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Washington Post: Sony and Nintendo are not in-step with how the rest of the software industry works

ManaByte

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The confusion may also seem foreign to anyone who’s traditionally played video games only on consoles. But the PC and mobile spaces have trained millions of users on how software works in the modern world. People who buy “Stardew Valley” for their iPhone X don’t have to repurchase another “iPhone 12” version of the game when upgrading to an iPhone 12. You just get the same game on a different device. That’s the kind of cross-gen capability Xbox is shooting for — something Sony hasn’t been able to maintain.

Nintendo, meanwhile, operates on its own, indecipherable logic and doesn’t offer its consumers any choice in how to play old games besides either playing them on old devices or repurchasing them on the Nintendo Switch.

This is something I've been saying since Spencer took over. He was looking at how PC and mobile games work, where you only have to buy the game once; it travels with you to new devices and you don't have to pay to upgrade.

And the makes a great point that many here have been asking since the Horizon debacle:
These various upgrades raise the question: Just how valuable are the lines of codes that distinguish a PS4 or PS5 version of otherwise the exact same content? It’s not a question customers should be expected to answer, especially this early in the console generation. For now, Sony has an answer: That’ll be $10. The remaining questions include how developers will now address that $10 value attached to upgrading to a PS5 version, and whether that consistency and price is reasonable enough to keep players of both PS4 and PS5 happy.

He also brought up Cyperpunk on Twitter, pointing out how CDPR would be murdered if they tried to charge $10 to upgrade to the next-gen version when that version already exists on PC:
 

Hobbygaming

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Jun 16, 2019
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In the iphone example, is the same game sold for more if you have the iphone 12?


I don't like the 2 tier pricing, but logic is simple, if the ps5 version costs 10 bucks more, but they offer a free upgrade, it undermines the entire price structure. Why buy the ps5 version at all when you can get it 10 bucks cheaper. If the games cost the same, charging would be insane, but with the 2 tier price it only makes sense.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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No. Just like when you upgrade from a 2080 to a 3080 you don't have to pay $10 more to get raytracing in Doom Eternal.
Which is an arguement against the 2 teir price structure, but doesnt really apply to if a 10 dollar fee should apply if you want to change your 70 dollar item into an 80 dollar one

I agree its stupid to charge more for the ps5 version, but having the upgrade fee only makes sense since there is a 2 tier model. A free upgrade undermines the price structure
 
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Pejo

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I'm glad they didn't just glomp on to the latest bullshit from Sony and rightfully called Nintendo out on this shit too. The fact that you have to repurchase games for different virtual console access blows my mind. I can't believe that people didn't cause a stink about that back when it started.
 

Hendrick's

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In the iphone example, is the same game sold for more if you have the iphone 12?


I don't like the 2 tier pricing, but logic is simple, if the ps5 version costs 10 bucks more, but they offer a free upgrade, it undermines the entire price structure. Why buy the ps5 version at all when you can get it 10 bucks cheaper. If the games cost the same, charging would be insane, but with the 2 tier price it only makes sense.
How about not charging extra for patches of last gen games?
 

elliot5

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On PC it's the same copy of the game, requiring nothing from the developers.

This is a PS4 SKU of a game, completely different coding method and product than the PS5 version. Your argument doesn't make sense.
lol no? I've worked on a game for Xbox and PC and I can assure you it's the same shit with PS4 and PS5 (as ManaByte says its all x86 likely in C++ or C# for 99% of games) and you basically only have a different #ifdef for the target platform to load/use certain APIs...

You think a game built in UE4 or Unity are drastically different "coding methods" or products? You just package it for the target platform and that's basically it.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Unless it's a totally reworked next gen game, it should stay price parity with the last gen game.

Some resolution and/or frame rate boosts does not justify a $10 bump.

MS and Sony didn't jack up prices for PS4 Pro and One X games did they? Nope. Same price as the base system versions even though they got graphics boosts.
 
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GHG

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Yeh and the rest of the software (gaming/mobile) industry mostly produce trash so...

I Mean Yeah It Is What It Is 21 Savage GIF by Billboard Music Awards


The cyberpunk example in the OP is laughable, they couldn't get away with charging $10 extra if they tried given the circumstances of how they decided to launch the game on consoles, that's the real scam.
 

Dr Bass

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Its not the "same game." Yeah its the same "title" but the binaries and assets are different. More expensive assets = more expensive price.

BTW, why should the absolute market leaders be "in step" with people they are trouncing? That's about as a stupid an assertion as anyone can make.
 

MagnesG

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Not even counting PC, there are 2.2 BILLION people worldwide who play mobile games. Consoles are a tiny slice of the gaming industry.
Different ballgame. Big whales but less patience and is ruthless sometimes.

Even with subscriptions era, no chance for AAA games within the spectrum to grow in there.
 

GHG

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His example was using PC and mobile. Which have more people playing games than any console, even the PS2 or Switch, could ever dream of.

Just because there are more people playing on a certain platform it doesn't make it better. Should we ask for all the mobile gaming practices to carry over to all platforms?

The Stardew Valley example is a terrible one. It's the same game on all iPhones, the improved performance is by virtue of the newer hardware being better but the version of the game running on all phones is the same. Same thing goes for the PC, it's just that the end user has autonomy over the settings which enables further flexibility when you do hardware upgrades.

While Nintendo lack BC, Sony already provide exactly that as far as PS4 games go. If people are happy playing the PS4 version on their PS5 then they can stick with that and not have to pay any extra money.

I've never seen so much nonsense over $10 before. Would it be better if it were free? Of course. But at the end of the day nobody is being forced to pay it and the fact is you can still play the very same game on your new system without paying anything extra.

Also there are instances where this happens on PC and the message is and always will be the same - vote with your wallet:



At the end of the day it's a free market, "smart delivery" PR or no "smart delivery" PR. Developers/publishers are free to charge for upgrades/updates where they see fit and consumers are free to purchase or not purchase those upgrades/updates. As long as there is clarity and transparency surrounding the situation, whatever it may be, then I'm not seeing where the problem is.
 

FMX

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They wouldn't charge it if they didn't feel people would pay for it. They are in the business of making as much money as they can. No one is forcing people to pay the upgrade fee.
 

Ol'Scratch

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At what point did gamers become bitches? What was the event horizon?
Spending all day "wah titties" "Wah not my console" "way too many white people" "wah my hobby which I choose to do and am not entitled to anything is not how I like it"
Just don't play games, do not buy games, do not support company A or B or C but for fuck sake why do people thing anyone else gives a shit. Blogs and opinion pieces being treated as "journalism" and creating celebrities from idiots who know a guy who knows a guy and knows how to use a video editor enough to fill a youtube channel.
 
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Nautilus

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The difference being that, for PC and mobiles, you dont have to significallt rework the games to make them work on newer models/generations.They*kind of* already do out of the bat.

Thats not the case with dedicated gaming consoles.People are too entitled nowadays, and thats usually why its a nightmare to deal with non-corporate customers/buyers.
 

ZehDon

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Oh boy, th defence force is on point today.

In the world of video games in 2021, there is no justification for charging for "next gen upgrades". Period. Platform recompilations are trivial, and its clear that Sony is hoping people's lack of understanding on this gets done will let them milk their customers. This is simply Sony picking its hill to die on; Sony wants to establish the USD$70.00 price point for its games, because it knows if it can just get people to accept it, the long term financial gain significantly outweighs the short term bad press they'll endure in the process. Sony played the PS4 generation as "for the players" and build a mountain of goodwill. Now, it wants to cash in and get paid.

On the other front, looking at backwards compatibility, Nintendo has been putting in zero effort in maintaining its historical catalogue of games for decades. Its fans do more via emulation and preservation than Nintendo has ever done. And this is because Nintendo knows it doesn't have to, and that people will pay whatever they want. They treat their games like Disney does with the Disney Vault; utilising FOMO and artificial scarcity, they can charge premium prices for decades old games and everyone just accepts it because there is no alternative.

In both cases, the PC space clowns both Sony and Nintendo's approaches - both to backwards compatibility and to "next gen upgrades". This shit straight up doesn't fly in the PC space, and PC gamers are right to laugh at this type of bold faced greed. To that end, Microsoft has once again simply brought the PC mentality to the console space, and as a result its backwards compatibility work is second to none, and its smart delivery system is now the gold standard for how this shit gets handled. All Microsoft had to do was implement PC-style handling of these things and they've instantly made fools of Nintendo and Sony on both fronts. It's good to see Sony and Nintendo taking heat for their outdated and antiquated approaches that no one should accept. Their fans shouldn't be defending USD$30.00 re-releases of old games they already own, or USD$10.00 "next gen upgrades". They should be demanding better.
 
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elliot5

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The difference being that, for PC and mobiles, you dont have to significallt rework the games to make them work on newer models/generations.They*kind of* already do out of the bat.

Thats not the case with dedicated gaming consoles.People are too entitled nowadays, and thats usually why its a nightmare to deal with non-corporate customers/buyers.
You do not need to significantly rework a game on modern consoles to make them work.
 

Ol'Scratch

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You do not need to significantly rework a game on modern consoles to make them work.
I would love to hear your programming experience?
I am so burnt out on armchair experts and hypocrites telling everyone how it is. The forums here and elsewhere are filled with gamers who pile on every singe price glitch, who pile on things like the Gamepass pricing glitch, sharing accounts and countless other things which are high fived but then people still think that they are owed anything special just because they have a twitter account now and think they have a voice.
 
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Tschumi

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Nintendo can get away with it because their IP is ridiculously strong. With Sony, I'm not so sure. We'll see.
Iiiiii dunno, Sony's IP is pretty ironclad imo, it's just based less on mascots and cutesy franchises and more on hardware and design thereof...

EDIT: i'm not comparing the two approaches, just highlighting the difference
 
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Nautilus

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You do not need to significantly rework a game on modern consoles to make them work.
But there is still work involved, far more than PC and Mobile anyway.And its not an irrelevant cost. MS is doing the whole Smart Delivery stuff as a marketing stunt, not out of the kindness out of their heats.They are by far the last of the Big Three in terms of hardware sales and brand recognition.I bet they are losing quite a sum of money with these "free" upgrades.

Plus, like someone else already said, its not like its free on PC and mobiles - Its expensive as hell to upgrade your phone or rig.So even with the console "fee", you still pay way less, and thats for a game that you already played once.(not sure why you would be playing it again)
 

tmlDan

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As many have said, they are NOT the same game like on mobile platforms.

You all have the choice to buy the PS4 version and play that forever...don't pay the $10 and move on.

Why is this contentious, this is small brained by Gene I expect better...maybe he's getting old and senile.