News Roundup | It must be 2013

The year where sanity creeps into reality, and things get messy.

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Site update:

  • For those who follow me on Twitter (@meta_gear) this is not news, but I’ve decided to pause my MGS2 review in order to write an article for a different site where I’ll be a contributor in the future.  It’s a Metal Gear piece I’m sure you’ll enjoy, and it will hopefully bring more traffic to the site when it’s published. That’s almost done, and it hasn’t stopped me from planning what to do with the MGS2 review when I come back to it.
  • Of course, before the guests arrive I plan to tidy up the place.  I’ve already shoved the “Podcasts” and “Comics” pages into the “Classic Site” page; next I’m going to make a better “About” section.
  • After the MGS2 review I want to finally write that Last of Us review.  Lots of you wanted my two cents on the game immediately, but sadly Canada has discontinued the penny, so now all I’ve got are toonies.  That means it will be a big review, or none at all!

 

Ground Zeroes may be coming this year, Phantom Pain coming next year

  • According to David Gibson, a man who I’ve never heard of but apparently has some credibility, The Phantom Pain will be released next fiscal year (April 2014 – March 2015) while a “smaller Metal Gear” will be released this fiscal year, and something about it will be announced soon.
  • I can only assume this means Ground Zeroes will be released separately this year.  Why?  The fact that it has its own name is a big hint, but Kojima also said that Ground Zeroes specifically will reboot the franchise — hence the name.  It’ll be an open world, a prologue, and a marketing tool for hyping up the massive, full game of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.  Fingers crossed, at least.

 

Steve “Say-Bing!-Or-I’ll-Fire-You” Ballmer is quitting

  • Really, now.  After seeing how Mattrick completely screwed up the brand with the Xbox One and then jumped ship to Zynga of all places, can we really be that surprised?  The Xbox One is Microsoft’s big power play to capture the “dumb mass consumer” market, hoping to shift away from opinionated hardcore gamers and toward some nebulous market of rich retards who love football and waving their hands around.  They’re not a consumer-device company, but they’re increasingly perceived as being one, and the Xbox is the key to retaining any kind of “coolness” there.  Their tablets and phones are flops.
  • Which means Ballmer is not as stupid as I thought.  After reading Nicholas Carr’s The Big Switch, I’ve realized that Microsoft is screwed, but for more reasons than the recent stuff.  Businesses and consumers alike are migrating toward cloud services and away from the traditional client-server industry that Microsoft dominates.  They’re rulers of a country people don’t want to live in anymore.

 

Sony kicks a little ass at Gamescom

  • I’ve always believed that the PS Vita was Sony’s first attempt to become the “good guys” in the gaming industry once again.  It wasn’t dismissed because it was a lousy value or a bad platform (it is great hardware and a fluid system) but because people wanted to prove they weren’t falling for another overpriced and uncompetitive mobile device.  We didn’t realize there was a “new Sony” yet.
  • The PS Vita price drop, with new interesting bundles all priced at $200, combined with the slew of new indie games, the upcoming “remote play” functionality, plus the “second screen” functionality for the PS4, makes it look like a device you might actually want this year.
  • The PS3 price drop is nice.
  • November 15th release date, good to know.
  • The PS4 will have Twitch.tv support, which I think is great news, even though devoted Twitch users are concerned that the service will be completely unable to  handle the amount of bandwidth required to support constant uploads and streaming from multiple new mass-market consoles.  Maybe Google or Amazon will buy it?

 

Minecraft will dominate every platform it touches, new and old

  • I remember buying Minecraft when it was super early, before there were things like beds, nether worlds, or “biomes”.  It seemed like a perfectly quirky PC game that would have a strong cult following.  I never could have imagined it would go on to become a must-have title for every platform.  People are energetic about the fact that it won’t be an “exclusive” for Microsoft anymore, and are demanding to know the details about its port to the PS3, Vita, and PS4.  Passionate people.
  • It’s clear by now that Minecraft is a juggernaut wherever it goes, and I wonder how long it will take before the big companies are forced to imitate it.  Everybody who has young children, cousins, nephews or nieces knows that kids are addicted to it in a way that transcends “enjoyment”.  It’s Lego + Mario + World of Warcraft.
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