Friday, May 31, 2013

Xbox One Region Locked?

In a statement to Digital Trends, a Microsoft rep confirmed that the Xbox One would be region locked in some capacity: “Similar to the movie and music industry, games must meet country-specific regulatory guidelines before they are cleared for sale.” What this means isnt entirely clear and Microsoft has declined to elaborate. Im pretty sure they wouldnt do something so stupid as to region lock all of Xbox Live, but it seems that all games will be region locked in some capacity.

Whether that means just NTFS vs PAL like we have now, or something much more sinister is yet to be determined. If Microsoft were to decree that all games for the Xbox One cannot support cross region play, that would be the tipping point that would cause me to absolutely not buy the console. What they should do is mandate that while all games are sold as region specific, cross region play must be supported. As it stands now, this decision is usually left to the developer, but this often leads to the huge mistake of a region locked game you cannot play across the pond.

Furthermore, especially for older games, having the ability to play with people from around the world is essential. Sure, when Virtua Tennis 3 was brand spanking new, it could have been supported by a community of just American players. But now, some 6 years after it was released, it simply would not still have an online community at all were it not for inter-region play. There is a certain threshold of minimum number of players for online games, and once it falls below that, a tipping point is reached and the remaining player base just gives up on ever trying to find a match and all online play evaporates.

Finally, its pretty cool that Bond and I get to play VT3 doubles against teams not just in the USA, but the entire world. Playing with gamers from Japan, Korea, France, Spain, and the UK makes online play for VT3 so much more rewarding, because it makes the overall quality of play so much higher - even if the connection quality isnt always quite as great as we would like it to be. "Let, first service" is commonly heard when the game lags. But the players deal with it, give back a point if necessary, and play on.

So please Microsoft, let us gamers deal with the bits of lag, and play on if we want to. It should be our right as gamers to determine if a match is too laggy to play - not the right of a developer, publisher, or console manufacturer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Xbox One Reveal

This picture reminds me of the classic Reggie Fils Amis "Gamecube - Sorry!" 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Welcome to Tangiers

This indie stealth game is working with a super cool surrealist aesthetic. Its cited influences and inspirations are: Thief (PC game), Man Ray (artist), Throbbing Gristle (band), Cabaret Voltaire (band), William Burroughs (writer), J.G. Ballard (writer), and the eastern European Dada movement.

Not coming until 2014 and PC only, but I'll guarantee the devs at least one sale.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Leaked Star Wars Battlefront Gameplay Video

Leaked Battlefront III Footage by All-Games-Beta

BF3 alphaNov from Blue_Monkey on Vimeo

Apparently this game was cancelled or is being totally remade now, but after Disney purchased Lucasarts they completely shut down all new videogame production. Its amazing to me how they can get so far into development of what looks like a totally playable and fun game, only to decide that they "want to go in another direction" and toss all these assets and the hard work of the programmers and testers in the garbage. Ive heard of development hell, but I think where the Star Wars Battlefront franchise is concerned, this is a fate far worse than falling into a boiling pit of lava.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Splinter Cell Blacklist: Spies vs Mercs Trailer

4v4 Spies vs Mercs? Holy shit is all I can say. Bond, what are you going to do when I fly a mini-drone up in those shadows? You can run, and then you can hide, but when you finally get to that last data terminal, look behind you. Just like at the end of this trailer, Im going to be standing right there. You better have one last trick up your sleeve, cause my gun is aimed at your head and my finger is on the trigger.

Between Splinter Cell Blacklist,Watchdogs, GTA V, Rainbow 6 Patriots, and The Last of Us, who even needs a new generation of consoles? Seriously, how could any launch lineup top that? They are gonna need a new Burnout game on Day 1 if they want me to buy one, otherwise I can easily see holding off until 2014. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New GTA V Trailers

A day late and a dollar short, but here are the hilarious and epic new GTA V trailers everyone is talking about. The tone is more GTA III/San Andreas style hijinx than GTA IV, and this is all using the in game engine and cameras which look amazing for being done on our ancient consoles. Im still hoping for a Brucie cameo.