Weekly News Roundup:August 21, 2011

…and we’re back! It’s been a killer week, with the German games conference Gamescom over and PAX just about to get started; we have had some major news and announcements this week. So what do you say? Shall we get to it? I thought so.

This blew the Germans away.

Despite some bad press, Battlefield 3 took home the grand prize at Gamescom, being voted “Best of Gamescom 2011” unanimously. The voters consisted of an “independent expert jury from the field of publishing and media.” Meanwhile it was reported that Battlefield 3 will not support server swapping in the PC version. That’s correct, there will be no in-game server browser in Battlefield 3. Since I am one of the few PC gamers that does not actually care about this, I will save my strength for the next thing EA does that will piss me off legitimately. Such as forcing gamers to install the bloated Origin service to use the game. That would piss me off.

Pictured here: Jeff Brown's newest endeavor.

Maybe all this news about having the best game in a German convention got EA all uppity, but whatever the cause, EA’s Jeff Brown straight up started a cat fight with Activision’s Eric Hirshberg. Hirshberg had previously responded to a question about Activision’s competition with EA by saying that it was good for the industry. Jeff Brown came right out and stuffed Hirshberg’s words back into his touchy-feely face. Quote:

“Welcome to the big leagues Eric — I know you’re new in the job but someone should have told you this is a competitive industry. You’ve got every reason to be nervous. Last year Activision had a 90 share in the shooter category. This year, Battlefield 3 is going to take you down to 60 or 70. At that rate, you’ll be out of the category in 2-3 years. If you don’t believe me, go to the store and try to buy a copy of Guitar Hero or Tony Hawk.”

Oh snap, yo.

If you Google "Coma powers" this game comes up.

One of the benefits of posting the Roundup a day late is that I can include some of the biggest news stories that post on Monday. In case you didn’t know, weeks are divided into news cycles, with the beginning of the week considered to be one of the most desireable. This is also why ugly stories and mea culpas get posted on Fridays and the weekend, when no one cares enough to notice. So, with that being said: this is not a big story. Ubisoft’s upcoming bad game Driver:San Franciscois going to be a bad download on your PS3. No bad disc required to be bad. Why did I bother with the big leadup? I didn’t have much else to say about Driver.

Except cross game chat. Ever.

In Sony news, the company confirmed that the Playstation 3 will never EVER do cross game chat, no matter how much you ask for it. Why, you ask? Because it can’t, apparently. The PS3’sRAMis taken up entirely by whatever game you are playing, leaving the system nearly paraplegic to take on other tasks, such as connecting you via voice chat with players in other games. Considering a major portion of the company is dedicated to communications technology, one would have thought Sony would have considered this somewhere in the design. Ah well, there is always next console.

It wouldn’t be games convention if we didn’t get a console announcement and sure enough, Sony was happy to oblige. As of, well, a couple of days back, the PlayStation 3 is officially $249.99 for the 160 gb slim model, and only $299.99 for the 320 gb model. This had been predicted since July, and makes sense, as Sony continues to build up momentum towards their launch of the Vita. With no major console revision, this makes me wonder if we can expect to hear rumblings of a PS4 at next year’s E3…

Get prepared for a riveting backstory. Someday.

Just to prove that it’s a shame to waste a good property just because it fell on the floor and has a bit of dirt on it, Gearbox is reportedly planning on rebooting the Duke Nukem franchise after they complete development on Aliens: Colonial Martines. This makes some sense, as Randy Pitchford’s little company was already working on a separate Duke title “Duke Begins” before they took over Duke Nukem Forever. For the gambling folk out there, I am already taking bets on whether or not they will title the reboot “Duke Nukem.” A bit obvious, I know, but that’s only because “The Duke Nukem” would be even sillier.

Doesn't count!

Speaking of hard-hit franchises, Dr. Ray over at Bioware had a few interesting things to say about Dragons Age 3. Speaking to PC Gamer over at Gamescom, the good Doctor said that the third game in the franchise would take what was best about the first two, and omit the areas that weren’t so good. Theoretically, this would mean that Dragon’s Age 3 will almost certainly take place in more locations than a battlefield, a cave, a mountain, and city streets. One can only hope. Seriously though, I am encouraged by the fact that they clearly know they fucked up with DA2, and since I feel warm fuzzies about Bioware in general, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Everybody gets one. And Jade Empire doesn’t count.

This may not really be video game news, but I feel it is my civic duty to report it: Ridley Scott confirmed to Deadline late last week that he is going to start working on a sequel to Blade Runner at some point in the future. Let me be clear: this is NOT a joke. Ridley Scott really did say this, and early indications point towards him being serious about it. At some point in our lifetimes we are most likely going to see a Blade Runner II. So how do you feel about this? Me… I am a bit conflicted, to say the least. Sound off in the comments if you care, otherwise we will see you next week.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

About Mike Cantor

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