Game Ranter Banter: PlayStation Orbis, Call of Duty, Nintendo Network & Space Sims

Game Ranter Banter

Game Ranter Banter: PlayStation Orbis, Call of Duty, Nintendo Network & Space Sims

There have been quite a few shake-ups in the video game industry this week! Everything from developers shutting down or laying off employees, to the departure of Call of Duty's creative strategist, and even potential news on Sony's next home console.

Let's begin.

The AMD Solution (By Jeff Schille)

The AMD Solution (By Jeff Schille)

This week's big PlayStation Orbis rumor has gamers up in arms (again) over the possibility that next gen-consoles won't play used titles. Largely overlooked is that the rumor that once again names AMD as provider of PS4's CPU and GPU.

PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 both feature custom, Sony-designed graphics solutions, the Emotion Engine and Cell, respectively. Both were designed to grow far beyond the PlayStation brand, but also served to drive enormous development expenses for Sony, and to stymie developers with their unusual architecture.

Going with an "off-the-shelf" solution could offer real benefits to gamers. For starters, it may result in a PlayStation 4 that is much cheaper at launch than PS3 was. Equally important, it should eliminate the "learning curve" long associated with developing for Sony hardware, resulting in better games, sooner -- and, ultimately, that's what we want, right?

Don't Shoot the Creative Strategist (By Anthony Taormina)

Robert Bowling Departure Banter

While Robert Bowling's departure from Infinity Ward and Activision did come as a shock, it was the response by gamers to his leaving that was the most eye opening. Upon announcing his departure on Twitter, Bowling's account was flooded with everything from death threats to unrepeatable epithets, all of which demonstrated the juvenile population that exists in the gaming public.

See it wasn't Bowling's character or his business practices that were being questioned (he actually wanted to give fans free DLC) it was his association with the Call of Duty brand that got him lambasted. As Creative Strategist it was Bowling's job to hype up a game that was already going to sell like gangbusters, and by all accounts he did his job and got the fans excited. Sure, you can hate on the brand all you want, but when you attack the people promoting the brand then it crosses a line.

A Crewed Awakening (By Brian Sipple)

Rockstar Crews Max Payne GTA V

I’ve never been in a clan. Part of the reason is because I play too many games to get so submerged in just one. But the other part is that the whole idea — like many political policies or running your own business based off of a flying car invention — is often better on paper than in practice. I won’t knock the people who get immense value out of a clan’s community experience. But boiled down to the sphere of public multiplayer gameplay, you’re still just another grunt playing within the unbridled parameters of whatever Team Deathmatch or Capture the Flag mode is tossed your way. It changes nothing.

Rockstar, on the other hand, looks to eradicate those problems by cutting straight to the chase — embracing the clan premise themselves with their new “crews.” With an official, easy-to-access environment that’s constantly driving new narratives (in the form of Vendettas and Feuds), keeping track of top performers, and tossing in a wide variety of aesthetic customizations, crews are essentially what clans would be if their members were at the controls.

It isn’t original by any means, but rarely is it sanctioned by such a prominent developer, geared towards console gamers, and extended over a stable of thoroughbred gametitles — Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto V included. I still may never join a “clan,” but I can’t to see how the crew platform evolves going forward.

Nintendo's Firm Convictions (By Jacob Siegal)

Nintendo Network Banter

Although it is just a rumor that the new online infrastructure will be making its way to the 3DS soon, Nintendo Network is a necessity. Now that the Vita has launched and brand new consoles are right around the corner, Nintendo needs to prove to its audience that they are moving forward as well.

It took some time, but the 3DS did start moving off of store shelves at a fairly rapid rate. It seems to be just a fact of life that a Nintendo portable console is going to make money. The problem remains that with each and every hardware release that lacks the basic functionality gamers have come to expect, the further away Nintendo is going to separate itself from the core gamer.

The time is now (or very soon at least) for Nintendo Network to unleash on the 3DS and show off what Nintendo has learned from the Wii and DS friend code backlash. Online gaming is no longer optional; we expect to be able to play with others across the world with as little hassle as possible, we want to try games before we buy them, and we want bugs squashed as quickly and efficiently as possible. If Nintendo does not act soon, their slow decent into irrelevancy will continue.

Bringing Sexy Back (By Rob Keyes)

Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn - Banter

When I was a young gamer, the best games were only on the PC. The dominating genres were mostly strategy games and space sims and it's a time when Wing Commander, X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Freelancer, etc. each had their own strong, successful series.

Those days are long gone and now are there not only a total lack of space sim games on the consoles and PC, but games that should have space sim action (see: Star Wars: The Old Republic) fail to deliver. So, it's up to the fans.

Dedicated, loyal and awesome fans have spent a decade developing a new Wing Commander game (Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn) and it came out last, for free, with a full 55 mission campaign. Never has the phrase "a game for gamers by gamers" rung so true. So, since the pro developers can't do it, I'd like to see fans bring back X-Wing Alliance next! I'd contribute to that Kickstarter.


That's all for this week's Game Ranter Banter.

As always, let us know what you think of this week's news in the comments, or on Twitter @GameRant and and if you have specific topics you'd like any of the team to cover, don't hesitate to ask.

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