Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 10.5.07

Dream team created to make MMO
One of the three guys behind Fallout and 17 ex-Blizzard guys all in one development team? You know these are going to be amazingly well crafted fetch quests that change absolutely nothing in a static MMO world. And think of the grinding!

Halo 3 is the biggest event in human history
The release of Halo 3 makes John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald look like footnotes in history. The moon landing is dwarfed by Bungie’s newest game, which sold approximately thirty thousand times more than any other product ever created. There are now significantly more copies of Halo 3 than wheels, and just about the same number of grains of sand.

This game topped the charts in Japan last week, proving that in a tepid market environment an American game can actually sell well in the East. Microsoft still didn’t sell many 360s so it’s likely most Halo 3 owners bought the game in order to read the manual and gawk at the pictures on the back of the box.


Funny, then, that Microsoft wouldn’t insist that their star game, the premier product, the penultimate human achievement be in high definition. Scandal shocked the world when it was revealed that Halo 3 was horrific standard definition, and thus ran the risk of being terrible, just like all standard definition games.

This is one of those excellent situations where every side is wrong (except mine, conveniently enough). The graphics whores who sit around counting pixels need to rethink why they play video games in the first place or just admit they own top of the line audio and video gear because they can’t afford a Porsche to compensate for their small penises.

Then there is Microsoft who implicitly takes the stance that high def is needed for a superior gaming experience. It looks like they just proved it isn’t. PR people take note of this — great games can be in any definition they want. Ceteris paribus, gamers want a good looking game, but the number of polygons and pixels need to be pretty sparse to turn a great game into a bad one.

Finally, there are the rumors that Bungie has bought their independence from Microsoft (confirmed while writing this). No more will they be enslaved to make countless FPSs about aliens. Now they may go back to their former glory and create FPSs about aliens. The untethered creative freedom of Bungie will no doubt be a sight to behold.

Importance of indie games
Everyone should read this and learn more about the indie game movement. In theory, I support indie games because I want smaller companies to have a shot at creating original content. I am tired of “me, too!” games and the indie scene may be just the thing to alleviate this weariness.

But I am a hypocrite because I don’t play indie games. The truth is I rarely play any PC game and the indie scene isn’t very well developed on consoles. Wii Ware and Live Arcade may be the entrance for many console gamers into the world of indie titles, and if we support them this generation we will probably get even more next generation.

Wii safety jackets
The rumors of remotes gouging eyes and shattering skulls are grossly exaggerated. Or at least we all thought that. Now that Nintendo is giving away free remote cushions the assumption that remotes were only dangerous to cerebral palsies on meth must be questioned.

Or perhaps this is simply a strategy to corner the remote condom market. Third parties have sold plastic controller wrappings to people stupid enough to buy plastic controller wrappings almost since the Wii’s launch and Nintendo hasn’t made a cent on them (or if they have, they haven’t made 100% of the profit, which is their preferred business model). So what if Nintendo now plans on replacing all of the third party remote wraps with their own? The free covering is simply to hook you. Soon enough, there will be orange, plaid, Mario, Escape from Bug Island, and Carnival Games jackets and they will cost $30 a pop.

Wow, it looks just like my remote control!

40GB PS3 coming to Europe
If Sony released a 40GB PS3 in the states for $400 I would be tempted. That is if they released a regular PS3 for that price. This European model is gimped – Sony removed PS2 backwards compatibility. I’m still coming to terms with what that means and how it affects my life.

I’ve got a PS2 and PS1 so do I need another machine that plays those games? I do if it makes them look better and load faster. I like feeling l33t by having ten systems plugged into my TV and would contemplate keeping my PS2 out even if I got a PS3. But on the other hand, my living room already has too many consoles in it and my girlfriend hates me.

The biggest blow to the 40GB PS3 is in perceived value. Though it means absolutely nothing because I can already play those games, buying a console that can play the entire PS2 library (well, mostly) as well as its own seems to make economic sense. At least it does right now because there are four PS3 games out and three of them suck. Once the system has a stable of high quality titles developed for it specifically, this backwards compatibility stuff may be much less important.

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16 years ago

Isn’t the PS3’s backwards compatibility software-based in all the latest releases? Didn’t they stop putting the emotion chip in?

So how does removing software-based PS2 emulation help them cut down on their production costs? Were they licensing their emulator from someone else on a per-unit basis?

16 years ago

Stefan- according the Joystiq, the cost savings is 27 bucks.

Also, some of the software emulation might have relied on some (now missing) hardware, so a future update for the 40 gig model is not an option.

And apparently this new model will become the only one in the UK?


16 years ago

Turns out you’re exactly right Christian. It seems that while they had replaced the emotion chip with software emulation, they were still putting in the PS2’s graphics chipset, which won’t be in the new cheap version. (Although wikipedia says it’ll still be able to emulate an original playstation entirely in software)