Podcast - This Is Only a Test

This is Only a Test – EXTRA – The Future of Games

Michael Pachter, Mark Rein, and a panel of experts take to the couch to talk the future of game consoles, the real problem with the iPad and why 1080p isn’t necessarily better. Things get a little crazy, tempers get heated, and Will makes fun of chainsaw guns.

Comments (40)

40 thoughts on “This is Only a Test – EXTRA – The Future of Games

  1. “why 1080p isn’t necessarily better”

    I can’t wait for this to download and get some time to watch the chat.

  2. Mark Rein definitely dominated the discussion but I do think that his comments were very insightful and he was often able to rebuke the viability of some of the speculations offered.

  3. Mark Rein fucking owned that Vita conversation. People are too quick to call failure, happened recently with the iPad and 3DS as he said.

  4. Kind of a clusterfuck. Not exactly unexpected though. The first couple CES shows last year were like this too, but the guys really turned it around on the following days.

    Mark Rein is a nice get, anyways. Ballmer next year?

  5. That was an absolutely fascinating discussion, much better than the often smarmy stuff put out by GameTrailers with Bonus Round.

  6. Wow Mark Rein is pretty fighty isn’t he? It’s not all about you, Mark Rein!

    It might not be all about him, but I do feel that his comments often made a lot more sense than what the other guys were saying. While they didn’t always agree, Pachter and him pretty much made the most compelling arguments and had the most interesting stuff to say, I think.

  7. Mark Rein is like a sequel to David Jaffe, but you really can’t beat experience and actual insight when it comes to discussions like this. Very interesting video.

  8. Surprised people in these comments generally are positive towards Mark. I found him to be really obnoxious and rude, constantly cutting other people off and making huge leaps in logic or arguing against something that nobody was trying to argue for. He had a couple of points with validity, but I generally found that his opinions didn’t really make any sense, or weren’t related to what was being said.

    Glad other people still enjoyed it at least, but I just found this really hard to watch with Mark constantly cutting people off and making weak or irrelevant arguments.

  9. Surprised people in these comments generally are positive towards Mark. I found him to be really obnoxious and rude, constantly cutting other people off and making huge leaps in logic or arguing against something that nobody was trying to argue for. He had a couple of points with validity, but I generally found that his opinions didn’t really make any sense, or weren’t related to what was being said.

    Glad other people still enjoyed it at least, but I just found this really hard to watch with Mark constantly cutting people off and making weak or irrelevant arguments.

    $10 bucks says he knows what he’s talking about.

    Plus people love Will, and he’s an ass in most of the ways you described at times. In fact, so is OG. Whitta.

  10. this isn’t in the podcast???

    I think it is but they must have considered this worth it’s own post.

    This wasn’t in the Day 1 podcast and, an hour in, doesn’t seem like it’s in the Day 2 podcast, either.

  11. On the topic of the Vita, Rein may have been forceful but that was necessary since there were at least 3 people trying to stop him so they could voice dissenting opinions that are all more or less the same. If he wasn’t there it would have been the usual 5-20 minutes of “this is why it’s garbage!” counter-pointed exclusively by “no, THIS is why it’s garbage!”

  12. Rein and Pachter where the only ones in the room who actually knew what they were talking about. Rein was pretty fair in everything that was being discussed and without him I doubt there would have been an alternate view on the topics. Plus he was the only one who could speak from the developer side of things. This was very entertaining to listen to and an excellent discussion.

  13. Surprised people in these comments generally are positive towards Mark. I found him to be really obnoxious and rude, constantly cutting other people off and making huge leaps in logic or arguing against something that nobody was trying to argue for. He had a couple of points with validity, but I generally found that his opinions didn’t really make any sense, or weren’t related to what was being said.

    Glad other people still enjoyed it at least, but I just found this really hard to watch with Mark constantly cutting people off and making weak or irrelevant arguments.

    $10 bucks says he knows what he’s talking about.

    Plus people love Will, and he’s an ass in most of the ways you described at times. In fact, so is OG. Whitta.

    Haha, you’re as bad as Mark! Not going to argue with you here; just amusing.

  14. This podcast was for the most part awesome! However, Mark Reins voice after so long made me wanna stab myself in my eyes so I couldn’t finish the last 15mins. It didn’t help that he never shut up, sure he did have some relatively interesting things to say … but I would have enjoyed hearing from the rest of the group too.

    British dude in the corner of the couch rightfully pointed himself out as a dick, especially when he scoffed at the guy next to him who brought up HTML5. Which could have brought up an awesome offshoot conversation about the evolving browser technologies.

    My two cents though, I know no one cares haha.

  15. It’s too bad that people are always afraid of big names. I remember Gary Whitta kinda flaming that one guy during the Oktoberkast simply because that guy was acting like a dick and I would really have appreciated something like this with Mark Rein. I’m not even sure if he realised how disrespectful of him it was to permanently interrupt everyone (I have my doubts that even telling him would have helped though). Michael Pachter was the only one who kinda tried to calm him down a bit… sure, it’s somehow entertaining when things like this happen, but I would really have prefered to hear the other guys’ opinions instead. Well, at least now I have an idea why he was let go from id back in the day (sorry, I just had to write it).

  16. I don’t see why people are agreeing with Mark Rein about his opinions on Vita.

    – Nintendo 3DS did not succeed ONLY because it got better software. There was an $80 price drop ($250 to $170). A 32% permanent price drop is pretty significant.

    – PSV does NOT compare to iPod Touch. If you want to do anything worthwhile with PSV you have to buy games at $40 apiece, memory cards, and maybe some other accessories. iPod Touch is $200 and functions the way you want it to right out of the box.

    I’m not saying PSV is not a good piece of hardware, I’m just saying that the market might not be willing to buy it like Sony needs it to.

  17. – PSV does NOT compare to iPod Touch. If you want to do anything worthwhile with PSV you have to buy games at $40 apiece, memory cards, and maybe some other accessories. iPod Touch is $200 and functions the way you want it to right out of the box.

    Yeah, except you need to replace your iPod Touch every year if you want to keep playing current titles.

    I personally think Rein’s comments were a breath of fresh air and if anyone thinks he doesn’t know what he’s talking about with regards to games, you better think about what you’re claiming. The guy is a Vice-President at one of the most successful studios ever and it the guy who helped turn Unreal Engine into the tour de force it is today. And seriously, in a room with Smith and Whitta, he’s the only blowhard?

    The Tested crew have so much Apple fanboyism that creeps into every discussion and every thought they have on anything that competes with it that they’re automatically writing off anything else with no basis. They wrote off the 3DS and it’s now selling very well (yes price cut blah blah blah, that’s not the only reason) and they’re writing off the Vita before it’s had any kind of chance to prove itself (and if you want a discussion on how the Japanese launch is no indicator of anything, go listen to the latest Weekend Confirmed). And I say this as someone who might buy an iPad 3 this year purely for iOS gaming. They’re so convinced that anything that doesn’t outsell an Apple product is automatically a failure and it’s incredibly frustrating how everything has to be a comparison to Apple (notice how many times before the iOS discussion that topics got shifted back to Apple related things, even when it wasn’t really fitting?) and why to them, other things can’t be successful without selling better than Apple. The Vita and iOS are not the same damn thing!

    I really love the site and I really like the dynamic of the Tested personalities but seriously, the Apple worship is getting out of control. Talk about Apple and in the ways they’re better but stop trying to make everything about them, whether it needs to be or not, please. We get that you love the company but not giving anything else a chance is poor journalism.

  18. I loved this, though I thought Pachter and the rest of the the anti-Rein posse were woefully reticent. Kidding! Kinda. I love debates like this and I thought everyone had good things to say, including Mr. Rein, even though I think ultimately he is a little short sighted in just about everything. I watch a lot of these discussions and I feel like people discount the way everyone at large plays games. There are gamers out there who want smaller, simpler experiences as well as the deeper, “lean forward” stuff. I think it’s less of a console thing anymore, and more of a categorical. I could have an incredibly deep experience on my iPhone, but it does not preclude me from having that same feeling from a console game. The lines are blurring, or at least that should be the goal of the people who make games and want to continue to make them.

  19. Surprised people in these comments generally are positive towards Mark. I found him to be really obnoxious and rude, constantly cutting other people off and making huge leaps in logic or arguing against something that nobody was trying to argue for. He had a couple of points with validity, but I generally found that his opinions didn’t really make any sense, or weren’t related to what was being said.

    Glad other people still enjoyed it at least, but I just found this really hard to watch with Mark constantly cutting people off and making weak or irrelevant arguments.

    It has been my experience that a lot Whiskey users like assholes quite a bit.
    I also found Mark to be really obnoxious and loud.
    But to be fair, the peanut gallery didn’t really shine either.
    Pachter was the best.

  20. I’m so happy. Since Mark Rein is so successful I am convinced more than ever that I too can make it in the games industry. His obnoxiously simple logic delivered in such a condecending manner makes me wonder how a guy like this gets to where he is. Btw “VP” is just a is a silly title so that everyone knows wether they should kiss his shoes when they see him around the office. It doesntmean anything in reality.

  21. …the Apple worship is getting out of control. Talk about Apple and in the ways they’re better but stop trying to make everything about them, whether it needs to be or not, please. We get that you love the company but not giving anything else a chance is poor journalism.

    I’m going to make a suggestion here, and it’s perhaps a little bold. Have you ever considered that you hear what you want to hear? We’ve spent a ton of time talking about what is broken, bad, or just not working as it should on Apple products. There was an episode a month or two ago where we spent a significant portion of the podcast bitching about things they’ve messed up badly. We talked about iPhone 4S battery life not holding up to CES yesterday. We rarely talk about Apple TV without mentioning the Netflix problems they have. We talked about the Apple earbuds being shit for a long time tonight.

    When we talk about different products, if it’s a category Apple is in, odds are we’re talking about Apple as a result because they make a product that is in that category and it is usually quite good. When you compare a product in a category to the market leader, that’s not fanboyism or “bad journalism” that’s called context.

    Context is vital for the kind of show we do, because everything is experiential. I can’t say “The iPhone 4s is 30% better than the Galaxy S 2 because all the measurements are subjective. There’s no benchmark for “How good is that product.”. You have to put products in context with other products that fit into the same or similar category, and like it or not, Apple makes market leading phones, tablets, and (to a lesser extent) laptops.

    Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply to Gary. But Norm and I generally work together to keep him in check, and he does a pretty good job of self policing, these days.

    I have considered exactly what you suggest multiple times and I’ve never claimed that you don’t talk about the faults of Apple products, though they don’t get repeated mentions. I didn’t see the comments about 4S battery life yesterday, I’ve been swamped at work and haven’t been able to listen to all the CES shows yet. I should also say that I agree that I don’t really apply these criticisms to Gary because he’s not part of the editorial staff. My poor journalism comment was too harsh and a result of my being too tired when I wrote it, I apologise for that. But as someone who has listened to every podcast since mid-2010, I simply don’t agree with your assessment. If you listen to any episodes in which you guys talked about the 3DS when it was new and now the Vita in general, I don’t think you can say with a straight face that you weren’t/aren’t writing them off before they’ve been given a chance, largely because of iOS gaming. In this video, Mark Rein was the only one in the room not doing so and he makes a ton of money from iOS and doesn’t even have a dog in the Vita fight!

    And as I’ve said before, I don’t care if you talk about Apple products. They’re one of the most valuable companies in the world and make a ton of cool stuff, I mean duh, of course you should and as someone who might buy an iPad 3 this year, I want to hear it when it’s appropriate. But you should see how often you guys are talking about another product (and yes, albeit in a similar area) and then someone will say “But the thing is, Apple…” or “It’s like when Apple…”, followed by a 10 minute tangent of the same gushing of that product we’ve heard many times. By the time you get back to the thing you were originally talking about, everyone wants to move on to the next item and what was supposed to be a discussion of X was mostly about Apple again. I’ve heard this so many times in the last few months and it’s not hearing what I want to hear, it’s just what I’m hearing. Maybe that’s not fanboyism but I don’t know what else to call it. Talking about certain products at the expense of others may not be direct bias but it certainly biases the discussion at hand. Hell dude, on a recent episode, it was stated that “Some believe we’re an Apple-centric podcast.” and someone else said “Yeah, that’s probably accurate.” That’s not my opinion, that’s just what was said. This isn’t because it’s Apple, if you were doing this with Samsung, Sony or Company X, I’d have the same thoughts on it.

    Will, I do honestly state these criticisms with all due respect. I really like Whiskey Media and the vibe that Tested has always tried to go for. I’ve been using this site since it launched (dumping other tech podcasts in the process) and while I could just go somewhere else if I don’t like it, I want to support what you guys are doing and I think if people don’t provide feedback (positive or negative), nobody learns anything and you can’t evolve your vision. I’m not delusional enough to think that I speak for anyone but myself. If the way things are being done now is growing the site, then good on you, I don’t expect you to change solely on my account. I’m just trying to provide feedback based on my lengthy experience with Tested and how I’ve seen the podcast in particular change (in my view, not for the best) in recent months compared to when the site launched. I’ve made this point severl times now and you’ve acknowledged it so I know you’ve read it and I won’t continue to harp on it. Do with this feedback as you wish. I’m not going anywhere yet and I’ll see how things progress. Keep up the good work, cheers.

  22. Why is this not in audio form? Way too long to sit and watch dudes sitting still on a couch. Could you please make it a podcast aswell?

  23. Like most Whiskey Media guest filled podcasts, I would have never understood that there was anything wrong if I hadn’t read the comments. I enjoyed the back and forth, and the strong opinions. I didn’t see rudeness or ignorance, I saw different but legitimate opinions that got voiced by knowledgeable people. I feel like “internet nerd culture” somehow can’t take anything even approaching a heated discussion without recoiling from the social tension.

  24. Jesus Christ, Mark Rein is totally unaware of himself. The majority of his rants were repeats of the same idea over and over. Shuuuuuuuttt upppp, the internet wants to hear more voices than your own. I was twice as interested in everyone but him on those couches, too bad they hardly got a chance to peep.

  25. Never heard mark rein talk before he was impressive. Pachter has completely turned my opinion of him around, he comes across a lot more intelligent than I’d thought of in the past. Interesting panel.

  26. Pachter is smoking crack if he thinks Activision will pull Call of Duty from consoles. That is not hyperbole.

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