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About GameSetWatch is the game weblog and sister site of It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

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PlayStation 3

Tim Sweeney, Let Off The Leash!

September 22, 2006 9:19 PM | Something else I worked on for Gamasutra at TGS - I was one of the only Western journalists in a CEDEC Premium talk with Epic's Tim Sweeney, and it was great to see him being honest in the Q&A, freed from perhaps over-restrictive PR shackles.

Some extracts: Sweeney "...did comment specifically on how difficult it is to program for multi-core processors and the even more complex Cell chip used in the PlayStation 3. He noted that it "takes about twice the effort and development cost to develop for a multi-threaded CPU," compared to a single-core CPU. Even more than that, according to Epic's analysis, fully exploiting the PS3 Cell chip "required about 5 times as much cost and development time than single-core.""

But it's not all bad for PS3: "While Sweeney seemed to be disquieted by the complexity of developing for Cell, he did praise Sony elsewhere in his keynote for an "enlightened business model" when it comes to online PS3 capabilities - one that will apparently allow Epic's users to create Unreal Tournament 2007 levels and content on the PC, and distribute them via the PlayStation 3." Apples for everyone!

Kutaragi On 'The Future Of Gaming'

September 22, 2006 4:17 AM | So, I was at Tokyo Game Show all day - you'll see some pictures from it on GSW in due course, including some alternate highlights - but I did an in-depth write-up of Ken Kutaragi's Sony keynote for Gamasutra which perhaps doesn't even convey the semi-insanity of it.

Ken obviously has a grand plan around networking and shared metaverse-style information (!), yet as I noted: "But how do the two poles of a networked ecosystem and the PS3's extreme power get reconciled? Kutaragi freely admitted that the PlayStation 3 "may be called overkill" in terms of its "enormous computation power", but he explained that, over the next 2 to 3 years, "networking will live alongside packaged media."" If you understand this, please explain to us all!

Furthermore, the follow-up Q&A saw Mr. Kutaragi in even more flippant mode, particularly: "When asked about the expensive nature of the PS3, Kutaragi somewhat bizarrely claimed that in the U.S., the $499 pricing had retailers and publishers happy at "such a great function for that price", trying to paint a picture where Europe was similarly happy, and it was only Japan (where the lower-spec model is 59,800 yen ($515), and the higher-spec price up to retailers) that price came up as an issue." You should have seen the Westerners in the audience when _that_ comment came through via translation.

Spielberg's EA Game About Relationships?

June 17, 2006 8:12 AM |

spiel.jpg The folks at Grand Text Auto have linked to a mini-article in The Economist about game AI which features them talking about Facade, but even more interesting, for us, is a hint about the game Steven Spielberg is making at Electronic Arts with design veteran Doug Church.

Neil Young, general manager of EA Los Angeles, is quoted toward the end of the article, and notes: "Tellingly, Doug Church of Electronic Arts, who gave the keynote speech at last year's AIIDE conference, recently started work on a game with Steven Spielberg where “the focus is on building an emotive relationship at a story level and a gameplay level between the player and another character,” says Mr Young."

So, is this going to be anything like ICO's compelling human relationships, as recently explored by Katherine Isbister in a fascinating book extract on sister site Gamasutra: "In ICO, the player-character (the young boy carrying the stick) finds a trapped princess very early on in game play. From this moment forward, the player takes care of her. The princess (Yorda), is not really able to defend herself and is not as agile as the player-character. She must be led by the hand to ensure that she tags along, and she needs help over obstacles. When the player ­battles the shadows that threaten her, she will stay close by (within social distance)"? That would be interesting indeed.

PS3's Giant Crab Reaches National Stage

June 14, 2006 11:03 AM |

crab.jpg We only cover the most important, vital, and breaking news here, hence a new PRWeb (doh!) press release on Kinyo's Giant Enemy Crab Song and Ridge Racer Remix songs being featured on Spike TV's Game Head show in the near future.

The former is, of course, based around the demo of Genji 2 that took place at Sony's E3 press conference - infamously 'based on famous battles that actually took place in ancient Japan', but also featuring, uhm, giant crabs. C'mon, you've seen the giant crab fever already on GSW (yes, with some extra Kaz Hirai 'Riiiidge Racer' meme-age, too) - now apparently, we get terrible techno remixes. Oh, and a NewGrounds Flash movie called 'Giant Enemy Crab Battle', naturally.

So, this phenomenon has all the early signs of a horrific meme - we're now waiting for 'Giant Crab: The Musical', featuring such classic dance numbers as 'Attack Its Weak Points!', and tragic ballads such as 'It's Not Easy Being A Giant Enemy Crab In Feudal Japan'. Oh dear.

1UP Goes A Bit Summer-y, Innit?

June 10, 2006 1:02 PM |

1upshow.jpg We got news from the folks at Ziff Davis that: "The 1UP Show's summer season has officially begun as of 10 minutes ago" - this was last night, mind you, that's how breaking news we are. But you can go check out the summery-themed videocast yourself, and we're mainly posting this so we can quote the frankly hilarious PR email.

Apparently: "The Summer Break episodes begin with an original new tongue-in-cheek Beach Boys-esque theme song composed by co-producer Jane Pinckard, featuring 70s-retro-style freeze frames of the various 1UP Network staff teams leaping through a sunlit park in San Francisco." What follows is "summer travelogue and outdoor zaniness", apparently! [Also, we noticed that the guys from CGW are too sedentary to jump around quite so much in the intro pics!]

But kidding aside, here's the line-up for the new show, which still seems to be one of the most watchable online video game type things online, so there: " Liberty City Stories got ported from PSP to PS2 this week, and John and Greg explain to Joe why this is a good thing. Ryan's been obsessed with Half-Life 2: Episode 1... Patrick checks out PLAY!: A Videogame Symphony over in Chicago and gets to interview Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame, Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka, and Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell...Jane tags along with Dana and Sharkey to check out an early build of Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom." Watch and learn!

Did You Have A Crabtacular Time At E3?

May 19, 2006 6:40 AM |

crab.jpg The always fun has decided to post about the epidemic of in-game crabs shown at last weeks' E3 Expo - apparently, crab-like creature are vital to the next generation.

Clearly semi-seguing off the crab in the 'Sony Press Conf In 1 Minute' video, revealed in techicolor are "...all the crabs that I've noticed in screengrabs or released screenshots. Some of these might be a little loose in the definition of "crab", but they're all very much crab-like aliens or mutants or crab-robots."

But really, the crab from PS3 title Genji 2 (showcased in the Sony press video!) still wins every time, because, as is pointed out: "Once the giant crab creature showed its face in this historic game with real battles from history, there was no saving Sony's showing."