Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 4.13.07

Bethesda buys Fallout IP
Anyone who thinks a series can change developers and still be the same series is encouraged to pay me to write the fourth Lord of the Rings book.

Cheap PS3 discontinued
No more 20 gig harddrive PS3. This makes some sort of sense because Sony loses more on each of the 20 gig sold than on the 60 gig. But it also doesn’t make other kinds of sense. Specifically, the “release two models for absolutely no reason,” and “eliminate the cheaper model because the console is too expensive in the first place” kinds of sense.

To make matters more hilarious, Sony is considering releasing a third model of the PS3. Some magical hardware that could play PS3 games (which are on Blu Ray) but not come with a Blu Ray player was what I was hoping for, despite the obvious impossibility. A 90 gig PS3 that will no doubt retail for around $700 was what Sony has in mind, though.

You know the board room meeting when something like —

Guy 1: “People aren’t buying our system because it’s too expensive.”
Guy 2: “Have you tried raising the price?”
Guy 1: “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that, Mr Harrison?”

I’m just kidding. Sony doesn’t have board room meetings, they just consult the Magic 8 Ball for business direction.

The new PS3 is actually an amazing deal because you get the Blu Ray player and Mercedes built in for only $30,000.

Nintendo expects the Wii to remain sold out
Many sites have observed that Wiis seem to sell out despite the lack of obvious system sellers. As a somewhat hardcore gamer I can understand this sentiment. As someone who isn’t stupid, I also realize that what I think of as a system seller is not necessarily what a casual gamer thinks of as a system seller. Furthermore, as someone who breathes with his mouth closed, I am aware that casual gamers probably don’t demand a constant flow of 30 hour AAA titles. In summary, because I’m not drooling on myself it is readily apparent that the Wiis lack of big name games may not have any impact on its sales exactly because of Nintendo’s business plan of appealing to non-gamers, which they have repeated about 39 trillion times and should be clear to anyone with a pulse.

Nintendo backing anti-piracy measures
It’s peculiar that Nintendo cares so much about piracy. They seem to be as or more concerned about it than their rivals (Sony killing famous importers not withstanding). The irony is that Nintendo hasn’t been clearly “in the lead” since about 1991. Is it possible they delude themselves into believing their last few consoles haven’t sold spectacularly because of all the rampant piracy? The mini DVD format isn’t what kept Gamecube games from being pirated. Gamecube games being Gamecube games did that.

Carmack creating the best graphics in the universe for next id game
Chris Crawford dislikes John Carmack. Crawford mocks Carmack for being a programmer who pretends he is a game designer. The truth in this attack is nicely elucidated in this link.

Jaffe would prefer Blu-less PS3
Looks like people interested in making games, like game developers, are probably more interested in consumers actually owning and playing their games than in winning the current format war. This comes as a shock after Sony insisted that the extra storage space Blu Ray offered would be necessary for this generation of games. Jaffe must be some kind of idiot who hates next gen hardware.

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17 years ago

but Jay, Carmack has created some algorithms and game engines that others look up to when it comes to making their own shiny title.  He might not be a designer at heart, but I find that a technicality at best.  His influence on the industry is still mighty.