Next Gen Thoughts

Actually I do not have a lot because I do not have a lot of interest in the Xbox 360, I am sitting on the PS3 sidelines, and I am waiting for non-bundle availability of the GameCube 1.5 (er, Wii).

I have written about this before, but much like the PS3, the Xbox 360 does not have anything that has caught my attention with a game that I *have* to have. I have seen some previews for Lair (by Factor 5) that look promising, but not $600 promising. Gran Turismo HD? No so much; I mean I love the GT series, but I have to see more CPU cars, with better AI before I upgrade for the sole purpose of playing GT.

I am excited about the possibilities of new sports experiences with the Wii, but I am not excited enough to buy into one of the stupidly expensive bundles. Why pay $600 for a bunch of crap games, accessories, magazine subscriptions, and such, when I can just wait a couple of months? That is my stance, and I am damn sure trying hard to keep to my guns on this one.

I have been reading rumblings that with the success of the Live marketplace, and Sony’s attempt to do the same with its online service, we are going to see more pay-to-play content. EA is talking about gamers paying extra for the content that we have been buying year after year – more modes of play, classic rosters and uniforms, special stadiums, etc. The sky is the limit here. I think I could live with paying for some ‘upgrades’ every few years because it would be like paying extra for a ‘special edition’ version every 3-4 years, but why would I want to for 80’s Falcons rosters and uniforms and Fulton County stadium with every release of Madden? For years, lots of us have been complaining that EA releases a new Madden game engine every 3-4 years followed by tweaks and minor roster upgrades. Now they are going to capitalize on the masses. I have skipped Madden the last two years; why upgrade when I have a perfectly fine version of the game (Madden 2005 super secret special collectors edition)?

Making matters worse, Sony is talking about release two versions of Gran Turismo. I know I just said that I was not going to pay $600 for an updated, prettier version of GT, but still, I have to comment. One version with pretty much nothing, and another versions that has most everything. Either way you have to spend money to download all the cars and tracks that we have come to expect in each of the four previous versions of GT? No thanks.

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One thought on “Next Gen Thoughts”

  1. Well I picked up a PS3 but there won’t be any games I really want until March. Been mostly playing demos and trailers for Blu-Ray movies and upcoming games.

    Going to rent some games for it.

    GT HD is going to be a free download. They’re going on to work on GT5 as GT HD uses GT4 art assets, just at higher resolution.

    I generally prefer Sony exclusive franchises like God of War, Heavenly Sword than the Xbox franchises like Halo and Gears of War, which are shooters.

    The Wii I tried out at a mall here. I can see the party game appeal (kind of like DDR or Guitar Hero or Karaoke) and the appeal to kids. But Wii Sports just don’t offer you the options that sports gamers are used to. For instance, the baseball game, you can’t field and you don’t throw to bases. The motion tracking is very simple. You can flick the wand with your wrist, not use much upper arm or shoulder, to activate a pitch or a forehand/backhand in tennis. You can’t throw sidearm or 3/4 pitches. For that, they would probably need an Eye Toy type of setup to complement the Wii’s accelerometer and gyroscope.

    Third party sports games developers may bring the same depth and options to Wii games but the technology isn’t quite there to translate your motion, including idiosyncratic form or styles, to the screen. So it becomes replacing button presses with gestures, which don’t have to really be like real-life sports form.

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