You may recall that yesterday, I said Alienware’s announcement that would “shake the gaming world to it’s foundation” would be another overpriced computer. Well, guess what.
Alienware just announced a new gaming laptop.
WELL GODDAMN! THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! WHO COULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT SOMEDAY A GAMING PC MANUFACTURER WOULD RELEASE A FUCKING GAMING PC? NEVER IN MY MOST FEVERED FUCKING DREAMS WOULD I CONSIDER SUCH AN UNIMAGINABLE FUCKING SCENARIO HAPPENING! THIS SHAKES ME TO MY VERY FOUNDATIONS! I JUST CAN’T FUCKING BELIEVE IT! NEVER WILL THE GAMING WORLD BE THE SAME AFTER WITNESSING A SLIGHTLY MORE POWERFUL FUCKING LAPTOP!
Does this piss anyone else off? Am I the only one who thinks that gamers should rise up against the Alienware PR department, tearing them limb from limb like a group of zombies who have finally caught the cheerleader/minority they’ve been chasing for so long? Maybe it’s just me.
Alienware’s PR people like to make asses of themselves. In that vein, they’ve announced this morning that they’re going to make an announcement that will “shake the gaming world to it’s foundation”. Of course, that won’t happen, because it’s just going to be another new computer. I know this because they always do this when they’re releasing a new fucking computer, and every time everybody just forgets that this is the same thing that happened last time. It’s akin to McDonalds announcing a “groundbreaking new hamburger that will stupify the quaking, unworthy masses we’re going to unleash it upon”, then revealing a hamburger with, get this, mayonnaise.
Aside from the extremely likely announcement of their new computer which is slightly faster: to the max, it’s possible they may be announcing something else of no concern, like a new content delivery system or a “gaming netbook” or something, but honestly, I doubt even something that mundane is what they’re referring to.
Additionally, as Joystiq reader rbtroj pointed out, the current page source on the Alienware website contains this:
“meta name=”description” content=”Official Dell Alienware site for new allpowerful gaming laptops and desktops . Sign up to be the first to view these new custom high performance gaming laptops and desktops.”"
Doesn’t necessarily confirm it, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if that was just a new brand name for their overpriced machines.
Also, my completely off-base theory I’m holding out hope for is that the wording of the announcement was literal, and Alienware is planning to cause the collapse of hundreds of offices for game design and publishing companies, perhaps via some sort of weather machine. I think the ridiculously high prices of the machines could be justified if it turned out that the excess funds were being used to fund mad science.
It’s no big secret that I love sandbox games. I wish it was a secret, because to a hardcore gamer such as myself, adoring such games is tantamount to treason, indicating a commonality with those casual gamers and 13-year-olds who are just so beneath me and my more refined tastes. What’s next, enjoying a NASCAR game? This patrician view of gaming tiers really doesn’t mean anything, though, so I admit it; I absolutely love sandbox games. Good ones, like San Andreas and Saints Row. Note that GTAIV isn’t in that list. Reviews be dammed, the game really isn’t that good. As I’m sure I’ve said before, the game world seems incredible to a non-player, but once you actually jump in and play it, it gets kind of tedious having to drive for 30 minutes, in real-time, every time you fail a mission, which happens a lot, because the cars in the game control like the tires are made of banana peels coated in Astroglide. That said, the multiplayer was absolutely amazing. Even in Free Ride mode, where there are no real objectives, it never gets boring.
This is why I’m excited about APB; it looks like it’s pretty much a massive version of the GTAIV multiplayer. Developed by my heroes at Realtime Worlds (responsible for the original GTA series, Lemmings, and Crackdown, which I have espoused the joys of before), APB looks like it will be the MMO that finally gets me hooked. Assuming, of course, that I can play it; the game is currently slated for release on the PC and the Xbox 360, but only the PC version has an actual release date. Perhaps this would be a good time to ask you folks to buy me a video card. And throw in some RAM, while you’re at it.
Additionally, there are beta signups available on the APB website. Someone sign up and tell me how it is. Then invite me to your house and let me play it.
A new company, Quick Hit Football, believes their new generic football game will be a huge success in the face of Madden, the monolithic, totalitarian ruling party of the football game market. Protip, guys: If you name your company after one game, you probably aren’t going to be successful.
The game really isn’t a bad idea at all, a combination of a sports MMO and a fantasy football league. I’m not a big follower of football (though I have been known to attend a UT Vols party now and then), or football games (other than Tecmo Bowl, the Greatest Sports Game Ever (TM)) but honestly, I’m intrigued enough to give it a try as soon as I get a chance, especially since finding out that Quick Hit Director of Design Brandon Justice is a former member of Visual Concepts, who you may remember as being responsible for every great sports game to come out since 2000, I.E. the 2K series.
That said, the most glaring problem with the game is that it is attempting to be a fantasy football game with generic players. Obviously, the target market is going to be football fans, many of whom have been known to become as obsessive with fantasy football as MMO players are with their drug of choice, so the idea of combining an actual playable game with the management and coaching features of fantasy leagues is genius, albeit a certain, obvious kind of genius. The problem comes with the fact that a big part of why people participate in fantasy leagues is that it adds an extra element to keeping up with real life football. Who’s going to follow a league full of imaginary players? Very few real football fans, I’d wager.
Quick Hit Football CEO Jeff Anderson says that his company performed studies of males aged 18-40 to determine if the presence of current NFL players is really necessary, and he says that the results were better than he thought, but he refuses to give an actual percentage of how many thought the license was needed. I think it’s also notable that the actual survey questions used weren’t quoted; if someone asked me “Is the NFL license necessary to making a good football video game?” I would of course answer no, but if I knew that the game revolved around fantasy football elements, that would completely change my answer. I’m not going to really care about how the Portland Marauders are doing, much less attempt to follow the career of their quarterback Steven Fong. And this coming from a man who followed the entire acting career of Johnny Cage.
Despite the obvious problems with attempting to get a football fan to follow the career of someone he’s not only never heard of, but who doesn’t even exist, I think there’s potential for success here, if not with casual gaming football fans, than perhaps with an actual hardcore audience. Madden obviously has a much bigger reach than the casual market, and even if we won’t admit it, I know plenty of nerds secretly enjoy sports games. Marketed properly and handled with care, this could be a huge hit.
(original story from Kotaku)
The Blizzard splash page I’ve been too busy slavishly following to update about is finally finished. It looks a little bit different than the ice-based teaser pic with the Death Knight/Protoss eyes that was up before. Here’s the pic so I can show you the differences:
The differences are subtle, but many. For example, the ice motif is gone, replaced with a red and orange, fire-based theme. Text is now present on the image. Also, IT FUCKING ANNOUNCES DIABLO FUCKING THREE. I may get sick of having to pretend I give a shit about WoW anytime I’m around gamers that I don’t already know personally, but if it allows them to finance projects I actually care about, I want a law passed making a WoW account mandatory for all US citizens, punishable by torture, because when Blizzard’s good, they’re really good. Now I’m just waiting for a splash page announcement for Lost Vikings III.