I'd heard the rumor about there being no hard disk in the new Xbox, I've heard the rumor after that where it is suggested that you will store your content on a separate, Microsoft created "iPod killer" portable drive as well. Until Wednesday, I hadn't heard that Microsoft was planning fully three machines. Actually, we've heard that there are no less than three and a perhaps as many as six new versions of the Xbox hardware - this information is, of course, from our Truth Department. It needn't be said that this department abhors lies and strives in all things towards greater accuracy.
It must be said: I also suggested "Xbox Rancheros" for today's comic, which is distinguished from the other models by a tangy southwest sauce and shredded Monterey Jack. It was right before lunch and I was hungry as fuck. Cooler heads prevailed.
You've probably heard there was a store selling Half-Life 2 on Thursday, though I believe this behavior has since been curbed. It couldn't actually be played is the thing - it checks in with Valve over the various Internets to authorize itself, and they simply aren't allowing that yet. That doesn't keep me from opening up Steam every now and again to see if Half-Life 2 has moved from the "Coming Soon" heading to "My Games," as I'd heard that a broken street date might mean an early release on Steam. That hasn't happened yet, and I'm sad to say I don't really hold out much hope for it. If early copies are essentially just round pieces of plastic (as opposed to useful software), and if Valve is in complete control of whether or not the program can execute to begin with, it doesn't seem like any of us will be reprising our roles as Gordon Freeman thanks to some happy accident.
Ghost Recon 2, Alien Hominid, Metroid Prime 2 and Baten Kaitos all come out on or about the same day as Half-Life 2. I consider every one of those "Must Own," but Half-Life 2 isn't just desirable along the usual continuum. I've played three full levels of the game, from wildly different areas, and I can say with very little hesitation that you are not ready for this jelly.
Gabriel the Elder and I sort of got into it over the game, actually. Before he'd had a chance to play it, he asked me if I thought it was better than Doom 3. I told him that it would be difficult to say, they were very different experiences, and other content-free equivocations from my bottomless bag of feigned objectivity. After getting his hands on it himself he told me how full of shit I was, and how I knew all along which one was better. I replied that, yes, I could have spoken with more precision: it isn't that you can't compare the two, it's that trying to compare them is meaningless. The combination of Half-Life 2 the game, the Steam delivery system, and the Source SDK will define a new generation of PC gaming, usher in a golden age of man, and focus the mod community into a coherent beam which punches a hole straight through our notions of professional and amateur development.
In that order.
sharp darts, double dutch