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Episode 22: Used Samurai

by Danny Bivens, Andy Goergen, Daan Koopman, Zachary Miller, Neal Ronaghan, Mike Sklens, and Scott Thompson - February 17, 2012, 1:03 pm PST
Total comments: 35

It seems like a lot of games are being delayed, but this episode of Connectivity is right on time.

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Is it time for another one of these things already? You guys sure are lucky that I have a mental disorder that causes editing podcasts to be fun for me, otherwise we'd all be in a lot of trouble.

Anyway, this week we've got three segments for you. First off, there's a news panel with so many people on it that I honestly lost count. There's also some discussion of the new 3DS game, Sakura Samurai: The Art of the Sword. Finally, there's the ever classic discussion of used games.

I hope you have something to say to us, because I really want to hear it. Drop your comments below, or send us an email by clicking here. I'm starting to feel like Kentucky Tim is our only fan.

This episode co-edited by Scott Thompson & Mike Sklens.

Talkback

supergttFebruary 17, 2012

if the nextbox doesn't allow used games, it won't hurt gamestop. they just won't carry it. MS will lose out in that deal.

TJ SpykeFebruary 17, 2012

GameStop sold the PSP Go, and the few PSP games that were download only but still sold an empty box in stores.

EyothrieFebruary 17, 2012

Excited to hear about a RE: Revelations community night!

Quote from: supergtt

if the nextbox doesn't allow used games, it won't hurt gamestop. they just won't carry it. MS will lose out in that deal.

So you're suggesting that if GameStop decided to stop carrying about 25% of their product, that wouldn't hurt them?  Hrm.

Sidescroller64February 18, 2012

Is no one going to mention that shitty Mic? I mean, come on folks. How could you bear listening to this awful episode for more than a couple of minutes? Please, in future eps, do a Mic check. This was unbearable, and I generally really do enjoy this show. Try and have some quality assurance NWR Connectivity crew. Geez.

Quote from: Sidescroller64

Is no one going to mention that shitty Mic? I mean, come on folks. How could you bear listening to this awful episode for more than a couple of minutes? Please, in future eps, do a Mic check. This was unbearable, and I generally really do enjoy this show. Try and have some quality assurance NWR Connectivity crew. Geez.

Sorry about that. I wasn't aware of how crappy my mic sounds. I recently switched to a new computer, and I thought it was fine. I'll tinker with it and make it work better. Sorry guys :(

oksodaScott Thompson, Associate EditorFebruary 18, 2012

Yeah, that mic issue is on us. Not to make excuses or the pull the curtain back too much, but Neal sounded fine live, though for whatever reason his audio track was sorta borked, which we didn't realize until the next day. It came down to scrapping the episode or just posting as is, warts and all.

KDR_11kFebruary 18, 2012

There is no way that that restriction is going away after Gamestop is dead. There is no way MS will give up something that increases their profits. I'm thinking the mechanism will be some rewritable disc section that the system will destroy after reading its code and linking it to your account, that would not require an internet connection to determine whether a disc is new or used.

BTW, I'm pretty sure used games produce the majority of GS's profit but probably not their revenue. Revenue is the money that goes into the cash register, profit is the money that stays in there. Since new games are pricier they produce more revenue but because their purchase price for GS is also WAAAAAAY higher (I heard that new games come close to loss leaders for stores, merely getting people into the store and hopefully buying something else) they produce very little profit.

Old game preservation will be fucked by no-used-sales. At least on the PC there's piracy that preserves games in a form that works independent of the publisher but on consoles there won't be a way to get old games, at least not until emulators can run the roms. Yes, they may be on sale online but those offers are not permanent with issues like licenses expiring which has happened to several games this gen alone. If this technology had been available back in the 80s then games like Ducktales would be lost to mankind forever.

KDR cemented my giant issue with all this. As someone who experienced the majority of the NES and SNES after they came out, I shudder to think of a future where you can't buy used games (which aren't exclusively sold at GameStop!) for old systems.

But you CAN. For OLDER systems. Old copies of DuckTales aren't going to disappear if the Xbox 720 doesn't let you play used Xbox 720 games. Besides, there are plenty of other venues to buy old copies of games for older systems than GS. Like the internet.

You don't get it, Zach! I'm not talking about going out and buying Ducktales. I'm talking about going out and buying the equivalent of Ducktales for the next round of systems.

What happens when the Xbox 720 doesn't sell new games anymore? Are all those games lost because used games can't work on the systems, and new games aren't made? That's my issue with the anti-used games stuff.

And you can say that "well, publishers can make their games available in other shiny digital future downloadable methods." I'd rather live in a world where GameStop is successful than one where we have to bow down to publisher's whims of when their games are available.

Lesser of two evils. One involves the downfall of GameStop, aka The Devil Incarnate.

It's too bad that there isn't more competition for used games in Alaska. There's at least four B&M stores in my area (EB, Best Buy, Shop of the Future and a local store) that all deal with game trades + several local sellers of used games. More competition = better deals for trading = easier to abuse the system.

I wouldn't have been able to play Pokemon, the Mario All Stars reprint, or (most importantly) Radiant Historia last year when money was tight if it wasn't for trading in games.

Also, they may not need to use an internet connection if for some STUPID reason they decide to lock out used games - I recall hearing a similar rumor when the PS3 was coming out, since apparently Blu-Ray has extra protection. Simply add a unique ID to the disc and bam, instant lock to a console.

Well Zach, get ready to bend over and deal with whatever publishers want.

KDR_11kFebruary 19, 2012

Quote from: Halbred

Lesser of two evils. One involves the downfall of GameStop, aka The Devil Incarnate.

I'd Godwin this but instead I'll just say that it's absolutely not worth it. I don't want to lose my freedoms just to punish someone I hate. That's bordering on Faustian.

dkopman1February 19, 2012

Forget the fact that you cant buy used games but just the fact that you can not borrow a game to try it out. As a senior in high school I have gotten by by borrowing games from my friends most of the time to try it out before I purchased it just to make sure it was truly something that was worthy of my purchase. By possibly not allowing this it really hurts the people who cant buy games all the time. I know my whole life of gaming has been very dependent on swapping games with my friends and I can not possibly imagine a bright future where this is not possible anymore.

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: Halbred

Lesser of two evils. One involves the downfall of GameStop, aka The Devil Incarnate.

I'd Godwin this but instead I'll just say that it's absolutely not worth it. I don't want to lose my freedoms just to punish someone I hate. That's bordering on Faustian.

I know, most people aren't like me. My hatred for GS and stores like it (Play 'n' Trade) are at such a high level that I would HAPPILY bend to the whim of publishers for an entire generation if it meant those stores died. And I'd write their corporate offices letters espousing my glee of their death, and how I've been wishing for this day since I was a Little Boy, and now that dream is finally coming true.

And I'd include a Polaroid of myself, smiling from ear to ear.

SorenFebruary 21, 2012

Developers and publishers are (almost all) united in their hatred of used games too, but to me it's more public posturing. Deep down inside they realize they need the used games industry to really survive. Gaming ain't cheap. Outlawing used games will only hurt them in the long run because many gamers fund new games sales with used games. I know that's been my MO this last generation. Buy a game, finish it, and if it has low replay value sell it in order help offset part of the cost of a new game.


So no used games means fewer new game purchases. And seeing as how 20%* of most console's user base still isn't online, it might be a generation or two before we go full digital.


*yeah, I totally pulled that number out of my ass.

TJ SpykeFebruary 22, 2012

Quote from: Soren

And seeing as how 20%* of most console's user base still isn't online

That number is actually higher. For example, the last poll I saw had about 30% of Xbox 360 owners not going online.

Why is the video game industry basically the only one you see people complaining about used sales? You don't see it for cars, clothes, books, movies, music, etc., all of which have big markets for used sales and which the original seller doesn't get any of the used sales money (so I want game publishers to shut up when they complain about not getting revenue from used sales). You also don't see crap like movie companies requiring you to enter a code to get certain features on discs to prevent used sales.

Except that's not true, as a lot of movies recently include a digital copy that's only accessible if you buy it new, which is basically the same thing as stuff like EA's online pass, other than the fact that you can make your own digital copy of a DVD very easily and there's no real way to replicate what the online pass gets you.

Fatty The HuttFebruary 22, 2012

Quote from: dkopman1

Forget the fact that you cant buy used games but just the fact that you can not borrow a game to try it out. As a senior in high school I have gotten by by borrowing games from my friends most of the time to try it out before I purchased it just to make sure it was truly something that was worthy of my purchase. By possibly not allowing this it really hurts the people who cant buy games all the time. I know my whole life of gaming has been very dependent on swapping games with my friends and I can not possibly imagine a bright future where this is not possible anymore.

This has big implications for public libraries too, which now routinely lend out games. As they should. Games are culturally relevant and just as valid for leisure time and private study as books and films and music. (Preaching to the choir, I know)

TJ SpykeFebruary 22, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Except that's not true, as a lot of movies recently include a digital copy that's only accessible if you buy it new, which is basically the same thing as stuff like EA's online pass, other than the fact that you can make your own digital copy of a DVD very easily and there's no real way to replicate what the online pass gets you.

With digital movies, those are just SD copies of a movie you bought. It would be like buying a retail game and being given a free digital copy. You are not losing out on any features of the disc like you are with these stupid Online Passes. With these online passes, you need to either buy the game new or pay a fee to get access to online play. Imagine if you had to pay to get access to stuff like audio commentaries on movies?

The digital copy is a different way of watching the movie; the online pass is a different way of playing the game. Each one comes free with new copies, and costs money if you want it separately. They're different media, so different details, but the idea is the same.

It's not the same thing, but how do you feel about the special versions of DVDs companies give to Netflix that have been stripped of all their special features?

TJ SpykeFebruary 22, 2012

The idea is NOT the same. The Online Pass lets you play a different mode of the game that you otherwise can't. With the new Batman game, it's even required to play part of the single player portion. Digital copies of movies are the exact SAME movie you can watch on the disc. Digital copies of a movie are not even close to blocked content that requires a Online Pass.

You get it with your second paragraph though. Would you be OK with companies making their DVDs/Blu-ray Discs be like those gimped rental discs, and require you to enter a code or pay $10 to get access to the special features on a movie disc? Those Netflix ones always annoyed me (especially ones like Get Him to the Greek, which has the special features on the disc menus but when you select them it gives you a message that those features are only on the retail disc). That is exactly what the Online Pass basically is, telling you that there are features on the disc that you can't access.

TizonaFebruary 24, 2012

My biggest concern about this "no used games" thing is that, while yes Zach it will hurt Gamestop, they will still outlast and push through while every independent and locally owned game shop bites the dust. The simple truth is that, the way margin is set on new games, it's virtually impossible for game only retailers to turn a profit with out a robust used games business.
If this does come to pass, expect all of the local shops and indie online retailers to die long before Gamestop. That's not something I want to see.

It's not like you can't buy NEW copies of OLDER games. I just looked for Odin Sphere on eBay. It's right there, for a perfectly reasonable sum of money. And keep in mind that retail games ALWAYS drop in price. So six months after its release, Halo 6 is going to be $40. Dude, you can buy ODST at Target for $10. YEARS after that game's initial release. People buy used games because they're cheaper. But the point is, ALL games drop in price before long.

Heck, I was Play 'n' Trade selling the original Uncharted for $40 (used) when new copies had been dropped to $30.

Kytim89February 24, 2012

Quote from: Halbred

It's not like you can't buy NEW copies of OLDER games. I just looked for Odin Sphere on eBay. It's right there, for a perfectly reasonable sum of money. And keep in mind that retail games ALWAYS drop in price. So six months after its release, Halo 6 is going to be $40. Dude, you can buy ODST at Target for $10. YEARS after that game's initial release. People buy used games because they're cheaper. But the point is, ALL games drop in price before long.

Heck, I was Play 'n' Trade selling the original Uncharted for $40 (used) when new copies had been dropped to $30.


Why is Donkey Kong Country Returns still selling for $40 plus dollars nealry two years after its release? Is it because it is a Nintendo game?

Yes. Nintendo games, for whatever reason, retain their value (probably because they're the best games on their respective systems). Do note, however, that within about three months of its release, Other M was almost in the bargain bin.

Nintendo games hold their value because people keep buying them at that price. Nintendo published games that don't sell all that well, like Other M or Sin & Punishment 2, drop in price just like any other game. Whereas New Super Mario Bros. Wii (and DS) still sell well at full retail, and you'd have to be pretty dumb to lower the price when people keep buying it at the current one.

Kytim89February 24, 2012

Quote from: Halbred

Yes. Nintendo games, for whatever reason, retain their value (probably because they're the best games on their respective systems). Do note, however, that within about three months of its release, Other M was almost in the bargain bin.


I paid full price for that game and I am not sure whether I like or hate it. Just whne I start to like It then I begin to hate it. Those pixel were the worst and the final boss/cinematic was such a bad idea in developer terms because it does not allow you to save or get health before fighting MB. Such a pain in the ass final battle. 

Quote from: Halbred

It's not like you can't buy NEW copies of OLDER games. I just looked for Odin Sphere on eBay. It's right there, for a perfectly reasonable sum of money. And keep in mind that retail games ALWAYS drop in price. So six months after its release, Halo 6 is going to be $40. Dude, you can buy ODST at Target for $10. YEARS after that game's initial release. People buy used games because they're cheaper. But the point is, ALL games drop in price before long.

Heck, I was Play 'n' Trade selling the original Uncharted for $40 (used) when new copies had been dropped to $30.

Atlus games. Xseed games. Go find new N64 games, Zach. When you do, let me know, and I'll admit you have a point. Until then, you're just stupid in your blind GameStop hatred.

Well, then you'd better buy Atlas and Xseed games new, Neal. :-D

I'm still waiting, Zach. Go find me a brand new N64 game.

You probably can't. And honestly, there's a statute of limitations on these things. Three generations later, it's tough to find a used N64 game. Go figure. But my point about new games dropping in price relatively quickly still stands.

SarailFebruary 26, 2012

My local "Game X Change" has tons of used N64 games. I've been meaning to go in there and pick up Iggy's Wrecking Balls... maybe I will soon.  I did get NHL '94 on SNES late last year, though.

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