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  1. CDPR admits it “ignored the signals” of Cyberpunk 2077’s console issues Refund requests are dependent on console/retailer policies, CDPR says. Enlarge / People are complaining about situations like this in Cyberpunk 2077, but I'm not sure I see the problem. CDPR / Twitter 166 with 94 posters participating Amid widespread reports of major technical and gameplay problems in the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red is acknowledging that it took "the wrong approach" in development leading up to the release. "After three delays, we as the Management Board were too focused on releasing the game," CDPR joint-CEO Adam Kiciński said during a recent conference call addressing the issues with the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. "We underestimated the scale and complexity of the issues, we ignored the signals about the need for additional time to refine the game on the base last-gen consoles... This caused the loss of gamers’ trust and the reputation that we’ve been building through a big part of our lives." How did such a marquee title end up released in such a state? A large part of the problem was "us looking... at the PC and next-gen performance rather than current-gen [consoles]," CDPR board member Michał Nowakowski said during the call. "We definitely did not spend enough time looking at that." The COVID-19 pandemic also impacted the usual testing plans for the title, CDPR said. "External testers working for external companies were not able to test the game from homes—they have test centers and if they’re not there, they’re not able to work," Kiciński said. Though the console version wasn't shown widely before the game's release, CDPR co-founder and board joint-CEO Marcin Iwiński said that was simply because "we were updating the game on last-gen consoles until the very last minute, and we thought we’d make it in time. Unfortunately, this resulted in giving it to reviewers just one day before the release, which was definitely too late, and the media didn’t get the chance to review it properly. That was not intended; we were just fixing the game until the very last moment." Nowakowski said he didn't blame Sony and Microsoft for approving the game in its current state. "This is definitely on our side. I can only assume that they trusted that we’re going to fix things upon release, and that obviously did not come together exactly as we had planned." While CDPR was faced with a strict timeline to get the oft-delayed game released last week, Nowakowski insisted that the team didn't feel "any external or internal pressure to launch on the date – other than the normal pressure, which is typical for any release." Enlarge / A Cyberpunk NPC is shown talking before his textures have fully loaded on the console version of the game. CCPR / @MrDelabee Twitter And amid reports of forced overtime at the studio in the weeks leading up to release, Nowakowski also suggested that simply throwing more developers at the problem would not have made an impact. "In terms of delivering the game at a certain point, it’s really not about the number of people; it’s not like throwing in—in the last month—200 or so people would actually help." Going forward, it sounds like those intense work schedules will not continue as the company works on post-launch patches. "We’re also scheduling holidays; people are tired and regardless of the situation and regardless of patches, we will not simply continue working as before; our people need to rest a bit," Kiciński said. Refunds and patches In a statement yesterday, CDPR said that players who were "not pleased with the game on your console, and don't want to wait for updates" should reach out to retailers or digital platform holders for refunds. In the Q&A, though, the company clarified that it hasn't arranged any special deals to get those refunds approved above and beyond the sellers' standard policies. "Microsoft and Sony have refund policies for every product that is released digitally on their storefronts," Nowakowski said. "These policies are in place and have always been in place; they’re not offered specifically for us. Anyone who has purchased any title on the PlayStation Network or the Microsoft storefront can ask for a refund, and if it’s made within certain boundaries, usually related to time, usage and so on, can ask for that refund. Our procedure here with Microsoft and Sony is not different than with any other title released on any of those storefronts." A Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica, "We provide Digital Game Product refunds as part of a consistent and reliable buying experience" and directed specific questions about Cyberpunk 2077 to CD Projekt Red. Sony has not responded to a request for comment from Ars Technica. Microsoft's refund policy for digital purchases considers all sales final except in "extenuating circumstances" and says it takes into account "a variety of factors like time since date of purchase, time since release, and use of the product" when considering whether to approve refunds. Sony's policy allows for refunds of PlayStation Network games within 14 days of purchase, but only "provided that you have not started downloading or streaming it." Exceptions are only made if "the content is faulty," and anecdotal reports suggest Sony does not generally think that exception is warranted for Cyberpunk 2077. In any case, Iwiński also stressed that the company is "not encouraging gamers to return the game; we hope they’ll give us a chance to improve it on old-gen consoles... I sincerely hope that by Christmas gamers will be able to enjoy the game on consoles; of course the major updates will come in January and February, so, again, we humbly ask gamers to wait—and they’ll be able to have an even better experience then." The major updates planned for the next two months should get the game to a point where "it will be a good, playable, stable game, without glitches and crashes," Nowakowski said, adding: "We’re looking to improve both performance and graphic fidelity." "The game is playable right now. That may be an important thing to state because it’s not like the game does not launch or is unplayable," Nowakowski said in response to a question about the state of the game. "I fully understand that the experience is far from satisfactory for a lot of people—and we do acknowledge that—but 'not playable' sounds like it doesn’t launch at all, which is not the case." CDPR admits it “ignored the signals” of Cyberpunk 2077’s console issues
  2. Amid massive bugs, CDPR offers refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles Studio promises patches in next two months will fix “most prominent problems.” Enlarge / A Cyberpunk NPC is shown talking before his textures have fully loaded on the console version of the game. CCPR / @MrDelabee Twitter 150 with 103 posters participating Developer CD Projekt Red has issued an apology and offered a full refund to frustrated Cyberpunk 2077 players who are running into numerous issues with the console versions of the game. "We should have paid more attention to making it play better on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One," the company wrote in a statement posted to social media. Ars Technica, like all other outlets receiving pre-release code, was only given access to a PC build of Cyberpunk 2077 before giving our opinion earlier this month. Those looking for impressions of the console versions had to wait until after the game launched publicly last Thursday. At that point, those players would have encountered widespread player and critic complaints of game-breaking bugs, low-resolution graphics, and console crashes. While the PC version had its share of glitchiness, reports suggest the console versions are in much rougher shape. And while there aren't native versions of Cyberpunk 2077 on the PlayStation 5 of Xbox Series S/X yet, reports suggest the last-generation console versions of the game play somewhat better when running in backward-compatibility mode on those next-generation systems. In its note, CD Projekt Red explicitly apologized for "not showing the game on base last-gen console before it premiered and, in consequence, not allowing you to make a more informed decision about your purchase." That comes just days after the developer trumpeted the fact that over 8 million players had pre-ordered the game, most long before any reviews were available, so make of that what you will. CDPR has also promised to "fix bugs and crashes" through continuing updates, including "two large patches" scheduled for January and February of 2021. Between them, those two patches should "fix the most prominent problems gamers are facing on last-gen consoles" the company promised. "They won't make the game on last-gen look like it's running on a high-spec PC or next-gen console, but it will be closer to that experience than it is now." In the meantime, CDPR is encouraging customers who are not "satisfied with their purchase" and not willing to wait for updates to ask for a refund, either through a digital console storefront or a brick-and-mortar retailer, or by contacting [email protected] through December 21. That policy follows reports that Sony had already begun honoring refund requests for the PS4 version of the game, echoing a similar offer when the PS4 version of Anthem failed to live up to technical expectations last year. Last week, CDPR also added an epilepsy warning to Cyberpunk 2077 after an early reviewer suffered a grand mal seizure while playing the game. The developer says it is exploring "a more permanent solution" to let players limit their potential exposure to epileptic triggers in the game. Amid massive bugs, CDPR offers refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 on consoles
  3. (Bloomberg) -- Sales of Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp.’s new gaming consoles fell short of their predecessors during their first week in Japan, suggesting persistent supply bottlenecks will hamper the debut of two of this holiday season’s most hotly anticipated gadgets. Sony sold 118,085 PlayStation 5 consoles from its debut on Nov. 12 to Nov. 15, roughly a third of the PS4’s performance over launch weekend, Famitsu estimated. Microsoft tallied 20,534 units of its Xbox Series X and S during the six days from its start on Nov. 10, also shy of the 23,562 that the Xbox One managed during its first few days, the research house said. The estimates provided a first glimpse at sales of the new Xbox and PlayStation, two devices that should dominate wishlists this Christmas. Japan was among the first markets globally to get the consoles and is considered a key battleground between two companies vying to establish a lead in next-generation gaming and drive longer-term growth. Factory and logistical disruptions during the pandemic have hurt manufacturers’ ability to keep up. The outcome is likely more reflective of the available supply than demand for the consoles, as both companies saw their machines sell out on day one, said Serkan Toto, an industry consultant in Tokyo. Microsoft has called its new console duo the most successful Xbox debut ever, but that feat appears to have come at the cost of thinly spread supply. The Redmond, Washington-based company released its two consoles to 37 countries simultaneously, a big jump from the 13 markets for the preceding Xbox One generation. Sony is also grappling with inadequate supply as it tries to introduce its new consoles to 65 nations, doubling the 32 that the company covered with the PlayStation 4. Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki told investors in October that supply chain bottlenecks have hampered the tech giant’s efforts to meet demand and that constraints may persist until March next year. In Japan, the company was forced to implement a lottery system to manage PS5 pre-orders. Microsoft and Sony both say they’re working hard to beef up supply of their new machines. But retailers in Japan say it remains unclear when they will be able to reliably stock the in-demand products. PS5 units on resale marketplace Mercari have hit prices upwards of $1,000, from their usual $400 to $500. Not all users are in a rush to obtain the new consoles right away, as most new games are still playable on the departing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. Still, Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda said the manufacturers should pump up supply as soon as possible because a loss of initial momentum could damage lifetime sales. “The first two-week sales momentum is crucial in forming a consumer sentiment on a product, and that’s why it’s important to prepare enough quantity at launch,” he said. Source
  4. If you’re one of the many people who tried to get an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 earlier this week, you probably have some strong words for Microsoft, Sony, and every major retailer in your region right now. There’s no two ways about it: these launches have been disasters from the perspective of the consumer, and at this point, it seems likely that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are going to have stock issues for some time to come. Obviously, we’d expect new consoles to be popular, fast-selling items regardless of when they launch, but the pandemic we’re currently in the middle of is not making things any easier. Launching new consoles in the middle of a pandemic is now very clearly a recipe for frustration, so maybe we should avoid doing this in the future, yes? I’m going to try to avoid throwing too many stones here because Microsoft, Sony, retailers, and customers are all victims of circumstance, but it has to be said that the launch of both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been something of a disorganized mess dating back to when both of these consoles went up for pre-order. If you didn’t snag a console through pre-ordering it back when they first opened up, then you were basically left to fight for a launch day console, which is something that the pandemic really complicates. Shortly before release, Sony made the announcement that there would be no in-store launch day PlayStation 5 sales because it didn’t want people lining up in front of or otherwise flooding stores and contributing to the spread of COVID-19 over a game console. A smart move because of the pandemic, that’s for sure, but with all launch day PlayStation 5 sales moving online (along with many Xbox Series X sales, for that matter), that made it a lot harder for real people to actually get their hands on a console. That’s especially true when you consider that few retailers advertised times they would open up console sales, leaving most people to simply refresh listings for consoles constantly in the hope they’d get lucky. Even when a retailer did publicize times – which was basically just Walmart in the case of the PlayStation 5 – that didn’t really make things better for regular consumers. Though Walmart offered several different batches of PlayStation 5 stock at regular intervals yesterday, you had to be supremely lucky to get one. At those advertised times, Walmart’s website was unsurprisingly overwhelmed, either slowing to a crawl or crashing entirely. Then you have the fact that most of these retailers don’t have any safeguards against bots or those who are buying up stock just to resell them on eBay at a profit. Some retailers, like GameStop and Costco, opted to only offer consoles as part of a more expensive bundle. Though some will cry price gouging at seeing the price of those bundles, that wasn’t actually the case – instead, these bundles were offered as a way to dissuade resellers from buying, because they’d have to figure out what to do with the extra games and accessories that came with the console (with many stores not allowing returns on individual items from the bundle in question). Bundles definitely sold out slower than standalone consoles, so they probably did their job of turning away eBay scalpers, but it’s not like that’s an ideal solution for regular customers either. Not everyone is going to want all of the components of any given bundle, nor will everyone have the $700 or $800 on hand to cover the cost of one of them. In short, if you were trying to buy an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5 online this week, whether or not you got one was really a matter of luck. Few humans will win in a race against bots, and unstable websites only make matters worse. Not being able to find a PlayStation in-store, while a good thing because of the pandemic as a whole, means that regular consumers were at a big disadvantage when it comes to actually obtaining a console. As far as I’m aware, all PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X sales have been first-come, first-served as well. Retailers like Walmart and Target are selling future stock, sure, but neither Microsoft nor Sony are allowing you to get on some kind of waiting list. Offering that would probably remove a lot of stress for consumers who just want to secure a console for delivery at some point in the future. After witnessing the last few days, it would be amazing to see Sony and Microsoft implement something similar to the way Apple sells iPhones. If you head over to Apple.com in search of an iPhone, you’re always able to buy one, with shipping estimates based on the stock Apple has available. At this point, I’m guessing that most people would be more than okay with paying Microsoft and Sony their money now as long as it meant they could get a console at some point, even if their shipping date would be a month or two away. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that Sony and Microsoft were able to make the logistics work and launch consoles during a pandemic is impressive, and Sony in particular should be commended for disallowing in-store sales of the PlayStation 5 to prevent the spread of COVID. As impressive as it may be, though, the only clear winners from this week are the scalpers who used bots to secure a bunch of stock they can resell on eBay. At the moment, eBay is showing 4,880 results for Xbox Series X and 9,040 results for PlayStation 5. Surely not all of those listings are for the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, but many of them are. In the case of the Xbox Series X, we’re seeing listings that range from $700 to over $1,000, while the PlayStation 5 is even more egregiously-priced, with listings topping $1,400 or even $1,500 in some cases. These aren’t just scalpers who are shooting for the moon either – if you look at the sold listings, you’ll see plenty of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles that have sold at prices well over the $500 Microsoft and Sony are asking. As people bang their heads against the wall attempting to get an Xbox Series X or a PS5 online, they’re becoming increasingly more desperate and are paying vastly inflated prices to get one. I’m not here to be some kind of apologist for people who can’t exercise patience and decide to spend more than double the MRSP to have a console now instead of waiting a few months, but the fact that those consoles are selling shows how dire the stock situation is. As I stated earlier, this is always a problem when a new console releases, but the pandemic seems to have exacerbated everything ugly about a console launch. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that this has been one dance I never want to do again. Source
  5. Enter the Gungeon sales top three million. Exit the Gungeon, the spin-off to Enter the Gungeon launched for Apple Arcade in September 2019, is coming to consoles and PC in early 2020, developer Dodge Roll Games announced. The developer also announced that Enter the Gungeon has sold over three million copies across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, and Linux. Here is an overview of Exit the Gungeon, via its App Store page: Exit the Gungeon is a bullet hell dungeon climber immediately following the adventures of the misfit ‘Gungeoneers’ and their journey for personal absolution in Enter the Gungeon. The Gungeon has become a paradox and is collapsing! Armed with an ever-changing weapon, an insatiable need to loot, and the trusty dodge roll, each of our heroes must ascend and escape via their own unique route of increasingly perilous elevators. Battle against the last and most bitter of the Gundead at a frantic pace, slowing down just long enough to chat with some familiar faces… and a few new ones. Shifting rooms, enemies, bosses, bizarre weapons and items all combine to ensure that no two attempts to Exit the Gungeon are the same. Also, you can wear hats. Everybody loves hats, and spin-offs, which this game is… of Enter the Gungeon. Source
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