Tag Archives: video games

Sony Makes Brilliant Move

13 Jun
Sony Playstation

Sony made brilliant use of Xbox’s PR fumbles.
Image: Shutterstock

If you aren’t a gamer, you may not be aware of the recent waves in the gaming industry as the next generation of console development is rolling out.  It began with Microsoft’s announcement of the Xbox One in late May.  Microsoft has fumbled the promotion of the new console, not only upsetting the gaming community with its lackluster game development but with a feature that many game enthusiasts have long feared.  Not only will the system require an online connection to play, but will essentially render used or borrowed games useless without a significant fee to Xbox for a new verification code.  While Microsoft scrambled to clarify the online features and announce more game titles, the sour taste from the original announcement is still fresh in consumer minds.

Especially now that Sony has swiftly used the bad PR to its advantage with its announcement of the Playstation 4 console. Not only did Sony include a montage of new games during their announcement at a major electronics conference, but also practically bragged that it would be a hundred dollars less than the Xbox.  Two complete its One-Two punch to Microsoft, Sony made a twenty-two second instructional video on how to share used games (you hand your game over to your friend).

Sony stocks spiked right after the Xbox announcement, indicating that Xbox may have some trouble peddling its new wares to the market.  However, it ultimately seems that Xbox is targeting another market entirely.  The promotion for the device has heavily stressed its cloud computing capabilities, indicating the ability to streamline a wide variety of media consumption at record speeds.  Television and movies are more important to the Xbox One marketing strategy, and may attract buyers who are not as upset about not being able to buy used games.  Meanwhile, Playstation is executing a pro-gamer strategy perfectly, using everything from pricing to humor to rake in loyalty. It will be interesting to see which one pays off.

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Blizzard’s new video game may greatly impact our economic culture

20 Apr

The gaming company  Blizzard Entertainment is implementing a new feature in one of their video games that may have a wide impact on much more than the game. Many games have implemented what is commonly termed an “Auction House”, where players can spend in game currency to purchase items for their characters from other people playing the game.

In a landmark decision, Diablo III’s auction house will allow players to spend actual money in addition to the in game gold coins. This means that players will be able to not only purchase items in the game, but also sell items, earning a profit by playing Diablo III. While it’s possible that this system will offer no change to our current economic culture, it has the potential to create an entirely new product market and line of work for a section of the American population who may be employed in a line of work that doesn’t satisfy them.

Originally created as a way to protect their player base, who was already buying and selling items on a much more limited scale on sites such as eBay, this feature may have inadvertently laid the groundwork for a whole new method of conducting business online, and a whole new market for a group of people who already have the skillset for it. It will be exciting to see if this system changes the way a group of Americans does business, or if it’s ultimately doomed to failure.

Blizzard’s new video game may greatly impact our economic culture