This is a period when Valve Corp. seems to be everywhere: the software house which gave birth to the best game of the decade is seemingly busy in every sort of secondary project bound to video games and the PC architecture, from the infamous Steam Box to biometric sensors and mobile consoles. What Valve clearly isn’t interested in is to give a worthy conclusion to the Half-Life saga, so much that the appearance of old projects - now aborted - about the series is the only novelty in this regard of the latest… years? Bah.
It’s one of the most debated issues within the PC world together with the digital downloads’ true weight: how much is the computer video games market worth, what financial results does the PC gaming hardware gain compared to the - seemingly much healthier - major home consoles one? The reply comes from the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA), the publishers and producers non-profit organization “dedicated to driving the worldwide growth of PC gaming” which details heavy numbers and proclaims: the computer definitely is the largest, most widespread and financially important gaming platform out there.
Likewise the improbable perspective to witness the extinction of joypads, mice & keyboards in the forthcoming (and faraway too) future I talked about the past month, the other pointless and ballyhooed media hype going strong these days is the one about ubiquitous digital delivery, ie the idea that sooner or later physical supports will be outclassed or replaced by on-line downloads on consoles and PC, it doesn’t mind if users have to deal with 50 Gigabytes or a few Megabytes sized games. It’s a complete nonsense, as Stardock CEO correctly points out in an interview with Shacknews.
Are videogames art? Personally I’m not convinced at all, and after 20 years of this hobby now become mainstream I think that the medium need different categories, and that in any case it is too much young to be defined with standards layered through the centuries. Besides this, what is sure is that the amount of promotional videogame contents released by software houses hasn’t lacked even in March, so I end the introduction right now and get on to dealing with the aforementioned contents.
If it’s true that the publishers’ preferred period to launch videogame blockbusters is the month of December, the last remnants of this winter are no less for triple-A releases and delivery of interesting stuff taken from games in development. Be it viral videos, screenshots, trailers or making-of, the nice thing of a videogaming industry that surpassed Hollywood in size is that there is always something to talk about and the hype machine works at full blast without any halt.
2009 will be a year of deep economic crisis, but if the videogame industry hasn’t proved to be exempt as expected and the news about layoffs among developers are increasingly alarming, the true thing is that the enthusiasts will unlikely stop being in front of the screen only because they have less money in their pockets. Also because of the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show happening, therefore, January too hasn’t lacked the usual flow of multimedia stuff on the hits as like as on the flops of videogaming to come.
With the complicity of the software houses parade during the Japanese expo Tokyo Game Show, October has been a particularly prolific month for the release of fresh videogaming stuff. After the first round of monthly highlights, hence, this new series is even richer and visually luxuriant covering consoles exclusives, multi-platform games, certainly interesting sequels and so on.