The day the corners disappeared – F1 2020

It was a rainy day at Jerez, Spain. As a rookie I had thrown myself into the deep end of online racing, joining any lobby I could find. I’d already been involved in some big battles but this was the smallest grid yet, just the three of us. No matter what happened, I would be on the podium at least. That wasn’t the goal however, as I only had the top step on my mind. I had come 2nd a few times now and was hungry for that first win. Little did I know, this would not be an ordinary race.

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SSX: Deadly Descents Demo – Impressions (From Chat)

SSX has finally arrived in HD! After a failed Wii game that nobody could figure out how to play, EA has been inspired by recent market trends and added some grit and realism to the franchise. What’s it like? A demo has just been released on PSN and Xbox Live, go download it! If you can’t be arsed, or you’re waiting for the demo to be available to Xbox Live standard members like me; then read on as Infernal Monkey shares his experience!

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Two ways to do a content subscription service

Those of you who’ve been paying careful attention to Electronic Arts, and really you have no excuse not to, would know they’re pretty interested in this whole internet thing and how it could be leveraged to provide a constant revenue stream from increasingly dependent consumers. They’ve been pulling their games from Steam and relaunched Origin, the developer of Ultima they purchased a decade ago, as a digital distribution client, the only place to buy new multi million dollar MMO: Star Wars: The Old Republic. And then they ruined my birthday by announcing a subscription service to their sports games.

Now here’s what EA are planning to do.

  • The privilege of downloading their sports games a few days before EB Games put it on display and slap pre-owned stickers on last year’s edition.
  • Discounts on downloadable content, including on disc DLC.
  • Permission to use that purchased content on future roster updates.
  • Stats recorded on a webpage that you can browse with your internet communication gizmo.
  • A little badge so everyone knows you’re an idiot paying for the above.

I know right, some sort of joke. The very fact that EA’s offering, if I can indulge you and call it that, can be summarised down to five bulletpoints shows you everything wrong with their approach. You can’t summarise Xbox Live or Steam in 5 dot points and you shouldn’t be able to summarise EA’s either. If EA want to charge a subscription then they have to at least be on that level, offer a service of their own on the scale of Xbox Live. They’re a big company and their sport games cater to a big market – they can do it. God knows they want to do it but they’re too cowardly to try. The next few paragraphs I’m going to envision how they should run a subscription service that fosters the kind of sycophantic devotees, who’ll maintain their subscriptions indefinitely.

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PSN Failure Time Capsule

As many will know, Sony has run into some trouble with their PlayStation 3 again. Recently we’ve seen systems crashing and randomly deleting data, trying to comprehend the date February 30. We’ve also been warned of PS3 controllers that may explode, and witnessed the sinking of one of Sony’s own PR representative’s battleships.

PlayStation: It Only Does Single Player

PlayStation Network has been down for a number of days with no official word on when it’ll be back. Due to the unfortunate existence of “online only” single player games on PS3, many gamers around the world are stuck with games they can’t play. There’s also reports of peoples personal information and credit card details being leaked from Sony’s database. It’s a tough world for PS3 fans, one week you’re enjoying mandatory 24 hour patch installs, the next you’re sitting there alone, forced to finally watch the free Blu-ray of “Planet Earth” you got with your PS3. Before dwelling too much on the negatives, we’ve got to appreciate the humour of the situation. The disaster has been called everything from PlayStation Notwork to The Great Collaps3. Microsoft has taken this opportunity to rub salt in Sony’s wounds by unbanning a mass amount of people from Xbox Live. PSN has even been compared to pop-sensation Rebecca Black, both sharing the joy of getting down on Friday.

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Friend Codes

Friend Codes are a controversial online schematic that can mildly be described as cumbersome.  The IDEA behind Friend Codes is a good one, but the execution of this idea has until recently been poorly lacking.

However, with the announcement of the universality of Friend Codes for the 3DS, the Friend Code system rises from unwieldy to a viable alternative that’s even superior in many ways to alternate online systems.

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