TROUBLE CITY

MCP: GAMING NEWS ROUNDUP - 05.31.07

Master Control ProgramIan ArbuckleComment

MCPAnd here I thought today was going to be as dry, news-wise, as the front lawn of the house I'm renting.

It's about time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Metal Gear franchise. While many of us fans will have our own little celebrations -- I'm going to walk hunched forward all day, frqeuently tapping my gray bandana and mumbling "Infinite ammo" -- Konami will show their love of Snake via a re-release of all the Metal Gear Solid games, which is kind of weird, because the original PlayStation disc is the only one that is remotely hard to come by. Unless there are bonuses an order of magnitude greater than the "Substance" and "Subsistence" discs, it's hard to see this as a true celebration. Maybe more like if the clown at your birthday party tried selling action figures of himself to all your guests.

For the economics fans in the hosue, this article over at Australian site Gameplayer might be worth a read. It's a consideration of the market forces present in everyone's favorite continent which could combine to drive down game prices. It's more widely applicable than to just the Australian region, though, so it's worth a read even if you aren't aware that "Foster's" is some sort of synonym for something.

Slashdot is carrying a story about what ight happen when artificial intelligence in games reaches an uncanny valley. If you're not familiar with the term, the valley is a conceptual space in which human-behaving things are believable enough that you can identify them as humans, but not so believable that you can completely suspend your disbelief. They're creepy, in other words. Like the animations in the Final Fantasy movie. Usually, the phrase is applied to modeling and animation, but here's a discussion more concerned with behavior. Presumptuous robot bastards.

Beta signups are open for Warhammer Online. I want to be a Skaven. I don't care how they play, or if they're effective in the gameworld, or anything; I game by aesthetics, and plague-ridden rat men with swords are unquestionably awesome. Go here for Evil Avatar's discussion, or here to get yourself in on the action.

Sound the trumpets! Bang a gong! PSP firmware version 3.50 has been released. While this means another temporary setback in the world of homebrew, Sony is finally getting it through their collective head that if they provide users with an actual benefit, more are liable to make the upgrade. This update brings with it the ability for PSP users to stream content from their PS3s, as long as both devices have an Internet connection. That means you can watch stored videos or music pretty damn near everywhere in the world. This is a significant ability to tout, even though it depends on nearly a thousand dollars of hardware. As the adoption of PS3s increases, I predict this feature will make a lot of people happy. So, upgrade your PSP to 3.50 and your PS3 to 1.8 if you want the ability.