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Tycho / on Wed, Oct 5 2005 at 5:00 am

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This Year’s Model

Electronic Arts appears to have dropped the ball on the newest iteration of Madden for the PSP, what is called Madden ‘06, from time to time they create some kind of workaround that doesn’t work around, and there is a part of me that just thinks this is what you get for playing sports games.

Now that there is a lackluster website to channel this angst, ever a sign of online momentum, I’m told that EA has actually invested in a piece of equipment to help them field calls from enraged consumers.  That’s what I’m told, at any rate. 

You need to know something about how software authorization works.  Console manufacturers each have departments that act as gatekeepers to their unsullied platform.  The “Official Nintendo Seal” you have seen since the eighties is what you get when your product has bested these people in single combat or whatever arcane ritual is required.  But I will tell you that if the publisher is big enough, and I don’t think I need to be any more specific about the one I’m referring to, which is Electronic Arts, the rules don’t always apply, and the decisions are made at a level higher than those people.   

It seems strange to us, the men and women who queue at the counter for our preorders, but there are political considerations that can factor into whether or not we receive a functional piece of software.  Do you want to be the company that stops the works when a behemoth like EA is trying to launch on four platforms, just to give an example?  Don’t you want powerful, and more importantly annual franchises like Madden on your system?  Because they have those.  Maybe online doesn’t always work exactly right.  Maybe there is a condition where it shuts off the system.  If it doesn’t happen beyond a certain threshold of frequency, to retail!

Do you taste that, console enthusiasts?  It is that vile flavor PC stalwarts have grown so inured of that we download a patch the day we purchase a game and think “This is the way of the world.” 

Grabbing the new Castlevania for the DS today, on Jeremy’s good word.  I’m so used to the system’s far-ranging gameplay experiments and whatnot that playing something where I magically scour an evil castle seems commonplace.  Also, Virtua Tennis hits on Friday, and we’ve been long time proponents of the series’ accessible approach to the sport.  It was the jewel of the PSP pavilion last year at E3, fanned atop the High Seat, exalted among the almost games and other shrinking aspirants. 

(CW)TB out.

one more look at the ghost


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