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

Posted 30 Dec 2010 10:14 by
With the new footy season kicking off mid-August, it was time to start preparing fingers for some virtual legwork. The rivalry between FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer continued to burn fiercely, and was underscored this year by a bold move by Konami to release PES 2011 right next to FIFA 11?s launch (PES 2011 Release Date Challenges FIFA 11 - UK Update, 18th August).

While we?re on the subject of sequels, there was some good news and some bad news in August. Let?s start with the good news, it?ll ease the retrospective pain. Rocksteady Games confirmed once more the existence of its inevitable Batman: Arkham Asylum sequel, and even gave it a title. Arkham City. Well, that wasn?t too difficult to think of was it, really? It?s a name that works though, given that it?s ?set in a sequestered section of Gotham City that has become the home for the criminally insane.? Lovely.

What wasn?t quite so lovely was the rumour that LucasArts has put the kibosh on the Star Wars: Force Unleashed series. The quite brilliant first game in 2007 quickly paved the way for a sequel in 2010 but apparently the new company president, Paul Meegan, has had enough and won?t be commissioning a third title. On top of this, morale was said to be ?at all-time lows? since Meegan?s appointment - hardly surprising given the dude just killed Starkiller. His lack of faith seemed disturbing?

Sony?s PlayStation consoles were the talk of many a man in August, particularly SCEE?s managing director Ray Maguire and international CEO Kaz Hirai. The pair couldn?t exactly agree on whether the PS3 had a specific time frame or not.

Of course, we?ve come to know of the ?ten-year life cycle? of every PlayStation product, and Hirai re-iterated that by saying he expected the PS3 to outsell the PS2 by the end of it. Maguire, on the other hand, said the company has never had the attitude of life cycle timing (Sony Games CEO and Exec Disagree over PS3 Life Cycle, 26th August). Er, what?

Miscommunication was the least of the company worries - a group of software tinkerers had created the first unauthorised device to circumvent the security measures of the PlayStation 3 (PS3 Jailbreak Maker Attempts to ?Convince Youtube Plebs,? 19th August). As you can gather from the headline there, nobody believed that this USB dongle, titled ?PS Jailbreak,? was legit (so to speak) so the creators went and made a second video to prove the non-believers. The need to play ?backups? of ?your games? is super-important, after all!

2K caught some shit from angry gamers this month for all-but confirming it had bodged up the PlayStation 3 version of Mafia II (2K Confirms ?Inferior? PS3 Version of Mafia II, 17th August). The publisher told followers on its forums that the PS3 version will not be graced with ?highly detailed grass or large pools of blood,? and the graphical fidelity was worse than its Xbox 360 and PC counterparts as well. It was all in the name of ?optimisation? apparently.

Finally?

Rumours of a Sony PSP Phone flared up mid-month when a ?trusted source? was said to spill the beans about Sony Ericsson?s future plans. Apparently, the mobile company would use the strong PlayStation brand to boost interest in its own brand name, using a fusion of PSP technology and Google?s Android operating system to achieve this goal (Sony PSP Go Phone Teams with Google Gaming, 12th August).

But what would become of the Xross Media Bar? Would the Android OS be stable enough for Sony?s uses? All of these questions would be simply speculative on the basis that this was true anyway, but after Sony Ericsson?s slip-up a few months prior, the suspicions are mounting...
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