Posts tagged ‘Sony’

12/04/2012

In which I respond to aspersions cast by an internet necromancer

by wfgodbold

Nearly two years ago, I posted an overly long and verbose piece on why, despite my preference for region-free consoles and gaming, consumers don’t have the right to region-free games. This was mainly in response to Nintendo’s decision to region-lock the 3DS. Early this morning, through what I can only assume was the use of the necromantic arts, someone responded to that post. Because my response to that comment would have been far longer than a comment has any right to be, I chose to respond in a new post. Consider this a sequel to that original post.

In the two years since my original post, Nintendo launched the 3DS (region-locked), and then had to drop the price because it was too expensive and no one was buying it. I still have not bought one (the last Nintendo console I bought was the DS Lite–I haven’t bought a Wii and have no plans to buy a Wii U), though I have bought a PS3 and PS Vita in the meantime (both of which, you will notice, can at the very least play out-of-region physical games).

This, dear reader, is a little thing I like to call The Market.™

Sony has made choices with which I agree, and to support those choices, I am willing to pay for their consoles and games (and I have games for both systems from both the US and Japan).

Nintendo has continued to region-lock their consoles and games. The prices of those consoles and games have not dropped to the point where I would be willing to forego the ability to play games from all regions on one console, so I have not bought them (even though I would dearly love to play Tales of the Abyss with load times that aren’t measured in geologic time, and Project X Zone looks ridiculous enough to be awesome).

Sullivan, in his comment, says,

And Nintendo doesn’t owe you anything? You are a customer. Neither Nintendo nor their shareholders would make ANY money without the customers. They sure as hell owe you. And what you get for your money is that they patronize you and severely restrict your freedom. It is not okay. And telling people not to buy the system because of that is just stupid. It is not a solution. It was not the game developers’ choice to make games region locked.

In response, I would like to point out that Nintendo does not owe me anything.

I bought a DS Lite. Nintendo fulfilled its side of the bargain bye delivering what was promised–a region-free handheld gaming system. Since then, I have not been a Nintendo customer–I haven’t bought anything because I don’t want to pay them to restrict my gaming options. If you buy a 3DS/Wii/Wii U knowing that it’s region-locked, Nintendo still doesn’t owe you–you’re still getting exactly what you paid for.

I don’t owe support to game companies. Game companies don’t owe me good games, bad games, mediocre games, region-free games, or region-locked games. If a game company has a game I want to play, I buy it, and the relationship ends there.

Not buying the system because it’s region-locked is not only the solution, it’s the cheapest solution (it’s certainly cheaper than trying to get a big enough block of Nintendo stock to control the company’s decisions). If you’re not willing to give up the ability to play the games that come out despite the region-locking that Nintendo has foisted upon consumers, then you’ve made an economic decision that region-free gaming is not worth as much to you as it is to someone who chooses not to buy a Nintendo console because of the region-locking.

Nintendo is free to choose to region-lock their consoles and games. Sony is free to choose not to region-lock their consoles and games.

And the consumer is free to vote with his wallet and support whichever philosophy he agrees with, if he even cares. Sadly, I suspect most consumers don’t care about whether or not their consoles are region-locked.

07/05/2012

One of these things is not like the others

by wfgodbold

One of these things is not the same.

I should point out that the region-free list* after the jump (since it’s a pretty long list) is not exhaustive.

The PS3 has been region-free since its launch six years ago (with one slight scare with Stranglehold before it was released without a region lock).

And yes, I am mocking ATLUS. Mercilessly**. They deserve it for reviving the (supposedly) dead spectre of region locks on PlayStation console games.

03/28/2012

Good news on the PSN front!

by wfgodbold

Atlus has finally lowered the PSN pricing for some of its PSP games (most of which were originally priced at the release MSRP).

I’ve been interested in giving one of the Shin Megami Tensei games a try; sure, the Persona series is just a spinoff, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

I just haven’t decided if I should start with Persona (the first game in the spinoff series) or Persona 3 Portable. I don’t think they’re strongly connected, more just set in the same universe (or even just with the same basic battle options and game mechanics, like the Final Fantasy or Tales of series).

On the one hand, Persona started the spinoff series, and I do like starting at the beginning.

On the other hand, it was a PSX game, and is bound to look dated, especially compared to Persona 3, which was ported from a PS2 game.

On the gripping hand, the characters in Persona 3 have an … interesting … way of summoning their personas into battle.

I’m not even considering starting with Persona 2, since for some reason it’s $10 more expensive than the other two games. Good job on consistency there, Atlus.

I suppose I should be happy they responded to the demand from Vita owners, though; since the only way to play PSP games on the Vita is by purchasing the PSN version of the game, everyone who was interested in Atlus’s PSN catalog complained vociferously about how they hadn’t reduced prices on most of their games since the first of them were listed digitally almost three years ago.

If anyone has any suggestions about whether Persona 1 or Persona 3 is the better starting point for someone who’s never played a SMT game in his life, feel free to share them.

03/26/2012

Thoughts on Uncharted: Golden Abyss

by wfgodbold

I finished the game Sunday night on normal. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good handheld adaptation of the console Uncharted experience.

The gyro-assisted aiming was great; I think this would work even on the console versions of Uncharted with the PS3′s Sixaxis controllers. Once I figured out how to use it properly, I was getting headshots more often than not.

There wasn’t much deadtime; the game was good about taking Nate from one action setpiece to the next.

The story was decent; it’s set before Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (the first game), but aside from Elena not showing up at all, you’d never have known.

However, there were some things I didn’t like at all.

The final boss fight was terrible; it combined the tediousness of quick time events with the annoyance of swiping all over the Vita screen. If I wanted to play a touchscreen-based game, I’d have bought a damn iPad. There were plenty of touchscreen quick time events throughout the game, so it’s not like they surprised me with it; but I didn’t like those either, and so I really didn’t like it when I had to swipe around on the screen for five minutes to beat the final boss. If you miss three of the swipes, it’s game over; it’s also game over if you miss the final swipe, even if it’s not the third.

The graphics were pretty good, in spite of the jaggies. It looked better in motion than in the screenshots I took, but the jaggies were still noticeable.

Your sidekicks are morons. They get in the way, and thanks to collision detection, you can’t just walk through them; you bump into them and have to go around. It was especially annoying when they would start climbing down ropes before I could and then when I tried to follow them, I’d roll off the ledge and fall to my death.

I’d say if you’re on the fence about whether to buy it or not, either pick it up used or wait for a sale. It’s good enough to play, and a fun game, but it’s definitely not worth the $50 MSRP. Maybe if it had been made by Naughty Dog instead of Bend, it would have been a bit better; I guess we’ll never know.

03/12/2012

Miscellany

by wfgodbold

I picked up my freshly repaired car this afternoon. I’ll just say USAA is awesome and leave it at that.

If you’ve a Vita and a Japanese PSN account, don’t miss out on this chance to get a ¥1000 credit.

I’m pretty busy the next couple days; the draft of my argument for my legal writing appellate brief is due Wednesday, and we have a Civil Procedure midterm that afternoon as well.

In the meantime, enjoy Reason.tv’s take on the Sandra Fluke contraception brouhaha:

03/02/2012

Livin’ la (PS) Vita loca?

by wfgodbold

Vita game-wise, I have Tales of Innocence R and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I also bought a couple Vita-compatible PSP games off the US PSN (Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys Seven), and I’ve put in some time on each of them. I’m a ways into ToIR, a couple chapters into UGA, and almost to the end of Oath (aside from making sure Ys Seven worked, I haven’t played it), and the PS Vita is great.

Unfortunately, the screenshot functionality doesn’t work on PSP games, only on Vita games (at this point, anyway; maybe Sony will patch it so it works later). Uncharted looks better on the system than it does in the screenshots (damn compression!), but ToIR looks about the same. The analog sticks are great, and far better than the slider the PSP had. Even the d-pad is much improved.

Uncharted falls prey to the same problems most first-party games on new, innovative hardware do; it uses the touch screen, rear touch panel, and gyro controls in gimmicky ways when they’re not really necessary. I should be able to navigate the menu without using the touch screen if I want; balancing with gyro controls as you walk over logs was stupid in Uncharted 1, let alone here (and was rightly absent in UC2 and 3); and having to tap the ammo indicator to reload instead of a button is unintuitive. That said, a couple of the uses of the Vita’s capabilities are actually good: coarse aiming with the analog stick coupled with fine aiming via gryo controls makes targeting enemies a breeze, and using the rear touch pad to control zoom on the sniper rifle is very quick.

The touch screen is barely used in Tales of Innocence R; you can assign each party member a spell to cast when you tap their portrait during battle. Other than that, it’s only used when saving/loading (which appears to be a Vita system-level requirement, like the PSP save/load system). I’m inclined to believe Namco was working on this “reimagination” for the PSP, and just switched tracks when Vita development was feasible.

I’ll play through these games before I get any new Vita software (probably, at least). Until Disgaea 3: Absence of DetentionGravity RushYs: Woodland of Celceta, and possibly Zero no Kiseki: Evolution come out, I’m not interested in much.

Which basically gives me a month (until Disgaea 3), and then another month or two (until Gravity Rush), and then however long for those other games. Unless other games pique my interest in the meantime, anyway (Thanks to the launch 3G bundle deal, I’ll get Super Stardust Delta for free in another 3-4 weeks).

All in all, I’m pleased with the Vita launch; there are plenty of games in plenty of genres, and while most are worth at least playing the demo, some are actually even good!

 

 

02/23/2012

Well, it works

by wfgodbold

Though posting on wordpress is annoying, and it won’t let me upload media (wordpress must use flash).

So, after transferring them to my computer, I have some screenshots of brand new PS Vita fun!

Tales of Innocence R is as good a place to start as any...

 

I even managed to hit PS + Start while fighting to get an action screenshot.

Even Twitter works!

I downloaded the Netflix app, too, but it’s very laggy. I’ll get in more play time tomorrow and over the weekend; for now, it’s back to the law school grind.

I suppose I should thank Lexis Nexis and their student rewards program; if it weren’t for the points they give for research and training, I would have had to pay for this myself! Instead, I traded my points in for Amazon credit and got a huge discount.

02/11/2012

What the hell, Sony?

by wfgodbold

Seriously?

You have a new handheld console coming out in ~10 days, and this is the best you can do for an ad?

Seriously?

Do you even want the PS Vita to succeed, or are you just phoning it in?

02/07/2012

Looks like all regions *except* Japan are out of luck…

by wfgodbold

As far as PS Vita UMD backwards compatibility goes. Sony’s UMD Passport program will not be available in the US.

Of course, if you’ve got a Japanese PSN account, you can make it the primary account on your Vita and use Japan’s UMD Passport program. Even then, that will only get you a smattering of the games available on the PSN, and for a price.

If you’ve bought most of your games on the PSN (and not on UMD) you won’t have a problem; the Vita is compatible with downloaded PSP games without issue.

11/30/2011

The current PS Vita backwards compatibility list* is live

by wfgodbold

Looks like I’ll be forking over ¥1,000 to play Growlanser and Disgaea on the PS Vita.

Siliconera notes that this is roughly 3/7 of the total PSP games currently on the PSN for download. (Well, they give the numbers themselves; I provided the fraction, because fractions are awesome. Who can’t immediately visualize 3/7?)

Square Enix, Capcom, and Namco Bandai haven’t joined in yet, but this list isn’t comprehensive; Sony’s original news regarding the UMD Passport program listed Falcom (and Square Enix, for that matter). I figure it will be updated as they work out the licensing arrangements with the various developers.

That said, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a PS Vita at the US launch (using a combination of various credits, coupons, game trade-ins, and the like to lower my price at amazon by a great deal). I’ll probably just pick up Uncharted: Golden Abyss from the US launch lineup; I’ll also have Tales of Innocence R (which releases in Japan ~1 month before the US system launch), and with Growlanser and Disgaea, that should keep me busy for some time.**

*For Japan, at least.

**When I’m not losing my mind at law school, anyway. I think a portable system will be convenient for between classes; I’m more likely to have time to game there than at home, and I can’t study all the time.

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