7th March 2010 - Welcome gamers (and non-gamers are welcome too) to the 32nd instalment of All Age Gaming’s The Week That Was. Yet another big week in game releases this week with the impressive-looking Battlefield: Bad Company 2 released on the 360, PS3 and PC. Some are saying it will rival Modern Warfare 2 so it is definitely worth a look for FPS fans. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing also made its way to the PS3, 360 and Wii this week and also looks like good fun. Otherwise Wii owners can pick up Boot Camp Academy.
Sony had its share of problems this week with a PSN error affecting owners of the older model, fat PS3s. Lasting for around 24 hours or so, the “8001050F” error related to an internal clock error that prevented people from playing online, and even caused loss of Trophy data in some cases. Despite the short longevity of the problem, it was enough for some sites to go crazy and speculate that it will result in greater FFXIII sales on the 360.
Yet more signs point to the PlayStation Motion Controller being named “Arc” with Sony filing for the trademark “PlayStation Arc” in Japan. This comes on the heels of Sony registering the domain name PlayStationArc.com a few weeks ago. So unless Sony is doing this on purpose to throw us off, I would pencil in “Arc” as the official name.
Another developer has joined the PlayStation family with Sony purchasing Media Molecule. Media Molecule is the team behind the acclaimed LittleBigPlanet, and hopefully they can bring some more innovative new IPs (Intellectual Properties) to the system. LittleBigPlanet was released back in 2008, so Media Molecule is due for something new.
And there are reports that the next Killzone 3 will be arriving later this year. It is also rumoured that the game will be in stereoscopic 3D and will support the ‘Arc’ controller. If true, this game comes far earlier than expected, and will help Sony’s 3D push for this year’s Christmas.
In Wii news this week, expect to see the next Zelda instalment later this year. Coming on the heels of last week’s Metroid: Other M and Super Mario Galaxy 2 announcements, Nintendo of America’s Cammie Dunaway told Wired magazine, “If you compare the first half of 2010 with the first half of 2009, it's night and day. And from some of the things that Iwata has talked about... like Zelda, you know that we're going to have a good back half of the year, as well.”
Despite calls to further cut the price of the Wii in order to compete with Natal and Arc, Nintendo’s Cammie Dunaway has ruled out a price-cut in the near future. Speaking with GamesBeat, Dunaway said, “Right now, we continue to see demand at very strong levels. It’s tough to find a Wii now.... and so, with that kind of demand, it doesn’t suggest the need for any pricing actions.” Perhaps they could just give Australia the price-cut the rest of the world has seen?
Recent grumblings around the industry have shown a decrease in support for the Wii from third party developers. EA aren’t in that same boat though, with EA Sports boss Peter Moore saying “we’re great believers in the Wii. You’ll see our major multiplatform launches still have a presence on the Wii. When we look at where we’ve been successful, it’s been with specific experiences that are built around that consumer.” Specific experiences such as Wii Sports Active have benefited EA, with the title becoming a top 20 Wii title.
In 360 news this week, an NPD report has revealed that the gamers spend more time playing the 360 online than any other console (US data). On average, 360 gamers spend about 7.3 hours per week playing online, with the PC and PS3 following at 6.6 and 5.8 hours respectively. The PC is still the most owned online format at 85 per cent of PC gamers going online.
Natal received some praise from an unlikely source with Jason Rubin, the ex-president and co-founder of Naughty Dog (Uncharted series), saying “Putting Natal in the Xbox gives it the opportunity to become a lot more than just a gaming machine. The things you can do outside of gaming justifies buying Natal.” That’s high praise from an ex-PS3 software developer. Rubin continued saying, “If Microsoft plays its cards right it can sell far more Xbox’s to people who don’t buy games.”
Previously, we’ve brought news of the standalone 250 gb hard-drive add-on being available in Japan but not the rest of the world. Well GameStop in the US decided to list the 250 gb add-on for $130 before pulling the listing off their website. The site listed the hard-drive for a March 23 release, but Microsoft have yet to comment on this.
And Microsoft have lifted their policy regarding sexual orientation in Xbox Live profiles or Gamertags. The policy now states, “You may use the following terms to express your relationship orientation in your profile or Gamertag: Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Straight.” However other terms regarding relationship orientation aren’t allowed, and of course you can’t use these or other terms to insult and harass others.
And now for the other week's news in brief:
· Analyst Michael Pachter believes Apple will be a serious gaming company, but the quality of their games won’t be as good as the current “big three.”
· Despite Microsoft’s Natal push to the casual market, they’re reassuring gamers that they’re not abandoning the core gamers.
· Final Fantasy XIII isn’t the only FF game with news, with Square Enix announcing three new expansions for the MMORPG FFXI.
· The Australian Christian Lobby has compared the games industry to the tobacco industry.
· This was followed by news that Michael Atkinson provided up to $33,000 in funding to the Australian Council on Children and the Media, who claim the link between violent games and youth violence has a “much greater effect than the effect of smoking on lung cancer.”
· All this isn’t helped by a shoddy Channel 10 news report making unsubstantial links between recent violent acts in the community with violent video games.... and claiming that you can plot terror attacks in “Modern Warfare: Call of Duty 2” (do some research channel 10!)
· Gamers 4 Croydon will have candidates in 4 other electorates – Adelaide, Norwood, Light and Mawson.
· The controversial Iraq war game, “Six Days in Fallujah”, has been completed and still set to be released.
· A couple of big delays with Mafia II and Red Dead Redemption pushed back.
· Lara Croft is coming back in a download only title set for release later this year.
· The Rock Band Network store is now open.
· Bungie have released a trailer showing off Halo: Reach’s multiplayer features.
· A bit of drama between Activision and Infinity Ward this week with former IW bosses Vince Zampella and Jason West being fired for “insubordination” and “breach of contract.” Zampella and West are now suing over unpaid royalties, and Activision are claiming they were courting other publishers such as EA.
· And Portal 2 is coming!
Article written by Phong Nguyen