Two weeks, 12 dramas. The most controversial console generation yet?

DualShock 4 rubber wearing out

This damage is from two weeks use

Above: Down to the plastic with just two weeks of use

Image Credit: Reddit/Cayos

While most gamers are falling in love with the new DualShock 4 controller (which we recently covered in our exclusive four-part series), some have reported problems with the rubber on the analog sticks. Specifically, the rubber covering of the left stick has been wearing away or splitting completely.

While this problem was first noted just before launch via a Reddit post, it was largely dismissed as a one-off. Now that the PlayStation 4 has been in people’s homes for a couple of weeks, though, it’s clear this isn’t just an isolated incident.

The organized folks over at gaming forum NeoGAF have even started recording which batch numbers have the issue in the hope of seeing a pattern emerge. Nothing reported so far indicates that the problem controllers are from the same production run, so it could be more than just a faulty batch at blame.

The Redditor who originally flagged the concern cites an email thread discussing the problem, which credits a Sony representative saying, “Tell people not to press so hard.” This, of course, should not be taken as fact.

Sony Computer Entertainment has yet to make an official comment on the issue.

Xbox One microtransactions leave a bitter taste

Forza Motorsport 5

Above: Forza Motorsport 5

Image Credit: Microsoft

Remember the days when you just bought a game for $60 and played the heck out of it? If the Xbox One’s launch lineup is anything to go by, those days are well and truly behind us.

Ryse: Son of Rome, Crimson Dragon, Powerstar Golf, and Forza Motorsport 5 all have microtransactions built into them that either help boost performance or unlock additional items.

Forza has seen the biggest backlash against this system as the game seems to make unlocking cars by skill alone into a Herculean task. Why grind the same old tracks for hours when you can drop some cash and unlock that shiny new set of wheels?

The biggest letdown is for gamers who buy the Forza season pass, which drip-feeds you a selection of new cars you can’t just jump in and drive. Despite dropping $50 on the pass (on top of your $60 game purchase), you can’t actually access the cars until you buy them in the game through accumulating or buying tokens.

The most expensive vehicle, Kimi Raikkonen’s 2013 Lotus E21 F1 car, costs over $50 to unlock, and developer Turn 10 has now started to address concerns about these microtransactions.

“Based on the numbers we’ve seen from our first week of Forza Motorsport 5, as well as feedback we heard directly from you, we’re in the process of making some changes to the Forza Motorsport 5 economy,” said Turn 10 community manager Brian Ekberg in a recent blog post.

For some, though, the mere existence of such microtransactions in a full price retail game is enough to make them turn their backs.

A fan responds to the Forza 5 microtransactions in a GamesBeat comment

Above: A fan responds to the Forza 5 microtransactions in a GamesBeat comment

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Did Foxconn iterns really sabotage the PS4?

foxconn workers i love

On Nov. 15, a new member started a thread at IGN’s gaming forum, claiming to know something about the hardware issues the PlayStation 4 was having.

The member, known as “qbroid,” posted a screenshot showing a comment from a Chinese forum. The comment reportedly came from a Chinese student who worked as an intern at electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which helped produce the PlayStation 4.

Qbroid translated the post as saying: “Since Foxconn are not treating us well, we will not treat PS4 console well. The PS4 console we assemble can be turned on at best.”

Qbroid followed up this post with more alleged comments from students, including one that read, “I throw PS4 down every day, three together once.”

It’s no secret that students worked at Foxconn this summer on a basic wage as part of a compulsory internship. Foxconn has also confirmed that these students were given night shifts and overtime in violation of its own policies. Whether these students felt so aggrieved as to deliberately sabotage their own production line, though, is far from clear.

Kotaku examined the IGN comments a few days later, deciding that there was too little substance to take them at face value. The Chinese press, however, has been reporting on the PS4’s hardware problems, and a number of high-traffic sites have mentioned the Chinese forum posts shared on IGN.

This one sits firmly in the rumors category for now, but it’s an interesting rumor nonetheless.

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