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Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 7.27.07

posted on July 29th, 2007 by jay

Microsoft sort of wants you to buy an HD DVD add on
$20 off is not a good deal for something that costs $200, but that’s the amazing deal Microsoft is giving us on their 360 HD DVD add on. The move feels like a last ditch effort to make it appear that they still have a chance at beating the Blu Ray format. What is it with these companies that are desperate but not willing to allow this desperation to save me a lot of money? The PS3 should cost $300 and the 360 HD DVD doohickey should retail for $19.95.

Then there’s the prevalence of bundle deals. In addition to the twenty big ones you’d save buying the HD DVD drive, you’d also get five free movies. Choose from classics like Seabiscuit, Chronicles of Riddick, and Tomb Raider. Or, buy old movies like Blazing Saddles and enjoy the pain of watching lower quality film in high def. I’d prefer to save more money on the initial purchase instead.

Packing a game with a console is an old practice we have gotten used to. When did this idea of packing movie players with movies start? Will stores start selling CD players with a CD? Telephones with a random number written down so that when you get home and want to try out your new gear you already have someone to call? I could use that, actually.

Did I say cute? I meant repulsive.

New game from Keita Takahashi
Stretchy Stretchy Boy? We don’t really know anything besides it looks cute and is heavily physics based but my guess is it will also rule.

Target chooses Blu Ray
More signs that Microsoft should give us a better deal on their DVD HD thingy.

New shitty publisher in the lead
Look out EA, Activision is selling more bad games than you. Besides Guitar Hero 3, I can’t think of anything else they publish that I care about. I’m informed by people who actually like games that they also publish Quake and Tony Hawk but I’m largely unimpressed. At least they aren’t Midway.

Jaffe forms new poorly named studio
“Eat Sleep Game” is almost as silly as “Birth School Metallica Death”, though significantly less self absorbed. What does Jaffe leaving Sony only to sign a multi game agreement with Sony mean? Probably that he wants the freedom to create whatever he wants but also has a good thing going with Sony. Or, that he has ALREADY made God of War 3 exclusively for the Wii!

It does seem likely that Jaffe will eventually work on games for other systems. Depending on his mood, he wants to make epic games that make people weep or 15 minute small compact games that are solely about gameplay. This means he could make graphically rich and dramatically textured games on the 360 or non-games on the Wii. Or both on both. Just don’t expect God of War or Twisted Metal on your DS (there go my dreams of a Tetris clone featuring Sweet Tooth and Kratos shaped blocks).

Richard Garriott.

Guy who pioneered RPGs that give you useless freedom on the problems with MMOs
Years ago while playing Ultima something or another I had an epiphany. I picked up a pitch fork and put it on top of a hut then marveled at how I seemed to be given immense freedom. That glee was short lived as I quickly realized that what I just did was pointless. My life is already pointless because of immense freedom (look at that, I moved my keyboard over an inch…nothing happened), I don’t need games to follow suit.

Oh yeah, Lord Richard Garriott British Texas Ranger is making a new MMO and he has some good criticism of the genre. But without level grinding, what is an MMO besides a social network for people with no friends in real life? Tabula Rasa, which translates to the pompous “Blank Slate”, plans on making combat more engaging, giving NPCs better AI and also, most impressively (and possibly bullshitly), quests that effect the game world.

EA guessed “a little wrong” on this generation
First the obligatory “Wii is doomed if EA supports it because they make shitty games.” Done and done. If EA follows Ubisoft’s lead of using the Wii and DS as a toilet then Nintendo fans do have a lot to fear. Also interesting is how EA is under the impression that publishers choose a console to support and then hope they made the right choice. This may be the case for the small guys out there, but in previous generations a console succeeded mostly because of the publishers that hopped on board.

Could the PS1 have destroyed the competition if Square, Konami and Capcom didn’t put their best exclusives on the system? Would the DC have died such a quick and tragic death if EA had supported it? Probably not. This also points out the bizarre fact that somehow, despite lacking 3rd party support (and much first party support) the Wii and DS (in it’s early period) still managed to survive or flourish. I guess when the consumer is faced with the choice between a $250 system with no games, a $600 system with no games and a $400 time bomb, Nintendo wins.

Sam and Max coming back
Good news for fans of humor.

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2 Comments

  1. Matt said on July 29, 2007:

    I’m somewhat excited to see what Eat Sleep Game will bring to the gaming community. Jaffe seems to know how powerful games can become (that crying game comes to mind), but I always thought Sony wanted him working on more mainstream stuff, like God of War. I just hope this Sony-exclusive deal doesn’t fuck that up.

  2. TrueTallus said on July 30, 2007:

    I’m psyched about Eat Sleep Game as well. Waren’t Scott & Dave the drivers of Hammerhead in the original Twisted Metal? I hope they slip that back into TM:Head On somehow, to show the gauntlet is thrown and the magic is back (though I admit it never left exactly).

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