MotoGP skids into PSP, crashes
In a move that should shock only the slowest-witted, Namco Bandai has announced yet another long-running PS2 series for the PSP. Following in the footsteps of Ridge Racer, Ace Combat and Tekken, MotoGP will show up this fall with all of its far-too-difficult and faintly dull motorcycle racing action no doubt intact. Eight player wireless races are in offing, but no clear determination has been offered by Namco Bandai on whether the game will be local or online - the PS2 version offered online racing, so it could go either way.
The doomed E3 show was not an event for gamers, by gamers - it was an event by marketing people for journalists and retailers that somehow let in a truckload of gamers and made everyone's life more or less entirely miserable... except the gamers. But that's behind us now. The new hotness is Penny Arcade Expo. It's exactly what gamers need and want - an event that focuses on the love of the game, and that's it.
It's no surprise to hear, then, that attendance is blowing up, with over 17,000 set to descend on Bellevue, Washington in 10 days. But that's not enough for Penny Arcade. Never ones for subtlety, the loudmouthed crew has trumpeted the fact that not only are big guns like Microsoft and Nintendo attending this year, but in 2007 the event will take place in a new venue - triple the size of this year's digs, with plenty of room for more publishers to show their games to fans. Inevitably, as the event grows in scale, more and more of the press will be forced to invade, too. In fact, we'll be there this year... so look forward to our reports from the frontlines of fandom in the coming days.
Not the official line
PSM's rivals over at Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine have a renegade managing editor in their midst. Dana Jongewaard reveals she will be purchasing a Microsoft Xbox 360 instead of a PlayStation 3 come November. She goes on to explain her career-path-interrupting decision in her blog: it's about the fact that there are no must-buy exclusive games and she has no interest in Blu-ray movies. Fair enough, but the post ends up being more about why not to buy a PS3 instead of anything about why she'd buy a 360 at all. Was she perhaps simply swayed by the recent PS3 vs. Wii spoof of those Apple ads where an irritating hipster is portrayed as a Mac? Let's hope not.
Online, Wii is Free
According to Nintendo of America president and generally large and popular man Reggie Fils-Aime, online gameplay over the Nintendo Wii will remain as free as it is on the Nintendo DS. Quoth Fils-Aime, "We will offer online-enabled games that the consumers will not have to pay a subscription fee for. They'll be able to enjoy that right out of the box. The Wii console is going to be Wi-Fi enabled, so essentially, you'll be able to plug it in and go. It won't have hidden fees or costs." Of course, he's not talking about the retro Virtual Console downloads; those are going to cost money for sure. To read the rest of the interview, which will tell you many things you've heard about 30,000 times before, visit USA Today's website.
Extremely small, hard-to-see, and unarousing nudity in Dead Rising
Following in the footsteps of the game's illegible text, Capcom has secreted away a tiny, difficult-to-see picture of a topless lady in Dead Rising. One of the shirts that main character Frank West can find in the mall is decked out with a not-really-provocative image - click here to see Kotaku's original story (complete with a shot of the shirt.) Given that the game is already rated M thanks to the never-ending rivers of zombie blood, we're not expecting a Hot Coffee situation here.
Stop bullying Bully
Free speech advocate Joan Bertin has publically come out in defense of Rockstar's Bully, citing the fact that the furor over the content of the game doesn't seem to come with any understanding of how games actually work. That's a good observation. Conveniently enough, Game Politics presents her argument (and a lively discussion). You can read the original quotes in a longer piece about the reception of the game from the Rocky Mountain News. Our take? At this point, we just care about whether the game is good or not - Rockstar won't let us play it yet, so we're more worried about its quality than its message. Of course, if the game is as crass and insensitive as it very well might be, we'll be sure to flush it down the toilet.
Game experience may change
GamesRadar UK has dug up info on a patent that Nintendo has filed - one that will change spoken voice to text in games. According to the patent, the intensity of your speech could even dictate how the text displays - in other words, if you scream something out, the words might be huge and red. We can also only assume that family-friendly Nintendo won't exactly let you have complete freedom with your words... though an incredibly profane Wii Animal Crossing has a certain delightful charm that's undeniable. To get a few more details, click over to the UK's story.
August 15, 2006