Nothing Compared To December 3

By Alec Meer on June 23rd, 2008 at 10:17 am.

Starcraft 2: December 3? That’s what several US retailers reckon. Shacknews speculate that it’s unlikely Best Buy, GameStop and Circuit City would coincidentally reach the same conclusion, and point out that this semi-announcement is happening just a week before Blizzard’s worldwide invitational thinger on the 28th June (which I’ll be at, as it happens). You know, the one they’ll reveal Diablo III at oh ha ha.

I seem to recall Blizzard have a habit of release dates that logic dictates is after the main Christmas buying pile-on – December 3′s certainly in line with that. This may well be pure gossip, however. Anyway, beneath the cut for good measure is a repeat of the CGI trailer thing to whet your appetite. It’s like Starcraft 2, but with better textures and no interface!

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26 Comments »

  1. Optimaximal says:

    That’s one thing that always made me tilt my head at Blizzard… Since WarCraft 3, they’ve spent hundreds and thousands on what are the nigh on photo-realistic movies that could rival anything Holywood produce, but then the game looks like a crayon scribble in comparison because of their company policy of making all games run on 8 year old laptops and Macbooks…

    A little schizophrenic, don’t you think?

  2. spd from Russia says:

    and there I was, hoping for autumn ;/
    well, few months more wait ok

  3. spd from Russia says:

    Optimaximal nah, cg helps the sales. so do low system requirments.

  4. Meat Circus says:

    @Optimaxial:

    Not really. Idiots like teh shinies. They know this. But idiots are also poor and can’t afford good graphics cards.

    Put the two together, and Blizz’s company policy makes much sense.

  5. Seniath says:

    Roll on getting a chance to play it at the weekend \o/.

  6. Luke says:

    Going by the regular updates from Blizzard, it sounds like Starcraft 2 is not going to be a 2008 release. Not a whiper of the beta or the online features yet, and Blizzard talks like they still have a ways to go before the Zerg and Terrans are on par with the Protoss. And the pro gamers, with all their bitching about MBS – multiple buildling select, Google it – have, I think, really thrown a monkey wrench into the whole operation.

    Prediction: beta commences in late’08/early ’09, with a summer or fall release to follow

    No matter. What looks like a shot of the World Stone from the final Diablo 2 expansion pack cutscene just appeared on Blizzard’s home page. We may not get a new Blizzard game this year, but at least we’ll get an announcement.

  7. Alex McLarty says:

    “A little schizophrenic, don’t you think?”

    Na.

  8. Jae Armstrong says:

    Optimaximal; heh, I remember downloading an FMV trailer for SC2 a while back. A few hundred megs, iirc, for twenty seconds of a space marine getting his gear on. Twenty seconds of the most gorgeous CG I have ever seen (Dreamworks eat your heart out), admittedly, but still.

    Maybe it’s an uncanny valley thing. As in, either you go the low spec route so as not to hit problems, or you go balls to the wall all out and just ram straight past them.

  9. houseinrlyeh says:

    Oh evil, evil Blizzard! Making games even people who can’t afford high end systems can play.

  10. Butler` says:

    I’d be very surprised at a December release (given WOTLK’s expected release window). I’d also be incredibly pleased.

    I think Blizzard’s CGI vs in game graphics are spot on, and are what make them what they are today.

  11. Skalpadda says:

    I feel Blizzard have always managed to strike a balance between good design and low system specs. Just because something doesn’t have ultra-high res textures, HDR and god rays all over the screen whenever a light source hits an object doesn’t mean it’s a bad looking game.

    Compare the image quality of WoW on full settings to AoC on low settings.. I’d definitely say WoW looks better, and in catering to a wide range of system setups they certainly make the right market decision. I doubt WoW would have as huge a slice of the MMO market if it required a high end system to look decent.

  12. nihohit says:

    @Skalpadda:
    Not that I disagrre with what you say, but why compare WoW’s full settings to AoC’s lowest ones? they aren’t aimed at the same machine. compare the two’s settings on an equally powerful machine, and than you’ll have your point – especially if the machine is just good enough to run high-end WoW but not good enough for mid-range AoC.

  13. Optimaximal says:

    Can I just point out that I never meant either was a BAD decision…

    It just seemed strange when in a cutscene, orks are a dirty dank battle-scarred Warhammer green colour, then they turn fluorescent green with glowing red armour in game. It just miffed me :)

  14. Kieron Gillen says:

    I suspect the FMVs work by contexualisation. The initial video imprints what the game’s fantasy is on the gamer, and then they implant some of that idea onto the much lower fidelity main game.

    That’s the theory, anyway.

    KG

  15. phuzz says:

    This game is nothing compared to…

    oh.

    I’ll get me coat.

  16. Chris Keegan says:

    There must be something blizz is about to unmask on the front page as you can see here:
    http://www.blizzard.com/us/splash.html

    Something interesting this way comes.

  17. Derek K. says:

    @nihohit – That was the idea I got from the post – a computer that can just handle WoW high end can run low end AoC – if you’re targetting that computer, WoW has a better impact.

    @article: Yeah. If it’s out in 09, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. This is Blizzard we’re talking about. D2 was originally coming out in XMas 98. I seem to recall picking it up in mid aught aught.

  18. Ci2e says:

    Seriously Blizzard is the only company out there you can trust to ship a polished product. Lets just say Blizzard released StarCraft 2 at the end of ’08 – you all would be complaining it was shipped too early – which is another reason why Blizzard is known for saying, “it’ll be done, when it’s done” and nothing shy of done is what Blizzard strives for on every release…

    I hate waiting just like everyone else but I do wish companies like Blizzard would make the whole process more public so we all could see just how far off it is from really being released instead of waiting for the next CG movie or in game footage with a shaky video camera…

    Just got to be patient it will be here when it’s here…

  19. Skalpadda says:

    @nihohit:
    That’s exactly what I mean, although perhaps I didn’t express it as clearly as I should. Even if you have a computer that’s a couple of years old, WoW will look pretty good since it’s based more on design than having the latest shader tech. The cartoony feel to the characters and environments help as well. The reason for comparing WoW with AoC is just that a machine that can just about run WoW on max settings will struggle quite a bit with AoC even on lower settings, a game that doesn’t scale down well at all (although of course that’s just my opinion :)).

    The overall point is that it’s a good idea to design your games to run well on older machines too (or make them scale well, see Half Life 2 and it’s episodes), since, let’s face it; most people don’t have high-end hardware. In the end it’s a good decision for both sales and the customers who don’t necessarily want to buy new hardware every year.

  20. Ci2e says:

    No Chris it’s just a splash page just like when you boot up Windows and you see the Windows Logo. Those are called splash pages, lol…

  21. Fantastic Damage says:

    @Ci2e:
    Usually when you hit blizzard.com you get treated to http://www.blizzard.com/us/index2.html, however there is suddenly a splash screen. Blizzard has historically used such splash screens to serve as countdown to new releases. Trust me when I say this is no fluke occurrence or site design decision. “Lol” indeed.

  22. MasterBoo says:

    Diablo III – Hell Froze Over theme…

    Hopefully ^_^

  23. Cibbuano says:

    I’m all for studios making games for low-end PCs. Some of us have them and still like to play occasionally.

    For example, I love the mentality of the latest expansion pack for Galactic Civ. II… better looking textures that require fewer resources. I bought the entire bundle on principle, sacrificing an entire two weeks of student-rate groceries.

    Just because we have constantly increasing data storage doesn’t necessarily mean that we should find ways to fill it up…

  24. Jezebeau says:

    Why would they reveal WoW? It’s been out for years.

  25. sinister agent says:

    If Starcraft 2 doesn’t run on the PC I’m using now, it’ll be at least two or three years before I’ll be able to play it. Blizzard have their head on straight when it comes to system requirements.

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