Ep. 1330: Where all your base are still belong to usVideo game pundit Harold Goldberg of the NY Game Critics Circle joins us today to catch up on all the gaming news we missed last week. We'll discuss the artistic value of games, the need for an official awards ceremony, and video games as a scapegoat...
-It's Tuesday, August 27th, 2013. Thanks for tuning in to The 404 Show. I'm Jeff Bakalar. -I'm Justin Yu. -I'm Richard Peterson. -Yes you are. -There you are, Richard. Wave that hand proudly. We're super psyched to welcome a friend of ours who has yet to appear on the program. The stars never lined up, Harold. It just never happened. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the show for the first time, Mr. Harold Goldberg. How are you, man? -I'm good, Jeff, man. I like that intro music. -You're digging it, right, yeah. Yeah, we'll get you that on CD a little later for sure. Harold, you are-- you've been on the gaming industry for years and years, a veteran writer, critic, you're the founder of the New York Video Game Critics Circle, you write for Boys' Life - The New York Times, the list goes on. Thanks for-- you're a pretty busy guy. Thanks for taking some time out of your schedule, man. -Oh, thanks for inviting me, man. It's an honor to be here. It's fun. I've watched it so now I'm here. -It's like all these emotions running through your veins right now, right? -That's right. I don't know if I could hold them. -Harold is the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us, which is a really great homage to the world of video games, 50 years of video games and how they influenced pop culture. There's the book right there. We've 100% brought up all your base. How many times you'd bring up all the base? -Countless. Actually I feel it's gotten to the point where we don't wanna bring it up anymore. I think that's what a lot of people from the internet-- it just reminds about a time like the early 2000 that we all kinda wanna forget. -Yeah. It's an incredibly popular-- -Yeah. -internet meme but I mean, it's-- -It's classic. -Yeah, it's classic. -So, tell us about that book, because the book has been out for a while now with some paperback now. -Yeah. -It's-- this book is like required reading for some college courses. -It is-- -This is no joke. -Yeah, yeah. -Like this book has really sort of paved the way. Just give us a little bit of like background on that sort of-- I guess responsibility that's fallen into it in the process. -It, you know, it might just happened because of that book. There's a French edition that comes out I think in September. -Really? -Which is actually illustrated and I was wondering why should we have illustrations but the editor they did in a very tactful nice way. -Oh, cool. -So, I think it'd be cool. -Yeah. -But it was written about 3 years ago, 2-1/2 to 3 years ago and based on about 200 interviews, it took a while to do and I wanted to track the hour or how games conquered pop culture. So, at first, they were very much influenced by film and television and even webs and then it became so large that it was media who were influenced by them. So, I want to track that our-- and I think one of the most interesting parts of the book is that I got to talk to Sam Houser from Rockstar Games. -Sure. -And Sam really hasn't done an interview since. So, -Really? -you know, we have that and so you know, I just wanna say, well, you know, release the MP3 but-- -You just turned Sam off to the press forever after that. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. Never talk to anyone. -He's like, never again. He's like I'm never talking to anyone again. -Because Goldberg was such a jerk. -Oh, man. -Yeah. No. But you know, really, I wanted, you know, well, I asked tough questions. I wanted to show game developers as people who are very creative, who are often up against difficult corporate and-- -Sure. -and so it's the fight against that to get a game out and really, the crunch time in games, something that isn't quite-- isn't in other media, I mean you do have it with-- you do have it-- deadlines with television. -Right. -We have deadlines in film but the constant crunch which can go on for months and is really an interesting time period for anyone in games and it kinda makes you a little nutty. -Of course. Would you agree that the game development process is arguably the least sort of understood by a mainstream audience in terms and in comparison to film and TV and that sort of stuff? -Yeah. I really think that's chaos and I really still don't understand it. -Yeah. -I've been watching game development for many years. -Yeah. -And I think it changes you know, at Rockstar it's a bit different than in other game development houses in the sense that it's a little more educing critics because you have Sam and Dan and Leslie Benzies and a couple of other folks and it tends to be something that occurs and implements the what's kind of in their head. -Right. -And you know, of course, they think of the audience but I think that you know, if they wanna put a bowling game in GTA IV, they don't really care, you know, how it will be taken. They'll just put it in because they think it's cooler that point, so, yeah. -Right, right. And GTA, I've seen in the news with a story that's gone on-- we'll get to that in just a second. I just wanna spend a few more minutes on the book. -Yeah. -It's amazing. There's a generational divide between people that grew up sort of playing games and then people who were introduced to it at a much later point in their lives and when I talk about people like that, I'm pretty much referring to like my parents' generation. -Yeah. -And it's just something that they don't necessarily grasp right away. To that point I've met people on their late 60's, who are diehard Call of Duty fans. -Yeah. -So, you know, I think that generational gap perhaps is narrowing but you know, it's amazing to think how influential games have been on every facet of the media and I just-- I'm curious to hear what you think is the most mind-blowing infiltration of that. We're like, what do you think and this is stuff that you know, we can all speak to. For me, I think it's the jokes. I think you know, the Mario Brother jokes that almost everyone just gets. -Yeah. -You know what mean? Like, stuff like that. -Yeah. -Where you see him on light night talk shows and you see it in standup routines. That's another thing. I think a lot of standup now involves like, remember when you were playing Mario? You know, stuff like that and it's just-- it's just here and it's here to stay. -I love to see video games played in television shows or film. -Yeah. -Sometimes they don't do it right. Like I saw something in Revenge which Helen, my partner, watches. I'm somehow forced to watch. They're playing like an arcade game and they're just mashing but it doesn't even seem like it's bud mashing. It seems likes they're typing on a computer or something. -Right, right, right. But-- -And in the House of Cards, you have Kevin Spacey playing his PS3 shooter when he gets really angry at something. -Right. -And that feels real to me. So, I really-- I don't know what TV and film do, as far as having consultants on hand or something like that but some do it quite right and some don't. -Uh-hmm. -Yeah. So, I'm-- you know, I love to hear joke about games. I love to hear, you know, them represented in commercials as well. So, it's kinda cool and you often, you know, I used to watch 24 a lot. -Yeah. -And I would see how the action sequences were actually miming video games. -Absolutely. -And so, that happens a lot too. So, it's pervasive in society. It's really a part of our overall media culture. -For sure. -Yeah. -And I mean, and also, you really can look over the art element too. How much art has been inspired now by games. -Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, I did a piece for the New York Times during E3 about video game art at the convention. -Sure. -They have, like, almost a gallery setup and it was a good mix this year between Triple A game art, like big budget game art, and Indie games as well. -Yeah. -So, it was like the right time to write about it. So, the art and video game is really kind of interesting because you can feel as though you live in that world. So, if you look at something like there were some BioShock, -Sure. -that-- those shadows and like baby carriage-- a shadow of baby carriage on the wall, -Yeah. -that is really creepy like in a Stephen King-- -Oh, yeah. -And then if you're in something like Red Dead Redemption and you're riding that horse and starts to turn to sunset, -Uh-hmm. -over the Canyon or something like that, that is just an awesome site to see. So, and mainly the people who create video game are the kind of unsigned. You don't really know the names so-- -For sure. -So, it's-- you know, I'd love to put together, you know, an art show here on the East Coast to just, you know, the video game prototype part I think would be pretty brilliant. -Oh, yeah. I don't think we'd have a problem curating that or-- -Yeah, yeah. -just getting the content or-- -Yeah, let's do it, man. -I'm down, man. Absolutely. -Yeah. -We could do it in your apartment, Justin. -Yeah, small enough, yeah. -We wanna-- we gotta talk about this GTA story, something we're pretty passionate about. This came out a few days ago. It's not a happy story. And 8-year-old Louisiana boy intentionally shot and killed his elderly caregiver. And this is [unk] from CNN saying after playing a violent video game, authorities say. So, you know, what we're gonna talk about is how the media has sort of equated this action with specifically Grand Theft Auto and I, you know, we gotta open the conversation again. Grand Theft Auto V is only a few weeks away, arguably one of the most anticipated games of the decade. You know, we talked a little bit about it before we started the show today. I'm curious to hear where you've fallen all this, how do you see this sort of, you know, and I feel like it's this broken record again. Here we are again, there's-- and let's slap it on games. What are your thoughts on this, Harold? -I don't know, you know, what else did the child do during that day? Did he listen to NPR? Did that said about-- -Yeah. -Did he, you know, was he watching CNN? Did he not like Wolf Blitzer? I'm not quite sure what set him up but there are clearly two things at work here. First of all, an 8-year-old should not have accessed to a gun nor should he have accessed to a Grand Theft Auto game. -Right. -And you know, you can see the punditry, just kind of spill out of the walls like the blood in Silent Hill or something. -Yeah. -It was pervasive putting much immediately, you know, saying the game is too violent. But you know, it's not-- you know, if you talk to the people at Rockstar, they'd say it's not made for kids. -Of course. -And you can say, well, kids wanted a GameStop, so I, as a parent, bought it for him not knowing. But really parent has to do his or her research and that's not a game made for kids. You know, should not be in the hands of kids. So, you can't-- I don't think you can blame a game per se, I think you have to think about parenting and the society and the culture that a child grows up and you know, gun with an 8-year-old is not cool nor is a GTA with an 8-year-old. -You're right and you know, it's all about accessibility and parenting and what I don't understand is why is it like no-- and I've read this article and it doesn't say anywhere about the lack of parental guidance or something like that. It doesn't talk about why was this kid having access. I'm sorry. If you're letting an 8-year-old play Grand Theft Auto, you are a bad parent. You're not doing your job. And that's something and we talked about it before when I used the frequent, the game stories and you see the kid pulling on his mom's arm, buy me Call of Duty, buy me-- and more often than not, it happens and there's something fundamentally wrong where, you know, I feel like-- and maybe when we begin to have children or the younger generation begins to have kids, they will have grown up and understand it and maybe step in, in between that, you know, cell of the game where as a parent now perhaps won't, but the way I see it playing out now is, it's just-- there's a difference between buying the games or letting the child see like a violent movie. -Kids can be very persuasive. -Sure. -All my friends are playing it. Oh, come on, let me play it. -Right. -It's-- and I get letters at Boys' Life, which is the magazine of the Boy Scouts where I have a column, and you know, parents will say, you know, what about this game, what about that game. You know, what did you write about this game? And that particular magazine, we only write about [unk] plus fans. -Right. -But even so, you know, a parent can question something that might have been a tee just for something. -Sure. -So, it really just come down to you know, like watch your child. You can't watch him all the time but you can certainly do parental controls on your Xbox or your PlayStation. -Sure. -So-- -Your provision is in place. You can-- -Yeah. -take a strangle hold on not everything your child is exposed to but a lot of it. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you have to. It's gotta be-- it's gotta come down to parenting. I think the industry has done a lot with rating games. -Yeah. -But you know, I mean, they probably can do more but there's a time when games weren't rated. -Right. -So, I mean, I think it's good that they are but really, you know, be the wise parent, be the prudent parent. -Don't you guys also think that a lot of parents probably see video games sort of as a substitution for their own parenting? If these kids are allowed to play video games and they can go often do whatever projects they want in the house, and it sort of alleviates them from that responsibility. -Yeah. -But you know, I'm not a parent, Jeff is not a parent but I'd like to say if we have kids, we would probably sit down and play those games with our kids, right? It's not a passive experience. It should be something that should be monitored. -Yeah, cooperatively. -Yeah. -Yeah, yeah and it certainly is fun, right? -Right. -To play a game with a kid and-- -In the same way that you were watching a movie, you'd say, well, this is not real, you understand that, right? -Yes. -Like this is not okay, these are superheroes and whatever, you know. -Yea, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's true. I mean, you know, I'd like to believe that if I were a parent, I would follow those E or E10 plus rules to just do a larger stand. -Sure. -And then at some point, okay, you can play the teen rated games you're above, you're ready or you're not ready for the un-rated. -Right. -So, you know, that will come later. It's not gonna be under my preview in my house or-- -Right. -And you know, at some point someone has to come, not necessarily to the defense of a parent who's uneducated about this sort of thing, but having that information as gamers ourselves growing up. We will then be able to sort of relate that to our own relationship with a younger audience simply because we've been exposed with it for so long and we know what we're getting into. -Absolutely. I mean, I think there's a-- parents are kind of still concerned. Parents of a certain age are still concerned about what they are seeing on the monitor. -Right. -When they see these big monsters, they see these big bruisers, they wonder what's going on and they think it's a bad media. -Sure. -But you know, for those of us who have grown up playing these games, it just feels like simply another form media and you know, it's not as big, awful entity that will cause juvenile delinquency or something. -Right. -Yeah. -And I mean I can't say how many times we've reiterated stuff like this where no matter what generation in, you can look in the past, like look at the hearings in Washington when, you know, Dee Snider would have to go in front of, you know, a board and plead his case about why rock and roll shouldn't be band and stuff like that. -Or the comic or the comics. -Or comics. -Back in the day. -There's always a scapegoat. There's always something that is flirting on the line of social acceptance or maybe not even that where it's just there are certain people who are frankly threatened threatened by things they don't understand. -Yeah. -And that finds its way in every generation of you know, of pop culture and you know, it's crazy to me that we've been dealing with this now for what seems like 20 years now, where it's been a problem. -And then we're still talking about it. You know, I also feel that, you know, the time when media is desperate for rating, -Oh, yeah. -because there are just so many alternatives and also, you know, I wonder if some of this is because we have a GGA5 coming out in a few weeks-- -Right. -and kind of ramping up for this game as to island kind of punditry when it does come out. I don't know. I hope not but-- -I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck already beginning to perk up because I know I'm gonna be hit up for some sort of call, where I wind up defending not necessarily the violence of the game but I will have to somehow be labeled as the video game, you know, defendant where I am saying, look, it's not, you know, it's not for children, it's not-- and that's just sort of like what happens every time a game like this, which is so universally popular. -And why can't we talk about the artistic nature of it? -Right, right. -Because you know, here's the game. I mean, you know, we could be talking about BioShock Infinite as well. -Sure. -These are games that do have artistic qualities that there's a depth of writing that is either wonderfully dramatic or wonderfully witty and satirical and so we could be talking about that and you know, than we're-- instead we're forced to talk about, you know, is it too violent. -Sure. -Yeah. -And just for a second, if only someone would just appreciate that side of the thing and how many years and years it takes to develop something like this-- -Yeah. -an amount of talent and effort and just unbelievable innovation and you know, just complete, you know, having whole team work on the same page and do something so grandiose that sort of gets, you know, swept under-- -Yeah. And even if a television host might say, well, you know, we can see that this is violent but it is also an artistic endeavor. Let's talk about both of those things. -Right. -Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing? -Yeah. -You can-- that would be, you know, your so-called fair and balance, right? -Sure. Yeah. -Yeah. -It's like the Natural Born Killers thing, where you have a movie that was so celebrated critically, but is arguably the most offensively violent movie in the last 20 years. -Yeah, yeah. -And-- or is it 20 years? Holy crap. -Yes, probably yeah. -Right? -Yeah. -So, like to me, that's what I-- that's just what I don't get and I understand people saying, well, you are playing that character and I know Justin likes to play Devils Advocate when it comes to that. -Sure. -But you know, to me, it's a really difficult sort of situation where it should be this two-way street but it's not. They're all these double standards that seem to complicate the matter. -Well, it's true and you know, no one is forcing anyone to buy a certain game or you know, go watch a certain movie but yeah, it seems overwhelming at times. I don't know. I mean, the other thing is, you know, is controversy good for a game? I mean, it doesn't-- I mean, it's cynical but it also means that people are talking about it. So, perhaps that's good thing but I would really like, as we just said, you know, I'd really like to talk about the artistic achievements of games as well as you know, some content. -I'm curious when you talk about celebrating the artistic integrity of stuff that's coming out of the game world. I'm curious to hear what you think about the state of the way we award games and that sort of thing because obviously, Hollywood has the Oscars, which is arguably the most prestigious entertainment event that we do on a yearly basis. Games just really have that. They have things that are sort of getting close to that. -Yeah, yeah. -And you know, I think like what they do with GDC is really great. -Uh-hmm. -But where do you stand on that? Because I really do think we need something like that that brings it to a new level. -It does. I mean, you know, if you go back and make an analogy to film, it took the Oscars about 10 years to really become popular. -Sure. -And I think that, you know, we at the Critics Circle have a yearly awards ceremony and it's really difficult to figure out what the tone would be but our tone essentially is let's not be funny, let's not be too serious but let's really celebrate artistic achievement in both the Indie world and the Triple A world. Sure it doesn't mean-- to us it doesn't matter if it's halo or it's gone home or something like that, -Right. -as long as it's a good game, it hopefully will get recognized by our critics. But you know, I also think that the Spike Awards are trying to get better-- -Uh-hmm. -over time. So, I think that we'll see it, you know, I'm not sure that people quite know how to do it, yeah. -Right. -And you know, even the GDC Awards, you know, I sometimes pick issue. So, but we're all trying to figure it out. So, and as long as you keep thinking about it and trying to make it better than you know, maybe at some point we'll find a sweet spot. -Excellent. All right. Let's talk about some of the news that's been going on lately with the world of games. It's not-- it hasn't been a great July for games, was not good. But the Nintendo 3DS keeps on kicking. -And we're crossing New Leaf, baby. -Right. That's what it's all about. It keeps on kicking and you now, it's funny. If it wasn't for Animal Crossing, you think the 3DS would be where it is right now? Do you think-- or do you-- I mean, even before Animal Crossing, the 3DS was doing well. -Yeah. -I think this really was like that Nitro Boost that really, you know, propelled it to where it is now. But overall, it was a rough July. -Yeah. -When you account for a total physical game sales which includes hardware, disk space software, accessories, we only hit $443 million in the U.S. in July. That's down 19% compared to July 2012. A hardware sales tapped out at 99 million, which is just abysmal, right? That's just terrible. And software could only master according to our article here, $222 million in sales. Do you think it's because we're on the process of this next generation? Do you think that's what it's just being chalked up to? There's a lot of great games that have been coming out and this summer is really starting to pick up and you know, I always know my, you know, this is the start of busy year from September 'til the end of November, that's it. You know, this is when all the hot stuff comes out. You know, is there any need to be worried if you're like a stockholder? You know, what's going on here? -Oh, well, stockholders should always be-- -Always, right. -Always and we wouldn't do-- they wouldn't have fun on street if they weren't [unk]. -Yeah, right. -But we're in this interesting time where Apple has made a huge difference in games and our smartphones are essentially mini consoles that we take along with us. So, that-- I don't know if that's the accounts for mobile. -Uh-hmm. -But it's an interesting transition. What we'll be telling is whether the PS4 and Xbox One take off and if they don't, then you can say, oh, well, there is a different-- there is a paradigm shift here. -Right. -So, we'll see but you know, traditionally, in years past, we have always seen drop in sales just before or the year before the new hardware and such. -Sure. -Some people are saving their money for the new stuff but we'll see. We'll see. I mean, it certainly will be an interesting fall and you know, we'll see what Nintendo does to counter here that they about to make some moves. -Yeah. -We'll see. -That's what's been sort of you know, a boiling under the surface. -Yeah. -Is that, I mean, they really will have-- as far as I'm concerned, we kinda know what to expect from Sony and Microsoft. -Yeah. -It's Nintendo you really kinda have to watch because they are in the most precarious situation of anyone. -I think that's true and so they have to be careful of you know, what they do and how they do it but you know, I think also, you know, that DS is-- they're kind of diamond. -Yeah. -And I was really surprised in a way to see that so many critics and our Critics Circle walking to New Leaf. -Oh, yeah. -You know, people that-- like Alex Navarro from Giant Bomb, saying why you know, I'm taking this to the beach this weekend and you know, because it's just so compelling. -Yeah. -Right. And I think he would say probably in a much more right way than I do. -Well, they're gonna sell those turnips, they're not gonna sell themselves. -Yeah, exactly, exactly. But you know, I play it daily. -Yeah. -And you know, for a while I was into the fishing aspect of it. -Sure, yeah. -And I still like it. It's very relaxing for me. So, if I have a deadline, it's just gonna-- it's really something that will calm me down and I've been, you know, digging for fossils. Now, I'm to the point where I can't find, you know, a new fossil every time I dig. So, it's difficult. -Talking about Animal Crossing for people who don't know and out of contacts, -Yeah. -it's easily the most absurd conversation anyone can listen into. -It really is. No, no, and I apologize for that without saying what it is but it's a simulation game with animal characters and you have this kind of text conversations with them that are-- that can't be fairly deepen and almost, you know, they're a little subversive a day-- -Yeah. -if you kinda want them to be. So, you know, you'll see the sailor kind of sleeping on a beach and you know what it is, that guy is gonna be drunk, man. He is like hangover and you can't even miss. So, you know, part of what's the beauty of it is in the translation. So, you can kinda put what you feel into these characters, right? -Sure. -So, he may not be drunk, he just may be sleeping but I preferred if the [unk] is drunk because you're saying these insane things. -Right, right. And he's just asleep. -Yes. -He's asleep on the beach. -I wanna go to the chatroom real quick. Schnides brings up an interesting question that I'm curious to hear your answer to. He's talking to us, he says, "As reviewers, do you find yourselves replaying favorite games on a yearly or by yearly basis?" For him, he says, he keeps playing Deux Ex. What-- do you-- I mean, we have a lot of work to do. There's a lot of games. Personally, the only game that I really make sure-- well, there's two games I make sure I replay once a year and it's Half-Life 2 and the original BioShock. I just make suer I play those once a year just to get it out of the way. -Yeah. -You know, whatever I gotta do, I'm just gonna make sure I do. How do you feel about that? -No, BioShock is an awesome game and I do go back to BioShock as well. It's just landmark and Deus Ex, man, like Warren Spector original Deus Ex that's like a classic game of change things. But I also go back to Soul Calibur. -All right. Yeah. -And play that, you know, I used to work for a brief period at Sony Online Entertainment and my staff and I, instead of PlayStation games, we'd play Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. -Nice. -Just to you know, blow out steam and we still get together at least you know, about once a year to play that game and reminisce and you know, the skies are going gray now. So, that's how long. It's been like '99 when we were there. So, yeah, yeah. I mean, I do go back and there's games that I wanna finish. You know, there's probably 500 games that I have in the house that I haven't finished because I, you know, they won't require for review but I still wanna get to that circle so-- -Sure. It's tough. You know, it's-- you know, everyone is like, oh, I wish you could-- I could do, you know, I could review games. There's this bitter sweetness to it because you-- -Yeah. -for yourself, because we are big gamers and you wanna play the once you wanna play and doesn't always line up, we have to do that and I know people will say like, oh, cry me a river you have to play the game you don't wanna play. -Yeah. -But there is something kinda tragic of that all. -There is tragic because there's so much and you can't get to it. I mean, I would love to play a full season of NHL. -Yeah. -Or like a full season of Sony's Baseball Game but you know, sometimes you get hooked but-- and then you can't stop, but yeah, I just wish there were 48 hours in a day. -And the older I get now, you just [unk] time just keeps going quicker and quicker-- -Yeah. -and your responsibilities get and you're just like, man, what am I doing? -Yeah. -How am I gonna find a time for all of this? -it's really true. But yeah, you know, I think for any critic, it's kind of an honor to deal with your medium and present it to your audience as you know, consumer guide. -Sure. -So, it's you know, they're definitely a positive aspects to it but that is one of the downsides that you don't get to finish everything. -For sure. -Yeah. -We're gonna look forward to what's coming out this fall. We know PlayStation 3 is hitting November 15th, or PlayStation 4 rather. We don't know a date for Xbox One, although I would be shocked if it's a, you know, more than 2 weeks in front of or behind PlayStation 4. -Yeah. -You brought up before, you were saying, well, you know, it will be interesting to see how they sell out of the gate. I'm on defense about this. I really don't know. I know a lot of the pre-orders have sold out for both consoles and you know, that's always the normal sort of thing. I think we use all that with pre-orders as well. -That is true. -So, you know, for me personally, are you convinced that there is a strong enough launch lineup and not singling out either console? For me, I'm not sure there is a strong enough launch lineup for either console, especially when you have a lot of these game that are in this weirdo sort of transitional, overlapping period where you're gonna be able to play games on your existing console that you don't need to upgrade for. -Yeah, for the next year. -Exactly and there's a-- it feels like it's over 20 months sometimes with games that you're just gonna be able to play on the system you currently already have. How do you think that's gonna play out? It's a tough thing to call. -It's tough, man. If I can predict, I'd buy all the stock and I'd buy-- short of stock. -Yeah. It's tough because-- -I would be-- [unk] for us to say that GTA 5 is not next gen. -Right. -So, if you know, unless there's some kind of crazy announcement at the last minute, where it's available PS4 or Xbox One, I mean, I think that might make a difference. And Sony has a strong lineup of games and Sony, I think has a strong piece of hardware but is, you know, you make a fine point. Is there one game that you really need to get on a launch day? And I'm not sure. -Right. -Yeah. I'm not sure. -And you know, I-- the first time around or at least with the Xbox 360 and PS3, you know, you have those games. -Yeah. -Those games were there. -Yeah. -And you know, we also dealt with a crazy pricing structure and that seems to be almost all but eliminated. -Yeah. -So, it will be very, you know, sort of interesting to watch it play out. I'm-- like I said, you know, I think each console has their exclusives that are appealing. -The launch window. -Right. -So, do you have to think about it as like a 4-month thing before you make a decision of who won or who lost? -Right. Yeah. -I mean, you know, I think the publishers and console makers you know, wouldn't say-- well, this is not console wars but really kind of is, -Oh, yeah. -because you know, they take it very seriously. I mean, it's not an out battle like you know, a war in Iraq or something like that but these people want to win. I mean, that's what they're there for. So-- -And they're not nice to each other at all. -They're-- no, especially in the advent-- with the advent of Twitter, right? -Yeah. -They will get on Twitter and say that so, that is an interesting thing. You know, I am of the mind of Twitter. He said, you just like hold that comment in until you're really ready to say it. -If you-- -If you can't really get-- yeah, yeah, yeah. You'll just be until you're ready to go with it and you just-- you make sure that you said it right. And sometimes they don't. Sometimes executives even don't say. Yeah, I mean, that's good for us, it's entertainment in a way but-- -For sure. -you know, God knows what it causes behind the scenes. -All right. It will be very interesting to see you play out. Thanks for being here, man. This has been fantastic. -Yeah. -Make sure you follow Harold on Twitter. That's @haroldgoldberg. Make sure you do that. And then go-- and buy the book. It's on Amazon. We'll link to it in the show notes. All Your Base Are Belong to Us. How 50 years of video games conquered pop culture and how they continue. We'd love to have you back, man. Gotta come back when we have a little more insight as to how these consoles are playing out. -Surely love to come back. I really enjoyed it, man. -Awesome. -Thanks for being here, man. We will be back tomorrow, 866-404-CNET. That is the phone number. You can e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org, as well follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all that good stuff. And that's gonna do for us. All right. -Cool. -A lot of exciting things. Congrats to all the winners of the Powerocks, they all responded. No one else can win them. I'm surprised by that. I was kind of impressed that everyone got back to us real quick. So, thanks participating in that. We're back here tomorrow. We'll see you then. I'm Jeff Bakalar. -I'm Justin Yu. -I'm Richard Peterson. -Whoa, you're right there. -I pushed the wrong button. -Oh, man. -Sorry, man. -Thanks again to Harold Goldberg. This has been great, buddy. We really appreciate you being here. -Yeah. Thanks, man. -All right. We'll see you, guys, tomorrow. Have a good one.