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Mushman avatar 12:09 PM on 04.02.2009  (server time)
I Don't Get All The Rage Against 2.7

(WARNING: This Blog can be considered as TL:DR material, so you if you can't be bothered reading this, go play some awesome videogames)

As any PS3 owner who turned on their black obelisk today would know, firmware update 2.7 has been released and the reaction has been interesting to say the least. It seems many, many people had high expectations that the firmware update would prove to be substantial, and it wasn’t, to them anyway.

The reason for the high expectations stemmed from rumours stating that sony would incorporate features like cross-game voice chat, faster trophy synching and even access to the internet browser on any game whilst playing it! Even I was excited about the proposed features, especially the in game browser access. Who wouldn’t like their trophy hunting escapades made easier by having instant access to the browser? Voice chat across games? Cool. Hell, it takes ages for the trophies to sync and load, and any improvement to loading speed would’ve been great. I think I wouldn’t be out of line to say the proposed features were the stuff of dreams of many a PS3 owner. Many expected at least one of the features I stated above to be included in the 2.7 firmware.

However, they were just possibilities. As far as I know, and I think I have a good grasp on keeping up to date with the game industry, there was no real hype generated by sony to do with this update. Thus insinuating that the update would likely be 'mediocre'. We must remember, sony did kick up a fuss with the update which enabled trophies, long giving hints and generating a little hype before it was available. We all knew that trophy support would be included, simply because Sony wanted us to know. There was no such hints regarding if this update would have 'worthy' features. In an industry where hype is unimaginably important, you’d think Sony would pull out the proverbial trumpet and cause a fuss over 2.7 if their was a very important feature included. The truth is they didn’t.

When did Sony actually let on that this update would include any ‘cool’ feature? I do not recall any statement from Sony regarding if the rumours, in the least, were true. I do not recall any word from Sony even if the features are being developed for the PS3. Where is the promise of Sony stating they will deliver these features? If there was some sort of official word or hint from sony about this matter, I wouldn’t be writing this blog, and on the bandwagon criticizing Sony. But all we have are rumours, rumours that caused a lot of anger.

Yes, I admit, there were rumours, which leads me onto my next point.

I read the impressions of Dtoid’s very own spelling and grammar master, Samit Sarkar, on firmware 2.7, I noticed a lot of anger and rage towards Sony in the comments. Many commenters seemed pissed that sony would release an update that didn’t include voice chat, basing their anger on rumours. That’s it, rumours. I believe what comes with being a long time gamer is a degree of cynicism. We all had the experience of a publisher or developer lying about their game, in either previews or trailers. Sadly, most of us know the disappointment of a game being underwhelming, despite all of the marketing pizzazz saying otherwise. I’ve been ’had’ by a game before, I’m sure you have to. So it was saddening reading the angry comments, at what point did our in-built common sense fail? When did we start believing rumours?

Depressingly, we are connected to an industry that perpetuates the importance of rumours, and even lies. One thing I have learnt in this generation is the terrifying power a lie can have over gaming society. That’s why I was confused as to why many people were angry at Sony. Rumours in the industry should always, always, be treated like petting an animal at a zoo. Unless the animal handler says himself says it’s okay to pet, and not your fuckwit family member who just wants to see the animal get scared and lash out so your white pair of underwear changes colour to that shade of brown, don’t pet the damn animal.

I came to the conclusion that as long as there isn’t solid, concrete evidence to back up an industry rumour, don’t believe it. In this case, there was no actual rumours permeating from Sony HQ, rather from ‘insiders’ who conveniently know ‘someone’ who works for Sony. Yes, there are cases where industry rumours are true, but they are too far and few between that, by now, the average ’hardcore’ gamer should know to take them with a serious pinch of salt, even if the rumours, as the venerable Yojimbo puts it, are ’rampant’.

So it’s a shame to see Dtoiders fall under the spell of rumours, because not only are we a community of gamers, I believe we are a community with a megaton of gaming knowledge and experience. I cannot fathom why such a number of gamers are not resilient to the pitfalls rumours can have. Indeed, you may say that it is a minority of gamers the have the problem of believing a rumour to be true, but it is still disheartening to see. Not only that, I believe the amount is bigger than just a minority.

The answer is not becoming jaded towards the industry, the answer is to ask yourself if the rumour is from a credible source. A closer inspection of a rumour and a re-think is all it takes from saving yourself the hassle, anger, disappointment and frustration of it turning out to be fake.

I understand the anger against 2.7, the list of features are underwhelming, but then again, we have features we did not have before. Someone, somewhere, will find text chat useful, we cannot say that the feature is, as many a gamer put it, ‘shit’. The ability to now use the actual disc itself to search for information about the game on the browser, rather than typing in the game name, is welcome. I do not own a wireless keyboard and find typing even short phrases or words into the search bar cumbersome. Hell, I don’t like typing messages simply because it takes ages with a controller. When I sit down to play a game, I turn off my computer because I like to focus on just the game, and not be distracted by the internet. I’m sure many a PS3 owning Dtoider has Destructoid saved as bookmark, so to save them the possible hassle of going to their computer to keep up to date with this wonderful website. I know I do.

Not my TV, by the way

Yes, the update is kinda low on features, but today we have features we did not have yesterday. Though I will use text chat rarely, I know for sure I will be using the game name search feature. The people that are angry have no one but themselves to blame, they brought into the rumours, they brought into the lies, lies that Sony did not spread. Instead of being angry and frustrated, as I know some of you are, ask yourselves this, would you ever be angry at this update and it’s features if the rumours did not exist? Would you ever say the text chat feature is completely useless if the voice-chat rumour was non-exsistant? I don't know about you, but having a feature I did not have before on my PS3 is a bonus, even if I will use it rarely.

Everyone has a right to right to voice thier dissapoinment and thier opinion on a matter, no matter what the opinion is, no matter what the subject is. In all honesty, I'd die to protect that right, because it is a right I excercise myself. But when the opinion is formed by rumours and possible lies, I cannot help but feel saddended.

There is a reason why Destructoid puts rumours under the ‘Industry Bullshit’ category, because rumours are just that people, bullshit.

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