- Sony's new
phone/portable system seems ill-advised. You can't sell games for a system that people don't own, which makes the system not worth owning because people don't make games for it. If I were in a position to offer one piece of advice to someone trying to launch a gaming phone, it would have been not to make it an exclusive for AT&T. Even the crowd of spoon-fed journalists did NOT react well to this announcement from Sony, and for good reason - the saga of how much iPhone users (and would be users) hated AT&T went beyond technology enthusiasts to the mainstream. I'm sure not running out to pay $300 plus a data plan on a carrier I don't want, so I guess I'm just not going to be paying to play any of the game's they're making for the thing.
Note: Two commenters point out that the PS Phone (which was mentioned during the conference) is actually a separate device from the "Vita", which is available in wifi or 3G data versions (the latter shackled to AT&T).
- Speaking of PS Phone games, they showcased a Diablo-looking "MMO" called Ruin in which one of the hyped features was that players would build their own "lair", and other players could attack your keep and you'd be "rewarded" for responding fast enough. What happens if you don't answer the phone alert was not specified. Where do I go to NOT sign up for the game where I lose my keep because I had my phone off while I was at work?
- Sony also unexpectedly brought CCP onto the big stage to announce that Dust 514 - the EVE-spinoff FPS - was bound exclusively for the PS3. This game and the original EVE are in the same universe, and CCP has been saying since the concept was announced that battles in one game will affect the other. I have no idea how that will work (especially if there's a monthly fee attached to the PS3 game - will anyone stick around beyond the first month?), but CCP has been making stuff that wouldn't work for anyone else work for them for years now. Also, I wonder how many people will "two-box" the FPS on the PS3 while their Eve ship does its mining-botting on the PC.
- The thing that I was most excited about was the Star Trek game trailer - mostly because I'd forgotten that there was another Star Trek movie coming out. On the plus side, I'm sure 'shippers somewhere can do something suitably inappropriate with a Kirk/Spock coop shooter that includes Playstation Move (that's their version of the Wiimote, which will come in a phaser-shaped model for this game) support.
- Finally, in a bit of actual PC MMO news, Turbine has announced pre-order pricing and a September 27th release date for the Isengard expansion. Doc Holiday has the important info - $30 for the expansion (three new zones and a higher level cap, though it's not clear how that will interact with free players), and additional packages that add $10 or $20 to the price tag in exchange for Turbine points, quest packs (if you don't already own them) and Rohirrim mounts/cosmetic outfits.
Personally, I already own the quest packs (from the old expansions) that might otherwise make the $50 a good deal for non-subscribers, and I don't care much about cosmetic mounts, so I'm inclined to wait and see. In fairness, that's almost always my reaction.
(Note that these prices are in real world dollars, and may not be equivalent to post-launch pricing. Turbine has not set a final Turbine Point cost for the expansion when it hits the in-game store, where it may be priced differently to account for TP sales.)
It'll be interesting to see if anything more original emerges from the remainder of the show, but so far I'm relatively underwhelmed.