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Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 10.20.06

posted on October 20th, 2006 by jay

PS1 games downloadable on PS3
Actual good news for Sony? It seems so. The company plans to have their entire PS1 catalogue available, sans the games that are too messy contract-wise. What are the odds they port some Japanese only titles for American downloading? Yeah, zero, I know.

Have stock in Sony?

Sony profit forecast not very encouraging
Among the reasons for the lowered forecast were lower than expect PSP sales, higher than expected Cell processor costs and the lowered PS3 price. If they really needed to stabilize themselves, why not just put out a 360 clone? If the PS3 cost $400 and had the PlayStation exclusives the PS2 had, Sony would’ve easily maintained their #1 position. I guess big risks sometimes pay off, but how about Sony release more big risk games instead of a big risk console?

PS3 pricing and network details
50 bucks for a PS3 controller?!

The New E3

Pros
– Fewer people
– In July (I look cute in short shorts)
– Invite only (Talentless media people won’t be there)

Cons
– Now more boring
– Separate hotels and shuttle rides?
– Game demos still need to be polished for E3 (One of the problems reported by developers about the old E3 is that too much of their time and effort went into making an E3 build of their games)
– About “getting business done”
– Invite only (I won’t be there)

I will give a million dollars to every one in this picture who played Bully before this protest.

Bully is not particularly offensive
Despite some stores refusing to carry it, despite peace groups getting their Volkswagens in knots, and despite Biblical crusader (and possibly lawyer) Jack Thompson’s protests, the game Bully may not be the devil incarnate. Most of the moral outrage comes from people who pretend to follow the teaching, “judge not lest ye be judged yourself.” This is perhaps too idealistic, but could they at least abide to, “judge not until the final product is shipped”?

Nielsen is watching
Scenario 1
Nielsen realizes the ways gamers play make our games ripe for all sorts of advertising, and a lot of it. Games become bogged down with billboards and pop ups and I rant about it weekly.

Scenario 2
Nielsen realizes games are not really useful for advertisers. Many large businesses lose interest in the industry and it remains a niche market catering to nerdy men.

Blog reports unsubstantiated rumor, later retracts story in light of facts
Being a fly nipping at the big sites heels (more like a bacteria on a fly nipping at the big sites heels) makes some things obligatory. I must believe videolamer is amazing and just misunderstood. I must refuse to cover most relevant news and topics in order to “keep it real,” and not “sell out.” I must also take extreme pleasure in any of the major sites very minor mistakes.

Given these things: Joystiq reported that Twilight Princess wouldn’t be released in stores in the US but they jumped the gun. Jokes and narcissism aside, it is slightly troublesome that so many get their news from blog sites that report stories immediately with very little fact checking. Now and then they are at least good enough to include the word “rumor” in the headline.

This is not simply a problem with blogs, though, as the mainstream media would like you to believe. Anyone who has watched five minutes of CNN knows they break a story no matter how few facts they have.

“This just in: A guy somewhere has a gun… authorities can’t say where….our reports do confirm that he has a gun or some other object in his hand…perhaps a banana…Breaking news: If you’re just joining us, we are live in an unknown location watching what seems to be a carnival…we’re being told that was the wrong clip…”

“What’s that, Blue Dragon? You hate white people, too?”

Blue Dragon makes Japan care about the 360
Knowing nothing about business or money gives me a unique perspective and allows me to wonder why Microsoft didn’t just buy Square Enix years ago. Because it was always painfully obvious that they needed a Japanese RPG to sell the 360 in Japan, MS finally got one. One of the leading theories on why Japan doesn’t buy Xboxes is that the Japanese are racist and xenophobic. Perhaps they’re slightly xenophobic (who isn’t?), but they buy tons of other American products and Blue Dragon selling on the 360 seems to give credence to the competing theory. The Japanese don’t buy Xboxes because few of its games suit their tastes.

Phil Harrison refuses to let reality interfere with his PR
On Blu Ray:
“It’s got nothing to do with movies. DVD is not sufficient capacity to power the kind of data consumption, or to feed the data consumption needs of Cell and RSX – just purely as a gameplay device, we need Blu-Ray to supply the kind of data that PS3 games use.”

Why this is a transparent lie:
Sony very deliberately partnered with others in creating a new format. The Blu Ray didn’t accidentally happen. If Sony didn’t care about the prospect of putting movies on their own format they could have easily accepted the HD DVD standard. Developing a proprietary format is obviously an attempt at doing more than expanding the storage of DVDs for gaming purposes.

I’ve touched on this before, but why does Harrison still have a job? Is it the duty of the press to write down any bullshit that comes out of his mouth, or to call him on it (or simply stop speaking to him since the man is a fount of misinformation and propaganda)? These are serious questions that all media must answer. When Bush lies to reporters is it their duty to confront him? I’m not sure. Maybe we need half of journalists to be note takers and the other half to be sentient beings with a sense of justice.

4 Comments

  1. Matt said on October 20, 2006:

    This certainly is the generation of expensive controllers. This will make me more hesitant on breaking them, seeing as how they cost the same as a full-priced game. But, I can see where you’re coming from with the Blu-Ray thing, but having that much storage space really does help a lot with games. You can’t deny that fact. It might have been an added benefit when planning the new movie format, but it’s still giving game developers more time to create bigger worlds instead of wrestling with compressing textures and levels that have to be extracted with a proprietary unzipping function. And they’ve even been saying Resistance: Fall of Man has used basically the entire disc, and that’s just a launch game. Who knows how big games will get in 1-2 more years? It’s becoming evident that Sony needed some new type of disc media to run PS3 games in full 1080p, and Blu-Ray was coincidentally being developed at the same time. 

  2. jay said on October 20, 2006:

    Yes, they need more space than the DVD provides, but why re-invent the wheel if you don’t have plans to profit from the re-invention? There is no way Sony just happened to spend millions of dollars on research and development because they didn’t notice the HD DVD format was already in the works (HD DVD would’ve provided the extra storage space Sony needed for games). The rest of the Blu Ray allies would not have teamed up with Sony if Sony actually planned for the Blu Ray to be simply for extra game storage. Sony and their allies want Blu Ray to become the dominant medium of both games and movies.

  3. Christian said on October 20, 2006:

    Did anyone catch the rest of Harrison’s quote, when he claims the discs are being filled with plenty of juicy HD cutscenes, and that this is a good thing? That’s exactly what I was afraid of.  Cue Final Fantasy XIII: The Spirits Within 2 

  4. jay said on October 20, 2006:

    And like you said under the Sam and Max review, the extra amazing cut scenes on PS3 games will be heralded as wonderful story telling devices. Also, did you notice Harrison says the storage isn’t just about graphics, it’s about sound, and animation, and textures…basically he says graphics four times, sound twice then throws in gameplay at the end.

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