Features// SPOnG's Review of the Year 2010: January

Posted 24 Dec 2010 10:31 by
The most popular news in January was dominated by 3D, Capcom and release dates. The second we came back from the Christmas holidays, Sony?s CEO Howard Stringer began beating his chest about the third dimension and how it will bring about the next revolution in home entertainment. Naturally, PlayStation 3 system updates to support 3D Blu-rays and games were all part of the company equation (All PS3s Get 3D Upgrade, 7th January).

Microsoft retaliated, probably feeling like the immediate lack of such functionality equated to the size of its collective ding-dong (Microsoft: Xbox 360 ?Fully 3D Capable?, 13th January). ?From the technical standpoint, we are fully 3D capable. We have 3D games running today,? said Aaron Greenberg, before trying to hide the one TV that was demonstrating XBLA game Scrap Metal. In the ?old 3D,? as well. The point was that the Xbox 360 could theoretically do 3D, but Microsoft just didn?t see a need to implement it.

The constant back-and-forth rivalry between Sony and Microsoft took a back seat mid-January when Microsoft?s President of Entertainment and Devices, Robbie Bach, said that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 both had ?plenty of power [still] available.? Attention instead turned to Nintendo, where the exec suggested that the Wii had hit a technical ceiling and that might spell the end for its lifespan (Microsoft: Still Plenty of Power Left in PS3, 12th January).

Capcom had already started rethinking its strategy with the Wii when French Director General, Antoine Seux, stated that the publisher would be focusing on the PS3 and 360. The Wii, after the stinging revelation that Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles only sold 16,000 units, was instead ?a disappointment? (Capcom: Less Wii After Darkside Chronicles Sells Only 16K, 5th January). The company later reiterated its commitment to the Nintendo platform, possibly while giving Seux a nasty glare at the same time (Capcom: Wii Still Love All Platforms, 7th January).

The Mega Man publisher later made the world raise a rather inquisitive eyebrow after announcing a special partnership with Microsoft in Japan. The deal would see a port of insanely popular multiplayer game Monster Hunter Frontier onto the Xbox 360, in an initiative by Microsoft to re-ignite domestic interest in its console (Capcom + Microsoft = Monster Hunter Frontier 360, 26th January).

While Capcom caught even more attention for its massive assets blowout at CES (Dark Void, Lost Planet 2: Capcom?s CES Screens Blowout, 8th January), Sony took the time to announce the UK and US release dates for Heavy Rain (Heavy Rain - Real UK & US Release Dates, 8th January) and Nintendo penned a European launch date for the DSi XL (Nintendo DSi XL to Hit Europe in March, 14th January).

Of course, the big release date that came out in January was in fact that of Call of Duty 7, which ended up being launched as Black Ops (Call of Duty ?7? Hits November 2010, 7th January).

It was revealed that Treyarch was handling the development process on the new title (not surprising) and that it would be set in the late 1960s during the Vietnam War (a little bit surprising). Rumours abound that Infinity Ward was ?not creating Modern Warfare 3? instead something ?completely new?? - little did we know of the intense fallout that would soon take place.

More public problems were brewing for both Sony and Microsoft - after years of being impregnable, iPhone hacker George Hotz released an exploit that allowed a PlayStation 3 to ?do whatever I want with the system? (iPhone Hacker Breaks into PlayStation 3, 26th January). This started a cat-and-mouse game from Sony and the homebrew community looking to open the PS3 up, which soon resulted in the removal of OtherOS.

Meanwhile, Microsoft was having to deal with torrented copies of Mass Effect 2 being played on modified Xbox 360 consoles (Mass Effect 2 Leaked on Torrent Sites, 22nd January). It wouldn?t be the first time that piracy has occurred on a long-awaited 360 AAA title, but it would certainly be interesting as the leak happened several days before the game?s official release.

Finally...

We were introduced to possibly the creepiest/sexiest/funniest (delete as applicable) thing in January. Roxxxy the sex robot (Roxxxy: The Sex Robot That Knows Soccer, 13th January). Showcased at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Roxxxy provided more than just carnal satisfaction - ?she? was also programmed to react to your touch and even provide a basic conversation. Inventor Douglas Hines said that Roxxxy understood football and fast cars. So if you?re the walking definition of a gaming nerd, you?re shit out of luck kid.

It cost - and it probably still costs - $7,000 to $9,000 with accompanying laptop. Watch the video below and see what you think of the wonderful automatic girlfriend. This is what technological advances are good for, ladies and gentlemen.

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