21 October 2006

... And this little piggy cried Wii, Wii, Wii all the way home ...

So the video game industry has been throwing a few wild wrenches in the gears as of late.

First, there is the issue with Battlefield 2142 and in-game ads. They're charging the normal $50 for the game and including in-game ads. Hello?! That makes me feel equal to when I go to the movie and pay $7.50+ for a ticket only to be lambasted by 20 minutes of "television-style ads" after the lights go down and before the trailers for up-and-coming movies start. If I wanted to see those, I'd stay home on my couch and watch them for no extra charge on my television.

NADEO a French based company, created one of my all-time favorite games... TrackMania Nations. This was the first game I'd seen that implemented in-game advertising. But it was alright becuase

  1. The game is completely free to download and play

  2. Racing games always have billboards with ads now they're just dynamic

  3. Did I mention the game is free?!?!

Trackmania Nations was my first introduction into the world of TrackMania, and I was so sucked in that I went and bought TrackMania Original and TrackMania Sunrise. (And I'm mega-stoked for the future release of TrackMania United.

What I don't understand is why EA doesn't drop the price of the game since they're making cha-ching on the in-game ads... If I wanted to pay to see advertising, I'd go to the movies...

Next issue. My friend Dan send me a link to an article on Windows Vista and how they've moved sound rendering into the DirectSound software and out of your sound hardware and its drivers. For you non-technical people, let's just say that the ultra-cool Creative SoundBlasters I've been putting in my machine for years will pretty much be rendered void of their coolness; and games on Vista will tank cause software rendering always means the game's performance takes a hit.

When I first heard this, the gears started spinning wondering why Microsoft would do something so stupid. Is it a ploy to force developers to develop against weakest link, meaning we're one step closer to the marriage of Xbox and PC Gaming? (Another step involves XNA.) It definitely smells like a step towards an "It doesn't matter what kind of PC you buy, because the $300 junker whose brand won't be mentioned will be as good as the custom $2500 rig the hard-core gamer built. Next thing you know, they'll move 3D rendering all into DirectX and out of the hardware and its drivers... so the whole nVidia/ATi rivalry that has brought PC gamers everywhere gaming delight with ultra-cool performance gaming video cards would fade-to-black also.

Luckily I haven't heard wind of Creative throwing a fuss yet, so maybe it's just a rumor, or it may not be how things really are when Vista ships.

Either way, both pieces of news near the same time threw me into the PC Gaming doldrums. If that's how the future is looking for PC Gaming, I may just find myself cuddling up with the kids in a year or so in front of our Nintendo Wii... at least they never disappoint with their classic franchises that have lived on through five generations of Nintendo consoles. Wii will... Wii will rock you. (Can't wait to play Super Mario Galaxy and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.)

Honestly though, I hope it doesn't come to that, because nothing beats gaming online with your PC.

No comments: