Welcome to the latest installment of Finishing the Week. It’s time for the DNF crew — along with a few random special guests — to get together and toss back a few brewskis while cracking wise at the latest and greatest news the video game industry has to offer. Click the links, enjoy the banter, and feel free to talk back in the comments section below.
Brad: Oh hey, I found this for Rambler and Donald.
B. Indifferent: I was hoping you actually found Rambler and Donald. They left for E3 and haven’t been heard from since.
Donald: We’re back. It was supposed to be the perfect crime, taking a week’s vacation while you guys did all the work — and then I realized that we actually had to go to E3.
M. Rambler: Yeah, I was all set to spend the week drinking tequila and “working from home,” but then I wound up at a gaming convention… and my name tag said, Tony Lorenzen… I think Donald is trying to tell me something. I may have gone on my last Ramble.
GlowPuff: Gaming is hard work. Especially when you want to win the game. Ghandi said that.
B. Indifferent: Well, let’s talk about what happened while you were out.
GlowPuff: Just don’t mention where or how I got the new aquarium that’s sitting in the center of the office lobby. And don’t talk about why it’s empty.
Tony: Can we talk about my name change then? Tony is a nice name, don’t you think? I mean it’s not as cool as Midnite Rambler… but it’s still pretty cool. That and, well, basically Donald said I couldn’t drink beer at work anymore if I still referred to myself as the Midnite Ramber, so the choice was pretty easy. You guys ready for some bigger news?
Summary: Kotaku rounds up all of the perceived problems with Microsoft’s new console in one handy article.
Tony: Well, if there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then Microsoft has really outdone themselves with the Xbox One.
Donald: I can’t believe they rolled up so many features that were hostile to gamers and managed to incorporate them all into one device.
B. Indifferent: Forget it Donald, it’s Microsoft.
Brad: GameFAQs polls aren’t exactly scientific, but still, this is kind of telling:
I mean, geez, I’m pretty sure Xbox One had more than 773 people work on it. Even they aren’t voting for themselves.
GlowPuff: On the XBox website’s poll, the numbers are completely reversed! And… Wii U beat it?! Grab that shovel and start digging. We gotta reserve a plot. That Atari Dump might be getting some company later this year.
Tony: I can tell you this much, the Microsoft booth at E3 was so small it was about the size of an open grave. I guess they were just preparing for the future.
Summary: Microsoft’s Don Mattrick explains that everyone who doesn’t like the new Xbox One can just buy a 360.
Tony: But I’ve already purchased two of them… I’ll probably just let my current 360 rest in peace if it red rings again.
GlowPuff: Couldn’t we also just buy a PS4?
Brad: This would come across as a lot less condescending if Microsoft had plans to actually support the 360 for a long time. In fact, if that really was their plan, a lot of the Xbox One strategy makes more sense – instead of alienating the majority of gamers, you’d simply be making an alternative console for the few people who want it.
B. Indifferent: I’m not sure why they’ve bothered with damage control. They have a specific type of consumer in mind, so they’re wasting their time putting out messages aimed at anyone else.
Brad: And I’m not sure why they bothered with damage control when inflicting as much damage as possible seems to be their goal.
Donald: There has to be a point where the best damage control is just to stop talking, right?
Summary: The latest generation of consoles could be THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT… wait, just consoles, I meant the end of consoles as we know them.
Tony: Top notch reporting from the Forbes contributors, as always. After they’re done asking whether the console of the future will still be a console, I hope they delve into the mystery of whether a tree falling in the forest makes a noise when no one’s there to hear it.
B. Indifferent: The key to success with this kind of cookie-cutter doomsaying is to carefully manage how you define the word “console”.
Tony: While we’re on the subject of clarification, can someone here please define the word “dongle”? Because that guy in the article kept talking about dongles and boxes… it was a little strange to be hear such gutterspeak in a Forbes article.
Brad: Every single time a new console comes out, somebody makes the “this will be the last generation of consoles” prediction. And every time so far, they’ve been wrong. So I’ll make the same response I always do – Who cares? By the end of this upcoming console’s generation, I’ll be too old to be playing video games, and will have found something more worthwhile to do with my time by then. Sooner or later, one of us will be right.
GlowPuff: Look at all the little “mini-consoles” being released lately: OUYA, Shield, Steam Box, and a few other lesser known ones I can’t even remember right now. We have more consoles, whether big or small Android-based units, in circulation now than ever before. Unless they all tank this year, I don’t see consoles going away. This is just the beginning of the “mini-console”. Even if the more popular mini-consoles fail (OUYA, Shield), no doubt the Chinese clones will pick up the slack. Have you seen how many Chinese Android tablets there are? A lot. Now, if the article is just talking about the triple-A “big black box” in the living room, those will probably just transform into what the XBox One is trying to do this generation – an all in one machine. But you can do stuff like that now with a self-built XBMC PC and Steam in big picture mode. On that note, I think there will always be a “box” for sale that does these things so you don’t have to build it yourself. TL;DR – consoles aren’t going away.
Tony: I once bought—
Donald: I know where you’re going with this, please don’t.
Tony: But he said—
Donald: Yes, I know… Just like you know this is a clean site. Don’t make me Ban Hammer your face.
Source: Business Insider
B. Indifferent: I call dibs on making a ViolentAcrez joke.
MS Manager: Hey, have you guys just been hanging out on Reddit all day long instead of working?
Employee: Uh… um… no, boss. We were only on Reddit to, uh, vote up positive news stories about us. Yep… that’s what we were doing on Facebook and all those porn sites, too.
MS Manager: Oh. Well… good work then.
GlowPuff: On a related note, I could use a little “reputation management” myself. Everyone in this office keeps giving me the stink eye, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I decide to wear pants to meetings.
Donald: There is no coordinated or sanctioned effort by DNF employees, or anyone paid by DNF, to unduly influence GlowPuff or anyone else from restricting themselves within the uncomfortable confines of pants.
Summary: Kotaku reports on some of the Killer Instinct “trash talk” onstage at E3, but Microsoft later clarified it wasn’t scripted, it was just friendly gameplay banter.
Brad: That’s… that’s out of context, right? Like this was part of some kind of contest to create the worst possible E3 demonstration or something? The original idea was “Well, our big reveal could be a new version of some crap game nobody cares about, like Killer Instinct,” and then someone else said “Yeah! And even better, we’ll have it look just as bad as the SNES version.” After that, a third guy said “And then we could make on-stage rape jokes.”
That’s what happened right? Because a bad idea one-upsmanship contest is literally the only way doing any of those things makes any sense.
B. Indifferent: This is why herd mentality is a bad thing. At this point, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all have no idea why they’re in such a desperate race to the bottom, but by God they’re all trying their absolute hardest to be the first ones to get there.
Tony: This presentation would have been slightly different if they had just demoed the game versus a computer opponent and the producer was talking to his fightstick. It still would have been creepy, just slightly less rapey.
GlowPuff: Rape jokes are a blast at a pro Fem Rights party.
Donald: “He wasn’t making a rape joke, “Relax, just let it happen, it will be over soon.” is the company line when you ask them about anything related to Xbox One.
Troll Baiter Successfully Baits Trolls (Editor’s Note: Language Warning)
Summary: Anita Sarkeesian makes a snide remark on Twitter about E3, and gets a lot of profanity-laden answers.
Source: Feminist Frequency
Brad: Wait, people are saying dumb and sexist things… on Twitter?! Surely not! What next – racist comments on Youtube videos? Insane conspiracy theories on the Fox News website? Commenters on Cracked.com who absolutely hate every single thing on that site?
GlowPuff: I’mma take a note from the Killer Instinct fiasco and <insert rape joke here>. Too soon? I know, I’m bad.
Donald: They’ll have women in video games soon enough, right after they’ve taken care of some other priorities.
Tony: All this chatter about the lack of women in video games is really making it tough for me to enjoy Portal and Portal 2.
@femfreq: Hey EA, when are you going to release that WNBA game everyone has been clamoring for?
Tony: Be careful what you ask for. EA hasn’t released a regular NBA game for years. Apparently they suck at making basketball games.
Summary: In the wake of uproar surrounding the used games policy for the Xbox One, Sony released an instructional video to clarify its own console’s capabilities.
Tony: They’ve left a lot of important questions unanswered. I noticed that they’re both wearing pants — I find pants rather restricting, are they going to be a requirement, or merely optional?
GlowPuff: Hopefully optional.
Brad: I thought the Xbox policy on used games was hard to understand, but this is even trickier – Who are these guys? Can I only borrow games from that one dude? If so, where is he – and can I mail stuff to him, or do I have to stand awkwardly in his living room while he hands me games?
B. Indifferent: This looks like an elaborate plot to lure victims into your basement with CraigsList postings so you can wear their skin as a suit. I’ll pass.
Tony: No worries, I’ve already composed a Bitterly suit entirely out of the skin flakes you leave around the office. It’s so much more breathable than pants.
GlowPuff: Wait… I can just… LEND a game out? Like hand it over, done. I don’t understand. It can’t be that easy… IT CAN’T BE THAT EASY!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Reminds me of that part in the Matrix where it was explained to Neo that the first Matrix was a utopian society, and the people could not handle it. Perhaps that is what prompted the XBox’s bat-crazy lending/used game policy.
Summary: The PS4 is region free, so everyone is welcome to import any of the strange Japan only titles that should only be played in the privacy of your own closet.
B. Indifferent: So the fine print is that Sony’s region free policy is exactly the same as Microsoft’s used game policy — they’re setting publishers up to be the bad guys.
Brad: Man, this would be awesome if I still imported games… or even knew where to find out about cool games from other regions anymore, or if most of the stuff that I was interested in didn’t already come out here within a few months these days.
Donald: I would use the region free features of PlayStation products if I could speak or read anything besides the broken form of English I use.
GlowPuff: Wait, I thought this was about tentacle porn. You tricked me.
Summary: Them’s fightin’ words — Ubisoft calls the Wii U an “abandoned platform”.
Source: My Nintendo News
GlowPuff: It IS abandoned. No one is playing on it, and no one is developing on it other than Nintendo itself. I hear that not even Reggie plays on his anymore.
B. Indifferent: Calling the Wii U an abandoned platform is like calling Detroit an abandoned city. You can avoid it, but the people who are stuck with it don’t need your help to feel bad about themselves.
Brad: In keeping with this analogy, when I moved from Buffalo to Seattle, it was kind of like hitting someone over the head with an Atari Jaguar, then stealing their Xbox 360 while they were unconscious.
Donald: Dear Nintendo, I used the Wii U tablet to demo Legend of Zelda Windwaker at E3. But buttons seemed to be located below the thumbstick instead of above. This became a problem for me. I couldn’t beat the boss I was fighting. The Demo Consultant Woman you had dressed as Link was making fun of me. It was also disturbing that you had sexy Link, Mario, and Luigi Demo Consultant Women in your booth. This is why your system has been abandoned. On a side note, sexy Link was much better at smack talk than Microsoft.
Tony: Oh, and since you mentioned Microsoft… I’m pretty sure Nintendo and it’s “abandoned platform” had a bigger booth at E3. And here I thought Microsoft was releasing some kind of new console this year. What’s an Xbox One?
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