Monday, July 16, 2007

In The News (7/8-7/14)

Rock Band To Offer Full-Length Albums
    Rock Band is going to absolutely destroy Guitar Hero. I almost feel bad for the poor bastards at Activision. They shell out lots of money buying Guitar Hero, make a quick buck, and then the old Guitar Hero guys decide it's time to take down their old franchise. It's an interesting situation.
    Well, for those of you who don't know, while Guitar Hero lets you solely play the lead/bass/rhythm guitars, Rock Band also lets you play the drums or sing, and all simultaneously to allow a group of four friends to simulate playing in a rock band. Rock Band has MTV and EA helping Harmonix, the original creators of Guitar Hero, so they're using all their weight to get the best songs they can. And they've gotten a lot.
    Rock Band is going to offer full-length albums for download, starting with The Who's "Who's Next." Not only that, but they plan on releasing new content every single week; Harmonix says they're looking at Rock Band more like a platform than a game.
    Guitar Hero III will get sales, sure, and I would imagine that Activision will try to milk the last few bucks out of the franchise before hanging up their guitars, but nonetheless, Guitar Hero is on Death's doorstep.

PS3 Price Cut Only Temporary
    If you've been doing any sort of monitoring of the community's reactions to gaming news, you know how easy it is for the general consensus to sway from positive to negative, like some emotion-powered pendulum. Well, it seems that Sony's pendulum just swung back to negative.
    The PS3's price drop and new 80GB SKU is apparently only a temporary thing- after they sell out the stock of the 60GB SKU, that's it; they're gone. Then they'll be back to a single $599 PS3 SKU, followed by an eventual price drop back to a more stable $499 for the 80GB SKU.
    If that all sounds confusing, it's because it is. To make it simple, let me put it to you this way: If you want perfect backwards compatibility, buy the 60GB SKU while it lasts, because it's your last chance to get a PS3 with the PS2's Emotion Engine built-in. Also, you shouldn't buy the 80GB unless you really want that extra 20GB, because the pack-in game, Motorstorm, can just be bought separately of the cheaper 60GB SKU, saving you $40.
    Personally, I had planned to keep my PS2 when I bought a PS3 anyway, so it's not really a big deal for me; it just means that when I do buy a PS3 (more details tomorrow or the next day), I'll be able to get one with an extra 20GB for $100 less.

Sony's Still Denying Rumble
    Ever since Immersion and Sony patched things up, people have been spreading rumors about when rumble would be put back into the PS3's SIXAXIS controller. Since E3 2007 has come and gone with no word, predictions have shifted to the announcement coming this September at the Tokyo Game Show.
    The thing is... Sony flat out denied that they had plans to put rumble back in, but that seems to mean nothing. After all, they did the same thing with the price drop: They denied that they had any plans of dropping the PS3's price, then a few days later, they announced that they were dropping the PS3's price. So Sony's word may not mean that much.
    Honestly, this is still good news for me, because that means that when I buy a PS3, it'll be $499 with 80GB and a rumble-enabled SIXAXIS controller. Sweet. My only question now is whether or not they'll be incorporating Immersion's "next-generation" rumble that Immersion announced last year that was supposed to revolutionize the rumbling word.

WEEKLY SAMPLER: Sony's GTA Plans / PSP Redesign! / PlayStation Marketplace? / Killzone 2: Then and Now

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