This week on Snackbar Speculator, we’re covering crime, justice and social networking.
Phoenix Wright to hold court on the Wii
The USK, the German ratings board, has submitted a rating for a Wii game simply called Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. There’s been no news from Capcom or Nintendo regarding this possibility, so it remains to be seen whether this is a game that will actually be released or not. It also gives no information as to whether this will be a completely new game or a port of one of the DS games.
Andrew Passafiume: It seems like an inevitability, but at the same time, the series seems to be perfectly suited for handhelds. It might work on a console (especially the Wii), but I honestly doubt anything will come out of this and I think it will remain a rumor. 25%
Graham Russell: They’ve thrown Harvey Birdman on there, so there’s precedent. The interface works as well as the DS one, so that’d be fine too. My only worry: Capcom seems to always have to put Wright games in the bargain bin in the U.S., so I don’t know if it’s financially viable. 60%
Shawn Vermette: While I for one would relish a chance to play Phoenix Wright on the Wii, and I think it would indeed work well on the Wii, I’m not sure that this rumor will come to fruition. It would really need to be a new game to be commercially viable and I’m pretty sure Capcom has no plans to revisit Phoenix Wright in their stories. I think Apollo Justice is their new protagonist. So, unfortunately, I think this will not happen. 25%
Xbox 360 exclusivity for GTA4 expansions to end
Microsoft paid Take-Two 50 million bucks to get Xbox 360 exclusivity on all the downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV. Now, however, there is talk of the expansions coming out on the PC. This is something that would go against the current exclusivity deal, but it’s possible Microsoft and Take-Two would revisit their deal to include PC. After all, the real reason for the exclusivity deal is to lock the PS3 out of any DLC opportunity.
Andrew: This is something that does not surprise me at all. The word that the PC crowd will get the DLC next which is actually not too surprising (and probably an easy transition for the developers), but I doubt we will ever see it on the PS3. Either way, for the DLC coming to the PC, I expect it will happen in the near future. 90%
Graham: Microsoft is Microsoft, and their Games for Windows initiative certainly could use whatever help it can get, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the DLC on PC. If the deal’s airtight, though, and I think it is, PS3 is out of the question. 55%
Shawn: I’m not really surprised by this because Microsoft had two agendas with this deal. 1) Hurt Sony. 2) Make money. Yes, I believe the primary motivation was to attempt to hurt Sony. I don’t know if Microsoft expected to actually make money after spending 50 million for exclusivity, but they definitely wanted to make Sony hurt. The PC isn’t really even on Microsoft’s radar lately, despite saying that they were renewing support for the PC. Perhaps this will be a step in that direction. 85%
PS3 to offer Facebook integration with next firmware update
Sony posted a bunch of screenshots of their next firmware update on their official website that seemed to show an integrated Facebook application under the account management tab of the XMB. These screenshots have since been removed from their website. Microsoft has touted their integration of Facebook into the Xbox 360 ever since E3, while Sony has remained silent about any additions to their system outside of Netflix support. However, given the widespread use of Facebook and its integration into the Xbox 360, it makes sense for Sony to at least explore the possibility.
Andrew: Considering that a once “exclusive” feature to the Xbox 360, Netflix, came to the PS3 a little less than two years after it came to the 360, I can’t imagine Facebook (or Twitter and last.fm, in that case) being exclusive to the 360 either. Especially with the increase in sales of the PS3, I can imagine Facebook support being something that will pretty popular with owners of the system. 85%
Graham: Let’s set aside the issue of why people would want Facebook, or Twitter for that matter, on a game console. There’s no exclusivity deal involved here, and Sony wants to take away any possible bullet points in Microsoft’s arsenal. My only hesitation: it may not make it in the very next update, though. 60%
Shawn: I’m really not surprised because I never once (to my knowledge) heard Microsoft refer to Facebook as a 360 exclusive. I think that in this case it makes sense for Sony to wait to develop support for Facebook until Microsoft test drives it, but that they should look into integrating it as well as they can. In fact, I think they should go one step farther and integrate it into Home. Maybe then Home will be as relevant and popular as Sony has hoped it would be from the beginning. 95%
Sony to offer downloadable PS2 games via PSN
Ever since the discontinuation of the 20GB and 60GB Playstation 3 models, gamers have been clamoring for a return of backward compatibility. Rumor has it that Sony is working on releasing popular PS2 games as downloads on the PSN in the same manner that they offer PS1 games. This may be Sony’s way of attempting to satisfy those gamers and make money at the same time.
Andrew: This is definitely a good possibility, especially since PS1 classics have been doing incredibly well in the Playstation store. There are a lot of PS2 games that have been out of print for a while that could do really well in the store too, and it will be a solution to the “backwards compatibility issue” that has been present since the most recent models of the PS3 90%
Graham: Unofficially, they’ve done this before with some Buzz! games. Officially, I see them doing this in a noncommittal way like Microsoft, with a small launch to say they did it. And it would certainly help mitigate the removal of backwards compatibility. 40%
Shawn: I think that perhaps Sony has been planning this ever since they discontinued the 60GB PS3. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that this will appease Backwards compatibility fans very much because of one thing- they’ll have to rebuy all their games again…assuming that all their games are even eventually put on the PSN. Not cool at all. On the other hand, it means people who are either new to gaming or sold/lost their PS2 games will be able to play them again finally. Either way, I think this is almost a guarantee to happen. 95%
Microsoft to release Blu-ray add-on for Xbox 360
This rumor is making the rounds yet again, and so we have to include it here. Rumor has it Microsoft is working on a Blu-ray Drive add-on similar to the HD-DVD Drive add-on they sold during the format war. Despite repeatedly denying that they are working on said add-on, this rumor keeps popping up. Surely there is some truth to it, if it just won’t die.
Andrew: This rumor does keep popping up, doesn’t it? Ever since the failure of the HD-DVD format, Microsoft hasn’t had a way to compete with Sony in that regard (even if the HD-DVD drive for the 360 was sold separately). I think this could happen, but is it really a way for Microsoft to “compete” with Sony in that regard? Sony has that market cornered, and most people who want to watch Bluray movies will pick a PS3 over a 360. I guess it could satisfy current 360 owners who don’t want to buy a PS3, but I don’t see much of a profit in it. 35%
Graham: I really doubt it. Blu-Ray is Sony’s baby, so Microsoft doesn’t want to help them, and honestly the format hasn’t yet proven it will overtake downloads and streaming. Also, there’s the chilling effect of not wanting to make the same mistake twice…Nintendo is still a bit timid about online after Satellaview and 64DD, and it’s been a decade. Microsoft’s HD add-on was just a few years ago. 5%
Shawn: Well, ever since HD-DVD died a sudden and painful death, Microsoft has been left with only digital distribution for providing HD videos. Logically, it makes sense for Microsoft to make a Blu-ray add-on for the 360 so that it isn’t a feature Sony has over Microsoft. Believe me, a lot of PS3s are sold simply because of the Blu-ray drive in them. On the other hand, if Microsoft hasn’t done it yet, I doubt they ever will. I think the idea of having to pay royalties to Sony for anything chafes them enough that they will wait as long as they can before touching Blu-ray. 15%