Coffee Break Mailbag – June 26th, 2017

Good morning to all of our readers and listeners. This is the first ever edition of Coffee Break Mailbag (with Ben). Each and every Friday the bros make a post on Facebook asking for questions they should cover in their discussion segment. They wish they had the time to cover all of the questions but unfortunately they don’t. That is where I come in. After each podcast I will go through the list of questions asked, but not answered. Alas, I also won’t be able to cover all of the questions that are posted on Facebook. Please don’t be discouraged if your question isn’t selected. If needed I will increase the frequency of these posts to cover more of the questions asked as needed.

As we all know the time between E3 and Gamescom in August can be a dead period. There are a lack of major game releases and gaming related news. Let’s jump into some discussion questions to take our minds off the lack of news and new releases.

 The first console that I was capable of buying on launch day was the Xbox 360 in November of 2005. Now, while I couldn’t technically purchase it on launch day because at the time I worked at Best Buy and employees weren’t allowed to buy the console I had my dad pick it up for me and I immediately repaid him. For the Nintendo Wii I waited outside in the frigid cold with my friends while they purchased the Wii. The time spent waiting in lines with my friends was awesome. It is something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. When I was in college the Xbox One came out and I ended up purchasing the console on launch day for $500.

Less than six months later I was burned when they announced they were dropping Kinect from the system and selling it for $100 less. It really stung. As I have grown older (and probably cheaper) I don’t really see as many benefits in buying a console on launch day anymore. Why spend $400 or $500 on the console with only a limited number of games available for the first year. By year two the console will drop in price and the number of games available are much larger.

However, with Microsoft continually emphasizing the fact that you will never lose your games I would consider buying a new Xbox on launch day. You can trade in your current system for around $100 or more on Amazon right now. Gamestop has better deals though. Just keep any eye on when they are running trade in deals. They typically offer you even more incentives when you trade in a console in order to upgrade. If you don’t mind possibly getting burned by a potential price drop in the first two years of a console and the lack of games to play then buying on launch day is a good idea. Otherwise, give it a year or two to upgrade.

I really don’t see anything wrong with “copycat” games. Copycat games is what brought us Killzone, an overall great game that just didn’t live up to Halo but it was a great game in its own way. Some of the best books, games, comics, etc are based on others people’s work. We have started to see a trend of smaller studios innovating in terms of genre, and then larger studios pick up on this as the demand for them has grown. 

This is a very controversial question and depending on who you ask you will get widely different answers. I am a software developer so I can understand the limitations of developing for specific hardware and trying to make things compatible across devices. The Xbox One and the One S shouldn’t hold back developers. People that say otherwise are just being sour pusses. Let’s take phones for examples. If you have two Android phones running the same operating system version but have different hardware specifications they have the capability to play the same games and the same apps (for the most point unless a piece of hardware is missing from the other). The same goes for a PC. You have a minimum specification set by a developer. We see all different types of new gameplay features coming from small indie teams with 8-bit style graphics and so-on. The hardware will limit the graphic fidelity of the games. The gameplay functionality works on a $500 PC the same it does on a $2,000 system. The difference is in the graphics. That is exactly what is going on with the different versions of the Xbox console. You don’t need 60 FPS to play a shooter and compete. There is a lot more that impacts your ability to compete than just framerate: internet speed, controller, distance of controller to console, ISP, skill level, TV refresh rate, etc.

Don’t let people say framerate is holding it back. If anything it would be the limited skill of a developer to utilize the tools provided to them and their inability to think outside the box. 

We are now almost 4 years into the console lifecycle. Microsoft does need new franchises. Not because of the fear of a decline in sales but because of the need to continue to be competitive. Phil Spencer stated that he wanted first party titles in each genre. The majority of gamers wouldn’t take an indie exclusive in a specific genre as fulfilling what he stated. The currently lacking genres for Microsoft would be adventure games and role playing games. I feel those are two genres Microsoft really needs to announce an exclusive for. I would love another Fable or story driven RPG game. The 360 had a lot of good first party RPGs but the Xbox One has been really lacking in this area. 

FUUUUSSSIIIION FREEEENZZY!!!! Seriously, if you have never played this game you need to get it when it becomes Backward Compatible. If they updated it to include online multiplayer oh boy! That game was awesome. I remember spending hours trying to kick my brother’s butt in that game. The mini game with the spinning screw that you had to jump or duck under. That mini-game was frustrating but addictive. This was Microsoft’s version of Mario Party and in my opinion they really had something on their hands with this one. Bring it back Microsoft. Give us a new Fusion Frenzy and Viva Pinata. The internet and world will explode. 

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Paul, your kids will only be able to play your games if they are signed into your account. You would end up switching the game share with your brother to your new One X. This means that your old xbox wouldn’t be set to anyone’s home xbox. The only way that Xbox would be able to play a digital title is when logged into the account that purchased the game. This means you wouldn’t be able to play the games at the same time as your kids. I think that is the case. I am not 100% sure though.

That’s all the questions I have time for this week. Be sure to comment on the Facebook post every Friday or you can send questions to me on Twitter @The_Zoolabus. See y’all next week.

 

Author Ben Gooding

Some say he likes to eat both the right and left Twix. Some say his favorite Star Wars movie is A Phantom Menace. All we know is we call him Zoolabus. You can follow him on Twitter @TheZoolabus, on Xbox @Zoolabus and his adorable dog on Instagram @ScarlettMaeCav.