Gamer’s Hangover News Report 01.05.04

Quasi-Random Thoughts

The bathroom taunts me still, though it’s taunts are getting quieter. The tile has been laid, with only a couple of moaning holdouts which may eventually need to be reset. Grouting should take place today in the places where grout doesn’t already exist. The shower has been installed, the sink will be installed today (after TWO trips to Lowe’s each yielded previously broken merchandise). When I can shave in there again, I will officially declare victory.

Heh “¦ ha … *snort* “¦ heeheeheehee “¦ BCS “¦ *giggle* “¦ USC “¦ *sniff* “¦ LSU “¦ heh haaaaa “¦ OU lost “¦. BWAAAAAH HAA HAA HAA HAA HAAAAA!!!

Playoff. NOW. Jerk-offs.

Mike Shanahan, congratulations. You coached the team that finally lost to Peyton Manning in the playoffs. I suppose this means we’ll be seeing Shannon Sharpe doing color for the duration. Dammit.

Listened (while working on the bathroom) to yesterday’s Democratic Presidential candidate debate. My opinion of political debates (of any sort): I think the candidates would be more true to themselves and more honest to their proposed constituents if they just went up to the podium and said the word “rhetoric” over and over again for their allotted time.

Gah. Once again, I make this shorter than I want to because of “time constraints.” At least I marinated and seasoned the news myself. As short as it is, nothing is mailed in this week.

NEWS

Still not a whole hell of a lot this week, but the first story is so juicy that it can take center stage all by itself.

Sony May Be Poised For Long-Overdue Marketing Mistake
credit: Spong.com

Oh kids, do I have one for you. Remember when I said that the first two words that entered my mind when I saw the first Eye Toy commercial were “Power Glove?” Well, you may be changing that to “N-Gage” pretty soon. Apparently, Sony is feeling the pressure from the success of Xbox Live and is going to extreme measures to close the communications gap. How extreme? Try a whole new communications network concept for the PS2/3. Sounds good, right? Okay, here’s the kicker: It’s centered around the EYE TOY.

Yes, Sony wants to introduce live VIDEO chat into the homes of underwear-clad gamers worldwide. The network’s working title right now is “Eye Toy: Comms” and it’s looking to be a major design point for the upcoming PS3. Insiders speaking to the fine chaps over at Spong said, “This idea is going to be as important as games when launching the PlayStation 3. It is clear that games players are growing up, getting older. They expect more than just gaming from the box in their living room.” Does anyone else feel a chill when they read this?

Look, making an online gaming community is fine. MORE than fine. Look at the Xbox; that’s what they’re clearly trying to emulate. But there are two things Sony needs to realize; two things that are so much common sense that I have no problems stating them here.

One, NOBODY WILL USE VIDEO CHAT. I’m sorry but it’s the truth. Now, on Xbox, people like being able to talk to one another, voice being the single most expressive form of communication we can perform, but notice that the Xbox comes with a built-in voice modulator. Why? So people can disguise their voice. Is Sony going to put in a feature where you can look like Russell Crowe or Angelina Jolie? Doubtful. Now, I’m confident that they’ll have the foresight to put in a voice-only chat feature to their network; surely they can’t be so dense as not to realize that requiring a video feed is going to get them millions of close-ups of hand towels from all over the world; but linking it with the Eye Toy in this manner really suggests that they’re putting their eggs into the basket of video novelty.

And this leads me to the second point. Anybody with an Xbox and a broadband connection can connect to Xbox Live. The headset, while common, is still technically optional. Is Sony saying that to connect to their supposedly better online community you need to buy an Eye Toy? PS2 owners already have to shell out for the Network Adapter now if they want to play online, are they going to have to buy a friggin’ Eye Toy now just to play a pick-up game of Madden with their buddies? As a PS2 owner, I’m already pissed off at this concept. I have the Network Adapter. I have the friggin’ USB headset. Now, if I want to enjoy the full, rich flavor of the PS2 online experience, I have to buy a friggin’ Eye Toy, a peripheral which otherwise I would have absolutely NO interest in owning? Sony, I’m sorry, but you don’t have that much stroke in the video game world anymore to screw people over THAT bad.

Here’s to hoping that it’s not true; that anyone with a Network Adapter for their PS2, or anyone with an OUT-OF-THE-BOX PS3 can hook into Sony’s proposed Wonderland. If not, well, you heard it here first and you can laugh along with me.

Exclusivity? We Don’ Need No Stinkin’ Exclusivity
credit: Spong.com

Capcom, God bless em, is sailing towards some dangerous waters. They announced a TON of games that were meant to be “exclusive” to the Nintendo Gamecube (a horse that they really should be backing at this point, following the glut of Cube sales this holiday season). However, “GameCube exclusive” is starting to look like it means “release it on the GameCube first, then release it on everything with a chip and a charge a couple of weeks after.”

Resident Evil 4 was supposed to be Gamecube exclusive, but according to Japanese sources, is set to be released for the Gamecube this summer and followed by releases on the PS2 and the Xbox later this year. If I were Nintendo, I’d be talking to the lawyers right about now. Just to see what the options are.

COLUMN FILLER

Next week, kids. I have a WONDERFUL new columnist to eviscerate here, but time constraints (read: the bathroom) kept me from giving it the attention it so richly deserves. For those that want a taste of the meal before I prepare it, click here.

Pimp-Licious

The Pimp Coat goes to Bebito for coming out of the woodwork to do a review of Top Spin for the Xbox. I’m sure this cultural exchange means that Bryan Berg will be reviewing an upcoming Sonic title.

The Pimp Stick goes to Misha, just because I like the word “git.” It’s a tad more polite on this side of the pond. The same is true of “sod off.”

The Pimp Boots go to Lucard for using his vacation time well.

This Week’s Ho Train:
I’m sending Berg down to the minors “¦ just to rehab his arm for a week.

Ditto for A-Will. Nothing personal.

Lee is now an official video-game insider, which means we have to start kissing his ass around here. I’m planning on starting next week.

Chuck has The Clap. There. SOMEBODY had to say it.

Next week, maybe the bathroom will be done and I’ll give you a SUPER-SIZED Hangover with holiday gaming wrap-ups, the MST3K treatment on that jackass from the Post, and more. Or not. We’ll see what my home maintenance bill is for the week.

Until then, get some sleep.

-Cory