Weekend Short-Takes: 11/9/12

Is Microsoft preparing an Xbox Surface, Microsoft considering branching Halo out again, the Assassin's Creed Anthology provides a complete experience, provided you aren't in the US, Nintendo's Online ID system gets more details, and Medal of Honor lands some of America's best in trouble, this week on the Short-Takes.

Microsoft making Xbox tablet - Report

Simon Wu:

I remember lo those many years ago when us Xbox fans were lamenting the lack of a handheld console as the DS and the PSP, well just the DS, were reaching fevered pitch and excitement. How those times have changed. Dedicated handhelds are struggling even as Sony and Nintendo make them as smartphone like as possible. Also, there are yet to be any announced 7 inch Windows 8/RT devices, and this will neatly fill the gap. The bigger ramifications, though, are that this signals Microsoft’s intent not just to show OEMs what they should be making, but instead more directly competing. Moreover, it also shows that the definition of ‘Xbox’ is wildly expanding as MS tries to capitalize on the one brand that it owns which engenders consumer interest and support.

John Fenix:

First of all, I believe this is only reports and no guarantee that this will happen. Still, it is a bit of a dodgy time to be a portable console, looking at the sales numbers of the 3DS and the PS Vita. The fact that it is also touchscreen can definitely be a turnoff for serious gamers. Still, with the Microsoft team behind this, this could bring serious developers for mobile touch games. Once again though, we will have to wait and see.

Alex Miller:

This would be a very interesting concept if it proves to be true. The thought of a Microsoft tablet that focuses on a single purpose (in this case gaming) while they try and tie everything else together in a nice little jack of all trades Metro world shows that there really is power in mobile gaming market. The fact that they are expanding on their Xbox brand by giving it more time in the spotlight than others, as Simon says, shows that it is truly their most powerful brand and one that they are really banking on.

Photo Credit: allaboutmicrosoft.com

Microsoft considering Halo for different genres, mediums

Simon Wu:

The first thing I think of when I see this is the ‘action-adventure’ CoD that Sledgehammer Games was supposed to be making, striking out from the original genre, but that’s on indefinite hold since Infinity Ward imploded. I can only assume this means mobile, especially given the news above. However, I don’t know if the PC is going to be one of these ‘mediums,’ particularly because Microsoft has already stated that Halo 4, just like the previous bunch, will not be for PC. An MMORPG, perhaps? I can see that much better, with the enhanced freedom of Infinity Mode, which could be an experiment for greater interactivity and regular content updates.

John Fenix:

On a personal note, I can finally contribute to a topic. Back to said topic, the series has gone off the FPS path before, with Halo Wars, which was in fact a pretty well done RTS game, especially on the console. Mobile I would not be surprise to see. But besides a MMORPG as Simon mentioned, I can’t imagine many other types of genres for the franchise. Perhaps this the chance for the franchise to branch into unknown territory. Maybe a Halo Visual Novel? It could help bring in a few fans in Japan.

Alex Miller:

I think those who are getting excited thinking of a Halo Kart game coming out anytime soon should probably temper those hopes. While Kiki Wofkill (also can I just say that’s a pretty badass name? Right, anyways...) does say "I think we'd look at what the most interesting genre, medium, delivery mechanism is to tell a certain story, and if it moves the IP forward in an interesting way, we'll do it," this in no way suggests to me that they have something completely unexpected in the pipelines. Microsoft already tried to make a Halo MMO as far back as 2005 and while Halo Wars was about as good as a console RPG can get, it still wasn’t enough to explode the genre on the console and warrant a repeat attempt. What I take out of this would be more expanded universe things (books, animated shows/movies, actual movie, etc) rather than games, though John’s point on mobile gaming would not surprise me if it were to happen. Lots of room in the mobile market, and it would be cool if they could somehow tie a game on a Windows Phone 8 right to the console.

Photo Credit: ign.com

Assassin's Creed Anthology includes five console games

Simon Wu:

Hot on the heels of the Mass Effect complete collection that we discussed a few weeks back, this is quite interesting. It also answers the one main question I had about the ME pack; it will come with every scrap of DLC that was released, making a far more coherent and enriching experience. However, I have to qualify that statement as well, since there were PS3 exclusive DLC packs. Will they now be available for the Xbox? This is the one way for console exclusive DLC to be rectified: when the total pack comes out, then they will be made available for other platforms. Ubisoft’s also doing a solid by giving buyers the now popular season pass for any AC3 DLC. Oh yeah, in case you were itching for it, it’s not coming to the US of A.

John Fenix:

Boy, that’s one heck of a collection. Of course, if you have any of the games, no point in getting it. Yet, if you have ever had a slight interest in the series, especially with Assassin’s Creed III out, this is probably a bargain, especially with all the DLC. Either way, it’s a series I would highly recommend, especially if you enjoy learning a thing or two as you play.

Alex Miller:

Well, this is interesting. Quickly following the Mass Effect Trilogy pack, this anthology is another welcome example of what I want to see happening more often. Possibly due to my affinity for Steam Sales, I enjoy buying collections of games with all their additional content rolled into one (and generally for a price cut.) This may also be because I’m kinda lazy and cheap, but the thought of developers organizing their games into an easy to access all inclusive pack just seems to have some sort of attraction for me. Hopefully this trend continues and, if what Simon says is true, this particular pack finds its way to American shores soon.

Photo Credit: g4tv.com

Important Details About the New Nintendo Network ID

Simon Wu:

Oh, accessible on PCs and phones? I wasn’t aware that Nintendo acknowledged the existence of platforms other than theirs, since that’s been their behavior for some time now. This is a pretty standard practice now, trying to catch up to the Xbox and Playstation, and it’s good that they are standardizing the method for purchasing and interacting online, since that’s crucial for even trying to appeal to hardcore gamers.

John Fenix:

Some interesting information to see how this will be implemented. Nintendo seems to be following somewhere close to the Gamertag style of online gaming that has worked so well on other systems like the Xbox and Playstation 2 & 3. I think this is definitely an improvement over the Friend Codes that was implemented on Nintendo’s previous generation of consoles. I personally didn’t use the online system much, because I thought it would be a hassle to have to remember a whole set of numbers and random letters instead of remembering an easy nickname (although I have seen some absolutely crazy gamertags in my time).

Alex Miller:

Well, let’s start a slow clap for Nintendo everybody. Not to appear to be a Nintendo hater (I am not one by any means, my first console was an N64 and it is to this day of the best pieces of gaming hardware I’ve ever owned) but this news does nothing for me but reinforce the image of Nintendo forced to play catch up, too little too late. Already a generation behind on graphics they now find themselves a generation behind on online connectivity and interaction. While I think that it is great that Nintendo is implementing this step, I think it means that Nintendo is starting off at even more of a disadvantage than we previously thought, as this shows how much further they are behind Microsoft and Sony.

Photo Credit: wiiu-spiele.com

US Navy reprimands seven SEALs for consulting on 'Medal of Honor' video game (update)

Simon Wu:

...And EA is in hot water for Medal of Honor. Again. Even after deciding to put in the Osama bin Laden mission and to sell guns concurrent with the game, that upper management just couldn’t do without one more high profile incident to get this game out. I have no idea what EA promised those SEALs to get them to break the usual unwritten code of silence around SEAL affairs, but it must have been something. This incredibly mediocre game just needs to get out of the public consciousness. Seriously.

Alex Miller:

Well, all I can say is I hope the pay was worth it to the SEALS, cause the game certainly wasn’t. Once again we find EA embroiled with controversy surrounding everyone’s favorite late 90s/early 00s WW2 series that needs to go back to resting in peace. Seriously, I have some fantastic memories of that series from its prime, unfortunately none of those are evoked by this game or its predecessor. EA needs to shut up shop and focus on its Battlefield brand, a potentially viable alternative to CoD or Halo as the top FPS if they really focused on it instead of trying to support to competing brands. Hopefully this will be the last of the MoH controversies (though sadly I doubt it will be.)

disgruntledavians's picture

I know that Simon is a PC and Windows supporter, so he can probably say with better confidence whether the Xbox Surface will fall under Xbox or Windows, which runs Surface. Which do you think it is, especially with all this hubbub around the VP of Windows leaving?

Create New Account or Log in to comment