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SPECIAL 2 - 2006

16 September 2006

It's been tricky to get this Special out, and it's all due to my postponement of rallying people to make them. Fortunately, we all came through in the end and so, here is the next in the series! This particular piece is a collaboration between Marino Cappuccino and Ramón Híperdrunk and another worthy addition to the collection. It's one that managed to surprise me completely and throw me off balance. Who'd have thought of a photo-strip compilation with toys and drawings? This is the kind of creativity we appreciate here, people!

So the news is finally out; the Wii will be here on the 8th of December and for the sum of 250 Euros. Though still relatively cheap compared to the other consoles, it's still a lot of cash and I know some people who will have a hard time coughing it up. It's admirable that the package will come with Wii Sports, but then that's the only way they could've ever gotten it into the hands of people, seeing as it isn't -in my eyes- a title you readily buy in stores. Even if the simple concept appeals, it still lacks any and all visual appeal; the simpleton design having no real charm of it own.

Somewhat more confusing was the message that the Wii would not be region locked if developers didn't choose to do so. This obviously was a great victory for people who import games or are against such archaic boundaries in a world whose traditional borders have been shattered by the internet. The desperate clinging to regions may work out in protecting licenses of properties that are granted only for specific regions, but that's old-world thinking. Besides, you don't see this happening either on handhelds, and that is a thriving market. However, Nintendo almost immediately denied what it had said earlier and claimed that the console would be region protected anyway. It's remarkably conservative and disappointing for a piece of hardware that is poised to break the mould in all other areas.

School has started this week; it's the final year and I was fortunately place in my project of preference. The coming half year I'll be doing research and development for the Dutch gaming studio Guerrilla (makers of Killzone), fashioning new concepts and playable demos for next-gen ideas I am probably not allowed to disclose to you. Still, I didn't want to withhold my enthusiasm that I'll finally get a taste of what it is to work in a small team of dedicated game designers, honing my skills and probably creating some kick-ass work.

See you next Special!

Roderick.