Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: April 22nd
A fairly short entry this week, as not a lot has been on my
mind. I've been mostly busy covering the news, while Ben is on
vacation. But I still have something to say, specifically about
internal issues at Sony.
Why is Sony always flip-flopping? I mean, one week we're told something by a higher-up Sony executive, and the following day another executive of the same level debunks what the first said. Can we all please make sure we're reading from the same memo? It's bad enough that we've had uninformed reps telling us that MotorStorm would be 1080p @ 60 frames per second. And then we had to endure through four different Warhawk articles regarding the game's medium base...will it be downloadable or will it be on a Blu-Ray disc? Back and forth these things went.
A few weeks ago, a documented proposal to the FCC for an 80GB PS3 made its way online, and Sony was quick to deny it. And then what happens? A Sony representative speaks out and basically confirms a future plan to start bundling the PS3 with an 80GB HDD, as opposed to an 60GB one. Then we've got talks of price cutting. Now, this is a more understandable situation, seeing as how Sony doesn't want people to know of a price cut ahead of time, so as to not stall sales of the console. But if that's the case, how about passing on that memo to every executive in the know, and informing them to not talk about something as specific as a price cut on the record?
There seems to be a lack of proper communication between Sony Corp. and all Sony Computer Entertainment subsidiaries. I understand that a few miscommunications may occur when you're dealing with a company that employees over 150,000 people, but not all 150k are hot shots executives, nor do they operate for the entertainment division. Likewise, miscommunications happen once every so often, not every other week. Sometimes, when I watch Sony CEO Howard Stringer talk about the PlayStation/entertainment division, I feel as if he's disappointed in the way things are being handled. When I found out that Stringer and PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi are on bad terms, my feelings of internal conflict were confirmed.
Internal conflicts such as that can often lead to progressively worse state of affairs, until someone just decides to get up and leave, or be voted out - and that sure won't be Stringer, folks. Regardless, I like the fact that Phil Harrison is handling all of Sony Computer Entertainment's talking, and his position as World Wide Studios President suits him. Really, you guys should check out the Q&A he did for Slashdot - it's fairly informative and candid.
Render Me This, Render Me That
Moving on, I'm still in awe of GTAIV. After finding out that Rockstar rendered versions of Queens, Bronx, and a chunk of New Jersey (on top of Manhattan and Brooklyn), I started thinking about what the future of open ended gaming has in store for us. I mean, after playing Test Drive Unlimited, I realized that with this generation of consoles, the potential to re-create real locales is enormous. I've always dreamt of driving in a virtual world based on my hometown, and driving past my own house. I feel like with every new open-ended game, we're getting closer to that vision. Londoners have seen The Getaway, Oahu has seen Test Drive Unlimited, Los Angeles has seen True Crime, and so forth. New York City has yet to have a properly done open-ended game. And while GTAIV will borrow a lot from NYC, I highly doubt that it'll be very true to the boroughs outside of Manhattan. But we shall see.
4/22/2007 Arnold Katayev