It seems everyone is raving about the creature creator in Spore. As J says, expect to see a lot more of these. The idea behind Spore is truly brilliant, to let everything in the game evolve, the ultimate simulation of life. And yet, the game is already tainted by the promise of the same DRM that Shamus has been warning about for months – the game requires an online security check every ten days or it stops working. This is outrageous, well beyond the reasonable need of copy protection.
In fact, the recent coverage of these issues at Shamus’ site has led me to reconsider my own position on PC gaming entirely. I haven’t actually played a PC game since Tie Fighter and Myst: Exile. However, I have entertained thoughts of building a new rig for gaming (and scientific calculation, mostly MATLAB). Increasingly, though, the trend in PC gaming is towards more DRM, not less, and I don’t see any compelling argument to subject myself to the suspicion of being a criminal. Aside from Spore, that is – but Spore will also be released on the Wii.
In addition, at some point in the near future we will be biying an HDTV, and then will need a Blu-Ray player. The single best Blu-Ray player on the market, also the cheapest, is the Playstation 3. Between the Wii and the PS3, is there any genre of game that I might even theoretically want to play which isn’t available on the console side? Even Portal, the other game that has my attention, has a PS3 version.
I think it’s safe to simply declare that console gaming is the sole route I will follow from here on out. Rather than invest even a minimal $500 in building a gaming rig, I can buy ten games on the Wii. The value proposition of console gaming blows PC gaming out of the water since you aren’t stuck in the perpetual upgrade cycle – and consoles have astounding longevity, just look at the PS2 (another system I might pick up someday for kicks). And actually owning my games, and being able to play them without jumping through hoops, is just icing on the cake.