Archive for 2008
Two big PS3 Announcements:
- The blu-ray movie “Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete” will come with a PS3 demo of FFXIII
- Final Fantasy Versus XIII (this is a separate title from regular FFXIII) has been reconfirmed as a PS3 exclusive.
Also, PSP is getting Final Fantasy Agito XIII, a Kingdom Hearts title, Final Fantasy Dissidia (with console bundle), and Parasite Eve 3. Wow, that’s a lot of PSP content.
(thanks to fleakitten)
In the U.S., a prominent politician recently stirred controversy by referring to the country as a “nation of whiners”. There are no major wars or epidemics or catastrophes, there are record levels of peace and prosperity, continued acceleration of every type of technology, comfort, convenience, and overall standard of living, and yet people still complain endlessly about the price of gas and find a million other nitpicks to moan about.
By the same token, have gamers become a similar group of whiners?
Here are the top three moans of 2008:
- Games are too expensive
- Innovation is dead. There are too many sequels.
- Journalism is horrible. Review scores are terminally flawed.
Games have never been cheaper. There is tons of software for free or for $10 and under. And hardware has never done more for less money. You can get a last-gen console and games for next to nothing. And inflation adjusted, current new release games and hardware are cheaper than ever and more feature rich than ever.
Regarding innovation, the industry is experiencing a true renaissance. We are seeing an explosion of game functionality and polish. We are seeing more experimental and novel efforts than ever before. The industry is remaking and polishing every type of classic cult favorite, is building out new genres such as music/rhythm, is fleshing out previously unexplored social aspects of gaming, and has devoted huge efforts to the absolute mastery and perfection of the 3D shooter. And all this is happening at a historically breakneck pace. Compared to other industries like real estate or education, the video games business is rapidly evolving frontier territory.
And journalism? There are more types of journalism catering to a wider spectrum of tastes, more extensive coverage, and better discussion outlets than ever before. It’s also admirable that the games industry generally takes it review scores so seriously and passionately. The movie industry doesn’t put nearly as much attention or care into reviewing and evaluating their work.
id Software’s famous programmer, John Carmack made some controversial statements at today’s QuakeCon event:
id’s post-apocalyptic open-world shooter Rage (PC, PS3, 360, Mac) will look worse on Xbox 360 due to the compression needed to fit the game’s assets on two DVDs, programmer John Carmack revealed at tonight’s QuakeCon keynote.
According to Carmack, the royalty fees to include a third disc in the Xbox 360 version would be so high that it simply isn’t a feasible solution, with the programmer hoping for Microsoft to make a concession. He stressed that the issue is merely a storage problem and has nothing to do with the power of the Xbox 360 hardware.
This is a little surprising coming from Carmack, who seemed to prefer the more PC-like 360 in the past and famously referred to the PS3 as a “pain in my ass”.
We’ve seen PS3 exclusive shooters such as Resistance 1 use over two DVDs of storage, but we’ve also seen large games like GTA 4 manage to completely fit on a single DVD. Carmack isn’t the type of guy to make this kind of thing up, so I believe him.
It will be interesting to see how this Rage title turns out. Will it be a tech demo for their new 3D engine or will it be a fully fleshed out game?
UPDATE: Removed “Unconfirmed” as this seems to be legit.
Tomorrow, on Friday, Gran Turismo Prologue gets Gran Turismo TV. This is a series of auto enthusiast video programming that can be purchased for $1-$2/episode.
I know we have some real auto enthusiasts on this site, so I’m curious: Is anyone excited about this? Personally, I don’t see the draw. Most GT fans that I know are excited about many other things, most specifically, having a full version of GT5 with a full selection of cars, tracks, and non-linear game progression modes.
However, Gran Turismo’s fan base has always been split between auto enthusiasts and technology fans and it’s possible that this is intended to appeal more to the former category. It’s also very possible that this is just a nice extra going in on parallel to main development efforts.
Pursuant to the first developer diary, here’s a diary entry that a Killzone 2 PS3 developer may (or may not) have sent me:
Ya ya. Well, we are now done with E3, the big American schmooze-fest that the bigwigs at Sony said we had to be at. So we took a cruise across an ocean or two and tada, 14 days and 63 beers later (each) we were there.
Did we get a big showing at the press conference? No no no, alas we weren’t in the big press conference. Instead Sony tipped their collective hats to our American compadres at Insomniac. You know, because their game is releasing this fall, and ours in February. Theirs need the attention, ours doesn’t. The marketing, you know. Na na nana nya nya. Whatever. We all know that Resistance 2 is gonna be great, they’re our best buddies across the pond, we don’t compete with them, we play their stuff, they play ours, we share technology, blah blah blah.
You want the truth? Killzone 2 is gonna kick some collective @$$. It’s gonna be better than Resistance 2, better than Halo 2, better than Gears 2. Big bulky battle suits are so 2007. Aliens? Who needs ‘em? Human versus highly-modified (maybe I guess because we put the Helghast inside those cool glowing-eyes uniforms so you can’t really tell if they look any different than the normal human or not and I ain’t gonna tell you if we resolve this in Killzone 2 or the sequel (oops, I didn’t say that) or not so you’ll just have to keep on guessing) is where it’s at baby!
We got revolvers. We got machine guns. We got bullets. We got the rat-tat-tat sound down to a TEE man. We recorded a machine gun with 359 microphones (one malfunctioned) placed all around it and recorded those sounds and encrypted them into the game so that no matter what angle you’re approaching an enemy at (except from below at a 30 degree angle), you’re hearing the right sound! In full 7.1 surround sound, FTW! Woo hoo!
Yeah, so, The sound’s gonna be the table’s legs man. (I hope you know that expression over there in America. It means good things. You know the legs hold up the table. Good stuff.) But the graphics are good too! You all seen them, right? We actually built some sets for reference, and just scanned ‘em right in. Who needs Maya? Well, ya, we do. But still, the sets were scanned in and that’s why they look so realistic. We couldn’t of course, create all the sets for all the levels, just a few reference ones. But it helped a lot, and they’ll be used in the movie.
Badges! Right, Badges! That was a dumb name. I thought of a great new name all by myself. It fit perfectly with how “Badges” were supposed to be used. So I tried convincing Steven and Mathijs to call them … wait for it … “Perks”! Yay! But they said something about something where something is something and so: bad. My bad. Can’t call them Perks. I’ll tell ya, my girlfriend got an earful that evening!
Nya well, that’s about it. Sorry for the short update. The game is actually done. We’re not doing anything now except playing PixelJunk Eden demo and wondering if we’ll ship any new maps after the game is released. So see ya next time, maybe I’ll do a postmortem.