Twenty-Ten. Two Thousand Ten. It doesn’t matter how you say it as long as you remember it’s 2010 and not 2009 on those checks you have to write up. This year the beginning of 2010 is marked by significant game releases through many of the opening weeks of the year. Fortunately for me, that also means there were plenty of topics to consider for each of my gaming posts. Let’s have a look at my selection.
A lot of noise gets thrown around over opinions. Whose opinion is right, whose is wrong. By definition, opinions are subjective and vary from person to person. They can however, be influenced by more prominent external factors. Gaming sites featuring preferred personalities, independent podcasters and even casual word of mouth all factor into a purchasing decision. Outside of these traditional channels, every now and then we are gifted with a rare perspective on a new release that warrants some serious attention. This week our lucky contributor is the ESRB, although not in the way you might think. The ESRB recently rated Dead or Alive Paradise for the PlayStation Portable and generated a lot of attention throughout the Internet with their view on the game.
Thankfully, the rest of this post is rated A for Awesome.
It’s been another one of those weeks. Everyone on my Xbox Friends List is playing Mass Effect 2 and everyone else is talking about Steve Jobs. These are the weeks that are particularly trying on my ability to select a topic interesting enough for both you and me. I have no right discussing a sequel to a game I have installed on my Xbox’s hard drive but have yet to play. One day that game will be a mark of pride instead of a badge of shame, but that day is not today. So let’s talk about Apple. If you missed the news — and I know you didn’t — Steve Jobs unveiled his latest masterpiece to the public on Wednesday: the iPad. As expected, everyone has an opinion on the viability and prospects of this device. Is it worth the money? Will it cure Juvenile Diabetes? Who was responsible for naming this thing? Given the circumstances, I could not resist the opportunity to gather my thoughts for you to consider and most likely dispute. But let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.
Be sure to stick around until the end for One More Thing.
This has been the most peculiar week of video game news voyeurism. It would seem that Mass Effect 2 has created a void in the industry with all gamers willing and able to hold their breath until they have the opportunity to take control of Commander Shepard. Last I checked the calendar said January, but don’t tell Electronic Arts or BioWare. The rest of the industry is treating this like a big-time holiday release, so I’ll let the higher-ups enjoy their champagne and caviar. In the mean time, nearly every news story is getting buried by Mass Effect goodies. In the wake of the latest, and last trailer released, I’m sure you didn’t notice the fact that the Rock Band Network has updated to an open beta. It’s an interesting story that speaks to a larger situation concerning the state of digital content on our consoles.
So please, hold off on boarding the Normandy for a little bit longer.
I’m not sure if I am still allowed to say These Troubled Times without causing readers to roll their eyes or close their browser window, but last I checked we are still in a recession. While the video game industry admirably held its ground despite the lousy economic conditions for as long as it could, we are seeing more and more evidence that the industry is not recession-proof. Sure, this might not be a shock to everyone but it seems like each day the industry is dealt another reaffirming blow to remind us all that the same money that makes this industry thrive can also be its biggest downfall. Companies have been downsizing and consolidating as the fiscal year comes to an end; no company is too big to fail. Along with workforce consolidation, financial reports and projected earnings are being tempered to adjust to consumers becoming more frugal with their funds. The latest victim is Ubisoft.
The future is hazy, but I’ll guide you through the fog of uncertainty.
I understand it’s my responsibility to find a topic and pick a side. On the surface it seems simple enough. Occasionally my topic of choice might involve a dated story or a retread of a previously explored opinion. As much as I try to stay both current and fresh, some topics deserve a second round. If you’ve been paying attention to the Internet over the past few days then you are aware of a little event called CES going on in Las Vegas. The 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show is home to the latest and greatest electronics that consumers can expect to see on store shelves in the future. One of this year’s big themes was 3D. Yes, that 3D. I stand by my initial position that the market is not ready for 3D, but it appears that I am the only person against wearing glasses in my living room. For the sake of argument, and this post, I am willing to look past my initial instincts. Assuming that the market is ready for 3D, I have some bullet points for you to consider as this technology moves to advance our home theaters and, more specifically, our gaming habits in the future.
Now where did I put those stupid glasses?
Editorially speaking, 2009 kind of ended with a fizzle. The holiday season brought the news cycle to a virtual hault. Trying to find topics that I could expand upon for close to 1000 words became more and more difficult as 2010 approached. I had to resort some timely cliches and a little genuine creativity but overall I think I had some good pieces of text for my eager-readers. Here’s what December had to offer up. And a friendly reminder, these posts are also featured on Talking About Games.
Two thousand nine, we barely knew ye. I know my past posts haven’t really been particularly timely or relevant to anything going on in the industry. Blame the weather, blame the holidays, blame the alcohol, but don’t blame me. I suppose now is the time to reflect on the year that was and recount the highlights of my past posts, cite a few witty one-liners and ‘Oh no he didn’t’ passages for the sake of filling up my unofficial target word count. As much as I admire some of my previous posts, I won’t force you to reread them, however if you freely choose to do so, I recommend this one, and this one. Instead of looking back, I’ve decided to go with cliche #2: New Year’s Resolutions.
Do any of you actually know the words to “Auld Lang Syne?” Didn’t think so. Shall we?
According to the radio, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Reindeer games, boughs of holly, corncob pipes and all of those festive festivities. Bundle up with that special someone in front of the fire, they’ll thank you for it later. I mention all of these non-gaming activities and holiday trademarks because we are officially in the void. No noteworthy releases, no mind-blowing announcements, and unless your name is Infinity Ward, no (hopefully) game redeeming patches will be out during the last week of the year. While I could devote more of your time toward the future and what 2010 will bring, there will be plenty of opportunity for that. Besides, I don’t want to steal the thunder of the great podcasts we have that are doing great work breaking down the potential of 2010. But you’re here, and I’m here, so why not have a little fun.
Join me for some holiday themed thoughts like if those Reindeer games were running at 60 frames per second.
So I hear there’s a guy making this list and checking it twice. Little girls and boys will be asking the white-bearded one for all kinds of goodies. Hopefully they remember to leave milk and cookies out after his chimney descent. Hopefully little Tommy and Julie wont get coal in their stockings. The holidays are just around the corner so be sure to finalize your wish lists for Santa, he’s going to have a busy night. Me? I didn’t ask Santa for much, but I can assure you one thing – a 3D-capable television was not on my list. Nor will it be on any future Christmas lists. Quite frankly, all of this talk about 3D televisions, games and movies is a joke.
I know that explaining a joke takes the fun out of it, but I thought I’d expand upon that thought for a bit. Ready?