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Rant: SOE needs to offer more compelling PlayStation Store content

Sony Online Entertainment had a fairly sizable role in the PlayStation Store development thus far. They offered the original IP Cash Guns Chaos and helped fund Sidhe's Gripshift on its graphical upgrade for the PS3 reissue. Gripshift was enjoyable for the first 30 minutes we played it, but the tracks were so easy and uninspired, we soon lost interest. It was hardly compelling. Did we miss something here? Also, SOE helped secure the deal to port those Midway classics we've come to both tolerate and despise. Although not one Midway classic burned our eyes with anticipation, we've been so hungry for content, we downloaded nearly all those titles anyway. Perhaps we're not being true to the spirit of classics, but we envision something a little more meaty than an unabridged arcade port with online multiplayer. Mortal Kombat II fared okay in our book but Championship Sprint and Rampage definitely lost something in their translation, and it was mostly fun.

Recently, Todd Carson of SOE spoke with Gamasutra about their announced poker game for the PlayStation Store, High Stakes on the Vegas Strip. The game will apparently include "highly customizable characters" and support for the "EyeToy and a USB headset" so you can watch (in real-time) your friends collapse into bouts of rage as you lay down your royal flush to their two-of-a-kind. Sounds handy and while there's a worthwhile need for such content, we're truthfully more excited at the idea of what multiplayer in general can bring to the table here than actually playing poker on our PS3. For example, how long will it take before we get to hear (and see) kids yelling at their moms for bringing them the wrong beverage and screwing up their run for a two pair?

Considering the recently-announced MMO plans for the PS3, there's no reason as to why SOE hasn't already positioned their hugely successful Everquest franchise for a run. How about polishing it up for a spin on the PlayStation Network? While recent rumors were already squashed, we're still left wondering why SOE hasn't yet thought of episodic content for their beloved franchise. Just like their expansions for EQ and EQII, it would provide snippets of tasty content in a package small enough to be tolerated as downloadable content. At any rate, we've alluded to the fact SOE may just be sending us these gaming distractions as means to bide our time before the good stuff starts coming. We just wish it were sooner rather than later.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Okay we all know Sony loves Japan over anybody else I mean
that has to
be the reason why we haven't recieved any good content yet. Japan ps
store has so much over north america,europe and any other. Dam thats
messed up.

Posted at 5:10PM on Jun 5th 2007 by ekbigpimping

2. Peter,
you are to be commended for your total restraint in writing this article.
Being a PSFanboy based in Europe I would personally have written a single word report starting with the letter 'S' and ending with 't'. Come to think of it, my blood is boiling so I would make that a two word report by adding a single word in front of the 's' word - I bet you can guess what it would be!

Posted at 5:22PM on Jun 5th 2007 by Amphlett

3. In all my years in the industry I could never get a straight answer as to why there is a software drought in the spring and summer months. Then November comes and you have 100+ games come out and so many worthwhile titles get left in obscurity.

Sony is obviously waiting for the right time (in their minds not mine) to pull out the big guns. I do expect alot of big announcements and all kinds of goodies at E3.

C'mon Sony...u r behind, do not make us wait please.
And our poor brothers across the pond, I have been to the European PS Store, and it sucks.

Sony, release more of the goodies that Japan gets to the US and Europe now.


Posted at 5:45PM on Jun 5th 2007 by GodisaMyth

4. Amphlett, I agree that content on the Euro store is especially lacking, but I wanted you to know that your 'This Is Living' ad starring Cherry beats my Championship Sprint any day. Yikes.

A bit off topic, but can someone who has played MKII on the PSN comment about how responsive/laggy the game is online? I'm trying to gauge how SSF2 HD Remix will run. I've heard that the old school version SSF2T on XBLA doesn't run well online, but I'm hoping that's just due to the servers and not the twitchy nature of all fighting games.

Posted at 6:11PM on Jun 5th 2007 by upz

5. Forgot to ask if Euro store users who checked out the (600mb!) PSN Intro video saw the clips for Aqua Vita and Sky Blue. Both of those look rather compelling. Wonder why Sony hasn't decided announce them to other parts of the world. The resolution on Sky Blue does suggest it's still pretty early in development though...

Posted at 6:15PM on Jun 5th 2007 by upz

6. There is a wealth of games that were on the PS2 that could get a graphical update and PSN online play to hold us off (Time splitters 2, Twisted Metal, Champions of Norrath to name a few). Easy to impliment board game conversions (Chess, checkers, monopoly) could be considered too. I know the GOOD stuff is coming, but give us something better than Championship Shi.. Oops, Sprint.

Posted at 7:48PM on Jun 5th 2007 by delive

7. I hope SOE will bring out more new IPs on PSN over just bringing out old crap.

Posted at 9:46PM on Jun 5th 2007 by Joe

8. I liked gripshift, very addictive. second racing game I ever lliked. And Iwas very excited for rampart which turned out great

Posted at 9:49PM on Jun 5th 2007 by tahiri

9. Yeah ... I'm not sure you could accurately describe Gripshift as "easy" unless you're treating it purely as a racing game. It's a really more of a puzzle game and some of them are fiendishly difficult.

If you're into that sort of thing there's considerably more than half an hour of gaming to be had.

Posted at 11:05PM on Jun 5th 2007 by ck

10. I'm enjoying the little we do have on the PSN, but damn... there could be so much more. I look at Nintendo's virtual console, and they're over 100 titles strong. Even though those games at 5 and 8 dollars a pop are a straight rip off... at least they have something. PSN is weak, and Sony needs to get serious about their online content and get on the ball. Few demos, videos, I'd love to see more old school arcade games make their way to the ps3. Simpons arcade game, Pit fighter, etc.... Sony is dragging their feet and that's why they're behind the Wii.

Posted at 12:45AM on Jun 6th 2007 by Thomas

11. 'upz', yes, I have downloaded the 600mb PSN Intro video (there's little else to do!) and to be frank it made me mad!
A mate of mine came round at the weekend and I showed him the PSN site and the PSN Intro video. He asked if he could have a go on the games... I sheepishly replied that most of them weren't out in Europe yet.

Posted at 3:56AM on Jun 6th 2007 by Ian

12. @Amphlett: Front Seat?

Posted at 6:34AM on Jun 6th 2007 by Andir3.0

13. Wow I have to defend Gripshift, its a great game I don't think just a half hour with this game is enough to judge. The first couple of levels are suppose to be easy, it starts to get challenging around the third difficulty (out of 5) with tons of different challenges(400 puzzles and 25race challenges). With the online races and online leaderboard ( ) it's also gets very competitive. All this said Gripshift is one of best PSN games out right now that is often overlooked. PSN ID: Destroga

Posted at 9:05AM on Jun 6th 2007 by just1gamer

14. @ ck
@ Just1Gamer

Good, valid points. In the quick five minutes I spent with the title after download, I determined it's level of fun to be ... mild at best. I don't often give games such a quick 5-minute pass/fail test but with this game, I just didn't feel compelled to keep playing outside of the few tracks I raced. On second thought, I do intend to give it a more thorough inspection at some point, if only to get a taste of its strategic elements you both mentioned. Only problem is ... time. Know where I can purchase some more?


Posted at 10:29AM on Jun 6th 2007 by Peter Vrabel

15. You guys completely bashed Gripshift for no good reason. You get 125 challange tracks and 25 race tracks, online multiplayer, Online leaderboards for $10.

This game should be the PS3's Geometry Wars. People keep on bashing it without giving it a chance. Gripshift is easy huh? The first 5 tracks are yes. Did you hold that against Monkey ball or any game that has easy tutorial levels to start?

Get your head out of you ass and actually give Gripshift a legit playthrough.

Posted at 12:32PM on Jun 6th 2007 by krae_man

16. Gripshift for ps3 is my favorite game. Period. And anyone who says this game is easy, I must echo the sentiments above; get your head out of whatever hole it is stuck in. For $10 this is the best value ever, I have literally put in hundreds of hours of gameplay and I still have more goals to complete. This game is definitely more of a puzzle solver than a straight-up racer, the ability to accelerate and change directions in air and launch off of nearly every object in the game opens up some truly incredible routes to the finish/stars/gripshift icon (three goals for every track!). Online leaderboards, online multiplayer, and future updates to include a track editor make this a game that EVERYONE should try. Only $10 bucks, just look at my times (mantiz)or any of the other top players on the gripshift website and try to beat a few before you call this game easy!

Posted at 1:51PM on Jun 6th 2007 by carlnash

If you think GripShift is too easy - take a look at some of the youtube videos showing gold medal times. Tricky levels, and some insane skills on display there:

Posted at 6:10PM on Jun 6th 2007 by steve


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