Bioshock Infinite Season Pass: Thinking Inside the Box

Subject: General Tech | February 25, 2013 - 11:54 PM |
Tagged: 2K, bioshock, bioshock infinite

So it was announced just a couple of days ago that Bioshock Infinite will be boosted with three pieces of expansion DLC. What will they be? Who knows! Rest assured, the marketers have declared there will be “new stories, characters, abilities, and weapons.”

Phew! I was worried that I would only get a soundtrack or something... wait, no I wasn't.

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Give me more money, or I cut you.

Publishers, these days, have been looking for new methods to increase the price of games and prevent their discs from being resold on the used market. We seem to be escaping the dark era where single-player games were condemned as fiscal black holes from which your capital would never be seen again. The view was that a solo experience would be completed before they finished monitoring their sales figures and the used market would eat the rest of their sales curve. The solution clearly was to toss even more capital at those games to tack on a multiplayer component that no-one played and make the loss look really bad on paper and further justify your fears of used sales and piracy.

And really we are part of the problem as consumers when we expect the $50 or $60 price-point. Of course, we expect that price-point because we have been conditioned to expecting that value fairly across-the-board. We have begun to see games, mostly indie titles, come in at lower launch prices in particular with digital distribution platforms.

The biggest problem is this: publishers do not need to find the largest value customers would pay for their content; publishers need to find the largest product of any given price and its corresponding probability of purchase for all potential buyers. On Steam you see this explode with sales where a moderate price reduction yields a massive sales increase with even a halo effect when the price returns to its norm.

So what about Bioshock?

In this case, honestly, the game will probably be worth more than its $60 price tag when speaking from a development effort versus the risk in finding its audience standpoint. As such, the publisher will add some attach rate of slightly extra content for a moderate price addition. This is one more example of how members of the industry continue to avoid risks. In this case, they want to spread the risk out over multiple products.

At least they didn't, you know -- be Irrational (heh heh heh), and toss that development money going after the used sales boogyman. At least they will get the money they expect.

AMD Never Settle Reloaded Bundle Campaign Includes Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 2, 2013 - 11:30 AM |
Tagged: tomb raider, never settle reloaded, never settle, Crysis 3, bundle, bioshock infinite, bioshock, amd

You might remember over the holiday season of 2012 that AMD had a simply amazing bundle of games to entice PC gamers to choose purchasing Radeon graphics cards instead of GeForce.  That bundle included Medal of Honor, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3.  We were stoked to see that kind of comittment to the gamer and even did a set of three game streams with AMD on each games' release. 

Well after a behind-the-scenes battle that was finally decided just about two weeks ago, AMD is ready to announce the "Never Settle Reloaded" bundle that might actually be MORE impressive based on the games included. 

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First up is the reboot of Tomb Raider, a fresh look at the Lara Croft character that I got to get hands on at an event in Toronto last year.  Due out on March 5th, the visuals in this game are damn good.

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Bioshock infinite is the third game in the acclaimed series and has a few DirectCompute additions to the game engine code.  Release is set on March 26th.

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DMC Devil May Cry is included for the APAC region (instead of Tomb Raider).

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And the biggest name in the bundle is no doubt Crysis 3 - a game that many PC gamers have been looking forward to and one that promises to push gaming performance on high-end GPUs to their limits.  I was playing this on a GTX 680 recently (the MP beta) and couldn't get more than 40 FPS at 1080p and Ultra settings. 

So how doese the bundle break down?

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If you buy a single Radeon HD 7970 or HD 7950 you'll be able to get keys for both Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite, completely free!  HD 7800 series buyers will get both Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider.

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Just to make things MORE interesting, if you invest in a set of HD 7900 cards for CrossFire, or even a dual-GPU HD 7900 card like the Devil 13, you'll get Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs.  That is 6 full PC games worth at least $300 that you'll get keys for just for picking AMD's Radeon cards over NVIDIA's GeForce.

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A not-so-subtle jab at the competition...

So there you have it, the Never Settle Reloaded bundle.  This iteration doesn't include anything for HD 7700 series cards but I think most enthusiasts are going to stay in the HD 7850 and above range of options anyway. 

NVIDIA has definitely fallen behind when it comes to these kinds of deals for PC gamers and I want to know what YOU think - do these bundles affect your purchasing decision?  We heard from AMD that at least one major reseller of PC hardware saw an "order of magnitude" increase in sales during the holiday season with the original Never Settle bundle and they even won a Newegg award for best marketing campaign. 

Get ready for game streams again as well - we'll be hosting a few of them in February and March with more hardware and game keys to give away!

UPDATE: These deals are live right now!  You can find a list of the HD 7970 cards at Newegg.com, starting at just $379 and even the HD 7950 cards starting at $295 that come with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite keys!  If you are looking more in the HD 7800 series range, you can find HD 7870s starting at just $209 with Bioshock and Tomb Raider keys!