Ask Me Stuff

Every Wednesday I ask you to Ask Me Stuff. If you have a burning question about the games industry, leave it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it this afternoon.

I’ll be doing this every Wednesday.

Now, fire away with those questions.

Note: As I was last Wednesday, I'll be out of the office all morning. Expect answers to your questions after lunch!


    Hey, I was curious if we are getting a monster hunter tri pack with a white classic pro controller, or even a white classic pro controller at all? All I can find on Australian sites advertising are black ones, both in the pack and the individuals in black, which annoys me, not cos I'm racist, but because my wii is white and I like to colour co-ordinate.

      Isn't it kinda crazy that you can't talk about a preference for a white controller without having to add "not cos I'm racist." This is where political correctness has gone mad.

      Or is the recent emergence of white handhelds/consoles/technological devices an expression of white power and dominance? Just think, with each white device we purchase, we confirm ourselves as Neo-Nazis.

        or he was just being facetious...

        I wouldn't look so deeply into a persons posts on here, nor would i take things to literally :P

        People shouldn't be so hung up on being PC :)

          You think being called a Neo-Nazi for owning a white console is too literal? What is this world coming to?

            just saying your comment about PC was a little over the top...

            ...unless of course you were being just as facetious as Mr. Riavan :P

    As a games journo, what does your typical day involve?

    eg. Are you stuck at a desk trawling internet (gaming) news feeds and press releases, sitting on a couch playing games, out with publishers/devs playing preview code, etc?

      All of the above plus talking to game publishers, following up tips, interviewing developers and attending meetings. Oh, and moderating your comments and feeding through content from the US site, of course.

        Having gotten your email last night at a little past midnight lima, which means nearly one sydney time, and having seen the time stamp on your first post this morning has prompted the question:

        Seemingly being the only one in the Australian office, are you actually getting any sleep?

          How big is this Australian office too? Any chance of a desk photo? Sounds like a lonely rabbit-warren somewhere if it's just you manning the desk... :P

    Should remakes be changed to have the best potential to become a best seller based on what people want right now?, or stay true to the original and perhaps not make so much money?.

      In my eyes it depends on who makes it

      Big corporation - Money over Authenticity

      Small time indie remake - Authenticity over Money (although money would be nice)

      Especially with today's economy, most people want to make as much money as possible to line their pockets with. Can't say i really blame them either.

      That being said, the ramakes of NBA JAM and tecmo Bowl look very very promising!

      As with everything i believe that you win some and you loose some. Gamers shouldn't really be ones to pick and choose as we have to admit, we have it pretty damn good when it comes to choice.

      Thats just my 2 cents anyway...

      Well most studios that can afford a remake are big studios anyway (think development costs, costs of acquiring the license to the series) and so they would want some good returns on what they're remaking if they recently spent a huge lump of money for the license. (which would explain why everything is remade into an FPS nowadays, with twitchy shooters ruling)

      In terms of staying true to the game, it would all have to depend on the context of the game itself. NBA Jam would be alright remade, but would X-Com? With a new generation of gamers who play games seemingly suited for the ADD-deficient, strategy games may just not make enough money.

      There's no single answer to this. As Chuloopa mentions, it does depend on who holds the license, as well as how valuable it is, whether the type of game is still popular, how valuable the IP is today, what platforms the developer has experience with, and so on.

      If we're talking X-Com, then just because 2K have announced a big-budget first-person shooter, doesn't mean necessarily they wouldn't also make an X-Com that was more true to the original. However, that would only make financial sense if the budget were a lot smaller and, thus, you're looking at XBLA/PSN or even iPhone.

      Why resurrect an old IP such as X-Com only to make a game in a totally different genre? Easy, the name still carries weight, and its world has a rich history. If 2K had announced a sci-fi FPS without the X-Com name, we'd have forgotten about it the next day. Instead, we're still talking about XCOM.

    Do you think there is anything the relatively young gaming industry can learn from the well established movie business?

    I see parallels between the two for instance the big company, big budget, minimal risk taking, broad appeal titles. (Avatar, Transformers, Modern Warefare 2, Halo series etc) and the more independant and often superior and definately risk taking titles. (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Memento, Braid etc)

      The parallels you cite are the same between film, music, games and other media: when something costs a lot to make, you play it safe; if you've got no money to lose, then you can afford to take a creative risk. With "blockbuster" games costing upwards of $50m to produce, the major publishers are going to want to own the whole thing to better manage the risk.

      As a result, much of the games industry still seems to be operating under the Hollywood studio model of the 1950s where the big players own all the talent. Today in Hollywood, that's no longer the case and the talent is hired or contracted per movie.

      I don't know if the games industry will follow the same route though. Sure, the former heads of Infinity Ward have broken away from Activision and signed up with EA Partners as an independent studio. But at the same time, plenty of independent studios are still being gobbled up by the major publishers - id Software was bought by Zenimax, Rocksteady was bought by Warner, etc.

      Interesting question though. I might follow it up with a few industry insiders...

        ...and then there's the exceptions to the rule, like Tony Hawk: Ride ;)

    Dave have you considered bumping this post at the end of the day? I like reading the discussions but there's nothing here in the morning and I never remember to come back in the afternoon.

      Bookmark or type "Ask Me Stuff" in the search bar?

      Thats what i do with the "Talk amongst yourselves" thread.

    do you know when lead & gold will be out for consoles?

      Hey Max,

      it'll be released on April 22nd on the PSN.

      Seems to be a console debut for Paradox :S

        I hope it makes it to the AU PSN. I've got a RDO this Friday and would love to spend a few hours playing this.

        Looks like a great PSN game.

    I realize the internet and magazine pricing ruins most game mag sales now days, so I have a question. Do people here read Game Informer Australia? I figure its great because its from our country, multi platform focussed, as large as Hyper but half the cost. So I was wondering everyones opinion was.

      Answer: People still buy magazines??? ;)

        I do, surprisingly. Mostly to read while i'm on the move, and just cause i like reading things on paper rather than on computer. It's personal preference really, but i only do read PSM3. It's like... 76 for 12 issues, and i have a relatively well-paying casual job so it isn't too bad for me :D

      I still buy some. But only PC specific ones to look at some of the builds and such.

      I know all the information is available on the internet but its often hard to get away from the fanboism. I find the magazines I get are pretty neutral about hardware manufacturers.

        And one more thing, multiplatform magazines IMO are rubbish. Game informer definately doesnt suit me as a gamer. I guess their audience is teenagers who havent played many games in the last decade. I bought one copy of GI and one of hyper and will never buy them again.

          I actually rate Edge; not that I buy it all that often (well, at all), but scans I read of it (particularly their editorial pieces) are pretty unbiased, well-educated and informed, and a good read in general.

      It is once in a blue moon that i will buy a mag. I'll only part with the money if they offer a real incentive to do so. Demo's and avatars just don't cut it for me.

      The last magazine i bought was Online gamer a good year ago because it came with a free boxed copy of age of conan.

      Why pay for it when i can get all the info online immediately?

      That being said, Retro Gamer is well worth your money points if you like retro games that much. Only reason i don't buy it is that i'd rather spend the money buying a retro game rather than reading about it.

      This is probably a topic more suited to Talk Amongst Yourselves.

    Is the best reader review of March still going to be drawn?

    Any quesses on when/if Jak and Daxter are coming to the PS3?

    The lost frontier aside, I had a blast with these games and would love to see them in HD.

      I would be quite surprised if we didn't see a Jak & Daxter PS3 revealed at E3 in June.

    is there any word yet about the next gta? In the stories from liberty city instruction book there is an add on one of the few last pages about liberty city being so last year and that there would be word announced in march 2010 did that happen?

      okay the ad says Liberty city, it's over! next stop.... its on page 15 of the ps3 instructions

        This 'ad' was in the XBOX version manual also which hit the shelves in 2009.

        At first it was thought to be an announcement on something new for Rockstar, nothing new has really been announced though.

        It has been accepted that the announcement was in fact the release of the Episodes on PS3 and PC, as it was in March when these were announced and date, although it was delayed by 2 weeks into April.

      I have no inside info. However, with Rockstar set to release a whole bunch of games this financial year (ending March 2011), including Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3 and L.A. Noire, it seems the stage is clear the follwing financial year for a GTA title.

      But I believe the core GTA team is working on Agent, so maybe we'll be waiting a little longer. I'm sure the Take-Two bean counters won't want to wait too long though.

    As an elite journalist, is it true that your kind pair their socks together based not on colour, but on thickness?

    Oh, and do you ever kick back and play Audiosurf, if so, what kind of music are you into? Another thing, the price of Computer Music and Future Music is redonkulous, but do you ever check them out seing as you wanted to be perhaps a music journo at some time?

      a better idea is to only buy one colour of socks... then they always match.

      I only have white or black socks since I only wear white or black shoes. This binary outlook on life has prepared me well for reviewing video games.

      Audiosurf is awesome. In fact it was one of my games of the year for 2008. At one point I held the #1 spot for some 65daysofstatic track, but I suspect I've since been dethroned.

      As for music, I listed my albums of 2009 in a Talk Amongst Yourselves thread earlier in the year. Take a look.

    When do we find out who won the Splinter Cell competition?

    Hi David, any word if NBA JAM will make it to the PS3? Thanks :)

      A Wii version has definitely been confirmed, and on the 11th of January they announced it would be Wii exclusive.

      However, in late February, a software engineer for EA (Andrea Schiel) on her linkedln profile listed NBA Jam (Wii, PS3, XBOX360) on her resume, leading to a flurry of activity and rumours.

      However, she has since changed it back to wii-only, but we can still hope right?

        Yeah, I think that's what everyone is expecting... it was even earlier than that when they were first announced it...

        That was back in January, so it seems no-one is allowed to completely confirm it, or how long before it will pop up on PS360, but it's somewhat expected to make it sometime.

    David: with all the recent talk about Demon's Souls, how far did you actually get through the game so far?

    Will anyone be developing any squad or large team based space combat style games? Something with cool objectives like blowing the hell out of a large space station or taking out a large group of enemy fighters? Something like the old Star Wars X-wing and Tie Fighter games? With otdays computing powers we should be able to have massive fleet battles and everything. It'd be awesome!

    What's with all the comments on kotaku stories the past couple of weeks? 200 and above when the highest was usually 50 or so. Has kotaku increased in popularity or are the comments from the US and AUS?

    Also, when are the winners of the splinter cell comp going to be announnced.

    Does anyone know what Studio Liverpool are up to?

    When are we going to see some more hilarious Splinter Cell competition entries, especially those that are pie related?

    Hi, where currently is the xbox 360 sitting with Blu-Ray? Thanks


      it isn't - there will be no blu-ray support for the 360


      The head honchos at Microsoft have said many times that they won’t adopt blu ray, they are focusing on digital downloads. So don’t expect Xbox to play blu ray anytime soon.

      This gen... the 360 won't have Blu Ray... for the reasons Andrew Burdusel provided...

      With Natal coming out, that's probably extended the 360 lifespan for another few years at least.

      I would still bet on them adopting Blu Ray for the successor though, even though the war was won sometime ago, everything Blu Ray is become more widespread and becoming cheaper.

      Some Devs have mentioned that DVD as a format, "Space" has become a challenge to deal with, so they will need to do something eventually.

    Is there any news on Fallout New Vegas? as i loved Fallout 3....played it for at least 500hours (not including times when i stuffed around in the world and did not save)

    So my friend says get an xbox cos ps3 sucks well that's rubbish ps3s don't suck so what's better I need an experts advice... (ooh mysterious dots...)

      I think a Wii would be up your alley, Dan

      Buy a PS3 because they will last you a couple of years (support wise). Sony said its life is a least 10 years, but I don't think the 360 has that many left.

      There's a reason a guy with an XBOX bought it to begin with, and vice versa with the ps3.

      Both have innumerable advantages and disadvantages which i suggest you research online since it would probably take the better part of the day to argue.

      U get a blu-ray player with a ps3, but an xbox is cheaper. You get GOW3 with a ps3, but you get Halo with an xbox. Xbox's come in white and black, but ps3's only come in black. A PS3 is more powerful than an xbox (if i am not mistaken) but it chews through the electric bill. The PS3 controller is (arguably) more ergonomical. You could go on forever, but it's really up to personal preference since neither console TRUMPS the other in all aspects.

      Perhaps tell us what you want in the console;
      1. Is price no object?
      2. What kinda games do you play?
      3. Do you watch blu-ray dvds?
      etc. etc. and maybe we'll be able to help out.

    I want to know how to un-link my facebook account from here. I keep clicking log out to comment as a guest, and my posts come out like I was logged in.
    I don't really like having to use my real name here...

    Never mind, I figured out I could delete my cookies. Some web applications developer I turned out to be!
    Hey kids, beer kills brain cells...

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now