Wednesday, 15 July 2009

[Update] Remember Me?

Remember the guy who promised you further round-ups following on from E3? Yep..that was me..and I'm very sorry for not following through with my promise. I've made the decision to stop making promises based on blog posts until I get into the swing of making regular updates. You could argue that I'm making a promise not to make promises, but enough about that...

Anyway, with the apology out of the way, lets move on...

A couple of weeks ago, the UK government published the 'Digital Britain' report. Within this report were a few key points in regards to the games industry, the major one being the decision to side with PEGI video games rating system, instead of the long standing BBFC ones.

For those who aren't sure what it is I'm talking about, PEGI (Pan European Game Information) ratings are already seen on some games. Their ratings come in several different flavours, such as 12+ and 16+. Aswell as a recommended age they also provide little markings on the back of the box which show if the game includes violence, sexual themes and swearing, using symbols.

The BBFC rated games however (that's the British Board of Film Classification) can be identified by the recommended age of the product (U, 12, 15, 18), surrounded by a circle, and can also be found more commonly on film titles.

Within the next year or so, you'll see more and more PEGI rated titles and less BBFC ones, until finally PEGI completely takes over the reins.

What's my view on all this? Personally, I find BBFC ratings to be more prominent, which is helped by the fact parents see BBFC ratings on DVDs and the such. The way in which the ratings are displayed are clearer. PEGI have shown since the report that they will be slightly changing the way in which their age ratings will be displayed, adding a bit of colour to the mix, which should hopefully make them stand out a little more than they currently do. I do like the symbol system PEGI use in conjunction with the age rating, as it helps to identify what makes that particular game the age rating that it is.

The important thing will be the transition between the two. As always, alot of the pressure of enforcing and educating the new single form of age ratings to the general public will fall to retail members of staff.

I can't see it affecting the general public too much. Yes, in most cases the ratings will look different, but the concept is still the same. For more information on PEGI ratings, visit their website, which can be found here.

Before I close up this post, I though I'd share this with you:

That folks, is the contents of Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition. And yes, they are working night vision goggles. The price? $149. No word on a UK release as of yet. Check Kotaku's article for full details of the contents.

Oh, and one more thing. I've just read an article on MCV in regards to a statement made by Sony executive Peter Edwards. He revealed that currently less than 30% of PSN users who download and use Playstation Home return after their first go. That's a huge 70% of people who haven't returned (of which, I am one of). In Sony's defence, they have increased the content within Home over the past few months, but, well, in my case, the time in which it takes to download all the needed updates (not to mention all the downloading of areas that you walk into) is a massive put-off. The content in Home just doesn't seem worth it just yet. Sony took a gamble with Home, it's a massive project, and I would like it to become a better product, as it has potential, but with figures like the ones above, it must feel to the people behind Home to be a massive uphill climb.

Just to add to the end of this post, I'm now in my new room. That's right, I've spread my wings and am now living with 3 of my friends. I just hope they can encourage me to stop being lazy and get writing on a more regular basis.

Until next time...which shall hopefully be sooner rather than later!