Gaming NewsJan 20, 2017 at 6:00a PSTby Maiman

This week, switch priorities!

Always look at two sides of life.

Has somebody shouted “Full steam ahead!” at all these newscasters, or am I the only one melting under the heat this week’s hot topics generate? The pressure is unbearable, and I feel like I need to cool the entire thing down a little bit, so here it goes:

1. Nintendo Switch launches March 3! It features many exotic appliances you’ve never heard of, which – for some reason – are all the rage back in Nihon, including (but not limited to) the comfortable Joy-Con-san, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild-chan, Skyrim scam, and paid online-kun! Wait, what was that again? That part about Skyrim? Oh, it has Todd Howard talking Japanese, so I’m guessing no scam at all! Todd is a fella you can trust, and Nintendo would never price up anything they provide you with, so it’s a partnership worth our respect. At least for now.

2. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 beta launches February 3! Ice water bucket – it’s a PC exclusive. The upside – the game itself will be cross-platform. So I would hereby like to applaud CI Games for inventing the happy medium and living up to both RPG-7 lovers’ and fiber wire enthusiasts’ expectations, supplying their newest open-world title with the path of Sniper, the path of Ghost, and the path of Warrior. Now the river has finally found its mark. Oh, and as for the platform war – of course PC still beats consoles, you just have to deal with it.

Shouting: ‘It’s docking time!’ has never felt less awkward. - 2017-01-20
Shouting: ‘It’s docking time!’ has never felt less awkward.

4. Three platforms is too much to handle for Watch Dogs 2 demo! A three-hour trial is live on PS4 and will be, in a not-so-distant future, available on Xbox One. Simply put, you can try out a game about hacking (which is, no offense, kind of a PC thing) on a console. Well done, Ubisoft. You managed to switch universes. In the parallel one you found, now it’s them console pirates who are the plague. Now it’s them who need a demo to take their minds off attempts to compromise Denuvo. And PC peasants can wait, sure, everybody knows you can’t crack a PC game. Great job, keep up the good work.

5. Astroneer sells 500,000 copies in less than a month! For comparison, that’s around a shedload more people than there were enjoying No Man’s Sky when it came out of, and yet a result not even close to the number of folks refunding NMS and grabbing Astroneer instead. Fun fact: both Astroneer and No Man’s Sky are yet to leave Early Access (with the latter making pretty good progress, as it finally got its head out of the clouds and now prepares for a rendez vous with solid ground).

3. Three equals zero

But the biggest of them all was Gabe Newell.

No, sorry, I got that wrong, let me try again: But the biggest event of them all was the lecture on relativity Gabe Newell gave courtesy of Reddit. See, I always found the idea of perceiving things differently (depending on circumstances) captivating, but not entirely clear. And what I couldn’t comprehend, I tried to justify. So I kept repeating to myself: ‘There is still time. You will get it eventually. Who cares you first heard about the idea 13 years ago, you can wait a bit longer, just don’t give up and never stop believing’. And so it went – until January 17.

Two Sources 2, but only one image. Not a single three in sight. - 2017-01-20
Two Sources 2, but only one image. Not a single three in sight.

Gabe Newell’s speech was truly inspirational. It might have not answered all the questions, it might have not made me understand, but at least it made me change my point of view. Here’s how Gaben replied, and how my enlightenment went:

  • ‘Yes. Nice. Support. Good’ – Be positive.
  • ‘In principle, there are two problems to solve’ – Never mention the third one.
  • ‘Yes. No. No. Yes. Possibly’ – Even when certainties cancel each other out, there’s always a possibility.
  • ‘We're adding servers all the time’ – Keep going. All the time.
  • ‘It changes all the time’ – As long as an excuse works, it’s worth being told.
  • ‘Yep. They're coming’ – You just don’t know when they’ll arrive.
  • ‘I think Portal 2 is our best single-player game’ – That’s when it hit me.

All that time, I – and with me, millions of gamers – was barking up the wrong three. I wanted to believe in Half-Life 3 so much I missed the real deal. Gabe Newell thinks that Half-Life is a disaster, so, relatively speaking, he sees no point in making its sequel leave the conceptual stage, the stage of thought, in which it takes advantage of quantum superposition to achieve both a perfect experience and a spectacular failure.

But if Gabe Newell himself doubts Half-Life, so should we. Create no more posters, keep your hopes at bay, and start predicting, because…

…it’s time you switch to Portal 3.