Archive for September, 2005

Next-Gen Game Prices: Start High, Stay High

With previous console generations, launch software has typically commanded a price premium. Once the novelty wore off a bit, prices came down. This time around, we might not be so lucky.

Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick thinks that market pressures won’t force the prices down this time. “We don’t really think that there’s a lot of price sensitivity on the part of the consumer, if you’re delivering value,” he said. Does that mean he thinks value is not currently being delivered with the current generation of games?

Already I wait for games to get old to come down in price before I buy. Recently I picked up Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal for a pretty cheap price, because the game isn’t so new anymore. But it was new to me, and my friends and I are enjoying it. If prices start high and stay high, I’ll have to start seriously looking into the used market, no matter what Mark Rein thinks.

the INQUIRER – Video game prices to cost more, permanently

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Gearbox to use Unreal Engine 3

From all accounts, you have to put up some big bucks to buy the right to use Unreal Engine 3 in your game. But Gearbox Software seems to think its worth it, recently announced that they’ll be doing just that.

Gearbox Software will be using the Unreal Engine 3 for both PC games and next-gen console systems too. The only announced Gearbox game to use Unreal Engine 3 is Brothers in Arms 3, so far an exclusive PS3 title.

“We have had a huge amount of success using the Unreal Engine technology on Brothers In Arms Road to Hill 30, which has sold about 2 million copies so far, and we’re also using it on Brothers In Arms Earned in Blood.” says Randy Pitchford, President of Gearbox Software, “We’ve used most of the major 3D engines on the market and without a doubt Unreal Engine 3 is the best. Epic’s tools, technology and support are fantastic. We’ve chosen Unreal Engine 3 as the exclusive technology we will use for all of our own titles going forward into the next generation. We’re confident that our ability to continue to create world-class titles will be enhanced by this choice.”

Pro-G – Prodigious Gaming: Gearbox to use Unreal Engine 3

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Mark Rein: Sour Grapes about Second Hand Games

Mark Rein is the vice-president of Epic Games, and he seems to have some issues with a free world.

He thinks that if you walk into EB games and buy a used game by Epic, EB should share the revenue with Epic. This is so absurd on so many levels I don’t know where to begin. If you sold your buddy your car, do you want to send some of the proceeds to the car manufacturer? Or if a dealer sells a used car, should they?

What a minute, you say, that’s different. Games are more intellectual property than anything else, you might say. Well, then, okay. What about books? They’re intellectual property that’s very similar to video games. There’s a thriving used book market. Should publishers get paid every time one of them gets resold? I’ve heard such complaints from authors. They want a piece of that pie too, but I don’t think that’ll happen. Which makes me wonder about Epic. If Epic gets a piece of resold game revenue, does that mean they’ll give the game authors additional money as well?

I don’t think so.

C&VG – INTERVIEW: MARK REIN

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PS3 FAQ

[Edited with additions.]

Q: When will the PS3 be released?

A: Novemeber 11th in Japan. November 17th in North America and Europe.

 

Q: How much will the PS3 cost?

A: Sony has two versions of the PS3. One with a 40GB HDD, no memory card readers, two USB ports instead of the 80GB’s four, and no PS2 BC. The other has all that stuff and 80GB instead of 40GB HDD. In the US, the prices are $499US for the 80GB and $399US for the 40GB.

 

Q: What resolutions will the PS3 support?

A: The PS3 will support the HD resolutions of 1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080i, and 1920 x 1080p. There are a few HDTVs starting to come out with 1080p HDMI inputs, from the likes of Sony and HP. The PS3 will also support SD (standard definition).

 

Q: How do I hook up my PS3?

A: See this article just on this subject.

 

Q: Will the controllers be wireless? How? How many?

A: The controllers will indeed be wireless, using standard Bluetooth technology to achieve this. The PS3 will support up to 7 controllers. (More accurately, it supports up to 7 Bluetooth devices – they don’t have to be controllers. The PS3 itself takes up the eighth spot in the Bluetooth hardware’s scheme of things.) No more multitap!

 

Q: How will I recharge my wireless controller?

A: Through the USB port on the PS3.

 

Q: What about a HDD?

A: Sony’s initial two PS3 machines had 20GB and 60GB HDDs. Now they’re 40GB and 80GB.

 

Q: What kind of discs will games be distributed on?

A: Sony has indicated that games will be distributed on Blu-ray Disc (BD) media. BD supports capacities of 25GB for a single-layer disc, and 50GB for a two-layer disc.

 

Q: Will I be able to play PS2 and PSone games on the PS3?

A: Yes, except for the 40GB PS3, though you won’t be able to use your old controllers, memory cards, or other peripherals. The PS3 will upscale the PSOne and PS2 games’ video to HD resolutions, should you choose. The 20GB, 60GB, and 80GB PS3′s have PS1 and PS2 backwards compatibility. The 40GB PS3 can only play PS1 games.

 

Q: Will it be available in multiple colours?

A: It seems that black will be the only available colour.

 

Q: What about network connectivity? Does Sony have an answer to Xbox Live?

A: Yes. It’s called the PSN (PlayStation Network). It includes free player versus player gaming, lobbies/matchmaking, scores/ranking, game data upload/download, friend lists, avatars, voice and video chat, instant messaging, downloadable content, and more.

Q: What are the launch games?

A: No official launch list has been released. The closest we have is a list of games in development, released at TGS, available here.

 

Any other FAQ-like questions you’d like answered? Please contact us.

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