5 Points of Gaming: The VR Wars

Last week was boring, huh? The biggest piece of news was something or other about a version of the Xbox One controller being more popular than expected. Listen, I have no problem covering obscure news on this feature, but downright snoozers like that are hardly good candidates for 500+ intelligent and meaningful words. Yes, that does require the assumption that what I write is intelligent or meaningful, but I’d like to at least pretend, OK! Anyways, this most recent week was a lot easier to recap, as things actually happened, how exciting!

1: The Long Point: The VR Wars:

I need to start writing my bright ideas down more. Y’know what my first thought of VR was when everyone was debating over whether it would change gaming or simply be a gimmick? My first thought was ‘Wow, that’s some new tech. There’s no way that’s going to be cheap.’ Lo and behold, the Oculus Rift just started accepting orders for the first round of pre-orders, with the initial price being six hundred dollars. Now, keep in mind that the Rift also needs a platform to run the games, specifically a PC. Even more specifically, a good PC according to the recommended specs on their sight. Now, I’m no expert on these matters, but by my estimates, the PC they recommend is north of 800 quite easily, perhaps north of 1000 dollars even with the bare minimum. Now you’re adding in another piece of tech that costs 600, at the moment, that adds up to a cool 1600ish.

Now, again, I have no interest in arguing the merits or viability of the device, I haven’t tried it, and it hasn’t been used by the majority of consumers. However, what I can say without doubt is that at 600 dollars, this thing will sell worse than the Kinect at release. No, I’m not implying it’s worse, but I am implying two things. The first one is quite simple, just looking at the concept as a non-serious gamer, it looks gimmicky and buggy and worse than a monitor. While I know better than that, I doubt the perception will change, in fact, I think it will get worse. Taking a look at the amount of competition in VR that has arisen from the likes of Sony, Oculus might be in a tooth and nail fight against some very big companies. Much like an election, both sides are bound to be smeared by the opposition, and I just can’t see this ending well for the company run by Facebook charging 600 bucks.

The second reason, and the more important, is the idea of momentum. You see, when the Wii released, it was new. The technology was never great, and the games varied in their playability, but it was a new and exciting idea. At the time, information was a lot less easily spread, the internet was there but not a necessity, and as a consequence, releases felt a lot more spontaneous. As a result, the Wii was massively successful, leading to aberrations such as the Kinect being made in response. That being said, Oculus seems to have lost that idea of momentum. When the Rift was first funded, the idea was quite the new thing. Everyone saw it as the realization of ideas such as ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Tron’. Now, after years of development, there are so many different ones being developed and demo’ed that the whole thing just comes off as mundane. Yes, the idea is still cool. No, Rift no longer seems like the best option, and something tells me bigger companies are going to release more competitively priced tech and drive them out of the market. Consider that my official prediction.

2: The Not Quite as Cool as the First Point: Lightning is a fashion model…:

Why? Why are they paying Square Enix to use a model of a universally hated character for modeling clothes?! I mean, seriously, I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because my extent of clothes shopping is buying identical pairs of jeans and flannels and calling it good, but who would look at Lightning modeling clothes, with her cotton candy hair and plastic-looking skin and go ‘Boy, that looks good, I’ll buy that!’ Yes, this is relevant news, even for those who would be happy if they could just wear no clothes everywhere.

The last thing that anyone should want is Square Enix getting the impression that one of the most painfully boring and awful characters is popular. Square Enix is the equivalent of Konami, minus the terrible PR ability. There, I said it. Now, when Kona- I mean Square Enix sees that they can sell Lightning as a fashion model, they automatically assume that she wasn’t the problem with Final Fantasy, though she was, just not the only one. Now all I can see is a million more Final Fantasy’s with Lightning droning on and on about boring plot things, with me falling asleep as she twirls in her designer outfit. All I can do is shake my head…

3: The Utility Point: Left 4 Dead 3

Despite this week being more interesting than the last, it’s still not all that interesting past the VR news. Which is why the article is going to be a lot shorter than normal, as neither of the co-features merit that much discussion. Case in point, ‘Left 4 Dead 3’. Man, who cares? Really, honestly, who thinks Valve can actually still make games? And even if they can, who think ‘Left 4 Dead 3’ is going to be better than ‘Vermintide’? Honestly, I find this rumor hard to believe. The idea of Valve making games again seems to be nothing more than that, an idea. Listen, if I’m running one of the most lucrative marketplaces that has a monopoly on one of the biggest platforms in one of the fastest growing markets, I don’t waste money on developing new games. Especially when those new games run the risk of being not good, or simply viewed as boring. Let’s put it like this, I’ll believe ‘Left for Dead 3’ being a thing when it’s announced, but even then, I could care less about it existing.

4: The Funny Point: Sony

OK, I’ve got a joke for you. Once upon a time, a company tried to copyright a commonly used term and failed. Can you guess who and what they were tyring to copyright? If you guessed King Games and ‘Saga;, you’d be wrong. No, Sony is trying to copyright the term ‘Let’s Play’. I’ll let that sink in.

Yes, it’s as silly as it sounds. No, it won’t succeed. Perhaps they’re scumbags, but there’s something quite hilarious in there brashness that makes me not hate them. It’s like a toddler showing off his ability to count. Yea, they’re attempting, but it’s not likely they get too far.

5: Company of the Week: Sony

Welcome to the doldrums of January, where nothing happens. Remember when we had all the exciting Konami stuff, and all the other news to talk about? Now, all I can do is name Sony the shittiest company for some pretty bad reasons. The hack of PSN and trying to trademark ‘Let’s Play’. Yea, I mean it all seems kinda silly in comparison to some of the shit that normally happens, huh? Well, that’s January for you. Like one AAA game releases, and companies go into a slumber. Hopefully Konami sticks their heads out of the sand next week to do something interesting, otherwise we might have to resort to just talking about Transistor, a game I played recently, or something. I mean, no one, except me, wants that!

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