Loading... April 11, 2007

By John Hoskin -

Congratulations to the Canadian Women's Hockey team for winning gold at the World Championships. NHL playoffs start tonight which means my years of despair cheering for the Sabres come back to make me grumpy and cause my family to avoid my office like a biohazard zone. Go Sabres! My family beseeches you to at least get through the first round.
I have often wondered why console makers didn't allow users to purchase a viable keyboard peripheral. It is the obvious point of migration for a PC game player to a console. I can't play first-person-shooters nearly as well with a console controller as I can with a mouse and keyboard. Trying to aim, run, strafe and swap weapons using two thumbsticks and some poorly laid-out buttons is much like running across a hockey rink wearing roller skates. You can do it, but why would you? I certainly can't chat in a text box as well in a MMO as I can with a keyboard. What's the hold-up? Do developers really think I want to hear the voice of the beer-bellied guy from Arkansas come out of the well-endowned female character's mouth? This is nothing more than promotion for the virtual drag-queen society. You gusy know who you are. Stop it. Apparently the XBox 360 is working through the voice-changing, the hormone shifts and acne of adolescence to become a man...a real man with...a keyboard. So says, CNet;

"In addition, Microsoft will launch a new text input device this summer that will attach to the Xbox 360's controller and will let users type messages using a QWERTY keyboard."

A "text input device". Somebody sat around in Bellevue, Washington all day to come up with that.
What they call it really doesn't matter. The fact that consoles are going to give MMOG players a familiar way to play is what is important. It wasn't too long ago that console games couldn't even be updated with new content. As the barriers to putting a MMOG on a console in its true form come down I expect that more developers will look to the easier to develop for console market as a viable alternative to PCs.
What say you?
Our readers previously asked developers what they could do to make the MMOG experience an easier transition for new gamers. Here are a few of the answers.

“We need to make “sampling” play easier and more attractive. Mammoth install times, patch times, and long registration processes make starting a new MMO a daunting process. The next big leap in accessibility will have nothing to do with gameplay – it’ll be a better delivery method for game trials.” -Nik Davidson, Turbine

How many of you have passed on a game trial simply because you had to download 3+, 5+ or in one case 20+ Gigs of data just to give the game a whirl?
More quotes, a Q&A with NetDevil, robotic overlords and more are but a click away today in Loading...

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