Features// SPOnG's Review of 2008: March

Posted 29 Dec 2008 09:30 by
"Every system has its moment. It just happens to be the moment for Wii and DS now."
Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America
Nintendo Living in the Moment?

March. We finally got to leave the house without our long johns on (that one time)! Some games also started to finally come out as Easter approached. Hooray and other exclamations of joy for the near-end of Winter!

The onset of March certainly didn't see the furore surrounding the unrequited EA/Take-Two lovefest calm down. The month kicked off with anti-games crusader Jack Thompson saying he was “delighted to work with Electronic Arts to evict the Zelnick Trojan Horse from within Take-Two’s corporate walls.” Quite what EA thought of that was none too clear...

On the other side of the fence was Mike Wilson, CEO of Gamecock, saying he wasn't too convinced by EA's claim to be prepared to leave developers and, as such, potential future employees from Rockstar, to their own devices.

Reggie Fils-Aime
Reggie Fils-Aime
We weren't made any happier by the sheer buffoonery of a couple of our right honourable MPs in their attempts to bring into law another layer of censorship for games.

But then World of Whorecraft bubbled to the surface and jolliness was restored!

The start of March also offered SPOnG the opportunity to look back at February's UK games sales figures and learn that PS3 games had just started outselling their PS2 brethren, nearly a year after launch.

With the high-def format war over, Microsoft decided to put its pride to one side and concede that it would support Blu-ray in the wake of HD-DVD's collapse. How would it do this? In a 'way that made sense'. Duh! What this meant for the 360, however, was unknown.

Then it was back to the EA/Take-Two affair, with Electronic Arts' CEO, John Riccitiello, saying that if the Rockstars walked Spanish in the wake of a takeover, the publisher would go ahead and make GTA anyway.

Nintendo, for its part, brought a shockingly frank admission to the March party. "Every system has its moment. It just happens to be the moment for Wii and DS now", said Nintendo of America's president, Reggie Fils-Aime. “Just happens”? Those are the words of an exec extremely comfortable with his company's position.

Capcom threw a bit of controversy on the buffet. Discussing the lack of a PS3 beta for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Seth Killian, a senior manager for the Capcom Community, stated, "As for not having a beta program on PSN, it has already been stated that this is due to a technical issue with Sony. As in, they don't support such a program yet." The Metal Gear Online beta said otherwise...

March also marked the arrival of something the British games industry had been cautiously eyeing up for some time – the Byron Report on violence in video games. It did not, thankfully, recommend draconian measure that would see all gamers being added to a publicly-available register then subjected to vigilante acts from concerned neighbours in order that they might purchase 18-rated games. It did, however, state that PEGI and the BBFC should work together and successfully sparked a long-running debate...

On the old games front, GT5 Prologue finally made it over here. SPOnG's man in Japan, Martin Olsen, had already loved all over it the previous December. God of War finally hit the PSP! It wasn't startlingly original, but it was a damn worthy addition to the franchise. From Ubisoft came Rainbow Six Vegas 2, not quite pushing the series to new heights, but certainly pushing it up hill a little. The Wii got No More Heroes (and SPOnG caught up with Suda51 to chat about it), as well as its belated version of PES 2008, complete with arm-swinging bells and whistles.

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