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CAGcast #211: Very Controversial


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#121 combatFlexo

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 12:09 PM

We just finished our basement and I had been investigating surround systems when I became quite enamored of soundbars. Those Yamaha models you mentioned are really nice, Cheapy. I think you'd be more than pleased with one of those. I decided on an even smaller model, because my room is just not all that big. I got the Sony HTCT 150, which is <$300 and pumps out a ridiculous amount of sound. The surround effect is decent, but not on par with the Yamahas--but the sound quality is stellar. The other thing I love about the soundbar solution is the lack of wires. I run four HDMIs into the subwoofer and a single HDMI out to the TV, and that's it. And the HDMI handshake makes it so I control the volume of the system with my TV remote--even though they're different brands--without programming it to do so. Pretty sweet. Oh, and the HTCT is also fully 3D compatible if it matters to you (it did to me--you are right about Motorstorm in 3D. It's amazing). Here are some pics to show just how small the little bastard is:

Here are some nice small speakers that are not that one company(I don't want to MARKET them anymore), these Energy ones are mirco http://www.crutchfie...l?search=energy.

A sound bar sounds interesting and probably perfect for an apartment, I'm sick of have to turn my TV volume to 30-40 just so I can here the voices clearly. I would want something with HDMI switching so far I like this Sony one. I'm looking in the sub $400 range...a decent one below $300 would be awesome.

#122 blacksanta87

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 01:01 PM

Bose systems are for pompous douche bags.

#123 bombatomba

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 02:24 PM

So Bose is like Apple?

UPDATE: Lol at blacksanta87. I didn't read the last post before I posted. Unintentional, but very funny anyways. Also somewhat true.
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#124 blacksanta87

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:08 PM

So Bose is like Apple?


haha You sure are right, bose is EXACTLY like apple. That's how they sucker people into buying their elegant crap for outrageous prices. 3 grand for a 5.1 system with satalite speakers??? No BLU ray??? Im insulted just looking at that price tag. It's like buying a $90 dollar pair of jeans, at the end of the day you're an idiot. (but hey, w/e it's your money.)
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#125 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 12:56 AM

The thing that bugs me about Metroid: Other M is that the story is so cheesy and full of odd Japanese touches. I didn't need Samus to all of a sudden start having internal monologues to explain things I didn't really care about in great detail. She was a teenage girl in the Galactic Federation (or whatever it's called) that played the rebellious teen role before leaving to make it big on her own to show all of the people that doubted her abilities. Then having her abilities/upgrades now being tied to the story so that her former commander has to approve their use rather than just finding them the normal way is an arbitrary explanation for a mechanic that didn't need it.

I'll blow Wombat's mind right now and say that I do not have an HDTV while having owned an Xbox 360 and PS3 for about three years now. I do have a monitor I use for whenever I want to play games in HD, but SD is fine for most games. A lot of downloadable games even offer the ability to alter the screen size to better fit your HD or SD display, so developers need to better adapt their HUD and interfaces for multiple resolutions. I'll probably get an HDTV sometime this fall to get rid of this huge SDTV once and for all and to save some space in my set-up.

My biggest issue with the XBL price increase is that a lot of the features/apps they promote as a big part of the service require a separate subscription (Netflix, Hulu Plus, and some parts of last.fm) or aren't available depending on the ISP in the US (ESPN). If you're going to increase the cost, which will also increase the price of the sales, I expect more useful features that are useful to everyone with no added costs to even use them. I'd also like the dashboard to be overhauled and trimmed of the fat (long load times and bloated, random layout) so it feels like I'm paying for my experience with the system as a whole to be better because I pay for Gold. I would have liked to hear what Microsoft has in store for Xbox Live in the future to make the price increase make sense rather than being an out-of-nowhere increase that serves no purpose.

I'd get the new Xbox 360 controller if MS were offering it by itself and Amazon could sell it for $30 like the other wireless controllers they're selling right now.

Major Nelson is Microsoft's PR guy, so I don't feel bad for him whenever he has to post bad news on the official Xbox Live PR site. He's the main guy people bitch at for any bad news that Microsoft has to announce, so this is nothing new. He deals with it by ignoring them.

I don't think the Activison/Infinity Ward or the Star Wars: TFU situations are the norm for how publishers and developers deal with the bonuses/cuts for sales, as you don't hear about that stuff since that's a private thing between those companies and their people. I prefer to support developers by buying their games new whenever possible since even a little bit of my money going to them is better than nothing at all and I'd like to help the developers I like stay around to make more games.

Good show.


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#126 Curufinwe

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 01:34 AM

Screw Pachter, lets hear it for Wombat the business analyst!!!!!


Wombat would be a much better business analyst than Pachter. Look at what he had to say about NetFlix a few years ago:

http://www.smartmone...-netflix-16905/

"Netflix is a worthless piece of crap with really nice people running it," says Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles, who cut his target price to a merciless $3 a share and maintained the Sell rating with which he initiated coverage of the stock in September. "I don't mean that they're doing anything wrong. They have a wonderful idea, but it's not a sustainable business. I wish they would make it — they deserve to make it. But in the Internet, all the success stories tend to be multiple channels, [offer] multiple products, or have a brick-and-mortar component. At the end of the day, there's only one line of business going on at Netflix."


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#127 URABAHN

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 02:10 AM

I read the oh-so-controversial Other M review by G4TV's Abbie Heppe and I found it refreshing. Many wondered what Metroid would be like with more story & more character development and it sounds like Team Ninja made poor choices. I don't think you can chalk this up to fanboys disliking this flavor of Metroid (you got story in MY Metroid!). Some fundamental story mistakes were made and some terrible gameplay through plot ideas were implemented. I bought a Gamecube just so I could play Metroid Prime. I don't think I'll buy a Wii for Other M.

#128 bmulligan

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 02:46 PM

As Cheapy was discussing his Xbox Live marketing strategy, I was coming to the same conclusion: Give the customer something of low cost and high perceived value when announcing a price increase. How about a free game a month like PSN +, or maybe a discount on low selling Arcade titles? I find it amazing that MS didn't have a roundtable with the PR reps to come to this same conclusion, and maybe bring up consumer backlash concerns. I guess MS has just taken their marketplace for granted and now feels they can do whatever the hell they feel like doing because it seems to have worked for Sony all these years.

Yeah, most CAGs swear by $30 Live deals, but something tells me that at $60, these deals will never be seen again, and $49.99 now sounds like a good deal. I'm also wondering if this price increase had anything to do with the Activision/ Kotick controversy. Are the major distributors now getting a piece of this coincidentally timed price increase?

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#129 Davestation

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:54 AM

Just listened to both cagcasts and do not recall wich show talked about wich topics. Retail stores do not get a chance to return games for a credit, only on universal price drops. They only get to return music and movies. If retailers got to return video games we would not see Target clearancing games off up to 75% and Kmart clearancing them up to 90% off.

Also that mettacritic review for Laura Croft from the AV Club sounds like the onion newspaper. They have a section called the AV Club that reviews entertainment. If it is an Onion review it should not be on the site. That would explain why the writer said some of those comments.
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#130 Stahlbrand

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:21 AM

On the subject of used games, and Penny Arcade's opinion:

It is always grating to hear Shipwreck (who I otherwise like) build an argument, on the spot, about something he knows nothing about, and then harp on it for another five minutes. He started off asking how the retail/publisher/developer split went on new game sales (which is complicated) and then decided that used games somehow still support the publisher, but not the developer, which is incorrect.

Used games sales go straight to the retailer, and neither the developer nor the publisher see a red cent. This really becomes an issue when you look at the number of used copies of new games available in the first week after release for $5 bucks less than the new game, which stay at $5 bucks under new for months to follow. Lots of people go to pick up a game in the first week of its release (and for months to follow) and think "fuck, I'll save five bucks" and buy a used copy - so that huge pile of sales at $54.99 end up staying with with the retailer, while only on the new sales do they see a cut.

People who buy the used copy for a whopping $5 savings are not putting any cash at all into the pockets of the publisher or developer; zero dollars. The retailer gets to pocket at least twice as much off of a used sale than a new sale, so they make out like bandits by paying shit small credits for used games and turning them around for nearly full retail price.

Those who get the games used, from the perspective of the publisher and developers, are no better than shoplifters or pirates. IMO, they could be seen as worse, because they are willing to pay almost then whole retail price, but not to the people who create or bankroll the creation and distribution of the game.

I think this 'project ten dollar' deterrent stuff is a fantastic response to the situation. People can go ahead and buy used games, but if they feel judged, put out, or ripped off by this kind of thing, they can go Fuck themselves.

#131 FasterTTW

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:31 AM

On the subject of used games, and Penny Arcade's opinion:

It is always grating to hear Shipwreck (who I otherwise like) build an argument, on the spot, about something he knows nothing about, and then harp on it for another five minutes. He started off asking how the retail/publisher/developer split went on new game sales (which is complicated) and then decided that used games somehow still support the publisher, but not the developer, which is incorrect.

Used games sales go straight to the retailer, and neither the developer nor the publisher see a red cent. This really becomes an issue when you look at the number of used copies of new games available in the first week after release for $5 bucks less than the new game, which stay at $5 bucks under new for months to follow. Lots of people go to pick up a game in the first week of its release (and for months to follow) and think "fuck, I'll save five bucks" and buy a used copy - so that huge pile of sales at $54.99 end up staying with with the retailer, while only on the new sales do they see a cut.

People who buy the used copy for a whopping $5 savings are not putting any cash at all into the pockets of the publisher or developer; zero dollars. The retailer gets to pocket at least twice as much off of a used sale than a new sale, so they make out like bandits by paying shit small credits for used games and turning them around for nearly full retail price.

Those who get the games used, from the perspective of the publisher and developers, are no better than shoplifters or pirates. IMO, they could be seen as worse, because they are willing to pay almost then whole retail price, but not to the people who create or bankroll the creation and distribution of the game.

I think this 'project ten dollar' deterrent stuff is a fantastic response to the situation. People can go ahead and buy used games, but if they feel judged, put out, or ripped off by this kind of thing, they can go Fuck themselves.


The simple solution to all these alleged used copies being available the week that the game releases is.... for publishers to release games that people want to keep for more than a week. Is that a difficult concept for anyone to grasp? Seems obvious to me.

It's been said a million times, but used game sales are not a unique problem.. it's a "problem" in any non-consumable goods market, and yet somehow people have been profiting for decades selling electronics, books, cars, furniture, cd's, dvd's, etc.

Punishing the consumer is never the "right" answer. Just the easy one.

#132 shipwreck

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 12:04 PM

It is always grating to hear Shipwreck (who I otherwise like) build an argument, on the spot, about something he knows nothing about, and then harp on it for another five minutes. He started off asking how the retail/publisher/developer split went on new game sales (which is complicated) and then decided that used games somehow still support the publisher, but not the developer, which is incorrect.


I don't remember making this argument or asking that question. If I did, I certainly didn't mean that developers and publishers get a direct cut of used game sales. They can benefit from it less directly in several ways though: people buy new games because they know they can trade them in, people trade games in so they can afford new games, etc.
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#133 Stahlbrand

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:55 PM

The simple solution to all these alleged used copies being available the week that the game releases is.... for publishers to release games that people want to keep for more than a week. Is that a difficult concept for anyone to grasp? Seems obvious to me.

It's been said a million times, but used game sales are not a unique problem.. it's a "problem" in any non-consumable goods market, and yet somehow people have been profiting for decades selling electronics, books, cars, furniture, cd's, dvd's, etc.

Punishing the consumer is never the "right" answer. Just the easy one.


Those games that are on the used pegs in the first weeks are there in large part because there are people who rip disc images for use with modded systems (a whole different can of worms), and to a lesser extent because of people who have more money than sense and short attention spans, maybe, I dunno.

Used software is distinct from the other examples because (prior to efforts like 'project ten dollars') the value of a game does not degrade when it has been 'used'. The new $60 dollar copy is functionally identical to the $55 used copy. A new $20 000 car is markedly more valuable than a 5 year old used car for $5 000, even a used book is a little shittier than a new one. There is a value trade off in buying used items in pretty much any case, except for games, unless the publishers incentivize new sales, creating an aspect of the item that will degrade with use - a consumable code for bonus content or online play in this case.

If I'm opening my wallet, I'm going to think about where the money goes - to a retail store that buys used games and turns them around at a ridiculous mark-up, or to the people who created and delivered the game? My stance is that the difference of $5 bucks is worth it to see the Biowares and Harmonixes of the world get rewarded for putting such great stuff together, and yes, even to the EAs and Activisions for putting up the bankroll to get those games made, rather than reward some slightly slimy business practice of a national retail franchise.

This kind of thing does nothing to punish consumers, as far as I can see. You can buy the game new, get the unique code for bonus content or online play and apart from punching in a code one time, live like you always have, or you can buy used and have to pay an extra $10 for the bonus content or online play - the choice is still yours, maybe the extra stuff isn't worth the money or of interest to you.


@Shipwreck

Well, perhaps I've got the name wrong, might it have been Wombat? I wrote that comment right after listening to that segment while washing the dishes, so the facts were fresh in my head, but I'm kinda bad with keeping which voice goes to which name straight in my head. My apologies if I called out the wrong co-host.

That is a point about people who ride the trade-in wave, hocking their most recent game to buy the next one, but if they're going from used game to used game rather than buying new it doesn't change anything about the situation.

Honestly the thought of that just makes me sad. I've played games since I was 5 with a brand new NES, and I've bought games since I had my own money, and the idea of pawning these things, even if I don't replay some games, is just depressing. I try to avoid clutter, but pitching the physical objects around which the memories and experiences of my youth are tied just to buy the next one is something I couldn't do. Its like when you ask a baby-boomer about the LPs they used to own.

#134 FasterTTW

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:16 PM

Those games that are on the used pegs in the first weeks are there in large part because there are people who rip disc images for use with modded systems (a whole different can of worms), and to a lesser extent because of people who have more money than sense and short attention spans, maybe, I dunno.


And you think this tiny niche of consumers is enough to derail the profitability of these corporations? Why do you presume these people ripping games are buying retail and selling them back instead of renting them or simply downloading them? Are we to believe that people are also doing this with PS3 games, DS games, and PSP games?

Used software is distinct from the other examples because (prior to efforts like 'project ten dollars') the value of a game does not degrade when it has been 'used'. The new $60 dollar copy is functionally identical to the $55 used copy.


What about a cd or dvd degrades after it's been used? The "digital copy" that the movie industry wants you to think you don't have a right to create on your own?

If I'm opening my wallet, I'm going to think about where the money goes - to a retail store that buys used games and turns them around at a ridiculous mark-up, or to the people who created and delivered the game? My stance is that the difference of $5 bucks is worth it to see the Biowares and Harmonixes of the world get rewarded for putting such great stuff together, and yes, even to the EAs and Activisions for putting up the bankroll to get those games made, rather than reward some slightly slimy business practice of a national retail franchise.


..and that's fine.. but it's not a concern of the average consumer. I'm not even defending Gamestop here.. their $5 discount on used titles is an insult to consumers and I tend to avoid them entirely for the most part. In fact, since the industry itself is proving that the "every game is worth $60 model" does NOT work, by use of a site like this there is absolutely no reason to buy used most of the time, even to save money.

However, I will argue adamantly the consumers RIGHT to do so if they please.

This kind of thing does nothing to punish consumers, as far as I can see. You can buy the game new, get the unique code for bonus content or online play and apart from punching in a code one time, live like you always have, or you can buy used and have to pay an extra $10 for the bonus content or online play - the choice is still yours, maybe the extra stuff isn't worth the money or of interest to you.


..and what happens when i dig out my copy of Mass Effect 2 in 10 years and I can no longer complete the achievements because there is no way to download Zaaed?(just 1 example). To this day I still occasionally play games like Super Mario Bros(and SMB3), Zelda 3, etc.. and everytime i play them they are FULL experiences because they don't have to rely on servers to obtain content.

Also, there's the obvious problem of what if your console breaks or you buy a second one? I know ea links this content to an ea account so you are probably ok, but will every company jumping on this bandwagon do that? ..or will they take the easy route and tie the game to your console?

..and probably the most immediate problem is this.. once a lot of the initial batch of buyers leaves these games behind, the online servers could end up being ghost towns, and everyone who still wants to play online will have a much harder time finding matches. empty multiplayer servers could have people trading in those games even more than they do already.

#135 thenexus6

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 07:37 PM

What would you guys think if Microsoft kept gold membership at the same price but added a completely new level of membership. "Platinum" say $100/£70 which contains "new exciting features" - such as the bigger friends list, earlier access to content, exclusive DLC and so on. And say if you upgrade from gold you get a % off the price.

Do you think that would be more successful than what they're currently doing right now? Do you think many people would upgrade? Would you guys upgrade?

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#136 TooMuchCoolness

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:31 AM

Interesting, informative show, fellas. I like when you talk more about the game industry than the games itself.

#137 RichMeisterMan

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 01:22 AM

What would you guys think if Microsoft kept gold membership at the same price but added a completely new level of membership. "Platinum" say $100/£70 which contains "new exciting features" - such as the bigger friends list, earlier access to content, exclusive DLC and so on. And say if you upgrade from gold you get a % off the price.

Do you think that would be more successful than what they're currently doing right now? Do you think many people would upgrade? Would you guys upgrade?


I for one would not upgrade. What M$ offers in terms of a service for my 50 bucks is piss poor, and I used to actually defend the cost. At this point though we don't get enough. I don't feel like we are so much getting something for our 50 dollars as much as people that don't pay are having things taken away.

We get early access to a demo from time to time, some few and far between shitty discounts on games/content that you've either already bought or have zero interest in. Usually when you pay to be a member of something like this it pays for itself over time; xbox live does not do that. Everything costs money on XBL, even the shit publishers want to put out for free because M$ isn't a big fan of free.

For a year+ I have been really into PC gaming and as far as online play goes I do it on the PC now. I don't have to pay for "live" and I get dedicated servers. I play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with more people and for less money and that's the bottom line. Games also look better. I would never renew my subscription at the new rate.

Keep in mind; I'm not lookin' to play Halo. If Halo is your cup of tea then I can understand the willingness to pay. Halo is pretty much the only game though that is worth a damn that you can't play else where.

#138 donkeydrop

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 02:36 AM

I don't remember making this argument or asking that question.


That's because you didn't; it was Wombat. I'm pretty sure that Wombat's point (that he never really got to because the discussion got off track) was that the publisher gets their money from a retailer not from the gamer who ultimately buys that "new" game. So by extension of the Penny Arcade logic, even the consumer of a new game is no better than a pirate, and Gamestop should just melt down all those new games rather than sell them.

Also, as you said publishers do benefit indirectly from used game sales. The most important way is that the ability to re-sell the game keeps the price of new games higher than it would be otherwise. If the ability to re-sell games magically disappeared overnight then basic economics makes it certain that the dollar amount of games sold would decrease by a corresponding amount. Which means either:

- less games sold, or
- games sell slower as more people wait for the price drop, or
- price of new games decreases

Edited by donkeydrop, 08 September 2010 - 02:52 AM.


#139 donkeydrop

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:15 AM

Wombat's core argument is that retailers make their money off of the software sales, and that without that they have no reason to sell hardware. This is false. Ipod argument stands.


The Ipod really isn't a good argument for anything. As mentioned in the podcast many stores didn't sell iPods in the early days because Apple is like the Gestapo when it comes to controlling prices and gives retailers only the tiniest profit margin. In the electronics business retailers aren't use to getting grocery store price margins. Things changed because:

(a) Apple sells 100 million units a year (more than a whole lifetime of a console), and
(b) there are now lots of high profit accessories to sell

Game consoles just don't sell enough to justify the tiny retail margins unless there is the prospect of more profit from the games.

#140 WiresMcGee

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:45 AM

I've been listening to the CAGCast for about 3 years and its still the only podcast I never miss. These guys don't take themselves too seriously, yet they still share insightful commentary on everything from games to fatherhood to everyday experiences. My wife has been listening for about 2 months and she's hooked.

#141 donkeydrop

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:57 AM

Having just finished Mafia 2 I have to agree with Cheapy's positive comments. I also think that many reviewers give a false impression about the amount of driving. I actually drove a lesser percentage of the time than in GTA4 (about 20% and it would have been more like 15% if I didn't spend time doing some optional stuff for achievements).

I think most reviewers are used to the GTA model of driving top speed, metal soundtrack blaring, without regard to other vehicles, traffic laws, and mowing down pedestrians. Then you jump out and right away start blasting 50 bad guys. If that's your standard then maybe Mafia 2, with stopping to talk to the boss or your partner before a mission, just doesn't get to the shooting fast enough for the reviewers, and that makes them think of it as a "driving game". The driving model is better than GTA, the visuals are better, the soundtrack is great, there's none of that drive 10 mins back to the mission if you fail it, and as I said to start the actual amount of driving is no greater than GTA4. So I really can't see why the driving is an issue.

If I had any criticism it would be the lack of non-story related activities. But then in GTA4 I did each activity exactly once to try them and never went back, so it's not like the standard is set high. Saint's Row is the only similar game I can think of that actually did mini games that you want to replay.

#142 bgame2

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 02:10 PM

Cheapy, Wombat & Shipwreck:

I was a little late in finishing last week's podcast but I really wanted to bring up a point that is very relevant to the used game discussion.

The publishers seem to get incredilbly annoyed that people aren't buying their games new but in my opinion this completely overlooks the fact that one component of the price of a new game is that it will have some value once the buyer has completed it.

That is, part of the validity of a $60 price tag is the recognition in a gamer's mind that he can recoup a few of those $60 dollars back if he elects to sell or trade the game in upon completion.

The point is that while the publishers may need to sell the game for $60 in order to profit, one of the only reasons that they are able to sell it at that price is the purchaser's knowledge that he can sell it later. Without this, demand for games may only be such that people would purchase them new for $50 or even $45.

Hence the marketability of a $60 price is somewhat created by the ability to sell it used.

#143 john8686

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:35 PM

Sorry Wombat, I have to respectfully disagree with you on your outlook for "future gaming". I think, unfortunately it will go the way of digital. I'm not going into the pros and cons here.

With Steam you can purchase/download pc games from their website. xbl / psn / & wii all have games that are strictly DLC. They all have full retail versions available for download as well.
OnLive has launched and their entire catalog is digital only. Time will tell if Onlive will survive and if people will give up tangible software for the ease and convenience of digital goods.
Look at movies and music. Music being the prime example here. When was the last time you bought a cd? I went into BestBuy the other day and the shelves for cd were barren. On some racks there were cards that had instructions on how to purchase & Dl the song. It will be a long time from now, but I think that's where its headed.

The stores do not make any money on games. They barely make money on the systems. They make their money on accessories and service plans. If the games are being offered to download, people will need to get the systems and it accessories. Games would bring people into the store, but I don't think it would be a reason to force manufacturers to not digitize media. With all the ways to get stuff nowadays, B&M stores might go the way of the Dodo too! Besides, who's going to strong-arm Microsoft?

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#144 NamPaehc

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for the mention of the lists on the show. I was JUST thinking that I wished there was a place to find some of the titles or genres you guys talked about.

My tastes in games is a mix of CheapyD's and Wombat's.

CheapyD = "lets me just have fun blowing things up!"
Wombat = "Let me have fun, and look 'purdy' doing it!"

So I'll keep an eye on your lists to see what kind of stuff you guys enjoyed and rate in the future.

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#145 TooMuchCoolness

TooMuchCoolness

    Deep Ass Gamer

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 08 September 2010 - 10:40 PM

How do I write a review in iTunes, do I do it on their website or iTunes itself? And do I need to register ?

#146 Islington

Islington

Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:41 AM

Hey Cheapy! Love the show, just wanted to let you know that I agree with your suggestions for the mass effect series. I personally thought that all the ship upgrades were kind of pointless considering that they did nothing till the end cutscenes and where is the fun in that? I thought they should have done a gunner position scene like in the first Knights of the Old Republic. I live in Edmonton, home of Bioware and have a friend who works there and have passed along your suggestions and mine. (he works in "quality assurance" and has been there for some time, so maybe the suggestions will go somewhere... maybe) Anyway, I just wanted to send a quick post and hope you guys don't get too much crap flung your way for what I consider to be a very entertaining show.

Brian

#147 jrutz

jrutz

    An OG CAG since the Early Aughts

  • CAGiversary!

Posted 09 September 2010 - 01:08 AM

Hey Cheapy-

I was the CAG who originally recommended the Yamaha Soundbridge via Twitter (my Twitter name is SpotAnime). I'm glad you were able to demo them out, they are a truly amazing piece of tech. The great thing about the Soundbridge is that it has an integrated amp, and the models you are checking out have video switching via HDMI, so you can ditch your receiver too and wall-mount this sucker.

The beam technology Yamaha employs on the Soundbridge line is the only way to go when considering a soundbar. Through the settings you set the beam location, so you can find the best places to aim on your walls. And from the pictures you've shown of your new apartment, you have a great setup for it. Having a deep room with the Soundbridge centered on the wall parallel to where the rear speakers will be is perfect. That way you can set the rear speakers behind where you are sitting, rather than right above your head. It's hard to explain in words, wish I could draw a picture.

The new models you are looking at come with a microphone and they autoconfigure based on the layout of your room. I have the first model, the YSP-1000, and had to do everything manually, but by doing so I understand it a lot better. You can configure the beams so that you can extend the front left and right, place the center so that it sounds like it's coming BEHIND the TV (yes, that's true) and when you set the rears, you measure the total distance the sound will travel, and then separately the distance from where the virtual speaker to your ears, so you can get the perfect sound.

The only thing I think are negatives are that there's not much bass, so if you want some depth to the sound you'll need a dedicated sub, but because you don't want to rumble your neighbors it might be fine for you. Also, I know the walls that face Tokyo Tower are all windows, and I don't know if you have to reflect the beam if it works off a window. But I've done things with mine like bounce the beam off the ceiling when I run out of quality wall space. The last thing is that since it has the amp built-in, once new sound technologies are introduced, you can't upgrade. My model is DD 5.1 and DTS, but it doesn't have the HD audio codecs, so I just have to downconvert to DTS or something.

Oh - one more thing. I have the Turtle Beach X4's, and the pass-through doesn't like DTS, and most likely the new audio codecs. So I just have a manual optical switch that I use, so when I'm not using the headphones I bypass the amp in the headset base.

Hope that helps. IM me or contact me at Twitter if you have any questions!