Ask Me Stuff

You guys have any burning questions? About anything? This is Ask Me Stuff, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Leave me a question in the comments below and I'll endeavour to answer it before the day is out.


    Mark -

    You never answer your phone. We need to talk about that thrilling night we had together.

    Do you know if Lego Star Wars III for PC will be sold in AUS? I can't find it on the EBGames/Dicksmith/BigW/JBHifi websites.
    Maybe the stores actually want to me to buy it off Steam?

      Someone at GAME told me it was $50 and preorders only on PC. But their online store sometimes gets random stuff, so check there maybe?

        Thanks, you gave me a good idea, and it gave me results.
        Proof EBGames hates PC games: A link on their homepage gives you this note the lack of a PC version.
        On further investigation, I came up with this and there is the PC version...AT THE BOTTOM!!! D:
        But at least I now know that they are selling it.

      I'm pretty sure I saw an ad for it on Steam last night. Pricing wise I can't remember.

        Yeah it's $30 off Steam, but I only have 10GB of broadband usage every month, so getting it off of Steam isn't really and option for me :(

          Ouch! What ISP is that? And how much do you pay?

          Go iiNet or Internode if you can; they get free Steam downloads! :D

          Oh my god, you poor man. 10GbB? I remember back when I only had that kind of usage, I would ration it out, 300megs a day. I had to limit my downloads, waiting a couple of days before downloading any 700meg or 1GB files.

          Now a days I have over 100. I can't remember exactly as I've never used it all.

          I live in dial-up country (read: Ipswich) so wireless broadband is my only option. I'm paying $60/month for it

      I think these guys have covered it, but according to Activision the game is currently shipping to retailers for PC. So I can only imagine it'll be in store at some retailers. It might be limited stock?

        Kotaku has such a great community, thanks everyone.
        I've just come home from EBGames, they had LSW3 for PC there, I bought the last copy :D
        Expect a reader review from me sometime next week.

    Can you ever see a game going multi-platform on a single disc?

    Though I could never imagine Sony and Microsoft getting together on this, or even Nintendo and either one, it seems like Microsoft could probably do this.

    The concept is simple, you buy a game and the disc works in both your PC and your xbox.

    There would no doubt be issues with space, some games this would be ok as they don't need much space on a dvd, others do. In this case perhaps blu-ray being the future this could happen on the next gen of consoles.
    I can't count the amount of times I had to struggle to choose to get a game on console or PC. To play it in my living room with friends and do co-op, or play it on my more powerful PC with generally better online and the option for mods.

    Some games used to come with both the PC and MAC discs in the one box, why can't we do this with our console games?

      I think you could happen but not on one disc.

      Recent precedents are:
      - the Blu-ray + DVD + digital movie cases, where there is a separate disc for each version and a unique code to tie the digital file to your online identity
      - the upcoming PS3 + PC (via steam) Portal 2, where I imagine that there's one blu-ray in the pack, then a unique code will allow you to download a digital copy to your PC. The whole point is to make Steam cross-platform, so the downloaded copy will surely be tied to your steam account, and you can only play one version at a time?

      First one is fact, second one is speculation, but in general I can't see them making more expensive multi-format discs - identity-bound digital downloads are the way of the future!

      As for cross-console packs/downloads, the licensing they have to pay to each platform owner means that ain't gonna happen. The game would become more expensive to cover stuff most people wouldn't use! What would be nice, though, is if you could pay just that licensing fee to play a game you already own on another console.

        Not only would it be more expensive to buy since it'd have to include licence fees for two platforms instead of just one, it'd also probably cost the publishers/developers a lot of money. Say you and your mate have a PS3 and a 360. You could go halves on 1 copy of the game, with one of you taking the PS3 copy and one taking the 360 version. Unless it was actually double the cost of a single version of the game (which would kind of defeat the whole point of it) then publishers, developers and retailers would lose a lot of revenue.

      Or maybe something on the Xbox disc which allows you to download a PC copy from Games for Windows Live.

      Sounds like a good idea.

        Sony and Valve beat you to it! If you link your Playstation Network account to your Steam account, buying Portal 2 on either platform entitles you to play it on the other! There's even Cloud Saving, so you can just continue on your other platform from where you saved last.

        Microsoft, geniuses that they are, won't allow this kind of integration of Xbox Live with an outside entity of any kind, let alone one that competes with (hahaha, competes...) their Games For Windows Live platform.

        Admittedly, it's one game, but I can see a bright future where publishers sign agreements with both Valve and Sony to get this kind of non-platform-locked license cranking on third party games.

      Note that including two ports of a game on a single disc does not necessarily mean doubling the space requirements.

      Much of the content on the disc will be data that is processed by the game engine, and this data could easily be shared between the different ports. In the best case scenario, the only overhead would be a second copy of the game engine.

      Good debate going here.

      I'd say as long as there are multiple formats it's unlikely for all the reasons you guys have discussed.

      The real question would be - are we heading to a one console future. I honestly don't know. I think gaming in ten years will be dramatically different and I honestly have no idea what it'll look like.

      If I had to guess I would say we'll still have multiple formats, with their own online delivery systems.

    Why can't I download GTA:SA on xbox live in Australia if it's not banned and available to other countries on Xlive?

    Why do my pc games stutter periodically and drop fps on WIN 7 even after being up to date with bios,memtests, drivers etc? Even with i7 CPU 920, 6GB ram, 2tb storage, EX58-UD3R mobo and 2x GTS 250?
    Does it hate me?

    Have Blizzard developers lost respect/jaded with world of warcraft?

    When will out Government stop treating us like children?

    So many questions burning within, so little time.

      Re: Windows 7, maybe try disabling Superfetch, Search Indexer and doing a big ol' defrag preferably using a third party tool so that you can ensure that you move your game files to the outside of the 2TB platter (if you haven't formatted it to account for this already). Probably won't help, but you never know.

    Can you give us a video tour of the Allure offices one day (soon)?

      Sure, why not. You can check out all the girls from the sugar network in ALL THE LATEST FASHIONS.

    Was my last entry for Let off some Steam so bad it will nevr see the light of day again???

      If I remember correctly it was more like an open letter, so I wasn't sure how to frame it...

    What's a game and how do you play them?

      How do I shoot web?

      Oh, and magnets, how do they work?

        Magnets work by means of a little lode elf who lives in a cavity inside every magnet.

          Really? I thought they worked because they had little bits of gravity still inside them!

        Magic everywhere in this bitch.

        "UFOs... a river flows,
        Plant a seed... and nature grows."


    Why are Xbox Live Marketplace "games on demand" far more expensive than their real-world counterparts?

    Just Cause 2, $69.95, Xbox Live Marketplace
    Just Cause 2, $38.00, EB Games

    Borderlands, $49.95, Xbox Live Marketplace
    Borderlands GOTY Ed, $38.00, EB Games

    BFBC2, $69.95, Xbox Live Marketplace
    BFBC2, $38.00, EB Games

      Because enough suckers will impulse buy without researching to make it worth their while?

        Also, the stores have competition from other physical retailers that push the prices down. But there's only one place you can buy digital xbox games. Sure it's the same game, but competing in a different market (the aforementioned impulse buyers, as well as lazy or drunk people).

        and because my 2yo bought a copy of Halo for $50 by button mashing while i was not looking.. i found out the next day via an e-mailed receipt... no refunds bitch!!!!

        That is why i believe they do it.. the same reason that iphones remember your password after you make a purches for a period of time!!!!!

        Its all a conspiracy...

      Because Microsoft care about you*

      *r money

      It's not just XBL, the same thing happens with games that get released on the PS Store. This was a large part of the reason for the utter failure of the PSPGo - digital downloads are massively overpriced.

      Personally, I think it's a combination of a couple of things. Firstly, bricks and mortar retailers chuck a hissy fit if they get undercut by the platform holders' digital delivery services. Because most sales are still physical, the platform holders need to keep the retailers on-side. And secondly, part of the reason that physical retail engages in discounting is to clear old stock to make room for new stock. This issue of shelf space isn't a problem for digital stores since it's just files stored on disk somewhere, and disk space is both cheap and plentiful so they can just keep old games there forever if they choose to.

        Re: Retailers & Digital Downloads:

        Retailers can suck it up. If they don't like competing with their suppliers, Sony can stop providing them with consoles and software to sell. Same goes for MS. Less middle men means less price gouging and less expenses.

          I've always felt this way in regards to the sale of preowned games. Surely production companies in the games industry have enough wait to throw around that they can threaten the stores as much at least as much as they can be threatened.

          You know at least one store will always cave to whatever demands are made and then the others would have to follow suit to remain competitive. The only reason I can see that they don't do this is they somehow disallow this in their contract.

        It's worth noting that the prices on the US PSN for PSP games are extremely competitive with many getting modest to heavy discounts shortly after release.

      All the reasons above I suppose. Games at retail are treated like Fruit and Veg - once they're off the boil they have to shift the rest. Online the product is virtual, therefore there's no need to worry about cost price, getting rid of stock, etc.

    After writing 1000+ words on an opinion piece, I tend to decide that the whole thing is bollocks and scrap it all. How do I learn to stop doing that?

      Stop having opinions

        It seems so obvious, now that you've said it.

      I do the same thing - the writing is kinda therapeutic, but I'm never happy with the end result.

        Agreed, especially as I'm a pretty opinionated person. I think most of my opinions are well thought out and have justifications, but there is always the worry that whenever I'm going to post something that might go against the majority that I will just end up in an argument with someone that I really don't have the energy to take part in.

      Believe in me who believes in you.

        *sigh* Great. Now all I can imagine is Lord Editor Serrels striding through his office with a cape, but no shirt, yelling at his staff about guts, the Kotaku-dan, believing...

        And Elly just giving him a flat stare.

        Also: Your post is the post that shall pierce the heavens?

          We need for this, exactly this, to be shown to the world. I demand a video of Mark in a cape!

    Hey Mark, you ever wondered why the XBOX LIVE MARKETPLACE doesn't have a store for their physical products?

    Wouldn't it be interesting. My favourite controller stops working, so I drop back to dashboard, open the Marketplace, go to "Accesories" and purchase a new black controller with my credit card details, and Microsoft ship one to my address within a week.

    With them still pushing Games on Demand, I just thought this would also make sense. What do you think?

      Knowing Microsoft, it would probably cost 40% more than what retail charges.

        Yeah but retail charges full price for accessories anyway - the only time its economical to buy them is when M$ is running those Cash back schemes, usually in April or May

      Because if your controller is broken, how do you interact with the UI on the 360...?

        By dancing the robot and the sprinkler in front of your Kinect sensor.

          Damn, good call. I'd suggest you use voice commands, but that hasn't been implemented in Australia and based on their past tendencies with regards to our continent, I doubt it's coming at all.

          Also, $40 for a controller? I -dare- you to find it at retail in a store for <$79.95. MS would add shipping on top. $100 for a controller sounds about right, delivered via taxi...

            I bought one of the silver LE xbox controllers with the included battery pack at JB for $47.99 because the stupid bastards put the wrong price sticker on one of them.

            I love idiot retail staff.

        You plug in another system's controller.

        "The controller plug you have tried to plug into your system, is too fat. To purchase a new controller please mash the buttons with your palm now"

          fellas fellas! You all seemed to miss the point when I said "favourite controller"...

          (you know, the one that still has the blind-guy, goosebump bits on the thumbstick? ;D)

      I'd imagine that'd be a huge undertaking, but not a terrible idea.

    Am I going blind and/or crazy, or has the "Special Offers" area disappeared of the Australian PS Store? I reckon well over half my PS Store purchases have come from checking that every week to see what's on sale.

    But the last couple of weeks I haven't seen it there - have they stopped discounting stuff? Or just stopped drawing attention to it? Or is it still there and I'm just too dumb to find it? It still seems to be there on the US store, but it's either disappeared from the Australian one or I'm just too dumb to find it :P

      Yeah, it disappeared and was replaced with a page for Japanese disaster donations IIRC.

        You wouldn't think it'd be that hard to have both, would it? Why would special offers and the tsunami appeal be mutually exclusive? I say bring back special offers and ditch the stupid Move section instead.

    When my 360 is not in use, I put a magazine on the top of it to stop dust from getting in the vents because my 360 is sat horizontally. Good/bad idea?

    Also, I only ever go online with my computer and periodically have to buy a new 360 game just to get the new updates.. are there any games out there now that'd be worth getting just to make sure my 360 is up to date?

    Also, I'm really starting to dislike FPS games. Is there a cure for this?

    Also, why is there a tiny pink elephant on my computer screen waving at me?

      You can download the updates from the Microsoft website on your PC, throw it on a USB stick and plug it into your 360. You don't have to buy a whole new game just to get a measly update. There hasn't even been any significant updates since the "install game to HDD" feature was introduced yonks ago (unless Kinect is your kind of thing).

      Can you get updates through a game disc? If you're looking for a good game that's not FPS, try Assassins Creed II or Banjo Kazooie. Sometimes you just need a break from them.

      Horizontal is the best way for two reasons:
      1. Less likely to scratch a disk.
      2. More vents available for more air intake and less chance of RRoD.

      That's actually a good question re: dust covers when not in use. It's almost certainly going to be helpful to some degree, but whether or not it's negligible is worth finding out...

      On that topic, I run my PC without its side to increase ambient cooling and so I can tinker if need be... Does bad things with regards to dust, however, so a can of compressed air is always handy. Can these be used on a 360 without voiding the warranty?

        I don't think you can open the xbox console enough to be able to use a can of compressed air without voiding the warranty. Sorry.

        What is really annoying is even those cooling fans that you can buy that sit on the back, aren't covered by Microsoft. In fact they advise not to use them as some can end up drawing more power to the system and increasing the heat. I doubt they are really that bad and it's probably just MS covering themselves, but it'd be nice if they released a cheap one themselves.

    How do I impress girls?

      Step 1: Cut a hole in the box...

        Quick question...
        I've just been blinded by the glare on a Scotsmans chest in an internet video, and I've just poured several litres of bleach into my eyeballs to remove that image.
        Should I call triple 0, or poison control?

    Two Questions:

    1. Could Jesus microwave a Burrito so hot, that he himself could not eat it?

    2. Is "You Don't Know Jack" going to be released in Australia?

      1. Well sure of course, he could, but then again… wow as melon scratchers go, that's a honey doodle.

      2. Who's Jack and what's he in for?

      2. Computer says no :(

      And the existing releases are region-locked across all platforms just to make it even more pointlessly impractical for us to play it.

        As someone who enjoyed You Don't Know Jack when he was a littl'-un, this news makes me a sad panda. :`(

        *with the probable exception of PS3. I might have to look into getting that!

      The second question appears to have been answered.

      As for the first...

      Jesus doesn't like Mexican food. He's more of a pizza guy.

    Will you be going to E3?

    If you require someone to carry your luggage/escort you around the Sony & Microsoft booth with a constant supply of bloody marys/punch Cliffy B in his smug face/ask Randy Pitchford where the hell Aliens: Colonial Marines is/fend off American Shaun Of The Dead fans/replace your deer-in-headlights blathering with Queen's English when meeting Kojima/play any Skyrim or Mass Effect 3 demos for you/constantly shout 'what's a guy gotta do to get a Buckfast round here?' at inappropriate moments/cosplay as The Boss for five straight days - then I'm your man.

      You're going to cosplay as The Boss for 5 days? That's impressive. Which era are you going for? The early-mid 70's scruffy rock and roll? The 1980s jeans-and-tshirt working class hero Born In The USA kind of look? Perhaps the quieter, more introspective late 90s/ early 2000's period?

      Although I guess if you spread it over 5 days you could probably cover most of the key periods of Springsteen's career from early 70s to present day.

      Good question. Not sure if I'm going yet. But truly, having a cosplaying dude dressed as the boss carrying my luggage... what a wonderful world that would be.

    How do you get the info for all your articles? Do developers ring you up and let you know how things are going? Do you have a hundred orphans chained in the basement infront of computers constantly searching the interenet for game related news?

      We're not orphans. He stole us while we slept.

      Oh god he's coming. Help, he will beat us

        lol! I just had a flashback of Serrels from that wrestling video ripping his shirt off. So much anger. So much man...

      Sometimes I chase new news, sometimes I get emailed tips, something people chase me...

      Loads of stuff really.

    Another Chigurh Calavera Adventure:


    Plainview & The Dangerous Redemption.


    Hello, old salt. it is me. i am in a great deal of pain after a horrific sailing accident upon the Sunday afternoon of highest tide & grave misfortune.
    And destitute & set adrift from my colleagues and friends after an embarrassing incident at my local gentleman's club, i now wander the streets with a sandwich board reminding citizens that - to my infinite chagrin & remorse - "The End is Nigh".

    My question? Alright and as you wish; you seem to be in some kind of rush so i will - without further delay or detour - cut to the proverbial chase, as it were.

    My dear Mama & Papa have been promised a television by way of a token compensation for my wicked life held only tenuously together by all seven deadly sins.

    The television will make them regret me . . . to a lesser extent - so to speak.

    Do you see the writing on the wall? the television will be my most beautiful redemption!!

    is the television real? can I regain the love of my dear Mama & Papa with the divine intervention of consumer electronics?

    You have the answer. I have the cloak, beard & sandwich board. Let's do lunch. No mayonnaise! Bring money . . . cigarettes . . . and the suitcase.

    Love & naked ambition,

    Your old friend -

    The End is Nigh.

      In plain, non-plainview speak - where's my effin teevee?!

      No but srsly, love your writing. Post more, I agree!

      I chased for you earlier this week. Will email again.

      I'd like to echo everyone else by saying that your posts are genius.

    When is Australia getting voice recognition for our dust collectors? Trying with a US Live account, it works fine even with your best occa accent!

    ..and more importantly, Pulp or Pulp-free?

      I called Microsoft about this and got the 'no news to report' thing.


    Lightsaber for sale $9.37 ono Slighty used to kill rebel scum.

    Mark, sorry to be a pain but has there been any word from EA on the Crysis 2 competition?

      Emailing now.

        *lamboman007 pops up out of his burrow
        Crysis 2 comp? Did someone say something about a Crysis 2 comp? :D

          Twas last year - you had to come up with a question for the Devs, winners scored a copy of the game upon release (unsure of the format, hopefully 360) which was (back then) due in Nov 2010!

    Hey Mark,

    any chance that an Xbox copy of Portal 2 will ever come with a Steam Play code for the Mac/PC version?

    seriously, its now 9pm AEST on the 30th March and no love for ME2 dlc Arrival?

    Its been out for a good few hours already.

    You mean you guys haven't finished yet already with all four of your previously completed ME1-ME2 characters????

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