In my recent post on games writing I made the assertion that podcasts will overtake text as the preferred source of news and opinion online. Over the course of each week I spend an entire day’s worth of time listening to podcasts. Not with my full attention, mind — I multitask. I listen to podcasts while playing games, while I browse the web, and while I eat. Listening to podcasts is, for the most part, an auxiliary activity. There are a few select shows for which I make an effort to devote special attention; I’ve decided to share.
Buzz Out Loud is a daily technology news podcast from CNet.com. Each episode is thirty to forty minutes long and is hosted by Tom Merritt with two or more others from a rotating group of regular guests. BOL has become a part of my routine; I listen to or watch the show with my morning coffee while I scroll through my RSS reader. As such, it’s my first stop for tech news and opinion. I still subscribe to the news feeds of sites like Engadget and Arstechnica, but much of what’s discussed on BOL every day is picked from their headlines anyway; it’s like a tech news “best of.”
This is good news, but it opens an old wound. There was much uncertainty surrounding the PC version of The Force Unleashed; gamers expected it, but Lucas Arts wasn’t talking about it. In May of 2008 producer Cameron Suey addressed the issue saying there would be no PC version of the game. He cited scaling issues:
“The PC being the gaming platform that it is, someone with a $4,000 high-end system would definitely be able to play the Euphoria, the DMM and really technical elements of the game. But someone with a low-end PC would have a watered down experience, they would have to turn all the settings down and it wouldn’t be the same game.”
That line was as much a load of bull then as it is now; if an Xbox 360 can run a game, so can a $500 PC built in the last two years. There’s a reason people are amazed to see CryEngine running on a console while still looking decent. The Force Unleashed is said to be coming this Fall, and I have a feeling I’ll be playing it using the PC I built in January of 2008 for $700.
The fangirl inside me is squealing right now.
“I understand you work for George Lucas, how has that prepared you for this loss here today?”
It’s impossible to not make this weeks’ Bearly Noteworthy post completely about E3 and E3-related announcements. Since most of the E3 coverage that I consumed originated at GiantBomb.com, I’m also finding it difficult not to make this a post that links solely to GiantBomb.com. So fuck it. They simply killed it on coverage with basically five dudes. Tons of video content, daily podcasts, interviews, wrap-up posts, and very little of the premature, judgmental snark that is endemic to rapid-fire coverage.
Bullet-point highlights from the Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft conferences. My favorites from Microsoft: Crackdown 2, Alan Wake. From EA: Crysis 2, hooray! The Saboteur looks rad. And Ubisoft: I am stupid amounts of excited for Splinter Cell. Rabbids make me sick.
Sequels! More Mario looks good.
Price drop? Aw. Really, though, I was glad to see Final Fantasy XIV will be coming to PC in addition to PS3 just as XI did.
Brink is the game that I most wanted information about when going into E3. I haven’t made up my mind on S.M.A.R.T. yet (it’s explained in the video embedded below), but I think it may make more sense within the context of the game. I hope we get to see some gameplay soon. I’d also like to know what Bethesda’s involvement is with this project; they haven’t said much, only Splash Damage has. I’ve got a feeling Bethesda may just be publishing on this one.