PlayStation VR 2: Big Lineup, Big Price | The Video Game Industry Is Starved for Games
PlayStation VR 2: Big Lineup, Big Price Sony has a great product gamers can't afford
Playstation VR2 will launch with over 20 titles on February 22, 2023 – and a staggering $549 base price. This leaves PS VR2 well positioned against its VR competitors, but unlikely to be a mainstream breakthrough.
Rolling Out the Red Carpet
To its credit, Sony is throwing its weight behind PS VR2 to ensure its launch isn’t a paper one. It previously announced an entry from one of their flagship franchises, Horizon Call of the Mountain, during PS VR2’s reveal. This week brought even more announcements.
- 11 games for 2023, including some positioned near launch
- The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR (part of Supermassive’s story-driven horror franchise)
- Crossfire: Sierra Squad (shooter from Smilegate)
- Jurassic World Aftermath Collection
- Pistol Whip VR (rhythm game from Cloudhead Games)
- These additions should soften the sting of no backwards compatibility with PS VR
- Display: OLED, 2,000 x 2,400 per eye, up to 120 Hz refresh rate
- Controllers and headset feature rumble and PS5’s standout haptic feedback
- Lighter than Quest Pro and original PS VR
- Quest Pro is standalone, not tethered
PS VR2 looks set to give premium VR headsets from Meta and Vive a run for their money. It’s not a terrible value proposition when you consider its capabilities, inflation, and included controllers (unlike PS VR). But there’s no getting around the ugly truth that PlayStation wants gamers to buy a peripheral that costs more than the $499 base PS5. PS VR2 may be destined to be a PS3 repeat: powerful hardware, but simply too high a price to ask.
- Unlike the PS3, Sony can’t afford to aggressively cut prices and will have to settle for slower sales
- PS5 is already selling at a loss, with Sony doing all it can to avoid inflationary price hikes in the US market
Featured image: PlayStation
The Video Game Industry Is Starved for Games Call of Duty delivers while subscriptions struggle
Sony, Xbox, EA, and Activision all offered financial updates recently. The big takeaway: the videogame industry is starved for quality games. The good news, however, is that 2022 will end on a stronger note, with 2023 looking better.
Modern Warfare II Delivers at Launch
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II generated over $800 million in its first three days, a franchise record. It’s also the largest entertainment launch of 2022, period. When we reviewed MWII’s campaign, we wrote that Activision “appears to have a hit on its hands,” with tight gameplay, an adequate campaign, and lack of competition this season.
- Previous Record: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) made $775 million in its first five days
- The Asterisk: MWII’s current-gen base versions are $10 (17%) more than MW3’s and have microtransactions
- Great sign for Warzone 2.0 (Nov 16), a potentially even bigger cash cow
PlayStation Plus subscriptions fell by almost 2 million (47.3 to 45.4 million) during the first full quarter of Sony’s reworked subscription tiers. Compared to Q2 last year (47.2), the fall was effectively equal. PlayStation blamed post-pandemic changes and soft third-party and declining PS4 engagement in these latest Sony financial statements.
- PlayStation rolled out new tiers and options for its PlayStation Plus subscriptions in June
- Sony was hoping to have a potential rival to Xbox’s Game Pass
- Q2 included part of summer – prime gaming months
- Potential Recovery: MWII’s strong debut and the arrival of God of War Ragnarok in time for the holidays should boost subscription & PS5 adoption.
Game Pass fell short of its subscription growth targets for the second quarter in a row. Microsoft blamed a sparse release schedule of third-party and especially first-party games.
- Starfield is expected to arrive next year
- Most significant first-party exclusive for Xbox Series S & X to date
- First Bethesda release since Microsoft bought publisher for $7.6 billion in 2021
EA had a “solid quarter,” in its own description for Q2 FY 2023. Net bookings were up 4% year-over-year, with live services up 7%. Most importantly, EA looks like it has a strong slate for the holidays and winter.
- Need for Speed Unbound launches Nov 29
- Three years since previous installment
- EA is gambling on Unbound’s new cartoonish art style to appeal to younger demographics
- EA teased a “Major IP” release by March 31, 2023, which could be Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
- Sequel to 2019’s hit Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- EA’s exclusive Star Wars deal ended last year
- EA announced a deal with Marvel to develop three Marvel video games
Featured image: AMD
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Supply Drop: Games & Players
Upcoming Games (November 4 - 11)
City Bus Manager - PC
Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime - PC
Football Manager 2023 - PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch
God of War Ragnarok - PlayStation
Harvestella - PC, Switch
It Takes Two - Switch
A Little To The Left - PC
Lunistice - PC, Switch
Police Simulator: Patrol Officers - PlayStation, Xbox
Shadow of the Guild - PC
Sonic Frontiers - PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch
Soulstone Survivors - PC
The Unliving - PC
The series stars Kratos, a former Spartan soldier that turns into, you guessed it – the God of War. The original series of games from 2005-13 are considered the "Greek Era" of the franchise, primarily focusing on mythology from that region/period, while the modern games from 2018 and now 2022 are in the "Norse Era."
- God of War (2005)
- God of War II (2007)
- God of War III (2010)
- God of War (2018)
- God of War Ragnarok (2022)
-Dustin Downs, Editor
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The Tap: News to Go
- Game Streaming: Stream viewership dipped slightly in September, according to StreamElement’s latest State of the Stream report. Total hours watched on Twitch were down 7%, with YouTube Gaming down 1%. Part of the decrease was September’s shorter length compared to August.
- Mobile Gaming: Netflix announced it is acquiring Seattle-based SpryFox, its sixth in-house studio. The company has hinted at an expansion into full-blown cloud gaming as it grows its roster of mobile titles on Netflix.
- Xbox: Twitch is partnering with Xbox to offer three months of PC Game Pass with the purchase of a Twitch subscription or gifting two subs (courtesy of The Verge). It’s an interesting deal given Twitch is owned by Amazon, which has its own game subscription (Prime Gaming) and cloud gaming (Luna) services.