This is a continuing SPOnG retrospective of the year’s events.
July is a bit like the younger brother that gets all of June’s hand-me-downs. It is during this month that all the information reported at E3 sinks in and the corporate willy-waving truly begins.
With Sony and Microsoft getting in on the motion controller concept this year, a lot of the boardroom bickering focused on the differences between the PlayStation Move and the Xbox 360 Kinect.
Luckily for us in this traditionally slow period one Microsoft executive, Paul Naber, took the usually gentle ribbing a stage further and attacked Sony’s intentions with the Move (Dutch Microsoft Exec: Sony Doesn’t Give a Sh*t About Move
, 16th July). What made this even more delicious was that Naber used to be a marketing man for PlayStation. “I'm convinced that Move for Sony is, what we call, fudding. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt,” he said. “They don't give a shit about Move, but it takes the wind out of Kinects sails, or it could.”
Strangely enough, Microsoft was doing fine by itself taking the wind out of Kinect’s sails without any alleged help from Sony. Prices for the camera device were announced, and made quite a few gamers gag - £129.99 for the peripheral and a complimentary copy of Kinect Adventures
The recently launched Xbox 360 S model was apparently built with Kinect compatibility in mind, and so two bundle packs were also announced and priced (Microsoft Kinect Pricing + 4Gb Sub-Wii Priced Xbox 360 Confirmed
, 20th July). How much!?
A lot of other developers took the opportunity to speak out as well, although their ire wasn’t intended for any particular target. In an interview I conducted with Ubisoft Montreal’s Jean-Francois Boivin
, I was told that the nature of stealth-based games have changed and that the genre needs to evolve (Assassin’s Creed’s Boivin: Stealth Games Need to Evolve
, 9th July). He was saying this as Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
was shown to push forward the idea of social espionage.
Epic Games’ VP, Mark Rein, also had a few choice words to say in an interview
with Mark. During our huge two-part chat, the idea that games using the Unreal Engine may become creatively stunted. Rein, of course, said that argument was rubbish, pointing out the design differences in Bulletstorm to Gears of War
(Epic: Unreal Game Similarities a “Ridiculous Argument”
, 12th July).
People make so many different-looking games with out technology… If two games have the same look it's intentional, because two designers have the same feel for what they want their visuals to be like and Bulletstorm
, it's just different,” he said. That’s us told, then.
Gran Turismo 5
was showcased at E3 back in June, leading everyone to assume that it wouldn’t be long (!) until the game’s release. Polyphony Digital boss, Kazunori Yamauchi, said nothing of a launch date, but did find the time to say that the PS3 exclusive was so advanced it could be considered a PlayStation 4 game (Yamauchi: Gran Turismo 5 “Beyond Current PlayStation”
, 13th July).
We would end up having to wait until late November to finally get our hands on GT5
, and even today it feels like we’re going to wake up in a minute and realise its launch was all a dream.