Archive for July, 2007
From an EA investor meeting (link at bottom):
[Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello] admitted that EA was on the “wrong horse” by concentrating mainly on the PS3 and Xbox 360 while throwing less resources towards the Wii during the console transition.
If they’ve been heavily investing in the PS3, it doesn’t show…
Some quick stats:
|Number of EA games released on Wii||8|
|Number of EA games released on PS3||10|
|Number of EA games released on DS||22|
|Number of EA games released on 360||29|
Out of those 10 PS3 games:
0 are PS3 exclusive
5 are sports titles
8 are from long running franchises
Highest rated game: Fight Night Round 3 which was an old port that had already been released on most other systems eight months earlier.
Is EA’s problem their choice of platforms? Do people want more of the same stale EA franchises ported to the Wii? No, the problem is that EA has had some really dull releases in the past two years. They need to develop more new hits.
Clearly, they know this. With their investors, it may be the more diplomatic excuse to blame the gaming platform, but they also say that they are focusing more on new original IP rather than existing stable and recurring franchises. The fruits of their efforts may be starting to show. They have several exciting games under development such as Spore, Burnout Paradise, Rock Band, and Army of Two.
I waffle about Sony’s new PS3 app, Home. Mind you, I am not part of the beta, so my impressions are of an outsider looking through the shop window. Sometimes I stare fascinated, while others times I’m inclined to keep walking. Nothing special to see.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that I’ll be spending a lot of time in my Home apartment. I just don’t see that there’s anything to do there. Sure, I can drop in some furniture, play some video on the walls, and subject visitors to my special brand of symphonic metal music. But what is there to do there, really? There doesn’t seem to be much. So when I think of this, I start to wonder if Home is really just a too-hyped service that’ll find some use and provide a little bit of entertainment, but that isn’t such a big deal.
Other times, though, I wonder about some other possibilities. About what can happen outside of your own little space in Home. This is where the potential lies, if you ask me.
Pretend that Sony wants to show off a new villain that they’ve created for the upcoming game Killzone. Imagine walking into the Sony Killzone room to discover him standing before you, menacing you with his face-melter sub-uber-machine degelinizer. You jump over to a display nearby which gives all the relevant facts. This dude has hated you personally ever since you beat him to the watering fountain in grade one. This made him into the Helghast sympathizer you see standing before you. Then you walk over to a wall where you watch a video of him in action. Yikes! A terrible foe, of course, but beatable. Then you step into the next room which is actually a part of Killzone level 3 which they showed at the recent E3 show. You walk through the game level like Captain Picard on a holodeck. Exit through the another door, and you’re back in the Killzone lobby where you can clink on a link to pre-order the game. Or step into another room where you meet up with some friends and go play the game online.
What Home really needs is for developers to really get behind the concept and offer spaces for you to visit that draw you into the games they want to sell. I don’t think it would be too hard, and the payoff would be great. It’s like another version of the the world wide web, but in the 3D and gaming only. Which is handy, because 3D and games are like peanut butter and jelly.
That’s Aug 14th in North America but there’s still some localization to be done for Europe, Japan and Korea etc, so who knows when the rest of the worl will see it. No mention of a demo and the question was asked loads of times in the comments section on the blog. Maybe there isn’t going to be a demo.
The Heavenly Sword demo is coming tomorrow. If you’d like to know what to watch out for in the demo, check out this link with some tips and tricks to use when playing the game. It’s great to have an insider’s view to help you around a new gaming world!
The big news in racing game circles is the upcoming PS3 game, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. It’s meant to give you a taste of the full GT5 experience, but seems to have enough heft to make it enjoyable in its own right.
Follow the 1UP link below for more, but here’s one thing they mention about the game:
My Page: When the game starts, a My Page screen will also appear. In the final version, Yamauchi hopes to include a friends list as well. There will be several background images for the My Page screen such as Tokyo and other cities, but will also include sceneries of both outdoors and indoors. There is also a weather forecast displayed so that other players will know which geographic location you are in and how the weather is there.
If you prefer shooting in tandem over racing, then Army of Two, coming out this November, may be more to your liking. Eurogamer gives some first impressions of this dark and rough co-op shooter.
Last up, I want to point you to IGN’s Killzone comparison. It makes for an interesting read…
We’ve had several firmware updates since we talked about what we want in our PS3 firmware updates. People finally have their PS3 backgrounds wallpapered up with chicks, cars, or whatnot. We have some good PSP to PS3 functionality happening, and our PS3 is media-serving like crazy now with DLNA (though not without issues). So I thought it was about time I did another “what I want” post. Here’s my top 5 items that I want to see in a PS3 firmware update, as of 25jul07, in order of importance:
- Reduced memory footprint.
Surprised to see this one? Think about it. The PS3′s OS takes up 84MB of the 512MB available, as of firmware 1.6 according to Inner Bits. It’ll take up even more if you want some special features. (7MB for onscreen keyboard, 5MB for i/o utilities, 8MB for online start-up, 24MB for NP friends list, etc.) Compared to the 360′s 32MB memory footprint, PS3 developers are at a huge disadvantage. That’s a 52MB difference (or more, with special features), in case you weren’t counting. That’s a lot of computer code right there. If Sony can give that back to developers, that would make a big difference in game quality. We all know it’s all about the games, and this will directly help developers create better ones. If Inner Bits’ information is incorrect, I’ll have to retract this one and think up a new one.
- XMB in-game access.
Anybody who’s actually used a PS3 knew that this one would be here. It’s the one that everyone is clamouring for. Sony is quite aware that we all want this and is working on it, so I won’t bang my table too loudly.
- Custom soundtracks.
To some people, this isn’t very important. I have a 360-owning friend who makes no use of this feature whatsoever. That’s just crazy! The first thing I would do if I had a 360 is rip some of my favourite tunes so that I didn’t have to listen to the crap they pack in games these days.
- Better codec support.
The PS3 is in desperate need of better video codecs. I don’t think I really need to say more, do I?
- Better file management.
I saw that in firmware 1.9 I’d finally be able to sort my games. Yay! Except… what the heck? I can only sort by creation date and format? I want to be able to put stuff in any arbitrary order, and put stuff in folders I create too!
There it is! Debate it, change it, add to it.