Features// SPOnG's Review of 2008: May

Posted 31 Dec 2008 10:25 by
“Components of the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation3 also contained high levels of phthalates, one of which – DEHP – is known to interfere with sexual development in mammals: including humans and, especially, males.”

PS3 and Xbox 360 Components Could 'Interfere with' Sexual Development

May. It was almost summer! Except, of course, for the heavy snowfall that was dumped upon us by Sony and Microsoft.

With the monster that was Grand Theft Auto IV freshly stacked onto (and then sold from, then stacked onto and then sold from) retailer shelves the figures and the snow started to roll in. It did, shockingly, really, really well. Fastest-selling game over over a 24 hour period in the UK! Over here, the Xbox 360 version marginally outsold its PS3 counterpart, we learned from the lovely hard figures released by Chart-Track. Over in the US, Sony and Microsoft started squabbling about who did better.

Eventually, word came from Rockstar about just how well the game had done. It was bigger than any music launch ever. Bigger than film. Bigger than Jesus! (Based on SPOnG's estimates of week 1 sales of The Bible). In other words, it did really, really well...

After all that, it was time for Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg to call for a stop to the snowjobs. Sony, apparently, was suffocating the industry with its information whiteout and blurry use of facts. Not that Microsoft would ever spin its facts like Westwood at a Dead or Alive concert.

But enough PR bluster! What about them game things we like? Microsoft had its Gamers Day, in which it unveiled the one true name of Banjo-Kazooie 3 and other goodies.

Then came a warning from the lovely tree-huggers over at Greenpeace. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can interfere with your sexual development, we were told. Not just because Lara Croft sets a standard that no other woman will ever reach, either! It's all to do with chemicals. Most unpleasant.

Michael Hollick, aka Nico Bellic
Michael Hollick, aka Nico Bellic
And then... GTA IV again. The actors behind Niko and Roman Bellic, it turned out, were getting a right raw deal. Michael Hollick, the chap behind Niko's pixels, only made $100K over 15 months for the work, with no royalties. Sure, many of us wouldn't be whining too much about $100k, but when you think about Rockstar telling us that this was the biggest ever entertainment launch, that figure becomes a bit more sobering. But - some happy news on the Take-Two front! BioShock was coming to the PS3.

Ubisoft got into the 'E3 doesn't cut it any more' swing of things with its own event at the end of the month. Ubidays! There wasn't much by way of big news, but there was Prince of Persia, Far Cry 2 and Shaun White Snowboarding, along with a horrific incident involving a US colonel and some games journalists trying to crawl under their chairs.

And yes, there were some games. There was Haze, for one. While yours truly didn't think it was appalling, there was no denying that it hadn't delivered on the hype. Eidos finally delivered Age of Conan (see a chat with one of the devs here), Codemasters put out Race Driver: GRID (see SPOnG's look at it here) and, after a hella-long wait, Rock Band made it to the UK.

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