So Sony finally announced a price drop for the PS3; although with no apology to those who bought one after they recently denied such speculation. So is it still too expensive? Is this the price it should have been at launch? Pah! Who cares? Right now I’m more interested in tallying up how many people gaming can offend before the year’s out. Already we’ve desecrated a cathedral and had a snuff game thrown back in our faces. Now we’re making fun of disabled people and promoting the soothing catharsis of car crashes. And GTA IV isn’t even out yet!
Also this week, I suggest that my Manhunt 2 news opinion piece was absolute guff. Look out for a rebuttal to this suggestion next week (kidding).
- Sony cuts US PS3 price
So you are dropping the price, then. Note Jack Tretton’s description of this as signaling a move into the "next phase of PS3"; that’d be the one where Sony stop fleecing early adopters and start fleecing the second wave of owners, but slightly less. Note also Jack’s commitment to making any Sony statement (even good news) sound as dry and clinical as a coroner’s report.
- Manhunt 2 "not an image issue" for Nintendo, says Fils-Aime
One of the more attention-grabbing pieces from the Manhunt 2 fallout was this Nintendo response attempting to reassure gamers that Manhunt 2 was not denied approval based on its mature (read: not family-friendly/non-kiddie) themes, but rather specifically due to its Adults Only certification. That claim is not without a hint of irony (sure we can do mature, but not "adults only"), and it is quite startling to hear Fils-Aime’s assertion that Manhunt 2 is "a game rated outside our spectrum, outside any manufacturer’s spectrum". Now the other week I praised the ratings boards for their seemingly considered and respectful approach to Manhunt 2 (here), but the behaviour of the platform-holders is pretty disheartening. One can only assume that they knocked the title back in order to force Rockstar to make the changes necessary for it to be a widely-stocked and ‘acceptably mature’ title. Within their stupid "spectrum".
- Former ELSPA Boss Criticizes Manhunt Ban
On another Manhunt note, this article is among a number that has made me question my own article’s outright assertion that games should be appreciated as different to other mediums. I still think I’m right obviously (how about that American Psycho analogy?), but Mr. Bennett is absolutely correct to point out that this opinion becomes an assumption without evidence when it is used by a regulatory board to justify the kind of radical action they have taken here. Something to chew on…
- The Future Of Genres
Part of a large Electronic Gaming Monthly feature on the future of games (which I’ve decided not to pretend I read all of), this section features some words of wisdom (albeit low on inspiration) from genre big-wigs like Peter Molyneux and Testuya Mizuguchi. Amusingly, the president of Insomniac’s musings on the possibilities for platform games stop just short of actually naming Little Big Adventure as the genre’s future. Looks like the Sony gang are really pulling together these days.
- The Sims 2 H&M Fashion Stuff
A neat little ‘choose your own adventure’ review. Only effective if you believe a review should be totally consumer-oriented, but it’s just a bit of fun really.
- Burnout advert branded "irresponsible" by ASA
I’d say that’s a fair call. I guess it proves that our in-game behaviour is often pretty appalling, and advertising it can be tricky when using real-life as a reference point.
- Ubisoft pulls DS game over offensive content
It’s tricky to stamp out all the translation problems that could occur in a game nowadays, but "spastic" is certainly more offensive in the UK than elsewhere so this pull is no surprise. I guess the word has yet to shed it’s immediate, literal meaning (as "bastard" has) just because some people use it as an insult, which is a curious phenomenon in itself. But don’t be too quick to blow your censorship trumpet on this one, says Tera.
- What is WiiWare?
Take a guess! Now that their biggest retro hits have done pretty much all they can to beat off the "where’s the software?" haters, it’s about time Nintendo started offering original downloadable games for the Wii.