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Angry the Clown

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Everything posted by Angry the Clown

  1. I'll actually be keen to see Motorsport 8 or whatever, as Turn10 had no trouble locking FM7 in at 60fps at native 4k on the XB1 X, so it's exciting to see what they can pull off with SeriesX hardware. (I'm still secretly hoping that Microsoft's backwards compatibility team can bump Horizon 4's 'Quality Mode' up to 60fps too though ).
  2. I always get Playground and Turn10 confused when it comes to remembering who's responsible for Horizon and who's responsible for Motorsport. That's been Playground's baby, though I THINK Playground took on so many new people for the RPG that they're effectively big enough to do two projects at once now (apparently there's a team in excess of 200 over at their Warwickshire HQ now). Nevertheless, we're surely getting a new Motorsport entry in the series this winter from Turn10 as we're overdue.
  3. It's broadly rumoured that the open world RPG Playground has been developing for the last two/three years is Fable. They're definitely doing an RPG as there were job listings early last year relating to the project, and those listings came several months after Eurogamer broke a story that it was Fable (they certainly got the open world rpg prediction right as that's precisely what Playground were advertising for on their jobs page). So with Obsidian known to be doing a new RPG, and Playground definitely doing one, I'd be surprised if Playground's wasn't Fable as three big RPGs being in the works at Microsoft Studios would be a bit excessive in my opinion.
  4. I wouldn't be shocked if a new Perfect Dark was third person, or maybe even a mix of first and third. I'd say it would definitely need to go beyond being a mere fps.
  5. I wouldn't be against The Initiative doing a Perfect Dark reboot. It's such a stale IP at this point, nothing more than a title and a character, that it would effectively feel like something new because nobody would really have any expectations for what it could be.
  6. Was there a date for the European Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure before? It's August 10th. I''m going to sit that one out, purely because the rights for Bogus Journey and Face the Music are with MGM here (all three are MGM in the US), and I'd like to know what the prospects are for those getting UHD discs as well. We're into July now and MGM's deal with Fox should now be over. No indication as yet of them finding a new home video distribution partner.
  7. Certainly. As keen as I am to know more, I actually feel so confident with regards to Hellblade, whenever it should surface, that I don't necessarily need to see it this month and would not be frustrated if it's a no show. Halo does need to prove itself I think, and I hope it delivers. But yes, beyond those two I'd like to see what's going on elsewhere, and preferably how much of it is coming in the way of something entirely new like Everwild. It sounds like Obsidian are working away on something original, but looking over the various MS Studios I am unsure what scope there is right now for announcing many new properties, particularly when a number of their studios seem locked in to existing IPs. Is it known for certain if the RPG that Playground are said to be working on is indeed Fable? Double Fine must be close to being done on Psychonauts 2 now, surely? Compulsion and The Initiative strike me as the main two who are in the best position to roll out something wholly new (though I'm still kind of surprised they acquired Compulsion to be honest as they don't seem to be able to back up a unique visual style with strong gameplay). It would be interesting if The Coalition are able to work on something that isn't Gears related. There are, of course, opportunities where they might have third parties working on some exclusives perhaps. I'd hope that will become more rare next gen, however. I don't think much, if anything, will join Halo as a launch title (perhaps beyond another Forza and Psychonauts), so your money is surely safe at launch.
  8. It remains to be seen what the actual Lego Seinfeld set looks like (remember all three pictured are the fan submission builds), but yes it's still not going to be a particularly colourful or detailed build I don't think. With that in mind, they'd do well to sell it for a lot less than the Central Perk set.
  9. I've really no idea what my expectations are. I hope it's good. It'll be interesting to see just how far along development is with a lot of stuff under the Microsoft Studios banner. I'm intrigued to know more about Everwild from Rare, and Hellblade II. I wonder how long the presentation will be and whether we will actually get some dev commentary and gameplay deep dives for several titles. It would also be really interesting to see Microsoft show the same game running on Series X, XB1 X and XB1 to help answer some of the questions and concerns we have about older systems holding back quality.
  10. I thought they might follow Sony with.a 1pm Pacific time slot, which (having just checked) would have actually mimicked Microsoft's 2019 E3 presentation time too. It's left me wondering if anything can be read into that choice of time slot and whether it has anything to do with Microsoft wanting to chase the wider market in Europe next-gen and capture more attention there. It could also be that they want to roll out other material and interviews throughout the day maybe?
  11. Typewriter is really the only one I'd buy. I just like that all three exist.
  12. Xbox July event will take place on the 23rd: 5pm time for UK so I'm happy with that.
  13. Another point occurs to me and it's that if Fifa, Madden, Assassins Creed...etc are coming to current and next-gen, you'd think it difficult for EA and Ubisoft to follow Take Two's $70 game lead here even if they wanted to, because then you'd have next-gen copies of AC on the shelves and digital stores for $70, and current-gen for $60, only if the $60 version upgrades for free then everyone should just buy that.
  14. The bar definitely seems to have been set by Smart Delivery (I mistakenly keep wanting to refer to it as "Smart Play" as I did above), which Microsoft do indeed describe as always being able to "play the best version of the games you own for your console, across generations." Definitely a very consumer friendly gesture, there's no question there, but I could see a lot of third party developers and publishers wincing at the thought, because it might not be practical financially for a lot of them, but now Microsoft has set this standard it only stands to make other companies look bad if they do not follow suit. Again, it's a noble gesture on Microsoft's part, but it just strikes me as yet another example of the industry's own decisions creating expectations amongst consumers that, long term, may not benefit developers and publishers on account of the spiralling costs they are facing to produce and release new games. So far I think Take Two are the only ones who have gone off in a different direction in creating two distinct releases, and only putting the upgrade option behind the purchase of the ultra expensive current gen deluxe edition package. EA are on board, though their requirement will be that you purchase the current-gen edition of Fifa and Madden prior to December 31st 2020, and then redeem an upgrade before March 31st 2021, which I guess is still fair and a way to mitigate any long term damage to development costs through offering these kind of upgrade handouts. It does surely add to the confusion though when you start having all these different publishers applying their own rules however. I wonder if anyone adding their own rules still gets to actually use the Smart Delivery icon on packaging? I don't think Ubisoft has put a redemption time window on Valhalla have they? Sony stipulated to developers/publishers that all PS4 games submitted for testing and certification after July 13th MUST be compatible on PS5, so absolutely NBA2K1 will have to run via backwards compatibility as I can't imagine with a Nov 1st release date that it will have been submitted yet. How it will run, nobody knows. Again, a base level expectation would be that it will simply run precisely as it does on a PS4/XB1 (and ideally as it would run on a PS4 Pro/XB1X). Whether there's any further base level enhancements the current-gen version will benefit from via tapping into the new hardware is anyone's guess, and I suspect will vary from game to game. Beyond that, Take Two are quite clearly saying if you want that pure next-gen version then you either buy the $100 PS4/XB1 edition to be eligible for an upgrade, or yeah, you pay full price for a next-gen copy. Certainly though, with them doing their own thing, EA twisting the Smart Delivery rules somewhat, and MS pledging "always get the best version" with Ubisoft and CD Project Red appearing to support that statement, the consumer could potentially get a little confused. The upside I guess is things like Smart Delivery may not be necessary for particularly long, at least as far as third parties are concerned. MS seem committed to a window of around 2-3 years, but that's perhaps bolstered by the fact they want even their next-gen first party titles to be playable of current-gen systems for a little while longer. I do wonder if this might encourage third parties to stop doing current-gen releases sooner than they might, but I doubt it due to the profitability from the install base. I could certainly see third parties abandoning the token gesture once we're actually passed the next-gen launch window.
  15. Maybe it got downgraded for a while. I remember it being 4k at least a year ago as I nearly bought it. It was definitely 4k when It's a Wonderful Life went 4k on iTunes in 2018.
  16. The 53 version actually been 4k/DV on iTunes for a LONG time. It was one of Paramount's earliest 4k titles on streaming. That's interesting if they are doing a UHD disc though as it clashes with Criterion's Blu-ray, but more fool Criterion for not going UHD themselves I suppose. That's great to see Coming to America is on the way, and that Beverly Hills Cop will finally make the leap off of iTunes. I'd certainly like the first two of those. Good to see further indication that Collateral is indeed on the way. Still no sign of Minority Report (I wonder if titles where rights are split internationally require certain agreements to happen before they can take place. Fox/Disney have Minority Report internationally). I'm still curious how The Thing would compare to Arrow's UK Blu-ray. Arrow did their own 4k scan for their disc, so I don't know whether Universal have the right to use that themselves or whether they've done an entirely different one.
  17. I wish I could enjoy the surround mix. I had to make do with my noise cancelling headphones so I could still appreciate the sound on some level and feel engaged in the experience. My heart was racing during the run near the end (the coordination of everything happening in that shot is mind boggling). I think it has good repeat value, @NickC, which isn't always something that can be said for war films. It hit all the right emotional notes, and at two hours it actually feels lean, thanks in no small part to the extraordinary way they shot and edited the film. It's nonsense to dismiss the "one shot" illusion as a gimmick as it serves the story 100% (as if Deakins would ever agree to a stylistic approach on any other basis!). It's easily my favourite Mendes film next to Road to Perdition (I so wish we could get a UHD release of that).
  18. Pleasant surprise to see that Hamilton is 4k/Dolby Vision. I wonder if there's hope for a disc? That'd be a good opportunity to get it out uncut.
  19. I thought it was excellent. First chance I have had to see it. If the story and setting appeals then I'd go for a blind buy as I did. Very much looking forward to going over the special features too (particularly the Deakins commentary).
  20. Spent the afternoon watching 1917. The disc is an absolutely stunning presentation.
  21. I had it running in the background so wasn't paying attention to the timestamp. Yes, nothing explicitly was said, but I read between the lines and...... Oops. 😆 Oh well. I had my suspicions. It's a good question. I’m certainly interested to know when the perception of game’s value shifted from the quality of its gameplay and design to its length/number of levels. Equally I wonder whether that shift is, in part, a generational thing because thinking back to my childhood and teens I don’t honestly remember being disappointed by a game for any other reason than it not being a particularly satisfying experience to play. Indeed, there were games I didn’t even finish from the 8-bit and 16-bit era that I still got a sense of value out of, simply because I enjoyed playing them. The same is still true today (if The Impossible Lair gets the better of me, so be it. I still enjoyed the core levels of gameplay a great deal). So length never really entered into the question of value for me, but as videogame commentary has evolved with the internet, and grown beyond the realms of professional journalism and into social media and streaming, this almost dismissive language with regards to a game’s length, and that length being a primary factor in defining its apparent value, now seems commonplace. I do get a sense from people of a certain age that they might struggle to define, even recognise, what true value is (with regard to a lot of things in life, not just games), and so they might be eager to quantify it in rather arbitrary terms. That’s most likely through no fault of their own however, but a knock on effect of how products are pitched and the manner in which things have been sold to them throughout their entire lives. I don’t want to point a finger and go off on blaming “those damn kids” though, because fans of all ages move in the same circles and we’re all equally exposed to the way products are pitched and sold today. I can guarantee that I’ve made, or responded favourably, to glib remarks like “that’s a Playstation Plus game” or “leave it for Gamepass” and, yes, I have surely remarked about a game’s length in relation to its price too (though I personally have always preferred shorter games, but that’s beside the point). I know we’re focusing on the value of big games here when it comes to the discussion of price increases, but bear with me as I feel it’s all related. Indie games have always been floating around, but I feel I'm right in saying that they didn’t really penetrate the console space until Xbox Live Arcade, and I think in many ways it's things like that which began to sew the seeds for how we’ve come to perceive the value of one game compared to another in recent years. Many indie devs, then and now, can tell stories about how making their game nearly ruined them, taking years of their life at great financial cost, but if the platform offering a place for their work was turning to them from the very beginning like “well, OBVIOUSLY we can’t charge $50-60 for your game,” then not only is the developer’s perception of value for their own work set (and potentially diminished in their own mind) by the powers that be, but so too is our perception as the consumer. I think there’s a great argument for raising the prices on indie games, but once that lower price precedent has been set, it’s hard to roll back on, and whatever precedent XBLA set has been perpetuated via PSN, Steam, Humble Bundles…etc. In effect, the gallery has placed the price on the artist and the value of their work, and the industry has defined two standards of quality and expectation as a result. Circling back to [JimSterling]”AAA”[/JimSterling] games though, and the question of how much responsibility we have for the dominance of these expensive productions in the marketplace, I’d say no more or less than we do for the dominance of big budget movies at the cinema. Which is to say… probably not that much? The problem isn’t really that lots of people like these things, it’s the presumption on the part of those making them thinking that it’s all we want, or at the very least the presumption that only mega budget releases can best guarantee a return on investment (there may even be truth in the case of the latter, but I'll get to that). With the movie industry, it wasn’t like demand for mid budget films disappeared, it’s more that it was eroded by the domination of blockbusters with ever expanding budgets. We're talking about productions so costly that it’s barely become feasible to produce and promote any other kind of movie anymore because studios decided that’s what the bulk of their spending is best put towards. If something’s not on the menu, what else are we going to choose? The exact same mentality has effectively seeped into the games industry over the past ten/fifteen years as it has become bigger and bigger, and Mike Bithell has an anecdote right there in that podcast that highlights this, telling a story of pitching a low-medium sized game and a publisher saying they’d only back it if it’s “five times the budget and four times the length.” It’s a twisted world, and all these entertainment industries try to do is second guess the consumer, but the reality is nobody really knows anything (by which I mean, nobody can really be sure what’s going to be a hit and why). EA spent an age harping on about how the single player experience was dying out while Last of Us, Horizon, God of War and Spider-man waved from high up on their hill… then EA made Jedi Fallen Order which has since sold 8million+ copies. How about that? Audiences like what they like, and often what they like is something they hadn't even anticipated themselves. With moviegoing, the costs have also risen tremendously which has been turning a lot of customers away, and in turn leaves them being a lot more choosy about what they get a ticket for. Much like a typical studio decision to throw the majority of their spending at huge budget releases that have the highest potential for ROI, in a funny way cinemagoers are forced to make a similar decision on their own terms, so they're spending their hard earned money on expensive cinema tickets on something they can be almost certain they will enjoy. There's no doubt some spillover from that consumer behaviour to how and when we're choosing to buy games too. So maybe there's a case that, as far as consumer responsibility to where we are with big budget games is concerned, there's something of a chicken and egg scenario in how we respond t the market and the market responds to us. I don't really like having to be as thrifty as I am with my approach to game spending these days, but it's the only way I can afford to continue to enjoy the hobby at all unfortunately. Getting back to the big question though, it's really the fact publishers are reporting not just huge profits these days, but record breaking profits, that should give anyone serious pause for thought when they start talking about "having" to raise prices. I think Sterling is spot on in saying that these biggest names (EA, Activision, Take Two...etc) simply haven't earned the right to raise prices. Their greed over the past decade has made them so blind to how best their monstrous profits could have in fact been better distributed to improve the way in which they operate, and the quality of the products they ship, that nobody should feel that a price increase is suddenly going to have these companies waking up like Scrooge on Christmas morning. A need to cover the cost of cross-gen upgrade handouts doesn't hold as a particularly compelling argument. I'm a socialist when it comes to many things, but charging buyers of a next-gen game more to give current-gen owners a leg up to upgrading to the next-gen version for free.... isn't one of them. 😀 More importantly, cross-gen upgrades aren't going to be a thing forever, and that's the shady trick behind the (on the surface) reasonable sounding excuse isn't it? Because these publishers sure as shit aren't going to then reduce the prices again when they go next-gen only after having allowed $70 to become the norm. I do have to ask though, where has this expectation that any of us should be given the next-gen upgrade for free even spawned from? Is it Microsoft and Smart Play that set this precedent? As consumer friendly a concept as it seems, I do wonder if it in fact plays to my thought that modern sales and marketing has a lot to do with why people's ability to recognise the true value of something has diminished. I think, on a base level, expectation should (naturally at this point) be for backwards compatibility, that our PS4/XB1 discs and digital downloads should run under the PS5/SeriesX/Lockhart exactly as they would on their native systems. The second tier of expectation would be running those games via backwards compatibility, but with the potential for frame rate and resolution enhancements that the superior hardware could unlock. PS4 Pro and XB1 X set a precedent for offering those kinds of improvements for free, so it'd be a challenge to suddenly start asking money for that now. When it comes to actual, full on next-gen edition upgrades though? I don't think it's unreasonable to charge for that, whether it's a nominal fee or leaving people to buy the game over again. Ray tracing and all that jazz is, as I understand it, not at all cheap for developers to implement, so if they want to charge for that level of extensive work then we should let them. I know they've said it's all going to be free, but with the knowledge that PS4 and XB1 copies of Cyberpunk will run better than they do on PS4 Pro and XB1 X when played on PS5 and SeriesX, if CDPR wanted to charge those owners a $15 fee or whatever to transfer over to the actual next-gen edition in 2021, then I don't think that would be unfair.
  22. That's extraordinary. Great commentary too (certainly comforting to hear developers talk about how they're not even good at finishing their own game. 😆).
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