Video Game Power Rankings #9

This week might be a little PC and Microsoft heavy, but here’s the week’s Video Game Power Rankings:

1. (-) OnLive – I meant to include this from last week as reviews of OnLive’s beta launch was being reviewed. Farhad Manjoo at Slate said “So far, so good.” And BNET reported How OnLive Will Kill Video Game Consoles. I remain unconvinced but I haven’t tried the service so all I can go on is that OnLive themselves have said, “Now, ten days later, I’m happy (and relieved) to report the OnLive Game Service has been running 24/7 since launch, with games being played every day, around the clock, from every corner of the 48 States, despite the fact we’ve accommodated far more members at this stage than ever anticipated.”

2. (3) Are Games Art? – Give the man credit: Roger Ebert has admitted that he needs to actually play some games before he can make such divisive proclamations like “games can’t be art.”

3. (-) Microsoft Kinect – Microsoft is being aggressive, trying to convince us that hard core gamers will be the early Kinect adopters. Microsoft doesn’t really think highly of the hardcore anyway, so this is really no surprise. I say gamer parents (the “once-hardcore”) will be the first to adopt Kinect. They also compare Kinect games to Mario Brothers games. That may be a bit of a stretch.

4. (-) Torchlight MMO – A lot of info about the Torchlight MMO were released, whetting every Torchlight fans’ appetite for things to come.

5. (-) Hulu Plus – So will people pay ten dollars a month for what they can get (more or less) for free on the web? I think they will. In droves

6. (-) Nickelback – Here’s another one that was going to make the list last week that just slipped my mind — the Nickelback pack for Rock Band. Yes, the same band that earlier criticized gamers for playing plastic instruments. But that isn’t were the irony ends. After tasting the sweet nectar, they just go whole hog and get their own Tap Tap game. It appears their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

7. (-) Tapulous – Speaking of Tapulous, they were recently acquired by Disney Interactive.

8. (-) Diablo 2 – Speaking of Torchlight, Diablo 2 turned ten years old last week. If that doesn’t make you feel old, head over the Blizzard site with your speakers on. It’s a Time Machine. You’ll be instantly transported back ten years as if nothing ever happened.

9. (-) NCAA 11 Nicknames – Call me a sucker for gimmicks, but the addition of hundreds of nicknames that the announcers in NCAA 11 are going to actually say is super exciting for me. If the actual gameplay is just as good, I’m in for another year. (Who am I kidding? I’m already in, this is just gravy.)


  1. I don’t think you and I read the same news sites and forums last week.

    Nickleback? CCR seems more important to me.

    OnLive? I read one post about it.

    Maybe I just wasn’t as online as much as I thought.

    • I was coming at the NB angle because of the reaction, mostly on Twitter, when it hit. The negativity was… impressive. The OnLive posts spanned two weeks, I just got around to them this week.

  2. I’ll agree that CCR is probably a more culturally significant band, but I think Nickelback probably is bigger news considering their previous stance. That said, I may fire up Rock Band again just to play Fortunate Son. (There were some other good ones I’d like to grab, but that is a must buy all on its own.)

    I think 100% without a doubt OnLive represents the future of gaming. That said, the OnLive service is probably going to fail and go bankrupt within a year or two. The concept is too new and the infrastructure is not there to support it. The general public are still highly attached to physical media and the concept of ownership. MP3’s and Digital Books have gone a long way to begin the process of getting people away from physical ownership, but I’ll be darned if I still don’t buy every book as a physical copy. On the other hand, I’d guess about 10% of my son’s music came off an actual CD, the rest are straight from iTunes.

    My belabored point is, OnLive will prove the concept, I highly doubt it will be the first success. I do think the concept of a “platform”, whether its a PC, a console, or whatever, is probably going to be about as useful as a record player or a casette player. Just. Not. Yet.

    Kinect is a joke. An overpriced, poorly conceived joke. I hate this idea that the “hardcore will buy anything” idea that has begun to permeate inside the gaming industry. For over a decade we’ve been told (accurately to be fair) that hardcore gamers do not represent a large enough audience to make a game or franchise successful on their own. Now we’re being told that hardcore gamers are so mindless they’ll buy any new toy. I don’t consider myself “hardcore” but I still find this insulting.

    • The reviews for OnLive have been under a “sheltered” environment, with a select few using the service simulteanously. I’m interested when there are tens of thousands of users accessing. I think it will be the future of gaming on its piracy-proofness alone. There will be a hard road ahead of them, but it is the future.

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