04/04-10/04/11

A lighthearted look at selected news stories from the week gone by; the odd parts, the important parts, the hilarious parts. Mostly the hilarious parts.


 

When EA bigwig John Riccitiello stands up to announce that EA are going to plump $200 million into the Battlefield 3 marketing wagon, how does that make you feel? $200 million is twice the amount of dollars it cost to make GTAIV and roughly 200 million times the cost of my favourite game of all time, Kane & Lynch 2. Is that impressive or absurd? Riccitiello believes it’s a crucial price to pay in EA’s quest to derail King of Shooters, Call of Duty. Maybe it is, but I can’t help feel a teeny tiny bit sad for the half-dozen or so games that could be made on say, half that advertising budget.

Besides talk of money it’s been a week chock full of silly people spurring to life the Internet whirl-storm. There’s been willy waving, war was declared unto the 3DS and Sony CEO Jack Tretton… well I’d rather save that nugget of brilliance for a little later on.

Ultimately I think it’s time to concede and accept that this weekly feature has become little more than a gaming industry gossip column. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy talking about the quasi-announcement of Burnout: Crash Junction (huzzah!), or that Minecraft finally has a concrete release date (November 11th) or even that Atari has gone and put 100 old games on the iPhone for the low-low price of £8.99. Those things are all wonderful but they’re also routine. Everything needs a USP and mind happens, for now, to be bullshit. ONWARDS.

 

World Arrives at Standstill as Sun Doctor Claims: ‘Children shouldn’t play games for hours’

Esteemed bastion of intelligence and rationality, The Sun donned viking headgear and broadswords and embarked on a crusade against the 3DS earlier in the week.

“3DS SOS” was the cry to arms, rather than a 3D rendition of Rihanna’s hit single, and was a headline that adhered to the accepted ratio of letters to images for an article in the newspaper. The rag claimed that thousands were suffering from headaches and dizziness resulting in “record return levels” to HMV and Game. As an unqualified doctor of common sense I’d gauge that the burgeoning acceptance that one had paid £200 for a handheld console and copy of Nintendogs 17 may have caused those headaches and dizzy spells (also known as: red mist).

Both Game and HMV refuted the claims but not even that could halt the offensive. In the following day’s paper resident “doctor” Carol Cooper conducted some tests on one man and arrived at this startling conclusion:

“Children should not be left to play on it for hours.”

Ghee whiz colour me stupefied. That made-up doctorate is being put to splendid use. Children shouldn’t be allowed to play videogames for hours? What next? Toddlers shouldn’t be left to drink bleach? Narcoleptics shouldn’t be allowed to pilot passenger planes? Known psychopaths shouldn’t be allowed to attend speed-dating evenings?

I guess the question is should we even care? Sensationalist journalism is a pillar of the tabloid press, a Nintendo console sold like severely discounted diamonds and The Sun proved once again it’s adept at expelling bullshit. Life goes on.

 

Sony Puts Penises in Hornets [sic] Nest – Penises are sad

If years of growing up alongside the Internet has taught me anything it’s that I do not need to pay money for comedy, the Internet will always provide. Case in point: Hacker group Anonymous’ battle cry that emerged as a result of Sony’s ongoing legal battle with George Hotz. For the love of all things good read it in its entirety but it’s the end that really tickles:

“Now you will experience the wrath of Anonymous. You saw a hornets [sic] nest, and stuck your penises in it. You must face the consequences of your actions. Anonymous style. Knowledge is free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

It’s a brilliant spiel in the most pathetic, puerile, hyperbolic way imaginable. It’s worth rereading it to the tune of this or thisor music of similar ilk for a more theatrical effect.

Anyway despite the mockery the Playstation Network and various Playstation websites went kaput following the threat. Sony tried to play it down as planned maintenance but had a hard time concealing the fact that they’d been breached by a throng of Interweb man-babies. Offshoot hackers Sony Recon took credit and went on to announce that they would launch personal attacks on Sony employees by thieving identities and abusing the sensitive information to, among other ploys:

“Make a ad in the “free stuff” section, or in “erotic services” and “casual encounters” as is evident here there are many horny men who will relentlessly pursue someone who they believe to be 19/f.”

“send one of these e-postcards notifying the target that one of their previous sexual partners has a STD. Makes for an uncomfortable wait for them. Alternatively call an AIDS hotline and ask them to anonymously tell the target they could have HIV, thats a 6 month wait until the test comes back.”

All perfectly rational and ethical methods of liberating Geohot from the clutches of Sony’s lawyers. Although the group did emerge apologetic when the thunderous truth reigned down upon them that by sabotaging the Playstation Network they’d revoked the rights of those they sought to “protect” to use the service they had paid for. Ell. Oh. Ell.

 

Jack Tretton: DS is for Losers, You’re not a Loser, are you?

Never one to pipe down when he ought to, Sony CEO Jack Tretton offered a scathing outlook on the competition in an interview with CNN.

“Our view of the ‘Game Boy experience’ is that it’s a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He’s too old for that.”

I wish I’d been handed a DS when my babysitter came round, we had to watch Tomb Raider 1 and 2 and I still haven’t fully recovered 10 years on.

I’m not really sure why he’s calling it the “Game Boy” experience – what with it being a DS – why he thinks kids only use it on “airplanes” and why I, a moderately self-respecting 20-something, wouldn’t play Advance Wars or Mario & Luigi on, say, a bus ride. It smacks of penis inferiority syndrome. After all, the PSP hasn’t sold anywhere near the 150 million figure that the DS is orbiting. And is that really what Sony thinks of the competition? Even for the company pompous enough to shout, ‘the generation doesn’t begin until we say so’ only to be left in the dust, that doesn’t sound likely. Respect thy competition.

The stinging comments didn’t end there though:

“I mean, you’ve gotta be kidding me. Why would I buy a gaming system without a hard drive in it? How does this thing scale? Motion gaming is cute, but if I can only wave my arms six inches, how does this really feel like I’m doing true accurate motion gaming?”

This is fanboy baiting and no doubt premeditated, but it’s the lowest form of attention grabbing since knee-high socks, ass-high skirts and a lack of upper body attire altogether. The most depressing part? In light of the PS3′s exceptional line up of exclusive titles this year, the CEO of Sony sees fuelling fanboy wars as a more attractive means of accruing publicity than chatting about The Last Guardian, Uncharted 3, Dark Souls or the ICO/Shadow of the Colossus Collection. Even if it is in an interview with CNN, why so poisonous? Fucking politics.

 

You can view all previous Yesterday’s News Today features by clicking on the features bar at the top of this page and navigating to the aptly titled “Yesterday’s News Today” menu.

 

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