Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've started on the long slippery slope - micropayments. Though there's nothing really micro about them. Money is money and no matter how you try and abstract it, people still think in dollars. Which brings me to digital distribution. I've been on the fence for awhile now. I'm not in the iTunes camp. I still buy music the ol' fashioned way. But that's more about wanting to own a hunk of plastic and growing up with Napster than any slight against Apple.
Games are obviously my kryptonite. I've had Bankshot Billiards and freakin UNO sitting on my 360 harddrive since I got it. Highly enjoyable casual games that you can play in between actual gaming sessions or waiting for downloads.
UNO you say? Yes. I enjoy wasting all that multi-core processing powah on a Macromedia Flash game - because it's good. That, and I've become an Achievement addict. I was never in scouts, so they're like the nerd equivalent of merit badges. I got 20 points towards my Gamerscore for sinking the 9 ball off the break, that kinda thing.
They've got a few classic games on Live, like Joust, Smash TV. I've played the free trials but I can't bring myself to pay for something I've either bought several years ago or can easily get emulated. This is the big reason why I've never bought any retro compilations. They don't hold my interest for very long. I will, however, make exceptions for Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat once they hit. :)
Nintendo's banking on the retro gamer. Previously with the Gameboy Advance NES titles, not to mention the Super Mario and Zelda remakes-a-plenty. Their Virtual Console pay per
view play system for the Wii is the next logical step. Though for a company that touts innovation I find it funny that Big Bad Microsoft is leading the charge. Live retro titles usually add multiplayer online play, updated graphics mode, Achievements, and ranking. The leaderboards truly make it an arcade experience.
Microsoft doesn't have a rich history of retro titles to draw from so they've got more original content on Xbox Live Arcade. Geometry Wars, Cloning Clyde, Small Arms, and Castle Crashers are great examples. I'm looking forward to these new titles. We're still a ways off before everyone's got broadband and is able to download multi gig games with ease. But this is the first step to bye-bye physical media. Obviously this'll make the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war pointless, but don't tell that to Sony. The other 2 guys are busy getting their foot in the door. :)
I wonder if someone's working on the USB quarter... I got next.
I believe tetris creater Alexei Pajitnov still works for Microsoft, maybe he's got a hand in some of these nifty little games.