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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

List Of Demands For 2007

I'll be heading out for the holidays soon enough. Not many worries other than wrapping presents and drinking eggnog. Or at least, that's my hope. As this year closes, let me take a moment to do a little armchair analyst wishlist for the next (again):

X-Com DS
Oh, c'mon - it's such a no brainer. The DS can easily handle X-Com's original graphics and code. The touchscreen is easily one of the best user interfaces for such a game. People have been yearning for proper multiplayer on the game for ages now. It's a cult classic. It will sell like hotcakes.

Doom DS
I've been playing GBA Doom a little since stumbling on the soundtracks and honestly I'm still amazed as to how much fun this game can retain. Honestly, the simpler graphics suit the mobile console just fine. Now, imagine the exact same game only with coop over NiWiFi, deathmatch and CTF.

Phantasy Star Online DS
I know, we're getting Dragon Quest so I should probably not complain. But I still miss the old days of PSO. And Phantasy Star Universe doesn't look like it will make the cut for me. No splitscreen coop? Maybe that would be OK on my trusty DS ... but not on my PS2. Once again, this is a classic game ripe for the handheld online market.

Nintendo, Sony ... embrace the hobbyist
Microsoft gets major props from me for taking the charge with XNA Studio ... even if the actual implementation is debatable. At least they are trying. It's time for console developers to recognize the role that modders and indies have had on the PC market.

Even if it were on a smaller scale - like allowing user maps and gameplay mods to be downloaded from a specific channel. Anything that gets the users involved with creating content will end up creating more content and eventually more professional level content.

Hands down, XNA is the biggest reason for me to eventually get a 360.

Apple Branded Game Controller
I'll keep saying it over and over again - the easiest way for Apple to pave a new path for Mac gaming is to develop a compelling game controller that developers can really get behind. The biggest turnoff for me when it comes to 90% of the games I try on the Mac are the controls. Because of Apple's HID setup, keyboard controls are by far the easiest to code for and the most common. Unfortunately, they often suck. A common controller with a powerful SDK

Apple Game Portal
The other problem that faces Mac gaming is the lack of coherent online community to learn about new games, have developers upload games and players to try them out. iTunes is perfectly well equipped for this and is even somewhat taking the first steps by offering games for iPods. But hey, not every Mac user is an iPod user.

PlayStation 3 Online Services
I mean serious services. Weather, maps, email, concierge duties, and the kitchen sink. Right now, this is about the only space that Sony can directly impact. They can't force everyone to develop Blu-Ray movies and they can't convince developers to make killer games until they have a viable market (200K stateside doesn't qualify as such). They can, however, offer better online applications for users. If Sony cops out and relies solely on their web browser as a universal provider - they are going to find themselves being outpaced by Nintendo and Microsoft early in 2007.

PlayStation 3 Backwards Compatibility Fix
I've got a ginormous PS2 library. I'm not going to be terribly willing to part with the PS2 until I know I'm good and done with them or that the PS3 will play them ... and play them correctly. I refuse to have two PlayStations hooked up to the same TV (and even if I didn't, The Girl would).

Xbox 360 Revision 2
Smaller, quieter, cooler. Enough said.

PSP 2 / PSP Phone
OK Sony, the PSP has managed to get a foothold. That's a pretty decent feat in the GameBoy world, sure, but now it is time to follow Nintendo's strategy and release a redesigned PSP. Drop UMD. Drop it like a bad habit. Sell games via download and memory stick. Release a firmware to make the PSP1 compatible. For extra points, call Ericcson up and design a gaming phone that doesn't suck.

Don't Release Duke Nukem Forever
Because it's just so darn funny to keep delaying.

OK, that's it for 2006 people. Have yourself a happy Apokalyptica and go easy on the nog. I'll be back in the New Year with another resolution I don't plan to keep.

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