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Delays, Delays, Delays 45

It's a constant in game releases: delays. There is news today of a number of games frustratingly being put-off until (in some cases) much later. Probably most shocking is news that Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is not going to be available for the PS3 launch. The title won't be available on Sony's console until Q1 2007. Somewhat less surprisingly, Half-Life 2 Episode 2 is going to be available in the summer, not in the spring. There's a raft of Xbox titles that have been pushed out to Summer as well. Forza 2, Shadowrun, and Too Human will not be available until June of 2007. Finally, the possibility for more frustrations for the often-frustrated European gamers. Via commentary on Gamasutra, a post on the Three Speech blog (a Sony organ) has Phil Harrison dodging the March launch for the PS3 in Europe. From Three Speech: "Given that all of our previous statements about launching in Europe simultaneously with the US and Japan turned out not to be the case, I would not like to make any definitive statements on that. It's not my job to comment on hardware supply issues other than to say some very smart people are working very hard to catch up. In fact, the ramp up is already starting to happen in supply and output, just obviously too late for us to have launched in Europe at the same times as the US."
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Delays, Delays, Delays

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  • by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @01:36PM (#16795666) Homepage
    I had been going to make a really funny, insightful comment here - but unfortunately this long-awaited event has been delayed until the third quarter of 2007 at the very earliest.

    • by shoolz ( 752000 )
      You'll still beat Duke Nukem' to market.
    • Re:Delayed, you say? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @02:32PM (#16796458)
      I worked six years in the video game industry for Accolade/Infogrames/Atari (same company) and was a lead tester for ten titles over a three year period. The funny thing is that marketing sets a date without asking anyone, top management waves a fat bonus in front of the producer if the project is done a month earlier than the marketing date, and everyone gets mad when I add two months to the marketing date. My dates are almost always perfect (plus/minus two weeks). Does QA get the fat bonus that the producer lost? Oh, hell no.
    • Hopefully Minerva Episode 3 before HL2 Episode 2? ;)
      • Hopefully Minerva Episode 3 before HL2 Episode 2? ;)

        Heh. Ideally before Christmas, although that's possibly pushing things just a bit... ;-)

        Definitely before Valve's release, anyhow. I'm not quite running on Valve Time []...
    • by Speare ( 84249 )
      I had been going to make a really funny, insightful comment here

      You say you're Ford Prefect, but I think you wioll haven be Dr. Dan Streetmentioner.

  • HL2:Ep2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShadowsHawk ( 916454 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @01:37PM (#16795686)
    I thought episodic content was supposed to cure the delay woes and reduce cost. 0/2.
    • Re:HL2:Ep2 (Score:4, Funny)

      by Fozzyuw ( 950608 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @02:00PM (#16796036)
      I thought episodic content was supposed to cure the delay woes and reduce cost. 0/2.

      It is, and that's why Duke Nukem Forever is changing formats!


    • Yes, for the PC platform. I bet the Steam team is having trouble porting the base engine that powers all games available through steam to the XBox.
    • Amen. It's starting to feel a bit more like a ripoff than a delay at this point. It's one thing to wait for a sequel and quite another to have to wait a year for something billed as an "episode."

      Clearly Valve promised more than they're actually delivering. If the market for this kind of game disappears, I hope at least that they're honest enough to realize the cause.

  • Chicken and egg... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @01:44PM (#16795780)
    Platform makers want the games NOW to help future platform sales. Game makers want higher platform sales NOW to help future game sales.

    On the other hand, letting a product slip past the Christmas buying season should be worth worth two or three heads at any game company worth its salt.
    • Attention, Blizzard -- This means you. You dropped the ball, and now you must feel the wrath of the post-Christmas consumer dead zone. Excellent point.
      • There are two approaches to video-gaming; the Nethack approach, which means many, many features and ridiculous dev time(20-something years and counting), and the Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, which took a few weeks to conceptualize and finish. It is a testament to the betterness of the Nethack approach that all of these delays are occuring.

        There is now only one option: Open-Source Starcraft. With everything. Including the kitchen sink.
    • The give nintendo Europe this doubt as well, they let slip a lot of their major titles coming out in the other regions slip past chrismas as well, for whatever reason!
  • by knightmad ( 931578 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @01:44PM (#16795786)
    • by Gertlex ( 722812 )
      Quite disappointingly, Super Smash Bros. Brawl was initially supposed to be a release game but has been delayed till spring :(
      • You know, I keep hearing people say that, but it was never actually announced for launch. It was talked about as a launch game, but no one at Nintendo ever said they planned to have it at launch. The first concrete date given was March 2007 at E3 this year. Since then it's been pushed back to later spring of 2007.

        Now, Metroid Prime was supposed to be a launch game, but was pushed back to early 2007 for unspecified reasons.

    • Cartman, is that you? Why there's no Nintendo Wii in the 25th century?
  • That DNF won't be available for this Christmas?
  • by AcidLacedPenguiN ( 835552 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @01:56PM (#16795974)
    . . .But I welcome these delays on the condition that when the game does come out it is truly better than it would have been without delays. . .
    • by donaldm ( 919619 )
      For Europe as in Australia/New Zealand the PS3 and games delay can be blessing in disguise since if you are willing to wait till after March (up to next Christmas) home theater prices are going do drop dramatically and if you serious at getting one then you will find many retailers will throw in a PS3 or an Xbox360 as an bonus. I know of one retailer who is doing this for a 720p 42in LCD HDTV and Xbox360 now although in my opinion I would rather wait for the price drop on 1080p HDTV's in January 1997 onward
      • Good rule of thumb for 40in HDTV, 720p is fine, but over 40in then 1080p is worth considering but wait for the January/March price drop.

        I don't necessarily disagree with anything you say, and obviously I don't know how European LCD pricing is going, but I would say that at least one 1080p model - the Westinghouse 37" - is worth considering right now. I've seen the price on that one as low as US$1,200 which is competitive with the big-brand 720p (well, 768p) sets.

  • Retailers throughout Europe have reported an upswing in consumer spending following the announcement that the long-awaited Sony PlayStation 3 will not go now be available until sometime after March 2007. Asked why he was suddenly spending more money, Jan Dinkemtinkem of Amsterdam responded, "They've pushed the launch date back. I've seen saving for the Gold Package for a year. I can save a little more slowly now! I bought three dozen scarves. Everyone I know is getting one for Christmas."

    In France, Marci Be
  • At least Elder Scrolls might be ready for the European Launch...
    • by Amouth ( 879122 )
      yea but you know.. even if it is.. they will dely the release because.. well as sony said.. they like waiting
  • How about some context here.
    • by oc255 ( 218044 )
      How about the games [] part in Even RSS readers and external links would give you the chance to hover over it and see the URL. If already surfing on /., the "Games:" gives it away. I guess the only way it's a mystery is the incoming surfer from an external link with their status bar turned off or their hyperspeed surfing switch turned on. As in, you don't see the URL before you click.

      Beats headlines for sure:
      Wikipedia Chicken attacked [] = an article I'm guessing is about
  • Just in case this seems lop-sided, the Nintendo Wii has delays as well: the quirky but interesting title, Elebits, has been delayed about a month []. Konami says the game is done, but Nintendo's Q&A process has held back the release.
    • by hords ( 619030 )
      This has been known for quite some time though. Even when I preordered my Wii at Gamestop it wasn't on the list of launch titles. At least it wasn't delayed to 07.
  • by mbourgon ( 186257 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @03:13PM (#16797020) Homepage
    if Shadowrun's going to suck as much as all of us anticipate?
  • by SpecialAgentXXX ( 623692 ) on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:19PM (#16798010)
    How many times do we buy a game the day it is released only to find out it really wasn't ready for production and was rushed out to meet sales? How many times does a Patch 1.0 come out with in the next month or two to fix it? And more importantly, how many times have you spent hours playing a game only to have it lock up and/or not be able to finish a mission because of a bug which then screwed up your other missions (i.e. ES4:O)?

    For games, and more generally for software, I almost always put a self-imposed "delay" waiting for the first Patch to come out. It makes my gaming experience more enjoyable. I know because the times I've bought day 0 games, I've spent more time on the support forums reading how others have worked around their problems than actually playing the game.
  • I think it was Miyamoto who said "A delayed game is good eventually, but a bad game is bad forever."
  • How many jokes have you personally made about the Ps3. If you say 0 you're either a saint or a sony fan boy. And there's no saints in the console wars. Unless we're discussing saint's row (company plug).

    Honestly though Harrison and Sony has been ridiculed up and down the street, if they said "oh it'll be available tommorow" we'd laugh at them, if they say Next christmas we'd laugh at them. They finally are wising up that manybe they shouldn't promise the moon every time they speak.

    On the other hand it

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.