G4tv brings the controversy to your home in this episode. Last week Microsoft dropped the bomb that the next genration Xbox 360 would come out in twos: A lower priced basic model and a premium version with a harddrive and some extra gadgets (DVD remote control, Extra controller, Headset). After looking at the news, gamers and designers aren't happy. Gamers have to decide if they want to spend that much more for as system with basically a harddrive that may make them look better if their buddies have the lesser system. Developers now have to decide whether to gear their games to work specifically without the harddrive or to release two titles for each system. Peter Moore, Corporate VP of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing for Microsoft, takes time to call in and give us some answers. Problem is he's in PR mode and kinda avoids some of the serious things.
He believes it's all about the memory and not the harddrive (512Mb). The harddrive is less essential ot the normal gamer where as the RAM is where the game really matters. Peter also says that in the pre-order status, the Premium version is pre-selling the most. On release day, it looks like the split will be a push on the Premium system with stores having them more. You can also add to the rumors that Perfect Dark will be released with the system as a first day bundle, Halo 3 will eventually be released, and that this split system idea is not about making more money. With all that, Peter avoids confrontation and goes all "PR mode" on why Microsoft began by saying they were releasing one console, and people thinking Microsoft is trying to be like a drug dealer by trying to introduce people to the lesser version to get them hooked.
Next, Marc Ecko joins us live via satellite from New York. He's developed a new game about graffiti called Marc Ecko: Getting Up. They had planned a block party release and started getting all the permits last year. Then at the last minute, New York Mayor Micheal Bloomberg cancelled the permit since the Mayor's office saw it as "promoting vandalism." Marc took it off the streets and into the courtroom to defend his case. He believed that if he had done a movie about tagging or even a play, then there would have been no controversy. But because it was a video game (and they are such a "Hot" political topic right now) and a lack of understanding of people in power, his game was singled out. Eventually, he got his party back.
And it's back to Middle Earth again for the next Lord of the Rings saga Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II for the PC. Amer Ajami visits the studio to talk about producing this game. While the original Battle for Middle Earth pretty much covered the movies, this sequel adds elements from the book not seen in the film, which was quite alot. Amer says the most important addition is that you can now battle dragons, sometimes found in Middle Earth, but not in the movies.
Finally, we do battle in Flamewars. Tina takes the Nintendo DS, and Geoff is on the side of the PSP. Geoff thinks the PSP is the future with it's amazing graphics and quality, was hindered since it wasn't released during the holiday season, and the DS is limited and has no long term momentum. Tina says the dual screen is a great innovation and people will buy it just to play NintenDogs. The viewers vote with Tina this time. Sorry Geoff.