Ben's Week In Review: April 6
It has been another week loaded with positive news surrounding the PS3, which is in stark contrast to this time last year. So let's talk about that first-
2008: The Year of the PS3
Sony is certainly putting the pedal to the metal this year, and they're not afraid about expressing that ideal. I remember one year ago, searching around for news and finding nothing but the worst sort of reports and predictions surrounding Sony's new next-gen console. While I remained convinced that Sony's marketing tactic was sound - history is always a good teacher when it comes to business - I was disappointed in the system's progress. The software wasn't there, the price was too high, and while Blu-Ray appeared strong early, it wasn't a big enough advantage. But I knew in the back of my mind that the software would be coming (what console didn't experience a drought during its first year?), and that's what mattered. Furthermore, as 2007 rolled forward, it got clearer and clearer that Blu-Ray would likely emerge victorious. And when it did earlier this year, I knew the floodgates were open. The likes of GT5, MGS4, FFXIII, Killzone 2 and more was on the way, PlayStation Home was closing in, both the production costs and retail price of the PS3 had dropped considerably, and consumers were responding.
In short, this is a complete 180 we're looking at. The PS3 has all the momentum in the world now, whereas early last year, it seemed mired in a depressing downward spiral. But as Sony tends to do with their platforms, they've pulled out of it in the second year, and everything is coming up roses. I wonder...Sony is excited now, but were they at all concerned last year? Or did they know this would happen all along? They said it would happen, but how positive could they have been in the face of such negative press? Well, perhaps we'll never know, but it doesn't matter now. Onwards!
April Fool's was fun, huh?
We do apologize for toying with your heads, but come on...most of you knew we would run some super-entertaining - yet super-fake - stories on April 1. Arnold's $150 No Blu-Ray PS3 was fantastic - Sony mentioned it over at the official PlayStation blog - and as for mine...well, I just wanted to see that news in print. I get the sinking feeling that I'll never be able to write a legitimate news story about a Final Fantasy VII PS3 remake, so I kinda just wanted to see what it would look like. Nobody wishes that report was true more than I, but remember, while it was all fake, the idea of a Final Fantasy XIII playable demo packaged in with The Last Remnant isn't too far-fetched. Square-Enix has been known to do this in the past, which is why I cited the FFXII demo included with Dragon Quest VIII. That part may end up becoming true before the year is out, but unfortunately, I can't seem to find any new evidence that would indicate a FFVII remake for the PS3.
The only possible hope we have left is what Square-Enix said just recently- that they weren't done with the "FFVII Compilation" they started during their 20th Final Fantasy anniversary celebration last year. What could the final project be...? If it really is a FFVII remake for the PS3, I'll weep tears of joy. If it's a remake for the PSP, however, those will be tears of sadness.
Personal gaming update
Not much has changed, just because I've been working very hard lately. I'm probably only a few hours from finishing up Lost Odyssey, and I should be able to get in plenty of Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds time before Grand Theft Auto IV on the 29th. Prologue drops soon, too, of course, but that's something I can always sit down and play for an hour or two. Beyond that, just MGS4 and a few others of interest, and I will add one more game to my radar- White Knight Story, which I believed is now called the White Knight Chronicles. It was delayed last year, but Level 5 is bringing it back around into the public eye again. All the latest news regarding this very promising RPG has been excellent, and I can't wait to see another video update. What we saw at last year's Tokyo Game Show was plenty good enough, but apparently, things are looking even better now. While I will always miss the traditional turn-based style - I fear Lost Odyssey will be the last one - I'm willing to embrace great new RPGs like White Knight Chronicles. Let's hope it turns out as good as they claim!
4/5/2008 Ben Dutka