On Potential and Possibilities

I’ve made it very clear that I am not on board for the motion revolution. Wii never grabbed me, Kinect (formerly Project Natal) does not compel me, and Move does not move me. As a consumer, it’s not for me. But I’m okay with that. I really am. As a gamer, as someone who is looked to for slightly grander opinions on the industry, I am extremely hopeful. On a recent podcast I stated that I believe this technology, as a whole, could lead to the true “next generation of gaming.” It is impossible to ignore the potential in each of these devices. And yet it is that word, potential, that catches a snag. Are we willing to be patient for theoretical potential to become realized? Are we willing to invest time, money, and space upfront for potential months or (potentially) years from now? Didn’t we already get caught up in this same song and dance when Sony unveiled the PlayStation 3 to the world four years ago?

Be sure to stretch and clear out any valuables before continuing.

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On Moving and Shaking

As I type, the Game Developer’s Conference is going on in San Francisco, California. Part of me wishes GDC would go back to being for and about game developers instead of the hybrid trade show it has become while E3 is trying to regain its former self. Now publishers are seeing another opportunity to build anticipation for upcoming products and keynote speeches are turning into sales pitches. Of course, despite my qualms there are a few noteworthy news items to come from this years gathering of gaming intellectuals. Most prominently, PlayStation Move. The much anticipated motion controller from Sony’s neck of the woods is real, it has a name that isn’t too awkward, and most importantly it shows tremendous potential. My general apathy in the direction of Nintendo has been documented and while I’m not about to jump on the bandwagon of the Move, I do see a lot of opportunity for this to be a successful venture for Sony and its affiliates.

Let’s get a Move on, shall we?

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On Equality and Simultaneity

Since the inception of the PlayStation 3 into our homes it seems like nearly every developer has screamed from the mountain tops slandering the complexity of programming for its unique architecture. Sure, the Cell has a lot of power, but how to could the code monkeys harness its power for the greater good? Few games have stepped up to the challenge; See Burnout Paradise. See Uncharted 2. See Killzone 2. But the success stories are overwhelmed by the tragedies. Countless games have underperformed on a technical level on the PlayStation 3 versus its counterpart on the Xbox 360. The decision to release a game across multiple platforms has the potential for great economic success assuming the economic risk can be mitigated by sound development across all platforms. To date, very few cross platform titles have been equally respected on a performance level on both systems…until now. Allow me to introduce the savior of cross platform development for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360: CryEngine 3.

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On Putting and Shutting

We all knew this was coming. An inevitability almost 3 years in the making. We were witness to deniability that was equal parts naive and precious. The question was not “if” but “when”; when would we receive official notification of the mythic PS3 Slim? This Tuesday at GamesCom, the waiting game was over. Sony’s acquiescence on the price of their hardware means that the whole “Console War” nonsense is about to get serious, and this is one fight I can get behind. Continue reading

Gathering TWiGs – June

Another month in the books. Of course this month was fun because I’ve been upgraded from Video Game Editorial Writer to Video Game Podcaster. I think I’m going to need a smaller font on my business card at this rate. Be sure to check out the latest episodes of the Post Game Report over at Talking About Games, and if you missed any of this month’s editorials fear not, for I have a quick recap and link to get you to less than 1000 words of video game awesome per click. Enjoy. Continue reading