Monday, January 30, 2012

State of the (Gaming) Union

David Wong:

I remember a time when I had absolutely no worries about the future of gaming. It was a period of about four hours in 2007 when me and my friends spent a whole night playing Wii Sports Bowling.

It's one of the most stupidly perfect games I'd ever played -- I've still logged more hours on it than Red Dead Redemption and Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 combined.

The way it translated your movements to the game, swinging your arm with the imaginary ball rather than pushing some boring old button, was somehow more satisfying than the real thing (now that I think of it, I hate real bowling). This, I decided, was exactly what games had been trying to achieve for decades.

But more than four years later, nothing on the Wii has equaled it. The tech was perfect for bowling and that's all it was perfect for. OK, it's also nice for shooting gallery type games, but about the 10th time I was told to shake my controller to get a leech off my screen, I had a revelation: "Waaaaait a second! This is bullshit." ...

I had my Xbox Live account locked (unable to make any purchases of games or videos) for 72 hours for suspicious activity. What was the activity? I bought three episodes of Battlestar: Galactica at two in the morning, then came back at 5 a.m. to buy more. What, is that the behavior of anyone other than an upstanding citizen? ...

So what the hell are you supposed to do when you're trying to convince those customers to drop $400 on a game machine with all of the accessories (extra controllers, peripherals, online subscriptions) plus $60 for each game? The answer is game makers have no fucking idea.

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