Snackbar Speculator: You shall not (online) pass

April 4, 2011

In this installment, we look at Star Fox, Mortal Kombat and the Halo remake.

Star Fox 64 coming to 3DS in May

Nintendo is notoriously closed-mouthed when it comes to when their biggest franchises will be released, but according to a recent document released by the Spanish distributor of Nintendo games, Star Fox 64 is coming in May to Europe. Thus, it stands to reason it would come to the US in May as well, right? 

Gerry: Sure, why not. The 3DS could sure use some more games to cover the gaps left on the launch line-up. 50%


Andrew: You would think that if any big 3DS title was going to come out in May, it would be Ocarina of Time. But that’s currently slated for June. Nintendo has been known to release some games in Europe before the U.S., so it wouldn’t be all that surprisingly to see Star Fox 64 3D over there before we get it. It’s the kind of thing you think they would announce by now if it were true. Either way, doesn’t seem entirely plausible to me. 20%

Graham: Nintendo was clear about which games would hit the launch window. From what I’ve played, it will be a great version of Star Fox, but it doesn’t make much sense to release it near either Pilotwings or Kid Icarus. I’ll hold out a bit of hope, just because the post-launch 3DS schedule is as barren as it could possibly be.  3%

Halo: Combat Evolved remake coming in 2011

Microsoft has confirmed that they are working on a full-fledged remake of the original Halo for the Xbox 360, but have given no release schedule for it. However, recent rumors seem to indicate it could come as early as this holiday season, putting yet another blockbuster franchise in to an already crowded holiday season.

Gerry: Given a lack of a new Halo release this year,  there should be some pressure to release something new related to the franchise. A Halo:CE remake would certainly be well-received during the holiday season, though I wonder how quickly Microsoft would rush this to fit a deadline. 45%

Andrew: I’m sure we’ll be hearing about a new Halo game soon enough (probably E3 if I had to guess), but I doubt we’ll actually see it this year. I’m sure Microsoft would love to keep people talking about the franchise, so why not reboot the original? With a nice new coat of paint and some online play, it could be a great way to get the Halo name out there again before 38 Studios takes a stab at whatever the next game might be. 80%

Graham: It’s getting a bit crowded for the holiday season, but what’s really missing is something Microsoft can trumpet as a solid system exclusive. Halo would sell like hotcakes and get them through another year without too much talk of a next-gen device, and they already said they’re working on this. It could tank the series if it fails, though, so they may want to give the new guys a generous development cycle.  70%

Mortal Kombat to require an ‘online pass’ for used games

Recently, rumors have been popping up that Warner Bros. is going to adopt the online pass strategy for used games that EA and THQ have created, charging $10 to access online portions of games that are sold used. These rumors also seem to indicate that the first such title would be the new Mortal Kombat.

Gerry: As much as I disagree with this “online pass” policy, the appeal of gaining money off used game sales is tempting enough to get more big name publishers to adopt it. I really hope this doesn’t come to pass, but the odds don’t look too good. 75%

Andrew: It seems to be the popular business move to make these days. I won’t get into whether it’s right or wrong, but big publishers want to do whatever it takes to make sure that gamers hold onto their copies of Mortal Kombat and also that they don’t buy it used. It seems like a given at this point. 95%

Graham: I hate gouging consumers. I don’t so much hate online passes, since they don’t take from anyone who has already paid them. Do what they need to do about used games, yeah? It just creates a problem in the future, but I doubt online play will even be active as far away as I’m concerned about. Anyway, Mortal Kombat. Yeah, it could have it. I have no inside sources, but it make sense, and WB hasn’t shied away from similar tactics in the past.  70%