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Friday, October 4, 2013
This holiday season, gamers are more likely to unwrap a PlayStation 4 than an Xbox One, according to new predictions from IDC.
The research firm this week forecast that Sony's next-generation console will "edge out" Microsoft's Xbox One in sales over the holidays. The prediction was based on a variety of factors, most notably the PS4's lower price point.
The PS4 will hit store shelves in North America on Nov. 15 for $399, while Microsoft's Xbox One launches on Nov. 22 for $499. While it's $100 more expensive, Redmond's option comes bundled with the new Kinect.
IDC's predictions coincide with a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, which found that more U.S. shoppers are eyeing the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox One. More than a quarter of the almost 1,300 people surveyed said they are likely to purchase Sony's upcoming PlayStation; only 15 percent chose the Xbox One.
Meanwhile, IDC also predicted that worldwide game console shipments will be up in 2013 for the first time since 2009. The firm predicted that the number of game console bundles shipped worldwide in 2013 will be "marginally higher" than the 2012 total of approximately 33 million bundles.
As for other trends, connected console channels like Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store are expected to drive more download revenue than PCs for the first time this year. Moreover, subscription revenue from connected consoles is on the rise this year, while subscription-based PC game revenue (from games like World of Warcraft) is declining.
"The number of online console gamers around the globe is on pace to exceed 165 million by 2017," IDC gaming research manager Lewis Ward said in a statement. The Chinese government's recent decision to lift the ban on consoles will also be good news for the gaming industry, leading to millions of additional hardware bundle sales, he said.
Oct.1st marks the launch of GTA Online. While you'd think that'd mean a return to the excitement levels of when you first started your story mode adventure, it isn't as perfect as you might hope.
The first thing you can do before connecting to GTA Online is create a character. In many other games this is a fun process, but not in GTA Online. Instead of being able to select your skin color, face type, features, etc., you're given choices on your heritage. These values include your Mom's Mother, Mom's Father, Dad's Mother, Dad's Father, and how much you resemble each. Your choice of what your grandparents and parents look like (supposedly) translates to what your appearance is. It might sound cool but it really isn't. If these character looked anything in the realm of normal it'd be acceptable, but instead you choose between varying levels of meth addiction and disfigurement. You're given no option but to battle with arbitrary sliders until you find the least idiotic looking character possible.
The character creation should have one focus, and that's to let you create a character you'd like to be represented as in the virtual game world. Unfortunately, it doesn't succeed. After losing my created character twice due to server issues, each time I found myself making the best bad-looking person possible. To think that others might believe I actually look like that is sort of insulting.
As if the character modeling wasn't bad enough, choosing your starting stats is a similar mess. Selecting your stats directly is instead replaced with choices such as how many hours you sleep per day, how often you work out, and whether or not you sit on the couch a lot. It's unnecessarily cumbersome, and since each option ties to stat changes, all it means is you spending time figuring out which options affect which stats and adjusting accordingly. Isn't this sort of design methodology something that died several gaming generations ago?
The entire process of making a character in GTA Online goes against all the principles that make GTA V so great. What happened during development, and how it got through testing is beyond me. Thankfully, once you make your clown of a character you can enjoy the beautiful and outstanding world of Los Santos with others. Well, assuming you can connect, of course.
What people are saying about Rockstar's HORRIBLE Online Character Customization:
"Yeah... I wish it had Saints Row character creator. All the grandmas and grandpas to choose from suck ass. I think I am going to find a lot of characters that will look similar to mine"
"Yeah what is up with that? It's far from a deal breaker but seriously, why did they do it like that? It seems so stupid lol"
"I've been randoming characters and they all either look like Danny Glover or some smug hipster asshole, lol."
"I'm really disappointed in it. Like none of the choices feel like they actually make much of a difference. I don't know, maybe the females are just really limited."
"So do the grandparents/parents contribute to anything except how you look? It would be kind of cool if they appeared in-game but seems like a really strange way of just changing your appearance."
"Who cares about playing online. First I gotta make sure that my character doesn't look like a burn victim."
"Yes characters are being deleted over and over, Rockstar is fixing on that, they're only humen just give them time. Should be a patch tomorrow. On the side not yea your character looks fugly but it sure beats gta4 "creation" style. It's weird but it's different, but who gots time to look at urself when you're killing and robbing people!"
I randomise until my charecter doesn't look like michael jackson, this realy is shit, the person who came up with this concept should be shot in the foot"
"I was so goddamn excited for custom GTA characters. Pfft.
While it's certainly a new, interesting approach, if they were going to go this route they need far more options, and less fugly ones at that. We've been trying to make a foxy black woman for a half hour now. Every woman looks transgender (which is fine, just not what I'm going for), and double that for every non-white woman. I actually find it insulting on a number of levels. Worst ever in a game this century, no exaggeration."
"This is the stupidest/shittiest character creator made, I have seen in any game. Perhaps the worst ever in a video game.......
"chipface-z This is the stupidest character creator ever made. I'd say R* should learn a lesson from Saints Row ". I agree"
"This character creation is the worst than any other game I have ever played."