Daily Archives: 02/07/2013

New Xbox – no Xbox?

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Ruh-oh.

Edge Online is reporting that Microsoft’s next Xbox console may require users to have a permanent internet connection, virtually ensuring the end of the second-hand games business.

You’ll still be able to buy a physical copy of a game (which will ship with a one-use unlock code, tied to your Gamertag), but Microsoft’s overarching strategy for the next-gen is download-based.  Great if you live in a major city with serious broadband infrastructure, but not so brilliant for everybody else.  Can’t afford a decent download speed?  On a monthly plan which caps your downloads?  Sucks for you.

This is, to say the least, a bloody risky gambit and one designed to lock out a great many gamers who can’t afford to buy a $60/£45 game every month  – I find it hard to believe that Microsoft, of all companies, would view providing a download version as an opportunity to pass on cost savings to the consumer.  Their ‘on-demand’ store on Xbox Live currently charges hilarious prices for games – and I would suspect that controlling the method of delivery to gamers will only make that worse.

Of course, Microsoft don’t comment on rumours and speculation ahead of one of their major product announcements, but if this method comes to pass, I don’t see myself persisting with Xbox gaming – after a while, you begin to get the message that Microsoft are akin to the neighbourhood kid who took their football home when the game wasn’t going their way.

There’s no word on whether Sony are looking to carry out similar measures with their PS4 – and a gambling man would suggest that where Microsoft choose to go, the Japanese company might look to distinguish themselves to consumers by offering a different system which doesn’t seek to marginalize and alienate potential consumers.  Just an idea, mind you.

I’ve given up Xbox live this year and felt no ill-effect from doing so.  If Microsoft are going to treat gamers like this, it might be time for me to jettison any thought of adopting their future platforms.  I mean, as I’m European, it’s not as if Microsoft gives a toss about me anyway, is it?

 

 

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The Young Han Solo Chronicles?

"I once caught a Wamprat THIS BIG!"

“I once caught a Wamprat THIS BIG!”

Today’s piping-hot “Star Wars” rumour?  Lucasfilm are developing a young Han Solo movie.  And a Boba Fett flick.  Zoinks!

But, as ever with these things, Entertainment Weekly’s story on the matter is quick to assert that these additional “Star Wars” movies – which are being made in addition to the J.J. Abrams‘ spearheaded “Episode VII” – are in an embryonic state and that nothing is set in carbonite, yet.

That proviso noted, would you want to be the actor tasked with embodying Harrison Ford‘s devil-may-care intergalactic bounder as a younger man and living up to the burden of attention that accepting such a role might bring?  I’m pretty sure I would run a couple thousand parsecs from it and I suspect that you would too.

Early casting around on the internet has the likes of Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper being proposed for the role on various sites, and as good as they are, they’re not exactly in the right age range for the part.  Physically, at least, Garrett Hedlund has some of the quality of a young Ford – but I’ve not seen in anything which suggests that he has the comedic lightness of touch to embody the Corellian scoundrel fully.

As I said – wouldn’t want to be that actor…

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