Whilst looking through various retailers to pre-order a PS4 one thing stood out the most for me, the price of the games. Ps4 and Xbox one games (and Wii U games) are set to exceed £55 (Microsoft have announced that FIRST party will be RRP at £50). But In this shift of price I believe that we will see a stark difference in how many games are released within a year and more of these games will be released during the Christmas period, the question is where are we going to look to when the AAA games are not there. I think that we will see an increase in the amount of Indie games we purchase via our consoles and also the appearance of more free to play games appearing on our consoles, as we know micro transactions are already among us.
Here in the UK we are especially being done over on the price of the games and the price on the consoles themselves. For instance at our equivalent of Gamestop: Game, next gen games (yes even the Wii U) are currently being marketed at £55, and the Euro roughly fits in this bracket as well To put it in $ terms with the current exchange rates this would mean paying over $80 for a game (though this is nothing compared to Oceanic prices). I know there are conversion rates and inflation rates but this really is taking the biscuit, so it’s a good job that I can import these games! Since it really does suck when companies take advantage, because is the graphical leap alone able to justify a £15 leap in prices?PC games that have the equivalent graphical appearance of the next gen have been priced at least £10 less than the console versions, why? Well money, and the fact that retailers can price the game as high as they like, or as low as like. Though in recent years it has been the supermarkets and online shops that have been setting the lowest prices for new game releases, as unlike the specialised retailers they can afford to, hence why the preowned market is perhaps the only reason why places like Game are still afloat.
But there is also another fact to consider; the way games are being made is changing once again for us console gamers. As titles call for more resources and grander production, the games that we play are already at that Hollywood level of budget, for example; did you see how many people worked on Assassins Creed III! (Clearly not enough) The IPs that have cemented themselves in this generation are likely to carry on (and judging by the sales of The Last of Us it’s clearly not the last time we see them clickers) I believe that in Gen eight we are going to see less and less new IPs and more of the same things (a bit obvious i know) and in an Thealistdaily interview with Ubisoft, they state that their aim is to make franchises out of their new IPs, such as with Watch_dogs (taking a note out of Nintendo’s business strategy it seems) However this is not a bad thing, as where will gamers turn to in the barren summer?
Indie studios in recent years been cracking out some original and downright weird ways of gaming, ideas that major companies won’t dare dip their toes in. More notably one genre of gaming has found its way into Indie development, and that is HORROR. For many, many years now the Horror genre has been quiet on more “mainstream” platforms, but and has found a new niche on PC, and it is here we find some truly inventive ways to make us jump at our screens. Recent Games such as Among the Sleep and Amnesia (and i’ll admit Slenderman did get me) offer some great examples, but there are even more out there, which is another article all together. But its not just happening on PC, Xbox Arcade, PSN and to an extent Nintendo, have all got great examples of indie games; the most well known being Fez and Unfinished Swan, and games which have crossed over to consoles such as Limbo and Braid. And with platforms such as Steam’s summer sale and Xbox’s Summer Arcade these small companies are having a real go at getting people to try something new, and really broaden their gaming experiences as there really is so much more to gaming than AAA releases, as I am sure many of you are quite aware of.
So are you worried about the price of next gen, or more of the same IP? What indie games have you been playing or looking forward to play?