The next time you're waltzing into your local video game retailer, take a moment to browse their collection of budget or backlogged Wii titles. Chances are, you'll see a trend of shelf space and overall quantity being given to waves of titles from no-name developers at budget prices. Titles like Anubis II and Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree start in the bargain bin and only sink further from there, to the point where the new Wii buyer is for a lot of guesswork as to which third-party titles are worth the plastic they're pressed on.
Once, there was a solution. Ages ago, the little golden spiky logo on the backs of Nintendo-published titles--their "Nintendo Seal of Quality"--was a strict marker of exactly that, to ease the minds of home entertainment buyers who had been burned by the 1983 gaming market crash. These days, that seal has been downgraded to the "Official Nintendo Seal," perhaps alluding that quality is not a priority when collecting licensing fees from the makers of Chicken Shoot.
While it may take a seasoned gamer to discern the cream from the crap when it comes to Wii games, a recent interview shows that Sony is planning on skipping this problem altogether when it comes to their Playstation Move controller this fall.
Gamasutra grilled Senior VP of Publisher Relations, Rob Dyer, on how they approached third parties and what their criteria are for greenlighting a game for the PS Move. Some choice quotes:
Look, I don't want to be arbiter of taste. [...] At the same time, I also see the benefit, particularly at retail when you have a limited number of slots and you're trying to get something placed, and you can't because there's so much crap out there.So while they may not have plans for a "Glowing-Ball-Wand Seal of Quality," Sony will at least be filtering what goes through their offices. They also plan on making good use of their direct download space--which has rather more users than Nintendo's WiiWare--for titles that demand less attention than a shelf at retail. Mr. Dyer warns that Sony doesn't plan on tolerating straight ports of Wii games, however.
I mean, how many versions of Bejeweled do you need? 30 enough? 50? How many do you need? We prefer to say "one." We'd much rather be able to at least have an economy that people can make money on, and we don't want to be the first to get to the bottom. And that, to me, demands some level of concept approval.
If it's a port, then we'll move it a step, to the network. Unless it's something that they've done an incredible amount of adjusting... We want to be a one-to-one experience.Does this mean Boom Blox 3 will feature trophy support and thousands of physics-enhanced blocks bouncing around? Oh, we can but hope!
The Wii doesn't have a camera. We've got a camera. Use that camera, implement that in there. A lot of these guys don't want to. They just want to use the accelerometer and say, well... No. Not gonna happen. It doesn't work that way. Put the camera in there, make it work with that, get your trophies, up-res it, put some more content in, come on down.
So far, we know that LittleBigPlanet 2 and SOCOM 4 will be featuring PS Move support, along with some motion-only games that Sony is showing off at conferences. One of these is Move Party, a collection of minigames that not only evokes the dozens and dozens of "Party" titles on the Wii, but also seems to resemble the early EyeToy titles on PS2. Bit of an auspicious start to the new, quality era of HD motion gaming, yes?
Still, perhaps there are some surprises for us waiting at E3. How many other Sony titles could be enhanced with precise motion controls?