Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Way of the Samurai 4 Released Today, I Can't Play It

In the rather beefy PS Store Update today, Way of the Samurai 4 joined the ranks of several other games in appearing in the digital storefront, most of which provide a rather disturbing reminder for me everytime I consider it.  Way of the Samurai 4 is just yet another game that's out there that I -want- to play, and just cannot, since they are relegated behind a wall that is much higher for myself than others, though I am assuredly not alone on this side of it.  As a digital-only title, Way of the Samurai 4 requires only three things to open up to you, the consumer, as a product to be played and experienced:  Enough money in your account to buy it, enough space on your hard drive to store it, and the internet connection that is fast, reliable and unrestricted enough to allow you to download it.  That third bit right there is something that we, as a whole, seem to be wholly disregarding as an idea, though it's a very, very real reality that is simply unreachable for many people like us who enjoy sharing this hobby that we do.

I've lamented it several times before, and will likely continue to do so - My internet connection is entirely too slow for me to even -consider- going digital for more than the odd title here and there, much less going full-digital as 'everyone' assumes is the future.  I might seem as if I'm in the minority in this, but I suspect that is the exact opposite of the case as a standard (since it's not only gaming that assumes everybody has internet to freely do this and that and devil may care on the size) and it's unfortunate since it's only going to get worse from here on out, I'm sure.  And even for those not in my situation, there's the chance for another one entirely, when they have the speed, just not the ability thanks to internet caps designed to hamstring people attempting to enjoy the internet unfettered because infrastructure was never considered properly and it's too difficult to change now.  So while 'internet' as itself is not a finite resource, that which enables it certainly is, which is where these absurd charges, theories and caps come from.

Let's just take today's Playstation Store Update for an example.  It was a very beefy update, as I said, and I could see the same person wanting to get a lot of the items offered.  So let's say they decide to download Metal Gear Solid 3:  Snake Eater HD, Way of the Samurai 4, Metal Gear Solid 3:  Snake Eater HD for Vita, and Gungrave Overdose.  This is being conservative.  All together, the file size for all that is in the neighborhood of 19.5 GB alone.  This is just for PS3 and Vita gaming.  If you are a PC gamer, then boy-oh-boy, are you looking at a large internet usage every month just from obtaining things that you are purchasing.  Imagine, if you will, that you are in one of these awful places where the cap is very low per-month where they give you only so much and no more, charge you ridiculously if you go over, cut the speed when you pass the arbitrary number or do some combination of the three.  Now not only are you unable to get something that you've paid for already, but you might be screwed out of using the internet as a whole for a period of time, or it'll cost you a ridiculous amount.  How does this make sense at any level?

Now, I -get- that the -option- is nice for people who can make effective use of it.  I encourage a digital future so long as it is a companion to physical since it is not as widespread an option as people think, nor will it be in the foreseeable future.  And I get that there are some companies who endeavor to make smaller games that only have a chance of success at digital retail.  The counter-balance to that is that these companies keep their games, as you might think, -small- so as to not need the 5-15 Gigs of space some of these games seem to think they need.  (Seriously, why is Michael Jackson:  The Experience 15 gigs?)  There are things in place to make the digital space as user-friendly as possible, and there is a giant difference involved then between a full retail game going digital and a game being built from the ground-up as digital.  The former becoming the only option is just horrid for everyone involved since it honestly just completely loses sales from people like me who want to buy your game and just can't.

And that's what the case here is.  I want Way of the Samurai 4 for reasons that are well beyond me.  It's not a serious game, nor is it likely a technically amazing one, but it offers a specific scratch for a specific itch, and I want to procure it for said itch.  But like Warriors Orochi 3 before it (and basically every fucking KOEI game to come unless I buy a 360 and they actually release it for that) that's simply not an option unless I go above and beyond my own means instead of doing what I should be able to just do with any other game.  But thanks to this wall that has been established by things well and truly out of our hands for silly reasons, it's just not an option.  With niche games like this and KOEI-fare, you really cannot afford to cut out -any- of your customers, though that's exactly what they're doing.  It's simply worrying because if we can't buy their games, we who normally would, that means they're getting even less than normal and are thus less inclined to continue.  And that's.....well, that's just a real shame.

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