Ben's Week In Review: July 20
Obviously, E3 was the big news of this past week, but I've already produced a special editorial designed to focus on that very subject. So we'll tackle a couple other topics, here.
Should Sony stick with backwards compatibility?
One bit of news that came out of this past week has been met with mixed reactions by current and prospective PlayStation 3 owners: Sony revealed they're "not going back" in regards to backwards compatibility. This has certainly been obvious due to the progression of the different PS3 models- the original 60GB supported both PS1 and PS2 software, the 80GB supported all PS1 and most PS2 software via emulation, and the most recent 40GB model only supports PS1 games, but no PS2 games. Sony also announced the new 80GB PS3 at E3, and that one won't have PS2 b/c, either. When asked, Sony's Jack Tretton said that "Sony's collective strategy determined we could afford to lose it," which didn't sit well with some people. It didn't sit well with me, either. I have close on to 60 PS2 games and 40 PS1 games, and I still like to play many of them from time to time. Having one system that plays them all has always been a huge bonus for me.
On the other hand, I do understand Sony's forward thinking, here. They say they want to "make PS2 games for the PS2 and PS3 games for the PS3," and by now, most PS3 owners might not be interested in b/c, anyway. And besides, with the PS2 only costing $130 (and it'll likely cost only $100 in due time), it's not an expensive proposition to have both the PS3 and PS2...if you don't already have the PS2, and 130 million people do. But if they wanted to do this, I still think they should've done this from the start. Because now, when I get a new PS3 - and I'll have to eventually - I'll have to get a PS3 and a PS2, because I got rid of the PS2, just assuming the PS3 would always be fully backwards compatible. You know, like the PS2 was always b/c for PS1 software. See where I'm coming from, Sony?
I feel a little bad for Atari
When I first heard about Alone in the Dark, I was excited for two reasons: 1. there isn't enough quality competition for Resident Evil out there, and 2. as they introduced me to video games, I have a soft spot in my heart for Atari. Now, I know Atari is just the publisher of the game (Eden Studios developed it), but even so, when the PS2 version turned out terribly, I was very disappointed. Everything I had read about the game made it seem promising, and while the concept remains that way, the implementation and execution was awful. I can't imagine the Xbox 360 version with better graphics is worth playing, and I now remember Atari's hope that Alone in the Dark would sell something like a few million units. Yeah, well, with the reviews out there for that game, I just don't see it happening. In fact, the PS3 may never see it, either, which wouldn't be that big of a loss. But at this point, I really don't see how Atari is going to last much longer if they keep producing games like this; have they forgotten what "quality" is?
We're talking about a pioneer of the industry, here, and it almost seems as if they're dying right before my very eyes. I say it's sad. :(
Personal gaming update
Okay, so I guess I'm not done with Top Spin 3. After finishing the season at #1 as a Pro, I figured I'd be watching the closing credits, but nooooo... Now, the last challenge is to win each of the 4 Grand Slams and beat all 8 of the Legendary players on their favorite courts. Well, none of this should be too hard, but it's still going to take some time. I've already beaten two Legends (Nadal and Borg), and the latter I beat without losing a single game (6-0, 6-0, 6-0) although Nadal - as always - took a few games from me. So I'll try to blow through this last part, and I guess by then, I'll have Soul Calibur IV to review. I have super high expectations for that one, of course, but I never play fighting games for very long. Hence, I'll have to get back to MGS and MGS2 or find another game to play. I'm still considering Battlefield: Bad Company but I can't forget about Infinite Undiscovery for the Xbox 360; the new Square-Enix RPG. I really loved Lost Odyssey, and with the complete lack of RPGs on the PS3, I really need my fix.
Let's hope it doesn't end up like Unlimited Saga...but either way, Undiscovery isn't coming until September 2. Hmm...might have to play FFT again! :)
7/19/2008 Ben Dutka