This is delicious: via Gamepolitics we have here a story about Variety columnist Ben Fritz defending videogames against the world of film criticism. Fritz seizes upon the recent, prevalent comparisons between 300 and videogames, which almost always use "videogame" as derogatory. It’s an attack on lazy criticism as much as it is a pat on the shoulder to the gaming world, and I come over all grinny for either subject. Here’s a great quote from Fritz: "Stereotyping games as based on a brainless, violent subset is as fair as dismissing the art of moviemaking based on ‘Wild Hogs.’"
Eidos is buying into the effectiveness of Valve’s Steam distribution service. Late yesterday, the publisher announced the partnership and, as has been tradition with new publisher offerings on Steam, a raft of games were immediately made available for purchase and download. Titiles include three of the four Hitman games (Contracts is missing, but that’s okay), Battlestations: Midway, Just Cause, and four of the titles in the Commandos franchise. Tomb Raider games are forthcoming. I haven’t managed to run into any snags with Steam’s functionality, yet, so I’m pretty positive about all the new content. It’s so much easier to buy games when you don’t have to get off your couch, and you can imagine that your money is an abstract concept rather than a quantifiable thing.
For anyone stranded without Gametap, or the ability or compulsion to buy games from services like Steam, you probably haven’t had much of a chance to enjoy Telltale Games’ Season 1 of Sam and Max. Your relatively luddite personality won’t have to get all snippy at the slight much longer, though, as Tellate has announced the whole season will be crossing into the physical plane for a boxed release in August. The episodes contained in the box will stand for about twelve or fifteen hours of gameplay, depending on whether or not you play the game correctly (i.e., talking to everyone, exhaust all possible avenues of conversation, investigate everything, and use all possible item combinations.)
A bit of late news that deserves more opinion than coverage: retailers are putting pressure on Sony to lower the price of the PSP. The information comes from unknown sources, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. In the constant land war taking place on game retailers’ shelves, the PSP is pulling a Napoleon-in-Russia; having overextended itself, it now finds retreat its only recourse. Sony’s positive spin is that the PSP is still outselling most home consoles, but at its second Stateside anniversary, consumers are suggesting that the company has reached a sales plateau at their current price point. Last year they dropped the price $50. Another $50 would probably score them a new rash of converts. I love my PSP. I also cheer for the fat kid at Little League matches.
And as a bit of followup to one of yesterday’s stories, we still haven’t confirmed exactly how thorough Gamespy’s friend-code-only multiplayer infrastructure for the Wii will be. Our good man Jon Cassady’s manning the phones, though, so look alive.