Saturday, March 19, 2016

Well, Friday certainly had a lot of crazy in one day, didn't it?

First up, craziness surrounding the platform holders.

After the possible NX controller leak, Kotaku tossed up the above headline, reporting that all over GDC this week, they'd heard developers chatting about the "PS4.5."  Some of this was just overheard while waiting in line for presentations,
"As we were chasing down this story, coincidentally, Kotaku UK EIC Keza MacDonald overheard some developers casually talking about the machine while on line at GDC. They mentioned the name ‘PS4.5’ and discussed its increased horsepower, mentioning both 4K resolution and PlayStation VR."
But Klepek and the US Kotaku crew were already "chasing down the story," because a lot of developers had been briefed on the idea.  It's unclear if what the devs are calling the 4.5 is the equivalent of the 32X, that you jack in to your already-purchased platform, or an entirely new console you'll be obliged to buy again, but all of Kotaku's sources agree it will feature an upgraded GPU, enabling the thing to push 4K resolution (some are calling it the PS4K), and more processing power.  This also represents Sony nipping at the heels of Microsoft, who've already announced publicly that they want to release incremental improvements to Xbox hardware.

Friday was also the day that Gawker Media (which owns Kotaku) had a judge tell them they need to pay Hulk Hogan 115 million dollars.  Gawker has said they intend to appeal (which we're told would require at least $50 million handed over to the courts, to be held, while the appeal goes forward), but most agree that having to pay out a sum this large would sink Gawker.

And Gawker has done some nasty-ass shit, I absolutely agree - some vile shit, in their day - but as a gamer, I shudder at the thought of losing both GameTrailers and Kotaku in one year.  For example, just this week, without Kotaku, I wouldn't have pretty much decided that I'm getting the PSVR this fall - but anyway - yesterday, Microsoft did a dumb thing and then a smart thing.  The dumb thing?  This:

Hours after hosting an luncheon that pursued equality in the video games space for both genders, Microsoft threw a party complete with sexy dancers dressed as Catholic school girls.  The images darted around Twitter like embarrassing little lightning strikes, and before long news of the event had reached the very highest echelons of Xbox.

Once it did..?  Phil Spencer sent out an email to the entire Xbox division and posted it to Xbox Wire, making it clear that (1) someone's gettin' fired, (2) Microsoft deserves to get called out when it pulls stupid shit like this and (3) this was some stupid shit.
"How we show up as an organization is incredibly important to me. We want to build and reflect the culture of TEAM XBOX – internally and externally – a culture that each one of us can represent with pride. An inclusive culture has a direct impact on the products and services we deliver and the perception consumers have of the Xbox brand and our company, as a whole.

It has come to my attention that at Xbox-hosted events at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was absolutely not consistent or aligned to our values. That was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. This matter is being handled internally, but let me be very clear – how we represent ourselves as individuals, who we hire and partner with and how we engage with others is a direct reflection of our brand and what we stand for. When we do the opposite, and create an environment that alienates or offends any group, we justly deserve the criticism.
 It’s unfortunate that such events could take place in a week where we worked so hard to engage the many different gaming communities in the exact opposite way. I am personally committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is central to our everyday business and our core values as a team – inside and outside the company. We need to hold ourselves to higher standards and we will do better in the future."
There was no better way you could've handled that bad situation, Phil.  Thumbs up.

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