Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 4.20.07

Sony’s Q2 release schedule
Between the PS3 and Wii’s upcoming releases, I wish I had a 360. Though some (Matt) would disagree, it looks like adopting a next gen system early is a bad move. After Paper Mario there’s nothing I want to play on the Wii, at least nothing at the current going rates of titles. Maybe I’d pick up Metal Slug for $30, Excite Truck for $25 and only ask to be paid $20 to take Wii Play.

At least my stupid investment only cost $250 and there are plenty of good Virtual Console games to play. If you’re one of the few rich people with a PS3, look on the bright side — you’ll be able to download Joust soon.

New Wii/DS studio CEO speaks
I like what co-founder of Jet Black Games has to say:

“With game team sizes at the time already easily exceeding 100 or even 200 people, it seemed like this might be the last opportunity to work in a smaller, more creative environment… given our company’s values and goals, it was natural that we align ourselves with Nintendo.”

But then look at the guy’s track record. All games I’m completely uninterested in (FIFA, Need for Speed, Bond). At least they’re reportedly quality games. Unfortunately, Jet Black is now working on securing a license for a family friendly children adored brand. Please Jesus let it be Veggie Tales, you know talking vegetables are the surest way to spread your glory.

That fat ninja needs to put down the DS and play some Wii Sports.

Sony: There may will could be not maybe a PS3 price cut possibly not happening
Sony has yet again said they were thinking about a price cut and then denied it. I don’t expect them to be honest about their pricing strategy since no one ever is. If they tell us today that in a month the PS3 will be cheaper they essentially destroy a months worth of sales.

The problem is the Sony people don’t seem to discuss what they plan to say to the media with other Sony people. The company has also lost a few people recently (PR people months back and now the president of their Italian arm) and when spokespeople deliver different messages or outright contradict one another, it just makes the company look disheveled. And if the 80’s guy from Futurama taught me anything, it’s that business is all about appearances. Sony needs to get a handle on their herd of sharks.

Quake artist thinks mobile games are the future
I know a guy who owns a cell phone game company. I’m petty enough to say this but not petty enough to actually name drop, sorry. The point is cell phone games are a shitty market. People who want games play handhelds. People who don’t want games play Flash games and the Wii. Barring the eventual merging of technologies (DS2 also a phone) the cell phone game market is never going to not suck.

Soren says see ya to Firaxis
Imagine you were Soren Johnson. Take a minute to deal with the fact your first name is Soren. Now contemplate leaving a design job where Sid Meier is your mentor. Ignore that Sid Meier’s role at Firaxis is mostly limited to putting his name on boxes. Also ignore that it was Brian Reynolds who made the best Civ-esque game, which was called Alpha Centauri, not you, reader (you should still be imagining you’re Soren).

Now imagine you wake up one morning, curse your stupid name, then get a phone call from Will Wright. He says, “Hey. I’m working on another awesome design that will ultimately be a completely unfulfilling and empty game. Want to help?” What do you say? Do you forsake the creator of Pirates! for the creator of Sim Earth?

Stop imagining. The real Soren is already with Wright at Maxis. Still, it’s a tough call to make even if you’re not named Soren. If he stayed at Firaxis he could’ve been running the place in five or ten years. But then he knows the intimate details of his life better than I. Perhaps he slept with Meier’s daughter and simply bailed out before the ax came down. Perhaps he is sleeping with Wright’s daughter and she promised him a job with daddy one drunken night. Whatever the details, Soren now has one hell of a resume.

Alpha Centauri (the star system, not the game).

Analyst skeptical of 3rd party Wii games
These analysts sure are sharp. Who’d have thought third parties may not actually do that well for themselves making Wii games? It’s only been a well known fact that Nintendo doesn’t get along with third parties since the days of the NES. And third parties have only been abandoning Nintendo since the SNES. I only read about how Nintendo games steal profit from third parties on a weekly basis.

For some reason (more specifically, the Wii is selling better than its competition is the reason) third parties actually want to work with Nintendo. I guess the analyst thought that someone should let them know they may regret it. His irritation over publishers’ excitement is somewhat odd, though. He comes off sort of as a Sony fan who tells his friends to just wait for the PS3s potential to become reality.

If the Wii is selling well (about two for every one PS3), why shouldn’t business people want to get involved? He may just be warning against having blind faith in the console, but I doubt that’s really a problem. When Sega hit a rough spot developers disappeared faster than emails at the White House.

Host of Game Life Show arrested after threatening to repeat recent school shooting
So he said he would pull a Virginia Tech, big deal. I threatened a VA Tech yesterday, right after promising another September 11th but before I threatened to recreate the Holocaust.

Life on the streets is tough and sometimes you need to be able to talk big. For handy reference, here is a list of things people don’t want to hear you threaten to repeat:

Boston Massacre
Virtual Boy
Olympic bombing
Peloponnesian War
VA Tech
Mc Griddle
The Littlest Groom
Oklahoma City bombing
September 11th
Water World

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