: Ben's Week In Review: May 6

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Ben's Week In Review: May 6

Well, it has certainly been an interesting week. The gaming world flew into a great big tizzy due to that silly PS4 rumor, and a bunch of good news regarding the PlayStation Store popped up as well. What do I have to say about all this, and other topics? Oh, you know you wanna find out...

PS4, PS3 1.5, whatever

If you're a gamer, you heard about this big ol' snafu last week. Smarthouse reported a "Sony inside" source leaked information about the PlayStation 4, which could arrive as early as 18 months from now. As you can see, the linked article also includes the original rumor, which Sony shot down immediately. But in all honesty, what could possibly be the reasoning behind launching another PlayStation in a year and a half or two years? Sony isn't that stupid. It would be suicide for the brand, and gamers would be picketing in the streets...well, maybe not, but they'd be pissed after dumping the investment on the PS3 only to have to dump even more on an "enhanced" PS3.

Of course, this isn't to say another iteration of the PS3 can't happen; look at the Xbox 360 Elite. They include a bigger hard drive (we're still not entirely sure what we'd do with 120 gigs, but whatever), paint it black, and charge an extra $80. And that seems to be working. Sony could so something similar with the PS3, but they had better wait at least a year like Microsoft did. Either way, I'm not into this whole idea of constantly upgrading my gaming machine. If I was, I'd be a PC gamer.

Heeey, PS1 classics now playable on the PS3!

This is what I've been waiting for ever since I heard about the Store and featured PSP connectivity. I really liked the idea of being able to download some old favorites from my PS1 days, and relive that glory on the PS3. But at first, we could only download on the PS3 and transfer to the PSP for play. I don't yet own a PSP - I don't particularly like the idea of a tiny screen - so those PS1 oldies were still completely unavailable for me. Now, gamers don't need to have both systems; we can play these new PS1 downloadables on both the PS3 and PSP! Excellent. Of course, I have a good 40 PS1 games, but I'm sure they'll eventually add some I want; games I liked but never owned, or games I never got the chance to play.

The Store is really doing well, don't you think? Plenty of demos, trailers, these PS1 classics, and even full arcade titles like flOw and the upcoming Calling All Cars. I must say, I'm certainly using it more already than I ever thought I would.

I want in on the Home Beta! I want in, I want IN!

Okay, I'm getting sick and tired of all these reports of European - and now American - PS3 users suddenly finding that Home Beta Trial icon in the Featured section of the PlayStation Store. How come only a few get the invite? And are they selecting these special users at random? It can't be based entirely on the first consumers who registered for the Store, because we were certainly among the first (launch day; launch morning, in fact) to have a PS3. So what's the deal? The official site still says to "keep checking back," and Sony UK has said to expect the Closed beta trial to open up some time this summer. But wasn't that supposed to happen like...last month?

I just want in. I wanna check this out. I don't spend a lot of time online with the PS3, and while I probably never will, I must admit that Home looks like a very cool service. I want IN, Sony!

Guess who e-mailed me today?

Nah, it wasn't Morgan Webb (unfortunately). It was every gamer's friend, attorney Jack Thompson. Apparently, he didn't like something I had wrote about him in a recent article, where I said he "detested" the game industry. Now, am I just completely crazy, or is that painfully obvious? I've seen enough of his blatant personal attacks on gamers in the past - all of which in a very public forum - so I have difficulty believing he's all lovey-dovey with the industry. Personally, I think he's got a big - and misdirected - problem with gaming, and he's basing it on...well, not much of anything. That's just my opinion, and how I view his most recent actions. We've all known about his behavior in the past, and while I understand the media tends to blow things out of proportion, I've heard some of his insulting statements with my own ears.

He further wrote that his only issue with the industry is the "marketing and sale of Mature-rated games to minors." Now, I will never disagree with that stance because I certainly agree that we should restrict the sale of harmful media to our children. And if that were his only stance and his only exhibited problem, then I wouldn't have a problem. But come on, Jack...you and I both know that isn't the only thing you've complained about in the past regarding this industry. And some of the stuff you've said about us has been downright vile. Can you really blame us if we believe you detest gaming?

We are proposing an interview with Mr. Jack Thompson, and maybe he'll clarify his position. We would like to speak with him...let's hope he accepts.

5/5/2007 Ben Dutka

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