Allo!

Welcome to the first post of the St. Petersburg Times’ first video game blog! Good times.

If you haven’t already, check out Dave Gussow’s story previewing the Xbox 360 launch and my article about why game prices are going up to $60 for the next-generation systems. My review of the 360 will run in Tuesday’s paper, but I’ll be posting more thoughts later today.

With sellouts all but certain and shortages likely, reviews of the new system are pretty much moot. The people who are going to buy it this early don’t care how good it is (to be determined, but the potential is there) or if there are any great games (not likely yet, though I’ve only tested EA’s launch lineup).

More power to them. I, for one, hate system launches. There’s so much hype (does anyone really get excited about being able to pay Microsoft to change out the 360’s faceplate?), and it’s rare that you get a Super Mario 64 right away. That’s understandable; developers are still getting used to the hardware, and even if they could come up with something amazing immediately the costs are so high now that they wouldn’t want to waste it on a relatively tiny installed base of users (3 million units are expected to be shipped in the first 90 days, but that’s worldwide).

I’d be surprised if the Xbox 360 gets any games by spring half as good as God of War or Guitar Hero, or as quirky as Nintendogs, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and Trauma Center: Under the Knife. Until then, the old systems will do just fine.

— November 21, 2005

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