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Garrett Williamson
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Zircon:

I think you vastly overestimate the penetration of broadband Internet. Your high % does not take into account what speed of "broadband" people have, for instance -- a relatively low percentage of the US has speeds of 15 Mbps or higher. Visit the Midwest sometime (and not the Twin Cities etc. where OA and I are, but the rural, farm communities that make up a majority of the space here) and you'll discover lots of houses that can barely get a 3 Mbps DSL connection -- cabled broadband is not even planned for many of the places in Iowa and Nebraska, and I imagine the rest of the Midwest is similar.

Your analogy that "Steam works this way and we don't care" falls flat because people who game on PCs are generally wiling to tinker to make things function, including their Internet settings. People buy consoles because they _work_. Moms in farming communities who make purchasing decisions want to buy one device that plays Blu-ray movies and games, and they want it to work with zero further input from them, including hooking the thing up to the Internet.

As of 2010, only 54% of Wii owners, 73% of 360 owners, and 78% of PS3 owners hooked their consoles up to the Internet. This move isolates 15-20% of the total market.

Again assuming the "check in" is just a quick authorization / validation thing, then even a 1Mbps connection would seem to be sufficient, right? I can't imagine that they are going to require you to download 500mb files every day, that wouldn't make any sense on any level.

I agree with you that ease of use is an important factor. That being said, we've also seen in the last 3 years most major updates + new services requiring online connectivity, so I would bet those numbers are even higher now. I think Microsoft is doubling down on their core demographic here. There are also cases like mine, where I WOULD have my 360 online but it doesn't have wifi by default, so I can't (not buying a $100 adapter). If it did, I would!

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They probably saw how much money they were making, got arrogant (like Sony in the PS2 days), and thought they could become auteurs or something, by making garbage games like Metroid: Other M.

Nintendo and Sony did the exact same thing - get really successful, dominate the market, and then forget why they even dominated the market to begin with.

Maybe it's a Japan thing, I dunno.

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These companies can't really try to compete. If they try to be multi-media devices, some company like Apple is just going to come in and wipe the floor with them with the iTV or something like that. The real competition from apple is not the rise in mobile games on phones, it's about the media capabilities of the Apple products.

This makes so little sense. Show me what companies are making similar multimedia devices - devices that sit in your living room and play games, connect to the internet, show live TV, Skype, Netflix, etc. Does anything like that exist? Your argument seems to be that it doesn't, but that it WILL exist... huh? What leads you to believe that Apple has any interest in doing this? Microsoft and Sony have been growing and competing in this space for 6 years. Look at the status of the PS3 at launch, and look at the range of online apps + services it has now. Game consoles ARE the all-in-one media devices you're talking about.

That's why the Wii and DS were able to succeed so well, in that they completely side-stepped the coming struggle with Apple, and focused on gaming.

Wow, so in 2004 Nintendo predicted the iPhone that would be released 3 years later, really? Again this makes no sense, like literally there is no logical connect going on here. The DS was successful because the iPhone didn't exist yet. Now that smartphones are ubiquitous, they have cut heavily into the market share of handhelds. That kind of goes against your argument 100%, because it shows that multi-use devices have a huge market impact over dedicated devices.

Any console that tries to do otherwise, in this economic climate, is going to fizzle out. To say otherwise is just not seeing the macro-economic picture.

Again this is like the bizzaro-world interpretation of reality. In this economic climate, where people DON'T have much extra money, people DON'T want to spend money on devices and products that do only one thing. Why buy a Nintendo 3DS when your phone can play handheld games? Why buy a Blu-Ray player and a Netflix box and ____ when you could buy a single console that does everything? People want to buy LESS, not MORE, in bad economic times.

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As many people have stated, the "always on" or "check-in" or whatever the hell it is troubles me.

When I spent 9 months in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for school, there was no Internet and almost no cell phone signal. If my Xbox would have shut down after 24 hours, I would have lost my goddamned mind in that little podunk. I spent numerous hours, not only by myself, but with many friends playing Xbox because THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO DO.

This is the problem with these types of systems.

I've been a gamer all my life, and from what Microsoft is telling me, I don't fucking matter anymore if I end up in a place without Internet connectivity. That is fucking bullshit.

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Wow, so in 2004 Nintendo predicted the iPhone that would be released 3 years later, really? Again this makes no sense, like literally there is no logical connect going on here. The DS was successful because the iPhone didn't exist yet. Now that smartphones are ubiquitous, they have cut heavily into the market share of handhelds. That kind of goes against your argument 100%, because it shows that multi-use devices have a huge market impact over dedicated devices.

The reason that smartphone games are so successful has nothing to do with cellphones being multi-purpose devices.

Smartphone games like Angry Birds are successful because they invaded an immensely popular "multi-purpose" device primarily used for only one thing: texting. So you can play an addicting video game in between texting whilst waiting for the bus.

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This makes so little sense. Show me what companies are making similar multimedia devices - devices that sit in your living room and play games, connect to the internet, show live TV, Skype, Netflix, etc. Does anything like that exist? Your argument seems to be that it doesn't, but that it WILL exist... huh? What leads you to believe that Apple has any interest in doing this? Microsoft and Sony have been growing and competing in this space for 6 years. Look at the status of the PS3 at launch, and look at the range of online apps + services it has now. Game consoles ARE the all-in-one media devices you're talking about.

Wow, so in 2004 Nintendo predicted the iPhone that would be released 3 years later, really? Again this makes no sense, like literally there is no logical connect going on here. The DS was successful because the iPhone didn't exist yet. Now that smartphones are ubiquitous, they have cut heavily into the market share of handhelds. That kind of goes against your argument 100%, because it shows that multi-use devices have a huge market impact over dedicated devices.

Again this is like the bizzaro-world interpretation of reality. In this economic climate, where people DON'T have much extra money, people DON'T want to spend money on devices and products that do only one thing. Why buy a Nintendo 3DS when your phone can play handheld games? Why buy a Blu-Ray player and a Netflix box and ____ when you could buy a single console that does everything? People want to buy LESS, not MORE, in bad economic times.

Watching the tech market, and essentially working in it for years, I must wholeheartedly agree with Zircon on all his points. I am however surprised a bit that MS jumped on the Blu-ray bandwagon, paying out all those license fees for what is pretty much a dying medium. But then again, I suppose we still need the physical market and 50GB discs for the increasingly massive games. Perhaps by the next generation, Google Fiber will have kicked the US into a new era of high speed internet, where the cloud is endless, and the speed is limitless.

Aside from that, regarding games (PS4 and One), for anyone doubting, I believe we're just seeing a rehash of the launch days of 360 and PS3. Remember Perfect Dark Zero? Now look at Watch Dogs, Forza 4, etc. Right now, gaming companies are adapting current tech and engines in infancy to high specs, maxing them out for launch games. I think "next gen" for these consoles will start spreading its wings when we see the first Unreal Engine 4 game, and perhaps Frostbite 4 (post BF4). :D

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Wii U has Super Mario U on it. It also has Monster Hunter and Nintendo Land. These aren't sketching art games. They are actual games that you play on the TV in high resolution. I don't understand why you're complaining about the Wii U not being a games system. Nintendo historically focuses their hardware on gaming.

Because I'm sick and tired of New Super Mario Bros. Monster Hunter... eh...

I guess what I mean is there aren't all that many good games, or even more so not many games for the Wii U. I'm not necessarily complaining about it; I just haven't seen anything on it that has caught my eye yet.

What I'm waiting for is releasing this holiday season, so that will get me to go buy one. Mario 3D title, Wind Waker remake, Mario Kart, eventually a new Smash Bros., new Sonic game (that hopefully won't be crap), eventually a new Zelda original title... That's the stuff I want, personally.

Hopefully Metroid will come into the light here.

See, the Wii was for cool people. It was the best and most brilliant marketing we saw in the last three generations (counting this one). It was a console about playing games. And it was pretty darn successful at it too, until Nintendo abandoned that approach, and it became the Netflix box.

Exactly. I don't think they've taken it as far as One and PS4, but it seems that the 8th generation is just more obsessed with everything BUT the games. That is a bit of an overexaggeration, as that is obviously not completely true. The new graphics limitations for the One is actually really quite outstanding and I'm really happy about that.

But again, as I stated earlier, Microsoft said that all of the games will be announced at E3. They were simply getting the console announcement out of the way so they could focus on showing off games at E3.

But let's be honest, the amount of other things they are sticking in there just seems a bit unnecessary to me. I wanna play games. I have an iPod. I have a TV and DVR. I have a DVD player and Netflix.

I'm so old fashioned. That's how I am with phones too. I have a simple phone because I use a phone to call people; not play on apps and check the weather.

Edited by Garrett Williamson
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To the "all-in-one box" arguments -

These companies can't really try to compete. If they try to be multi-media devices, some company like Apple is just going to come in and wipe the floor with them with the iTV or something like that. The real competition from apple is not the rise in mobile games on phones, it's about the media capabilities of the Apple products.

AppleTV already exists and it does slightly more than the Xbox and PS3 can do right now in terms of multimedia. PS4 and XBO could have no problem overcoming most of the new multimedia boxes flooding the market in the imminent death of traditional broadcast television.

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The reason that smartphone games are so successful has nothing to do with cellphones being multi-purpose devices.

Smartphone games like Angry Birds are successful because they invaded an immensely popular "multi-purpose" device primarily used for only one thing: texting. So you can play an addicting video game in between texting whilst waiting for the bus.

Yes, of course the games had to have widely appealing design to be successful. But the point is that pre-smartphone era, if you wanted handheld gaming, you had to buy a dedicated handheld console. Now, you don't. There is a massive game library for iPhone and Android, with many free and 99 cent titles. Hence why it is cutting into the market share for Sony/Nintendo so much. Why spend $100+ on a dedicated gaming handheld, and then $15-30+ per game, when I could just as easily play Jetpack Joyride, Punch Quest, Dungeon Story, Scramble With Friends, etc., for a couple bucks?

People have limited time and money. Now that smartphones are a viable gaming platform for many, MANY people, a good chunk of them are choosing to use their time & money on those, and not dedicated handhelds.

EDIT: Apple TV is the perfect point in favor of my argument. It's a big failure. All three generations of AppleTV have sold, in total, <6m (as far as I can tell). Why is it a big failure? Among other reasons, because it doesn't do enough. I own a PS3 and I see absolutely no benefit to getting an AppleTV, since my PS3 does basically all of that stuff, AND it plays games and Blurays. If I were a new customer, I would look at both, and then choose the PS3 for the same reason. The PS3 does more.

Edited by zircon
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I think people bitching about "WHERE R TEH GAMEZ??!" forget that the games are made mostly by third parties. A console reveal is about what the console makers have made. The software made by a console manufacturer is mostly NOT GAMES. It is other software to showcase the full functionality of the system. If you are so worried about the games, then stop pinning it on Sony and Microsft and go find Ubisoft/Capcom/EA/whatever and ask the m about the games.

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whether or not they interest you is not an objective indicator of their quality

Ok then. Like I said, I wasn't straight out complaining about the Wii U. It just hasn't got me yet. And it's probably not doing so well right now because some of Nintendo's bests haven't really appeared on the console yet. Sure, there's NSMBU, but honestly those just feel old now. It's probably just because 2 of them were released at practically the same exact time, and honestly they all just seem the same to me, with just new powerups and such.

I bet that the Wii U's sales will rise a whole bunch after E3 and this holiday.

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Ok then. Like I said, I wasn't straight out complaining about the Wii U. It just hasn't got me yet. And it's probably not doing so well right now because some of Nintendo's bests haven't really appeared on the console yet. Sure, there's NSMBU, but honestly those just feel old now. It's probably just because 2 of them were released at practically the same exact time, and honestly they all just seem the same to me, with just new powerups and such.

I bet that the Wii U's sales will rise a whole bunch after E3 and this holiday.

I think the real problem is Nintendo's inability to market correctly. I think they're losing touch with a western audience, and continue to be the cranky grandpa that's "doing the thing that's always seemed to work." Well, the world has changed, and you can't keep doing this low investment / high profit margin anymore. People are holding their money tighter, and the reason people aren't getting a Wii U, is the same reason people don't buy as many point n shoot cameras. We have "all-in-one" devices, smartphones, tablets, etc.

The other problem is Nintendo's kid audience from the 80's and 90's grew up. Apparently the company didn't. The main thing really driving Nintendo is the loyal fanbase, the fanboys, and moms buying the "cheaper kid system" for their young kids. I haven't seen a true hardcore market for Nintendo since the 64, and I truly mean that. Nintendo needs to get their act together. They are bold and innovative, yes, and are also my childhood nostalgia. It's just their marketing decisions that suck.

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But let's be honest, the amount of other things they are sticking in there just seems a bit unnecessary to me. I wanna play games. I have an iPod. I have a TV and DVR. I have a DVD player and Netflix.

I'm so old fashioned. That's how I am with phones too. I have a simple phone because I use a phone to call people; not play on apps and check the weather.

I'm with you. This whole philosophy of "let's cram everything into one device!" has led to a market saturated with identical-looking, touchscreen-only smartphones that are jacks of all trades but masters of none, and I want absolutely nothing to do with them. My ancient candy-bar dumb phone makes calls and sends texts, and that's all I need it to do. If I want a camera, I'll buy a quality DSLR (or hell, even a small pocket camera) that's designed from the ground up to take quality pictures, not use a built-in one with a pinhole-sized aperture. If I want to play games, I'll buy an actual gaming system with actual games on it that don't involve slicing up fruit. If I want to do some Web-browsing, I'll use my actual desktop, where I can middle-click open new tabs and utilize downloads right away and generally not have to smear the hell out of the screen in order to scroll.

It's all lowest-common-denominator nonsense, and all of these "features" on the One (welcome to 2001 with that name?) are in the same vein. If you have a TV subscription, you probably already have a cable box or the like, so why would you need another device doing the same things, most likely not as well? I'd assume pretty much everyone who wants one has a Blu-ray player by this point, and both those and more recent TVs have Hulu Plus and Netflix and the like built in already. I mean, I probably wasn't going to get this new thing anyway, since the only machine of the previous gen I invested any time into was the Wii, but this presentation just turned Microsoft into a laughingstock.

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I think the real problem is Nintendo's inability to market correctly. I think they're losing touch with a western audience, and continue to be the cranky grandpa that's "doing the thing that's always seemed to work." Well, the world has changed, and you can't keep doing this low investment / high profit margin anymore. People are holding their money tighter, and the reason people aren't getting a Wii U, is the same reason people don't buy as many point n shoot cameras. We have "all-in-one" devices, smartphones, tablets, etc.

The other problem is Nintendo's kid audience from the 80's and 90's grew up. Apparently the company didn't. The main thing really driving Nintendo is the loyal fanbase, the fanboys, and moms buying the "cheaper kid system" for their young kids. I haven't seen a true hardcore market for Nintendo since the 64, and I truly mean that. Nintendo needs to get their act together. They are bold and innovative, yes, and are also my childhood nostalgia. It's just their marketing decisions that suck.

I get ya. The Wii did very well, though, and (last time I checked; a few months back), Wii was still winning against PS3 and 360 in sales of 7th gen consoles.

The GameCube sorta failed (not horribly, just not as well as the N64 and Wii did), though it is one of my favorite game consoles, honestly.

Honestly, like this Top Gun guy and I are saying, I just don't care to have it all in one. I want a game console. I want to play games.

Let's just go back to switching to Channel 3 or 4 again. :-D

I'm not old (not even close), but I totally act like an 87 year old man. I just seemed to enjoy the 90s too much. At least in the gaming industry, that seemed like the best 10 years of video games in history. I mean, I was born in the 90s, so maybe that's why I loved it so much. I donno.

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I'd consider buying one myself if I wasn't such a big fan of playing video games

Of the 15 pages of comments I just read, I thought this was the most noteworthy - Touche sir. I was in tears.

As far as the consoles go, all I will say is that I'm not very keen on the idea of the 24 hour check-in requirement, but eh...

It's going to be the games that gets mah hormones flowin, so we'll see what happens, but that image of all the publishers that PS3 had signed for projects was looking mighty appetizing to me. Until E3 though, I just don't really have an opinion yet.

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I'm with you. This whole philosophy of "let's cram everything into one device!" has led to a market saturated with identical-looking, touchscreen-only smartphones that are jacks of all trades but masters of none, and I want absolutely nothing to do with them. My ancient candy-bar dumb phone makes calls and sends texts, and that's all I need it to do. If I want a camera, I'll buy a quality DSLR (or hell, even a small pocket camera) that's designed from the ground up to take quality pictures, not use a built-in one with a pinhole-sized aperture. If I want to play games, I'll buy an actual gaming system with actual games on it that don't involve slicing up fruit. If I want to do some Web-browsing, I'll use my actual desktop, where I can middle-click open new tabs and utilize downloads right away and generally not have to smear the hell out of the screen in order to scroll.

You're entitled to your opinion, but you are in the minority here. Smartphones are hammering the market for dedicated handhelds, dedicated cameras, etc. How about PDAs and MP3 players? Pretty much dead at this point. GPSes are most likely getting shredded as well. Most people seem to really prefer just having that one device that does everything as opposed to a camera, GPS, PDA, MP3 player, and a Nintendo 3DS all being carried with them along with a dumbphone. The market is only going to keep moving more in this direction, not away from it.

It's all lowest-common-denominator nonsense, and all of these "features" on the One (welcome to 2001 with that name?) are in the same vein. If you have a TV subscription, you probably already have a cable box or the like, so why would you need another device doing the same things, most likely not as well? I'd assume pretty much everyone who wants one has a Blu-ray player by this point, and both those and more recent TVs have Hulu Plus and Netflix and the like built in already. I mean, I probably wasn't going to get this new thing anyway, since the only machine of the previous gen I invested any time into was the Wii, but this presentation just turned Microsoft into a laughingstock.

The PS3 has sold something like 70+ million units, I would guess it's the most popular Blu-ray player by far. I highly doubt that the sales of all Netflix-enabled TVs combined don't even approach 10% of that. (Also, most TVs don't have that kind of functionality built in, only a pretty small subset do).

EDIT: Worth noting, Microsoft has NOT confirmed used-game fees OR online requirements. The only thing they HAVE confirmed is that you can trade in and sell games.

http://www.polygon.com/2013/5/21/4353538/xbox-one-perform-recurring-online-checks-even-for-offline-play

So it looks like they are merely considering the online check-in thing. It's not confirmed.

Edited by zircon
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Oh, I know I'm in the minority, but that just makes me all the more upset. (I was reading an article the other day about people using their iPads of all things to hold up in front of their faces and take pictures, and I was like...do you realize what massive idiots you look like right now?) The average user has little to no appreciation for the actual quality of the individual features they're using; they're willing to give up functionality for the sake of convenience. I, on the other hand, am not.

And yes, I'm sure the PS3 is by far the most popular Blu-ray player out there, but a big part of that is because it served the same role that the PS2's DVD-playing capabilities did at its release: it offered a feature that the majority of people didn't have access to at that time, which was one of its big selling points. By the year 2013, this no longer applies, since most people either have their PS3 already, or just a normal stand-alone Blu-ray player. As for Netflix, even if you put the enabled TVs aside, you still have the whole current gen of consoles, plus the aforementioned stand-alone Blu-ray players, plus many DVRs, plus your usual array of smartphones and tablets. Using Netflix access as a selling point of a new console is kind of meaningless now.

Here's a fun fact I just came across: the One apparently dedicates 3 GB of RAM out of its 8 total for its OS...because it's actually running three OSes simultaneously. Oh Microsoft, never change.

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This article explains some stuff about the used games:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-05-22-phil-harrison-tries-again-to-clarify-game-ownership-second-hand-sales-and-always-online-in-xbox-one

It's clear you can't play used games without paying the price again. However, he states that there will be reselling and stuff, but he doesn't say how they'll do it.

About the "all in one" market, I don't see why the same that is happening with phones should happen with home consoles. People seem to prefer smartphones over other devices (which is a bit debatable since the 3DS isn't doing bad) because it is more comfortable to carry less stuff. That doesn't necessarily apply to the home market, but we'll have to see what happens!

Besides, most of Xbox's services are avaible on the US so it isn't a big deal in other countries.

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Most people seem to really prefer just having that one device that does everything as opposed to a camera, GPS, PDA, MP3 player, and a Nintendo 3DS all being carried with them along with a dumbphone. The market is only going to keep moving more in this direction, not away from it.

It may be true that people don't want to carry their 3DS if they're carrying their phone but as of April Nintendo 3DS North American sales were outpacing Nintendo DS's by a million units (and the iPad didn't even exist back when the DS was 2 years old). So I guess people want to game on their dedicated (Nintendo) handhelds after all. Can't really speak for the PDA.

I know for a while there when the 3DS was doing abysmally (and the Vita is still doing abysmally) it was tempting to attribute all their ills to the rise of the mighty smartphone, but let's not give them too much credit.

Though I will admit that maybe there's not enough room for two dedicated handhelds anymore (and there barely was at that - DS vs PSP.)

Oh, this is the Xbox One thread. Hm. I guess someone should've let Phil Harrison know not to say anything one way or the other about that 24-hour always-online check-in. You'd think they would've been well-prepared to tackle related inquiries, with all the controversy.

As for how I see the PS4 and One launches playing out:

The way I see it, the 360 took the early lead last gen for two reasons initially: a) the lower price (compared to PS3's $599 US DOLLARS) which begat the second reason B) "my friend has one so I'll get one" - this translated to a preference for the 360 concerning multiplatform software as well(you could also factor in PS3 earning a reputation for being hard to develop games for). All of this in spite of Sony's landslide dominance of the previous gen with PS2.

Thinking about how Xbox One and PS4 (PS4 has a Cloud-based solution for legacy titles but I'm not sure how it works) virtually reset all physical and digital game collections and noting that no-one's friends have one yet (as was a common deciding factor for those deciding whether to get a PS3 or 360 last gen), it looks like both consoles start from scratch again concerning a literal install-base. Leads me to wonder which console will be less expensive, which could be the decisive key to victory since both consoles will probably offer comparable 3rd multi-platform options again in addition to the seemingly less important specialities of each company (Microsoft's timed-exclusive CoD DLC & Kinect - Sony's stable of 1st party dev studios and IPs - Gaikai).

Edited by ocre
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Im with the other guys, were probably a minority I mean this is a forum whose core audience is 20 something ish dudes who grew up on the 8 and 16 bit games.

But I really miss turning on the system maybe seeing a quick one second nintendo logo, Only because it was apart of the game, then start to play.

If I want to play anything now it takes a few minutes, thats if I can even play without an up date.

SSF2 is a tight finished game and it ain't need no updates, cept maybe the music, it could use a remix or two.

This is probaly going to be the first generation where I dont get a system for a long time.

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i grew up poor, so every generation was one with systems that i didn't get for some time.

i try to get them eventually, but this is one system that i don't plan on getting. at all.

even the ps4 has a few things that interest me, but this? nothing. we'll see what happens as more comes out, especially after E3, but... for now, not interested.

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