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Weekly News We care About Wrap Up – 4.7.06

posted on April 7th, 2006 by jay

Bloated cash cow, I choose you!

Nintendo engineers talk about the process of designing the DSLite
I personally find this article to be fascinating. More interviews with hardware designer’s would be a welcome thing.

Nintendo has great year financially
Despite having a dead console, Nintendo made a lot of yen this past year, thanks to the “favorable” performance of the DS. Maybe one day they’ll stop living off of handhelds and Pokemon and be a real player in the console wars again.

First Amendment bitch slaps anti-game lobbyists
Said the judge, “Video games are a form of creative expression that are constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. They contain original artwork, graphics, music, story lines and characters similar to movies and television shows, both of which are considered protected free speech.” The system works, who knew?

Sega buys another company, further dilutes it’s name
Apparently out to make sure the Sega brand doesn’t mean anything other than “large publisher,” the company buys another western developer (or two). Can anyone honestly say EA games have something about them that makes them EA games? Sega once had a Seganess about their games, but this is quickly changing.

The Bob Ross Game coming to PC, DS and Revolution
The best use of the DS ever. Bob Ross was meant to live on through video games. The last boss is a happy little tumor.

Like it? I painted it on my DS, but there’s no save feature.

Bethesda (or MS) selling bits and pieces of Oblivion game through XBox Live
I find this abhorrent. Packaging a music cd, a poster, or a tea cozy with a limited edition of a game is one thing, but all actual game content should be included with a game. Today they sell horse armor in an RPG but if enough stupid people bite, tomorrow they will sell us the ability to jump in a platformer.

What if this paying for extra crap “functionality” crosses over to multiple player games? One of the things game allow us to escape from is class structure. Online, I can beat the snot out of rich kids if I am a better gamer. This may change. Wait, it already has changed. MMO game companies are probably upset about weapons and characters being sold on eBay because that makes it harder for them to eventually sell weapons and characters for their own games.

Game helps kids with cancer
Jack Thompson is furious, Jesus gave those kids cancer and to fight it is against His will.

Spend the Night unable to secure funding
The first online “virtual sex” game I’ve heard of was put on hold due to a lack of funding. I think the social aspect of online games is overrated, but this game would undoubtedly have been interesting. The premise is players go on virtual dates with other players, and presumably these lead to virtual sex. A psychologist could have a field day studying peoples behavior in a world that carries far fewer consequences. The ability to create a new account and thus start with a fresh reputation, being able to fulfill curiosity without real life consequences, the lack of STDs… My guess is that at first everyone would be a super skank but then eventually, as it became clear some people were cooler than others and had more virtual money to offer, virtual sex life wouldn’t be tremendously difficult from real sex life. Also, think of the controversy.

Libertarian defends gaming
Former CATO douche bag and Heritage Foundation asshole Adam Thierer summarized the pro-video games stance in the National Review Online. Apparently libertarians aren’t entirely evil. Global warming and second hand smoke may just be lies of the liberal conspiracy, but then so are the evils of video games.

PS3 to debut in Europe for 6 Bajillion Euros?
This has since been cleared up. Or at least Sony pretends it has. It still seems like the price range seems plausible. Even at $550, Sony will be asking quite a lot from consumers. I made a new years resolution to not buy any system over $150, so I may be waiting till 2008 for a PS3.

Just you wait.

Warren Spector writes an excellent article on gamings future
The standard doom forecast: Big companies will destroy small, the rich will eat the poor, all games will suck horribly, etc. It’s a long article but is worth the time. I’m curious about Warren’s position that smaller foreign developers manage to exist by outsourcing but smaller domestic ones are all on the chopping block. If I didn’t misunderstand the article, it seems that either our independent studios should be able to challenge the big guys, too, or that the small foreign companies are also on their way to destruction.

Microsoft buys Lionhead, killing one of the few surviving major independent developers
Oh my, do I find this depressing. Peter Molyneux left Bullfrog because he lost control when EA bought it. He lobbied the British government to help small game developers because, “The small independents are the creators of all the new, fresh and different ideas…” I guess he finally ran out of money and needed stable financial backing. Let’s hope MS allows him to do as he pleases, however unlikely that seems. Looks like Warren Spector was right, the rich get richer.

7 Comments

  1. Christian said on April 7, 2006:

    The acquisition of Lionhead doesn’t reall phase me. Peter Molyneux has proven time and again that he is great at coming up with ideas, but horrible at executing them in a fun, playable game. I think we need people to push the boundaries of what a game can do, but unless someone can put these ideas into a product that people want to play, no one is going to listen. I don’t think that he is the man for that job.

  2. Billy said on April 7, 2006:

    Bob Ross!!!! Just beat the devil out of it!

  3. jay said on April 7, 2006:

    I’m a big fan of Molyneux’s/Bullfrog’s old titles like Populous, Theme Park, Magic Carpet and Syndicate. He has had a big problem pulling off his ideas in the last…decade or so, but I know that somewhere beneath his own hype he is a brilliant guy.

  4. pat said on April 7, 2006:

    I’m with Christian on this one. I was looking forward to black and white until i got to play it. Clumsy.
    As for the rest of the news… I know nothing about tech hardware, but apparently a blu-ray drive should be ~$500 on its own. So paying that much for the system may not be completely ridiculous. And I think selling pieces of the game separate from the game is a terrible idea. Not only for the reasons jay lists here, but also because I feel that games should be self contained and have a begining and an end (I’m not into mmorpgs).

  5. jay said on April 8, 2006:

    Take a look at this Gamasutra news article. According to them, blu-ray drives will cost between $700 to $1000 (after the conversaionfrom Euros, like the initial PS3 price point as well). Apparently saying the PS3 would only be $550 or so was supposed to make us see how cheap it really was. And it is riduculous. If the PS4 runs on nuclear power I won’t accept a price comparison to a nuclear warhead or submarine as satisfactory. “Compared to this 50 megatonne missle, the PS4 is an absolute steal!”

  6. jonathan said on April 9, 2006:

    your Bob Ross quip would be far superior had you used the phrase “happy little tree”

  7. jay said on April 9, 2006:

    There, I came to a compromise.

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