November 11 – November 17

The new generation is upon us, and by the end of the week, for good or for ill, the Playstation 4 will be in the homes and the hands of the great multitudes. The build up to this generation — generally a quiet, slow burn, counter-pointed by moments of high contention and opinion — has now all but finished as the actual hardware and games take center stage.

One thing worth noting is how many games the Playstation 4 is launching in its catalog. Thirteen major retail releases along with a strong handful of downloadable games is nothing to sneeze at, and represents a solid library of games, though the number of exclusives is low, headlined by Killzone Shadow Fall and Knack — games I've heard almost no one be excited for. It'll be interesting to see whether people really find value in having this new piece of hardware that, at least for the first few weeks, largely plays games made for pieces of hardware we already have.

As I've mentioned before, I've cancelled my own PS4 pre-order, not out of some misguided sense of spite but just because I don't see the value yet. I'm going to need a good reason or two to drop that kind of coin, and while I'm sure the system will get to that place fairly quickly, I'm content to wait. The same is true, I think, of the upcoming XboxOne, which is still on my pre-order list, but which I suspect I will also cancel.

Lost in the shuffle this week is XCom: Enemy Within, which I will be writing about shortly. This expansion to the excellent XCom: Enemy Unknown is a solid evolution of the series, though it runs the occasional risk of seeming like a "been there, done that" experience. I've spent a few days with Enemy Within, and it feels very much like a Firaxis kind of expansion, similar to the kind of game evolution Civilization fans have grown to expect. It doesn't fundamentally change the nature of the experience, but it adds lots of little touches that, as a whole, seem to create a gestalt greater than the sum of its parts. Definitely worth looking into if you were a fan of Enemy Unknown.

PC
- Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition (download - $25)
- Blood Knights (download)
- Chivalry: Deadliest Warrior (download - $15)
- Contrast (download)
- Deadfall Adventures
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
- Redshirt (download)
- SimCity Cities of Tomorrow
- World of Warplanes (free-to-play)
- XCOM: Enemy Within
- X Rebirth (download - $50)

PS4
- Angry Birds Star Wars
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Battlefield 4
- Blacklight Retribution (PSN - free-to-play)
- Contrast (PSN)
- DC Universe Online (PSN - free-to-play)
- FIFA 14
- Flower (PSN)
- Knack
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
- Just Dance 2014
- Killzone Shadow Fall
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
- Madden NFL 25
- NBA 2K14
- Need for Speed Rivals
- Resogun (PSN)
- Skylanders Swap Force
- Sound Shapes (PSN)
- Super Motherload (PSN - $15)
- Trine 2: The Complete Story (PSN)
- Warframe (PSN - free-to-play)

Xbox 360
- Contrast (XBLA)
- Deadfall Adventures
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
- The Bridge (XBLA - $10)
- XCOM: Enemy Within

PS3
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
- Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
- Velocity Ultra (PSN)
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions
- Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler (PSN)
- Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs
- XCOM: Enemy Within

Wii U
- Barbie Dreamhouse Party
- Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Wii
- Barbie Dreamhouse Party

Vita
- Flower (PSN)
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition

3DS
- Barbie Dreamhouse Party
- Jewel Match 3 (eShop)
- Senran Kagura Burst (eShop - $30)
- Word Wizard 3D (eShop)
- World Conqueror 3D (eShop)

DS
- Barbie Dreamhouse Party

Comments

Yeah, I'm kind of in the same spot, for the preorder.... I just don't see any strong reason to buy one right now. I'm not interested in any of the games on offer, and I can't really use the hardware to do anything else, so it would be a $400 brick.

I had one of the first 360s, and that was a big waste of money. There were a couple of fun games, but they were still easy to get, a year later.

I am kind of thinking about buying a new controller, though, and using it on the PS3.

I feel like Knack will be this new generation's Kameo: Elements of Power. Colorful, family friendly, lots of neat ideas, but overlooked because everyone grabs the big blockbuster launch instead, or it is somehow not the perfect AAA game that launch titles are expected to be.

That's my prediction, at least. My other prediction is that it'll be a solid B+.

I've seen excitement for Killzone: Shadow Fall ramping up, but not in a really ecstatic manner. More of a "Oh, hey, that looks fun after all".

I've never known a generation to be met with such a "meh" before. I want a PS4, or to be more accurate, I want the platform that will allow me to play inFamous: Second Son, but I can't find myself excited to see the new platform.

After all, I've got all these other games I've yet to play/finish!

But Sony does have one advantage: with PS+, you get Contrast and Resogun free, so even if you can only afford one retail game with your launch system, you're just about set to have three games.

I'm interested to see how X: Rebirth turns out. I'll be closely watching the Steam forums on that one..

hfm wrote:

I'm interested to see how X: Rebirth turns out. I'll be closely watching the Steam forums on that one..

Same. It looks really intriguing.

I can't wait to tag along with a friend on Friday when he picks up the PS4. Retail quest!

For those getting a PS4, Amazon is doing a buy two get one free sale on PS4 games starting tomorrow (Tuesday).

Ooh! BG2EE; I'll be getting that at some point.

EDIT: BG2:EE, X: Rebirth and XCOM are my pickups this month.

One thing worth noting is how many games the Playstation 4 is launching in its catalog. Thirteen major retail releases along with a strong handful of downloadable games is nothing to sneeze at, and represents a solid library of games, though the number of exclusives is low, headlined by Killzone Shadow Fall and Knack — games I've heard almost no one be excited for. It'll be interesting to see whether people really find value in having this new piece of hardware that, at least for the first few weeks, largely plays games made for pieces of hardware we already have.

Sounds like the launches of the 3DS, Vita, and Wii U, all of which were headlined by a broad selection of ports, a couple so-so exclusives, and the promise of great things to come. I wasn't really into gaming when the 360, PS3, and Wii launched, but looking at their early titles, I get the impression that was the case back then, too.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if sales are less-than-blockbuster for the new consoles, leading to plenty of doom and gloom articles about iPhones destroying the industry, but things'll pick up over the next year and Holiday '14 will see lots of people finally buying in for X, Y, and Z games they really want to play.

Nah, it'll be all about consoles being dead and PC's/Steam being where it's at.

Binfinite: Burial At Sea (Part 1) for me this week along with trying to figure out where to put Demyx's 360.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Sounds like the launches of the 3DS, Vita, and Wii U, all of which were headlined by a broad selection of ports, a couple so-so exclusives, and the promise of great things to come.

The Wii U had a pretty promising promising launch lineup.... until things started slipping out of "launch day" and then out of the "launch window", and yeah...

ccesarano wrote:

Nah, it'll be all about consoles being dead and PC's/Steam being where it's at.

This seems more likely.

And thus begins the console generation of overused particles, god rays and blinding lights! Because, really, that's all I'm seeing.

Also, Angry Birds Star Wars costs $50. I kid you not. $40 for the PS3 version.

Tanglebones wrote:

Ooh! BG2EE; I'll be getting that at some point.

In my continuing quest to (for some reason) own Baldurs Gate 2 in as many different formats as possible...I'll probably do the same. Not sure why. Space Madness maybe.

Already bought the Xcom expansion though, and eagerly awaiting it's drop.

LEGO Marvel is also out on PC this week in the UK, which is funny because for some reason my steam copy unlocked at the same time as the US version a couple of weeks ago. I think there was some snafu where it appeared available to buy for a while, people bought it and then suddenly it was locked up again. I suspect they ended up just unlocking it for anyone who'd purchased it at that time.

I'm really excited about the PS4 release. I currently have the following games pre-ordered at 39.99$ from an E3 event sale

- Assassin's Creed IV
- Battlefield 4
- COD: Ghosts
- Madden
- Killzone: Shadow Fall

I'm also interested in getting NFS Rivals, Knack and NBA 2k14 with Target or Amazon's Buy 2 get 1 free. In Canada Best Buy and FutureShop are having a promotion that until January 2nd, you will get 40$ in-store credit for any PS4 and 360 titles. That means I will only have paid taxes for all of my games when I trade them in!

I don't know why people complain that there are no exclusive. Isn't it cooler to play those excellent games on brand new hardware? AND, something very important to me is that I'll be able to play ALL these games on my Vita!

I'm really bored with the current gen. People who own a tablet or a Vita know how current hardware is so much more convivial and can multitask easily. The PS3 and 360 are dinosaurs. Give 'em a rest and embrace the new generation with me

garion333 wrote:

And thus begins the console generation of overused particles, god rays and blinding lights! Because, really, that's all I'm seeing.

It's the new bloom!

garion333 wrote:

And thus begins the console generation of overused particles, god rays and blinding lights! Because, really, that's all I'm seeing.

Also, Angry Birds Star Wars costs $50. I kid you not. $40 for the PS3 version.

You forgot chromatic aberration. Everything is going to have chromatic aberration.

ccesarano wrote:

Nah, it'll be all about consoles being dead and PC's/Steam being where it's at.

Around here? Sure. That's already the narrative.

Yeah, I've been a launch day console buyer since the PS1 in every generation (including the Dreamcast!) and I had both consoles pre-ordered along with a few games for each system plus an extra controller for each. When the games that I cared about started to be pushed to 2014 and then with the news about dropped frame rates or lower resolutions on the launch titles - well... I took a look at the total bill for my November gaming expenses and cancelled the whole kit and caboodle and ordered a gaming rig from Dell that looks like a console but is in every way better (the top of the line Alienware X51 - please don't mock me for not 'building my own' - I have a job!). Aside from the fact that COD: Ghosts is bundled with the system - it basically cost about the same price as buying the new consoles plus controllers would have set me back. I'm also a little giddy about finally checking out Skyrim at ultra settings with as many mods as I can sustain and I picked up the WB Humble Bundle recently for $10 that included GOTY editions of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City - two long time games on my "to play" list. My current 360 controllers will also work on this rig so I'm good to go with Big Screen Mode.

It's going to be interesting to see how this generation turns out - the PC as a gaming platform has really come a long way over the last decade and we have Valve to thank for a lot of this. I'll revisit the consoles next Thanksgiving.

Grazen wrote:

My current 360 controllers will also work on this rig

Do you have wired 360 controllers, or does the Alienware come with a built-in Xbox adapter?

The Play-N-Charge kits don't actually pass data, just power, so you can't use wireless 360 controllers on a PC without an adapter.

The same is true, I think, of the upcoming XboxOne, which is still on my pre-order list, but which I suspect I will also cancel.

Oh you devil you!

All of the "stuff you won't do with your ps4" posts have scared me off for now. It's not even a gaming issue for me. Whether I buy into the eco-system for gaming is irrelevant to me if the machine doesn't even have all the features the old ps3 had.

It seems like a lot of the restrictions are anti-piracy measures, or are in place simply to drive customers to Sony's own services. There's no other reason to restrict the use of external harddrives, streaming media, and mp3's/cds. (Yes, I still own cd's).

I find the lack of support for already owned devices a bit appalling. Where every phone and tablet is shifting toward a standard, sony continues with the proprietary stuff. It's a shame, because until this recent news, I likely would have bought a ps4 AND a handheld, just for remote play, despite my misgivings.

I just can't justify the change (for now) if I'm going to lose my media center functionality in the bargain. Maybe I'm crying into the wind here, but I'll wait and play my pc for a while until this all shakes out.

*snip*

They're adding it all in next year.

I won't be using my PS4 to watch movies from my computer because.. I have a computer connected to my TV. I won't be using my PS4 to stream music because... I have a computer connected to my TV. With all of the networking options already available for playing media, why in god's name would anyone need to use their PS4 for this type of function?

I think removing that functionality is a logical exclusion, recognizing that such functionality is pointless.

I use my PS3 to play music sometimes, but only because the functionality is there. If it were never an option, I'd never even have thought about it. I buy my game consoles to play games. Not to say that extra functionality isn't appreciated; getting a PS3 means that I haven't had any reason to get a stand-alone Blu-ray player, so that's nice. But if all of that were to not exist in the PS4, it'd be frustrating, perhaps, but not at all deal-breaking for me.

That being said, perhaps the situation might be different if you had more of an inclination towards entertaining folks -- if you regularly host parties and whatnot. Having a dedicated music + videos + games machine would be useful there, I imagine.

I haven't considered selling or packing my PS3 so I can live with using the PS3 for media related stuff until everything it does has been integrated into the PS4

Noelle wrote:

That being said, perhaps the situation might be different if you had more of an inclination towards entertaining folks -- if you regularly host parties and whatnot. Having a dedicated music + videos + games machine would be useful there, I imagine.

Thanks to a complete lack of backwards compatibility, it technically still exists! Assuming you already have a PS3 (or Xbox 360).

But as I said in our PS4 thread, I think the issue there becomes the fact that a lot of people have limited entertainment center space and wanted the "old" going in a bedroom or private office in the house, rather than all of it cluttering up one area.

Oddly enough, when we're not using the PS3 for movies in my apartment, we're using the WiiU for YouTube. So it really is a sort of "to each their own".

X:Rebirth should be game of the week. :p

And next week another strong Fri release of Zelda.

Dakuna wrote:

I won't be using my PS4 to watch movies from my computer because.. I have a computer connected to my TV.

I won't be using a console to play games.. because I already have a computer connected to my projector.

I'm not convinced I understand what consoles are for, especially now that 360 controllers work on Windows and both consoles are just amd64 boxes anyway. I guess if there are exclusives, then that's the big issue.

I got a PS3 to play Gran Turismo 4, but that's the only thing I ever played on it. Most.. expensive.. game.. ever.

Jarpy wrote:

I got a PS3 to play Gran Turismo 4, but that's the only thing I ever played on it. Most.. expensive.. game.. ever.

I beg to differ