Opinion: End of gaming industry in sight?

11:45 am EDT, March 29, 2012

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With the recent rumor about the possible next generation of PlayStation, I have come to the conclusion that if many of the mainstream companies that produce games/systems don’t shape up soon, they should just abandon ship.

Let me start by referencing this rumor. I am a hardcore PlayStation girl, always have been. I owned the original PS1, the PS2, and have played the PS3 multiple times. PS1 was all right, not really good or bad; really sleek, easy controller design, though (which has been a pretty stable point for PlayStation). PS2’s were beautiful, introducing backwards compatibility that everyone came to adore, and allowing for games like Kingdom Hearts (1&2), the Jak series, and Ratchet & Clank to come in and steal our hearts. The original PS3 had so much potential, saving the backwards compatibility while allowing Blu-ray, online play, and all new co-op options. Sure, they overheated sometimes, but nothing a good ventilated area couldn’t handle. But the newer, “better” versions? I just don’t know how to feel. On the one hand, they still have Blu-ray, allow for the free online game play, and the games still have gorgeous graphics (hello, Little Big Planet rocks my world); but no backwards compatibility? Yes, free online gameplay; no one told me free came with so much lag and loading time. Sure, everyone’s experience is different; most of the time it isn’t so bad, but still. Now with this rumor, I just feel sick. Why make the mistake of keeping away one of the main things, again, that many fans loved: backwards compatibility. It just seems wrong. I can’t stress it enough. No used games? Are you kidding me? That is going to kill the gaming industry on its own, especially if others follow. I’m sorry, but I love used games because I personally don’t have $60 I can drop every time a game interests me. It’s just not in my pocketbook’s future.

Second up, Microsoft. Most everyone I meet is pro-Xbox; but the Xbox consoles are not without their own set of flaws. The original Xbox was all right, again not good or bad; clunky design, but it ran well with decent graphics, and it was also the first to have a built-in hard disc drive. Pretty impressive. But the Xbox 360 was just ok for me. Graphics-wise, it’s a pretty gorgeous system. Tomb Raider: Underworld made me feel like I was really underwater or in the tropics, Dead Space 1 & 2 scared the shit out of me because the monsters were just that gruesome (in the dark was way worse). But you have to pay for Xbox Live, which, although offers a more stable internet than PlayStation most of the time, is just another thing to pay for. The controllers pretty much follow the original Xbox and are still just as clunky in my hands. The big one: no backwards compatibility with original Xbox games. And, in general, there aren’t many interesting titles that are exclusively for the Xbox 360. Most games nowadays are made for PlayStation, Microsoft, and even Nintendo. So, I honestly haven’t jumped on board that bandwagon just yet.

Finally, Nintendo. This is honestly the only company that gives me hope for the future. It has been a stable, consistent system for many generations. Almost everyone I know owned an NES. Legend of Zelda and Metroid are just as popular and well-known now as they were when they came about; and of course, Mario and Donkey Kong (for which there is no need to elaborate). Then the SNES and the N64 came about, continuing the impressive work. Each system gave new, exciting games, good graphics, and very few drawbacks (sure, you had to blow in the cartridges sometimes, but who didn’t?). The Game Cube was also very impressive, but I think it was the first system that had any real problems (discs not spinning, lid not closing), but those mainly came about from poor ownership. While their “floor” systems, I’ll call them, were taking the world by storm, so were their handheld ones. The Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, DS-light, and finally the 3DS are all still just as popular and used as ever. Sure, PlayStation has tried (and been semi-successful) with handhelds, but no one played a PSP or PS Vita when they were kids. Nintendo has also managed some backwards compatibility in a fair amount of its systems, even allowing for some of its handle held games to be linked to their “floor” consoles. With good graphics and a healthy respect for the fan base, I feel Nintendo is doing really well, and I only hope that PlayStation (aka Sony as I know some of you will point out) and Microsoft will follow its lead.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Barnes & Noble has announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already a gigantic hit. In fact, it’s the most pre-ordered book since Deathly Hallows.

It’s been 9 years since J.K. Rowling publsihed Deathly Hallows in the summer of 2007, but Harry Potter fans are evidently still eager for more stories from the Wizarding World. In a press release on Monday, the biggest book chain in the United States revealed that they haven’t seen pre-orders this huge since the last Harry Potter book.

deathly-hallows-book-cover

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Barnes & Noble’s most pre-ordered book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and we expect it to be our biggest selling book of the year,” said Mary Amicucci, Chief Merchandising Officer at Barnes & Noble in a press release. “To guarantee that our customers get the new Harry Potter book as quickly as possible, Barnes & Noble is the only national retailer that’s guaranteeing delivery of the book on August 1, for both online and ship-to-home pre-orders placed by noon ET on Friday, July 29. Our booksellers are also preparing to host big crowds for our signature Midnight Magic parties on July 30.”

If you’ve passed by a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble in the past few months you’ve probably seen the heavy promotion they’ve been doing. Headers that state “HARRY POTTER IS BACK” will clearly entice people to pre-order.


HARRY POTTER IS BACK! (Spotted at a Barnes & Noble) #harrypotterforever #harrypotter

A photo posted by Hypable.com (@hypable) on

In a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month we learned that Scholastic was printing 4.5 million copies of “the eighth story” for the United States and Canada. This is a far cry from the 12 million printed for Deathly Hallows, but still a very large print run for a book in modern times. (Also worth noting: Many readers have switched to eBooks in the years since Deathly Hallows.)

It’s nice to see that Harry Potter fans haven’t lost their interest in the series. Perhaps the success will inspire J.K. Rowling to continue writing within Harry’s world?

The book has also been a huge success on Amazon. The Cursed Child has sat at the top of the online retailer’s bestseller list for months.

Hypable will have lots of coverage surrounding The Cursed Child once it’s released this weekend. Stay tuned! AHHHH!

Sherlock finally made it to Hall H at Comic-Con and the creative team brought a few surprises. Steven Moffatt, Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, and Benedict Cumberbatch were on hand to the thrill of fans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and crew definitely know how to work a crowd. Here are the top highlights of the panel that played to a crowd of thousands.

1. Season 4

They are currently two weeks from finishing Sherlock season 4. Cumberbatch said that “a lot comes home to roost this season… it’s ballsy.”

They have 26 pages to film this Tuesday. Cumberbatch states that the monologues are very challenging and take a lot of work.

As for actors’ favorite lines this season:

Gatiss: “Sherlock.”

Abington: Not a line but a beckoning gesture.

Cumberbatch: Can’t say.

Key names for next season (change from doing key words):

  • Moffat: Smith
  • Gatiss: Thatcher
  • Vertue: Sherinford

2. Keeping the show fresh

By not making as many episodes, the creators feel they actually keep the quality. They joked that under normal standards they’ve actually made about half a season of a standard TV show, or 13 episodes.

There are no plans for any other Victorian Era shows. Moffat feels that it would be less interesting if the mind palace returned there.

3. Learning curves and drugs

Gatiss stated that with 90-minute episodes you “really have to put [Sherlock and Watson] through the ringer.” Moffat added that because of this, Watson has to evolve. Watson can’t keep being amazed by Sherlock. As for Sherlock, “he can’t be the weird scary amoral man we met in the first episode… geniuses learn… he has to learn.”

Sherlock’s drug addiction comes back when he is not working. It’s hinted that the addiction will be a bigger issue this season than in the past.

4. The coat and the hair

There is apparently a big debate every year over changing the iconic coat. Sue Vertue wants to change it, and Steven Moffat wants to keep it. Benedict Cumberbatch dove into the debate stating, “I’m quite hung up on the coat…. but sometimes it has to come off.” The audience reaction was predictable.

Cumberbatch joked that he loved playing Sherlock in the Victorian era because of the slicked back hair. In the modern era it takes forever for his hair to get done. On a serious note, he loved the more straight-laced, clipped version of Sherlock.

5. First ‘Sherlock’ season 4 trailer

The teaser trailer featured this phrase over and over: “Something’s coming. It may be Moriarity, maybe not.” Literally every character we know and love looks like they are scared, angry, or worried on an epic scale.

One of the best moments is Mrs. Hudson saying with supreme venom to Mycroft, “Get out of my house you reptile.” Watch below:

6. Improv and family

There is actually, according to Cumberbatch, very little improvisation on set. It’s about how to do what’s there, and not messing with the script. He firmly believes that what is there is what is needed for the show.

Cumberbatch genuinely loves having his mom and dad play his TV mom and dad. Every now and then he can see his mother struggle to call him “Sherlock” and not “Ben.”

7. Mary in the know

Abbington didn’t know she was an assassin until well into the last season. When she found out, she told partner Martin Freeman, “My God, [the fans] are going to hate me.” Despite this, she loves the flawed characters of the series.

8. When will the series return?

No date was given for either the BBC release date or the PBS release date. We only know that it will premiere in 2017.

9. The dog photo

According to Cumberbatch the dog (depicted above) was a nightmare. “The dog wouldn’t fucking move,” he said. The companion was supposed to drag Sherlock all over London, but the dog didn’t like people, concrete, crowds… really anything about an urban setting.

Moffat and Gatiss resorted to writing a new scene on the spot to account for the lack of the dog’s interest in roaming. According to Gatiss all it did was drool on the concrete.

10. Future seasons?

Touching on the future of the series, Moffat stated, “Why is everybody assuming they survive season 4?” Gatiss joked, “We’re skipping season 5 and doing season 6.”

Moffat clarified that — contrary to recent reports — he never said that this season would be the last one (He’s right: All he said was the schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman are only getting more difficult to work with). Gatiss added that they want to do more seasons, and they hope that they are able to.

Sherlock will be back in 2017. What do you think of the first season 4 trailer?