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Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 5.19.06

posted on May 19th, 2006 by jay

Get it? It’s hacked? With an axe?

Xbox 360 hacked to play pirated games, err backups
That didn’t take too long, but it won’t work for everyone and if you get caught Bill Gates will devour your soul.

Analysts worry PS3 price will hurt the game industry
While somewhat obvious, it’s good to see analysts voicing thoughts that not everyone has had. The reasoning behind the suspicion Sony is hurting the industry is such a high price point for the PS3 will prevent growth. Installing new users each successive generation is very important if game development costs are going to continue to grow and a $500 price tag prevents this. When thought of in terms of accessibility versus cost and hardware versus software, the gap between Sony and Nintendo seems even larger. To paraphrase Derrick Smalls of Spinal Tap, Microsoft will be the lukewarm water that bridges the gap between Sony’s fire and Nintendo’s ice.

PS3’s launch titles may not impress
Many developers lack PS3 dev kits. The system architecture is complicated and will be hard to work with. Microsoft has a year lead on Sony and third generation 360 games will make better use of the hardware than first gen PS3 games. Sony bullshit guy Kaz Hirai: “I don’t think there will be too much of an issue.”

Nintendo’s Takashi Tezuka talks about WarioWare: Smooth Moves
Goddamn I love this series.

Why show a Lucent logo when you can show a Lucent cake?

Lucent sues Microsoft, Microsoft sues Lucent
Lucent sued over MS’s use of MPEG-2 decoding. MS is pissed off that Lucent wouldn’t deal with the issue out of court, so now MS is launching a counter suit accusing Lucent of violating some of their copyrights. This all sounds like a game to me. We steal some of your ideas, you steal some of ours, we just don’t talk about it. But now Lucent is playing its cards. MS finds dealing with the law passé and knows big companies settle outside of court. Lucent wouldn’t play the game so now MS is striking back. I have little to no faith in the system, so I assume whichever side hires the better lawyers will win.

Edge magazine names nominees for its appropriately titled Edge Award
My favorite of all gaming magazines nominated:

“Amped 3 (Xbox 360) for adding comedy and creativity to a serious-minded game, and recognizing its target audience.”

“Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training (Brain Age) (Nintendo DS) for its cross-generational appeal and being [an] example of an effective, original game mechanic.”

“Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PlayStation 2) for exceptional quality in all components of the game.”
– This game is great, but its adherence to traditional RPG mechanics brings up an interesting discussion of innovation versus quality. Should we value games that do what they do extremely well, even if their scope is limited? On the other hand, should we forgive egregious flaws in game design if the developers were striving for bold innovation? My answer may be no and no. Think of how interesting gaming would be if every game was a new design and even half of these games succeeded and were fun.

Why, this game is as American as apple pie.

“Ossu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (Nintendo DS) for challenging the stereotype of an engaging game, and being an example of the power of a story.”
– Still waiting for this one to come to our shores.

“Electroplankton (Nintendo DS) for demonstrating how simple, expressive playfulness can be as engrossing as goal-orientated, competitive gaming.”

“Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) (PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox) for extending the moral choices within gaming, and combining emotional richness with visual impact.”
– I’m midway through my review of this game. There may be one moral choice in the entire game. It does deserve to be recognized for its attempt to innovate, but the explanation Edge came up with for nominating it doesn’t fit.

“Guitar Hero (PlayStation 2) for demonstrating a new approach to games that concentrates on how we feel, rather than what we do.”
– Guitar Hero is a huge amount of fun, but what? How we feel? It’s one of many in a line of singing, dancing, bongo and maraca games.

“Killer7 (GameCube, PlayStation 2) for its visual and aural inventiveness, and living on in the minds of gamers long after they’ve moved on.”
– Or for having crappy gameplay. This one does deserve a nomination, though. Not every game needs to be about gameplay. This does not mean graphics can make a game good, but style and atmosphere, if used to create an overall experience, can.

Stupid people buy crap from E3 on eBay from greedy people
E3 stuff is cool as a memorabilia but rarely anything else. I recently threw away a can of Viewtiful Joe Coffee Soda and the Xbox keychain I’ve been using finally fell apart. I still have a bag of fliers and random junk under my bed from the one E3 I attended. Probably the coolest stuff I got is permanently on display, like the metal slime and Aiai from Super Monkey Ball. But these are just plastic and fabric toys. I guess people spend a lot of money on random game toys anyway so getting them from E3 is no big deal. It still seems sort of evil, though. If you’re in the industry you have to be a jerk to sell the stuff and if you’re not in the industry, how’d you even get in. Actually, it’s pretty easy, never mind.

2 Comments

  1. pat said on May 20, 2006:

    im a big fan of the edge awards, or at least the idea behind it. innovation is important to keeping gaming fresh and bringing about a time when it is no longer marginalized by mainstream media (although that may just take time – like when our generation is running things). that said, im pulling for Brain Training. not because ive played it (i havent) but because i think it has the capability to shift the demographic that plays games drastically, as it already has in japan.

  2. Christian said on May 24, 2006:

    I really hope that with SNK supporting the Wii that somewhere along the line we see the Neo Geo pop up on the virtual console. Having all the king of fighters games in one spot makes me drool far more than any new releases.

    Also, those edge awards are…interesting to say the least. Good concept, but they seem to be a little confused with some of those categories.

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