Jimquisition: Launch Splooge

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Launch Splooge

As we head toward the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, we're going to soon be hearing about their launch libraries, and how awesome they are. Ignore these boasts.

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4:12 Jim look out! there's a Ninja behind you!

Ask not what your Launch Line-up can do for you,
but what can you can do for your console's longterm viability.

Oh yes, we get to see Jim's beautiful locks of hair in this episode! <3 ^_^

Mummer's Farce? Has Jim been reading Song of Ice and Fire?

cyvaris:
Mummer's Farce? Has Jim been reading Song of Ice and Fire?

All the damn time!

I think a large launch lineup is more to do with business sense than common sense. They want the hardware to sell out on day one so if they say there is only going to be 5 games at launch people will hold out for the game they are waiting for and in the meantime people will call the system a failure, investors will start pulling out of the company, third party companies will start pulling support thinking the console is dead on arrival, etc.

There's no way in hell any future console ever will be a dead ringer for the consistent strength of PS2's library (as the generation cycle probably gets shorter and shorter, and people start to look for the next gen earlier), but one can always hope.

Oh, and we do praise you, Jim.

Dat thumbnail.

And I agree. Consistent quality is much better than a bunch of titles shat out.

Hard to argue with your point this week, but I'm going to try.

I don't mind a strong launch library, and I don't think it's the launch library that's the core problem. Every console suffers from a great number of "meh" or outright shitty games across its long lifespan. A majority of a console's game will never be played by the average consumer, ever, nor should they probably exist at all. That isn't just limited to the launch in particular. So only releasing a few games at a time doesn't fix the problem so much as spread it out across several months, and that won't solve the problem of having "no games" either.

What really needs to be done is for people's standards to increase, more than anything else. If we demand better games and stop buying bad ones, they'll have to start making better games. It's our tolerance for bullshit that's the problem. If we accept that every console's going to have a lot of shitty games and only a few good ones, and don't actively try to push the industry to do better, then they'll just keep on doing what they're doing and we'll be barraged with shitty games and only a handful of solid ones.

In this respect I give Nintendo props. They're taking their time on making sure their newest games are really good ones, rather than crapping out mediocre or bad ones at a rapid pace. Of course, by the time the good stuff comes out, it might have already been too little, too late. Time will tell.

Captcha: can I love?

Thanks to the defeat of DOMA, you can. Thank Jim for DOMA's defeat!

I really think that if a system wants to avoid "got no games", just have as much backwards compatibility as possible. If, somehow, they could bring the SAVES forward as well, then that'd be a strong argument for getting the console.

The WiiU has better backwards compatibility than the Xbox 360 and (current) PS3, and the next gen won't have any backwards compatibility at all. Having it there PLUS a few months of strong titles (timed exclusive, because full exclusive is hurting the industry) ensures that the console will be stronger.

But hey, that would actually be good for the consumer so no way we're going to see that.

This was a very good episode!
This is what I've been saying in a few threads when people bash me for buying a WiiU, I've had it for 6 months and played 6 WiiU games on it and a few (3 or 4) Wii games. So for me it was a strong start and now it's slowing down a bit, which is nice in itself. But I also know a few games I'll be getting in the future which is nice, and while I play those games I bet there will be new announcments that I then can look forward to!
Of course I guess I need to point out that I have not had PS3/Xbox360 so half of the WiiU games are older ports, but that's what I got for only owing a Wii last gen :D

lucky for me that i only ever buy a new system when its been out for a year.

I think I would be more comfortable to just wait a year and see how the game libraries evolve, then make a decision on the purchase. Current consoles still have a lot of life in them and should hold interest until the "next generation" consoles have had a chance to flesh-out their libraries more.

Not a bad idea.

Excepting, of course, that it wouldn't actually work.

"Oh, we don't have many games yet, but we'll get some more later, and they'll be really good"...is anyone going to believe this? Should anyone believe this?

Not, sure, if it actually happened, it'd be a good thing, but that's asking for quite a bit of trust from gamers, more than I think they are willing to offer.

I won't argue the premise, but I think a lot of that problem stems from "got no games" really means "got no big wowing, AAA titles that are nothing but pure awesome" to a lot of people. I'll admit, I've not found a system seller on the vita for most people, but it's games aren't exactly all shovelware either. We just live in a market that has to be wowed to give up the money, and just decent doesn't cut it anymore.

I have to agree, and that's why I'm (kind of) pleased by Sony and Microsoft's statements in the picture below

image

It's not necessarily saying "OH LOOK AT WHAT YOU'LL BE ABLE TO BUY STRAIGHT AWAY!!" but more, "Yes, there are a few games worth checking out on launch day, and there'll be more throughout the year"

Now, of course, the quality of some of these titles may end up not living up to expectations, but at least they aren't all splooged out in one quick overload.

I want for a strong launch-lineup these days is due to the fact that backwards compatibility is falling by the wayside. With the PS3 and 360 releasing, you still had all your PS2 games and (some) of your Xbox games you could play. With the PS4 and Xbone, it's just PS4 and Xbone games. And why should I buy a console when I'll only be able to play 4 games on it? And after a year, that'll be, what, 10 games? But as you said, a big library at launch means you'll have jack shit for a few months.

It's a crappy situation all 'round, really. No real right answer.

Of course this is only a problem with early adapters. I buy new consoles after a year or two of release. That way there's a price cut or two and a nice selection of games for me to play.

It's, uh, good to see that Jim's really celebrating the repeal of DOMA in this video. Especially in some of the....images.

One of my favourite things about The Jimquisition is how often it surprises me. When I read the description of the video I was expecting myself to disagree with the idea, but once I watched it I cannot help but agree.

What I would say though is that while throwing out as many games as possible is a bad idea they should have at least a couple of large titles. Well known series that will move consoles and get people convincing their friends to get one as well. It looks like they have that covered with this generation though, seeing as COD, Destiny and GTA will all be on both generations. I suspect many will hold back and get them for the new consoles.

Personally I am still stuck with what to do, I will soon be without any platforms other than my PC (trading in my others next week most likely) so am not sure whether to get a PS4 or upgrade my PC. Decisions, decisions.

All it takes is one good game for me to buy a console. Perhaps if companies focused on one quality title for each genre at release, they'd have more success.

But I remember with the PS3 how there was just nothing available at launch that interested me. And later, when titles did become available, they still didn't interest me enough to justify buying a console.

I'd go one step further than Jim. Who cares what the system is doing 6+ months from release? If I'm forking over $400 bucks and paying monthly subscriptions I want to know what its doing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 YEARS down the road. Granted its unrealistic to ask what games will be made half a decade from now, but a console is an investment. I played my PS2 well into the next generation and I imagine I'll be playing my 360 well into the upcoming one. I want a console that developers are excited about for longer than a year. I want Sony to say 'don't worry, we have a dozen amazing games slated for release over the next few years." that's more reassuring to me than buying it out of pocket and hoping they stick with it long enough for a good game. Consoles aren't like PCs where the instant you buy one its out of date. The PS4/Xbone will be around for YEARS, not months or weeks. They need to show of they're thinking long term and short term. Good launch titles and even better games down the road. That's called an investment. Bring us in with a few launch titles, sure, but offer us something for sticking with the console and shelling out so much money for it in the first place.
Have a new COD on launch day, I don't care. I won't play it, but I'll get the system if you show Mass Effect 4 or a Battletech game. Hell, make a sequel to Space Marine and I'll probably get the console.
Buying a console for the launch titles is like buying a new tv for the free DVDs that come in the box.

A console has to start somewhere. Whatever can be mustered. But if you want to have the console on launch, or even in the first year, don't be surprised if the library is small. You are an early adopter.

The problem is three years in and there are still no half decent games, or just one or two. I can't even figure out what is going on in half of these game trailers. Only the "Deep Down" one looks like a recognizable game to me. So you could have 50 launch games, but maybe 1 looks like anything anyone would ever have half a mind to play.

There hasn't been an obvious classic, probably since Shadow of the Colossus. I don't know who these games are made for anymore.

I don't understand why it matters how much they shoot their load originally. Yes of course they shouldn't give games a stupid launch dead line if the game's not fucking ready but I normally buy games that are months to years old anyway so they're cheaper. If they were the same game I'd prefer all the games out at once, that way I can play the games I really want now and the games I want but not enough to pay $60 for will be available for a price I'm willing to play when I want them.

Of course cook the games to perfection, but they're not food, they don't rot over time. If people are too dumb to not buy a game for $30 because it was released months ago, when they'd pay $60 if it was released now, I blame them. People are too obsessed with new-ness. Like besides a few titles (bioshock, dishonored, any new tales game) I mostly play triple A games on a 6-18 month lag.

I completely disagree with you Jim. All your examples of claims of large launch libraries including mostly ports and a select few original "meh" titles follow by a few meh titles. Size isn't the issue. Its purely about quality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_console_launch_games

If you look at the launch titles for PS3 and Wii U it really is almost all uninteresting crap. Even the dreamcast had 5 + launch titles that were good quality original games.

Ps3, Vita and pap literally had nothing I was interested in playing when they launched in the US. Wii U had the zombie game and mario. Its just not enough to justify a $300 purchase.

I think the starting gate goal would be 5 quality original titles. If its a sequel make sure not the yearly one like Call of Duty.

But like you just said Jim, It's a catch 22.

If Nintendo released a WiiU launchup that consisted of Pikmin3, Zombie U, Wonderful 101, and Super Mario U, and that's all people heard the console is going to have at start, people will whine that it has no games.

Similarly, if they went and had a "huge" lineup of games and it turns out that most either ditched or were just ports...then...yeah we would say the WiiU has no games.

While Nintendo E3 did show a host of released games, I was excited and upset at those titles.
Excited because many of those games are coming to the 3DS or are cross platforms.
Upset because many of those games are for the 3DS and cross platforms.
WiiU NEEDS EXCLUSIVES. It needs them so bad right now. Because if one has to choose between a 3DS version of the game and the WiiU version of the game- one look at the software lineup and they will go for the 3DS one. Make the ports much later. Your 3DS is now one fat happy pig with their game lineups you can relax on that front a bit.

For the Vita- game launch titles are the smallest of the problems the Vita hasn't conquered yet. Sorry Sony, but your going to have to take the painful bullet Nintendo did, and drop the price of your hardware and memory cards. Especially the memory cards. You were still losing to the 3DS when the Nintendo hardware was at it's worse. No your just some forgotten ghost on your single shelf display at Gamestop while the 3DS section gets bigger by the minute.

The 3DS stigma of having no games has all but gone with the wind. As I said earlier they really fattened up that bank this year. Along with the price cut, it's a pretty rad deal.
The WiiU can do the same, but they are going to really have to step it up next year.
At the moment they are literally fighting themselves. They want more people to buy WiiU's, but they keep displaying the 3DS as the better deal.
It's literally a win-lose situation with themselves, and...it's quite a bit embarrassing to watch.

Wilco86:
There's no way in hell any future console ever will be a dead ringer for the consistent strength of PS2's library (as the generation cycle probably gets shorter and shorter, and people start to look for the next gen earlier), but one can always hope.

Oh, and we do praise you, Jim.

We can only hope that the cycle gets shorter, but that's unlikely. The cycle was a consistent 5 year cycle up until this cycle. We're starting to hit an upper bound of the hardware curve so you shouldn't expect exponential growth anymore. The moment the systems went to multicore it was a death sentence for the short cycles. Expect a long nearly unending cycles sometime in the future.

Haven't they pushed themselves into this corner though? Sony with the PS3 abandoned backward compatibility (well, not ENTIRELY, but close enough) meaning that with the exception of launch titles, you had no games to play if you went out and purchased the console on launch day. MS did a little better with the Xbox 360, but still only had backward compatibility for the more popular titles (and even then with problems from what I understand).

But with both the Sony and MS refusing to allow you to keep your existing library (assuming that you trade-in your current system in favor of the newest one, which considering the economy will likely be at least, what, 50% of all launch time purchases?), there would be a twisted logic in thinking that the only way to do that would be to give you a huge launch day library to ease the pain for you - as opposed to making you remember that you traded in the 20-30 titles you had for your old system for your new console and one or two games.

Of course they could have done the better idea and included backward compatibility...but then users might have not splurged on a ton of titles in the first year of having their new shiny console, and where's the profit in that?

Bitter? You bet I am.

WaitWHAT:
It's, uh, good to see that Jim's really celebrating the repeal of DOMA in this video. Especially in some of the....images.

Lmao I'm glad I wasn't the only one to notice. I was just waiting for the next time Jim said an equivalent word to release...

I couldn't agree more. I think the consoles should launch with a handful of great titles and have a steady release schedule. It's not like most people can buy the new console and all twenty games.

Well Jim I agree that a company shooting its whole load at launch and then leaving the rest of the year empty is a bad idea. BUT I think the true heart of the issue you speak of what gamers truly want and what the gaming industry really needs is LESS SHIT GAMES. Now I know you addressed this saying that companies trying to launch a console with tons of games available leads to shoddy games, and I do think there is a nugget of truth to that, however I think the real issue of gaming libraries being mostly crap is more down to publisher apathy than publisher ability, or their publishing schedule.

The line from the song Not Now John comes to mind "Who cares what its about as long as the kids go". It seems these days that any publisher be it either PC, Console, Handheld, whatever has a small core of cherished IPs and then a huge stable of filler crap games. Publishers seem to be banking on their main titles to pull the weight of the sales and then let all the little crap titles fill in any missing spots. So I feel that until these companies start paying more attention to quality control and stop green lighting games that they know are pointless mindwank (well and spending the brunt of their budgets on a handful of titles) we the gamers are damned to a library of games that are mostly shit regardless of what release schedule we get.

And that is why I am not buying a PS4 until at least a year and a half after launch, by that time it should have enough games that I want to play. The only console I've brought at launch was the Gamecube and it was torturous having to wait for games to play on it.

So in other words, Jim is advising that instead of a Friday night with a large number of ladies of negotiable affection, we should instead inquire as to whether or not several of those ladies of negotiable affection would be able to provide a more enjoyable (and perhaps even higher quality) service if they were given a day or two of rest? Hmmm...

I suppose if we were to gently nudge the market in that manner, they would perhaps provide their services for slightly longer periods of time and may not have trouble with day one performance nor may not decide to retire early after attempting to perform the deeds sometimes described in a telling of (in)famous "The Aristocrats" joke in order to differentiate herself from the rest of the ladies. (While Ms. Spore's services may not have been the most popular, I do imagine that there are many who are quite miffed that her services are no longer available. Particularly those who continue to pay for her services even though her employer is well aware of her retirement.)

I fear, however, that the lower quarterly returns may cause their employers to forsake such a plan and continue on with business as usual. Alas, long term growth and survival is not often found in their cunning plans.

The problem, which Jim touches upon as well, is that launch games are usually shit. The reason companies now want to shovel out as many launch games as possible is because it will give them a higher chance of hitting a mark above mediocrity. Would you rather have 20 launch titles with 2 good games and then nothing for a couple of months, or no good games for the same span of time? Jim's plan only works if you assume every game is GOOD. I'd say that's even more delusional than the companies' mindsets.

And yet I can't help but think that shooting backwards compatibility in the foot continues to be a fucking retarded practice that could greatly help alleviate launch issues. Don't like launch games? No problem, just play an older game without having to constantly switch between consoles!

Well said, Jim. I'd be more happy if the titles for a new system were spread out to give both the players and the developers more breathing space. It's time for the industry to focus more on quality and less on quantity.

New hairstyle, Jim?

it's pleasingly smoo'.

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