The Evening Report, January 8th, 2013: Little Pistons and Red Capes

Valve throws money at Xi3, officially developing a Linux-based “Steam Box”



Steam Box is…kind of a dumb name for a miniature computer designed to bridge the digital distribution juggernaut to your living room television. While that’s not the final name (and hopefully never will be), Valve did make mention of an investment in hardware developer Xi3 at CES to Polygon yesterday, which will eventually result in “multiple” pieces of hardware. There’s not too much where details are concerned, save for offering a terabyte of storage and some sort of modular setup. The mere existence of this object is probably enough to set speculation on fire across the Internet.

For me, the Steam Box – something I roll my eyes at every time I have to type those two words together – comes down to two main things: the actual hardware and the price point. Xi3 mentioned to Polygon that the eventual Valve-oriented device is based on one of their previous models that’ll run a person a grand. As great as it would be to have a miniature device like this solely for my home theater, I don’t think I can justify dropping over a thousand dollars for another computer. It might just be simpler to upgrade the one I’ve got.

What do you think? If the price point is sweet enough, can you see yourself revitalizing your theater set-up for Big Picture Mode?

[Source: Polygon]

EA pulling the plug on The Sims 2 online services, continuing path towards Chaotic Evil



It turns out it’s never too late to completely shut down any online functionality for one of your biggest and most recognizable games, and EA is always ready to help us remember that fact. Rock Paper Shotgun reported today that the mega-publisher would be sending its second life simulator to a well-deserved offline grave on the 14th, along with the majority of EA Sports’ 2011 catalog. While this won’t prevent people from playing the game itself, it will hamper people who are looking to get in on the billions upon billions of DLC add-ons that the Sims website has in their databases.

I haven’t played The Sims in general in a long, long time, and as a result I’m actually more worried about the sports games that are getting cut off. While people who are still fanatics of The Sims 2 can get their low-poly woohoo-in’ on offline, anyone with a sports game that’s less than 2 years old will be completely unable to play online now. That strikes me as a terrifying prospect, and it nearly leads me to snarl at the thought of them pulling the plug on SimCity when 2015 rolls around. Hey, EA? Don’t do that.

Don’t even think about doing that.

[Source: Rock Paper Shotgun]

Ni no Kuni delayed one whole week, Namco Bandai offering free bite of DLC as recompense



Ni no Kuni strikes me as the first RPG in a very long time I’m going to sink some unhealthy amount of time into. Getting to play it at Comic-Con was a highlight of the trip, especially considering its tucked-in-a-corner position on the show floor, and the US release of the Level-5/Studio Ghibli opus is imminent…but not quite as soon as we’d hoped. Eurogamer has reported that the game has been delayed seven whole days, with Namco Bandai citing “an issue [they] no longer have control over.” It’ll be launching on February 1st instead of January 25th. To try and own up to that unfortunate delay, Namco Bandai will be offering a “Draggle familiar” for free upon launch, which I can only assume is a free extra monster to control.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as “big-time news” or not, but in all honesty, I just needed a reason to write about the one JRPG I’ve been excited about in a good four or five years. The first of the month can’t get here soon enough. I’ve got a cape to wear!

[Source: Eurogamer]


Dyl-Questing – The Best Thing I’ve Read Today: Solomon Vows



I loved XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It turns out that Sidequesting as a whole loved XCOM a lot too, and you could probably apply this statement to “the Internet-at-Large”. With the arrival of the free Second Wave DLC – a full restructuring of a post-game set of modifiers that was uncovered by modders near the game’s launch – Rock Paper Shotgun’s Alec Meer sat down to talk with Jake Solomon about the DLC and some post-mortem-y decisions on 2012’s best alien invasion game.

[Source: Rock Paper Shotgun]

Author: Dylan Sabin

Having been raised on a solid foundation of MMOs and platformers, Dylan is a second-generation gamer with an excitable nature. He thinks there's always something to appreciate about a new idea, and at the end of the day he hopes to shed a little more light on how and why games make us tick.

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