Tag Archives: online

Rainbow Six Siege And My Issues With Online Shooters

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I decided I was done with player versus player games quite a while ago, but Rainbow Six Siege was getting so much good word of mouth I had to at least rent it for a few hours. That word suggested it might be the kind of game I’ve been looking for to possibly get me back into PvP shooters. I don’t have PlayStation Plus but I was under the impression the game had some modes that could be played against AI opponents. To be truthful I didn’t have enough time to take a full tour of that part of the game, and I’m not sure it gives a good impression of whether normal multiplayer would be enjoyable. Continue reading

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Is Retail Holding Back Modern Game Development?

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If you look around gaming websites right about now, a hot topic is the prevalence of big AAA games launching with significant problems. One of the more underlooked websites — Gamesindustry.biz, seems to pin the problem almost entirely on retail. I think at the very least we might be headed for a major conflict between the retail model and how video games are made these days, if we aren’t already in one.

PC games have more or less always been like this, but console games have gone through a transition in terms of how they develop and evolve. Before, most console gamers probably thought of each game as sort of like a movie or a book — it has a release date, comes out, and that’s it. That’s thinking of games as essentially pieces of media. Video games today with launch issues, patches, and long-tail communities, are revealing what they really always were — software. And modern software doesn’t neatly fit into a retail-focused model. Continue reading

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Nintendo’s Digital Distribution Makes Surprising Leaps (…For Nintendo)

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For something like 10 years now Nintendo has been the butt of every conversation about video games and online infrastructure. I’ve sometimes been in defense of the ideas behind what the company is trying to do, and with recent efforts you have to admit they’re getting better, even if there’s one glaring issue left they need to resolve. Continue reading

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Steam’s New Face: Distribution And Indie Trends

A little over a day into this brave new world of Steam curation and I’m already seeing interesting developments and observations come about. It’s really opened my eyes in terms of how the indie game market has operated compared to the traditional AAA game market.

Continue reading

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Why You Should Try NeoTokyo

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I was gonna blog about something else today — probably something decidedly American, but Steam blindsided me and finally decided to put one of my favorite lesser-known multiplayer shooters up for download. That game is NeoTokyo, something with a much more Japanese flavor.

Basically, this Source engine mod is Counter-Strike (or maybe Insurgency) meets Ghost in the Shell. It’s a very similar brand of round-based tactical shooter gameplay but with a heavy cyberpunk theme. It employs high lethality with no respawns (along with things like lean and ironsights) and is class-based. The game started out with a few maps back in 2009 but last year developer Studio Radi-8 upped the number to around 16.

Since its original release NeoTokyo has been free for owners of pretty much any of the Half-Life 2 games. I think it switched over to the standalone 2013 SDK base last year though so it might be totally free now. Problem is, the game’s servers have been dead for months. Ever since I saw the game show up on Greenlight I’ve hoped it would make it to the actual list of Steam games so it could get some real exposure.

Gameplay-wise the two main cyberpunk elements are the temporary stealth cloak which most players get, and the game’s main mode — capture the cyber brain. It’s pretty much capture the flag except the player who grabs the cyber brain can see everyone’s locations through walls in real time and is expected to relay that information to teammates. I’ve seen that completely change the pace of a battle.

Because of the high lethality and lack of respawns, people playing NeoTokyo pretty much automatically try to behave much more tactfully than they might in Call of Duty (it might just be people transplanting their CS skills). Also, rounds can very quickly turn into essentially team deathmatch since eliminating the opposing team also nets a win. This happens very often in games of 2-on-2 or less. Let me tell you, that’s been some of the most tense TDM I’ve experienced.

NeoTokyo’s classes are Recon, Assault, and Support, ranking in that order in progression from mobility to strength. Recon players get a long cloak, unlimited sprint, and night vision. Assault players get better armor and motion vision. Support players get the most armor and thermal vision, but no cloak. The game also employs an escalation system with its weapons.

There are some other interesting bits about the way this game plays. For instance, manually reloading before a clip is spent will actually throw away the remaining rounds in that clip. The game also advises players to consider surrounding lighting and surfaces when using the stealth cloak.

The biggest cyberpunk element of NeoTokyo is of course it’s art direction and overall theme. One of the best parts about the game is its soundtrack (iTunes link) which oddly almost never appears in the game at all. Part of the reason the game is free is probably because its maps are littered with licensed Japanese imagery like posters of anime and Japanese adult models. You’d think it would come off as looking like just another otaku game but in my opinion it works, likely because the game lifts primarily off of GitS and Akira as opposed to today’s “kawai” anime.

Oddly, NeoTokyo has managed to remain one of my central multiplayer shooters over the last couple years whenever I could actually find anyone to play it with. It’s been more strangely addicting to me than most AAA multiplayer games. I just hope the official Steam release resuscitates the servers.

BULLETS:

  • http://t.co/sz8i6ZhNhB The part of this article that really got me was the quote from Hiroshi Yamauchi and Miyamoto’s interpretation of it.
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Hawken’s Challenging Horde Mode

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In a previous post I mentioned the free-to-play mech shooter Hawken and its horde mode analogue. While deciding what multiplayer game I’m gonna stick with for a while I resolved to play enough of that mode to write a bit about it here since Hawken doesn’t get a whole lot of attention on the big websites. As I said before, it’s one of the most savage and unforgiving horde modes I’ve encountered.

Way back when it was first unveiled, what stuck out to me and probably a lot of other people about Hawken was its art design. It has a very nice, heavily detailed sci-fi theme that I think gives it some credibility among other free-to-play games. It has a look of real craftsmanship and production value in it. That art direction is most of the reason Hawken looks so cool in motion.

When I played the alpha and later beta I saw the versus modes — the meat of the game, as a structurally standard multiplayer shooter. It’s got the typical modes but with unique mech-centered mechanics which focus a lot of maneuverability and heat management. The horde mode in question is co-op bot destruction. In it you and a few teammates (who can be AI) survive 24 waves of AI mechs. The first time I tried it I failed wave 1.

Hawken’s bot destruction is brutal for a couple reasons compared to say, Gears of War 3’s horde mode.

Firstly, you don’t get to retry waves. It’s all about seeing how far your team can get from wave 1 on each attempt. Teammates can be revived pretty much for free, but when the whole team goes down it’s back to wave 1, and the game re-rolls its map choice.

The second reason is that enemy spawn points in each wave seem to be random. I’m not sure if there are set spawn points and the game just chooses three upon each wave, or if the spawn points themselves can be anywhere. Whatever the case, you really don’t know where the enemies are going to come from until the wave starts because they literally emerge through portals that change location. That means upon finishing one wave, a group of enemies can drop in right on top of whatever strategic position your team just established.

Those two factors make sure at pretty much all times your team needs to be on its toes and that it can’t really let up for a second. This mode doesn’t really forgive mistakes. Plus, in Hawken in general your mech can’t sustain much concentrated fire from other mechs, so if the team splits up or even one person loses track of the others in the thick of it, things can turn sour pretty quickly. That said, I did eventually get a bit into the swing of it after I focused on collecting “EU” which lets you boost your attack, defense, or weapon cooling. It’s still very much a “try and try again” kind of deal.

Hawken’s monetization from what I’ve seen is structurally a lot like League of Legends. There are things you can buy with one type of currency you can earn through gameplay, and other things you have to buy with another type of currency you can only get with real money. It probably is possible to buy your way to an easier time in bot destruction, but I’m not sure if it’s hard for me specifically because I haven’t paid a cent into Hawken. I know it definitely feels like earnable-in-game currency really only get’s you minor equipment and items.  The only major thing it lets you buy is new mechs.

At the very least I think Hawken is a pretty unique thing — a free-to-play shooter centered around mechs instead of just a straight-up FPS or a MOBA. It doesn’t just rely on that premise either, but has actually tried to build itself into a robust and attractive-looking game.

BULLETS:

  • Man Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Network sales aren’t too bad.
  • So GameFly is starting movies. I knew there was a reason I stuck to them.
  • I was wondering why I’d never heard of a sumo anime until now. toei-anim.co.jp/tv/matsutaro/
  • This says a lot right here. http://t.co/nrnMwEeFZh
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The Search For Alternative Multiplayer Shooters

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Last time while going over how I felt about Titanfall I noted how it’s probably not gonna be my thing while also saying it has a good chance to be popular. I wasn’t being down on popular shooters so much as indicating how the multiplayer shooter industry seems to focus most of its energy on providing one type of game.

That type being the fast-paced deathmatch, domination, and sometimes round-based first person shooter. It’s probably the most popular type, but if it’s not the kind of game you want, you have few options. Only relatively recently have I begun to realize the kind of multiplayer game I really want is something more slowly paced, thoughtful, and tactical. Games like that exist, but they are few, distinct, and in many cases have small player bases.

It might be the reason I camp so much in multiplayer shooters. We’ve reached a point where shooter designers have tried to end camping because they think the only legit way to get kills is constantly running around and being better at pulling the trigger than the other guy. In my opinion it’s a perfectly legitimate strategy to find a strategic position at which to sit down and get the drop on your opponent, then switch to another position to stay a step ahead of the enemy. I like shooters that are more about getting the drop on your opponent than just running, jumping, and out-twitching them. The latter is almost certainly what Titanfall is about. Titanfall certainly has a strategic element to it, but it’s more of a second-to-second style of strategy, which is what you’re gonna get out of a game that’s about quick gratification. Maybe it’s like comparing chess to football. Both are pretty strategic but one is slower and more cerebral than the other.

One extremely niche shooter that’s found its way onto my main roster is the Source engine mod NeoTokyo. Basically it’s Counter-Strike rules but in a cyberpunk setting with three classes and optical camouflage. What I like about it is how the high lethality and absence of respawn forces everyone to really think about where the enemy might be and how to act accordingly. Being round-based makes each individual match feel like a self-contained tactical game between two teams instead of just a bunch of people running around. Maybe I just described CS, but I happened to get into NT first and haven’t had a lot of time to break into CS. I’m thinking about reinstalling Counter-Strike Global Offensive and taking advantage of its recent spectator feature which is supposed to act sort of like watching regular matches on TV. I think NT’s cyberpunk theme adds a little something to the experience though, and I really hope the listing for that game shows up on Steam one day so it can maybe get some exposure. I may need to move to CS anyway if NT’s player base disappears.

The last console multiplayer shooter I really got into was probably Metal Gear Online. Being an online Metal Gear game makes it different enough from the norm, but I think the biggest difference is its tactical pacing compared to most FPSs. MGO isn’t really slow, but it’s just slow enough to make you think for a second about where your opponent is and how to get the drop on them. Back when I played it real teamwork was quite common, even on the PS2 version. Making stealth a viable strategy resulted in a lot of players getting knocked out and gutted from behind corners. A lot of the time dominating a mach was much more about actually dominating the map than being the fastest guy on it. The return of MGO is probably my top reason for being interested in Metal Gear Solid V.

Another somewhat similar game that’s been at the corner of my attention is Red Orchestra 2. At first I heard all the things people usually say about it — that it’s extremely hardcore with realistic weapon mechanics, suppressive fire simulation, and other things that effectively make players feel like fragile humans. Upon trying it out on a free weekend though I started to think it might be more the kind of shooter I’ve been looking for. From what I could tell, everyone playing it was taking cover all the time, taking their shots carefully, and overall trying to keep abreast of what was happening around them. At the very least it’s a game I’d like to have the time to investigate further for being something out o f the ordinary.

A more obvious option for me though might be Splinter Cell Blacklist. I got a free copy with my graphics card late last year, and upon a rental I’d already checked out its resurrection of Spies vs Mercs. SvM took up a surprising amount of my time the summer after Splinter Cell Chaos Theory came out in 2005 and remains a unique game to this day. The asymmetrical play style, two versus two limit, and focus on objectives instead of kills really made it stick out as a game about defeating your opponent more mentally than physically.

Sure Blacklist has that new three-on-three mode with the perks and other things to make it more action-oriented, but sticking to the classic-style mode is in my opinion close enough to the old school game for a mainstream game released in 2013. It still displays pretty much the same virtues as its predecessors and is willing to maintain the asymmetric style, even if the maps aren’t quite as complex as Chaos Theory’s. And if it doesn’t work out in the long run there’s always Project Stealth.

The most popular multiplayer game I’m even remotely into right now is probably Team Fortress 2 ironically. I think what sets that game apart for me is that it manages to be extremely tactical despite how blazing fast it sometimes is because of how each class absolutely forces a distinct style of play. For some reason that’s the one shooter I play where a lot of people actually do use voice chat to coordinate. Why do Valve games have that effect? TF2 has also managed to remain a centrally important game to the Steam community for seven years, which no console game has been able to do, probably because of all the sequels. To be honest though I’m thinking of switching completely over to Mann vs Machine mode.

Horde modes have been one of my favorite additions to shooters, primarily because it’s a multiplayer mode in dynamic arenas where I don’t have to worry about competing against humans. Ever since I let my Live Gold run out though I’ve been looking for a replacement for Gears of War 3’s Horde 2.0 and may or may not have found it in MvM. MvM is fast and frantic, yet every class still has a specific role.

Recently I tried out the Co-Op Bot Destruction mode in Hawken (a free-to-play mech shooter if you don’t know) and was shocked by its intensity. It forces you to constantly maintain awareness of where your team and the enemy are. One slip-up is often enough to end your game or at the very least put your team in jeopardy. Another option I’ve been told to investigate is Mass Effect 3 multiplayer.

Whatever happens, it’s likely I won’t be focusing much on the multiplayer shooters everyone else is playing, much less the games trying to imitate what everyone is playing. Multiplayer games with different rules, objectives, and play styles are out there, you just have to spend a bit more time finding them, as well as other people willing to play them.

BULLETS:

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What It’ll Take To Get Me Onto Another Multiplayer Shooter

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Friday’s update was about Call of Duty, and since Ghosts is either still yet to come or just hitting the streets as I post this, I think I’m going to go over the main reason I’m not interested in it or Titanfall — I don’t need another multiplayer shooter. I’m sitting here wondering if it’s normal for people to jump to new multiplayer games every year or not.

People complain fairly often about how COD iterates too often and how so many games cram in multiplayer. What I’m trying to figure out is how many multiplayer games a single consumer really needs, or how many successful ones can fit in the market.

I might be atypical here — I’m the kind of person who’ll stick with one or two multiplayer games for like five years. Maybe it’s because I don’t play 30 hours of COD a week and get tired of the current game by the time it’s a year old. In any case, I think there are maybe four multiplayer games on my roster right now, and all of them are four years older or more.

In my post about COD I noted how Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Team Fortress 2 are probably still my multiplayer shooters of choice, and they both came out in 2007. Street Fighter IV has remained a staple fighting game for a lot of people since its release in 2008.

Then again, TF2 and SFIV have been upgraded many times since their initial releases. In fact my next multiplayer-oriented purchase is probably going to be Ultra Street Fighter IV. That might increase a game’s variety and longevity, but it’s not an absolute requirement. I probably played static games like GoldenEye or Super Smash Bros. Melee for years. Counter-Strike 1.6 has stayed the same for 10 years and people still play it.

Strangely, the fourth game on my multiplayer roster is NeoTokyo, a 2009 Source engine mod with an absolutely tiny playerbase. Somehow its unique blend of tactical sci-fi gameplay has managed to stick with me more than a lot of $60 multiplayer games despite being a free total conversion.

Perhaps the issue is how I’ve flipped over to PC. When you transition to a new console generation you need new games to play, oftentimes to fill old niches — racing, fighting, multiplayer shooter, etc. This is probably how a new multiplayer action game seems to take over with every new console generation, defining the experience of that generation, from GoldenEye to Halo to COD. On PC a single game can live for as long as the playerbase allows. That’s how Counter-Strike has lasted for 15 years. It’s very possible that at the end of this console generation a lot of people might still be playing the same games they’re playing now. In that kind of environment it probably takes a huge paradigm shift to flip those players over to a new game.

Perhaps Titanfall will be a big enough deal — a big enough innovation of its own, to potentially replace one of the games on my roster. People have called it simply COD with mechs and vertical movement, but there seems to be something more to what Respawn Entertainment is doing. If I heard correctly for instance, Titanfall will actually mix in AI characters with the human players in a way not unlike creeps from MOBAs. Its focus on story-based objectives also seems like a big departure from the norm. I’ll have to wait and see.

If I ever get the chance I’ll also probably take a peek at PlanetSide 2. Further out, I’m definitely gonna hop back into Metal Gear Online when it’s re-introduced with Metal Gear Solid V. Speaking of the PC-Console longevity difference, If there’s any multiplayer game I’m interested in this year it’s probably the Spies vs Mercs mode in Splinter Cell Blacklist. I was really into Chaos Theory’s multiplayer back in 2005 until it shut down, and if I get Blacklist I’ll likely get the PC version on a Steam sale. The console communities of that game will probably shrink once the PS4 and Xbox One come out, but I imagine it’ll live on a while longer on the PC version.

For now though, I feel like it’ll take a lot to change what multiplayer games I focus on for the foreseeable future. There have to be other people who feel this way too. COD4 still has a thriving community, and there are still people who basically play nothing but TF2.

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10 Years of Call of Duty

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This past week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of the original Call of Duty. Since Ghosts comes out in less than a week I guess I should talk about Call of Duty and where my interest in it lies.

Actually first of all, I’m kind of surprised that, to my knowledge, Activision and Infinity Ward don’t seem to have acknowledged the anniversary. A few news sites have noted it but that’s it. I think there’s one pretty informative Infinity Ward interview up about the original COD, but nothing special has gone on. When the Battlefield franchise turned 10 EA put every game in the series on sale for $10 each on Origin. COD? Nothin’ so far.

I haven’t even seen many people acknowledge the fact that Ghosts is actually the 10th main COD game in 10 years. I thought that since this was the first COD game to make another console generation jump on the 10th anniversary, Infinity Ward would do something really major. Maybe rebooting the setting in Ghosts in itself is major enough, but in that game I just don’t see the quantum leap forward that would be required to get me back into the franchise.

To say I dislike COD would be a gross overstatement, but it has become harder for me to buy each new game knowing that it’s largely the same as last year’s. I’m still waiting for a leap like what happened between Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I guess I should actually talk about my own first experiences with this franchise as well.

I still haven’t played the original COD. My first experience with the franchises was actually my first experience with an Xbox 360. I remember walking around at the mall in late 2005 and spotting a bright rectangle in the back of a GameStop probably 100 feet away. It turned out to be COD2 on a 360 kiosk — the first game I ever saw running in HD. A while later I downloaded the PC demo onto my then-new laptop and ran it so much I fried the motherboard.

The main thing I remember about COD2 is that it was one of the most intense things I’d played at the time. The environment where you’ll get your head blown off a second after leaving cover was uncommon for first person shooters at the time, and in my opinion Infinity Ward is still one of a handful of developers that properly pulls off linear set piece-driven game design.

Later that year because I’d decided not to get a 360 I checked out Call of Duty 2 Big Red One from Treyarch. I appreciated that game’s increased focus on characters but never thought the level design quite lived up to Infinity Ward’s real COD2. That pretty much sums up how I see the two COD developers today.

I see a lot of people who prefer the campaigns in the Treyarch games because they try a bit harder to have character-driven stories, especially since Black Ops. In my experience though, better level design and pacing is ultimately more important if I have to choose, and I still think Infinity Ward is better in that department.

If you ask me, Treyarch might be the more earnest studio these days with its own sensible additions like zombies, combat training, and a branching storyline, but I still feel like Infinity Ward has the leg up in terms of pure polish and craftsmanship. I couldn’t play through the campaign in Black Ops more than once, but I’ve already finished Modern Warfare 3 multiple times, as I found its campaign to be truly solid for no reason other than good controls and good level design. This was ultimately why I passed up Black Ops II. I have no idea if I’m ever going to play Ghosts.

I liked Modern Warfare 3 a lot — I even ended up playing more Spec Ops Survival than multiplayer, but my main problem with the whole franchise is that none of the games has definitively replaced COD4 on my shelf yet. COD4’s thematic take on modern infantry combat was refreshing at the time, it still has one of my favorite FPS campaigns, and the multiplayer is still alive and kicking. Every time I think about playing COD I just think about re-installing COD4 and maybe checking out promod (a PC mod that further balances the game).

Everything since has just been iteration, and the original Modern Warfare I feel is still good enough for me to keep playing for years. Combined with Team Fortress 2, I haven’t really felt the need for another multiplayer shooter since 2007, which is why I’m not that interested in Titanfall unless that does turn out to be something seriously new.

That’s basically what a new COD would have to be in order to draw me back in. I’m a little bit interested in Extinction mode for Ghosts but it’s clearly not enough to get me to fork over the whole $60. It would have to be a fundamental shift that really feels like the next-gen evolution of COD. Since COD4 basically every shooter has tried to copy COD. I wanna see the next COD that creates a new framework that everybody tries to rip off.

BULLETS:

  • It kinda sucks there isn’t a PC version of the first Darkness game. Really good, underrated game.
  • UniWar on iOS just got a level editor.
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Why All-Digital Console Games?

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As we near a console generation that’s going to be increasingly digital, I’ve started to ask myself what it actually takes to get me to trust a digital storefront enough to buy all my content from it. Maybe the answer is different for everyone, but mine brings up a lot of issues over DRM and service that console gaming has yet to address.

I actually find it a bit strange that neither Sony nor Microsoft has said much about the fact that games on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will release on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network respectively on the same day as retail. The whole software library of a generation of consoles is going to be available digitally, and both Sony and Microsoft are still acting quite retail-oriented (I guess Sony’s promoted the whole play-while-you-download feature).

A while ago on this blog I wrote about how the current XBL and PSN marketplaces still weren’t very appealing for full-priced games, and I still have no idea how Microsoft and Sony respectively are going to do to improve them for next-gen. To figure out what I would want I took a look at everything else I do buy digitally right now.

I’ve gone all-digital for basically all my media except movies, comic books, and console games.

I think music is pretty much the easiest thing to go digital with for everybody. The files are small and almost every distributor has abandoned the notion of DRM. Until I really thought about it I never realized how much DRM was a deterrent to my buying digital content. It’s probably the biggest reason I haven’t gone digital with comics yet.

For anyone who hasn’t dabbled in the emerging digital comic industry, it’s really sprung up on mobile devices, but every major publisher has set up its own shop and limited its content to that shop. Only being able to read digital DC comics on the DC app and Dark Horse comics on the Dark Horse app feels restrictive in the worst way. Download-to-own movies face pretty much the same problem as far as I’m concerned.

And I already know I’m prepared to go all-digital for comics as soon as they’re DRM-free. The world of manga fan translations has already established smooth distribution models and very reliable software on which to receive and read DRM-free content, and it feels great. Fortunately Image Comics is already going DRM-free, meaning I can read its comics on whatever I want.

That’s really what it takes for me to be able to trust digital I guess — knowing that what I buy isn’t trapped on one device or one piece of software. Even the existence of DRM can be forgiven if it’s liberal to that point, or offers enough convenience to that end.

Steam is pretty much the ultimate example of DRM we’re willing to put up with. The most famous reason for that is the sales but people also ask for Steam copies of games because the service offers basically all the features of a console with one important difference: you can install that “soft console” and all its content on any PC you log into.

I’ve actually been recently re-buying some of my Xbox games on Steam. For some reason my games feel more secure to me on Steam as opposed to Xbox Live Arcade. I think it’s the knowledge that those Xbox games are only playable on one machine that I pretty much just use for playing games whereas my Steam games are playable on theoretically any computer I buy. The lack of backwards compatibility on next-gen consoles makes the problem worse by letting consumers know their existing software is forever trapped on the old machines. Sony is staring to get around this problem though.

I, like probably a lot of other people, have become perfectly fine with buying a lot of software and digital content through Apple’s iTunes store. For me that even includes books from iBooks (I know there’s Kindle but using the iBooks app feels better for me). I think it’s because I’ve invested myself into the Apple family of devices (except actual Macs), meaning I own several devices on which I can use that content and software, even if it’s all still locked to DRM.

Sony’s trying to create a similar relationship between the PS4 and the Vita, and it might be working. I gotta admit the idea of playing a game like Rogue Legacy on your PlayStation console and then on your handheld sounds cool. Cross-buy is still utilized far too seldom for games that have Vita versions. If Sony can actually get universal Remote Play to work it would give a whole new functionality and value to PSN purchases. Microsoft’s family sharing idea could have a similar effect on Xbox Live purchases.

Nintendo is the game platform company that frustrates me the most with this right now because it has the most content I would buy if it got its digital service in gear. For starters if Nintendo would just create an account system independent of the hardware — let me download my 3DS games on any 3DS I log into, I’d immediately go all-digital with 3DS games. Being able to open my 3DS and instantly launch Mario, Pokémon, or Zelda would put an unprecedented amount of convenience between me and some of my favorite games. And then there’s Virtual Console between 3DS and Wii U.

It’s almost criminal Nintendo hasn’t unified the Virtual Console stores between its existing devices. The ability to play Super Metroid or Earthbound on a console, and then continue on a handheld would almost by itself make me get a Wii U. It’s frustrating that in my eyes Sony has the better service but Nintendo has the content I really want. Hopefully Nintendo’s suggestion of accessing the eShop from browsers and mobile devices means it’s planning to upgrade its service.

Now this is all just my opinions on what makes an all-digital service valuable — the freedom to do what I want with my digital content, or at least some illusion of that freedom. Some people might want adjusted prices or still want a physical box or whatever.

BULLETS:

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