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Gran Tourismo HD Cars Sold Seperately? 329

Posted by Zonk
from the next-gen-equals-cha-ching dept.
KDR_11k writes "1up reports on a Famitsu article discussing the future of microtransactions for PS3. According to the article, Gran Tourismo HD will require all cars to be bought via microtransactions. More specifically, the 'classic' package will come with no cars or tracks and the 'premium' package will include 30 cars and a measly 2 tracks to race on. Additional cars cost between 50 and 100 yen ($0.43-$0.85) and tracks go for 200-500 yen ($1.71-$4.26) a piece. No pricing was given for the game itself." From the article: "Now, is it possible that the game will be a full-priced title with a built-in download system that allows users to download cars and tracks equal to the number of the game's retail price? We hope the model ends up similar to this. However, right now, details are extremely sparse, and Sony has to have an answer to these questions -- most of the people who can answer are over in Tokyo, we'll update if we hear back. Welcome to next-gen."
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Gran Tourismo HD Cars Sold Seperately?

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  • by mr_zorg (259994) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:47PM (#16170601)
    Welcome to next-gen.
    Next-gen gaming is already here in the form on the XBOX360, and I have yet to see any such approach there. Don't go trying to make people think ALL next-gen games will be like that. Add up all of Sony's mis-steps lately and you can't help but come to the conclusion that they've lost their minds.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Soul-Burn666 (574119)
      Two words... "Horse armor" [slashdot.org]
      • by Fruny (194844) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:09PM (#16170769)
        Actually, I'm thinking "used games". This is a nice way for tham to make used games less attractive, since the original purchaser will already have consumed any "credit" that came bundled with the game (and we're not talking about a MMO subscription here). Instead you'll have to go back to Sony and pay them before the game becomes usable. Pure genius.

        1) Make money off the initial sale.
        2) Make money off the used game market.
        3) Profit!
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Xymor (943922)
          Everyone blames Sony, but this ideia has probably originated from publishers or developers. Used games sales bring no profit whatsoever to hardware manufacturers, game publishers or developers. This way they could still allow a used game market, yet, cashing in on it. I don't like this one bit, if they don't release a full version of the game I simply won't buy it, but I can see their point of view. As I see they could go even go the extra mile and provide console-locking ability, publishers would just cl
          • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @07:38PM (#16171391)
            Used game sales bring no profit to the hardware manufacturers, game publishers, and developers for a reason. They've already sold the product.

            Your other point about them "allowing" a used game market is quite apropos to how they feel..
          • by gutnor (872759) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @07:55PM (#16171471)
            "Used games sales bring no profit whatsoever to hardware manufacturers, game publishers or developers."

            Off course they do. Saying that it brings nothing to the developer is the same fallacy than saying that one pirate copy of Windows is one net sale less for Microsoft. There are other dynamics: for example people sell game and reinvest the money directly into new games, or people that get access to more title in the second hand market and may become buyer in the first hand market, or some people invest more because they have the feeling than they can always resell it if they don't like it, ...

            That's very difficult to know the real NET effect of second hand sales. Second Hand market is legit and part of the dynamic of the market. Killing the second hand market is only telling your customer that the intrinsic value of your product is nil. That's not actually a problem, that's working for an entry to the theater for example but that doesn't mean that you will be able to continue to sell your game with the same price tag.
            The new price tag may be higher if the demand is high and the offer is low but in this case I doubt it. If the second hand market is really causing them a net problem, then maybe that's because the perceived value of their product is already lower than their price tag ( no replayability, poor packaging, feeling of disposable product instead of exclusive product, ... )
            • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @10:32PM (#16172155) Homepage Journal
              Of course, limiting second-hand sales does impact the market. The harder it is to buy second-hand games, the more likely it is to find them available via BitTorrent, nicely cracked and proper.

              The torrent version of Half-Life 2 even had a fancy optimizer (not sold by Valve) that made the game run faster and fixed a few bugs. I'm still waiting to see the first game that can't be diddled to defeat the copy protection or online authentication. Or maybe it's already come along but nobody cared (or bought the title).

              I say, let these foolish content providers destroy themselves with more onerous methods of limiting the value of their games to the second-hand market. It will give us a new generation of creative young people who will be our next software designers. And other companies will come along that embrace their customers and the after-market market that provides us with a longer life for our games in the form of mods and patches.

              Most of you aren't old enough to remember the motto of merchants in the past: "The Customer is Always Right" - a motto that made them successful and their customers happy. These rapacious bastards have embraced the opposite approach to the people that keep them in business.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Shadow99_1 (86250)
                One of my favorite teachers redid the phrase "The Customer is always right." into "The customer isn't always right, but they are the custoemr and deserve respect". Customers will bleed you dry if you are to nice to them, but you can't be an ass either as no one will want your product. I've found it works far better in the real world then assuming they are right no matter what. It's a matter of attitude rather than policy which really makes the difference...
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Rich0 (548339)
              You missed another aspect of the used market which impacts the first-sale market - value. A game which can be resold is more valuable than a game that cannot. Sure, people don't think about it much now, but that is only because all the titles can be resold. If you end up with a mix people will realize that a resellable game is cheaper since once you get tired of it you can recoup some of your initial investment by selling it. A game which cannot be resold just sits on the shelf unused.

              What is the 5-year
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Loadmaster (720754)
        Good point, but the horse armor add on isn't nearly as necessary as cars or tracks in a racing game.

        Swi
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Morphine007 (207082)

          Myes... welcome to the brave new world of buying your games one strip at a time [penny-arcade.com] I think the simplest and most elegant way of making this fad die amongst developers is also the best way of getting back at them for ramming this down our throats in the first place. Now... it'll take a bit of coordination... and a very very small degree of work... bah.. fuck it

          I'm hittin IHOP...

        • And now we've seen where that particular slippery slope has led...

      • The difference is that horse armor is crap created after the game that doesn't really have anything to do with the core game. I'm assuming Gran Turismo games came with a plethora of tracks and cars, and that usually they are unlocked after playing through parts of the game. Therefore to me it seems cars and tracks are vital to a racing game, where no one cares if oblivion has horse armor or not.

        I could understand including all the usual cars and tracks in the game, and then selling additional stuff created
      • But with the Horse Armor, you are getting a full featured game, with an add-on. If you decide not to buy this, you aren't really missing out on that much. I think the microtransactions are a great way of allowing you to add small items, but the game should be dependant on them.
      • by Grave (8234)
        There is a very substantial difference to offering small items like that in micro-transactions and making the overwhelming bulk of game material available only by paying extra.

        The worst part of all this is that GT HD is not even a new Gran Turismo game. It is apparently just a high-res revision of GT4.
      • Did anyone actually buy that horse armor?

        I'd happily drop $30 if they'd re-release Morrowind on the Oblivion engine...

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @02:14AM (#16172973)
        The things like horse armour are 100% optional. It's mainly cosmetic and is just kinda silly. There is still an entire very massive game to play without it. It's not like you need horse armour to access any special content. You pays your money for the game, you get tons of entertainment out of it, no additional purchase necessary. Also, on the PC at least, you can mod the shit out of it for free. There are tons of fan created mods that cost nothing. The game not only allows it, but is designed to make it real easy to do.

        What is being proposed for GT would be like selling things in Oblivion on a per quest basis. "Oh you want to do that quest? That'll be $1 please.". In Oblivion they give you plenty for your money, I mean the game is very large, very rich, and very detailed. They are just also willing to sell you some additional content. It's not really worth it and is mostly for show, but if you wish to spend the money fine. However they aren't trying to decrease your experience and require that you buy it.
        • by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @12:17PM (#16176261) Homepage
          Bingo. This is why I have been against micro-transactions in games from the beginning. Its not that the system can't work, its that the companies in the industry are too greedy to let it work successfully. Another part of it is cultural. I know in the east, like Korea, these types of things are kind of expected and well accepted. But in America, we tend to feel that if we purchase something, we own it, and if you want us to pay more for parts of it you're bloody nickle and diming us. And that is indeed how I feel. I even objected to the horse armor even though it was optional. The fact of the matter was that it was something that SHOULD have been included in the game that they quite obviously scraped to sell later.

          And ultimately that is the problem with this extremely slippery slope we've been on with extra content for years now. First it started as full fledged expansions, then smaller expansions, then "episodes" and now items. If they CAN scrape the content and sell it later for more, it has been proven they WILL do it. What's next...paying for stats when you roll your character? You want to play with a good character don't you? That'll be 5 bucks more.

          And thanks to inflation, you don't have just one product going up in price, suddenly all the micro purchases go up in price.

          And the worst part is when buying it gives you an unfair advantage over others. And for those who don't believe this has happened in America yet, I point you to Battlefield 2 and their Special Forces expansion where they let people use those weapons in the regular vanilla game on the ranked servers. And the guns they give have a HUGE advantage.

    • Good and Bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mitchell_pgh (536538) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:22PM (#16170863)
      Like most technologies, I can see the good and bad of this.

      I'm fine with the developers expanding a game (in an incremental way as compared to major expansion packs) after the initial release, but the initial release MUST be a complete gaming experience. To release an incomplete game (no cars or courses as given in the example) and expect users to buy additional components to make the game playable is ridiculous.

      I'm sure this will be sold as a "feature" and will be explained away with "why FORCE users to buy items that they don't want or need," but to me it sounds like a lovely way to force you to sign up for a "service."
    • What is 1up's track record with this sort of reporting?

      If this report is true, why not just make it a racing MMO? It seems like there are enough of that kind of player to justify it.

      At any rate, I'm not interested in an MMO or any game where you must buy enhancements. It's really pretty odd, I know there's some development time in making upgrades and all that, but that's rediculous. If I pay for a game, I expect it to be fully useable out of the box.
    • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @07:11PM (#16171211)
      MS sold additional maps for Halo 2. MS sold cars for PGR2 on Xbox years ago. They have sold two packs of cars on PGR3 for 360. They sold an upgrade for GRAW for $15 that is basically mandatory if you want to play online, because if you don't buy it you can't play in games hosted by people who bought the upgrade, even if they don't use any maps that came with the upgrade.

      They sold a Santa outfit for the main character in Kameo.

      They sell custom player icons for a few bucks. These icons are mostly ads for games.

      They are readying new technology for October that allows developers to see you consumables in game. So they can sell you something, have it wear out and SELL IT TO YOU AGAIN.

      I can understand not knowing the last part, but the rest just shows you aren't paying any attention. If you were looking at everything that is going on, MS would have made your hit list long before Sony.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by HatchedEggs (1002127)
        The difference here just might be that Sony is selling a product WITHOUT ANY cars or courses to run them on. So you could basically buy the product and be able to sit there and look at how pretty the GUI is.

        So I think that your analogy to MS about expansions, consumeable, etc misses the point. Because when those games shipped, the reality of the situation is that you could at least use them.

        Now, if Sony was going ot ship their product for $10 and charge that for the cars, then by all means. However, if they
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by honkycat (249849)
        Note that, at least for Halo 2, if you just waited a few months, the premium maps were released for free.
    • Many 360 games have this "feature" already, it just isn't that bad yet. You don't need to buy weapon packs in Chromehounds, but you'll have an advantage if you do...

      Microsoft announced plans for this back in 2004. They compared it to the ring-tone industry for cell-phones. And unless something major happens, you should expect most PS3 and XB360 games to have micro-payment content from now on.

  • by binkzz (779594) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:47PM (#16170605) Journal
    Dies a fast and painful death. It could completely ruin the console gaming experience.
  • by mikerubin (449692) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:47PM (#16170609)
    batteries not included
    • In this case, cars not included

      What's next? hd output costs extra? textures not included?
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      Manufacturers dont include batteries because:

      1. You cant just fly a product with batteries into the US. Its easier and cheaper to ship batteryless gadgets or did you want to pay a premium on crappy bottom-barrel no name batteries?

      2. Its costs you more because now youre paying increased shipping for the product in the total cost instead of being able to freely choose batteries at the store. What if one brand is one sale but youre paying 2x that in the bundled batteries? Guess what, you just got ripped off.
      • by Tim C (15259) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @05:14PM (#16178443)
        I can't speak for the US, but here in the UK most toys now do come with batteries, while previously they didn't. The change is apparently due to improvements in the shelf life of batteries; before, the batteries would be half-way to useless by the time someone bought the toy and started using it, so there was little point. Battery tech has improved to the point where batteries now have shelf lives measured in years, and it's common for electronic gadgets and toys to include batteries.
  • by raptorspike (765137) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:48PM (#16170617)
    Why does this seem like its going to piss off a number of kids who get this game for christmas or a birthday? "YEA!!! I got Gran Turismo HD!!!" *Runs upstairs and puts it in PS3* "What! No cars! No Tracks! WTF!!"
  • by setirw (854029) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:48PM (#16170621) Homepage
    "Our new game is FREE! Absolutely FREE! Download now!"*

    <fineprint>
    *Mesh vertices are $.000001 each. Rendering engine available for $12.95. Texture maps are $.0001 per pixel.


    Seriously though, reduced-price modular video games expandable through micropayments is a neat concept. I can only hope that such a system remains optional, however...
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:50PM (#16170633)
    With such foresight with games, will the hardware manufacturers catch on as well? I wonder if buttons will come with the controllers or will they be an extra, "optional" feature to, to be purchased on a 1 by 1 and on a "as needed" basis!

    Seriously, it's cool if true EXTRAS are open to purchase, but I tend to feel jipped if a product doesn't even provide the basic experience I was expecting out of the box.
  • ... in fact it looks like that is just what they are doing if they think this will sell. I sure as hell will be the first one to say I will not buy that bunch of bull. I own all the other GT games, and "was" looking forward to the new installments on the next system (when I get around to buying a PS3 which won't be right away). Note the key term of "was" in the previous statement. I certainly WON'T "buy" a game that I can't even play without spending even more money for the individual "parts" that make up t
  • by lonesometrainer (138112) <(vanlil) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:54PM (#16170665)
    Gran Toursimo HD... the only game out there that could possibly make be buy a PS/3. I would have to replace my LCD-TV (no HDMI), would spend big bucks on a PS/3 and even for the game itself.

    I always liked GT... had bought a PS/1 _only_ for Gran Toursimo, same about half a year ago with a PS/2, because I was in a spending mood.

    I personally haven't touched a computer game for six or seven years right now - except Gran Tourismo.

    Buying each track, each car? This would be just a rip-off. So, Sony/Polyphony Digital/Whoever you're expecting me to pay hundreds of bucks to play all the nice cars and tracks that had been available in every game before? I say NEVER, NEVER.

    YOu now what? Your PS/3 seems to be a blatant consumer rip-off and if the story is true the day will come that I - as a consumer - will stop buying Sony products.

    Go and copy some macbooks, your big days are obviously over.
    • Uh, if you only buy one game for their system then they don't want you anyway. Sony would be losing money on that deal.
    • I was going to post a comment of my own, but you're actually an example of one of the points I wanted to make: Sony is going to drive away the casual/occasional gamer crowd with tactics like this. I would probably be considered an occasional gamer and would have considered shelling out the dough for a PS3 for no other reason than to get the latest and greatest in the Gran Turismo series. Not now. Not if GT:HD and GT5 are going to be released on this sort of business model.

      I bought a PS2 specifically for two games: Gran Turismo 3 and Grand Theft Auto 3. I would probably have eventually broken down and purchased a PS3, after it came down in price a bit, just to play the next installments of those two games. Now, GTA4 is also being released on the 360 and Sony is killing the Gran Turismo series for me. And that's just me, the occasional gamer, who would have eventually ended up building his PS3 game library to the same 25 - 30 game level as my PS2 library. The guy who buys accessories and who pays for XBox Live!, even though I maybe play one game a month over it.

      What about the casual gamers? Many times these are the same people that don't have broadband at home. Some of them probably don't even have computers as they have no need for them. They just like to play the occasional video game as a way to unwind. I know several characters like this (mostly amateur racers and semi-pro racers) who bought a PS2 and don't play anything other than GT3 and/or GT4. I used to go to one friend's house and we would end up playing GT3 for hours on end. I guarantee you that friend isn't going to be buying a PS3 and GT:HD.

      Anyway, enough ranting. I think it's safe to assume that everybody on /. thinks this is a bad idea. What really remains to be seen is whether or not Sony can pull this PS3 debacle off or not. They've clearly lost their minds.
  • Now, is it possible that the game will be a full-priced title with a built-in download system that allows users to download cars and tracks equal to the number of the game's retail price?

    Well going by Sony's track record, the game will be at best half price, and will include a maximum of $10 worth of "credit".
  • by segedunum (883035) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:57PM (#16170691)
    PS games have been overpriced for years without any silly ideas like this. There is absolutely no way people are going to pay for odds and ends that should be a part of the game in the first place, and just aren't worth that kind of money.

    So the games industry wants to know what fuels piracy? Well, stuff like this certainly helps quite a bit.
    • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:20PM (#16170847) Homepage

      Beyond the initial cost, a WoW subscription is over $150/year. Do they add the equivalent content for 3 full $50 games in that whole year? Is the new gameplay innovative or just copying old stuff with a different treasure at the end? Are the graphics getting any better? So many people are playing it.

      I'm not saying WoW is bad, just that a great many players are happy to throw down tons of cash on a game as long as they find it fun. I don't know how well this will work for a racing game, but the business plan has worked before. I definately don't like the idea of paying individually for all the initial levels but I think it would be pretty cool if I could download an expansion every month with a new car and a few new maps, if the price was kept low.

      • An MMORPG should not be expected to use the same economic model as a stand-alone console game. The $150/year is paying salaries and maintenance costs. Once Sony kicks GT HD out the door, they're done... unless they decide to throw a team together for more content. But they certainly aren't trying to maintain servers supporting 7 million clients.
        • So by your math, $150/year times 7 million clients = $1.05 BILLION dollars in revenue per year. Convince me that you need even a fifth of that to maintain servers and pay salaries, I'll buy your arguement. MMORPGs are cash cows, and there's no two ways about it. Sony's plan (if it is in fact their plan) is just as bad.
          • That'll teach me to not put a disclaimer in there, since I wasn't defending WoW... just saying that you can't really draw an accurate comparison between the two...

            I won't try to convince you that you'd need even a fifth of that for server maintenance and salaries... but it'd at least be a few million (a conservative guess for, say, 20 people at 50k/year = 1 mil, and they've probably got ten times that in the "division" or w/e the hell their cell is for WoW, most of whom probably make more than 50k/year)..

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by yanos (633109)
      So the games industry wants to know what fuels piracy? Well, stuff like this certainly helps quite a bit.

      How? If you just download the game, you won't be able to enjoy it unless you buy some cars and tracks to play with. And you probably won't be able to do that since your modded ps3 has good chances of beign flagged as a non-legit unit by the online store. This sort of thing can actually force more people to buy their games and not to mod their console.
    • So the games industry wants to know what fuels piracy? Well, stuff like this certainly helps quite a bit.

      But it also curbs piracy because if you pirate the game, you're just gonna have to buy content for it anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by be-fan (61476)
      What the fuck? PS games are the cheapest games have been since the NES. I sure as hell remember paying $70 in the early 1990s for my copy of FF3, nearly $80 in the mid 1990s for my copy of Chrono Trigger, $80 for a used copy of Wave Race 64 right after launch, etc. It was the PS1 that brought games down to $40-$50, and in a decade since then, the price hasn't even kept up with the rate of inflation. Your average PS2 game probably costs 2/3s as much as your average game in the heyday of the SNES. SNES games
  • by enjo13 (444114) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @05:59PM (#16170701) Homepage
    I guess THIS is what they meant when they told me to 'think outside the box'. It's literally like Sony sat down and went 'just how badly can we screw up the PS3'? They are definitely executing that strategy to perfection.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:00PM (#16170713) Journal
    If someone is stupid enough to buy a ps3 for $599, and a game at 80$, they have more money than brains, and will probably buy all the tracks and cars too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pembo13 (770295)
      I think a lot of people here miss this. All of you who think Sony is shooting themselves in the foot. Sony knows that they have the hook in your mouth, and that no matter how much they toy with you, the hook just goes in deeper. They know they could charge $700 for their machine, post Sony-rootkit (not saying that that is the price) and people would still buy it. Frankly, I would do the same if I was in their shoes, not for profit, just purely out of curiousity, an experiment of sorts, to see how much peopl
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:06PM (#16170753)
    Indeed as the story points out, pricing is the key to this being good or evil for us as consumers.

    If the game sells at half price to start, and I can buy just the cars I like and all the tracks at a price lower than most of the other retail titles - then the idea will be a good one for the game designers and consumers alike.

    But outside of that, automatic mistrust of micropayments that seems to be rampant in responses to this story smacks of luddite thinking. Is not this the future we wanted, to be able to buy things in small components and assemble them as we wish? Greed may or may not enter into it but as a gamer the ability to buy a custom variety of tracks (some perhaps user designed!!) and cars is appealing.

    But then again, it came from Sony so all of the normal interest in technology is turned topsy-turvy in bloodlust to see Sony fall. What a shame there are not more pure gamers and enlightened technical thinkers about Slashdot nowadays rather than having the populace fall to the Herd Mind of Rage which is all too popular in so many areas of thought these days. Far easier to demonize than engage in rational thought, I guess.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      >macks of luddite thinking. Is not this the future we wanted, to be able to buy things in small components and assemble them as we wish?

      A couple points:

      1. Youre buying something but you dont own it. How are you going to "assemble" some locked down proprietary software add-on on a locked down console?

      2. This aint the future. There's nothing older than the "buy more accessories" scam.

      3. Sony has more than earned its reputation. If people hate it then guess what, thats real market forces at work.

      4. People
      • 1) If you can perminently store and use it, it's as good as owning it. The end effect is the same to the user.

        2) Accessories do not fundmentially change the nature of a product. If I can buy (for example) only dirt rally tracks, that makes it a different product than if I buy only oval high-speed tracks.

        3) Sony has earned a reputation in abusing micropayments how again? You are confsing perhaps the actions of Sony Music with Sony Gaming, not even the same company and not even the same problem.

        4) Slashdot
        • by quanticle (843097)

          1) If you can permanently store and use it, it's as good as owning it. The end effect is the same to the user.

          Wrong. One of the key characteristics is the ability to resell. If this goes the way it appears to be going, those add-ons will be locked to me, not my copy of the game. Therefore, when I sell the game, I probably will not be able to sell the tracks that go with it, significantly reducing the game's resale value. This isn't a problem when you plan on permanently keeping every game you buy. Bu

    • If the game sells at half price to start, and I can buy just the cars I like and all the tracks at a price lower than most of the other retail titles - then the idea will be a good one for the game designers and consumers alike.

      I challenge this assertion.

      How are you getting these cars?
      Downloading them of course, via your Playstation.

      Know what that means?
      They're going to locked to your particular playstation or memory card to prevent "piracy".

      There are a number of negatives you're not taking into
      • Know what that means?
        They're going to locked to your particular playstation or memory card to prevent "piracy".


        Would it not be far more likley these items are tied to your account rather than a particualr Playstation or memory card (the latter not even making sense since it would probably go on the internal hard drive).

        There are a number of negatives you're not taking into account:
        -Shitty resale value for the game itself


        Why? Other people still have to buy the shell, so you can always sell it to people want
    • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Saturday September 23, 2006 @07:17PM (#16171257) Homepage
      If the game sells at half price to start, and I can buy just the cars I like and all the tracks at a price lower than most of the other retail titles - then the idea will be a good one for the game designers and consumers alike.

      The trouble is that this system turns classic rewards in video games on its head. Back in the arcade you had to insert a coint when you failed a level, with this new system you have to insert a coin when you beat it. So success will be punished instead of rewarded, could be a great way to let motivation drop down quite a bit, even if the total money wouldn't be that different.

      I don't think there is anything wrong with micropayment in itself, in fact I think its great for true additional content, but designers have to be very care full to not turn it into an annoyancy. The system in GT HD doesn't sound like they sell you additional content, it sounds like they sell you content you would have gotten with the game for 'free' a few years ago. This again has little todo with actual money, even so they probally wouldn't do it if they could gain more profit from it, but much more with psychology. Gaming should be first and for most fun, being forced to think about paying for the next level or track however isn't something that I would consider fun, I simply don't want to be bothered by such things when playing the game.

      • The trouble is that this system turns classic rewards in video games on its head. Back in the arcade you had to insert a coint when you failed a level, with this new system you have to insert a coin when you beat it. So success will be punished instead of rewarded, could be a great way to let motivation drop down quite a bit, even if the total money wouldn't be that different.

        That's a really good point, it seems to change the game dynamic... perhaps though winning races in the game will still give you some
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ediron2 (246908) *
        I see where you're coming from on this, but you'd probably agree that punish/reward aspects to games are a bit more complicated.

        A gamer doesn't think of another quarter* as simply as you describe it. Another quarter can be used for a different game, without anyone feeling punished for success. Heck, I've *NEVER* played an arcade game that let me change tracks or cars or player personalities without putting in another quarter.

        And if they're uncoordinated wonks like I am, another quarter has nothing to do w
  • Originally posted [escapistmagazine.com] to The Escapist [escapistmagazine.com] in their forum [escapistmagazine.com] (by me).

    Disclaimer: I bought a PS2 to play Gran Turismo 4. I also bought the Logitech Racing Wheel. You could say I'm a fan.

    A micropayment strategy for online games is still novel in the US; compare that to Korea, where developers have created a bustling market for addons purchased online. Many of the games eschew subscription fees in favor of allowing no-payers to play, but be significantly handicapped through game-mechanics (didn't buy that turbo boos
    • People don't buy video games to experiance real life. Simple as that.

      If you want to make the game, sorry "simulation" realistic, cars would cost between $10,000 and $1,000,000, tracks would be $10,000,000+ and take years to "download". Oh, and you would be playing in an actual car, on an actual track... Oh look, I've just described real life.

      People buy video games to do things that they could never do in real life, and have fun while they are at it. Who in real life gets to be a secret agent, military comma
    • Sims aren't games

      Hmm... I don't know where to begin. If GT becomes "Not a game", I suspect people will "Not Buy" the "Not game" and Sony will "Not make Money".

      As so many people have pointed out, this will be a major commercial flop if its released. They will not recoup the cost it took to make the Game, with out a wide user base. The real racers will not be enough to make this or the PS3 work.
  • by Grave (8234) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {88treblawa}> on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:14PM (#16170807)
    $180 plus the initial purchase cost. This is if the lowest cost per car and track is figured. At the highest point, it's $383.

    Forza Motorsport 2 is going to be $49.99. ....

    Why does Sony persist in speaking to anyone in the public or press? They just keep making things worse for themselves.
  • Welcome to the future, where everyting is pay as you go, where you cant actually own anything, and 'the base price is'.. where they nickle and dime us to death...

  • Micro Payment? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by faffod (905810)
    To me a micro-payment is something in the order of a couple of cents (US$, fill in appropriate equivalant for other currencies). It is a very difficult problem to solve - how do you track micro-payments in such a way that it doesn't cost you more than what you'll end up collecting. Charges in the order of US$1.00 are not micro-payments. They're small, quite possibly impulse-payments, but definately not micro-payments. Marketing is trying to use the term to get consumers comfortable with the idea of dishing
    • How do you still make money as a corporation while still allowing for micro-payments? Easy - you charge up front and change from "money" to "points". The Xbox Live Marketplace has done this already.

      Basically, instead of charging money for each small transaction (and incurring large credit card fees) you charge $20 for 2000 "points" which can then be spent, at a penny-per-point. $5.00 game, 500 points. That way, you make only one transaction (charging $20) but the consumer can use it however they want
  • Calm down people, it's just a stupid (console) game.

    This may, or may not, be a good thing. Of course, having any relation to Sony automatically implies it's something horrible and evil, but there are a lot of ways this can improve the game overall.

    I'd gladly throw out all the ricer cars from the latest NFS game if it meant I could have more McLaren and Ferrari cars, or that I could save a few bucks. This would also show the devs which cars are in most demand, encouraging them to make more of those. Now, thi
    • Calm down people, it's just a stupid (console) game.

      ... I didn't know you worked for Sony Mobby?

      Not trying to dig at you too hard dude, but another poster hit the nail on the head: The attitude you showed in your first sentence appears to be absolutely rampant at Sony atm.

      Shame too... I used to like their stuff

    • by slowbad (714725) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @10:26PM (#16172119)
      it'll be interesting to see how this works out.

      Parent buys a Microsoft/Sony title for their kid, grumbling how expensive it is.
      The expensive XP-Plus/GranTurismo has lost the kid's attention after 3 days.
      Kid tells parent they must buy more fish/cars for $100 total or it is all a waste.
      Parent remembers quite well to never, ever buy anything from Microsoft/Sony.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:27PM (#16170915)
    ...the 'classic' package will come with no cars or tracks...

    So, a game with no capability? Perhaps they can now start selling Duke Nukem Forever... Parts sold separately, soon (no really, soon)!

  • Nonsense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:28PM (#16170925)
    "Even if there was a consumer who decided to buy the PlayStation 3 perhaps as a Blu-ray player, I think that they will quickly realize the potential and the entertainment value of the fantastic content in true (high definition). Any consumer would be hard-pressed really not to try that functionality out."

    -- Kazuo Hirai Let the PS3 games Begin [com.com]


    Witness the awesome entertainment value enabled by Blue-Ray games disks! No cars or courses!

    "We wanted to take advantage of the storage capacity that Blu-ray offers in terms of motion pictures and other content, but most importantly, for games as well. Our decision to include the Blu-ray player from day one in all of our PlayStation 3s was the right decision and, quite honestly, the only decision we can make.

    Look at the massive amounts of data that's required to provide a truly immersive gaming experience in true HD. If you only have a DVD ROM drive, which can only go up to about 9GB or so, you're going to end up with a game that's going to have two or possibly even three discs. And then you're going to have to ask consumers to swap discs out or cache all the game onto the hard drive which I think is an inconvenience--not to mention the fact that you're going to fill up a 20GB hard drive very quickly with some of these games. So trying to go without a Blu-ray drive in the PlayStation 3 really is a nonstarter."
  • what about kids? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by torrija (993870) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:30PM (#16170933)
    Is this game going to be restricted to people with credit cards?
  • When *no* one spends a cent on that sucky Ford, or even low-end Porshe... They'll suddenly realize the flaw in their logic.
  • Some of the facts aren't entirely straight: Both HD-Premium (GT5) and HD-Classic (GT4 HD) will be pakaged and sold together, and Yamauchi has stated it will be "cheap" (so its not full retail price). Most of the pricing has not been decided. It will have cars and tracks included, but there will be over 770 cars and 51 extra tracks that can be downloaded. The game will be designed more like an MMO where will be cars clubs (aka Guilds), teams, custimizable logos and license plates, online-tournaments etc wi
  • Imagine a game like Halo - not only do you have to buy the weapons, but you also have to buy the ammo. And when it's all gone you'll need to buy more. Frightening to even contemplate, but it's probably the future.
  • 400 bucks for the complete game? Somehow I doubt it. Sony is known for pushing pricing limits, but I don't think they'd be risking one of their exclusive system sellers with a pricing scheme like that. If those values are anywhere near correct then the game itself will be completely free. I can't imagine that it won't come with at least a decent amount of tracks and cars. It would be a cool idea for that type of game, because anyone could try it out, and if you didn't like it, you'd have only wasted a f
  • Only way... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @06:56PM (#16171109) Homepage Journal
    Only way I could see this working, is if the base game were a pack-in with the console.

    Then it's a 'free demo' that everyone can try out, even if they (like me) don't currently care for racing games.

  • Sure, we all know Sony are completely batshit crazy - but if you ignore the gloom-and-doom reporting you'll realise that the following scenario is more plausible:

    Gran Turismo: Menu Edition comes free with your PS3 Live account, which also includes $20 of credit at the Sony store. Everyone picks up a couple of tracks and a couple of cars with their credit and plays a LIMITED PREVIEW of the real new Gran Turismo game. Sony gets to showcase their online service with a popular franchise and gets free publicity
  • I was working at Target when Gran Turismo was originally released. I can't remember a single game moving consoles faster than that game. I know that three of my friends had me buy them PSX's along with that game to use my employee discount. When the PS2 came out, the only reason I bought it in addition to my Dreamcast was because of Gran Turismo.

    So this news bothers me. I have a 360 and so far I'm pretty pleased with it. I'll probably pick up a Wii too. My PS3 purchase was pretty much solely based on
  • by BSonline (989394) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @07:55PM (#16171469) Homepage Journal
    If google is the messiah of the internet age, Sony has become the rootkit of all evil. Please forgive the pun, I tried hard not to type that. You know how it is, I lost control. Much the way Sony seems to be. They are letting the accountants innovate these days, instead of the engineers of yore.

    Seriously. I'd buy a game for 10-20 USD and then add in the rest for .50 to 1USD for different things, on a conditional basis:
    Don't give us a fnord of a game. It has to exist, and be somewhat enjoyable, for 10-20 USD.
    The amount of content included and ability to progress should relate to the price of the game. For 10 bucks, I'll take a really cool demo. For 20, I better be able to find an ending to whatever game it is. It might be harder for me, but I better have the same plot progression/tournaments/etc. The cooler (addin) version of the game should never make me feel like the core game was a waste.
    There should be a LOT of content available. As a consumer, the only point of this system is that I buy what I want. So all of the content out there shouldn't add up to the sticker price or slightly past. If I'm paying .50 USD for a car, I want a friggin' fleet at my disposal should I decide to spend the money. This way, when I buy a sticker prices worth of addons, I have EXACTLY the game I want.

    This has just been my thoughts. This can be an advantage. It can ruin a lot of games, and franchises. Gamers will speak with their money, endorsing the games done well and ignoring the rest. This should definitely not be the end of free (quality) content. And if Sony (or M$) screws this up, I'm sure they'll rethink their plans within 1 holiday season.

  • Get the free alternative: http://www.racer.nl/ [racer.nl] and donate if you think their development effort needs reward.
  • Why on earth are they calling these microtransactions? At $.40 to $2.50 a pop these transactions are no more micro than buying a pop or chocolate bar.
  • Summary is wrong (Score:3, Informative)

    by Joel from Sydney (828208) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @09:59PM (#16172005)
    I realise I'm chiming in far too late here, but the summary is wrong. According to this Gamespot article [gamespot.com] (scroll halfway down to the "update"), Gran Turismo HD Classic will feature all 750 cars and 51 tracks from previous Gran Turismo games, updated to look better in HD. The Premium version only contains 30 cars and 2 tracks, but it's content that's been designed from scratch for HD (far more polygons per model). The idea is that the Premium version focuses on online racing and downloadable content, while the Classic version is for people who just want to play Gran Turismo in HD.

    Still pretty unexciting IMHO, and I have pretty strong reservations about it working. Time will tell I guess.
  • by Chris Brewer (66818) on Saturday September 23, 2006 @09:59PM (#16172009) Journal
    Over at Kotaku [kotaku.com] they "live-blogged" the GT HD Press Event. Highlights:
    • GT:HD Premium is GT5 Sneak Preview with full PS3 spec qualities
    • GT:HD Classic will feature 770 cars, 51 tracks, 4500 items - all downloadable (still not clear what is included)
    • Hoping to add car parts and modifications - change the look of cars - "The GT version of iTunes"
    • Every item will not be available to everyone, have to be able to "afford" it - create ownership lust
    • Maybe possible to sell rare items to other players.
    • New Manufacturer: Ferarri (Ferrari says it's the best CGI modelling of their cars ever)
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @06:06AM (#16173699)
    1. Buy a PC and check out the *free* fan mods available on the Internet before you buy any games. That way you get the "best bang for your buck" and can make sure you're playing these games a lot longer than the 2-3 days it takes to complete them.

    2. DOSBox is your friend. Just because a game is 10-15 years old without stunning graphics does not make it a bad game. Stop with the Valve / Blizzard fanboy nonsense and just go find some of these old games to try for yourself in an emulator like DOSBox - or go check out PC emulators for other systems.

    3. Ignore the peer pressure to have the latest system all of the time. I've just picked up a second Gamecube for £30 and can buy Gamecube games used for around £5 each now. I really don't care that the "graphics are 5 years old", it's the playability of the game that's important, not how nice it looks.

    Sure, you may like the idea of "subscription model" games like Warcraft III and Gran Turismo HD and good luck to you. But please don't forget that you're just being railroaded into renting games rather than owning them outright because that way the games companies can crowbar more money out of you through subscriptions and endless upgrades.

  • by GregWebb (26123) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @08:59AM (#16174379)
    As with others, I think this is definitely a bad idea, as it stands. But...

    I would _love_ to see the extensible race game that this is indirectly proposing. I want to see manufacturers releasing models of their new models that we could download and start playing with. I want to be able to pick up new tracks just like FPS players can download new maps. How about racing IndyCars round Brooklands, or WRC cars on the Targa Florio or TT Mountain Course? How about Clermont Ferrand, or the Gross Glockner hillclimb course?

    GT4 showed what's possible, but didn't go far enough. THe full extensible race game, when it hopefully appears, will have some marvellous possibilities for the anorak.
  • that's a shame (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rabbot (740825) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @09:43AM (#16174711)
    I really enjoyed building up a huge collection of cars and fixing them up in the previous GT games. Are the parts stores going to charge me money now as well?

    Can we still win cars after races or would that be hurting the bottom line?

    I just can't see myself being able to pay for something that has always been included in the game up to this point...it just seems like a fanboy tax to me.

    Sony almost has me convinced that the xbox360 is the second console I should get this time around (wii being the first). I know people will say that MS is doing the same micropayments scheme, but I really don't think they're stupid enough to try and release an empty game.
  • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday September 24, 2006 @10:48PM (#16180853) Journal
    Aren't Grand Tourismo et al. really just massive advertisments for car manufacturers? I mean, making people play the game to "unlock" the rest of the ad was pretty bright, but how are they going to move their metal when people steadfastly (and somewhat inexplicably) refuse to pay the extra $.50 (or whatever) for the priviledge of watching another few hours of car commercials?

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