Ben's Week In Review: June 17
It was an interesting week, what with the announcement of a PS3 price cut by Christmas, and several other topics of gaming interest. So let's get to it.
Stringer on PS3 price cut by Christmas: "Of course"
Obviously, this was the biggest news of the week, as those considering a PS3 purchase this year just got a lot more incentive. They haven't talked about when, exactly, but now it seems clear the PS3 will drop in price before Christmas. And considering the sheer number of great games coming out this fall and winter, it's a perfect time to lower that pricey retail tag. Some might say "the sooner the better," but a system always needs software to look attractive. Price is always secondary - or at least, it should be - and the games really aren't here yet. Later on this summer looks good and the fall looks amazing, so a price drop around October or November would be great.
Of course, the only question left is: how much will the price drop? $50? $100? I'm banking on the latter, as I'm assuming most people are. What with the lowered cost of Blu-Ray production, it's both feasible and makes good business sense. This holiday season is gonna be a lot of fun!
So...the PS3 is a pretty big deal in Korea, huh?
It was an eye-opening headline, that's for sure. Believe it or not, the PS3 just released in Korea this week, and before the launch, Sony wanted to promote the system a bit. Well, apparently, it didn't need any promoting, as 200 consoles were sold in minutes on that Korean shopping channel. Sony didn't even have time to brag about the greatness of the system; they were all gone too fast! Europe had a great launch, and now it seems like Sony will have a very successful launch this weekend in Korea. It's not normally known to be a hotspot for gaming, but obviously, there are gamers over there. And they knew all about the PS3.
Hey, we're sure Sony will take it. Interest is interest and sales are sales.
Sega gives Wii a smack
They've since apologized for the VP's words, but it got me to thinking... A lot of what he said does make sense. The Wii's graphics appear severely outdated even now; what about two or three years down the road? No, games don't sell on visuals alone, but they do matter. Furthermore, the reason I didn't own a GC is simple: not enough quality software. It seemed like for every great GC title there were a half-dozen (or even more) great PS2 and Xbox titles. Perhaps it was just my own personal gaming tastes, but I'm starting to see that with the Wii already. For example, both the 360 and PS3 are going to see about 130 titles this year, while the Wii - at last count - had only about 75-80. That's pretty significant.
Furthermore, can the Wii really hold its lead with only Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime III against the likes of Grand Theft Auto IV, Halo 3. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Gran Turismo 5, Final Fantasy XIII, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction, etc.? See, I don't think it can. I think the Wii needs more original titles that take advantage of its nifty new interaction technology, and since Wii Sports and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, I've seen nothing of the sort. So I do have plenty of questions and concerns regarding the Wii, although I still applaud Nintendo for the system.
Don't overlook Tecmo!
As you well know, Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a PS3 exclusive, and a little while ago, Tecmo announced they'll be working on more projects for the PS3. It's no surprise, really. They may have shunned the PS2 last generation in favor of the Xbox, but that's simply because they go where the power is; they prefer the most powerful console. And they like the potential of the PS3, so why ignore it? Their biggest claim to fame last generation was Ninja Gaiden, and they also created the Dead or Alive titles...but that was about it. It's not a huge resume, and some say they tend to rely on flashy graphics and less substance...well, they were saying that until NG came out, anyway. So I really think we should be anxiously anticipating these PS3 projects from Tecmo. They could be really, really special.
Personal Gaming UpdateWell, I'm playing more online than I've ever played before. Actually, before this year, it was almost never. I guess having the PS3 with it's free network has given me no more excuses to avoid online gaming, although I still prefer offline solo. Just in the past few days, I've been online with Hot Shots Golf: Fore! (and will be online again when Hot Shots Golf 5 comes out), Resistance: Fall of Man, and Warhawk. The latter is finally playable after that patch halted the constant crashing and freezing problems, but I still have to deal with idiots. Such is the way of playing games online, and it's one of the reasons I avoided it in the past. Playing Team Deathmatch today, the host would "forget" to turn off Friendly Fire, and it would just turn into a free-for-all. Guys, if you wanted a Deathmatch, there are plenty of matches out there. Go find one. But no, you have to be annoying.
This is why I try to play mostly with friends, if I can, or with people I've met online who I know won't ruin the experience on purpose. So if any of you out there want to play with me, Arnold, or Val in Resistance or Warhawk (it comes out on August 2), let me know. We can always use more good people to play with. :)
6/16/2007 Ben Dutka