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Peter Skerritt's blog

Consoleation: The not so noble intentions of abandoning instruction manuals

Fight Night Champion Screenshot

I came out pretty strong on Twitter recently, decrying the loss of instruction manuals as publishers such as Ubisoft and EA Sports have made moves to abolish print manuals in exchange for digital manuals that can be found as extra content on the game disc. While publishers are reasoning that eliminating such manuals is better for the environment, it seems evident to me that there are more significant factors at work here.

Consoleation: Review embargoes and the consequence of inconsistent silence

Homefront Screenshot

Last October, I wrote about what I perceive to be the dishonorable practice of review embargoes. I stand by my belief that the reason for many embargoes is to prevent early negative reviews for potentially spoiling sales of a game. Consumers can be excited about the game and buy it and launch day without reviews being made available until after many purchases have already been made. The cases of Medal of Honor back in October and of the recently-released Homefront are classic examples of using embargoes to this effect.

Consoleation: DLC -- Be careful what you wish for

L.A. Noire Screenshot

I already have problems with launch-day downloadable content. Although discussions about the subject on Twitter with PR people and those "on the inside" have generated a few valid explanations, I'm still not 100% fine with the practice.

Consoleation: E3 2011 -- Cheering the locked door

Consoleation: E3 2011 -- Cheering the Locked Door

Recent events make me realize that some of the same people that I have had respect for also want to see me fail—at least indirectly. In response to the ESA's recent decision to link press invitations to E3 with site traffic, which will likely all but eliminate any chance that I have at attending this year's event, I have been seeing some of these people approve of these changes and actually consider them to be better for everyone. I will not publicly call any of these people out, but I will say that the sense of entitlement among these privileged individuals is disheartening and disappointing.

Consoleation: December 2010 console gaming sales data

Donkey Kong Country Returns Screenshot

Nintendo righted the Wii ship a little with decent December in terms of sales. Comparatively speaking, however, Nintendo's victory was hollow when you notice that Wii sales were down a whopping 38% year-over-year (YOY). Put that number next to a 42% increase YOY for the Xbox 360 and you can argue that Nintendo wasn't a winner at all.

Consoleation: Street un-smart

Mass Effect 2 Screenshot

Before you read any further, I need you to read Daniel Dumas' Wall Street Journal piece. Take a few minutes to do so because it's one of the worst game-related articles that I have ever read. I've read a lot of them, too. Ultimately, the body of the article fails to make the point of the title, but that's only part of the problem. The examples are poor, there are digs at other games that are unnecessary in a piece like this, and the overall article smacks of a lack of professionalism for a periodical that's pretty well-respected.

PlayStation 2sDay: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Screenshot

Back in 1999, when I first got my hands on the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater demo for my PlayStation, I knew that I was in trouble. I played it for hours, trying to improve my scores and seeing what crazy combinations of tricks that I could muster. I'd never ridden a skateboard—and I still haven't—but games like Skate or Die on the Commodore 64, Top Skater in the arcade, and even Street Sk8er for the PlayStation put me in a position where I could actually be that cool guy on the board without breaking every bone in my body.

Consoleation: Five predictions for 2011

Portal 2 Screenshot

2011 has the potential to be a big year for video games. We're weeks away from seeing the Nintendo 3DS hit retail, motion control technology for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 will continue to mature, and there's going to be plenty of software just waiting to be bought. Before the year really gets into high gear, I'm going to log five predictions here about some events that I think will happen.

Consoleation: December 2010 sales predictions

Gran Turismo 5 Screenshot

Although we're officially into 2011 now, it's not quite time to turn the page when it comes to sales numbers as figures for December 2010 should be trickling out over the coming week or two.

Consoleation: Peter's 10 Great Games of 2010

Super Street Fighter IV Screenshot

Some of you may view this as a cop-out, but rather than do a fairly common Game of the Year piece, I'm doing things a little differently. I'm going to run down a list of great games that I played this year. I'm not going to say that one was necessarily better than the other, but I hope this gives you some idea of the games that got me to believe that 2010 was a very good year for video game software.

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