A Trifecta Column: The Division, PS VR, Console Cross-playing

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I swear, there a lot of times when having to wait two weeks between my columns is just too much! This is one of those times. With so much going on in a two-week span, I decided that instead of just taking on one topic and forgetting the others, I’m just going to tackle them all at once.

THE DIVISION – FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Ok this surprised me. I never took part in the open beta for The Division, nor did I have any interest in doing so. Early reports made the game sound like it was going to be as if Destiny was set in New York. You all know my opinion on Destiny; even though my experience with the Taken King was slightly better, it still wore quite thin real quickly and I lost interest in about five to ten hours.

Thankfully I gave The Division a fair shake at launch, and I’m hooked. Yes the gunplay might feel a bit like Destiny, but a deeper look with the perk system reminds me a bit of Borderlands, especially with my character deploying a turret when needed. Yes at higher levels, enemies turn into bullet sponges, but that didn’t detract me from playing. And don’t even get me started on the Mexican Standoffs that are the Dark Zone Extractions. Those alone can be terrifying, especially if your fellow agents go rogue on you. Needless to say, I’m surprised at how good the game is.

PLAYSTATION VR PRICE ANNOUNCED…OR HAS IT?

With GDC taking place this week, Sony finally announced the price of PlayStation VR, and at first glance it might not seem that bad at all compared to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive…$400. However, what is not being mentioned clearly about why it is only $400. In addition to the PlayStation VR headset, you will also need to purchase the PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move controllers separately. With doing so, the price will actually go up to near $500, and that’s not even counting any games to play with your new hardware.

In addition, Sony admitted that the image quality will be subpar compared to Oculus, and we haven’t even considered some of the side effects that could result from VR. In fact, Sony recommends that it only be played by those over 12 as a child’s brain is not fully developed enough to handle VR. Surely it will be quite successful at launch, but when you think about it, so was Kinect.

MICROSOFT INVITES SONY AND NINTENDO FOR CROSS-PLATFORM PLAY, BUT WILL THEY ACCEPT?

This came as a surprise. ID@Xbox head Chris Charla announced that Xbox One games will finally support cross platform play with PC, with Rocket League being the first game to do so. However the surprise came when they said they are inviting other platforms to join in, including PlayStation and Nintendo. I have to admit, this is huge news and would be a good way to allow everyone to co-exist: Xbox, PC, and PlayStation (with Nintendo along the way too.) My biggest concern is if the other companies, namely Sony, would accept the offer. After all, this is the same Sony who turned down EA Access for claiming it was not a good value to their customers, despite reports being to the contrary.

A few days ago there was some promise when Sony said the following in a statement:

“We would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play.”

But in an interview, when Yoshida was asked about it, he replied with the following:

“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward. Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish. We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.”

I’m really hoping that they do look into this. Allowing cross platform gameplay will be great for everyone. Although like I said, based on past experiences with Sony, I don’t see it happening as they seem to be complacent with their current status. How is that “4 the Players?”

Either way, looks like I might have to give Rocket League on the X1 a try now, as I can at least play against those on the PC.

Currently Playing: The Division (Xbox One,) Fallout 4 (PC,) Far Cry Primal (PC)

Waiting For: DOOM (Xbox One)

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