Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 2.9.07

Jack Tretton wants to give you $1200
In the March issue of EGM, Sony’s Jack Tretton declared, “If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that’s been on shelves for more than five minutes, I’ll give you 1,200 bucks for it.” This interview has been reported on before, but the quote is too funny not to highlight.

To make matters worse for Tretton, EGM responds to his offer by explaining that they called 18 random retailers and half of them had PS3s sitting on shelves. Tretton replied with, “I am not sitting in the store to know when they got put on the shelves or if a salesperson is giving you accurate information, but if only nine of the 18 stores you contacted had supplies, that seems to be a clear indication that sales continue to be outstanding.”

So his position seems to be that those systems are selling within five minutes and EGM just got lucky and called at times when deliveries had arrived only a minute ago, or that the sales people EGM spoke to were lying. Another Sony PR master.

Turns out the Japanese don’t like Mexicans either.

Japan not buying Virtua Fighter 5
I went from Virtua Fighter 1 to 4, skipping all the games in between. VF4 was a pleasant surprise, being much more playable than I assumed such a hardcore fighter would be, and so I’ve been keeping a close eye on the next iteration of the series. Unfortunately, Japan doesn’t seem very happy with the home port of Virtua Fighter 5. Some have blamed its lack of online play, but I think the culprit may also be the platform it’s on.

ESA’s Lowenstein feigns moral outrage
Lowenstein gave his final speech as the head of the ESA at the D.I.C.E. Summit yesterday. Admirably, he reiterated the ESA’s dedication to protecting the First Amendment. Perhaps less admirably, he told the crowd, “If you want to be controversial, that’s great. But then don’t duck and cover when the shit hits the fan. Stand up and defend what you make.” He called this the behavior of “cut and run” developers.

Ignoring how hard it is to respect someone who uses a Bush branded term, he almost has a point. It’d be good for the game industry as a whole if developers defended their content. But if we consider designers artists, this makes less sense. A painter or novelist should not be expected to spend time explaining their work; they probably have more work to do that isn’t PR related. Hopefully the First Amendment will stand on its own one day without the necessity for the ACLU and other organizations defending it. Until that day, Lowenstein’s objection to “cut and run” developers has some merit.

Pay someone to make your Mii
This is almost as much fun as paying someone to play your games for you. Exactly what type of person thinks Miis are entertaining to have but not to make? I guess the same type of person who insists their Mii look exactly like them.

I can’t even begin to imagine how immersive this game will be on the Wii.

Activision gives Wii more support
Spider-Man, Transformers and Shrek, woohoo! Nintendo desperately needs more American publishers who make predominantly licensed garbage to support their systems. There is something good coming out of this, though — Guitar Hero Wii. Please, oh, please Nintendo, make your online platform suck so little that Activision is willing to sell new songs over it. I’m not really sure what “it” is, though, the Wii Online Store? Wii Weather?

Blu Ray beating up HD DVD
Sony’s master plan may be coming to fruition. If the Blu Ray takes hold as the next standard, they may be able to focus enough on the PS3 to make it a monster of a system. I’m still bitter they mixed markets and didn’t make games the number one focus of the PS3, but we can hopefully look forward to more excellent games (some of which may even justify the price of the system) once the format war ends. Although I hear Bush is against ending the format war until America is victorious.

1up makes fun of the Saturn
Jesus weeps.

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17 years ago

I’m going to have to agree 100% with Lowenstein here.  I think he’s making his statements from a realists perspective; gaming in its current form is not art, not yet at least.  And its not going to be (nor will people pay attention to it when it is) if you’ve got punks like Rockstar making Hot Coffee hacks and pretending it doesn’t exist.  This industry has to stop acting like a bunch of kids and false rockstars and be responsible about what they do.  Want to put sex into a game?  I’m all for it.  Doesn’t even have to be tasteful.  Just don’t make it pointless.  Also, he gets major kudos for his comments on game journalism 

17 years ago

they had the ps3 in stock in a kiosk at jfk airport.  im not sure what to make of that.  on one hand i definitely wouldnt look to shop there, but they probably dont get many shipped there either.  regardless, ps3’s are available.  far moreso than the wii, at least in my experience.  last time i tried i still couldnt get a wii, and i could have had a ps3 if i wanted one.