Friday, May 18, 2012

Double-Dose of Playstation News

There's been two fairly decent sized stories of a Playstation variety in the last day and, while I would love to use a whole post to talk about both individually, that's not the case here.  Honestly, you know the drill by now since this isn't the first time I've done it, nor will it be the last.  Of course, it mostly has to do with the heat and allergies as per usual, but I'm feeling fairly decent, actually, just can't find a multitude of words for either of the stories, of which I would probably normally use one or two for a full post.  Them's the breaks, I guess, but it still results in being able to write, so it all works out.  So, without further ado, let's get this show on the road by talking about just why Sorcery is pictured above.

Sorcery, a Playstation Move game that absolutely tantalized when it was initially showed off, has far, far missed its mark in terms of just when it needed to come out, meaning it's got a lot less hype going for it than it deserves.  However, it does have one thing going for it, that being that it's going to be the first game to utilize Playstation Network's pre-purchasing function which works...well, exactly as you might think it does.  It's not officially out yet for a week - May 22nd is when it finally lands - but you can, as of now (hell, probably as of the other day), go onto the Playstation Store and purchase and download Sorcery to your PS3.  But, can't play it.  Because it's not released until May 22nd, you see.

Pre-purchasing means just that and if you're familiar with Steam at all, you know exactly what this feature does.  It basically allows you to have the game there and ready so that, when it 'releases', you can instantly play it without having to worry about the hassle of downloading it and such.  This does, of course, lead to a few odd revelations about how inherently crazy it is to have everything but what amounts to an unlock code present for days prior to being able to play the game you've already put money down on.  But hey, we've been doing it on Steam for a while and absolutely nothing Steam does is dumb or wrong by any stretch of the imagination, right?  Right?

It will be odd to see, still, how this will be handled in the future.  There aren't, uh....really all that many PSN games that are high-profile enough to be hyped about like you would almost have to be to want to pre-purchase/pre-load it, and, in fact, a lot of the time, you never really know when a PSN game is going to come out until the Sunday prior to its release or, at most, a month beforehand.  So this sort of cuts into just how useful the function will be.  Similarly so, I don't see a lot of people throwing down $60 on a pre-purchase/download of a retail game, should anyone but Sony, decide to take advantage of the feature.  Not only because the full-game download selection isn't super-robust already, but many Non-PC gamers don't associate digital goods with Retail price (nor should we, I think), so to expect it to take off would be a little crazy.  Still, more functionality is always good.

Next up is the little bit of news regarding the next installment of the Sly Cooper series - namely that Thieves in Time will be launching on the Vita alongside the PS3 rather than just the latter.  This is, well...kind of a big deal, as you might imagine, having a major PS3 release launch not only on the Vita as well, but on the same day, which seems like it's a little bit of a surprise, given the small window of time between this announcement and the release.  Though, granted, "Fall" is a pretty large window to play with, but it still seems like a big undertaking to take on, not only for Sanzaru's first Vita game, but their first actual foray into the Sly Cooper series itself.  Their experience with doing the ports of the first three Sly games for the HD Collection notwithstanding, as it was a port job, not a bottom-to-top creation.  Still, I imagine Sucker Punch has the utmost confidence in them, so we all should.

This will be quite a pivotal release for PS3/Vita dual-releases, however since I imagine it, moreso than MLB '12 The Show, will be the game to set the stage for the future games that plan on releasing like this, buying into the "Never Stop Playing" campaign specifically attached to the Vita.  At the time of the announcement, Sanzaru doesn't know whether or not buying one version gets you both, or if, like The Show, the most you can hope for is a discount when buying both simultaneously.  With whispers that Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale will also see a Vita version, not to mention what other mainline franchises could see the same treatment, I would certainly hope that Sanzaru knows just what hinges on their decision.  While I imagine that the idea is set in stone with The Show (barring outliers like Warriors Lair, possibly), I can hope upon hope that we will see something a little more...generous.  That may just be the value-hunter in me talking, though.

So, two fairly big stories, and both have to do with (possibly) non-typical types of game releases.  Quite interesting, that, and I can only imagine that both types of releases will start to become more and more used, though I do obviously have my hesitations to both that I've stated.  Still, in the end of the day, I'm sure that pre-purchasing/pre-loading is a step in the direction of the future, loathe as I am to admit it, and I am quite enticed at the thought of owning a game on both my console and my portable and being able to interchange them, but the issue of price is certainly a rough one.  Granted, if you run the numbers in the event of a discount, there are very valid ways to rationalize the extra money, but in the end it is still -extra money-, despite getting two copies of the game for less than the cost of....two copies of the game.  Hopefully we'll find out something soon, if not when E3 comes rolling around.

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