This Week in Games: April 28, 2012

The FPS Russia guy teases Call of Duty: Black Ops II with drones, Valve exposes itself (and talks Half-Life 3, kinda), Michael Pachter predicts the future, and a dude from Crytek says that next-gen used-game blocking is "awesome."

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We're changing the format of this a tiny bit this week, and hopefully you'll think it's for the better. Along with recapping the important stories of the past week, we'll also be highlighting the best, or most popular, comments from each of the original pieces. You'll see these under the Quoted for Truth headline after each entry. The usernames on each of these will link to that user's profile so you can follow their contributions in the future if you enjoy what they have to say.

Call of Duty Black Near-Future Drone Ops II

Early next week, we'll all be able to finally stop speculating about whatever the next Call of Duty is and return to bitching about the franchise in general. In the meantime, word snuck out this week that the new game--believed to be Black Ops II--may be set in the near future. The official Call of Duty website linked to a humorous FPS Russia YouTube video, which focused on the futuristic flying quadrotor RC drone weapon, teased for inclusion in an upcoming Call of Duty game. Earlier in the week, box art for Call of Duty: Black Ops II surfaced, displaying a November 13 release date for the unannounced project. Seems pretty credible, right?

Quoted for Truth

Superzone: "They can make it as futuristic and shiny as they want to, but if the gameplay doesn't change or do anything innovative whatsoever then who gives a s***?"

Portal 2 Editor, Half-Life 3, and a Look Inside Valve

Valve's highly regarded game Portal 2 will add a puzzle editor for the PC and Mac on May 8, the company announced Thursday. The editor--announced last October--will arrive as part of the free Perpetual Testing Initiative downloadable content. The puzzle editor will let players create, share, and download Portal 2 levels. Players can publish their creations to the Steam Workshop, where users can browse, vote on, and select other levels to try out. No mention was made of the Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC coming to the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

Valve was also in the news this week because a digital version of its Handbook for New Employees (the whole thing is embedded on the linked page) began making the rounds online. It highlights the numerous fascinating and unconventional ways the company works, from its total lack of management to its active discouragement of development crunch. If you're looking for the whole thing to be summed up in just three sentences, you're in luck! Consider the following statement from the beginning of the book; "Valve is self-funded. We haven't ever brought in outside financing. Since our earliest days this has been incredibly important in providing freedom to shape the company and its business practices."

"The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we're going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what's happening next."

This weekly wrap-up has been pretty Valve-tastic for the past few weeks with all the Steam Box nonsense (fingers crossed it's still on the horizon, right?), but there's one subject on which everyone has been quiet for a while: Half-Life 3. Valve has yet to officially confirm its existence, but we all know it's coming, right? Company boss Gabe Newell appears to have provided an update on the project while speaking to Seven Day Cooldown in a podcast interview. Newell said unexpected development issues have kept the studio from opening up on the game and added that Valve's silence on Half-Life is actually in the best interest of gamers. "The problem is, we think that the twists and turns that we're going through would probably drive people more crazy than just being silent about it, until we can be very crisp about what's happening next," he said.

What do you think is best? Should developers be as transparent as possible with projects? Or would you prefer it if they kept everything secret? Let us know in the comments.

Quoted for Truth

darkcomedian: "I hope it just gets released with no promotion or anything on Steam one day, and somebody randomly finds it. That would be hilarious."

Used Game Blocking Is "Awesome"

Crysis developer Crytek hopes the next generation of consoles take steps to stamp out used games. Should we just leave it there and let you have at it in the comments already?

"From a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome."
Hang on, let's provide a little more context here. Speaking to CVG, Crytek director of creative development Rasmus Hoejengaard said he would enjoy seeing Microsoft and Sony incorporate an anti-used-game system in their future consoles. "From a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome," he said. "It's weird that [secondhand] is still allowed because it doesn't work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well."

Quoted for Truth

vochelli: "Well Microsoft and Sony, who are you going to listen to? Your customers or the developers and publishers? Choose wisely."

Larry Fully Funded

The lecherous Larry Laffer will return. The Kickstarter campaign for a Leisure Suit Larry remake this week reached its $500,000 target, meaning developer Replay Games and creator Al Lowe will move forward developing a remake of the original Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. Originally announced last October without mention of crowd funding, the Leisure Suit Larry remake is intended to be an overhauled version of the character's debut 1987 adventure game. In addition to modern graphics, the game is expected to feature a modern point-and-click interface, full voice work, additional jokes (hopefully brought up to date), and compatibility with mobile devices.

Quoted for Truth

FallenOneX: "A remake of the original should be entertaining, I remember late nights in the computer room of the house, hoping our parents wouldn't get up to go downstairs as we tried to find a condom so we could have sex with a hooker…. Moments I want to relive as I spend late nights hoping my kid doesn't wake up and say 'Daddy, that game looks like a cartoon, I wanna watch!'"

Nexon Buying EA? Shyeah, Right

Every now and then there's a preposterous rumor from a usually reliable source about one of the big game publishers being bought about by a totally unexpected suitor. This week's? That Korean free-to-play game company Nexon (MapleStory, Combat Arms) has reportedly made an offer to purchase Electronic Arts, according to a Bloomberg video report. The report cites an unnamed (of course--aren't they always?) South Korean newspaper with the news and does not elaborate on the potential deal in any way. That should get your bulls*** detectors flapping. An EA representative told GameSpot, "Only comment here would be that we don't comment on rumors or speculation about our business." Nexon also chimed in on the matter in a similarly insightful fashion, telling us, "Nexon's policy is to never comment on rumors." Anyone want to lay odds on this one? Signs point to a big fat "no."

Quoted for Truth

IgotEpixx: "KorEA?"

Pachter Predicts GTAV This Year

"I don't think the Rockstar guys care about a 2K game."

Never shy to speak his mind, or circulate a wild guess, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said on Friday that he believes the much-anticipated open-world action game Grand Theft Auto V will ship on October 23, 2012. Speaking on the latest episode of GameTrailers TV, Pachter acknowledged that shipping on that date would be just a week behind another major Take-Two property, BioShock Infinite (October 16), but he did not budge on his belief. "I know that's too close to BioShock Infinite," he said. "I don't think the Rockstar guys care about a 2K game." If GTAV ships on October 23, 2012, gamers will be barraged with high-profile games in consecutive weeks at the end of this year. The October-November release calendar could shape up to be: BioShock Infinite (October 16), Grand Theft Auto V (October 23), Assassin's Creed III (October 30), Halo 4 (November 6), and if rumor proves accurate, Call of Duty: Black Ops II on November 13.

Quoted for Truth

pacpuf7249: "Even though I've been on Gamefaqs for five years and always saw the GameSpot news section in the right corner, I never paid much attention to it. Since being relatively new to GameSpot, starting to read the news on December or January, when I read my first article regarding Michael Pachter, I didn't understand why so many people disrespected him. But after seeing five articles about what he says, and after reading the word "analyst" in the title, I already knew it was him. I was so excited when I read 'Oct 23 2012,' but got kicked in the nuts by GameSpot after seeing the last two words. I'm already tired of him."

Skyrim Adding Crossbows and Snow Elves?

The first Skyrim DLC will focus on snow elves and crossbows, according to information unearthed by a Bethesda forum member. Files found within a folder titled "DLC01" from the latest Skyrim patch mention several terms, including "Snow Elves," "Snow Elf Prince," and various crossbow animations. What's a snow elf? The Skyrim wiki entry points out that they were a race of mer who inhabited Skyrim long before the Nords, before centuries of underground living and Dwemer slavery twisted the race into the blind merciless Falmer.

What do you think? Is a new race (and presumably territory and associated historical quests that go with it) enough to keep you going for a while? Honestly, given the amount of time that has passed since the game shipped, we're expecting the first DLC drop to be a whopper.

Quoted for Truth

RobertBowen: "I remember my first encounters with the Falmer as a lower level character. I got owned. Needless to say I was much more wary of them after that. Crossbows are definitely welcome, and if we get some more history and questlines regarding the Falmer (Snow Elves) that's fine. But I do hope this is a large-scale DLC with a lot to explore. And I wish they would add in some more of those things that didn't quite make it into Skyrim that they showed in a video a while ago."

Speaking of Skyrim Mods, we have a weekly show for that. Here's the latest episode.

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Written By

Discussion

93 comments
RSG003
RSG003

I get pissed to, when I have to pay $60.00 for a game that last 8-12hrs and I dont consider multiplayer parts of a game as an extension. I also normally wait at least 6-8months before I purchase a good "Reviewed" game as I hate playing "DLC" after I finished the game....

Ein001
Ein001

How about you make games worth $60 you piece of s**t? The only game I've played in the last 3 years that I'd pay $60 for is League of Legends. You made the same pretty game 3 times Crytek, now try making a good game once.

GenOptimus
GenOptimus

rclark04 you have made very good point. Oh btw crytek/ea/activision/ubisoft if you support any no used game units it'll only be a matter of time before a new unforeseen company builds a next-gen unit that isn't anti-used game and all your "customers" will decide to buy the unforeseen unit and then all the small "start-up" studios will race to make games for this unit and you'll be left holding the bag looking stupid as heck saying "Duhhhha, where'd everyone go". I love ranting. It makes me feel good somehow.

SCWoodson007
SCWoodson007

I'm new to checking out the "this week in games" feature, so I'm not sure if Gamespot's been doing this for a while, but I really like the quoted for truth portion of the article (in addition to all the other information of course). It's cool that they take peoples opinions and quote them, even if it is slightly detrimental to the news they're providing. Well played Gamespot.

rclark04
rclark04

@Rasmus Hoejengaard / Crytek: Have your read any EULAs recently? I have bought games recently that state you can transfer ownership as long as you don't retain any material / copies yourself. This was on the PC. I did in fact sell it too. Good companies, like Matrix Games treats their customers fairly. Poor companies like Crytek / EA / Activision / Ubisoft try to screw their customers to get as much as they can from them. The odd thing is that computer software is practically the only consumer good that tries to limit the customers right to transfer the product to another person. That is what is screwed up, not that consoles allow used games.

GenOptimus
GenOptimus

@Jhonel83 I'd rather things stay as they are but CRYtek and others like them will keep fighting to rob us at the game stores. If you have a better solution then my idea, let's see it but until then PUT UP or SHUT-UP! plain and simple.Would you buy a unit that couldn't play used games? of course not! Right?

jhonel83
jhonel83

@GenOptimus, that kind of crap is jus as bad as their first option! Would you really buy a game that hides content from you on cd?

tahashaikh15
tahashaikh15

Gamers...WAKE UP,Used games are going to be banned...If they want to ban Used games then they should stop charging sooo much for a 4 to 5 hour game...This has to stop...WE must stand strong and protest...Take to the offices of EA and MICROSOFT....Call them and tell them that If they put a block on used games we wont buy your consoles...nor will we Buy any games for those consoles...Oh and the people who buy used games will start buying/downloading pirated games...So the gaming company really is not going to change much.

tahashaikh15
tahashaikh15

@windsorog You just took the words Right out of my mouth....

oria
oria

Greed, greed, greed. You want to stop used game sales? Stop charging $60 for a 4 hour game! Sure, PC software has no used sales, but it has a ton of piracy. You want to see piracy explode? Get rid of used game sales and keep charging $60 per game.

windsorog
windsorog

Gamers SERIOUSLY need to take a stand against the next consoles doing away with used games. And the time to do it is now! Before the next-gens come out on market. We need to show them that we will not stand up to these anti-consumer policies. People took a stand against those anti-privacy bills that went through congress a couple months back and suddenly most companies pulled their support away from them. Well we need to do the same thing in this case, and make game companies seriously realize that we will not buy their games if they support this. If I buy something, that becomes my property, I dont give a rats Azz what a end-user licencing agreement says. Gamers need to sit down and pick a game and we NEED To boycott it. And it needs to be a big name release. GAming companies need to know that we are serious and that their financial statements will take a hit if they continue with these Anti-Consumer policies.

Haeravon
Haeravon

I'm sure everbody who produced anything would rather restrict second-hand sales of any type. Just think, if you weren't allowed to buy a used car-unless you paid the manufacturer an extra thousand dollars-what auto-manufacturer wouldn't like that idea? The point isn't-and shouldn't be-that it would be good for the creator. The point is, when you buy something, you should have the ability to sell that item. It's an intrinsic property of being the owner of something.. otherwise you might as well just be renting it. Used game sales aren't the scourge of the gaming industry-piracy and mediocore games (a.k.a. games not worth buying new) are. You can't stop the former (and the DRM that attempts to do so usually just hinders legitimate purchasers-and not the pirates) and unfortunately, all games just aren't winners.

xeis-net
xeis-net

Crytek need to grow a pair. It is technically possible to stop second hand game sales now. Neither M$ or Sony will implement what crytek want which is a MANDATORY system to prevent any games being played second hand, they will provide tools that developers can use, but would not dare enforce it (as the second to market would not and their hardware would then win). You don't want second hand Crytek fine, grow a pair and release digital only, come on lets see how many copies of Crysis 3 you can sell via digital only distribution, ill give you 800 M$ points, deal? Still going retail? Yeah I thought so, just tuck your neck in.

ExplicitMike
ExplicitMike

I buy most of my games new, but I do not want the option to buy used removed. As someone who bought Hitman Blood money used. I will buy Hitman Absolution new. If you remove used games I guarantee you I will buy less games. I'll take even fewer chances with sequels of games. Oh and be prepared for piracy to rise up even more. Less games sold and piracy rising, yeah that sounds like a great plan.

ExplicitMike
ExplicitMike

@dman123_1 You are right. Probably the majority who have modded consoles don't go online. I am not sure how to determine that number. I do know that my friends around here have modded xbox360,Wii, and PS3. They go online with all three. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all suck at detecting Flash systems. I am sure some are caught and banned, but not my friends. I see them online all the time.

drknessfeeds
drknessfeeds

John Davison...man I miss EGM comin in the mail.

GenOptimus
GenOptimus

The right way to make new games better then used ones is to offer more content though DLC codes that can only be acquired by purchasing the game unopened. These pre-order goodies aren't enough for the new game market but they point in the right direction. A used game would be missing some extra bells and whistles but wouldn't stink either. They'd have to not sell these extras as DLC separately for this to work. In the end a used game owner would pay full 60$ price for the new game with its extras simply because he loved the used game so much that he wants the full experience and thats what it's all about isn't it,loving the Game because it's awesome,Right? That's the way they should handle this but they won't.

Maelsthur
Maelsthur

And I want to see something about half life 3 or Bungie's new project this is so frustrating, I hate when companies have many hermetism.

kreegan64
kreegan64

@Llama345 No, that would mean for them to swollow their pride as proffessionals

Maelsthur
Maelsthur

At least one quarter of my games are used yet... idk if think of game blocking, buy used games is a good way to save money, but buy downloadables and game of the year edition fulfill their purpose indeed. Companies have to give moar facilities that we could buy their games.

kreegan64
kreegan64

Snow elves?....they really wasted their time just to make more flippin' elves! We got plenty elves, every flippin' fantasy media has plenty elves! If you're going to add another race, make it at least worth while.

kreegan64
kreegan64

Because people will definatelly be popping out 50-60 dollars every time they want a game when we are practically heading into a 2nd great depression

GenOptimus
GenOptimus

If I was a new studio just starting out during the used game blocking era of the next gen-units, I'd figure out that it would be tons cheaper to make a 360 or ps3 game than to make a expensive next-gen game and have costumers whine and complain about how they must always have a internet signal when they want to play. These stupid new units will only make our 360s and PS3s more valuable because of the Freedom they offer. As a result of tech advancements from the stupid units it'll just get easier and cheaper to make games for 360 and ps3 and it'll be more profitable as well as more fashionable because it's proven fact people love having more influence and freedom over things as a whole including their games dang it!!

noah364
noah364

I dunno about the used game thing. It probably should happen, and it probably will happen, bu ti could be disasterous for our economy. GameStop will take a huge blow, and all of the Indie small buisness retailers would likely disapear off the face of the Earth.

wildemu
wildemu

If this used-game ban does come into effect, you can bet the piracy/modchip scene will be livelier than ever. Hackers will work 10x as hard as they are now to dethrone these "restrictions" and make it user friendly for people. You can have your laugh now developers, but be careful what you wish for with this implementation.

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

Sigh, rant time. Four things. 1. I've always been a fan of the CoD games, even back in the WWII days, but it's really gotten a bit much. Sure, they could send out another game, same engine and everything, and I'd probably play it, but then it'd be headed back to GameStop to sell it back. The the MW series really needs some fresh material. 2. Oh, Crytek.... Anyway. In a way, yes they're right. Blocking used games would be awesome.... in an ideal business sense. However, it's not. We, as consumers, can, and probably will, not buy their products if it interferes in our own affairs. 3. R* really doesn't care about 2K's games. Why? They're not R*'s! Why should they care? Their games are consistently epic. Any real R* fan will know that and buy it. 4. I really hope the Snow Elves are actual Snow Elves, and not just Falmer. Falmer are ace, sure, but it's time for something new....

Llama345
Llama345

Skyrim picks Snow Elves and Crossbows for their first dlc..... Have they not even looked at the Steam Workshop?

GenOptimus
GenOptimus

I was starting to get curious about the crysis series but since crytek has acted like buch of D-bags I think I won't miss what I'll never buy. You just lost money FOOLS!

magicalclick
magicalclick

Used game as in pirate or buying from Gamestop or Gamefly? I certainly think console maker should make more chanllanging system for pirates to crack, it is all about evolving the security of the system. But, buying games legally from Gamestop or Gamefly is certainly not wrong. Otherwise you should as well saying there should be a speed limit to all sencond hand car or something. While 2nd hand game is ditigally intact, but, the value to keeping up with the trend is already gone, as when you finally buy the game, your friend is playing other new games. And also if everyone is buying it and sell it a week later, then, let's be realisitcs here, the game sux, and they should be bought as 2nd hand.

GenOptimus
GenOptimus

We'll all be fine because we'll just sit around playing 360 and ps3 games until finally these greedy A-holes see their profits melt away and get sick of people complaining about how thier internet isn't reliable enough for their stupid unit and how the whole modern gaming has gone to heck because of the constant internet big brother wants to keep you chained up for your 60$ pops.

GenOptimus
GenOptimus

Greed plain and simple. If these idiots want me to buy new istead of used then how about they start pricing more reasonably. For alot us regular people 60$ is good size chunk of grocery and gas money. I like gamestop and I hope they won't even sell the next counsole generation if this happens.

dman123_1
dman123_1

@explicitmike Yeah, but most who do pirate don't play online, or they have to disable their mods if they go online. What i'm saying, is that SOny MS Nintendo (whoever makes a gaming console) has the ability to monitor anything and everything you do on the console much better than on a PC if they chose that route. And that was the point I was making about buying them used. You still need a valid and available key to use it. I doubt they will completely disable used games, they will probably give you an option to buy some kind of pass. I'd rather the developer of the game make that decision than the hardware companies.

Leadtaco2o9
Leadtaco2o9

If used games are blocked, the amount of actual games released would definitely decrease. I'd expect to see big name devs like Ubisoft and EA to focus on one game at a time, rather than releasing a bunch of mediocre ones. I think the quantity of games will decrease, but the quality might increase. A lack of quantity though, could also mean less progression in the actual game industry. Blocking used games might even put a slow down on the game industry. It has its pros and cons obviously. Hopefully it doesn't happen though. I'd expect to see devs release the same game every year like Activision and only a few video game series actually be developed. Less risks would be taken as a result and not many new IPs. An easy solution would be for used game companies like Gamestop to give a certain percent of each games revenue back to the companies. As bad as it sounds, it might be the only solution that would make everyone happy.

Cappuccin0
Cappuccin0

Those Crytek guys are douchebags. I've hated them ever since they started yapping about their engine and how their stuff was better than everyone else's.

Lutrian
Lutrian

The blocking of used games may kill off the game rental businesses once and for all. A lot of companies would be happy to see this, but this could result in a loss of sales of so-so games, the ones that get 50-60 or so on Metacritic. After all, the rental establishments still have to buy the software and that could still be tens of thousands in sales which won't happen, if this practice is stamped out.

AkuScorn
AkuScorn

The blocking used game idea reminds me of the feature in Resident Evil on 3DS having no erase save file option in attempt to stop used game sales. What a horrible idea that was!

couchtater12345
couchtater12345

BF has had drones forever...not that big of a game changer

DuaMn
DuaMn

@alexh111 You know why? Because you don't need a game after you finish it. But if you sell your house all of its reason to be owned is lost. You can't stay in there and that's the reason you buy a house. You sell your car, and you can't go anywhere you go with a car. Its reason to be owned is lost, all of its benefits are lost. You need a new car. From same company or not, you'll buy another and its value will be yours as long as you own it. Also it will get old and will be useless after some time. That's not the case with games. After selling a game there is no way you're buying it back, it's forever useless to you especially if it's a single player game. To make things worse, software never wear away. They're always in top shape as long as you manage to install them. Amount of people who can own them is limitless. You can't compare software to cars or houses or bicycles. This is a new age. With it comes new ideas. I'm not saying games worth their prices, of course not. In my opinion all games should be priced around $20 and I always wait for sales to buy games. But that's an entirely different topic. Games shouldn't be resold. That'll only cause expensive games, weak developers, and more evil publishers. Then evil dlc and all...

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

@kelso27 Wow, if you can't wait for Black Ops 2, you are either new to gaming, or you are a easily impressed, gullible dumbed down sheep.

Grovilis
Grovilis

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kelso27
kelso27

cant wait for Black ops 2

LtReviews
LtReviews

Any mechanism for blocking used games would not only affect used games. Banning used games has consequences that range much further than simply preventing people from buying secondhand. If they limit it per console, than if the console breaks or memory/data gets lost, you lose a game, even though you may still have a brand new game disc that is completely undamaged. Or, if they use account verification per console, than it would obviously require some form of online connectivity. I don't want to have to put up with the equivalent of Games for Windows Live on my console, and neither does anyone else. Also, taking a game disc over to a friends house to play would also be prevented, because they don't have your same exact console. And this is not taking away a sale the same way a used game does, because ownership hasn't shifted, and in fact, the friend who you played the game with can be encouraged to buy his own copy of the game. And lastly, when people go to Gamestop to sell used games, what do you think they use the money from selling them for? TO BUY NEW GAMES. It saves us money, allows more people to play the previous games, and allows more players to buy the new games. I guess it is only a problem for a studio that has not been making good games lately, so they know people aren't spending their trade in money on their new crappy products.

nate1222
nate1222

@MonkeySpot My thoughts exactly. One of the atrocities made "standard" by the 7th gen is this 6.5 hour campaigns with online multiplayer filler crap. Back during the 6th gen (PS2/Gamecube) the single player was longer and much more compelling. Games like Time Splitters 2 and Mortal Kombat Deception had rather lengthy solo modes and a crapload of extras and unlockables. You could just play through the various modes SOLO, and even play with/against bots, for MONTHS and not get bored. Multiplayer was OPTIONAL, fun and far from being used as filler by lazy ass devs. Today? They deliberately toss all of those things out and then charge ya' $60 for it...plus dlc rackets. What a ____in' jip.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

Let them block used games, they just wont sell to me. I haven't bought a used game in years, but I think if they block them it takes away a nice feature for so many people. May skip this (and possibly future) generation if it happens. I get they are being hurt by used sales but is screwing over already screwed over customers the way to go?

nate1222
nate1222

@MonkeySpot Too true regarding 6.5 hour campaigns and online multiplayer filler. Hell, I very fondly remember 6th gen (PS2/Gamecube) games like Time Splitters 2 and Mortal Kombat Deception. They had so much cool stuff to do and unlock in single player, that you could play solo for MONTHS and be thoroughly entertained. Multiplayer was fun, but it wasn't even neccessary to enjoy the games. And online multiplayer sure as Hell wasn't used as filler by lazy ass devs.

basangicu
basangicu

Discouraging the used games marked would only encourage piracy, not increase game sales.

inb4uall
inb4uall

Screw Crytek, I'm still pissed that they have the Timesplitters IP and have done absolutely nothing with it.

Tughill
Tughill

They don't want us to be able to play used games on the new consoles??? So what are we supposed to do? Buy every game in our library again just to be able to play? Or maybe hook up even more stuff to our TVs I mean how many ports do they think we have on them? Or are we just supposed to play musical cables every time we want to play something different? Now that's just rude!!!