The Weekly Byte for 9/20/2010

New Releases

  • Darksiders – $19.99 – Hack ‘n Slash/RPG
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization V – $49.99 – Strategy behemoth

News Bytes

SCV’s converge on Starcraft II! By the time you are reading this, the first major Starcraft II patch will be available.  The patch hits Tuesday, September 21st, and aside from many multiplayer tweaks, the patch will also add support for Nvidia 3D technology.  I can’t imagine Starcraft in 3D, but hey, at least the option is there!  Full details available soon, standby at Raynor’s console!

Welcome to the digital age! The other big news this week is the NPD shocker for PC games.  Apparently digital sales have blown away retail PC game sales, and who is really surprised?  With Impulse, GOG, Direct2Drive and Steam having constant wicked sales, especially around holidays and off periods for gamers, this isn’t much of a shocker.  Of course, analysts are heralding this as the coming of Galacticus arriving to finally swallow PC gaming and excrete it into extinction forever, but we all know that to be false.  It’s safe to say that the majority of today’s PC gamers have high speed connections and have become increasingly trusting in the digital services available to today’s consumer.  That being said, a service like Steam offers many benefits to purchase games through their store.  Brick and mortar software isn’t going anywhere and neither is PC gaming, it is just staying an evolutionary step or two ahead of console gaming.  :O)

The war on crime is over! At least, on PC’s it is.  Realtime Worlds has announced that they will be soon shutting down APB, the much waited for Cops and Robbers MMO.  Details are scarce about when the official cut-off will be, but, for now, the game is still open so get in and get playing!  You can’t help but feel bad for hose lifetime subscription purchasers.  We feel worse for the employees, who have all been officially laid off.  It seems that the company going under, and not poor media sales, is the ultimate demise for the game.  We wish all of those hard-working men and women the best of luck, and our prayers are that they find new employment swiftly.

Onlive goes unplugged? No, OnLive is not doing a VH1 special, but it will be jumping ship from it’s ‘hard-wired only’ requirement.  The service is so confident, in it’s infrastructure, that it will now be expanding to allow players to play from Wi-Fi connections – a feature previously unavailable.  We’re not sure how well this will work, but you might just get some firsthand reporting from us pretty soon.

Last, but not least, Good Old Games banishes old games to the past. Or do they?  When GOG first took their site down and made the following quotes, gamers saw it as the service going under.  However, continued scrutiny of the comments and meditation on the possibilities have shed some doubts on GOG’s fate.  Firstly, the site promises to make an announcement on September 22nd about allowing gamers access to download all of their games.  Now, I have to ask the question, if a digital service were going out of business, would you A) Make every attempt to contact your customers and warn them to download before the site goes down or B) Rip the site down and promise a solution later?  Yeah, I see this as a major overhaul for GOG, especially since the official quotes do not say that they are going out of business, but rather that they “cannot remain in it’s current form”.  Sounds cryptic, no?  You be the judge, here is the official quote :

Dear GOG users,

We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really keep GOG.com the way it is. We’ve debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we’ve decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form.

We’re very grateful for all support we’ve received from all of you in the past two years. Working on GOG.com was a great adventure for all of us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and wonderful history of PC gaming.

This doesn’t mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We’re closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await.

On a technical note, this week we’ll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games. Stay tuned to this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

All the best,
GOG.com Team

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