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The High Cost of Gaming

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the wallet-in-pain-must-get-doctor dept.

The Almighty Buck 115

MTV Games is reporting on the financial pinch next-gen gamers will feel now that the 360 is out. $60 games are drawing frustrations from both sides of the gaming industry. From the article: "Many developers and publishers say the reason for the price hike is simple: Next-gen games, because of graphics, coding, voice acting, cinema scenes and everything else gamers expect, cost more to make. 'As a studio we can certainly speak to the amount of man hours and increase in staffing for next-generation content,' said Cord Smith, the producer of February 2006 car-combat title 'Full Auto.' 'As a gamer, it seems like it costs a lot to enter this new generation.'"

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Market Size (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153105)

I don't know shit about console games, but wouldn't it be logical to expect next gen game's prices to fall as the 360's userbase increases, therefore increasing the size of the market? I mean, all the launch titles will be outdated before there's decent market penetration.

You on drugs? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153271)

No, no it wouldn't. The object here it to make money, not please a group of people that while bitching to High Heaven about the prices of this or that consumer toy, will continue to fork over the cash-ola. Why the Hell would they lower the price? You on drugs?

It only seems like a lot (5, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153130)

If you adjust for inflation, it's not really as much as it was in previous generations. I remember when Street Fighter 2 came out for SNES. That game was $70! So the new games for XBox 360 cost $60. Adjusted for inflation, that's less than what SF2 cost when it first came out. Or we can look at price as a percentage of yearly wage. Still, it's less than what it used to be.

Re:It only seems like a lot (4, Funny)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153156)

And also, even _without_ adjusting for inflation 60 is still less than 70.

Re:It only seems like a lot (2, Insightful)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153208)

The difference now is that we are no longer paying for the cost of the media. Back then it cost a fortune to produce just the cartdriges then CDs came along and made things cheaper. Now prices are going up to make games "better" but somehow I don't believe spending millions on hiring good voice actors and adding flashy effects is what should be the focus of game design. The focus should be on the game itself and in some cases the story. Paying this much money for games that offer little to no actual gameplay value over previous titles is rediculous in my opinion.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 8 years ago | (#14157140)

Now prices are going up to make games "better" but somehow I don't believe spending millions on hiring good voice actors and adding flashy effects is what should be the focus of game design. The focus should be on the game itself and in some cases the story.

So true. I *think* I am a gamer, but I don't feel like one when I read stuff like "Next-gen games, because of graphics, coding, voice acting, cinema scenes and everything else gamers expect, cost more to make". I don't expect voice acting and cinema scenes. Heck, I'd expect LESS cinema scenes. What I do expect though is to have fun, be it alone or with a bunch of friends on the sofa. Politicians (*cough* Clinton *cough*) keep bitching games are more influential than movies because they are interactive. Because of all those cutscenes, games become less and less interactive. It shouldn't be long till all we can do is *watch* a game.

Either I don't fit into the "gamers" category, or the game companies have no idea what a gamer wants. How about some good gameplay this time around? I guess Nintendo is the only one to actually have a clue.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

ShibaInu (694434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14157339)

A great example of this is Civ IV. We get Leonard Nemoy doing voice work, a special soundtrack, Sid Mier doing a walk through, etc. Does it make the game itself better? No! I could give a shit if Spock tells me what tech I've just discovered!

I wonder how much of the ~$50 cost of the game goes to paying for the fluff?

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153645)

This is just another way that Micro$oft is trying to screw the entire economy, and send us all into the poor-house.

Those money-grubbers from Redmond are ONLY concerned about one thing!

From the article
At the launch of the 360, only the Microsoft-developed "Perfect Dark Zero," "Project Gotham Racing 3" and "Kameo: Elements of Power" are available for what has been the industry-standard price of $50. Titles from Electronic Arts, Sega, 2K Sports, Ubisoft and Activision all cost $5-$10 more than that.


What? It wasn't Microsoft that was sticking it to us? How can that be?!? All the cool guys on Slashdot say they are the WORST company in the world...

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153847)

Ah, but Microsoft is still sticking it to you. You see, while their profit margin may be worse, they still make that profit, and they make that profit more, by reducing the pricing. Hence, it all evens out, but your opinion on Microsoft's business practices waver, simply because of this inconsequential thing. They're making a terrific loss on this, anyways.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155977)

Yes, by selling more products at a lower price they sure are sticking it to you. Oh, by the way, you're a moron.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

Slow Smurf (839532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154608)

They're cutting out a person, maybe microsoft doesn't let you make a profit on 50 dollar games if you aren't them right now?

I don't know how much the liscense costs, but what if they're charging people higher than they did before, thus the publishers either make a *lot* less money, or charge more for games? Doesn't bother microsoft made games.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154666)

I was always under the impression that industry standard was $59.95/game.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155816)

ACK, for handhelds, at least the Nintendo ones its the same, GBA games where around 40-50EUR, while DS games are now 30-40EUR. Today there are also a lot of Platinum, Player or whatever Editions of games that cost only half the original price, in times of SNES such stuff simply wasn't there. On the PC its even better, wait a few month and almost any game will drop to 10-15EUR. Games these days are quite a bit cheaper then they used to be, so from that standpoint there is little to complain about. Sure on the other side the XBox seems to be the console with the most expensive games, but those who not like that should simply buy a Gamecube instead or wait for the Revolution.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

matlokheed (602233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155998)

Street Fighter 2 also wasn't your average unaccepted launch title. It had people constantly pouring quarters into the arcade machines, so a home version would've sold at almost any sane price.

Re:It only seems like a lot (1)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156099)

If you adjust for inflation, it's not really as much as it was in previous generations. I remember when Street Fighter 2 came out for SNES. That game was $70!

Ah yes, but nearly all other consumer goods have dropped in price massively. SFII came out in 92. back then, a 21 inch TV would cost well over £400. I bought my first CD album about the same time, it cost something like £17. A video player cost £200. A video tape of a movie, £12 or more.

Nowadays, I can walk onto woolworths this afternoon and pick up a 34 inch TV for £200, a DVD player for £35, 3 DVD movies for £20, and a CD for a tenner. That's more stuff, some of it of a higher quality, and all for less than £300. That's 3 quarters of what I would have paid for an inferior TV 13 years ago.

New video games though, have barely moved in price over the same period.

Re:It only seems like a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14156485)

You lost me at £400. How much was street fighter in £?

Costly games (1)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153133)

"Next-gen games, because of graphics, coding, voice acting, cinema scenes and everything else gamers expect, cost more to make."

This is only partially true. The cost of games is up, however the industry's profits are so massive that it would really just barely eat into them to cover the advancing demands for quality and developement.
The real reason that prices are being driven up is because forecasts for industry earnings foretell another crash of the market within the next 2 - 5 years. The decision to fix prices on games is so earnings can stay up for the those select few that stand to make a good amout of profit (EA executives Bing Gordon, Larry Probst, I'm looking at you) can come out ahead when everything falls apart, and the only people standing to lose anything are the developers and their jobs.

That's about it.

Re:Costly games (2, Interesting)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153666)

I haven't payed $40.00 for a game since The Sims.
If I buy a game, I'm checking EBGames, eBay, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, wherever, and I'm finding the cheapest copy I can get. Most of the games I buy are older, simply because they're cheaper, great games, and I've never had the chance to play them.
Who's going to pay $60.00 for a game when there are plenty of excellent games you can grab for $5.00-$20.00?
Would I pay $30.00 or $40.00 for a new game I was anticipating? Sure, I guess so.
Any more than that, and more than $200.00 for the console, is just plain greedy.

Re:Costly games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14153708)

You don't really understand the industry.

Certainly for a game like Halo 2 or Grand Theft Auto 3 which has world wide sales in the 10 million range (meaning a published cut in the $100 Million range) there are 10 games which cost a similar ammount to produce and have a fraction of the sales. In this upcomming generation your Turok game will suddenly cost 4X as much to make it (due to the increasing costs of technical and artistic development) but its sales will not increase at all.

The industry will crash but unlike the Atari days it will not be because people stop playing games; the vast majority of gamers will (are already but on a smaller scale) become sick of playing the same game with prettier graphics. Doom 3 and Quake 4 were excellent games but, because they were so similar to other games, were really borring and thus disapointed many people from their userbase. The crash will be that many larger publishers and developers (Rockstar, EA, Id, Edios, etc.) will suddenly experiance a drastic drop in game sales after they have spent unprecidented ammounts on several games; these large scale public failures, combined with the enevitable financial troubles for developers and publishers hit hardest by the change in tastes, will cause analysts to proclaim that the industry has crashed.

I don't think it is hard to imagine that sometime between now and 2010 there will be a financial year where several big publishers release several anticipated games, that had massive budgets, that absolutely flop.

Re:Costly games (1)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154084)

I work in the industry, and have for 10 years now. We do not need to charge $60 a game to make ends meet. We could get by charging $20 per game and still turn a profit. I understand it very well.

Re:Costly games (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155541)

I don't think it is hard to imagine that sometime between now and 2010 there will be a financial year where several big publishers release several anticipated games, that had massive budgets, that absolutely flop.

I think this is a practical impossibility. With enough money spent on marketing, consumers will buy anything. With magazines accepting bribes left right an dcenter, and combined with the fact that joe gamer really can't tell a good game from a bad one, it seem highly unlikely that the industry will bomb due to lack of consumer demand. You would have to burn a lot of people really, really hard, by releasing a big budget title that genuinely utterly and completely sucked, with absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. For Joe average however, shiny graphics are a redeeming features, so as long as you've got those, you'll never flop.

console-vs-PC (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153138)

If the higher standards really do take extra man hours, is that one of the reasons why PC gaming was somewhat in decline compared to consoles? (eg. 720p at 1280x720 is much more akin to PC resolutions) Or are those comments rubbish?

Re:console-vs-PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14153461)

Yes, the cost of game development has risen dramatically. That's why the (smaller) PC market is pretty much confined to (A) Sure fire hit sequels and (B) MMPORGs with monthly fees (and increasingly (C) Console ports).

Bigger Graphics mean Bigger Price? (2, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153493)

This is rubbish. If you go by the logic that 'better graphics/voice acting = higher price tag' then console games should have dropped to $30 for a brand new, day its released game during the PS2/Xbox/GC era. Most console games flat-out have awful graphics, poor textures and low resolutions. That alone should justify a $10 cut but it doesnt happen. Vice versa, PC games with their resolutions commonly reaching 1600*1200 the least, often times requiring a hardware upgrade just to reach 60 frames per second, hardware stress-testing graphics should cost $60~$80 by now. Same thing for voice acting, music, and the extra cost of developing for new hardware (if you add $10 for each hardware generation since the Atari 2600 we should be paying over $100 for a game by now.)

Re:Bigger Graphics mean Bigger Price? (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153897)

Vice versa, PC games with their resolutions commonly reaching 1600*1200 the least, often times requiring a hardware upgrade just to reach 60 frames per second, hardware stress-testing graphics should cost $60~$80 by now.

First off, I would note that some big PC games have debuted at about $60. They usually quickly fall to $50 but PC games at $60 would be nothing new. More important to the comparison of price between PC and console is the issue of licensing. Developers/publishers don't have to pay a dime to Microsoft (apart, perhaps, from buying development tools) to release a game for Windows. For console games, a piece of every game sale goes back to Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. Depending on who you ask (I suspect it depends on specific agreements between publishers and console companies, and it's not common public knowledge) publishers are paying $5-10 per unit to the console manufacturer. That's a pretty hefty cut out of potential profits, and it's the biggest reason (besides the desire to increase sales) you see price drops happen for PC games much more quickly than for console games.

And, finally, both the console and PC gaming markets are significantly larger than they were in the past. This, perhaps even more than the change in physical media, is the biggest reason that prices have remained so stable over the years. Assuming the market begins to plateau somewhat it's perfectly reasonable for prices to go up. I'd argue that it's probably long overdue - annoying to me as a gamer but very reasonable in terms of realstic business.

Re:Bigger Graphics mean Bigger Price? (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154430)

Actually, the change in physical media should have caused a rise, followed by a drop in prices. As cartridges grew more expensive in price due to memory costs, prices should have increased (and they did, to an extent).

However, the flaw in this is the flip side. If prices increased due to cartridge costs, then prices should have DROPPED when the PS1 popularized CDs as the new storage format. Moreso with DVDs, you don't even need to print multiple CDs anymore, one copy = one DVD. Instead we get Microsoft trying to jack us over with this just because companies aren't happy with the profit margins they get already.

Re:Bigger Graphics mean Bigger Price? (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154578)

Your mistake is that you're looking at the price of the CD/DVD/cartridge as if it existed in a bubble instead of as one small piece of the cost puzzle. Developers very quickly started developing more and "better" (increased audio/visual fidelity) content to fill up the CDs and they've continued to do so with DVDs. Doing so costs money - over time becoming more money than the cost difference between a CD/DVD and a cartridge. Imagine, for example, the difference between a game composer writing music and feeding it into a synthesizer for a small-capacity cartridge game versus a composer writing music and then hiring an orchestra for a CD. You could argue that you don't need the fancy music, just as you might argue that games don't need highly-detailed character models and textures. But most people would rather play a gorgeous fun game with great music over a 320x240 sprite-based fun game with bleeps and bloops.

Whatever cost advantage was realized with the advent of the game CD was overtaken within just a couple short years by the cost of developing the content to fill up a CD. In that vein, you might want to thank Microsoft for slowing things down a bit by sticking with DVD considering that games, traditionally, have expanded to fit the storage media. Things will go to an even crazier level if developers feel the need to fill up 18- or 36-GB PS3 Blu-Ray discs.

Re:Bigger Graphics mean Bigger Price? (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155172)

No, now you're simply setting double standard. If development costs rise due to better graphics and music as you say, then the price to buy a NES game should be low since the music would be written, composed and implemented by one man. Sprite graphics? We have fan-made sprites that could pass off for officially made ones these days. Don't forget, development teams that hit the double digits during the Nintendo age were considered to be huge. Look at the staff lists on handheld games, you usually have the same name appear 2 or 3 times in different listings. Just look at the staff listing for The Legend of Zelda for the NES. A staff with 12 listings, 3 of which are filled by Shigeru Miyamoto alone.

As for developers feeling the 'need' to fill whatever data mediums are used, just look at how much actual space is used in a PS2 or Xbox game. Most of them never use half the disc in terms of raw data (GTA3 is something like 1.5 gigs, Halo 2 is around 3 gigs). On top of that, some of that data is nothing more than buffer for FMVs to be streamed off the DVD/CD due to weak hardware (see: PS1 and PS2).

Ssssh you are upsetting the console monkey's (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153616)

You see consoles are cheaper that is why you get games like "Fable", "Morrowind", "Knight of the old republic" wich sell for 10 euros extra for the console version yet come with less content. Fable PC had extra chapters, Morrowind the whole user created content and Kotor an extra space station and some goodies.

More content, lower price. Welcome to the wonderfull world of game economics.

The reason could be that game companies look at their respective userbases and decide wich userbase is most likely to be stupid enough to pay more for less.

Or perhaps the reason is that the console version has to recover the licensing cost. MS doesn't get a penny for a pc game but they certainly get paid for an X-box game.

As for the cost increasing because of either inflation or higher production costs. If the industry was working properly this would be offset by increased market share meaning they would have more copies of the games being sold to spread the cost over.

Games are not normal product. They are a luxury item partly bought by parents for kids and adding yet another 10 (your currency here) is likely to at least make parents think twice. Especially in a down economy. The 5th of december in holland is sinterklaas, the day to give gift to each other like christmas in is in the rest of the world, and the PSP has NOT BEEN SOLD OUT for two weeks now. The original rush was the game fanatics buying it but this was too early for the holiday season buying. Only the most together parents would have started shopping that early.

I am no analyst but this leads me to believe that many a kid is not going to find the PSP in his shoe (Sinterklaas uses shoes, Santa stockings). Part reason? The high price for the games. Come on, most of the games are rehashes, the are smaller without such niceties as voice acting and yet cost more then full pc games?

Oh and a further tell-tale sign that the cost of production has little to do with the cost of games. How can every game cost exactly the same amount to produce? What do I mean? Well if cost of production detemines price and every game is priced the same then the cost of production must be equal.

No games are priced for what the market can bare. Then some daring company raises it by 10 and if it works slowly other companies will follow. Price hikes like the euro introduction work wonders too.

I think that the game industry is just shooting itself in the foot again. With copy protection just a fantasy does the industry really want to raise the barrier against simply buying the game? Anyone want to take bets on how long it will take before the 360 is hacked?

Re:Ssssh you are upsetting the console monkey's (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154075)

I don't really know, but it is also possible that console games require a heck of a lot more testing - after all there's basically no way to patch them at this point. PC games, on the other hand, can be easily patched when flaws are discovered.

Re:Ssssh you are upsetting the console monkey's (1)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154455)

Unless, of course, you happen to be using a next gen system with a centeral internet service like .. say .. Microsofts X-Box Live on the 360.

Although it's true that Console games in general are still held to a higher standard before being released, there have been plenty of patches to XBox games in this generation (the big live games get a patch or two at some point in their life-cycle).

Besides, it isn't like the coding for patches is done by volunteers. I'm sure compainies build the estimated cost of continued development into their price, and a team of programmers probably costs more then a few game testers.

just wait (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153144)

The solution is to wait a few months after release before you buy a game. It's really not that hard to do.

Re:just wait (1)

bleaknik (780571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153412)

While I am the king of frugal gaming, the economics of this don't quite work.

If no one wants to buy the game at the initial price, the developers don't have any incentive to drop the prics of the game. No incentive to drop the price means that the game's price remains high, and then no one ever buys it. No one buys it... No money to finance the next project.

I hope this theory works out, though. It'd be nice to see developers like EA take dive....... :D

Re:just wait (2, Informative)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153566)

If no one wants to buy the game at the initial price, the developers don't have any incentive to drop the prics of the game.

Nobody buying the game is the incentive to drop the price. Are you sniffing glue? You are, aren't you?

Re:just wait (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153694)

It's not a problem with most games. There are plenty of people willing to fork over $40.00 or $50.00 for a new game without even blinking an eye. Three months later the game costs $20.00, maybe less if it sucked.

Re:just wait (1)

bleaknik (780571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153865)

Hi. My Name is New Game Developer. I just made a game that cost me $2,000,000. I want to sell as many games as I can to recoup my costs. What? My game isn't selling because it sucks? I'd better drop the price and expect people to pay a lower price for the same EA brand--erm. I mean quality game.

Facetiousness aside... Developers have to recover their investment one way or another. If they can hold off and recover their cost by keeping the price high, then so be it. Sometimes it's in their best interest, though, to sell the game at a lower price. It's how economics work. One way or another, they need to make their money back, and it's either going to be through a high price tag or a very large volume of sales. /shrug.

OR right away... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155338)

look for sales during the first week like at Fry's Electronics. Check those ads! Some Best Buy has sales too. Check them!

the little guys found the market (1)

KingPrad (518495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153149)

Are gamers such a homogenous group that they all demand these same things? I know a lot of gamers do like the super-intense state of the art games, but surely there are segments of the market other than this! A lot of gamers are getting older too, and more older people are starting to play, and I think they would be very happy with good graphics (rather than superb) and good gameplay. I think only the small independent developers are providing these games, though. The internet lets gamers and developers find each other easier. It's a market the big players don't bother with, and they apparently don't know it exists or believe it is unimportant.

Re:the little guys found the market (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153718)

Who have you been talking to? Every gamer I know, child, teenager, or adult, who doesn't know anything about computers or technology is into the flashy, new games. Gameday 2005, Farcry: Instincts (or whatever that game's called), and that kind of thing. They think it's cool as long as it looks cool and has just came out.
That's who they're selling the XBOX 360s to (primarily), and that's the crowd who will continue to purchase most of the games.

Re:the little guys found the market (1)

matlokheed (602233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156019)

What small independent developers?

Off-hand, I can't think of any small independent developers and certainly none that are making anything innovative. Occasionally, you could say that about certain teams that are parts of major companies, but what small developers are making anything of major value?

Re:the little guys found the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14156361)

The graphics-for-teh-win crowd is also who spends the most on games. You have to be pretty crazy to regularly buy games at launch prices, but if you must have the shiniest that's what you do. Development follows the money, not the people who've realised that a 2003 game you've never played is a much better deal than a 2005 one.

Re:the little guys found the market (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14157284)

This is, surprisingly to me, one of the better features of the XBox 360 - the XBox Live Arcade - it brings smaller, original apps that would never, ever see shelf space to the market at a reduced, almost impulse-buy price. I can't think of a better way for a smaller/startup studio to get itself off the ground than to produce a hit game for such a platform and be able to distribute it to the world digitally (providing, of course, that you can get your hands on a 360 Dev Kit). I think it's fantastic and can't wait to see what else Microsoft puts on Live Arcade. The elegance of the design and implementation very much caught me by surprise.

Argh. (1)

Brantano (908473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153153)

Sadly it looks like these companies still believe that all people want are better voice actors, better graphics, and better camera angles. However, i dont really think this is the key. If they would spend less on hiring expensive talent for voice actors, like they use to do. Spend alittle less time on making the graphics shiney and making them artistic (A good example would be Shadow of the Colossus). Spend alittle less money in advertising, maybe our game prices would go down. When will they learn that you dont need to put so much money into a game to make it good? Some of the best games go under the radar that have mediocure graphics, great gameplay, great storylines, and hardly had a lick of advertising.

Hell, were going to learn about your game one way or another, any gamer that is really into the gaming industry will check ign(or there affiliated networks), a local game stop, or a magazine that mentions the game by name instead of a full page add. Stop putting money into turd fests, and put money in something thats good, if the game is good..people will find out about it, trust me.

Or... (2, Insightful)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153213)

You can now jump into the last generation, which still has negligibly different graphics, great games (with more to come; think Twilight Princess), and fast declining prices.

The newest things aren't necessarily the best.

Re:Or... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153464)

Agreed. I just bought my girlfriend (no really I have one) a PS2 because she just loves Katamari Damacy. I think I'll be getting her We Love Katamari as well.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14157201)

Exactly what I was ready to point out but the summary is quite specific: "MTV Games is reporting on the financial pinch next-gen gamers..."

I'm not a next-gen gamer, so I won't be feeling that pinch.

Now's the time to check out that PS2 everybody keeps talking about.

Re:Or... (1)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 8 years ago | (#14157382)

-- 357c3435686430372052757c3335 (A cookie for anyone who decodes that.)

Your sig... "Slashdot Rules"... where's my cookie?

Next Gen is the Devil! (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153350)

Just another example of how badly we need a new direction in games than our current "Next Gen" approach. I for one nominate Will Wright and his amazing Spore concept/game. http://www.gamespy.com/articles/595/595975p1.html [gamespy.com] Yeah I know, gamespy. But its the best coverage of the inital Spore unvailing from GDC 2k5 I could find.

Re:Next Gen is the Devil! (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153893)

When Will Wright innovated the Sim, I had respect for him. After selling his soul to EA and milking the industry 4 years straight with endless expansion packs. I lost almost all respect.

Spores a good idea? I am not sold yet. Sounds like they want to sell you a game engine and you fill in the contents yourself. Could be an EA trap.

Re:Next Gen is the Devil! (0)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154152)

I suppose that is one way to look at it, but really isn't that what propells some of the greatest game today? What would Half-Life or it sequel be without its mod community and company provided SDKs and Editors? Who would still be playing HL today if not for Counter-Strike? (why not see for yourself http://www.steampowered.com/status/game_stats.html [steampowered.com] ) Really, this is the kind of reason I love HL2, WoW, and others. The sense of creating something your own that would be very difficult otherwise, whether it is your own unqiue (to a point) Warlock a Texture to call your own, or a great Deathmatch level to share with your friends. Spore has a long way to go before we'll know if it truely worthy of admiration, as it is now described it seems an evolution of the mod scene. A game created to allow nearly unlimited creative design for all users in an easy interface, and the ability to automatically share these creations with all the Spore community. If nothing else, the prospect of how it's written to dynamically create content and reducing the need for massive content development teams.

MTV Games? (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153381)

MTV Games? Cool! Looks like we picked up another client, folks! I look forward to seeing several stories a day from MTV games now that the Z-man's on the case.

Who buys news games? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153618)

Maybe I'm just cheap, but I can't remember the last time I paid more than $30 for a game. Sure I have to wait a while to get some games, but I don't mind.

Re:Who buys news games? (1)

Dmonphire (934329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154332)

You're obviously playing the wrong games...for those of us who are playing on a system during the period where it is current gen, like the first Xbox for me, good games will stay high priced. The original Halo never dropped a cent below 69.99 on average and it was a launch title. Go to a game seller tomorrow, it probably still will be. Everything below $30 these days is all the stuff that was either just an uninspired rip off of something, or a failed experiment. Period.

Re:Who buys news games? (1)

Joe Random (777564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154861)

The original Halo never dropped a cent below 69.99 on average and it was a launch title. Go to a game seller tomorrow, it probably still will be. Everything below $30 these days is all the stuff that was either just an uninspired rip off of something, or a failed experiment. Period.
You should probably do some research before making statements like that. The original Halo now sells for $20. Heck, Halo 2 is selling for $30. In fact, most of the best-sellers from previous years are at the $20-$30 level now.

The real Revolution would be... (2, Insightful)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153635)

...to bring down developing costs! Making things cheaper on both the developer and the consumer to me is much more important than things like High-def. I mean, maybe I'd care a bit more if I had one of these thousand-dollar HDTV's that everyone supposedly owns nowadays...

I hope Nintendo can really pull through with their promises to make game development simple and cheap with the Revolution. I think ease of development may become a HUGE factor in who wins the next console war...

Sony and Microsoft can show me all the pretty graphics they want, but if I just don't have the money than it really doesn't mean anything to me, does it?

Re:The real Revolution would be... (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154642)

Or they could stop paying their executives such psychotic salaries.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?sect ion_name=pub&aid=1868 [gamesindustry.biz]

Re:The real Revolution would be... (1)

nmaster64 (867033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156699)

lol, definitly a good point...

Re:The real Revolution would be... (1)

matlokheed (602233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156034)

Complexity has very little to do with things. If I recall correctly, when Doshin the Giant was ported to the Gamecube, it was done by one guy. The GCN was very easy to program for (compared to the average complexity of the Xbox and the extreme one of the PS2).

Still, it came in last place. Most of the time, the system has very little to do with how the system sells.

Voice acting my ass (5, Interesting)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153678)

They're blaming the cost of games on voice acting? That is the biggest load of crap ever becase that's like the once place they can hire good AND cheap actors to play the parts. However, instead of going that, developers are intent on paying big bucks to celebrities because they believe that it somhow legitimizes their game by having big name celebrities in the credits.

Billy West, a voice actor with the roles of Fry and Prof. Farnsworth from futurama to his credit, has an interesting article on The Onion - AV Club [avclub.com] about how Hollywood pays people like Cameron Diaz 20 million for their voice in Shrek while overlooking the vetran voice actors in the industry. He makes a lot of good points about how good film actors don't make good voice actors and vice versa, since a voice actor has to learn to expression emotion without the use of his physical features, and how regular actors never really escape their own voice. He also has other interesting tibits about how voice actors typically help producers save money because they can do multiple different voices. I mean, would you guess that the same actor did the voices of Fry, Prof Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan, and Zoidberg on Futurama?. Anyways, the point is that I don't buy the fact that the video game industry is all that interested in keeping prices low, because they could find cheaper means of production if they were truly interested in doing so.

Re:Voice acting my ass (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154097)

That's a good and talented ass you got there... *quietly runs away*

Re:Voice acting my ass (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154675)

When you have a Cameron Diaz in your movie, then she can go whore herself on late night TV shows about her next project and what not. That alone might be worth millions of dollars of marketing right there. Not saying it is right. If you are making a 100 million dollar special effects video game, paying a little more for Vin Diesel might be worth it, as he can do a lot better job of going on the talk show and tell Barbara Walters, that along with the romantic comedy he is in, he is also doing a FPS shoot em up. That opens up a whole new audience to gaming and maybe, just maybe bring race relations closer.

Everytime I hear Fry, I think of Patty Mayonaise. Best Doug ever.

The game industry's failing at this model you see (1)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156968)

paying a little more for Vin Diesel might be worth it

File that among the phrases I never thought I'd see. (Okay, maybe I could see it for Vin -- not for the crap car movie and the stupid James Bond "extreme" knockoff, but for Iron Giant, which he was great for before he made his name. He actually rates as a voice actor, having done legit work there.)

But most celebs who do voice work on games are on the level of Billy Dee Williams, who just wants to collect some spare coin for a cameo as Lando in Jedi Knight II. Gamers really don't care about his voice if the game's any good, and Billy Dee ain't going to go on the tonight show and hawk the fact that his career's so run out by now that he's saying five sentences for the cut scenes in a shooter.

But to get to your larger point -- No, I don't want to eventually have a games industry that's all run by Bruckheimer-style producers who see the value in tradeoffs like the one you suggest. The model that delivers the best games to me is more like Nintendo's Director-as-artist system, which'll get results like Zelda-Windwaker. Where does the money go for games like that? To things like great, seamlessly-done music that genuinely adds to the experience.

Anyone could make a long list of games with celeb voices that are worthless and didn't make any money. It'd be much harder to find games with great original scores that truly bit. The industry has some money, and right now they don't know where to spend it.

Re:Voice acting my ass (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155341)

They're blaming the cost of games on voice acting?
No, they aren't.
Billy West, a voice actor with the roles of Fry and Prof. Farnsworth from futurama to his credit, has an interesting article on The Onion - AV Club about how Hollywood pays people like Cameron Diaz 20 million for their voice in Shrek while overlooking the vetran voice actors in the industry.
They paid Cameron Diaz for her star power, her voice was just a small corner of the overall package. Veteran voice actors are ignored because voice actors have zero box office draw.

Re:Voice acting my ass (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155416)

They paid Cameron Diaz for her star power, her voice was just a small corner of the overall package. Veteran voice actors are ignored because voice actors have zero box office draw.

Certainly the reasoning. I have to wonder if this makes a difference. Personally, I'd love to see a film with Billy West doing a voice. And the main target market (kids) don't really care about who's doing the voices.

Pixar movies tend to go for decent voice actors. They do have some big names but never the huge stars that the Shrek producers went with. All the Disney classics had nobodies doing the voices. The animation was the star and they damn well knew it! But this has changed. Now it's all about the stars.

Opinionated post ahoy! (3, Informative)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14153894)

"because of graphics, coding, voice acting, cinema scenes and everything else gamers expect, cost more to make."

You want me to pay for:
  • Graphics: Have little to do with gameplay. Sure you need good frame-rate, low popup, and distinct colouring, but that's actually achieved best with minimalist graphics, which cost less to develop.
  • Coding: More coding = more unneccessarily complicated = less fun. When I look back at my favourite games, it's their deceptive simplicity that keeps me coming back. Yeah, I guess "deceptively simple" still requires a lot of coding, but that goes against my argument so let's forget I said that.
  • Voice Acting: Fuck this. I don't really use that word awfully often, so that means I really hate it. I personally prefer reading text, but I do enjoy games with voice. But why pay a celebrity to do voices? Shit, I better buy this game, it stars celebrity x. Yeah, and I know that's why a lot of uninformed people buy games too. Dammit.
  • Cinima Scenes. Oh God. Don't even get me started. I have two points against this one. One, I didn't buy a game to watch a screen with my controller aside for half of it. Two, blockbuster movies cost like $25. Yeah, I know the lower price is due to the fact that they sell a lot more of them, but again, against my argument... I know I've said that twice, but I hope you still understand the fundamental stuff I'm talking about.

Can I please see a few more games like Alien Hominid? Not speaking from a genre point of view, just the style of the game. I think the XBox360 Live Arcade is a step in the right direction, but I'd rather see new games with old-style graphics, not the other way around, which is what I'm seeing from a lot of those games (ie Joust, Smash TV).

This whole post just wrote itself. It took like 2 minutes to write it. That means I feel strongly about it. You should probably take that with a grain of salt... I'm just saying.

Re:Opinionated post ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14154133)

Coding: More coding = more unneccessarily complicated = less fun.

Well, no. Granted, I'm a bit biased as I make a living programming games (though for a different and significantly cheaper market). This is more an issue of design or production than coding. You can do a lot of coding throwing in more useless features, or you can do a lot of coding tuning the features that are there. One will give you a sucky game, the other will give you a great game. Chances are excellent that you won't have time for both.

Re:Opinionated post ahoy! (1)

ZombieBoy666 (520005) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154684)

10 cents about voice acting. Generally I agree that using voice actors as opposed to movie stars is a great idea. However Occasionally, hiring the celeb voice actor makes it all right. My example here is Patrick Stewart hired for the X-men legends games. None of the other characters had their movie counterparts voiced in the game, but Mr Stewart has such a recognizable voice that it really fits. Now, what made those games awesome was the gameplay, which had little to do with any voice acting. However the game definately had more resonance by having a coherant storyline, and a figure with the "proper voice" at the head of it (granted this is all MY opinion).

Re:Opinionated post ahoy! (1)

DeadlyDonkey (881338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154840)

That's different though. Obviously it's best for movie-based games to have the voices done by the actual actors.

Re:Opinionated post ahoy! (1)

Maserati (8679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155062)

Mr. Stewart is an exception to the rule, as he is as accomplished a voice actor as he is in person. He's getting at least as much work in TV commercial voiceovers as the rest of the cast combined (opinion, no research done). Heck, Patrick Stewart would probably have done the voice work for the game even if he hadn't done the movie.

Heh, imagine the poor SOB in 50 years who has to play Dr. X in the remake. The comparisons he'll get.....

Re:Opinionated post ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14156553)

Patrick Stewart plays a character in American Dad. He is a voice actor. (Although, next to a real pro like Seth McFarlane it's clear that he doesn't have much range - other parts he does are still recognisably him).

Re:Opinionated post ahoy! (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155833)

I agree on all points, simple colorful "nintendo graphics" looks great, we are talking games like say paper mario the thousand year door. Compare the gfx to something which is supposed to look "real" and it just look like shit.

I'm not a fan about teller voices either, but I don't like all the text dialogues in recent games either, it was enough of them in Zelda for the NES ;D, that's about the amount I can handle.

Same goes for cinematic clips, I'm there to play a game, maybe just for 20 minutes, I don't want to look at crap for 5 minutes, if I was I would turn on a movie. They where ok in Warcraft 3 ROC/TFT thought, but that's because they are so short.

How does that work? (2, Informative)

paranand (914456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154059)

So, if next gen games are costing so much more to produce, why is it that a game like Call of Duty 2, which is made in tandem for pc and xbox 360, will sell for 50 bucks on pc and 60 on the console? Seems like they might be messing with the market base a bit.

The console version needs more testing (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154761)

since they can't just patch it all to hell (and with the harddrive on the 360 optional, they really can't anymore).

First gen games (0)

Taulin (569009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154222)

Almost all first gen games are expensive. I still remember paying about $80 for all my 64 games when it first came out. What was I thinking?!?

Re:First gen games (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154794)

You were thinking, Turok is really really going to be fun. In 1996, I think I paid 340 dollars for an N64, an extra controller and Turok. In 1993, my parents paid 2000 bucks to buy a Macintosh Performa 450 computer. It was a great gaming machine, built in 8bit Mono sound, 256 colors, a huge 14 in monitor. Had games like Leisure Suit Larry, Spectre, Escape Velocity, Maelstrom. So things have come a long way. Today, if you were to buy a Mac gaming machine it would cost you a lot less than 2000. Oh wait...

Re:First gen games (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14157475)

Cartridges cost a lot more than DVDs to manufacture.

What high cost of gaming (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154283)

I buy my games on ebay for $5 to $20 dollars. Once in a while I'll pick up an A-List title (like Valkyrie Profile) for $35-$40. The people who should be worrying about the high cost of gaming are at Microsoft. So far they haven't done much to make me wanna pony up the cash for there next gen. Not when I've got 20+ games on my shelf still in need of playing from last gen.

Canadian Prices (1)

Dmonphire (934329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154375)

Guh...all the prices on this page are messing with my head cuz I keep thinking Canadian prices and I don't understand why $60 games are a big deal. Then I realize that's like $70 CAD and I'm still like "That's still not that bad" How many games can you play in a month? 1.5? Give or take depending on genre and all that? I know people who spend more than that in a month on weed. Generally addictions are expensive. I think this thread is mostly composed of addicts complaining about how expensive their habits are. :D

Re:Canadian Prices (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154836)

A lot of kids get their games through parents and the like. So its a big deal. There have been a market for gamers who have money, 3D0, Neo Geo, CDI is that a gaming system?, Turbo Grafx and the like, and they all failed. Why? Because given two options, the gamer will choose the cheaper one even if it is slightly less quality.

Film Model (1)

ZombieBoy666 (520005) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154789)

What I find amazing is that generally everyone sees gaming differently than they see other forms of entertainment media. While I will admit that there are radically different formats for say music versus games, the fact that they are both entertainment media ties them together. When I pay to go see a movie, I expect it to occur once. I pay my $8 (cause I live in Minnesota where movies are still less than $10 a hit) and see it once. If I really need to, I pay $8 to see it again, or I wait until the DVD release, pay $20 and then own it. I find it suprizing that more gamers fail to take advantage of the rental industry for exactly the same reason, especially with netflix-like renters for games which let you keep them as long as you want. I mean, really, how many games do you want to own permanently? Carrying forward, those you do want extended time with to unlock all the super-secret-sacrifice-a-goat-to-find ballerina costumes may very well be worth the full price, and once you hit this kind of time commitment you easily get to the "less than $1 per hour" range, which is very reasonable, especially when looking at the cost of film ($4-$5 per hour) or live shows ($5-$20 per hour).

Is $60 really a high price? (1)

brucmack (572780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14154988)

I've tried to do some digging up of launch prices for games in the Atari/NES era, but came up empty. I seem to recall them being high enough to likely be well over $60 adjusted for inflation. Is gaming really more expensive now than it was 15 years ago?

Carp! (2, Interesting)

Elfod (567688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155058)

What a load of carp. Right, so the technology is changing and we didn't realise it was going to cost more so we have to pass on the costs to you guys...sorry! Come on - technology is constantly evolving, the only difficulty is keeping your developers skills up to date. The technology gets better/shinier/more complicated (choose two) but costs overall do not go up, except for inflationary rises or where a major retooling is required (I can't think of anything of the top of my head - I was going to say something like a holographic display but we're already producing 3d!). This is just price gouging.

$60 !, think yourself lucky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14155122)

We get in it worse here in the UK the RRP is 45 pounds, even taking into account VAT thats not right at all.

Re:$60 !, think yourself lucky (1)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14157071)

I recall paying £40-45 for PS1 games when Sony's console was new to the market. They'll come down eventually.

Trivial fix: (2, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155139)

I don't see the problem here. The fix is trivial:

If a certain entertainment-option (such as a game) is not worth the price asked to you, then don't buy it. Selling games at $60 works only when people buy games at $60, and evidently, quite a few do.

Most games fal in price rapidly, so it's not like you can't play the very same game for half the price, if you're willing to wait a few months. If not, and you absolutely *must* have the game at release-day, even at $60, then obviously the price was not too high, but instead correct. It's called a free marketm, get used to it.

Microsoft's aim is simple... (1)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155210)

To stop alienating gamers in Japan they'll start alienating American ones! Japanese people are used to paying $60 for games [amazon.co.jp] , so the tables are finally even, winning Microsoft some favor on the other side of... the other pond. Actually, (I'm my own insightful reply) Japanese 360 games are $10 more too (ignore the discount thing) [amazon.co.jp] , which probably provides twice the alienation doing nothing would have... I wonder how Microsoft possibly could hope to do well in Japan with games that cost more than a used Xbox 1, and no Kasumi-shaped pillow.

Re:Microsoft's aim is simple... (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156054)

Something similar is happening with Europe it seems, $60 is about £35, which would be £40 with VAT / tax[1]. £40 is the RRP for games. So naturally, the RRP for Xbox 360 games appears to be £45 (or even £50), you can't have the Americans paying the same price as the rest of the world!

Although I gather in the US shops are far more likley to sell at the RRP, whilst in the UK places like supermarkets and online stores often have fairly big discounts on games (etc.). But the RRP is still the baseline, and it's fucking annoying that the baseline is higher here than the US.

[1] When you import games you should theoretically pay tax on them if they're worth more than £18.

Playable movies (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155288)

Studios don't need to create games with flash-in-the-pan graphics, as long as they make them fun. As far as I'm concerned, they can get away with Gameboy Advanced graphics on the Xbox 360 as long as the game is fun. It's nice to have all that kickass graphical ability for the hardware - BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT ALL HAS TO BE USED. Games with good gameplay mechanics don't require that much horsepower - unless of course, an original gameplay concept comes out that requires an incredible amount of CPU horsepower in order to be workable.

The thing is, people in boardrooms who understand marketing know that they can get wads of cash by making semi-playable games with fancy graphics - knowing that, for the most part, the gameplaying public generally consists of people who will be blown over by graphics and little else. Gameplay be damned.
Also, they know if they make the game easy to finish fast, they'll be out there buying new games faster.

What I fear is that eventually game companies will make little less than semi-playable movies - which will cost more to buy than movies themselves. We already know that games make more than Hollywood. This is just the next logical step on the road to the next video game crash.

Stop wasting effort on character models (2, Interesting)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155318)

One thing they waste far too much time on in many games is character models. I guess it makes for nice screenshots, but how often are you right up close to a character examining the detail on their boots?

This is at least true for FPSes. I guess RPGs and other more interactive games can use close-up detail. But thinking of UT2004, the character models have obviously been slaved over for many months, and are works of art; but the most you ever see is a couple of quick flashes as someone runs past. To be honest, the character models in the original Unreal Tournament (99?) were perfectly fine for an FPS.

The same mostly goes for weapon and power-up models. Gratuitous transparency and pretty textures is interesting for maybe the first 30 seconds, and then it could just be a yellow circle for all the player cares.

That's a big chunk of graphics they could simplify and spend much less time on. Further, it would save wasting lots of polygons on them.

The thing that really makes a big impression is the landscapes, and a lot of those are at least partially machine generated, so I guess they are probably a lot more efficient in terms of results for time spent.

Re:Stop wasting effort on character models (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156398)

If I had mod points right now I'd give you a +1. You hit the nail on the head.

There's also the issue of hiring "big name talent" for videogames. Do we really need the likes of Christopher Lee and Heather Graham doing voiceovers for Everquest 2? No. It's extra money that could go towards hiring lesser-known voice actors who are fully able to perform the task well.

If companies like EA insist on creating games with productions on the level of hollywood movies, they should be prepared to eat that cost instead of passing it on to consumers. If $60 games were half that price, more people would buy them. More people would be inclined to get into gaming if they knew they wouldn't have to pay ridiculous prices for games they can finish in a weekend.

Re:Stop wasting effort on character models (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156776)

but how often are you right up close to a character examining the detail on their boots?


Quite often, actually. Doesn't everyone? The curved survaces, the bump mapping.

Oh. I'm sorry. I just realized you said boots.

Cost od develoment (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155346)

Here's the equation to determine retail cost:

Retail price = cost of each unit + the amount that will make us most money.

As you will see - There's no development cost there. If it costs less to devlop, then that is simply an increase in profits. Why would they charge less? So that they can make less money? It simply doesn't work like that. Business doesn't exist to offer a "fair" price to consumers. It exists to maximise profits. They are charging $60 because they think that the increase in per unit profit will offset the decrease in demand.

more expensive than movies? (2, Insightful)

OleMoudi (624829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155375)

Well, I haven't really read in detail anything about videogame development costs but, are they really more expensive to produce than a blockbuster movie with, say, julia roberts and brad pitt plus the best of the FX ? I'm pretty sure than each one of the Lord of the Rings movies was more expensive to make than Halo 2 and I haven't seen yet a 60$ DVD of a single movie.

I don't think it's justified princing a videogame in 60$. Maybe costs per unit in the cartridge era where higher and we could in some way accept that price, but now hay games come in optical media? Apart from the game itself, their cost is less than a dollar to manufacture for crying out loud!

And as people said before, nowadays they have a very populated audience. Videogames are no longer a hobby for a few, and neither its price should be.

Why does it cost more? (1)

necronom426 (755113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155380)

Games at the moment have voice acting, cinematic scenes, thousands of scanned images for textures etc. What difference does it make if you render them at a higher resolution? PC games do this at the moment and cost LESS than console games!

Am I missing something, or are the companies just using "next-gen" as an excuse?

I Blame the Gamers (1)

senocular (519317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14155676)

You stupid gamers. Why do you expect so much? The game which has been capturing most of my attention these past few weeks has been Alien Hominid - and not the main game, the mini game. Thats right, stick figures jumping around on a little, limited tile-based map. Why has this captured my attention? Not the graphics (though it is funny to watch those little guys explode), not the voice acting, and not the cinematics. Its the simple fact that I can play with 4 people at a time and can make my own maps. Its concept and implementation that together create a great gameplay experience.

People will pay $60. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156014)

As long as people will pay $60 for games, games will sell for $60. If it makes you feel any better, just think of the official release as an early release especially for those who are willing to fork over extra money. For example, as far as I'm concerned, Madden 06 came out in early November for $28. There was an early release back in August for those dumb enough to pay $50 (and sometimes more) for it.

I'll stick to the $20 bin. Thank you. (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14156426)

I can't what for that revolution to come out. I'd like to pick up a gamecube and play those games for less than $20 each. The reason that I had bought a PS2 instead of GC was simple, I wanted to play all the FF games that were released on PS1 & the 1 for PS2. I picked up I think it was like 3 FF for $20 or slightly less each. To me, that was an excellent bargain. I paid $50 each for FFX, FFX2, and Kingdom Hearts. FFX and Kingdom Hearts were worth every cent. FFX2 was really worth some where between $30-$40 but heck, I got it just as it was released to I was willing to play a premium at that time.

I can't wait for these freaking new consoles to come out. I the Xbox came down enough I might even consider it. I doubt it though. I was always a die hard Nintendo follower until the PS2. (I truly believed that Sony had and excellent stragety for owning media console wars by sneaking one into every household in the giuse as a video game machine.)

Currently, with how our finances are, I could either buy a GC and the hardware all to get it going, and 3-5 games, or I could by any one of these new consoles and hope that what ever game they release is worth it. I'm not ever doing that again. I bought pilot wings for N64 back when it was one of only 3 games that you could get for the system. I'd much rather wait and rent a game to try it out and then decide to purchase it. N64 was o.k. in its time, but several games like maybe FF for N64 never showed up.

I'm taking a wait and see attiude now a days.

Re:I'll stick to the $20 bin. Thank you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14156955)

What's wrong with Pilotwings?

Re:I'll stick to the $20 bin. Thank you. (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14158064)

What's wrong with Pilotwings?

Uh, as a rental its o.k. to play. The graphics for the time were pretty good. But if the only 2 games that you had to play were Pilotwings and Super Mario World for several months, would you still like it? I'm sorry, there just wasn't quite enough to keep me really interested in that game long term. It also got highly annoying with all the goals. At one point in time, I got bronze, or silver in most of the events. It just wasn't worth it to try over and over just to boost it up from bronze to gold.

The best part of it was just leaving what you were supposed to do and just flying around and running into things. Although there really should have been like 100s of different deaths esp. since that was all you were seeing in the early game. ;)

Better graphics... same crappy stories... (1)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14157946)

If I'm going to have to pay more for next generation titles because they are oh so superior graphically, then developers better damn well start pumping out games that have lasting appeal, better stories, and are fun to entice me to pay that extra $10. I can eat for a week on $10. I'm sure a lot of us can! IMO, graphics can take a back seat. I'd rather pay 40 to 50 dollars for a game that keeps me coming back after that initial period of fierce gameplay, than for something that looks amazing that I end up only playing once!
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