The Weekly Fetch Quest – November 14, 2016
Welcome to Theory of Gaming’s Weekly Fetch Quest, in which we adventure out into the world searching for the week’s most important news, and gather it all in one place, for your reading pleasure (and unlike most adventurers, we’ll fetch these items for you free of charge).
Every Monday, we’ll post the top stories from the previous week relating to the world of video games, along with some insights into why these are the news stories you should be reading. The Weekly Fetch Quest promises to be a brief look at these events that will get you caught up in no time at all.
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As more titles suffer from rough launches, and the cost to obtain all exclusive content rises, gamers around the world have called for a halt to the practice of pre-ordering video games. The goal is to let publishers know that gamers are dissatisfied with the current state of AAA gaming, and a recent analysis of sales data from the UK suggests that publishers may have gotten the memo. With increasing frequency, publishers are projecting lower week-one sales for highly anticipated titles, and are instead committing to a multi-week advertising campaign to drive sales over a longer period of time. It’s a welcomed change for an industry that is so expensive that it often forces gamers to buy games used with an increasing frequency.
Another week, another botched PC release of a AAA titles, but this one stings more so than normal. Dishonored 2, developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, comes from a team that values PC gaming, yet their latest is a messy port of the console version, leaving thousands of gamers frustrated and unable to play their latest $60 purchase. Every time a game releases in such a poor state, we’re going to remind publishers and developers that delaying a title is far more preferable and beneficial in the long run.
Nintendo sent a shockwave of nostalgia through the gaming world when they announced the NES Classic, a smaller version of their original NES console, complete with the same old-school controllers and 30 classic NES titles. Despite some troublesome design choices (the controllers are not wireless and the cords are roughly two and a half feet long), the console sold out in minutes, in both retailer and online stores. Somehow, Nintendo was caught off guard by the popularity of the console, and is scrambling to produce more in time for the holidays. The shockingly low number of units produced to this point is seemingly another example of Nintendo being out of touch, and prompted IGN to ask, “Why does Nintendo treat its fans like this? (a question we ourselves have asked before)” The answer is probably because they know they can get away with it, even if that is a terrible reason, especially on the verge of launching a new console. At least they finally clarified the production status of the Wii U – maybe they can throw a few extra resources toward what should be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season?
After a successful launch of their VR headset, Sony hopes to keep the momentum up with the release of the Playstation 4 Pro, a slightly more powerful version of the Playstation 4 released in 2013. So far, the launch is off to a rocky start – reports indicate that certain titles, such as The Last of Us, actually run worse on the Pro than on the standard console. And then there’s Kotaku’s review of the console, in which they echo a sentiment we expressed when Sony and Microsoft announced new versions of their hardware – “it’s going to be a while before we know just what that added horsepower will be used for.” Even upon release, the benefits of this new hardware is unknown, likely leading to many gamers waiting for games to take advantage of the new horsepower or waiting for the inevitable price drop.
After a disappointing and slow (video game) news week, it’s encouraging to end on a positive note – Microsoft is opening up their preview program to all Xbox One users. The initiative, now known as the Xbox Insider Program, allows all users to test out new features to the Xbox One operating system before they go live for all users, allowing gamers to provide feedback directly to Microsoft. Not only does this open up communication between the industry and users, but it’s a sign that the industry is about to open up in ways previously thought impossible, and to the benefit of gamers everywhere.