Pachter: Next Gen Exclusives ‘Are really Important’, ‘Nintendo Leads By A Ton’

Pachter: Next Gen Exclusives ‘Are really Important’, ‘Nintendo Leads By A Ton’

The console war is about to kick-off again and securing exclusives will be the weapon of choice.

Wedbush Securities and long-standing videogame analyst, Michael Pachter believes that exclusives could be more important than ever before…

“Exclusives are really important. Nintendo leads by a ton, with around 30 proprietary titles (some smaller than others). Sony is a distant second with maybe 20, and Microsoft third with probably 10.”

“This all comes down to first party capability, and Nintendo will devote a lot of resources to owned IP. “

“The positions are unlikely to change much this cycle. Microsoft does some clever things, like getting 30-day exclusives on DLC, which I expect to continue. Few developers or publishers will be a to justify exclusives next cycle, so it really comes down to first party capability.”

Exclusives are set to become more important than you can possibly imagine.

The current-gen has gone on so long now that exclusives have fallen by the wayside –this year we’ve had Gears Of War: Judgment, that’s it – and as we look back at the PS3 and Xbox 360, it’s difficult to say what one console does differently to the other.

It used to be the games you could play and the online service that was provided and though PS3 players might contest that Sony’s console has a few exlcusives out this year, it doesn’t really matter anymore.

It’s all about the next-gen and though we only have basic idea how things will work the importance of exlcusive games is set to return to prominance as Microsoft and Sony prepare to battle, again (and we’ll leave Nintendo out of this).

Any new console relies on fresh IP to exploit the jump in technology, but we also have unprecedented interest in the current big name brands which Microsoft and Sony will no doubt want to exploit.

Pachter: Next Gen Exclusives ‘Are really Important’, ‘Nintendo Leads By A Ton’Can you imagine the pull a console would have with an audience if it could boast next-gen Call Of Duty and Battlefield exclusivity?

These are big numbers we’re dealing with here and securing a ready-made audience early on is exactly the sort of tactic that will ensure a consoles survival.

We might not know what next-gen games are being worked on behind the scenes but we can gurantee that the ‘Only On Xbox’ tag or something similar is far from disappearing.

Both Sony and Microsoft are gearing up for the biggest fight the gaming industry has ever seen and at the heart of this will be you the gamers and your favourite series; secure those with exclusives and it’s game over for the loser.

Castlevania Dev: ‘We’re Still Not Fully Exploiting The Current Gen’

Castlevania Dev: ‘We’re Still Not Fully Exploiting The Current Gen’The next-gen Xbox is close and the promise of eye-watering graphics is coming with it, but some developers believe there’s plenty of juice left in the Xbox 360.

Though this answer does vary depending on who you ask within the game’s industry, it’s easy to see why some developers are still more than happy to release their games in a year they know that they’ll be competing with next-gen titles.

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 is one of these games and it’s a good looking title, that much is obvious, but if the power of the next-gen consoles is to be believed, it could be about to look very out of date come November/December time.

But that doesn’t worry Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2’s producer David Cox.

Cox is one of the many developers that believe there’s more than enough juice left in the 360 and the transition between the two generations needn’t be as bumpy as some are predicting it could be.

We spoke to Cox at a recent Lords Of Shadow 2 event and asked what he thought about the shift to the next generation and the next-gen Xbox’s potential…

X360: Do you think we’ve seen the last drops of processing power squeezed out of the 360 hardware?

David Cox: We’re getting there, but there’s life in the old dog yet. We’re still not fully exploiting the potential of the current gen.

Graphically and in terms of size, CLOS 2 will certainly be pushing the 360 and PS3 hard. If you want to make a good game, you have to strive to go beyond what is expected of hardware – and Mercury Engine will be a real test.

Click here to view the embedded video.

X360: Are you at all concerned about potentially launching around a time when there’s such a buzz around the next generation?

Cox: Not at all. It’s not as if everyone is going to pack up their 360 or PS3 just because a new update is out. Historically, the lifespan of consoles continues alongside new machines.

The real hardcore will no doubt be early adopters, but they are also going to want to be playing the best games available for any format. CLOS2 more than falls into this category, no matter which console it is played on.

X360: What are your main hopes and expectations for next-gen hardware, and what excites you most about the prospect of developing for it?

Cox: We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Next-Gen Xbox Launch Games: Fable 4?

Next-Gen Xbox Launch Games: Fable 4?Dog, horse, now what? Beaver?

Microsoft is gearing up to reveal its new Xbox later this month (it’s seriously close now), but what games should we expect to launch with it?

Rumours circulating the internet seem to point towards a Project Gotham Racing revival, but what other Microsoft brands will make an appearance?

Will Fable, for instance, re-emerge on the next-gen Xbox as a launch title?

It has, after all, been a while since Lionhead released Fable: The Journey (or, The Horse as we like to call it) and the studio has had plenty of time to get a new project off the ground.

Even though it’s had to deal with the absence of Peter Molyneux, Lionhead is still part of the Microsoft inner-circle and you’d expect that it would have had access to dev kits (or even spec lists) before anyone else.

At least that’s what we’re speculating.

Here are 4 other reasons Fable 4 could be in the works and gearing up for the next-gen Xbox launch…

On Xbox 360? Nah…

Fable is an Xbox institution, and one that’s managed to maintain a positive relationship with its fans despite Kinect giving its best shot of ruining everything with Fable The Horse.

The thought of a next-gen Xbox arriving on the scene without a stellar line-up of triple-A games to draw in the crowds doesn’t bare thinking about. Fable is the perfect vessel to win over the RPG and fantasy crowds at launch.

No more Molyneux?

Lionhead has been working on something for well over a year now and with Molynuex’s surprise departure a long-distant memory, Fable 4 would be the perfect opportunity to prove that one man doesn’t make the studio.

There’s no denying that Molyneux’s influence on the series helped shape it, but there’s still a tremendous amount of talent at Lionhead (probably desperate to prove themselves, too).

Click here to view the embedded video.

Forget Kinect (probably)

Fable 4 has been rumoured to be in the works since before The Journey’s release and it was also suspected to mark a return to the controller.

Expecting a totally Kinect-free adventure is probably a bit much, though, and a combination of control pad and motion control is more likely. Let’s hope Kinect 2 is up to the task and Lionhead can be a bit more adventurous than it was with the dull controls of The Journey.

 MMO

Dare we say it… massively multiplayer? If Microsoft follows Sony’s lead and places its social networking infrastructure at the centre of the next-gen Xbox experience, an MMO Fable, or at the very least a Fable that utilises MMO qualities, would be a brilliant poster child.

Who wouldn’t want to explore a fully realised Albion and experience Fable’s unique RPG gameplay with others? Plus, just imagine all the wives you could have.

Xbox Infinity: 4 Reasons That Name Is Probably Nonsense

Xbox Infinity: 4 Reasons That Name Is Probably Nonsense Xbox Infinity has quickly emerged as the frontrunner when it comes to potential new names for Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox ahead of its May 21st reveal…

…but how likely is it that this is the real deal?

Sure, it’s got a logo and everything, and lots of official sources online seem to think it’s a good idea.

But we all know how easy they are to mock up and gain traction.

We’ve all spent the last two years looking at next-gen Xbox rumours and we’ve seen all sorts of names and brands bandied about…

  • The Xbox 720!
  • The Next Box!
  • The Durango! (though this one is claimed to be the console’s codename)
  • The Xbox Infinity!

Does that last one sound right? Are we going to see Microsoft pull back the curtain and unveil a shiny new console embossed with ‘Xbox Infinity’ and that fancy little logo?

Well, there are stranger names than Xbox Infinite out there and worse ones, too. But, there are a whole bunch of reasons why this particular logo and branding could easily be a fake.

Here are 4 reasons why we think the Xbox Infinity rumour is fake…

 

THE COLOUR’S WRONG

Xbox Infinity: 4 Reasons That Name Is Probably Nonsense That’s right, the colour. The Xbox green is a very specific shade of green and as anyone working in marketing will tell you, brand recognition relies on consistency and a recognisable design.

There’s no logical reason Microsoft would suddenly switch shades of green for its new console and risk losing that instant brand recognition.

Stuff like this takes years to cultivate and, in marketing terms, it’s worth its weight in gold.

Though it’s safe to assume some elements of the Xbox brand might go through some changes in order to distinguish itself from the previous consoles, an entirely different shade of green feels like a step too far away from the Xbox core that we’ve all come to associate with gaming (or more recently, bad Kinect games and TV apps).

 

THE BASELINE SHIFT IS OUT

It’s wrong, and not just because it’s different from any previous Xbox logo ever used.

The Infinity logo doesn’t have the care and attention that we’ve come to expect of a Microsoft logo, where even the smallest pixel has been placed specifically. Here each letter jumps about and is out of line with the rest of the logo. It’s subtle, granted, but it gives this logo away as being an unofficial mock-up.

If the baseline shift is all out of whack then we can safely file this logo under ‘fake’ and if that’s the case, why should we put weight behind this rumour?

We’re not averse to the Infinity brand in general, actually, of all the names that have emerged it’s among our favourite, but there’s been no indication that this is true.

For all we know it has been plucked from thin air and thrown onto the internet and the shoddy text work is just the first big indicator that this has nothing to do with Microsoft.

 

THE FONT

It’s different. That might not seem like a big deal, but as we explained above, brand recognition is key with stuff like this and even the smallest of changes can ruin the effect.

You have to get down to minute detail when it comes to this, but in the Xbox Infinite logo the ‘B’ is missing its little ‘wing’ that pokes out towards the ‘X’. That’s an important distinction.

Using a different font changes the feel of a brand and though it could be argued that’s exactly what Microsoft wants to do, and yes the logo changed between the last console generations, there’s no good reason it would change it this time.

There are only risks when it comes to a re-branding, even with a small re-branding like this. Changing the font (and we know this sounds pedantic) is a big deal.

The real question is, why change it? We can’t think of a good enough reason.

 

HAVEN’T WE ALREADY SEEN THE LOGO?

Xbox Infinity: 4 Reasons That Name Is Probably Nonsense Yes, we have. We had a glimpse into the future branding of the next-gen Xbox when Microsoft announced its May event and when the subsequent invites were sent out to the press.

Compare and contrast the official logo and this rumoured one and it’s easy to see that they’re worlds apart. What’s more likely is that the next-gen Xbox will have a variation on what was revealed along with the event’s date.

It’s a cleaner, crisper Xbox logo, but still instantly recognisable and clearly part of the same family as the previous console iterations. We sincerely doubt Microsoft will change things that much. But we’re open to suggestions…

All of these reasons remove credibility from the Xbox Infinite name.

These rumours apparently come from a Reddit insider who has confirmed the Xbox Infinite’s validity, but for us there are just too many things wrong with the image itself to believe that this is what Microsoft will be calling its new console.

Obviously, we reserve the right to totally go back on all of this if this turns out to be true, and, as we said, the Infinity name and concept isn’t the worst we’ve seen.

It’s actually a pretty good idea and the symbol itself makes a lot of sense.

Wolfenstein: The New Order – What The Trailer Tells Us

Wolfenstein: The New Order – What The Trailer Tells UsWolfenstein: The New Order skips the whole E3 circus and gets a jump on the announcements early, and it’s rather exciting, too.

Not only is this a return of a classic FPS series, which, granted might not have always maintained a high level of quality over the years, but there’s a lot of promise on display in its recent teaser.

The New Order’s trailer gives a good impression, but should we be excited by what is just another sequel to a long-running series that has arguably failed to recapture its magic for a few years now?

Well, let’s not rule anything out; in fact, there are a few indicators within The New Order’s trailer that are genuinely quite promising.

Here are the top 5 things that make us want to see more of Wolfenstein: The New Order…

01 It’s Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty

While that doesn’t sound like the best thing in the world, bear with us.

Turning Point was an awful game, but we’re sure most of you would agree that the actual idea behind it – advanced Nazis invade America – was pretty good. It was just the execution that was lacking.

The New Order looks like it’s taking this same set-up, adding in Nazi mechs and dressing it up in Wolfenstein clothes and then (hopefully) doing the idea justice. What’s not to like about any of that?

Click here to view the embedded video.

02 Forget the current-gen version

It’s all about the next-gen now, right?

Even when a game is in development for the Xbox 360, it’s pretty much a given that the next Xbox version is going to blow it out of the water, so why would you even consider looking at it running on the current-gen?

Cross-gen games are going to be an unfortunate reality for gamers (for at least the first few years of the next generation), but when it comes to FPS games, like Wolfenstein, the visuals are really important.

We doubt we’ll be able to go back to current-gen games once we’ve played a next-gen one. It’s going to be that different.

03 It’s more serious

Yes, it’s a cliché to say that something is going to be ‘darker’ or ‘more serious’, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to rebooting a series like Wolfenstein.

We doubt it could ever be too serious, its main character is called BJ, after all.

But it’s good to see that The New Order is going out on a limb and doing something a little bit at odds to what the series has done before. Even if it is a rather predictable mover overall.

Wolfenstein: The New Order – What The Trailer Tells Us04 Mech gameplay?

Hawken on PC has done a lot for the mech genre and with The New Order trailer ending with all those shiny Nazi mechs facing down on BJ, we can’t help but think that a next-gen mech game would be a really exciting proposition.

Especially when the horsepower of a new console could really go some way to making for some visually stunning gameplay.

Most mech games like Hawken are essentially FPSs anyway, why wouldn’t Wolfenstein keep its tradition of crazy weaponry and explosions by adding in mechs?

05 Is the trailer in-engine?

We obviously don’t mean the current-gen version of The New Order, but what’s to say that within this trailer we’re getting our first glimpse of Wolfenstein’s next-gen visuals?

Look closely and these could easily be in-development next-gen shots, giving a hint of the tech currently being used to render the game itself.

If anything, it does give us a good idea of The New Order’s art direction and with Wolfenstein finally stepping away from the WWII style, it’s refreshing to see a new take that could lead to one impressive looking game.

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