect 1.0 was made for the Xbox 360 and it is not required to run the system. So to get back on point, the plan for the Xbox One is that Microsoft decided to make the Kinect 2.0 a requirement in order to even use the console. Which seems like nothing, but it has prompted privacy concerns for the users and so forth even though most gamers play online for the most part and as PC users know, being online is never anonymous to begin with but this seems to creep them out more than making death threats over Xbox Live, as weird as that sounds.
Those are two of the biggest issues facing North American consumers when it comes to the next generation of gaming consoles. Sony has stayed clear of controversy, from used game policies to not requiring a camera to operate it’s Playstation 4 console. Whereas Microsoft has not only created its problem for itself, but also seems to be ignoring it to boarderline firing back at its customers for being angry about the ridiculous restrictions imposed by the Xbox One.
But here is the true problem for Microsoft, if they keep this face of they’re right and the customer is wrong than they will fail, and they will fail hard.
With all of the media shows that took place on June 10th there was a lot to discover and hear about. I will break down my thoughts overall of how the conferences went for each company, the pluses, minuses, or even in the middle. E3 started off with a bang and a lot of goodies were unveiled.
Conference and Grades
This was a hit or miss with me. I thought overall the games were great, we got looks of The Witcher 3, Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Battlefield 4, all had strong showings and I felt overall the Microsoft Conference was very good. One thing I was wondering is if they’d try to smooth things over with the fans by mentioning the online and used game portion of news on Friday that was released to less then stellar reaction, unfortunately Microsoft ignored the bad publicity it had built up. But overall I thought that Microsoft did well with their conference, mainly because they stuck to gaming and did not try to sell the all in one concept that they forced down our throats a few weeks ago. Xbox One exclusives did well for the most part with Forza and Dead Rising 3 stealing the spotlight, but Quantum Break was put on my list of disappointments, I just wasn’t feeling it yesterday unlike when the initial trailer launched at the Xbox One reveal.
I was less than impressed with EA’s press conference to be honest, I felt like they had a chance to demo one of the sports games if not two of them, but they didn’t so all I got to see was a trailer, which was just a pre-rendered piece to make it look good. Although I am sure we’ll see more within a couple of days with the next gen visuals and gameplay, it would have been nice to see it live. To me it makes it look like they didn’t have any confidence in their EA Sports games. One thing we did learn is that NBA Live is a next gen exclusive, which is probably the best thing considering how bad the current gen version has been perceived from the media and fans alike. EA did show Battlefield 4 multi-player action live and it was amazing, visually and gameplay wise, Battlefield 4 definitely was one of the top stories of the show for me, it was incredible, if you need any proof check out the multi-player playthrough on stage during EA’s Download event.
Once again Ubisoft threw the second best conference of the E3 on Monday, starting with the announcement of a new Rocksmith game, and then they started to show trailers for of games we already knew about including but not limited to, Assassins Creed IV, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Watch_Dogs, and The Crew. At the end of the press conference Ubisoft also announced a new game called Tom Clancy’s: The Division, which looks fantastic and it played just was nice if the live demo is to be believed. In the demo they showed off some cool things, the first thing that stuck out to me was the map that was displayed digitally on the screen surrounding the player as it he was wearing special glasses that displayed it, but he wasn’t and that is how it is naturally displayed (as seen above). They then went to the New York Police station and had a shootout in the parking lot which was cool because the police cars took some realistic damage to them, and it was just a fun scene overall, but hell aren’t most shootouts fun to watch in movies or video games? Once the shootout ended they went inside the police station and untied a couple police officers and were given access to weapons to help them stock up, which was good because when they exited the police station they stood around and reminisced and chatted overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge before intruders came back and another shootout broke out for another minute or so before the demo ended. Overall it was a quality show.
I give Sony the top spot not because they had the better game announcements between them and Microsoft, but for the reason of the way their conference ended. I’ll get to that in a minute, but I’d be remiss not to discuss the games first since that is primarially how they started with titles from PS Vita, and PS3 which included games such as The last of US, Grand Theft Auto V in which they unveiled a GTA V Playstation 3 bundle due out in September upon the games launch of course barring another delay. Once they got done discussing that they unveiled the PS4’s hardware which as you saw last night is pretty nice looking, it looks a lot like a PC mini tower and the PS2 all in one. I can’t think of a better description of it. Once the dust settled from that they got to PS4 games and mostly the independent developers which seemed to be one of their main focal points. but they also had Ubisoft games with their own Assassins Creed IV trailer, and they had a very cool Watch_Dogs playthrough which of course you can watch above.
And then Sony closed the show with some a fury of punches to Microsoft’s gut. Sony came out punching, by announcing any physical copies of games can be used anywhere you please, even used games which means there are no restrictions at all. There is no online requirement for Playstation 4, you can play offline anytime you want without needing to sign in to play a game. PS4 supports cross game chat. What’s that you ask? Say you’re playing Madden 25 but a friend is playing Battlefield 4, you’ll still be able to chat with one another without having to play the same title, which is something Playstation 3 can not do. Another cool feature confirmed was the play as the game downloads feature, and how it works is when downloading a game, the menus and first level are the first sections that will be downloaded and installed. While playing the first level, the second level will continue downloading in the background, then the third and fourth, and so on. One thing I am not clear on it whether that is just for downloaded games only or physical as well.
The last jab at Microsoft that Sony took was the price tag, because during the Microsoft press conference it announced that the Xbox One was going to be released in November and will cost $499, whereas Sony came in with a pretty solid price point of $399, or $100 less than the Microsoft console. However there are two minor drawbacks. The first being that if you want to game online you need to be a Playstation Plus network, so if you’re like me, you’ll need to put $50 a year towards Playstation Plus, which is still a wash compared to Xbox Live. And the second being that if you want the Playstation Camera you will need to shell out extra money to buy it. It is weird because I thought that it was needed to track the controller. But I guess not, I can’t imagine it being omitted if that was the case, it would be bad PR for Sony, PR of which that Sony is benefiting from coming into the show.
EA really stole the show with this game. I was extremely impressed with the amount of detail this game has. And it gave me an idea of what was possible in this current generation of consoles, which is another write up in itself. However the visuals as the screen shots suggest are absolutely amazing, you saw it in the Microsoft press conference first with the boat mission and the boat shootout in the rain at night. Because during that shootout there was an explosion and it looked amazing, it was true to life to what you expect in the real world.
And then during EA’s download event you saw even more jaw dropping things such as shootouts on the ground, skyscraper fights, tanks firing at buildings to try to compromise the structure and take it down, and during the demo it happened and it was a thing of beauty, the team jumped to safety using their parachutes and landing in the water before making it back to land to watch the building crumble to the ground, and leave a trail of dust. And according to this IGN article, the remains of the dust on the ground after the collapse. To me that is a small yet important thing to point out.
I am sure there will be more greatness from this game in the future.
Watch_Dogs got a surprising playthrough at the Sony press event, and it got a good showing, it had Aiden Pierce running from the police and helping a friend. And since I posted the trailer above I won’t go into much detail, but it was a great display. This playthrough definitely made my interest of Watch_Dogs reach its breaking point, to a point where I can not wait to play it. It is due out in November and it is a scheduled to be a launch title for both next gen consoles.
Tom Clancy’s: The Division
This was Ubisoft’s brand new entry, and like Watch_Dogs it immediately got on my radar. I love what Ubisoft showed, it was beautiful and it appeared to be solid gameplay wise. Definitely a watcher to keep an eye out for. It is due out in 2014.
This game was an easy choice for Best of E3. Not only is it visually stunning, but the live gameplay and trailers showed that this game looks to be the real deal. Building off of Battlefield 3, it looks like EA has a really good shot at making a modern day masterpiece that will be hard to top within the first year of the next generation consoles.