This week we recognize a new leader in our rankings while discussing Kinect, sequel spam, and DLC.
Andrew Passafiume: +270
Graham Russell: +184
Eric Schabel: +100
Shawn Vermette: +275
NBA Jam remake coming to Xbox 360 and PS3
EA has announced that a truncated version of NBA Jam will be given away for free to purchasers of NBA Elite 11 on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Unfortunately for those who only want NBA Jam, EA says that as of right now, there is no other way to get it on the 360 and PS3.
Andrew 50% = +0
Eric 80% = +30
Graham 60% = +10
Shawn 80% = +30
Kinect to recognize American Sign Language
So far we’ve been told that Kinect can track your body and joint movements and recognize your voice and face. Now, there’s a possibility that Kinect will even be able to detect American Sign Language. According to a patent filing, Microsoft plans on making Kinect recognize ASL motions and then verbalize them to those you are playing a with or against online. Will gamers be able to taunt each other with their hands this fall? Or will this be yet another patent filing that never sees the light of day?
Andrew: I really see no reason why it wouldn’t be able to, but at the same time it doesn’t seem like something that will ever really a feature that most (if any) people who bought the device would actually take advantage of. 50%
Graham: It’s capable of it. It seems like it’d have to be implemented individually in each instance, but whether it’s widely used isn’t the issue. I don’t usually stick my neck out, but I’m confident. Yep, it’ll be there. 90%
Eric: This is certainly a neat idea, though obviously American Sign Language would not be utilized by the vast majority of users. The Kinect technology certainly seems capable enough to pull off signing recognition, though, and it could be an interesting teaching tool. That said, I don’t think most gamers would bother to learn the language to sign to their friends when they can just use a headset. 60%
Shawn: I’m sure it’s possible for Kinect to recognize ASL, the question is whether Microsoft thinks there are enough deaf gamers who would use it to bother programming it to do so. On the other hand, Microsoft might go ahead and program it to recognize sign language just to be able to say that it can. 65%
EA prepping another Dead Space title in Dead Space: Sabotage
EA has introduced a great many new franchises in the last couple years, with the most popular being Dead Space. Since its introduction, EA has gone into overdrive expanding the Dead Space universe, having created Dead Space: Extraction, Dead Space: Ignition, and Dead Space 2 in the interactive realm, while releasing Dead Space: Martyr and Dead Space: Salvage as books, and Dead Space: Aftermath and Dead Space: Downfall showing up on DVD. EA recently secured the rights to deadspacesabotage.com, so we’re sure to see it in one form or another, but will it be a game or some other form of entertainment?
Andrew: I really don’t think EA would be giving us yet another game with the downloadable Dead Space 2 “prequel” and Dead Space 2 itself both arriving by the end January. I could see it being another book or film based on the series, or even something different altogether, but I really don’t think it will be another game. 30%
Graham: Consider my neck safely back in. Sabotage could very well be some other property, since they’re not exactly shy about those. Add in the fact that we aren’t even seeing Dead Space 2 until next year, and starting work on another one would be premature. 50%
Eric: I think we will be seeing Dead Space Sabotage show up sooner or later, but I really don’t know if it will be in the form of a video game. However, since games are the most successful medium for the Dead Space franchise, I would guess Sabotage is likely to be a new game title. 75%
Shawn: Dead Space: Sabotage will definitely exist, along with who knows how many other titles…my only question is whether it will be as a game or not. At this point, I am completely unsure because of the large number of tie-in media being produced by EA. So…I think I’ll go with my first throwaway vote yet. 50%
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair to add two new playable characters
Even though Castlevania: Harmony of Despair just came out this week, rumors are swirling about possibilities for DLC for it. Among the more interesting is a rumor stating that Maria Renard and Julius Belmont will soon be added via DLC to the already robust stable of playable characters in Harmony of Despair.
Andrew: Considering there are many different playable characters in the Castlevania series, I really don’t see why Konami wouldn’t take advantage of this. I definitely see these two coming out soon and starting a trend that will lead to many more CV favorites ending up in the multiplayer adventure. 95%
Graham: The return of the neck! Yeah, this’ll happen. We’re a DLC-crazed world now, and playable characters are the kind that even I approve of. With all the hype the game is getting as part of the Summer of Arcade, it would be strange if they weren’t working on something. 90%
Eric: Sure, why not? Most games are being designed with DLC in mind these days, and I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to prep some new playable characters for Harmony of Despair. I haven’t played the game myself, but I do know that adding new characters is a good way to get players to come back for more (and to spend a little more, too). 80%
Shawn: Konami will definitely add more characters. Launching Harmony of Despair with just 5 characters and a 6 player co-op mode literally begs for more playable characters. Will they be Maria Renard and Julius Belmont? Well…given that I’ve never played a Castlevania game yet I recognize both those characters tell me that they are very likely candidates to be added. 85%