The timing of the price announcement: There is still confusion as to why Sony would offer up a price point for the console over six months before its launch. Perhaps Sony was trying to prepare people for such a huge leap in the cost of their new machine well ahead of time. However, the fact is that tons of people would have lined up to pre-order the PS3 for months before the final price was revealed. Now that the price is out there pre-orders for the console could be affected.
The price itself: $499 and $599, no matter how you look at it, is a lot of money. The economic picture today is a lot different than 2000 when the PS2 launched with prices for gas and other essential items was far cheaper than it is today. With such a high price tag, it could be that the retail price could end up being a psychological barrier preventing some people from purchasing the product, especially with the Xbox 360 Premium currently selling for $399 and the Nintendo Wii likely to cost even less.
The tech: Sony has banked on their Cell multiprocessor CPU and their Blu-Ray disk drive as their two big leaps in technology. However, it is clear that the launch games for the console as shown during E3 are not using Cell to its fullest extent. Current Xbox 360 games already look almost as good if not as good as the PS3 games shown at the press conference and on the show floor. As for Blu-Ray, the PS3 will launch less than five months after the first stand alone Blu-Ray disk players. That means only a few hundred Blu-Ray movies will be available to purchase compared to the thousands of DVD movies available to PS2 owners when it launched three years after the first DVD player was in stores in 1997. Also Microsoft plans to have a add-on disk player for Xbox 360 owners that will play rival HD-DVD movies. With millions of Xbox 360 owners already out there, it's likely that a number of them will pick up the HD-DVD add-on which will likely cost a lot less than picking up a PS3 (exact pricing for the HD-DVD add-on has not yet been revealed.
The games: Much like the PS2 launch, the PS3 doesn't look like it will have a lot of "Wow, I must have that!" game titles when it launches in November. Games like Resistance, Heavenly Sword, Warhawk and more are currently looking pretty standard fare. This would be fine for Sony if this was the same situation as the PS2 launch when there was no real competition. Not so this time. Xbox 360 will have its second-gen titles ready to go by the time of the PS3 launch and those games, particularly Gears of War from developer Epic Games, look amazing months before launch. The Nintendo Wii, while not a graphical powerhouse like the PS3 or Xbox 360, also has some promising launch titles, particularly Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Metroid Prime 3.
So what can Sony do about this? At this stage there is little that the company can do. The only short term solution is to announce an even lower price for the PS3 but that seems unlikely and it won't affect the fact that their launch title line-up is not looking up to speed. The only thing that might save the PS3 at this point is yet another multi-million selling exclusive game franchise that comes out of nowhere like Grand Theft Auto III did for the PS2 in 2001, one year after the launch of the console. Again the competition for such a game is much bigger (the next GTA game will launch for the PS3 and Xbox 360 at the same time next year for example) but if Sony can find that game it might be able to pull it off. At the moment, however, things look bleak and in our opinion we would rather spend our money this fall on upcoming Xbox 360 games and/or a Nintendo Wii and its titles than spend a whopping $600 on just hardware.
At this point, the biggest selling point of Sony’s PS3 console appears to be its Blu-Ray disc drive. That may not be enough for many gamers to plunk down $500 or $600 once the euphoria at launch dies down.
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Hear that? It's the sound of the largest computer chip manufacturer in the world churning out new processors to power your gaming rig. This week, Intel is launching their next generation of Core CPUs, code-named Ivy Bridge. Like last year's Sandy Bridge chips, they're low-power, quad-core powerhouses that also feature integrated graphics processors. Want to find out more? Maybe check out a whole bunch of performance benchmarks on both the CPU and graphics sides of things? Well you can, in today's review!
Intel Z77 Chipset & DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview
Looking forward to those new Ivy Bridge CPUs? In anticipation of their release later this month, Intel has already unveiled the new Series 7 chipsets designed especially to take advantage of what will be the 3rd-generation of Core processors. In today's article, we take a look at the architecture of the enthusiast variant, the Z77, and how it's used in the Intel Desktop Extreme DZ77GA-70K motherboard. Even if you're not particularly interested in the motherboard itself, you'll probably want to see some of the new features that come along with it, so read on!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!